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Design a Creative Coffee Shop Meetup Poster


WHAT WE’RE CREATING:

Hello Design Cutters!

It’s always super exciting getting your hands on a brand new deal and if you’re anything like me, then you can’t wait to get stuck in and start playing with your new toys professional resources. 😉

Of course, it’s also fun to get together with other like-minded creatives to geek out over design. Today we’re going to get social and create an event poster for a creative coffee-shop meetup!

In this tutorial we’ll be using several brushes, including these amazing watercolour splatter brushes, available as a freebie. To get an idea of the full versatility of this bundle, we’re using the brushes in a stamp-like manner, as PNGs and as actual, real drawing tools! Plus a cool Photoshop action and background which are also all included.

Grab a coffee (or your hot beverage of choice) and let’s get stuck in!

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Follow along with this tutorial: Download the freebies

Today we have another great freebie for you creative geeks. Robyn from Clik Chic Designs has very kindly provided her Watercolor Splatters Brush Set as a freebie for the Design Cuts community.

This brush set is one of our absolute favourites, as as well as the high-resolution brushes, you also get 18 high-res, transparent background .png files.

Remember, this freebie is just a tiny sample taken from our current deal Beautifully Artistic Brushes Bundle (1000+ Brushes & Extras) – Just $27 (90% Off). These are all best-selling, professional quality brushes, and all come with fully extended licensing, but only as part of this special bundle.

Enter your email below to download the free brushes pack, so you can follow along with this tutorial easily.

Step 1:

Open up Photoshop and create a new 1748px x 2480px document.

We’ll be using a couple of extra background images, so let’s download these first:

Crumpled Paper from Outside The Fray
(Feel free to pick your favourite – we’ve used 01 in the source file)

Coffee Stains Texture 05 by Six Revisions
(To download from Flickr, click on the three circles in the sidebar for more actions)

Let’s add some more texture and subtle colour graduation using a texture included in the bundle. (Yep, there’s also extra goodies other than the brushes)!

In your second Brushes Bundle folder go to: Leonard-Posavec > 120-Brushes-Bundle > Textures > JPEG-Textures > 27.jpg

Paste, scale and rotate so that the darker pink/purple area is at the bottom of the canvas:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Create a new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, then whilst holding down alt on your keyboard, hover your cursor between the adjustment layer you just created and the layer directly below, with the image and click. Remember this method, as we’ll be using it a lot as a non-destructive way of adjusting layers.

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Adjust to the following:

Hue/Saturation settings
Hue: 0
Saturation: -100
Lightness: -50
Colorize: unchecked

Change the blend mode to Soft Light. The effect is subtle, but lovely 🙂

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Paste, rotate and resize the Coffee Stains Texture on to your canvas, then change the blend mode to Soft Light:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Step 2:

We’re getting a really nice background to work from now and we’re going to finish it off by using some of our brushes.

From the second Brushes Bundle folder, find: Robyn-Gough > SplatterBrushes > RGough_S_Splatter4.png, which looks like this:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Paste it onto your canvas so it’s positioned and sized similar to the image below:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Reduce the Opacity to 80% and change the blend mode to Overlay so that it looks like we’ve spilt some coffee on it already!

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Create a new layer called ‘Old Film Brush’. Using the 2 Lil Owls: Old Film Brush Set 2, select the following brush and change the size to 2200px so it fits the canvas. Select #72918C as the colour and click!

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Change the blend mode to Soft Light. Again, it’s a very subtle difference, but it just gives a slight cooler tone to the background which will be more accommodating for some of the colours we’ll be using later.

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

To keep things easy to find, create a new folder called ‘background’ and drop all the layers so far in there.

Now we’ve created our background, it’s time to say “goodbye” to subtlety and “well hello!” to some big, bold brushes 🙂

Step 3:

On a new layer, select #59230F as the fill colour and draw an coffee-bean shaped ellipse roughly in the centre of your canvas. Set the blend mode to Multiply and you should have something that looks similar to below:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

From the second Brushes Bundle folder, load the Layerform > 51 Watercolor Brushes set.

On a new layer set to Multiply, use the same colour as we did for the ellipse and select the following brush at around 650px:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Select and rotate so it looks similar to the image below – we’re creating a shadow and highlight for the inner crease of a coffee bean:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Note: Throughout this tutorial, we’ll be creating a new layer for each brush for easy editing.

Create a new layer and select #F2E3D0 as the brush colour. Using the same brush and size as we just did, apply the brush and reduce the layer opacity to 25%.

Scale and rotate so that it looks similar to below:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Let’s add a bit of grungy texture. From your first Brush Bundle folder, find Ilham-Herry > Noise Grunge Brushes and Action > Brush PNG > PNG > Make it noise 7.png

Paste this on to your canvas so it covers the ellipse:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Reduce the Opacity to 50% and set the blend mode to Overlay:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

You now have the beginnings of an arty, abstract coffee bean 🙂

Step 4:

From the same watercolours brush set, select the following brush:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

We’ll be using this to create a painterly highlight and shadow effect on our coffee bean.

