In this design tutorial I will be taking you through the process of designing a cool Hip-Hop flyer design for an album titled ‘Skylines’ using some of the awesome fonts from the latest design bundle. We will be combining a handful of these typefaces with stock photography and Photoshop brushes to design an edgy and modern flyer to promote the album. Let’s get started!
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Here’s a look at what we’ll be creating:
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Step 1: Skylines Flyer Design
To get started let’s open up Photoshop and create a New Document. For the settings, let’s make the size of our document is 5”x7” with a resolution of 300 ppi, RGB Color Mode, and set the Background Contents to ‘White’. From there, go ahead and give your document a name. Here I will be using the name ‘skylines-flyer-design’ and then when you are finished, click ‘Create’ in the lower right hand corner of the window.
Once you have created your document you should now have a blank white canvas and a single layer named ‘Background’ as shown below:
Step 2: Stock Photo
We can now import our free stock photo from the freebies folder courtesy of Unsplash. This will be the main image of our design.
Click and drag your stock image into your working Photoshop file so that it’s placed just above the ‘Background’ layer as shown here:
Hold the Control Key and click on the photo layer and then select ‘Convert to Smart Object’ from the menu.
Once you’ve converted the photo into a Smart Object you can double click the ‘Layer 1’ text and rename the layer – Here I am just using the name of the photo. After that, go ahead and select the ‘Background’ layer and then delete it. You should now just have the Smart Object layer by itself.
Step 3: Rotate and Sharpen
Press Command/Ctrl+T to initiate a Free Transform and then press Command/Ctrl+0 on the keyboard to zoom out so that you can see the bounding box around the whole image. From here, scale the image down while by dragging inwards from any of the four corners of the bounding box while holding the Alt/Shift keys together – doing this will scale the image down proportionally from the center. Before applying the changes we will also need to rotate the image about 45 degrees clockwise before pressing the ‘Enter’ key. Use the image below as reference for the sizing and placement of the photo. The key thing to watch out for is that the whole canvas is covered by the photo so we don’t want there to be any transparent pixels in the corners where the image ends.
After placing your photo go to the Filter Menu and choose ‘Sharpen > Unsharp Mask’ as shown here:
When you are prompted with the dialog box, apply the following settings before pressing ‘OK’ to apply the changes. Your Unsharp Mask will now be applied as a Smart Filter, which means that you have the ability to go back and modify the settings at any point if you would like to play with them more going forward.
Step 4: Black & White
With your Smart Object layer selected, click on the Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers Palette and choose ‘Black & White’ from the list.
After applying the Black & White Adjustment Layer your whole image should now appear to be black and white. From here, select the Adjustment Layer and press Command/Ctrl+J to duplicate it. With the newly duplicated layer selected, change the Blend Mode to Soft Light and reduce the opacity to ’50%’ which will boost the contrast of the image.
Step 5: Creating a Group Folder
Now that we have our main Smart Object along with two Black & White Adjustment Layers we will be placing them into a folder so we can keep them together. Select the very top Black & White Adjustment Layer and then hold the Shift Key before clicking on the Smart Object layer. You should now have all three layers selected simultaneously like this:
With the three layers selected, you can either click on the Group Folder icon at the bottom of the Layers Palette or use the keyboard shortcut and press Command/Ctrl+G to put all three of the layers into a folder. Next, double click the ‘Group 1’ text and change it to ‘B&W’ as shown here:
Step 6: Gradient Mapping
Click on the Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers Palette once again, and this time choose ‘Gradient Map’ from the menu that appears.
You should now have a Gradient Map applied to the overall image. The colors that appear may vary a bit, but you will want to click on the color strip inside of the ‘Properties’ box highlighted in the image below:
We can now change the colors for our Gradient Map. Here we will be using one darker shade of blue on the far left, and a lighter shade of blue on the far right. To change these colors all you will need to do is click on the highlighted boxes along the bottom of the color strip highlighted below:
Click on the far left box below the strip and change the hex value to ‘#041840’ as shown here:
Next, click on the far right box along the bottom of the slider and change this hex value to ‘#1200FF’ as shown below:
Press ‘OK’ two times to close out of both of the dialog boxes and apply the color changes to the Gradient Map Adjustment Layer. From here, change the Blend Mode of the Gradient Map to ‘Exclusion’.
