Articles, Blog

Photoshop Tutorial: How to Design a Classic, Vintage, Tourism Poster

December 4, 2019

Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV.
Tourism posters from the 1930s and 40s were powerful, beautifully crafted images that
embodied clean shapes, bold, vibrant colors and iconic images. I created this one and
will show you how to create your own custom poster using the techniques in this tutorial.
You can use your own photo, however, for the purpose of this tutorial, I provided this
image, so you can follow along. Its link is in the video’s description or project files.
The first step is to adjust its brightness and contrast. Press Ctrl or Cmd + Shift +
L to invoke Auto-tone, which maximizes the tonal range in each channel to produce a more
dramatic correction. Next, we’ll crop it to a specific aspect ratio and size. Open your Crop Tool. At the top, open the Width, Height and Resolution. Click the “Clear” button. In the Resolution field, type
in 300 pixels per inch. This resolution is high enough to ensure that your image will
be sharp if you decide to print it. Uncheck “Delete Cropped Pixels” and click the checkmark to accept it. Go to Image and Image Size. Notice the resolution is 300 pixels per inch.
Make sure the mode is “Inches” and make sure the chain-link is locked, which locks its
aspect ratio. Choose a Width or Height that you want for your poster. In this case, I’d
like my poster to be 16 inches wide. Its Height automatically adjusts to the width. Since
I want my poster’s height to be 10 inches; not 12, I’ll click Cancel and in the Width
field, I’ll type in 16 and for the Height, I’ll type in 10. Drag your image to a position
wher you want it cropped and make sure there’s enough room for your text. At the top, check
“Delete Cropped Pixels” and click the checkmark. To check its size, go back to Image and Image Size. The Width and Height of your image is now cropped to your specifications. It’s always a good idea to make a copy of your image or convert it into a Smart Object . In this case, we’ll make a copy of it. Presss Ctrl or Cmd + J. Go to Filter and Filter Gallery. To see your entire image, reduce its size until you do. Open the Artistic folder and
click “Cutout”. I’ll make the number of Levels: 8, the Edge Simplicity: 6 and the Edge Fidelity”:
1, however, feel free to experiment with these amounts to get the combination that looks good to you. If you want to make the sky into a smooth gradient, first, open your Magic Wand Tool. Make sure “Contiguous” is checked and make the Tolerance: 45. Click
anywhere on the sky. To include areas that didn’t get selected, Shift-click on them to
add them to your selection. Press “Q” on your keyboard to convert the selection into a quick
mask to make sure your entire sky is included. Then, press “Q” again to revert it back into a selection. Open your Gradient Tool. Click the Linear Gradient icon and the Gradient
bar to open the Gradient Editor. . Click the lower, left Stop and the color box, which
opens the Color Picker. Click the bluest area of the sky to pick up its color. To make it
a bit richer, click the top and to the right in the color window and click OK. Click the
lower, right Stop, the color box and this time, click on the bottom of the sky. Then,
click OK on both windows. Go to the top of your document and press and hold Shift as
you drag a straight line to the bottom of the sky. To deselect it, press Ctrl or Cmd
+ D. Next, we’ll start adding text. I’ll be using these retro fonts in this poster. If
you’d like to use them, I provided their links, as well. Open your Horizontal Type Tool. Since
the first character of my word will be here, I’ll click here on my document and make sure
the Left alignment icon is highlighted. Choose a font. I’ll use “DecoTech TL Regular”. Don’t
be concerned about its size at the moment. Type your first word. To change its color,
highlight your text and click the color box to open the color picker. I’ll click on a
color in my poster to use for this word. Then, I’ll click OK. To enlarge your word, click
your Move Tool and open your Transform Tool by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + T. Drag it to a
general position and go to a corner. When you see a diagonal, double-arrow, press and
hold Shift as you drag it out to a size you like. Pressing Shift retains its aspect ratio.
When you like its size and position, press Enter or Return. Double-click on an empty area of your Type layer to open its Layer Style window. Click “Stroke” and the color
box. Click a color on your poster that you’d like or your Stroke and click OK. I’ll make its size: 14 pixels. Keep in mind, you may want to use different amounts than I’m using in this tutorial, especially if you’re using other fonts or another image that has a different size and resolution. I’ll make the Position: Center and click OK. Open your Type Tool again, click below your other text and type out your other words. To change its color, highlight
it and click the color box at the top. Pick up another color of your poster and click OK. To adjust its size, as before, click your Move Tool and open your Transform Tool. I’ll position it and enlarge it. I’ll add another word using the font, “Geomancy Extra Bold”. We’ll add a gradient and a stroke. As before, double-click on an empty area of your Type
layer to open its Layer Style window. Click Gradient Overlay and the gradient bar. Click the lower, left Stop and the color box. Click on your poster to pick up a color and click
OK on the Color Picker. Click the lower, right Stop, the color box and click on another color. Click OK on the Color Picker and the Gradient Editor. Click “Stroke”. Click the color box
and pick up another color. Then, click OK on the Color Picker. I’ll make the size: 10 pixels and the Position: Inside. I’ll add one more word to my poster. This font is called, “Honey
Script Light”. I’ll open my Transform Tool and enlarge the text. I’d like to skew it. To do this, go to the anchor point on the middle of the right side and press and hold
Ctrl + Alt + Shift on Windows or Cmd + Option + Shift on a Mac, as you drag it up. I’ll
reposition it and press Enter or Return. Open its Layer Style window to add a drop shadow. Next, I’ll show you how to make your text easier to read by simplifying the area behind
it. Make your poster image active and open your Pen Tool. In this example, I want the
area behind the text to be a dark, brown color. So, I’ll make a work path surrounding the
area that I’ll be filling in with the new color. Right-click directly on the path and click “Make Selection”. Make the Feather Radius: 0 and click OK. Press “I” on your keyboard
to open your Eyedropper Tool and click on a neighboring color that you’d like to fill
the selection with. Notice, your foreground color changed to the color you want. To fill
in the selection with this color, press Alt or Option + Delete. Then, deselect it. Lastly, let’s add a white, outside border surrounding our poster. We don’t want to make it an inside
border because it’ll cut off important areas of our poster and be to close to our text.
We first need to expand the Width and Height of our document. To do this, go to Image and Canvas Size. Your current size is indicated here. In the Width and Height fields, add
another half inch to their sizes. Make the Canvas extension color: White. Then, click
OK. To fit your poster on your canvas, press Ctrl or Cmd + 0. This is Marty from Blue Lightning
TV. Thanks for watching!


