Graphic Design

How to create a poster in Photoshop: A video tutorial

We created an amazing poster using Photoshop and recorded it all, just to show you. Actually I had nothing to do with it. Sharon, our fabulous graphic designer, is the one with the Photoshop skills. In this video, she walks you step by step through creating a real poster. She doesn’t just make a boring, basic one though. She creates a thoughtful, engaging project that you can really use.

Since she walks you through every step you’ll need, you can use this tutorial even if you aren’t familiar with Photoshop. If you are somewhat familiar with the program, Sharon’s expertise will also give you a little design insight to utilize in your next poster and other design project.

As I watched it, I was surprised how easy it was, but also how cool Sharon made things look with just the right combinations of steps.

Watch her poster unfold in the tutorial below and learn a few new Photoshop tricks in the process.

Video Transcript

In this tutorial we’ll cover how to make an amazing poster in a crunch using Adobe Photoshop.

Begin by downloading a layout guide from found on the poster product page. We’ll be using the 11×17 poster layout guide.

When you unzip the folder, you will notice a variety of files to choose from. You can choose either landscape or portrait. You can also use front and back layouts for a double-sided poster. In this tutorial we will be designing a one-sided portrait poster layout. So, grab the 11×17 front portrait layout jpeg and hover it over the Photoshop icon to open it.

With the layout open, you’ll notice red, blue, and green lines bordering the layout.

The red line represents bleed. Bleed is artwork such background colors or images that extend farther than the trim edge of a print document.

The blue line represents trim. Trim is the final size of your poster after it has been cut. By extending your design past the trim line all the way to the bleed line, you’ll ensure there are no unprinted edges.

The green line represents the Caution Line. Anything such as text, logos, or important parts of a photo should not extend past this line.

Next, go to “Image” then “Mode” and make sure ‘CMYK’ is checked. This will ensure color accuracy in the final print.

Now is an excellent time to save your PSD. Make sure you save periodically along the way.

Before we start designing it’s good to set up guides within Photoshop so you can see them at all times once your layout guide is covered up.First go to “View” and check “Rulers.” This will give you some visual reference.Now set your guides. Go to “View” then “New Guide.” You will need to enter a new guide for every vertical and horizontal colored line. Measurements for each of the lines are listed in the video description.

You’re now ready to begin designing.

In this section of the tutorial, you’ll learn how to create this selective color photo effect and a glass or water effect on text.

Let’s get started.

Begin by layering in your photo. Make sure the image is large enough to extend all the way past the bleed line of the document. Then right click on the image and click “Rasterize.” Now duplicate your layer by selecting it and clicking “Command J.” Select the copied layer and go to “Image,” “Adjustments,” and click “Desaturate.”

For now, turn off the black and white layer and click on the color layer.

Using the Quick Selection Tool, begin selecting the water and bridge. This will do a fairly good job for grabbing what you need. However, you may need to use the lasso tool to refine some edges. (If you select an area you didn’t mean to, simply hold down Alt or Option and remove the selected area.)

After selecting all the areas you want to show up in color, turn the black and white layer back on and select it. Now go to “Select” and “Inverse.” This changes your selection to everything but the water and bridge. Now click this button to create a mask. The mask reveals the color layer beneath.

Before we start on the text, create a new layer. Now choose your gradient tool and select this preset then change the color to a blue that matches your poster.

Back on the layer, click and drag the gradient tool along the bottom portion of the poster. This creates a solid area for the text to sit on top of.

Now let’s work on our text.

Pick your font and type your headline. Then change your fill to 0%. Your text will disappear, but don’t worry. We’ll fix that in a moment.Right click on the layer and choose “Blending Options.” Now click “Drop Shadow.” Here choose “Linear Burn” and set the opacity to 12%. Set the distance to 15 and size to 16.

Next click “Bevel and Emboss” and choose “Inner Bevel.” Set the depth to 103% and click “Up” for the direction. Set the size to 13px.

Under “Gloss Contour” choose the downward “U” shape. Change the highlight mode to “Linear Dodge” and set it to 30% opacity. Set the “Shadow Mode” to “Linear Burn” and set the “Opacity” very low, between 103%. Now click “OK.”

You’ll notice the water effect beginning to show, however, we’ll have to add a few more effects to really make it pop.

Duplicate the text layer using “Command J.” Now right click and choose “Clear Layer Style.” Again set the fill to 0%.Right click on the layer and choose “Blending Options.” For this layer, choose “Inner Shadow.” Set the blend mode to “Liner Burn” and the opacity to 25%. Set the distance and size to 15.Now choose “Inner Glow.” Set the opacity to 75% and size to 15.

Last, choose “Bevel and Emboss” and set the depth between 100 and 110% and set the size to 13.

Under “Gloss Contour” choose the upwards “U” shape. For highlight mode choose “Color Dodge” and set the opacity very low to around 4%. For shadow mode choose “Linear Burn” and 10% for the opacity. Now click “OK.”

One more time, duplicate the text layer, select “Clear Layer Style,” and set the fill to 0%. Under “Blending Options,” click “Drop Shadow,” uncheck “Use Global Light,” and set the angle to 0 degrees. Set the distance to 6 and the size to 9.

Next choose “Inner Shadow.” For “Blend Mode” choose “Linear Dodge” and set the opacity to 25%. Set the distance to 10 and the size to 2. Set the contour to “Rounded Steps.”

Next choose “Bevel and Emboss.” Set the size to 46. Under “Shading,” uncheck “Global Light” and set the angle to 0 degrees.

For “Highlight Mode,” choose “Linear Dodge” and set the opacity to 18%. Under “Shadow Mode,” click “Linear Burn” and 8% for the opacity. Lastly, click “Stroke” and set the size to 6. Then click “OK.”

The last step is adding the rest of your text, and there you go — a stunning poster ready to print.

That last step is exporting a PDF. Go to “File,” “Save As,” and choose “Photoshop PDF.” Then under “Adobe PDF Settings” choose “PDF X 1 A 2001.” Then click “Save PDF.” This is the file you will submit to for printing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *