WHAT WE’RE CREATING:
Hey Design Cutters!
I’ve been having so much fun this week playing around with all the new resources in the current All Inclusive Design Bundle. I you haven’t checked it out yet, I definitely recommend taking a look.
Today’s tutorial will be showing you exactly how to use many of the resources included, such as the best-selling vectors, textures, and fonts. You’ll get some great insight into how to customise many of these resources, using the extra creative options available to us. Ultimately, you’ll be able to create a bold, impactful poster by following along, and hopefully an outcome you can be proud of!
Let’s get started shall we?
LET’S TALK ABOUT TODAY’S PIECE
Whilst planning today’s piece I went through the bundle’s content, looking for a piece that would work well as a starting point. I came across Retro Supply Co.’s vector engraving of an old light bulb:
That was a good starting point, but things didn’t click until I stumbled upon this fantastic packaging for a Mullard EC88 vacuum tube.
From there, everything clicked, I had a color palette, the elements were almost organizing themselves on the canvas!
We’ll be using both Illustrator and Photoshop in this tutorial. The layout itself will be devised in Illustrator, while the light texture effects will mostly be accomplished in Photoshop in the last steps of our project.
Let me walk you through it.
STEP 1: DOCUMENT SETUP
Start by creating a new 18″x24″ canvas in Illustrator.
From there, add the necessary guides: some at the center of the canvas, and some at 1″ from the edges. Put them in their own “guides” layer, that you’ll lock afterwards.
STEP 2: THE COLOR PALETTE
Create a new “color palette” layer. Paste in one of the photos from the tube packaging.
From there, sample the three colors from the box to create your color palette (off-black, orange, and off-white). Below is a shot of the colors I have, along with the relevant values.
- Off-black: #20130d
- Orange: #cf5127
- Off-white: #cdc3b9
Don’t forget to lock the layer as well. It’s there as a reference, and we want it out of the way. You’ll still be able to sample colors from it.
STEP 3: THE BACKGROUND AND FRAME
Our first real step doing something, finally. Start by creating an orange rectangle (#cf5127) covering your whole canvas. It’ll be our background.
I’ve set mine in its own layer, and I’ve also locked it, since I won’t be touching it anymore.
What we want is to create a frame that’ll sit between the edge of the canvas and the guides we placed 1″ away from there. It’s the area with yellow hatching on the following image:
The bundle happens to include just the resource we need. Open Make Media’s CreativeMarket_HDDesignSuperkit_Borders.ai.
The first border resource we’ll use is this one.
Place it in your document so it fits its height (24″), and rests on its right edge. Change its color to off-white (#cdc3b9).
Duplicate it 3 times, as to form a full frame.
A few things of note:
- Don’t hesitate to rotate and/or reflect the border element, so it’s not always in the same orientation – this reinforces the hand-drawn and organic feel or the frame
- Notice how I haven’t changed the width of the top and bottom border elements – this keeps it a consistent thickness all around.
This is quite neat, but doesn’t feel visually “complete.” Let’s add another one of the border elements.
Place it on the inner right and left of the frame. Change its color to our off-black (#20130d), and don’t hesitate to rotate and/or reflect it as well.
The dashed frame element is visually sized and placed. You can and should use the smart guides to make the task a breeze (tick them on via View > Smart guides). Below, a few closeups of its alignment.
Next, we’re going to double the linear frame inside of the dashed frame. The process is quite straight-forward. Use the smart guides again for a precise alignment.
Now is the time to add our last border element. It’ll be placed at the inner top and inner bottom of the frame. Change its color to off-black (#20130d) as well.
Note that I’ve reversed the direction at the bottom. This gives a forward direction to the chevrons at the top, and a backwards one to the chevrons at the bottom. It helps with dynamism in your composition.
Finally, to finish off the frame, we’re going to duplicate the linear frame once more to visually complete the top and bottom parts of the frame.
Also, a little detail to make everything look cleaner: use your direct selection tool to remove any excess off-black elements that would be contained in the “corner boxes” created by the linear frame.