  • Reply george baldino March 4, 2015 at 2:28 am

    Love it!

  • Reply Steven Tan March 4, 2015 at 2:42 am

    Keep them coming

  • Reply GUS750 March 4, 2015 at 4:20 am


  • Reply Muhd Thaqif March 4, 2015 at 4:45 am

    Awesome !

  • Reply bcwjennings74 March 4, 2015 at 5:01 am

    I'm glad that I found your channel. I've been watching your vids for the last week or so and find them quite informational and enjoyable to watch and follow along.
    Great tutorials, keep up the good instruction!

  • Reply Beatsuite Music Library March 4, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Great job!

  • Reply Mario San Rafael March 5, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    gracias por el video; hermoso diseño: quedó muy bien mi trabajo…Saludos y like para Ud.!

  • Reply Mohammedgamer 822 March 6, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanx man   you are the best   thanx again

  • Reply RHODIUM REX March 7, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    ..(900D_ W0RK_ (B~L)..A$ ALL-WAY'zZ _(mD££ _L0ND0N-$A1D DHAT!"…

  • Reply JDevCast March 13, 2015 at 4:33 am

    Awesome again! 

  • Reply Sophie Watson March 17, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    i don't have the W x H option?

  • Reply Siddharth April 1, 2015 at 6:09 am

    That was beautiful, could you please make more videos on how to design artistic posters ?

  • Reply Aula de Bolso April 12, 2015 at 4:42 am

    That's great!!!

