In this tutorial you will learn to create a cool poster using Photoshop & Illustrator. This tutorial demonstrates some useful techniques combining Illustrator and Photoshop to get the job done.
Preview of Final Results
Design a Retro Typography Poster Photoshop Tutorial
Step 1 : Creating the Type
For this particular tutorial we have to work interchangeably with Photoshop and Illustrator. So we have to switch back and forth between these programs. It is better to have these two applications opened side by side to improve efficiency. Our first step is to create 3D text. Type some text using the “Type Tool”. I used a font calledBifurk.
Next step is to apply 3D effect to the text. Go to Effect > 3d > Extrude & Bevel.
Use the below settings.
Your text should look like this.
We can’t use the text as it is, we need to expand it. Go to Object > Expand Appearance. This will expand the 3d text into paths. Ungroup the text. Press Ctrl+Shift+G couple of times to ungroup the object. Or right click and select Ungroup. Often times when you expand an object it will contain a clipping mask, in that case you need to release the clipping mask by pressing Alt+Ctrl+7 or by right clicking and choosing Release clipping mask.
Press Ctrl+Y to enter the outline mode. Notice the circled areas in the picture. They are divided into multiple pieces. We need to combine them into compound pieces.
To combine the pieces select them and then load the Pathfinder palette. Go to Window > Pathfinder. Click on the Unite button.
Repeat the process on remaining pieces.
Look at the final image wireframe.
Step 2 : Creating document in Photoshop
Create a new A3 document in Photoshop at 300ppi. I generally prefer to work at high resolution so please keep in mind that the directions and values you find in this tutorial are based on a 300ppi document. If you are not designing at 300ppi change the values according to your resolution.
Step 3 : Bringing in the Text
First is first, let’s copy the 3D text from Illustrator and paste it into Photoshop as “Path” because We don’t need the color information. We will add our own colors here in Photoshop. Make sure the path is pasted center to the document or press Crl+0 then paste. This is our main path that we are going to use often. Just for safety duplicate the path a couple of times in the paths palette.
Our Text has three multiple faces front, side, top and bottom. We will deal with each side separately. First select all the font side paths holding “Shift” key.
Right click and select “Make Selection”
Create a new Group and call it “Characters”. This group contains our 3D text layers. Create a new layer and fill the selection with #f25a38. Rename the layer to “text-front”
This time select all the bottom and top side faces. Then turn them into selection.
Create a new layer and fill the selection with #e64d2a. Now pick #feaa97 and apply to the pieces belong to the word “AM”. Rename the layer to “text-bottom”
Repeat the process to finish the side pieces as well. Use the below values. Rename this layer to “text-side”.
Step 4 : Adding colors to the text
Text is very flat now but we will change this, Ctrl+click on the “text-front” layer to load selection. Create a new layer above the “text-front” layer. With the selection active click on the “Add layer mask” button. This adds mask to the layer that reveals only the areas where we want so that We can paint freely.
Paint some nice and saturated colors with a soft brush.
Load selection for the top side faces of “GEEK” using our main path. Add highlight.
Add highlights to the side faces of the text.
Step 5 : Creating blends
Switch back to Illustrator. We will be spending quite a bit of time rest of the tutorial creating line work using Illustrator, mainly creating blends. Draw some lines and blend them just by pressing Ctrl+Alt+B it’s that simple. Here we create our first blend object.
To apply color to the blend click on the stroke color box and choose a color.
Copy the blend objects, switch back to Photoshop and paste them as Smart Objects. Position them as in the following image.
We want to limit these objects to the front side only. Hide outside portion using a mask. Load selection from “text-front” layer and click on the Add Layer Mask button.
Step 6 : Adding stroke to the text
Create a new layer, open the Paths palette. We have our main path here. Ctrl+click to load selection.
Expand the selection. Go to Select > Modify > Expand.
Stroke the selection, go to Edit > Stroke. don’t worry about color we will add a gradient later.
