How to Create a Typographical Shape for Posters

Filed Under: Articles, Guest Post, Photoshop Sources, Prints, Tip and Tutor, Vector by Kate Manhaven March 13, 2012, 16:35

how-to-create-a-typographical-shape-for-posters

One great way to create a retro, grunge design for posters is to create a shape, such as a letter or number, made entirely of type. Add in some texture to the background and in just a short amount of time, you have an eye-catching design ready to send to your online printing company.

Putting a block of text into a pre-designed shape is actually quite easy when following a few simple steps. The tutorial below walks you through these necessary steps, then shows you how to create a weathered paper background, and finally reveals how to put it all together to create a retro or grunge poster. We will first start in Illustrator and then move to Photoshop for the final touches.

Resources:

Step 1 – Getting Started

In Illustrator, open up a new document using the Letter size default to begin.

01-getting-started

Step 2 – Setting the Stage

You can work with whatever font family you like for this example and use any text you prefer. I’ll be using Times New Roman throughout this tutorial so that anyone can follow along. So use your Type Tool to type the letter “T” and make the text size around 750pt.

02-stage

Step 3 – Create Outlines

With the giant letter selected, go to Type and select “Create Outlines” (Ctrl + Shift + O). This converts your letter into an editable object.

03-outlines

Step 4 – Release Compound Path

Before you can work with the text the way we want, you must release the compound paths. These are automatically generated by Illustrator. Go to Object – > Compound Path -> Release with the letter selected.

04-compound

Step 5 – Fill Text

You can get some fill text from many different sources. You can use dummy text from sites like Lipsum.com or use text from your website, a classic novel, or any other source. Just be sure you have permission to use the copy if you do not own the copyright. I went to Lipsum.com and copied five paragraphs of dummy text for the next step.

Select the Area Type Tool and change your character settings to Times New Roman with a font size of 7pt. With your dummy text copied and the Area Type Tool selected, click the giant letter, and paste in your content.

05-fill

Step 6 – Fill Text Cleanup

I went through and deleted out any line breaks in the copy. I also used the Window -> Type -> Character palette to center justify the text.

06-cleanup

Step 7 – Different Letter Sizes

We could stop there, but I want to take this over the top to demonstate the power of this technique. With your Type Tool, type the letter “G” somewhere on your Artboard, so long as it’s not on our letter. Change the font size to 21pt. I rotated the letter “G” a few degrees and dragged into the middle of my shape.

07a-first

Go to Object -> Text Wrap -> Make, so that the text will wrap around our letter “G”.

07b-wrap

Now, go to Object -> Text Wrap -> Text Wrap Options:

07c-options

I used a setting of -4pt on the Offset and moved the letter around to get it to look like I wanted it to look.

07d-adjust

Repeat this process for lots of letters to taste. Round letters work better, so stick with letters like G, O, R, S, Q, etc. And change up the text sizes as well.

07e-lots

Step 8 – Fill in the Blanks

You can further tweak the design by filling in the blank areas around the larger letters. Just use your Type Tool with a font size of 7pt. Type outside the shape area and move the new text where you need it.

08-blanks

Step 9 – Shift to Photoshop

Once you have your letters the way you like them, select all (Ctrl+A) and open Photoshop. Make the canvas size the same for the Illustrator document of Letter or 8.5×11 inches at 300 pixels/inch.

09-photoshop

Now paste (Ctrl+V) the information from Illustrator into your Photoshop document. When prompted, select Paste As “Smart Object“. Position the letter where you’d like it and press “Enter” to confirm the placement.

09b-photoshop-placement

Step 10 – Background

From the resources above, download Paper #1 and paste it into a new layer below your vector image and above the background.

10-background

Create a new layer above the old paper layer and grab your Rectangle Marquee Tool. Select an area that doesn’t quite go to the edges of your paper and fill with your color of choice. I used #13bfb9.

