WHAT WE’RE CREATING:
Hi creatives! This week’s second tutorial comes from warm and humid Falls Church, VA. It’s Simon on this end of the keyboard, and I’m excited to give you a glimpse of what can be accomplished with the great typefaces of the 22 world class quality fonts collection.
This tutorial will show you how to unlock some of the more advanced features of your new typefaces, as well as providing you with an awesome retro freebie pack. Let’s get started!
The piece we’ll walk through together is articulated around three typefaces: Palm Canyon Drive, Columbia Titling, and Transat. Our goal is to create a poster that advertises the return of the fall ten pin bowling league. The league is located at Her Majesty’s Lanes in London, a fictitious bowling alley. The big prize? The Design Cuts trophy cup!
We’ll explore the typefaces’ open type features, work with Illustrator’s offset path feature, summon some pathfinder magic to cut elements, and more.
A FEW TECHNICAL NOTES
We will be manipulating type, and vector assets. Thus, we’ll be using Illustrator as our main tool to construct our poster layout.
At the end of the tutorial, we’ll go through some options to further texture the piece with raster textures. This is when good ol’ Photoshop will come in handy again.
Because we’ll manipulate raster textures, these few PSAs are necessary:
- Don’t know what a clipped layer is? Glad you asked! This means that the layer is only visible/applies to the layer directly below it. You can very quickly do this by holding ALT down on your keyboard and clicking between the two layers. Here’s a quick demonstration.
- Every time we’ll work with textures, we’ll follow this simple process: place as smart object, sharpen1, desaturate, enhance contrast with levels, and modify the blending mode.
- Placing the textures as smart objects, and using adjustment layers to tweak them, allows us to stick to a non-destructive workflow. We’ve explored in depth the numerous pros and few cons of such a workflow in this past tutorial: “How to Use Textures The Right Way.”
Notes: 1 – accessed through the Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen menu.
Now that this is out of the way, let’s talk freebies!
ALL THE FREEBIES
You don’t get one, nor two, but three freebies with this tutorial.
You will also need to go grab some for along the way. Let’s list them:
The 1960s bowling illustration
This little gem of an asset has been graciously provided by Andy, over at RetroVectors.com. It’s extracted from his ’60s Sports and Recreation set. I highly recommend Andy’s vector sets (he has some free ones), but also the inspiration section of his blog, especially if retro goodness is your thing.
The asset comes in a variety of vector formats.
The Design Cuts trophy cup
I created this one from an old piece of advertising, found in the 1919 edition of the Philips Academy Pot-Pourri, available on Archive.org.
The assets comes in a variety of vector formats.
Vector noise textures volume 03 teaser
This one is from me. It’s a set of five vector noise textures. These textures have an analog generation process, and can add subtle speckling to your work. We’ll walk through one of the many ways to use these.
Other freebies to grab
You should grab one set of goodies from the Design Cuts freebies area. It’s the one associated with Jo’s mother’s day card tutorial. The pack contains the three raster textures we’ll use to polish off the poster.
Finally, you’ll need another asset from Andy’s RetroVectors.com site: a set of 1940s/1950s borders, frames, etc.. That one is free.
Once you have all of these at hands, we can get started!
STEP ONE: DOCUMENT SETUP
Since our poster is advertising a European event, our document will be based on an A2 canvas (420×594 mm).
We’ll then proceed to mark its center (vertical guide at 210 mm, horizontal guide at 297 mm), as well as a 20 mm zone around its perimeter.
Let’s not forget to assign the guides to their own locked layer, and the show can get on the road.
STEP TWO: BACKGROUND ELEMENTS
The background of our piece is composed of a few elements that support the rest of the design:
- The solid background color
- A frame
- Two text elements
- The bowling illustration
- The cup asset
The solid background color
That’s the easy part: it’s a rectangle that covers our whole canvas, and that’s colored in orange (#e14c26).
This one is easy too. We’ll use the offset path (Object > Path > Offset path) functionality to generate it. Select the background rectangle.
Let’s open the offset path dialog box. We are going to use a value of -20 mm, to match the inner zone we delimited with our guides earlier.
