Creating typographic collage in Photoshop

Have you ever wondered about creating an unusual text design, but using images? Creating a text using a collage technique can be a great solution. Here is what you need to keep in mind in order to get a successful result during the lesson:

1) Unbiased attitude. You should easily move objects from place to place until you find the best place for them in the overall composition. You should not get stuck on one position of objects.

2) A clear view of the composition. Thanks to this, you can easily imagine where this or that composition object should be located, and what should be around it.

3) Many, many quality photos from free stocks. You are not going to take images from Google for your work. This is always a bad idea. The author of the image can see his work in your collage and file a lawsuit against you. I would advise using istockphoto or sxc.hu sites, they are a good place to start. Also for these purposes, a very good flickr site (if you ask permission from photographers to use their work).

4) Patience. It takes a long time to form a typographic collage. The main thing is not to give up and bring the work to mind.

5) Basic knowledge of Photoshop. This tutorial uses the tool. Pen (Pen), Blending modes, Transform tools and other filters and effects.

Before you begin, you should think in detail about your collage and think about whether a typographic collage is really suitable for your project. This type of collage is well suited for full-color or four-color printing. Keep in mind, if you, for example, will print this collage using the silk screen printing method, such printing will be quite expensive for you.

Step 1. Preparation: Printing text and editing photos

So, let’s begin. The first thing we need to do is to define a composition, in other words, we need to write a text that will act as the basis for us. In this case, I use the Sign Painter font provided by House Industries. Let’s write something short. Fly (Fly) – a fairly simple word, only three letters. It is perfectly emphasized by the images of birds, so we will work with their images.

Step 2

The next thing to do is to find the image and delete the background. I will show how to do this on one example, but for the whole collage I needed, in general, about 30-40 images. For the image with the pelican I applied the technique of cutting with the tool. Pen (Pen) (created a stroke along the contour of the pelican).

Step 3

Now that the contour is complete, I right-click and select the item from the drop-down menu. Create selection (Make Selection) to create a pelican selection.

Step 4

Then i go to the menu Allotment (Select) – Refine edge (Refine Edge). I need to be sure that the edges of the bird are clean and flat, that there is nothing outside of them.

Here are the settings that I applied to this photo, but for each individual photo they will be individual, that is, you will need to play with each setting in order to achieve the result you need.

Step 5

So, after clarifying the edges of the selection, I need to separate the pelican from the background. Press Cmd / Ctrl + J to create a new layer for the selection. Now the pelican is located on a separate layer. See how clean the edges are.

Create a layer under the pelican layer and fill it with bright color. This will help to see all the shortcomings, if any. I did not try to make the edges perfectly smooth, because the shortcomings around the edges will be hidden by other images, but they should not look too bad.

Step 6. Forming letters

I cut a number of birds from various images and put them in the main document. It is more convenient for me, so that all of them were visible in the document, so that it would be easier to understand which of them would be better suited in this or that case. It looks like a palette of colors. I also prefer to convert all images into smart objects, so I can scale them as I want. This increases the file size, but allows you to keep the properties of the images unchanged.

Now start forming letters using images. Analyze the photos, see which image is best suited for the formation of the first letter. For example, we use the wing for the “handle” of the letter F. Again, do not limit yourself to the fact that this particular image should be in this place. You may find something better.

Also do not be afraid to edit the image. You can only use part of the bird, if it is better suited otherwise. Also, for this image, do not bother about the color. It seems to me that a random splash of flowers from different birds will allow us to create a bright image as a result. Let’s go back to the lesson.

Step 7

As I noted in the previous step, do not be afraid to edit images. The deformation tool is perfect to fit some part of the bird under the shape of a letter. In this case, I used the tool Deformation (Warp) (Editing (Edit) – Transformation (Transform) – Deformation (Warp)) to bend the shape of the letter L.

Step 8

Continue forming letters using images, paying attention to how they overlap each other. Do not need to use too many images. They should only overlap slightly. I also prefer to use large images to form letters, and I use the rest to fill in the gaps. I like these spaces filled with bright images that are located behind large objects.

Step 9

You also need to carefully select images for specific parts of the letters. For example, the head and beak of a toucan fit perfectly into the bottom of an upper Y.

Step 10

At this stage, I have already filled all the gaps with images of birds. It took me a lot of patience to superimpose images, shape them and put them together.

I also constantly think about whether all the objects are in place. I moved some of them to another place, deleted some, made some more, etc.

Step 11. Post-processing: adding elements and vintage effect

So, I completed the work on the collage. Now you need to clean and organize the file. Delete all layers that are not used in the collage and group the objects for each letter into a separate folder. So, now that everything is in order for me, I save the file and move on to post-processing. I want to add clouds to the background. To do this, create a layer under our text and fill it with a bright blue color. Then, we find an image with clouds.

Now separate the clouds from the background. It will be a mockery to cut out clouds with a tool. Pen (Pen), use instead channels (channels). First you need to discolor the image – Cmd / ctrl + Shift + U. Then go to menu Picture (Image) – Corrections (Adjustments) – Levels (Levels) or press Cmd / Ctrl + L. Make sure that there is a very high contrast between the sky and the clouds. It should turn out like this:

Step 12

Then go to the panel Channels (Channels). Cmd / Ctrl + click on the RGB channel thumbnail. This action will highlight the brightest areas of the image, in this case, it will be clouds.

Step 13

Loan, we need to see how the selection works. Create a new layer and fill it with bright color. Then another layer, fill it with black and place under the layer with new clouds.

Now we can move the clouds to our collage and paint them in white. Adjust their position so that they are in harmony with the collage.

Step 14

To color in harmony with each other, add color correction Color balance (Color Balance). Since the background is blue, I will add a light blue color to all the objects in the collage. Not in the sense that everything is filled with blue, but only to give a light haze so that all the colors go a little blue.

Add a bit of noise and particles to give a slight vintage effect. Yes, today this effect is a super trend, but we will not dwell on it at all. Just add a slight reminder of this effect. First you need to copy all the layers and merge them into one. This will be your filter layer. Then add noise. Filter (Filter) – Noise (Noise) – Add noise (Add Noise). Here are the settings that I applied, you expose at your discretion:

Step 15

Then apply Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur). Filter (Filter) – Blur (Blur) – Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur).

Step 16

We turn to clever sharpness. Filter (Filter) – Sharpness (Sharpen) – Smart Sharpen (Smart Sharpen). Again, here are the parameters that I applied. Experiment with your image. Ensure that the Remove option is selected Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur).

And here is the result.

Too strong effect, as it seems to me, therefore I reduce Opacity (Opacity) up to 40%.

Step 17

I create another layer, fill it with a pale yellow color, set Blend mode (Blending mode) on Multiplication (Multiply) and install Opacity (Opacity) by 60%.

That’s all. Here are some more examples of typographic collage:

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