Articles

How to Create a Rustic Wooden Sign Effect in Photoshop

December 8, 2019


Hello
everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics back with another video tutorial for Adobe
Photoshop. Today I’m going to show you a useful technique
for applying a design to a textured background, such as wood. This is great for creating rustic wooden signs,
or any other effect where your design looks like it has been painted on a surface and
distressed from years of weathering. To begin, we first need an image of the textured
surface we want to apply our artwork to. I’m using this free image of a Wood Board
Structure to create a wooden sign. The colours are little too rich, so a quick
Hue/Saturation adjustment layer helps to bring down the saturation slightly. We also need some artwork to place upon the
texture, so I’ll quickly take you through the process of creating my Farm Fresh design. You could also paste in your logo art, a lettering
design or any other imagery. Grab the Type tool and enter the word Farm. I’m using this nice typeface named Gastromond
from the Adobe Fonts Library. Activate it for use Photoshop using the link
in the description. Give the text a white fill and scale it up
in size to fill the left half of the canvas. Switch back to the Move tool to make a duplicate
of the text element. Hold the ALT key while dragging it to make
a copy, then double click to edit the wording to Fresh. Line up the text on the left side, then press
CMD (or the CTRL key on Windows) +T shortcut for Transform. Scale the text to the same width as the word
Farm. Make another copy of the text element and
edit the wording to Eggs. For this word I’m using the font named Corner
Store, also from the Adobe Fonts Library. This script font doesn’t have any clear edges
to line up, so instead optically scale it so it looks the right size. While transforming, right click and choose
Skew, then drag the right handle upwards to give the script a rise effect. Shift and click all the text elements in the
Layer stack, then press CMD+T to move and scale them into place within the canvas. To complement this artwork theme, I have some
ready-made vector graphics of various farm animals available to download from Spoon Graphics. Open the Meat Cut Illustrations file in Adobe
Illustrator. Make a copy of the Chicken, then right click
and choose Ungroup. We don’t need the various meat cut text elements,
so select them all and hit Delete. The same goes with the dotted lines. With just the main body silhouette left, clear
out the stroke and swap the black fill to white. Copy this graphic, then switch back over to
Photoshop and hit CMD+V to Paste. Select Pixels, then hit Enter. Scale this graphic up in size and position
it to fill out the remaining space in the composition. To finish off this design, add a new layer,
then use the Elliptical marquee tool to draw an egg shape. Use the ALT+Backspace shortcut to fill the
selection with the current foreground colour, which should still be white from setting up
the text. Use the CMD+T Transform shortcut to rotate
the egg, hit Enter to apply, then ALT+Drag with the Move tool to make a copy. Rotate this duplicate into a different orientation
with the CMD+T shortcut, then repeat with a third egg. Hold Shift and select all the layers that
make up the design, then hit CMD+G to create a Group. Before adding some texturing to the artwork,
let’s first eliminate the crisp digital appearance to try and give it more of a hand-made look. Right click on the Group and choose Convert
to Smart Object. Go to Filter>Distort>Ripple. Change the Size to Large, then small amount
of distortion between 10-20%. Turn off the visibility of the artwork group,
leaving just the original texture. Switch over to the Channels panel, then hold
the CMD key and click the thumbnail of one of the channels. Usually the Blue channel has the most contrast. Swap back to the Layers panel and bring back
the artwork. Add a Layer mask to this group while the selection
is active to automatically fill it with the texture. Depending on the brightness of your texture
image it might be necessary to hit CMD+I to invert the mask. This current mask is fading the artwork too
much, so while the mask thumbnail is selected, hit CMD+L to bring up the Levels. Move the sliders back and forth to adjust
the appearance of the mask. The darker the shadows, the more they will
erase the artwork, the lighter the highlights, the more the artwork will be preserved. Aim for high contrast so the artwork still
has a bright white fill, but the details of the texture erase it in the roughest areas. There’s another filter that can really help
to boost the realism to make it seem like the artwork is really painted onto the texture. Turn off the visibility of the artwork again. Go to Select>All, followed by Edit>Copy
Merged. Create a new document and paste in the texture. Go to Image>Adjustments>Desaturate, then
go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur This image will be used as a displacement
map, so adding a small amount of blur helps to distort the artwork smoothly without any
jagged edges. Find a small amount that just takes the hard
edges away from the texture. Go to File>Save As and save this file as
a PSD with a recognisable name. Close the image to return back to the main
document. Bring back the visibility of the artwork again,
then make sure you select the group and not the group’s mask, otherwise the effect will
be applied to the Layer Mask which is currently selected. Go to Filter>Distort>Displace. Hit Enter on the default values, then navigate
to the displacement map file we just made. This Displacement filter subtly distorts the
artwork around the bumps and contours of the texture. The final result is a realistic wooden sign
effect where the artwork is worn away wherever there’s cracks or dirt within the texture. The addition of those two extra Photoshop
filters also help to enhance the hand-made look by making it seem like the design has
been physically painted on to the surface. This tutorial focused on using a wooden texture,
but you can also use the same technique to apply your designs to rusty metal, brick walls,
concrete or any other grungy material. If you enjoyed this tutorial or learnt any
new tricks a thumbs up to help spread the word would be really appreciated. Subscribe to my channel to see more of my
video tutorials, and join my mailing list at Spoon Graphics to download more of my free
design resources. As always thank you very much for watching,
and I’ll see you in the next one.

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