Now we will apply some gradient to the stroke. Load the layer style dialogue box and click on the Gradient Overlay button. Use below settings.
Step 7 : Creating dimensional lines
Next create some lines. These lines will add dimension to our design. Pick the Line tool and draw a very long straight line that runs past the canvas boundaries. We will duplicate this layer and rotate it several times.
Duplicate the layer and rotate it.
Duplicate the layer and press Ctrl+Shift+T to repeat the transformation.
Create same number of lines. I created a total of 9 lines. Delete the straight line we created first.
Select all the lines and convert them to a Smart Object. This way we can control it as a whole. Reposition it like in the following image.
Step 8 : Creating a Tech ring
We are going to create a tech ring type of object. Create a circle with Ellipse tool. Check Shape Layers option.
Reduce the Fill opacity to zero. Apply stroke using the Layer Styles box.
Duplicate the layer and resize it inwards. Vary the stroke width.
Repeat the process until you have the below look. Select all the circles and merge them into a single layer.
Now make some random cuts to achieve the tech ring kind of appearance. Use Layer Mask to make the cuts.
Repeat the process on remaining circles.
Here is the final result.
Step 9 : Add a Highlight to background
Create a new layer, add a highlight spot with a large soft brush.
Step 10 : Adding dimension
Next step is to give the composition some dimension. Start by adding the metal texture. This will work as the base to the design. Drag it into our composition.
Press Ctrl+U, adjust Hue and Saturation. Make it a bit orangish to match the background.
Adjust the Curve balance.
The texture is not big enough. Resize it by 150% using the Options panel.
Rotate the texture.
Make the below selection with Magnetic Lasso tool. Save the selection as an Alpha Channel. To do this switch to Channels palette, at the bottom click on Save Selection as Channel button. This will create the Alpha Channel which we can use later.
While the selection is active, click on the metal texture layer and click on Add Layer Mask button. See the result.
The edges are hard here, let’s blend them smoothly into our background. Load selection from our recently created Alpha Channel. Grab the Gradient tool, pick black and white gradient, click on layer mask and drag.
Create a new layer and fill #34a691.
Load selection from the Alpha Channel.
Click on the Add Layer Mask button.
Color is too solid. Mix it smoothly. Alt+Click on Layer Mask to enter mask mode, pick a soft brush and paint with black. You can see my mask here.
It should look like this.
Paint a faint shadow to the text to make it look like floating off the ground. Use a soft brush to paint the shadow. I used dark gray and reduced the Opacity.
Select the dimensional lines Smart Object and apply the below gradient.
Step 11 : Add more lines
This time we can create these lines directly in Photoshop using Pen tool. Create a new path layer and draw some paths using Pen tool.
We have to apply strokes to these paths. Right click on each path and choose Stroke Subpath. Make sure you are doing this in a new layer.
Vary stroke weights slightly.
Step 12 : Add shadow to the base
Make a selection with Magnetic Lasso tool.
Pick a soft brush and paint along the edge of the selection. Click on one end holding Shift key and then click on the other end.
Step 13 : Create Skyline
Let’s create a simple skyline that will add some look to our design. Jump back to Illustrator. Select the Rectangle Tool and draw the skyline silhouette. Keep your skyline as similar as possible. Notice the left side blocks are a bit thinner than the other because when we apply 3D rotation this part is going to be closer to the camera so it will translate into much bigger size.
Go to Effect > 3D > 3D Rotate. Apply below settings.
Go to Object > Expand Appearance. Press Ctrl+Shift+G to ungroup the object.
Right click and choose Release clipping mask.
We need only outline that we want to take into Photoshop. You can easily Swap the fill color to stroke.
Copy and paste the object into our Photoshop document as Smart Object. Resize to match this image.
Hide the bottom area of the skyline. Use our Alpha Channel to load selection and add Layer Mask from the selection.
Apply Color Overlay.
Step 14 : Back to Illustrator
We have some easy yet creative work waiting. Create a series of circles with Ellipse tool.
Align the circles tightly with no gap between them using Align Palette.