  • Reply AL Moss May 11, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    You Are Good Mr M!
    THX for the font.

  • Reply PPC Medical Marketing June 9, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    Excellent tips and fantastic teaching presentation!  I hope you will do more "how to" and tips videos on Photoshop.  This is the best!

  • Reply Rebeca Ghiebaura June 17, 2015 at 10:18 am

    I can literally say u make the best tutorials ever!!!!

  • Reply Rebeca Ghiebaura June 17, 2015 at 10:18 am

    CAn u make some on how to create T-shirts or business cards?

  • Reply Leslie Wen July 28, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    shift ctrl l made my computer swear at me and then it started rapping the motto to me. 2sp00ky4me

  • Reply starr2o August 30, 2015 at 1:43 am

    Thank you for taking us through each step!!
    So helpful!

  • Reply 2 tails and green scales September 11, 2015 at 4:08 am

    Marty I love your tutorials. You are really helping me become better at graphic design. Thanks so much.

  • Reply Bingo123 October 1, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Marty — another great tutorial!!

  • Reply Charif Salmi November 3, 2015 at 1:57 am

    Great tutorial, Thank you 🙂

  • Reply Jamey Weare February 11, 2016 at 6:08 am

    Nice tutorial!

  • Reply nnt73 /Nathan/ February 19, 2016 at 4:09 am

    I couldnt get the gradient to do a line it only made boxes

  • Reply Jennifer Cha February 19, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    Great tutorial! Pacing was perfect, instructions were clear and easy to follow. Thank you!

  • Reply Ahmed Mandour June 24, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    hi very excellent tut , but the link for photo is broken can you upload it again please

  • Reply Anjali Gupta October 4, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    Beautiful tutorial…Thank you so much

  • Reply picturearchitect February 24, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Great Tutorial! Made me to subscribe just for that one !

  • Reply 999skarlet April 9, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    awesome tutorial thanks :)))))))))))))))))))))

  • Reply Monroe Rice III September 25, 2017 at 4:31 am

    Awesome Marty

  • Reply Joe January 30, 2018 at 2:30 am

    Great poster! I love this style of artwork.

  • Reply P K February 15, 2018 at 7:36 am

    I like your explanation and tools clarity,,,,,

  • Reply JUMOWA March 11, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    been loving your tuts for years now. you would make great extra money with your tutorials on dtube

  • Reply ******* April 16, 2018 at 5:52 am


  • Reply Ali Aqsa May 18, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    I can't use filter gallery

  • Reply MJE July 22, 2018 at 2:56 am

    Not sure if you still monitor comments on this video, but if you do, quick question:
    Can this tutorial/process be done via photoshop elements? I can't afford a full version/subscription to photoshop.

  • Reply Elizabeth Kosko September 19, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Have you done a poster where you keep the sky? Like with clouds and what not instead of covering it with a gradient? The old style posters have all these colors in them and I'm wondering how they can be added

  • Reply Aurélien Arnold October 13, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    Exactly what I've been looking for. Thank you so Much Marty !!!!

  • Reply Chris Stromberg March 31, 2019 at 4:39 am

    This was awesome, thanks for posting!

  • Reply Sara Mckenna May 26, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    Love this!!! Thank you. Your tutorials are perfectly timed and edited. Thank you!!!

  • Reply Lana Florida August 4, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    Out of 10 points I'd give this tutorial a 20! Such a professional, clear speaking, no rush, everything explained. Awesome! I rarely see videos made this professionally. Thank you!

  • Reply Simon Griffiths August 10, 2019 at 9:00 am

    What a fantastic tutorial! Thanks a million for this easy to follow post with superb results! 10 out of 10!

  • Reply Mark Wilson September 5, 2019 at 1:32 am

    Hi there. Great site and info. I want to create vintage posters from my photos. Which PS do you recommend.? It will be
    pretty much used for that purpose only. Is there a real basic version that will do the same as your tutorial?
    thanks. Mark, New Zealand.

  • Reply Bahadır November 19, 2019 at 10:08 pm

    You are perfect!!! Thanks a lot dude !!

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