Finally, once all of that is done, clean-up your layers and sub-layers, in order to have a clear picture of what’s going on. Note that I’ve also put all the linear frame elements at the top of the other ones. This is useful to cover any little elements that would have escaped to your attention during the cleanup part.
Last but not least, we’re going to add just a little bit of texture to our background. Locate Retro Supply Co.’s Standard Issue vector textures (standard-issue-halftone-textures.ai). We’re going to use Halftone #6.
Paste it into your background layer, above the frame. Make sure it covers your whole canvas (size it at 24″ tall), and that its color is our off-black (#20130d).
All of this makes our layers and sub-layers look like this so far:
STEP 4: MAIN ICONOGRAPHY
It’s time to move forward with our main imagery. Let’s locate Retro Supply Co.’s light bulb engraving (in the file standard-issue-engravings.ai), and let’s go to town.
Start by pasting it in your piece, and change its color to off-black (#20130d). I sized mine up to 12″ tall, and centered it in my canvas.
Next, create a shape to fill the part of the light bulb that screws in the socket, like below. You could use either the blob brush (SHIFT+B) or the pen tool. I’m using the pen tool myself.
Once the shape is completed, place it below the light bulb.
Next, we’re going to make the light bulb the focus of the piece by adding a burst behind it. Locate Make Media Co.’s Borders, corners, and frames super kit file CreativeMarket_HDDesignSuperkit_Corners&Bursts.ai. I’m using the highlighted one.
Paste it into your design (below the light bulb), and change its color to off-white. It should be at least as wide as the canvas. Try to line it up with the burst that’s part of the bulb asset.
This is where it gets tricky. I’m not a huge fan of the various overlays areas (the burst extends too much).
We’ll have to do two things:
- Erase or hide the parts of the burst that go into the light bulb
- Erase or hide the parts of the burst that bleed beyond the inner linear frame.
Erasing the inside of the bulb is quick and easy. Lock everything but the burst, grab your eraser tool (SHIFT+E), and erase away. It’s like a reverse blob brush in a way.
And here’s the result. Keep in mind however that this is a method that destroys parts of the burst. It’s not like a clipping mask that would allow you to always get back to your original shape. If you’re still shifting things around layout-wise, I’d advise to go with a clipping mask instead.
Next, we have to hide the burst excess that goes beyond the inner frame. This one will require a bit more gymnastic. I could use the eraser tool again, but it’s a time consuming process. We’re going to generate a clipping mask from the shape created by the frame elements.
Start by copying all of your linear inner frame elements into a new layer (use paste in front – CTRL/CMD+F to maintain the proper positioning). I made mine bright blue so you could see them.
Create a rectangle behind them. It should be of a color that you’re not using in the design.
Merge the lot together using the pathfinder.
From there, ungroup the result, and delete everything but the shape inside of the frame. It’s the red one below. You can use your direct selection tool to do so.
From there, place the red shape right above your burst. You can delete your temp layer after that.
Then select both the red shape and the burst, and create a clipping mask. You can use your right click menu to do that, or you could navigate to Object > Clipping mask > Make.
Et boom, we have our burst clipped properly.
This will create a clip group in your layer palette. I’ve renamed mine so I know what is what.
From there, it’s time to move on to typographic adventures.
STEP 5: TYPE
Start by creating a new layer just for the type. I chose to write “Let there be light, as a reference to the age when having light bulbs was an incredible novelty (XIXth/XXth century). The style of engraving fits.
We’ll use Rodrigo Type’s Negrita Pro to write “Let there be.” Its big, sturdy cap letters will have the bold and strong feel required.
For “light,” we’ll take advantage of Rodrigo’s beautiful and playful Pequena Swashes.
Let’s start with “Let there be.” I’m writing it in Negrito Pro, set in 72 points. The type object is centered in the canvas. I’m aligning the baseline of my copy with the smaller rays of the burst behind the light bulb.
From there, we’ll use an Arc effect (Effect > Warp > Arc), to match the curvature of the burst. I’m using a 30% bend value.
