Shop Talk

How to Make a Typography Poster in Photoshop

Making a typography poster in Photoshop, is easier than it seems and it looks quite snazzy. By following these simple steps and applying these principles, you can make pretty much any poster, card, infographic, or print you can imagine. All you need for this tutorial is a copy of Photoshop or similar editing software (you can also do this using Adobe Illustrator), a large chunk of text you like, and some sort of interesting vector image.

1. Make a new background image

Make a new image that’s nice and chunky, I went with 1200 wide x 800 high, however depending on how big you want to print your image, plan accordingly.

2. Create a text box and paste in your words

Create a text box that covers the entire canvas and goes over the edges a little. Make sure the text runs to the edge, it looks kind of odd if you have background space near the edges.

3. Slightly rotate the text and change its opacity

By leaving some text overhanging around the canvas you can tilt it to your heart’s content. Play around here with positioning, angles, and the opacity of the words (heavy enough to read, light enough to not be too black and dominating). Ideally you want your text to be readable but you also want it todiffuse in a subtle way in the background.


4. Choose your colors

Choose a background color and use the paint bucket to fill the background layer. While you’re at this step, take a moment to choose your entire color palette. It’s better to plan ahead — so ask yourself what color you’d like the vector image to be, or if you’d prefer to change your text, do so now. You could open up another image and play around with your palette to make sure it’s spot on.

5. Insert your vector image

I inserted it as a Smart Object and did the resizing straight away. Now is the time to get the scale, size, and angle just right. I made the vector image slightly off-center like the background text. Let your creativity run wild and do what suits your project. As long as it looks ace.

6. Change text color overlay on your vector

Once your vector Smart Object is in place, hit Command (on an Apple) and click on the layer in the right-hand side layer menu. You’ll find that your vector image looks like it has ants crawling all over it, this is a good thing. Hide your Smart Object and go to the menu “Layer” and choose “Rastersize layer”. Then hit “Cut” then “Paste”. You’ll see you’ve cut out the Smart Object and the text that was inside the crawling ant lines. Reposition the layer so it lines up with the background text.

Now you can click on the layer icon on the right-hand side layer menu to bring up the “Layer Style” menu. You can adjust the color of the text on your Smart Object to make it different from your background text. In our example we made the text in the smart object much lighter — a dusty grey so it pops out from the background text.

7. Make a subtle vignette

To finish off the image, make a subtle vignette around your image. There are many different ways to do this, but I’ve chosen an oldie, by selecting the “Elliptical Marquee” tool and making a large oval across the middle of the image that I want to leave un-vignetted. Then, right-click “Control” and choose “Select Inverse”. You should see an ugly, scary, black vignette that is tremendously unsubtle. Simply select “Filter” and “Gaussain Blur” and adjust the sliding bar to your vignette-range of choice. You can adjust these vignette levels, as well as any other opacity levels to give yourself the best image possible.

Have you had any success making a typographic poster? Have you got any favorite RB images that use a lot of wonderful wordy words? Please share your work, and the work of others in the comments below.