Select the Gradient Map Adjustment Layer and press Command/Ctrl+G to place it into a Group Folder named ‘GRADIENT MAP’ and your image should now look like this:
Step 7: Faded
Select the ‘B&W’ folder and then press Command/Ctrl+J to duplicate the entire Group Folder. Next, move the duplicate folder to the top of the layer stack and press ‘5’ on the keyboard to reduce the opacity of the entire folder to ’50%’.
Double click on the ‘B&W copy’ text to rename the folder ‘B&W 50%’ to keep things easy to identify.
Select the top folder (this should be the newly duplicated ‘B&W 50%’ folder) and then hold the Shift Key and select the bottom ‘B&W’ folder so that all three folders are selected at the same time like this:
Once again press Command/Ctrl+G to place all three of these folders into another Group Folder and rename it ‘MAIN PHOTO’ as shown below:
Step 8: Brushing Away
Press ‘D’ on the keyboard to revert to the default colors, and then press the ‘X’ key to make sure that your foreground color is set to white. Once you have done that, click on the ‘Create a new layer’ icon at the bottom of the Layers Palette to make a new layer at the top of your layer stack.
Press ‘B’ on the keyboard to switch over to your Brush Tool and then press ‘F5’ to bring up the Brush Panel. Next, make sure that you have the ‘Brush Presets’ tab selected along the top of the panel as shown here:
Click on the hamburger menu in the upper right corner of the panel and then choose ‘Load Brushes’ from the dropdown menu.
You will now need to navigate to the ‘paper-brushes.abr’ file in the freebies folder for this tutorial to load up the brush from the set we will be using.
Now you should see your brush loaded in the ‘Brush Presets’ panel at the very end.
Click on the ‘X’ in the upper left of the Brushes Panel to close it, and then click once on your canvas while the new layer is selected to apply the paper brush on top of your entire image using the solid white foreground color. Here I have also double clicked on the ‘Layer 1’ text to rename my layer ‘aged-paper12’ and after doing that you should now have something like this:
Step 9: Blending the Brush
Double click on the ‘aged-paper12’ layer to bring up the Layer Style dialog box. Make sure that you are in the main ‘Blending Options’ in the left column and then go to the very bottom section that says ‘Underlying Layer’ before holding the Alt/Option key and separating the two sliders on the left side. What we want to do here is move the right slider in a bit to help blend the paper texture into the photo more. You can use the same values I am using from the image below or experiment to find another setting that you like.
Press ‘OK’ when you are happy with the results to apply the changes. Next, select the brush layer and press Command/Ctrl+G to place it into a new folder and rename it ‘PAPER BRUSH’ as shown here:
Step 10: Glitch Folder
Click on the small arrow next to the ‘MAIN PHOTO’ folder to expand the contents and reveal the sub-folders inside. From here, select the ‘B&W’ folder and press Command/Ctrl+J to duplicate it.
Move the newly duplicated folder to the very top of the layer stack and change the name of the folder to ‘GLITCH FX’ and the Blend Mode to ’Lighten’ as shown below:
Step 11: Glitch FX
Double click on the ‘GLITCH FX’ folder to bring up the Layer Style dialog box. Under the ‘Advanced Blending’ section, uncheck the ‘G’ box in the row that shows each of the RGB Channels. After that, click ‘OK’ to apply the changes.
When you first close out of the Layer Style dialog box you won’t notice any changes just yet. What we want to do next is hold the Shift Key and tap the left arrow three times to offset the image. Doing this will reveal a hot pink glitch effect like the image below:
Next, make sure that your ‘GLITCH FX’ folder is selected and then hold the Alt/Option Key and click on the ‘Add Layer Mask’ icon at the bottom of the Layers Palette. By holding the Alt/Option Key while we click on this icon we will apply an inverted mask instead of a normal mask, which will completely hide the glitch effect. You will also notice that the mask is filled completely with black as opposed to white like a normal mask.
Press ‘B’ once again to switch back to the Brush Tool, and then press ‘F5’ to bring up your Brushes Panel. Go to the ‘Brush Presets’ tab and select a hard round brush with tapered edges (this is one of the default brushes that comes in Photoshop).
