Photoshop & Illustrator tutorial: Create retro poster art

How to blend retro imagery and colour schemes with digital technology

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Step 5 Next, create some solid geometric shapes. A great way to get interesting results from shapes is to create your own custom grid. Open Illustrator and line up some diagonal lines with some vertical, and while holding down Alt/Opt, drag the cursor across. Continue until you have a grid.

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Step 6 One way of achieving interesting effects is by creating your own brushes in Illustrator. Play about with some ideas that might work well as a brush – such as a dotted line – then go to Brushes > New Brush > New Art Brush.

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Step 7 Back in Photoshop, we want to give the impression that light is exploding from the computer screen. Take a large soft-edged brush with the hardness set at 0, then using a bright white colour click over the screen. Double-click on the layer in the Layer Palette to open up the blending options and select Outer Glow, setting the size to 51%, range to 55% and opacity to 61%. Repeat this on a new layer, changing the contour’s preset to Cove – Deep and the opacity to 70%. Add some vibrant shapes underneath the blurred layers.

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Step 8 To further intensify the look of something exploding from the computer screen, take a textured stock image such as the one I downloaded from Photos To Go at bit.ly/6571Ec. Press Shift + Cmd/Ctrl + U to desaturate the image. Next, select Filter > Blur > Radial Blur, setting the method to Zoom, the amount to 100 and the quality to Best. Erase the edges with a large soft brush, set the opacity to 47% and set the image in the centre of the screen.

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