Create a poster design in the style of the 80s in Photoshop

What we will create:

Today we use the GoMedia “80s” texture set to create a poster design in retro style. We will use several vector illustrations from this set to create a highly detailed design with lots of great light effects and textures.

Let’s start our work by taking a look at the poster that we will create:

Note: The source of the lesson is missing some images. In the archive you will find an alternative version of the materials for the lesson.

Step 1

Create a new document in Photoshop with a size of 21.59 by 27.94 cm, and a resolution of 300 dpi (300 dpi).

Fill our canvas with a dark, deep purple color (# 0b0513).

We load the background image of the Base Nebula Image from the section with additional materials for this lesson.

Place this image on top of your main background layer, masking the bottom of the nebula so that our purple background can show through.

Then overlay the image of Nebula Fog Nebula from additional materials. Lower level opacity (Opacity) of this layer to 20% and change blending mode (blend mode) on Multiplication (Multiply).

This will help create a beautiful multi-layer background:

Download the Image of Nebula # 2 (Messy Nebula) from the section with additional materials for this lesson.

Place this image above the center of your canvas and change blending mode (blend mode) on Overlap (overlay). Then apply layer mask (layer mask) and a soft black tassel mask the edges of this nebula, so that smooth transitions to the main background are obtained.

Step 2

It’s time to add more color!

Select the Gradient tool and drag the linear gradient from the bottom of the canvas up, pre-setting the range of colors from 6bb9bf to transparent.

Then change the blending mode for this layer to Linear light (linear light) and reduce it opacity (opacity) up to 45%. This should give a slight luminosity effect at the bottom of your composition.

Create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + N), take a large soft purple brush (# 98499b) and draw a color spot in the center of your canvas:

Choose a tool Gradient (gradient tool) and set the type Mirror gradient (reflected gradient).

Make sure your gradient goes from transparent to white. Stretch it from the center of your canvas to create a line of white light across your composition.

Set the blending mode to Overlap (overlay). This will create a pretty light effect:

Step 3

Now download the free images for this GoMedia 80s Texture Pack lesson (see additional materials).

This set includes a magnificent set of vector illustrations in the style of the 80s, which you will need to complement our today’s lesson, as well as a source file with which you can consult in detail at each step.

We start with the transfer of the vector illustration of the floor grid to our main canvas.

Apply to her Color overlay (Color overlay). Color white (#ffffff).

Then save this layer as a smart object (translator’s note: to do this, right-click on the layer and select in the pop-up menu Convert to smart object (Convert to smart object)). This is very important for non-destructive workflow, i.e. so that everything that was applied to the layer before was not disturbed by subsequent impacts. You will need to save all subsequent vector illustrations used in this lesson as smart objects in order to preserve their quality.

Now change the blending mode to Overlap (overlay) and mask the upper part of our grid in such a way that the effect of disappearance (smooth dissolution) of the grid in our background is obtained.

Also apply one of the blending options to the mesh layer: External glow (outer glow).

The settings for the external glow are as follows:

  • Blend mode (Blend Mode): Overlap (Overlay)
  • Opacity (Opacity): 27%
  • Colour (Color): ffffff
  • Swipe (Spread): 0%
  • The size (Size): 27%

Now hold down the CTRL key and click on the layer with the grid. This will highlight our grid.

With the selection active, create a new layer (ctrl + shift + N) and name it “Backlight mesh” (highlight grid).

Use a soft white brush to paint over the areas of your mesh that you would like to give a glowing effect.

Change the blending mode for the layer with mesh to Overlap (overlay). This should give a dispersion effect to the backlight.

Step 4

Use the same technique as in the 3rd step to transfer the curved mesh from the set with downloaded vector illustrations to our composition.

Place it in the center of your canvas and set the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (overlay):

Using the same method, transfer one of the 3D vector rectangles to our composition, placing it between two grids:

Again, change the blending mode for the mesh layer to Overlap (overlay) and lower opacity (opacity) layer to about 40%.

Now duplicate this layer twice, shifting each copy as shown in the screenshot below. It is necessary to reduce the size of these copies, respectively, the image and reduce their opacity.

This arrangement will allow us to create a stepped effect, as if the rectangle is moving towards us:

Now take the tool Polygonal Lasso (polygonal lasso tool) and with its help select the top panel of the largest rectangle.