Apply the brush (default size) in the following colours, each on its own layer:

Sienna: #37600
Blue: #113363

Transform and move them around so they sit in a nice highlight and shadow positions:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

From the same set, choose black as the fill colour and select the following brush (it should be next to the one you just used):

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

We’re going to make some adjustment to the brush settings before we use this one:

Brush Settings
Size: 1500px
Mode: Dissolve
Opacity: 40%

This gives us a really nice rough, grainy texture. Click anywhere on a new layer and transform so it looks similar to below:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Notice how it sits a fair bit over the edge? Let’s correct that with a layer mask.

Duplicate your original Ellipse layer, move to it to the top then rasterize it so we can use the Magic Wand tool.

With the Magic Wand tool, click anywhere within the ellipse to select it.

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

With it still selected, activate the layer below with the black brush and add a layer mask. Hide the ellipse layer above to see the effect – a nice clean edge!

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

We’re going to add a final highlight. Using the same brush as we did for the sienna and blue highlight/shadow, select white as the colour. Return the brush mode to Normal and Opacity to 100% (default) and apply it to a new layer.

Transform so it’s a similar size and position to below and reduce the layer opacity to 50%

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Our centrepiece is now complete!

Step 5:

We’re now going to add some handwritten text. As we’ll be using light text on a dark background, do a bit of prep to help it stand out more.

Going back to Ilham-Herry > Noise Grunge Brushes and Action > Brush PNG > PNG, select Make it noise 15.png

Place it roughly across the centre of the coffee bean:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

That’s a bit more dramatic than we’d like, so let’s tone it down by changing the blend mode to Soft Light and Opacity to 35%.

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

That gives us a base for the text that’ll help make it pop just enough.

Since we have some fantastic (and I truly mean fantastic) brush presets available to us thanks to Kyle T Webster, let’s use them to give the poster a hand-crafted feel and write our own text.

This’ll feel more natural if you have a pen & tablet, but you can still achieve a good effect using a mouse.

With #F2E3D0 selected as the colour, select Kyle’s Inkbox – Rough Inker 4. (As you can see from the screenshot I’m already a big fan of his brushes!)

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

On a new layer write “Coffee and Creativity”. Experiment a bit until you achieve the effect you want, and feel free to add your own style and flourishes to reflect your handwriting:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Create a new group called ‘Coffee Bean’ to place the layers we’ve just created in.

Step 6:

We’re going to up the coffee levels some more now 🙂

Load the FanExtra > fanextragrungebrushes > Coffee-Stains-Brush-Set.abr brushes. Select #59230F as the colour and pick a few of your choice to fill some of the white space around the coffee bean, adjusting the brush sizes accordingly.

Use a layer mask to hide any parts that overlap the bean, then change the layer blend mode to Multiply:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Step 7:

Let’s add some tools of the trade to help set the right theme for the poster.

We can easily include some great illustrations thanks to the LPC Vintage Drafting Studio Brush Set from Little Paper Cafe, which you can find in your second Brushes Bundle folder.

We’ll be using the following two brushes:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

On a new layer, set the brush colour to #A61b34 and select the ‘Marking Beekman Crayon’ brush. Print it on to the layer, rotate so that it’s vertical and move to the bottom right corner of your canvas. Set the layer blend mode to Multiply:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

The colour still seems a little faint, so lets duplicate the layer and reduce it to 50% to get a slightly richer colour:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Repeat the same process with the ‘Drawing Faber Coloured Pencil’ brush (colour #113363) and you should end up with something similar to the image below:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Let’s put these in a new group called ‘Stationery’ and move on to the next step…

Step 8:

We’re now going to let loose on the Water Color Arsenal Splatter Brushes, which are the special freebies for this deal (you can download them at the top of this page). I’ve used the PNG versions to make for easy editing and tweaking.

Feel free to select whichever brushes appeal to you most – these are the ones used in the source file:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

If you’re using your own selection, have a play with a layout that works with the brushes you’ve chosen. Otherwise, keep following along!

Locate and paste RGough_S_Splatter15.png on to your canvas, setting the blend mode to Multiply and Opacity to 65%. Transform and place so that it goes over the edge of bottom right corner:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

To make things a bit more colurful, let’s add a new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and set it to only apply to the layer below (remember: press dow, ‘alt’ and click between the two layers)

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Hue/Saturation settings
Hue: 230
Saturation: 70
Lightness: +30
Colorize: checked

Add a layer mask to hide the areas that overlap the coffee bean and red crayon. To prevent it from looking too harsh, you can use the brush Kyle’s Inkbox – Photocopier brush set to 20% to build up a grungier mask:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Step 9:

Let’s place the rest of the splatter brushes on to our poster design.

We’ll run through the settings for each PNG as numbered below, creating a new clipped (only applying to the layer directly below) adjustment layer to each and using layer masks to hide any overlaps. Transform and scale each as appropriate.

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Splatter 17: Set the layer blend mode to Multiply and Opacity to 90%.