Make sure that you still have a solid white foreground color selected and then begin to paint over the subject only (we want the glitch effect to only be revealed on the guy and not the background).Once you have finished painting over the subject your image should look something like this:
Step 12: Pink Lights
Create another new layer at the top of the layer stack and rename it ‘PINK LIGHT’ as shown here:
Click on your foreground color and change the hex value to a hot pink color such as ‘#FF00FF’ like this:
Next, press ‘G’ on the keyboard to switch to your Gradient Tool and check along the top toolbar to make sure that you have a solid to transparent Radial Gradient selected. Your settings should look like this:
Once you’ve set up your color and gradient, click and drag outwards from the center of the image to produce the gradient.
Change the Blend Mode of the gradient layer to ‘Lighten’ as shown here:
Press Command/Ctrl+J to duplicate the gradient layer and change the Blend Mode to ‘Soft Light’ before reducing the opacity of the layer to ’50%’ to create a more intense lighting effect.
Step 13: Scattering Lights
Hold the Shift Key and select both of the gradient layers before pressing Command/Ctrl+J to duplicate them both. With both layers still selected, move them up and to the left of the image over the neon sign in the background.
Select both gradient layers and copy them once again by pressing Command/Ctrl+J and move these copies to the lower left of the image around the shoulder area. Next, delete the ‘Soft Light’ version of the gradient but keep the copy that is set to ‘Lighten’ as shown here:
Select the very top gradient in the Layers Palette, hold the Shift Key, and then click on the very bottom gradient layer so they are all selected at the same time. From here, press Command/Ctrl+G to put them all into a new folder and rename it ‘PINK LIGHTS’ as shown in the image below:
Step 14: Adjustment Layers
With the ‘PINK LIGHTS’ folder selected, click on the Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers Palette and then choose ‘Hue/Saturation’ from the list that appears.
For the settings under the ‘Properties’ panel all we want to do is increase the ‘Saturation’ to about ’43’ as shown here:
Next, return to the Adjustment Layer icon and this time choose ‘Levels’ from the menu.
For these settings we will just move the left slider in towards the right until it’s set to about ’21’ as shown in the image here:
Go back to the same Adjustment Layer icon once again and this time choose ‘Curves’ from the list.
Under the ‘Properties’ panel let’s add a point in the center of the Curves grid and move it slightly down and to the right as shown below:
Select the top ‘Curves’ layer and then hold the Shift Key and select the ‘Hue/Saturation’ adjustment so all three of your Adjustment Layers are selected together.
With all three of the layers highlighted, press Command/Ctrl+G to put them into a new folder and rename it ‘ADJUSTMENT LAYERS’ as shown below:
Step 15: Setting Up Shapes
Create a new layer and rename it ‘SKEWED SHAPE 1’ as shown below:
Press ‘U’ on the keyboard to switch to the Custom Shape Tool and then make sure that you have a rectangle selected for the shape and we are going to use the same hot pink color we used earlier for the ‘Fill’ as shown here:
If you have a different color showing up simply click on the ‘Fill’ box and then select the rainbow gradient icon in the upper right hand corner as highlighted in the image below:
Next, enter the hex value ‘#FF00FF’ that we used earlier and then press ‘OK’ to apply the change.
Step 16: Cue the Skew
With your new layer selected, click and drag to create a long rectangle as shown below:
Press Command/Ctrl+T to apply a Free Transform, and then click on the shape while holding the Shift Key to reveal a dropdown menu. From the menu, select the ’Skew’ option shown here:
Next, move your cursor over the top edge of the shape and you should see a left-to-right arrow appear. Slide the top edge to the right to skew the shape so you wind up with something like this:
Press Command/Ctrl+T once again and this time move the shape towards the left side of the workspace and rotate it so that it follows the direction of the neon lights behind the subject in the photo. Feel free to use the image below as reference for the size and placement of the first shape.
Press Command/Ctrl+J three times to make three additional copies of your shape. Place them throughout the image in the places highlighted below and make the bottom one a bit larger by scaling it up with the Free Transform option (remember to drag outwards from any of the four corners of the bounding box while holding Shift to constrain the proportions of the shape.)
Select the very top copy of the skewed rectangle and then hold the Shift Key and select your bottom-most copy so that all of the shapes are selected together. Next, press Command/Ctrl+G to put them all into a new Group Folder and change the name to ‘SHAPES’ as shown below:
Step 17: Paper Shaper
Create a new layer at the top of your Layers Palette and press ‘B’ to once again switch to the Brush Tool. Select your paper brush from earlier and then press ‘D’ on the keyboard to get your default colors. This time, make sure that black is your foreground color instead of white and then click one time on your canvas to create another instance of the paper texture. Press Command/Ctrl+T to transform the brush texture and rotate it clockwise a bit to add some variation.