Delete top and bottom anchor points of the circles alternatively .
Join the paths.
Create the below shape with Pen tool. We will use this shape to create our custom art brush.
Load the Brushes palette. Drag and drop our shape into the palette.
Apply the brush to the our path.
Copy and paste the shape into our main document.
Reposition and resize the object.
Create a new layer above the shape. Clip this layer to the shape layer. Paint some nice colors just like we did before with the text.
Our image so far.
Step 15 : Creating more shapes
Make this selection
Create a new layer and click on add layer mask button. Fill the layer with #2eaa93.
Draw another selection and fill it with a nice pink color #f50d58.
Create another shape. Create a selection and create a Layer Mask from the selection.
Fill the layer with #f50d58.
Repeat the above process.
Step 16 : Creating Striped Pattern
Create some horizontal stripes. Make a rectangular selection and fill it. Duplicate the layer and finally merge into a single layer.
Duplicate the pattern. Resize the pattern. Apply color overlay #ffffff.
Reposition the other copy and rotate slightly.
Apply gradient overlay.
Erase hard edge using a mask.
Step 17 : Checker pattern
You can create it in a couple of ways but I will show how to create it using Pencil tool. Select the Pencil tool and right click to load brushes palette, load square brushes into the palette.
Create a black and white pattern painting alternatively. After you create the pattern Duplicate the pattern a couple of times.
Make it circular using a mask.
Step 18 : Creating colorful orbs
Let’s create a colorful orb shape. Create a new layer, draw selection with Elliptical Marquee tool click on Add Layer Mask button. Then we can start drawing. Follow the steps below. However you are not limited just to this, you have freedom to come up with your own cool shapes but here you can see how I did this.
Here is the finished one.
Create some more shapes.
Step 19 : Back to Illustrator
We will create some more line work in Illustrator. Let’s start by creating a couple of blend objects.
Paste into Photoshop.
One more blend.
Bring into the composition. Apply Color Overlay.
Here is the fun part. Put some little squares randomly and connect them.
Paste into Photoshop, apply Color Overlay.
Create yet another blend. Bring it into Photoshop, apply Color Overlay.
Create circular blend.
Bring as Smart Object.
Reduce Fill Opacity to zero. Apply Gradient Overlay. This hides the object partially.
Duplicate the object. Flip Horizontally and modify the Gradient.
Step 20 : Adding skyscraper
Open up the Skyscraper image. Apply Halftone Pattern filter to the image. Go to Filter > Sketch > Halftone Pattern. Press “D” key to reset the colors to default before you apply the filter.
Your image should look like this.
We need to select the black tones and separate them. Go to Select > Color Range. Make sure your background color is black. This will select all the blacks.
Press Ctrl+J to create new layer from the selection. This looks like pop art.
Drag & drop this layer into our main composition. Place it above the Characters group.
Double click on the layer icon. Adjust blend settings. This will blend the image based on the values of the underlying layer.
Step 21 : Background pattern
Create a new pattern that we will use to apply to the background. Create a new document and create square pattern. Turn off the background layer, marquee the area and go to Edit > Define Pattern.
Create a new layer and press Shift+F5. Choose the pattern you just created and press OK.
Place this layer just above the background layer.
Zero the Fill Opacity. Add Gradient Overlay to the layer. This gradient hides the center portion of the pattern and reveals at the edges which is what we need.
Step 22 : Adding texture
Drag & Drop the paper texture into the composition. This will add more character to the design. Resize it to cover entire canvas. Change the blending mode to Multiply. Reduce the opacity to 90%.
Adjust Curves to strengthen the texture a bit.
Step 23 : Add paint Spatter
Open the paint texture image. Desaturate it and invert it by pressing Ctrl+I. Then drag it into our composition.
Change blend mode to Screen.
Step 24 : Hue/Saturation adjustment
Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. Adjust the saturation a bit. And that concludes the design, we are done! Congratulations.
Preview of Final Results
Download the PSD
I am the Geek.zip | 15.4 MB