The result is an orange rectangle, that’s 20 mm smaller on each side than the original shape.
To change that rectangle in the frame we need, we simply have to change its color settings to no fill, and a dark brown stroke (#1b180f) that’s 8 points thick.
We’ll do additional operations on the frame, so there’s no points in fine-tuning thing yet here. We can however do some layer house cleaning.
The text elements
They are located at the top and bottom of the poster. The top one reads “WIN THE DESIGN CUTS TROPHY CUP,” and the bottom one is the URL where people can find more information about the event: “WWW.DESIGNCUTSBOWLINGLEAGUES.COM.” Both are set in Columbia Titling Bold, that’s centered, in uppercase, 30 points tall, with kerning set to optical, and colored in pale yellow (#f4e0bd).
Both objects are horizontally centered within the poster, and vertically centered on the frame edge that’s closest to them. The absolute coordinates for “WIN THE DESIGN CUTS TROPHY CUP” are X: 210 mm, and Y: 20 mm.
Similarly, the coordinates for “WWW.DESIGNCUTSBOWLINGLEAGUES.COM” are X: 210 mm, and Y: 574 mm.
More with these soon.
The bowling illustration
Let’s open the bowling illustration.
Let’s start by deleting the shadow elements at the bottom.
Once the illustration has been regrouped together, we can paste it in our document. It should be 300 mm wide, colored in dark brown (#1b180f), and placed at X: 210 mm, and Y: 482 mm.
The cup vector
The next asset we have to add to the piece is the trophy.
It should be pasted in our document at roughly X: 192 mm, and Y: 524 mm (optically centered within the bowling ball), 35 mm tall, and colored in pale yellow (#f4e0bd).
From there, some additional layer organization is required.
Finishing the frame
We now need to cut off the frame around the type elements. We’ll use offset path again for that.
We’ll start by duplicating “WIN THE DESIGN CUTS TROPHY CUP” (CTRL/CMD+C), and paste it in front (CTRL/CMD+F).
Then, we need to change the color of the bottom copy to the background’s orange (#e04d26).
Next, we need to transform that copy to outlines (RIGHT CLICK > Create outlines). This transforms the editable type object into manipulable vector paths.
We can use offset path on these paths. Using round joints will give us a softer feel as a result.
With the resulting shapes still selected, we need to use the pathfinder to merge them all together. The Add to shape option is what we need (you might have to apply it twice, in order to fully merge the shapes together).
Next, we’ll repeat that same process for the bottom text object.
From there, we can select both orange offset shapes, as well as the frame, and use the pathfinder’s Minus Front command to start removing the parts of the frame we want to delete.
Here’s what the resulting path looks like (all the other elements have been hidden).
From here, we need to apply the scissors tool to the four anchors that mark where the frame and the two other paths intersected.
Zooming in helps to be precise.
Once the paths have been cut at the proper spots, we can delete the elements that were part of the offset shapes.
Phew. Now, a little bit of layer clean-up is necessary.
Finally, we also need to make sure the frame’s stroke has round corners and caps.
This gives a cleaner look to the frame’s ending points.
With that, our background is ready! We can now start tackling the title block.
STEP THREE: THE TITLE BLOCK
The title block reads “Fall 2015 / Bowling Leagues / 1st tryout night.” It will be set in Palm Canyon Drive, and Transat Black.
Let’s start with the “Bowling Leagues” part. It’s set in Palm Canyon Drive, that’s 180 points tall, centered, and in pale yellow (#f4e0bd).
From there, we are going to add a line to underline the type. It’s an 8 points thick, pale yellow stroke, with round caps and corners. It’s aligned with the top of the “g” loops. The line should be 325 mm long.
Next, we are going to give the type and line combo a shadow. We need to group the elements together first. This is also a good time to give some structure to the layers.
Next, we need to create a new top parent layer for that group.
Next, we’ll change the color of the bottom copy to our dark brown (#1b180f).