Once you have transformed the texture, move your arrow cursor between the paper texture layer and the ‘SHAPES’ folder while holding the Alt/Option Key. You should notice that as you do this
that your cursor changes into a downwards pointing arrow. When this happens simply click once and it will create a Clipping Mask that will make it so the texture appears only within the shapes contained inside of your folder. You should now have something like this:
Step 18: Autograph
Next we will open up the ‘Brian_Parker_Text_CC.eps’ file from the freebies folder for the tutorial in Adobe Illustrator. There are also a few other versions in here for previous versions of Illustrator so you can still follow along! This particular font uses the ‘Backlash Script’ typeface from the full design bundle. Once we open the file press Command/Ctrl+A to Select All and then Command/Ctrl+C to copy it before returning to Photoshop.
After coming back into Photoshop, press Command/Ctrl+V to paste the text. You will be prompted with a dialog box asking how you would like to paste the image and we want to select the first version that says ‘Smart Object’ as shown below:
When the text appears we want to scale it down by dragging inwards from any of the four corners of the bounding box while holding the Shift Key and then we will also rotate it clockwise so that it follows the same angle as our neon lights and pink rectangles. Once you are happy with the size and placement of the text you can press the ‘Enter’ key to apply the changes.
Step 19: Glowing Text
After placing our Smart Object text we will double click on the layer to bring up the Layer Style dialog box. From here we want to check off the ‘Color Overlay’ option and fill our text with a solid white as shown below:
Next we want to apply an ‘Outer Glow’ effect and make sure that the Blend Mode is set to ‘Screen’ before changing the ‘Spread’ to ‘3’ and the ‘Size’ to ’68’ as well as making sure that the opacity is all the way up.
For the fill color we want to enter a hex value of ‘#F600FF’ as shown below:
After applying the settings click ‘OK’ to close out of the dialog box and you should now have something like this:
Step 20: Skylines
Open the ‘Skyline_Text_CC.eps’ file from the freebies folder in Illustrator. This title was created using the ‘Boston’ typeface created by Latinotype that comes with the full bundle. Press Command/Ctrl+A to Select All and then Command/Ctrl+C to copy the outlined text before returning to Photoshop and pressing Command/Ctrl+V to paste it.
When Photoshop asks how you would like to paste this, we will choose ‘Pixels’ instead of ‘Smart Object’ like we did previously. The reason we are pasting this as pixels is because we are going to be slicing up our text which we would be unable to do with a Smart Object layer.
Once we paste our title we want to rotate it and place it below the ‘Brian Parker’ text from the previous step. Next, double click on the layer to bring up the Layer Style dialog box and check off the ‘Color Overlay’ option as shown below:
For the fill color enter the hex value ‘#F3FF6E’ and then press ‘OK’ to apply the changes.
Step 21: Slicing and Dicing
Press ‘P’ on the keyboard to switch to the Pen Tool and then click to make a point to the left of the first ’S’ in the word ‘Skylines’ but towards the top. After that, click to create a second point just past the end of the word and a bit lower as shown here:
Create a few more points that go around the lower part of the word and then come back around and close the shape by clicking the first point. You should now have a box around the lower portion of the word like this:
After closing your shape press Command/Ctrl+Return on the keyboard to activate the selection area. Once you see the marching ants around your shape indicating the selection area is active, press Command/Ctrl+X to cut it and then Command/Ctrl+Shift+V to paste it in place. Doing this will cut the selection and paste it onto a new layer above the original layer, however, when we do this we actually lose the ‘Color Overlay’ that we applied earlier using the Layer Style dialog box, but don’t worry, that is an easy fix!
Hold the Control Key and click on the original ‘SKYLINES’ layer that has our green fill color and you should see a dropdown menu. From the list we are going to choose ‘Copy Layer Styles’ as shown below:
Next, select the portion of the word that doesn’t have any effects applied to it while holding the Control Key once again to reveal the same dropdown menu. This time however, we want to choose ‘Paste Layer Style’ from the list as shown here:
You should now have both of your layers with the same Layer Styles applied to them. Here I have simply re-ordered the two layers so that the top part is at the top of the Layers Palette and renamed ‘SKYLINES TOP’ while the lower portion has been moved below and renamed ‘SKYLINES BOTTOM’ just to help keep track of things.