We’ll place “Light” below the bulb asset, with a mirrored arc. We’ll be leveraging Pequena and Pequena Swashes. Start by writing LIGHT, in Pequena Swash, set in 210 points. The type’s color is, just like “Let there be“, in off-black. Once again, the type object is centered within the canvas.
One of the things that becomes visible at this point is that the ensemble of the light bulb/burst combo is too low in the composition. The “Light” part simply can’t fit below the burst, at the bottom of the piece.
Carefully select the bulb, its background element, the burst, the “Let there be,” and gently slide things up. Remember to select the burst only within its clip group, rather than the whole clip group.
Once that’s done, let’s focus back on the “Light.” Using Pequena Swash on the whole world is over the top, and makes it unreadable.
Switch back the “IG” and “T” back to Pequena. This will make the type element much lighter visually.
In order to make the word light have more impact, we’ll create a “stacked version,” with an outline. To accomplish this, duplicate the “LIGHT” type object. Paste it in front, so both copies are correctly aligned. Make sure to switch the top copy’s color to off-white.
From there, add an off-black stroke of 40 points to the bottom copy of “LIGHT.”
From there, the last thing to apply to both type objects is a mirror arc of “Let there be.”
From there, you simply have to fine-tune the vertical placement of “LIGHT.”
And we now have an almost finished vector layout.
The last little piece takes us back to the frame. We’ll be adding some of Make Media Co.’s corners to the piece.
Simply add the corners inside of the inner frame, in the fashion you like. I chose to put them at opposite ends for visual variety. The corners should be switched to off-white for better impact.
And here’s our finished vector layout.
STEP 6: TEXTURING
Well, it’s time to transfer our poster to a Photoshop document for some light texturing. Start by creating a matching Photoshop canvas.
Then, simply copy and paste the various vector assets into your Photoshop file. Scale as necessary. Keep your assets as smart objects as much as possible. I’d suggest to pass the following assets independently from each others:
- The frame elements
- The inner corners
- The light bulb, its background element, and the burst
- The background’s halftone texture
- The type elements
From there, we’re going to grab some of the great subtle textures packed in Ian Barnard’s Ink Buddie.
In order to leverage these, we’ll simply paste them into layer masks attached to the various smart objects we’ve imported into our Photoshop document. Let’s begin by pasting Ink – Texture 2 into a layer mask you’ve attached to the frame smart object. Use ALT+CLICK on the layer mask in order to access its content.
Next, let’s paste Rob Brink – Ink Flecks into a layer mask attached to the light bulb/burst smart object.
Next, we’ll leverage some of the textures present in Dusty’s Print Shop Extras. Let’s start by Ian Barnard’s Texture-10. This one goes into the type’s smart object.
Finally, to wrap-up, we’re going to add a little bit of paper grain to our piece. We’re going to leverage The Shop’s Ultimate brown paper texture pack.
Start by placing the-ultimate-brown-paper-texture-pack-volume-01-sbh-004.jpg right above the background layer.
From there, rasterize and desaturate the layer (SHIFT+CTRL/CMD+U). You can also sharpen it a few times (Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen).
From there, use the levels panel to bring the grain of the texture out more.
Finally, change its blending mode to Soft light @ 25% opacity.
Finally, we’ll use the-ultimate-brown-paper-texture-pack-volume-03-sbh-007.jpg to bring a little bit of extra paper grain, as well as a fold in the poster. Place the texture at the top of your layer stack.
Desaturate, sharpen, and use levels to bring the essence of the texture out.
Finally, change the blending mode of that top texture to Soft light @ 25% as well.
Last but not least, don’t hesitate to do a little bit of house cleaning in your PSD.
And we now have our final piece!
Well, that wraps this one up. I hope you had as much fun going through the tutorial as I had writing it.
If you’ve grabbed the All Inclusive Design Bundle I also hope that you have a blast working with your new resources. This bundle truly is a comprehensive collection of useful resources. Remember, you can only grab all of these best-selling resources for the next few days, for 97% off the regular price.
Until next time, cheers!