Create a new layer (ctrl + shift + N) and drag a linear gradient (from white to transparent) on it down the entire length of the rectangle.

Set the blending mode to Overlap (overlay), and you get a really cool 3D lighting effect:

Now let’s go back to the highlighting technique that we implemented in Step 3. Apply the same technique to our volumetric rectangle, adding a few nice highlights to the main edges of our volumetric structure:

Step 5

Repeat the technique used in step 4 to create more volumetric figures with beautiful backlighting all over your canvas. Do not be afraid to experiment with layer opacity and light effects – create a composition that you like:

Step 6

We return to our set of free vector illustrations and load a cool vector logo in the form of a triangle.

Transfer it to your canvas, centering it at the top of your composition:

Now apply a few blending options (blending options) to our logo (For this you need to apply Layer style (Layer Style) by double-clicking on the layer with our wind logo).

Shadow (Drop Shadow):

  • Blend mode (Blend Mode): Multiplication (Multiply)
  • Opacity (Opacity): 12%
  • Angle (Angle): 120
  • Distance (Distance): 5px
  • Swipe (Spread): 0%
  • The size (Size): 10px

External glow (Outer Glow):

  • Blend mode Blend Mode: Overlap (Overlay)
  • Opacity (Opacity): 100%
  • Colour (Color): 68374b
  • Swipe (Spread): 12%
  • The size (Size): 172px

Color overlay (Color Overlay):

  • Blend mode (Blend Mode): Normal (Normal)
  • Colour (Color): ffffff
  • Opacity (Opacity): 100%

Step 7

It’s time to add even more illumination of outer space in the central area of ​​our composition!

Add a few spots with a soft white tassel around the center of your canvas. Then change the blending mode of this layer to Overlap (overlay):

Now draw a central white line on the canvas using a large soft white brush. Also change the blending mode of this overlap layer to make blending better.

Step 8

Again we return to the previously downloaded set and find there a magnificent Rubik’s Cube. We insert it in the center of our composition:

Create a new layer, call it “squares” (squares) and using the tool “Magic wand” (magic wand tool) select the different squares of your Rubik’s cube. Fill these highlighted squares with a rich red color (# f15d66) (So, as shown in the image below).

Now apply overlay parameter (blending option) Color overlay (color overlay) to the original cube layer using color (# b3509e).

Copy the original Rubik’s Cube, place it over these two layers and set its blending mode to Multiplication (Multiply). This means that the black outlines will be visible, and the white fill will become invisible, thereby showing the colored squares under it. You can also apply an effect to this layer. External glow (Outer glow) with white color (#ffffff).

Paste one of the images of the nebula above the Rubik’s Cube layer and apply clipping mask (clipping mask) so that the image of the nebula is visible only within the shape of our cube.

Change the blending mode of this layer to Multiplication (multiply) and lower opacity (opacity) up to 40%.

To finish our work with the cube, apply some more textures with the image of the nebula to certain surfaces of the cube. Then use several new layers to apply white light spots above the cube (use a mixture of “normal” and “overlap” blend modes for layers with light spots).

Step 9

To bring the focus to the center of our composition, we need to add a vignette effect. Use a soft black brush to paint over the corners / edges of your composition.

Below is the result:

Step 10

It is time to add a cool retro style text to our composition!

Use the free Space Age font to add a title for our poster. Then create a subtle shadow and reflection effect. This can be achieved by turning the text, painting it black and reducing its opacity:

Step 11

The design of our poster is almost ready, but now let’s combine all the elements together and create several overlays in retro style.

We start by applying three adjustment layers:

Correction layer Gradient map (Gradient Map)

  • Gradient (Gradient): From Purple to Orange
  • Blend mode (blend mode): Overlap (Overlay)
  • Opacity (Opacity): 15%

Correction layer Levels (Levels):

15 / 1.00 / 247

Correction layer Curves (Curves):

(see screenshots below)

Insert a paper texture with colors from additional materials and position it so that it completely covers your canvas.

Change the blending mode for this new layer to Multiplication (multiply) and reduce it opacity (opacity) up to 50%.

Finally, load the cardboard texture from the additional materials, and arrange it so that it also completely covers your canvas. Change the blending mode for this new layer to Overlap (overlay) and reduce opacity (opacity) up to 40%.

This should give your composition a final vintage effect.

Congratulations! You have finished your work.

Here you can admire your final result.

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