We will now select the top piece and tap the right arrow a couple of times, and then the down arrow a couple of times to create an offset glitchy look to our text. Feel free to experiment a bit here with the placement of both of your text layers. You should now have something like this:
Step 22: New Album
Open the ‘New_Album_Text_CC.eps’ file from the freebies folder in Illustrator and once again press Command/Ctrl+A to Select All and then Command/Ctrl+C to copy the outlined text. The outlined text here was created using ‘Backlash Small Caps’ courtesy of Set Sail Studios and you can access the full version with several styles in the complete bundle.
From here, hop back over to Photoshop and press Command/Ctrl+V to paste the text as a Smart Object.
Once you paste your text, rotate it and place it below our sliced ‘SKYLINES’ text on the canvas and then press ‘Return’ to commit to the changes. You should have something like the image shown below:
Double click on the layer to bring up the Layer Style options and check off the ‘Color Overlay’ option as shown here:
For the fill color enter a hex value of ‘#FF00FF’ from earlier and then press ‘OK’ two times to apply the changes and close out of both dialog boxes.
After applying the color changes I have reduced the size of the text slightly to help with the legibility of the text. You should now have something like the image below:
Step 23: Bonus Tracks
Next, open the ‘Bonus_Text_CC.eps’ file in Illustrator. This text was created using the live version of the ‘Northwoods’ typeface provided by ‘Cultivated Mind’ and it is available only with the full design bundle (not included as a freebie). For this we will want to select all of the text and copy it just like we have been doing with our previous outlined text and phrases.
Return to Photoshop and paste the text in as a Smart Object before rotating it and placing it inside of the angled pink box at the bottom of the image like this:
After placing the text in the bottom, double click on the layer to bring up the Layer Style panel and check off the ‘Color Overlay’ option before filling the text with solid white.
Step 24: Adding Some Texture
Select the top text layer, hold the Shift Key, and then click on your bottom text layer so all of our imported text is selected in the Layers Palette.
Press Command/Ctrl+G to place all of the text layers into a new folder and rename it ‘TT’ as shown below:
Next, select the ‘aged-paper12’ layer that currently has a Clipping Mask applied to it, just above the ‘SHAPES’ folder. Press Command/Ctrl+J to duplicate the texture layer and move it above the ‘TT’ folder. Then, move your cursor between the texture and the ‘TT’ folder while holding the Alt/Option Key to apply another Clipping Mask. Your Layers Palette should now look like this:
Step 25: Extra Paper
Select the ‘PAPER BRUSH’ folder and press Command/Ctrl+J to duplicate the folder. From here, move the folder to the very top of your Layers Palette and press the number ‘3’ on the keyboard to reduce the opacity of the folder to ’30%’ as shown below:
Step 26: Finishing Touches
Select the ‘TT’ folder in the Layers Palette and then click on the Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom before choosing the ‘Levels’ adjustment from the list.
You will notice that this Adjustment Layer will automatically have a Clipping Mask applied to it since it will be sandwiched between the ‘TT’ folder and the existing Clipping Mask that we made for the ‘aged-paper12 copy’ layer above. For the settings we want to move the left slider towards the right until it’s set to about ’33’ and move the right slider in towards the left until it’s set to ’228’ as shown below:
Next, select the Levels Adjustment Layer and press Command/Ctrl+] to move the layer up one place in the Layers Palette. Doing this should still retain the Clipping Mask, but it will now be above the ‘aged-paper12 copy’ layer as shown here:
We have now finished our Skylines Flyer Design! I hope that you guys had some fun following along with this tutorial and that you learned some helpful tips and tricks along the way. Remember that this is just a small sample of some of the world class assets that you will get to work with in The Professional, Versatile Font Selection!
Remember that whether it’s your outcome for this tutorial or something new you’ve made, we’d love to see your designs on our Facebook page.
Please leave a comment if you have any questions or suggestions. I always look forward to hearing from you!
There’s still time to check out The Professional, Versatile Font Selection where you’ll discover a timeless collection of hand selected, well-balanced fonts from URW’s Bodoni, a typographical classic, to Latinotype’s Isidora Sans for a modern and fresh look. Quality is assured with every typeface which will help elevate your projects to the next level all for just $29!