Create a Lo-Fi poster in Photoshop

I have long wanted to create a poster in the style of low-fi, which is usually associated with punk-rock groups or revolutionary propaganda, but could not decide on what to build your design. Then I saw the trailer of the movie Outcast One and realized that this lesson needs a Star Wars theme! Follow with me to create a grunge propaganda poster of the Rebel Alliance in Adobe Photoshop with dirty textures, a spray effect and a sense of cheapness.

The design that we will create in this lesson is a loud opposition message from the Rebel Alliance. I made it in the style of cheap flyers and posters of underground movements. They are based on budget production methods (applications, hand-made printing, low-quality photocopies). We will create 100% digital work, but using hand-made materials that will help achieve the aesthetics of the collage.

Step 1

Let’s start with the paper texture. Open it in Photoshop, then press Ctrl + A to select everything. Right click and select Transform selection (Transform Selection). Hold down the Alt key and drag off the selection, leaving the border. Fill the selection with color # dcbd88, change Blend mode (Blending mode) on Multiplication (Multiply).

Step 2

Find the image of Darth Vader and paste it into the working paper. We will rebel against copyright and hope the Disney Empire will not strike back! Discolor the image, then go to the menu Filter> Noise> Add Noise (Filter> Noise> Add Noise). Enter 5%, check the box According to Gauss (Gaussian) and Monochrome (Monochromatic).

To give a photo a photocopy effect, go to Filter> Sharpen> Smart Sharpen (Filter> Sharpen> Smart Sharpen), set the settings: Effect (Amount) 400% Radius (Radius) 15 px, Reduce noise (Reduce Noise) 0%.

Step 3

Use Polygonal Lasso (Polygonal Lasso) to roughly circle a Vader circuit, then go to the menu Selection> Invert (Select> Inverse). Click Backspace, removing the background.

Choose a brush from the lesson materials, adjust the angle and size on the panel Brush (Brushes panel) and close part of Darth Vader’s face.

Step 4

Now let’s add some hand-drawn text. I use the wonderful font Againts with a sloppy style.

Previously, to get realistic typography, you had to manually draw and scan text. Now many premium fonts have alternate characters so that duplicate letters look different.

Step 5

Insert a photo of attack aircraft under Vader, change the size so that they are visible on both sides of the head. Since we need a cheap look, even a low resolution image will do. Discolor photo, add five% noise, exactly as in the previous steps.

Add a Smart Sharpen (Smart Sharpen), but this time with The amount of (Amount) 250%. This will avoid white light shades.

Use Polygonal Lasso (Polygonal Lasso) to create a stroke around the attack aircraft – you get the effect of rough scissor cutting. Then Invert (Inverse) selection and remove the background.

Step 6

Select one of the brushes among the downloaded materials, change its size under the attacker’s head. Change the angle by setting the brush diagonally, then make two strokes to make a cross. Change brushes each time to avoid repeats.

Step 7

Open the original paper texture, make a rough rectangular selection with Polygonal Lasso (Polygonal Lasso). Copy and paste this part into a working paper.

Use the tool Text (Type tool) to add labels. For these posters, random letters were often taken from newspapers, but we use the Blackout Noon font. It perfectly conveys the effect of low quality printing.

Click Ctrl + T, to carelessly fit a strip of paper under the text. Turn the caption and paper slightly to enhance the feeling of handwork.

Step 8

Double click on the paper strip layer, create an effect. Shadow (Drop Shadow) with these settings: black, Blend mode (Blending Mode) Linear dimmer (Linear Burn), Opacity (Opacity) 35%, Bias (Distance) 2 px, Swipe (Spread) 1 px, The size (Size) 3 px. This will give the appearance that the text was cut out and pasted onto the page as a collage.

Step 9

Continue to write the phrase “Destroy the Empire”, using separate text elements for each word so that they are rotated and shifted in their own way. Add a paper strip under them and create shadows.

The same effect can be applied elsewhere, only the paper needs to be inverted (Ctr + I), and make the text white.

Step 10

Download the rebel logo and paste it into the document. Click with the key pressed Ctrl over the layer thumbnail, generating its selection. Go to Select> Modify> Feather (Select> Modify> Feather). Install Radius (Radius) 10 px, then hide the layer.

Step 11

Create a new layer, use paintbrush brushes, filling the selection with red color (# cc0705). Gently paint over the selection so that it is not filled with a solid color.

Select a sprayed paintbrush, reduce the size and leave a trail of dripping paint.

Again, generate a selection of the logo layer, then use a brush-brush and gently fill the selection areas, making the edges more distinct.

Cut down Fill (Fill) layer up to 96%, allowing the elements under the logo to appear slightly through. This will complete the stencil effect.

Step 12

Insert a copy of the imperial logo, then draw a circle with the tool Ellipse (Ellipse tool). Set a wide red stroke, creating the base of the “no” symbol.

Draw a diagonal line to complete the symbol (the thickness of the line must match the thickness of the circle). Then select both layers Rasterize (Rasterize) them, then click Ctrl + E to combine.

Generate the selection of the layer with the symbol, feather and repeat the previous steps again to get the stencil effect.

Step 13

Repeat the process for the Empire logo, but this time use black for contrast with the red symbol. Due to the smaller size and more details, set feathering to 5 px.

Step 14

To complete the work and add more grunge textures, duplicate the background paper layer, then drag it to the very top of the layer panel. Add a 5% Noise (Noise).

Change the blending mode to Multiplication (Multiply) add filter “Smart Sharpen (Smart Sharpen), highlighting the details and improving the contrast. Look at the result and correct amount (Amount) to get the desired result – a value of 100% gives an excellent mixture of grainy tones, but it does not spoil the work too much.

The final result perfectly conveys the style of grunge flyers and revolutionary posters, repeating low-standard production methods in digital format with a variety of materials and filters. The limited color palette, the effects of Xerox, as well as the collage style – all this enhanced the visual aesthetics, making the Rebel Alliance look like real anarchists of the galaxy!

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