After this, using the absolute positioning toolbar, we need to move the brown copy down 1 mm to the bottom right. This means that, if our yellow copy is positioned at X: 210 mm, and Y: 145 mm, the brown copy should be positioned at X: 211 mm, and Y: 146 mm.
With the brown and yellow combined together, the shadow effect is accomplished.
Next step is to give it a slight shear. We need to select both the yellow and brown groups.
Next, we’ll navigate to RIGHT CLICK MENU > Transform > Shear, and use a -3° vertical shear to transform the title block.
The resulting element needs to be placed at X: 210 mm, and Y: 118 mm.
To complete the title, we need to add two mentions: “FALL 2015,” and “1ST TRYOUT NIGHT”.
“FALL 2015” is set in Transat Black, that’s 48 points tall, with its letter spacing set to 250, centered, in yellow, and placed at X: 210 mm, and Y: 65 mm.
“1ST TRYOUT NIGHT” is set in Transat Black, that’s 48 points tall, centered, in yellow, and placed at X: 210 mm, and Y: 183 mm. Its letter spacing is set to 100, but only on ” TRYOUT NIGHT” (this includes the space after “1ST“). The “1ST” letter-spacing value is left to default.
Next, we are going to use one of the assets from the additional RetroVectors.com pack we grabbed at the beginning. It’s that gorgeous arrow.
It needs to be pasted in our document at 220 mm wide, in dark brown, and positioned at X: 215 mm, and Y: 190 mm, below “1ST TRYOUT NIGHT”.
It’s obviously not properly fitting around the type block. To adjust that, we’ll use the transform effect. We can find it by navigating to Effect > Distort and transform > Transform, or by using the appearance panel. We need to reduce the vertical scale to 75%, and to give it a 6° rotation.
The result is a squished arrow, that fits around the type, and participates to the dynamism of the piece with its angle.
And here’s what the layer stack looks like.
STEP FOUR: THE DATE AND PROGRAMME OF THE EVENING
The next set of steps will have us put in place the date and place for the event, as well as the evening’s programme. Let’s start with the date.
The date and place of the event are each given their own line of copy: “SEPT. 23RD 2015,” and “HER MAJESTY’S LANES • LONDON.”
The date is set in Columbia Titling Bold, that’s centered, 36 points tall, with the kerning set to optical. It’s in yellow, except for the “RD” that’s in dark brown. It’s positioned at X: 210 mm, and Y: 235 mm.
In order to obtain the underlined “RD,” we need to use a special feature of the typeface. It’s accessible via the open type panel (Window > Type > Open type), and called the titling alternates.
The place is set in Transat Black, that’s centered, 36 points tall, with the kerning set to optical. It’s in dark brown, and positioned at X: 210 mm, and Y: 250 mm.
The program is more complex. First is a set of dividers. They are dark brown, 8 points thick strokes, with round corners and caps, that are 250 mm long. The first one is located at X: 210 mm, and Y: 266 mm.
The second one is located at X: 210 mm, and Y: 348 mm.
Here’s the programme breakdown:
- 06:00 PM → Tryout, 1ST round
- 07:00 PM → Open bowling break
- 08:00 PM → Team announcements
The programme text is set in Columbia Titling Bold, that’s left-aligned, 36 points tall, with a line spacing of 66 points, and colored in dark brown.
The arrow character (→) can either be copied and pasted directly from here, or found via the glyphs panel.
Now that the base for our program is here, let’s put it in place in the composition. It’s positioned at X: 210 mm, and Y: 308 mm.
First tweak: changing the color of select elements to yellow.
Second tweak: changing the appearance of “1ST,” using the open type panel.
Third tweak: still using the open type panel, changing the figure to tabular lining. This makes the numbers fit as if within a table. We’ll have to realign the text block to X: 210 mm afterwards.
Fourth and final tweak: still using the open type panel, changing the position to superscript/superior for “PM.” We’ll have to realign the text block to X: 210 mm afterwards.
Here’s what the layer stack looks like.
From there, we can move on to additional information blocks.
STEP FIVE: ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
There are more text elements to add to the poster: registration limit date, phone number to call, etc.
