Design a Vintage Poster, Part II

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Welcome to part two of designing a vintage poster. If you missed part one, be sure to catch up! Last week’s tutorial covered most of the heavy lifting: concept, color, and composition all took place in Illustrator using elements from Vector Set 16.

Today we’re going to take our design into Photoshop for some tender love & care. We’ll learn about adding tactile character using Photoshop’s Bitmap filter, applying Spray Paint Textures for a handmade urban vibe, polishing with motion blur, and finally adding selective contrast with the dodge and burn tools.

Phase Four

Giving your design a face lift in Photoshop

Now before we get started in Photoshop lets open a new file and set size to 15×20 300 dpi.
Next place the jpeg of the poster into this new file.

Step One

Duplicate the layer three times, simply hold down alt and drag layer up.
Label and set first layers opacity to 70% simply hold down alt and drag layer up.

Author’s Note: It is important to properly name your layers so you don’t get confused.

Step two

Next create a bitmap, select bitmap layer and click image mode gray scale. You will get three pop up notices just click first button for all three, and let’s move on.

Step three

You will see one single layer. Click on image, mode and select (bitmap).

Step four

Set to 300dpi, halftone screen hit OK.

Step five

Set frequency to 35 or 45, set shape to round for best results.

Author’s Note: Feel free to try other things change up the shape and experiment with different settings.

Step six

Now convert bitmap back to gray scale. Click to Image>Mode>Grayscale

Step seven

Now convert grayscale back to RGB. Double click on layer and name it bitmap. Now select everything using ctrl + A. Copy the bitmap layer using ctrl + C.

Step eight

Now that we’ve got our bitmap image we need to apply it to our original design. Go to the history pallet and revert back to before you created the grayscale image. This will bring back all your original layers. You will want to replace the old bitmap layer with the new one. Just delete the original and ctrl + V to past in new layer. Change the fill to 59%.

Phase five

Adding spray paint texture

Lets add some spray paint from Spray Paint Textures, Volume 1 to spice it up a bit. I enjoy using these to give the design some character.

Step one

Place the spray paint above the compass rose size to your liking.
Author’s Note: You can play around with different colors and transparency effects.

Step two

Set to darker color and opacity to 75% make sure its above the opacity layer.

Step three

Duplicate the layer move into place as show above.
Author’s Note: Use the erase tool with a soft bursh and opacity set to 35 and erase around square till lines are gone.

Phase six

Adding light and aged effects

Step one

You will need to download the aged action to continue the tutorial.


Step two

First create a new layer and name it “Light Grunge”. This is the layer that we’ll be using to add the aged effect.

Step three

Create a new layer fill it with black

Step four

Filter, render, lens flare

Step five

105mm prime, move to into position as show above set brightness to 118%

Step six

Step seven

Alright, now it’s time to use that aged texture action. Load it up and play it. See that? We took a standard lens flare and made it a little messy. Now, let’s do it again by hitting play a second time.

Step eight

Set the light grunge layer blending mode to Screen. Now change opacity to 75%. See how adds realistic aging effects?

Phase seven

Adding light and aged effects

Step one

Select the motion blur layer we created earlier. Open the motion blur dialog by clicking Filter>Blur>Motion Blur. Set angle to 48% and distance to 999 pixels.

Step two

Set our motion blur layer blending mode to Screen. Lower opacity to 61%. We’re almost there!

Phase eight

Adding dark contrast

Step two

Select the burn tool. Use it like a brush on some dark areas that you’d like to make even darker. Keep experimenting until you’ve achieved contrast that looks good to you.

That’s it! We’re done! I hope you had a good time taking our Illustrator design to the next level with Photoshop. The final results may very, I took it a bit further using the same techniques. Have fun Designing your own madness.

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