Splatter 13: Set the layer opacity to 60% and adjust the Hue/Saturation as follows:

Hue/Saturation settings
Hue: 38
Saturation: 65
Lightness: +45
Colorize: checked

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Splatter 12:

Hue/Saturation settings
Hue: 335
Saturation: 50
Lightness: +40
Colorize: checked

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Splatter 03: Set the layer blend mode to Multiply

Hue/Saturation settings
Hue: 183
Saturation: 32
Lightness: +60
Colorize: checked

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Great! That should now leave you with a rather colourful background:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Finally for this step, we’ll need to load the Ink-Brush-Set.abr from the Fan Extra grunge brushes.

Select the following brush and set the size to 1384px

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Set the colour to #025920 and place in the upper left corner so it overlaps the black splatter brush:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Create a new group called ’Splatter!’ (exclamation mark optional ;)) and place the layers we’ve just created in there.

Step 10:

There are so many great resources in this bundle, I couldn’t resist including one of the Inked Edge Brushess from Robyn Gough. The one below is RGough_S_InkedEdge6.png that’s been rotated 180 degrees:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

We’ll change the colour so it’s more in-keeping with the design. Add a new clipped Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer with the following settings:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Hue/Saturation settings
Hue: 191
Saturation: 15
Lightness: +45
Colorize: checked

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Step 11:

We’ll now combine a brush with an action to create a really cool effect, and gives you a lot more options working with the brushes.

For this example you’ll need to find and load Little-Paper-Cafe > LPC Vintage Type Specimen & Ornament Brush Set > LPC Vintage Type Specimen & Ornament Brush Set.abr

Find the following “Cafe” brush and set the size to around 650px

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Create a new layer and with the brush colour set to #113363 click a couple of times on the canvas to get a richer colour.

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Next, you’ll need to navigate to Ilham-Herry > Noise Grunge Brushes and Action and load the Noise Grunge Action.atn actions.

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

With the ‘Cafe’ brush layer selected, apply the Make it noise pattern 2 (Text or Shape):

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Et voila! You have an entirely new, grungy brush effect.

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Step 12:

We now need to add some text to let people know what’s happening.

I’ve used a mixture of hand-written text (using the same ‘rough inker 4’ brush from earlier) and hand-written style fonts.

Experiment a bit here to try out some fonts from your own collection or play with some brushes to create your own text.

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Whilst you’re playing with some brushes, why not add a few creative doodles? 🙂

I’ve sketched out a lightbulb using the ‘rough inker 4’ brush and in #72918C

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Step 13:

We’re now going to add the finishing touches to our poster…

From the earlier ‘Coffee Bean’ group we were working in, duplicate the ‘Make it noise 15’ layer and rotate so it sits vertically in the lower left corner (the blend mode’s been changed to normal here so you can see the position more clearly):

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Keep the blend mode as Soft Light and change the Opacity to 50%. You can see it creates a really nice effect on the pink paint splatter and adds a bit of interest to the area:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

We’re now going to download this Linen Textile from Texture Palace. We’re using this to give the image a joint feel of a coffee sack and canvas to tie our themes together.

Once downloaded, paste it on to your canvas and scale to fit:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Create a clipped Levels Adjustment layer and bring change the Shadow input levels to 150.

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Change the blend mode to Soft Light and reduce the Opacity to 45%

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Finally, duplicate the crumpled paper layer way back from the beginning of the tutorial (in the ‘Background’ group) and bring it to the very top.

Invert the colour by going to Image > Adjustments > Invert

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Reduce the opacity to 45% and change the blend mode to Screen:

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

And we’re done!

I hope you enjoyed following this tutorial and it’s given you plenty of ideas on how you can start using your brushes.

If you’ve been inspired to set up your own creative meetup group, be sure to share your poster designs and photos with the Design Cuts Facebook Community!

Remember, there’s only a few days left to get our beautifully artistic brushes bundle for just $27, so if you don’t want to miss out, we recommend jumping on it now.

Beautifully Artistic Brushes Bundle (1000+ Brushes & Extras) – 90% Off

Cafe Meetup Brushes Tutorial

Enjoy this tutorial? You’ll love this week’s deal:

2 Lovely Comments from our Community:

  1. Justin Greene says:

    Love the deal. Actually, not so long ago, I had gotten some of the Le Paper Cafe items on Creative Market, I thought I would get some of brushes later on since they look good. So, yeah, the LPC brushes are the main reason why I bought this bundle.

    Oh, did anyone get stuck on Step 11 and the action? I don’t know what’s the trick with the color fill layer the action applies at the end. Was there some change to the layer blend mode or change in the hex for the color fill? Also, I’m not sure if the action loading the right pattern because the texture at the end doesn’t the same as the tutorials photo.

    • Ben Neeves says:

      Hey Justin,

      Thanks so much for your comment! It’s great to hear you are loving your purchase and the LPC brushes have made an awesome addition to your creative toolkit 🙂

      I’m really sorry to hear that you are having some trouble with Step 11 on this tutorial! Rest assured, I am on the case and have sent you an email to get some more information from you and help get you up and running again 🙂 I hope it helps!

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