The “SIGN UP BY SEPT. 01ST 2015″ is set in Columbia Titling Bold, that’s centered, 36 points tall, and colored in yellow. It’s positioned at X: 210 mm, and Y: 365 mm.
A little tweak: change the color of “ST” to brown, and activating the titling alternates to get it underlined.
The “CALL US AT (020) 7946 0975 • £5 PER PLAYER” is set in Transat Black, that’s centered, 36 points tall, and colored in brown. It’s positioned at X: 210 mm, and Y: 380 mm.
The next two text blocks are small mentions, used as content fillers.
The first one, “TWO GAMES/GUARANTEED,” is set in Columbia Titling Bold, that’s left-aligned, 24 points tall, and colored in yellow. It’s positioned at X: 75 mm, and Y: 450 mm.
The second one, “BEGINNERS/WELCOME,” is set in Columbia Titling Bold, that’s right-aligned, 24 points tall, and colored in yellow. It’s positioned at X: 351 mm, and Y: 450 mm.
And we’ve completed the text layout! Here’s a look at the layer organization so far.
STEP SIX: VECTOR TEXTURES
It’s time to bust out the last of the three freebies included with this tutorial: the vector noise textures. We’ll use some of these by stacking them on top of the composition, and assigning them one of our three colors (orange, dark brown, pale yellow). This will create some speckling, as if ink had dripped during the printing of the piece.
Let’s start with vector-noise-textures-volume-03-teaser-02-sbh, the second texture in the document.
It should be pasted centered in the canvas, its color changed to yellow, and 594 mm tall.
Next vector texture: vector-noise-textures-volume-03-teaser-04-sbh.
It should be pasted centered in the canvas, its color changed to dark brown, and 594 mm tall.
Final vector texture: vector-noise-textures-volume-03-teaser-05-sbh.
After being pasted centered in the composition, and sized at 594 mm tall, its color should be changed to orange.
And with that, the vector part of our piece done. Here’s a look the to the full layer stack.
Onto the final step: raster textures.
STEP SEVEN: TEXTURES
It should be noted that as is, our poster could be considered finished. With three colors, it’s a solid candidate for screen printing. That process alone would give it some textures, artefacts, and other peculiarities linked to its analog nature.
However, sometimes, it can be cool to add a few raster textures to emulate more analog printing.
The textures we’ll use are all found in the mother’s day freebie pack.
Before using textures however, we have to create a high resolution export of the poster. We’ll use the File > Export functionality, and create a 300 ppi export in PNG format.
From there, we’ll open the PNG in Photoshop.
The first texture we’ll be using is 2LO Daydreamer 20.jpg.
It should be placed by disregarding its aspect ratio, and made to fit the whole piece.
Blending mode: Soft light @ 35% opacity.
The next texture is 2LO Black Screen Film1 4.jpg.
Just like the one before, that texture should be placed disregarding its aspect ratio, but fitting the whole canvas.
Blending mode: Screen @ 35% opacity.
The last texture we’ll use is vintage-paper-textures-volume-03-sbh-011.jpg.
It should be placed in the canvas rotated of 90° clock-wise, scaled up to 410%, and its top edge flush with the top of our piece (X: 210 mm, and Y: 330 mm).
Blending mode: Soft light @ 35% opacity.
And that wraps things up. Here’s a look at our Photoshop layer palette.
WRAPPING THINGS UP
Phew, that was a long tutorial! Congratulations for finishing it. I hope your outcome matches your goals.
Did I leave questions unanswered? Please ask in the comments below. The Design Geeks and myself will do our best and help out.
We’d love to see your tutorial outcomes! Please share them with us on the Design Cuts Facebook page. We’ll share the best ones with the whole community.
The 22 world class quality fonts collection is still available for a few more days at 98% off its regular price, so don’t miss out if you haven’t purchased it yet. If you purchased the bundle already, I hope that you enjoy it, and that this tutorial gave you a sense of what you can accomplish with these gorgeous typefaces.
That’s it for me today! Until next time, cheers, and have a wonderful weekend!