10b-teal

Step 11 – Layer Mask Setup

With the Rectangle Tool, draw a shape all the way over the giant letter. I chose the color #e7190e.

11b-square

Hide the square you just made for a moment. Ctrl+Click on the Vector Smart Object layer or right-click on the layer and choose “Select Pixels“.

11a-mask

Unhide the square layer and click the “Add Vector Mask” button. The beauty of this arrangement is that you can quickly change the color of the font, apply a gradient, or whatever else you’d like at a later point.

11c-mask

Step 12 – More Typography

Now that we don’t need the extra tools that Illustrator offers for type, we can use the built in features of Photoshop to continue to work on our design. With the Type Tool, I put “Times New Roman” at the bottom in our red color. The font size is 72pt and Times New Roman.

12-type

Step 13 – Destruction

Download the grunge brush and load it into Photoshop. In the teal square layer, click “add vector mask“. Change the foreground color to black, and begin using the various brushes at different sizes to add texture to the background. If you ever add too much grunge to the background, just select the foreground color as white to clean it up a bit.

13a-grunge

Repeat this process for the “Times New Roman” layer.

13b-type

Of course, you can now add some texture to our giant letter “T” as well. Make sure the Vector Smart Object layer has been hidden.

13c-t

Step 14 – Texture

To give the piece a cohesive texture, download the above Paper #2 and paste on top of the image. You will have to resize it to get it to fit across the image properly. Set the blending mode to Soft Light with a 50% opacity.

14-texture

Step 15 – Tweaks

I’m not happy with how well my big letter “T” is showing up, but we have lots of options for making it easier to see. We can change the color, fade the background, or reach for the Blending Options. Right-click on the “T” layer and select Blending Options. I added a stroke with the following settings:

15a-stroke

I also want to take better advantage of the teal layer. Set the blending mode to Color Burn to make the textures underneath it really pop out.

15b-color-burn

All of your colors are very easy to change because we used layer masks to make our texture changes. So if you need to tweak any of the colors, you can.

To tone down the lightened effect of the texture we added, add an Adjustment Layer at the bottom of the Layer palette. I used the Photo Filter with a blue lens at 20% to cool off the graphic. And that’s it!

15c-filter

When all is said and done, we have a very tweakable poster ready for print. Keep in mind that you can complete all of these steps with a completely original design. Use a different shape, a different font, a different layout, colors, or background and you have your own interesting typography poster!

final-small

Written by Kate Manhaven

Kate Manhaven is a graphic artist who works with PrintPlace.com, an online printing company that offers business cards, postcard printing and poster printing services. She spends her free time either wakeboarding or snowboarding whenever the season permits.


Share This :

I PROUDLY PRESENT

YOUR COMMENTS! I LOVE 'EM

sriganesh.m March 13, 2012,22:01

The final output is amazing and easy to follow

Tutorial Lounge March 18, 2012,23:18

helping tutorials and creative design.

Imran Haider April 13, 2012,12:56

Wow this is really very cool and creative tutorial

thesuhu April 17, 2012,11:51

cool, thanks man

ArabTecno – Breathe Intelligence – 40 High Quality Typographic Poster Design Tutorials November 14, 2012,04:46

[...] How to Create a Typographical Shape for Posters [...]

LEAVE A COMMENT

AND MAKE ME HAPPY

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

Name*

Email*

Website

Comment

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Community News

Recent Comments

    • Shawn Rubel : Thanks guys, easy to follow tips that will come in handy for... more
    • Shawn Rubel : Derek, if you've got the time, it would be nice to see a ... more
    • Shawn Rubel : Great stuff, I'm always trying to follow these aspects whene... more
    • Dani : Trimakasih Pak.. Izin unduh ya... more
    • Dani : Motif-motif batiknya bagus sekali Pak. Mksh sudah mempostin... more

Powered by:

Content Distribution Network

Twitter: ArtfanDesign