How to Create a Book Cover Design

Let’s create a striking history book cover about antique war stories with the Hard to Kill Vector Pack

How to Create a Book Cover Design

Well hello there dear readers! Simon here, ready to walk you through my process to create a striking book cover with our latest vector pack release, the hard to kill vector pack. We’ll look at the pack elements, how to pick, choose, and arrange them to craft a design.

Purchase the Pack

The brief

Our role today is to create a book cover for a collection of ancient warrior stories. The collection includes stories from antique Athens and Sparta. We’ll need to have a good centerpiece graphic element, as well as include the two parts title: “Ancient warrior stories – Vol. 01: Athens & Sparta.”

Building our concept

While the pre-made designs included in the pack are striking, they don’t quite fit the intent. They are more suited for apparel applications.

We need something striking, but less focused on a lettering element, and more on a visual element. The Spartan helmet will do just fine for that.

The shield will provide a good supporting visual element to anchor the helmet in the frame.

The two circular frames elements will provide additional ornamentation.

We’ll probably add another thing here and there, to tie everything together, but these will be the core of our piece. We’ll also use League Spartan, from the League of Moveable Type, to set our title.

Oh, and for the color scheme? We’ll stick to the white/dark gray/light gray of the pack itself. It’ll challenge us to keep things efficient to maintain legibility, and impact.

Let’s get this show on the road

Step zero: document setup

We’re working on a book cover, assembled from vector elements. We’ll work in Illustrator, in a 6″x9″ format. Note that the color mode has been switched to RGB, to match the color mode of the vector assets.

Step one: background elements!

That one is easy. We need to create a rectangle in a dark gray (#231f20) that covers the whole canvas.

Step two: the warrior helmet and shield

Let’s start with the helmet. Let’s paste it at the center of our document (X: 3″, Y: 4.5″), sized at 4.5″ wide. Let’s reflect it on a vertical axis so it “looks” to the right (right click > Reflect).

Let’s remember to organize/rename our layers, and groups, right away to keep our document clean.

Let’s add the whole shield element (including pattern) into our document. It should be pasted behind the helmet, centered in the document, and sized at 4.9″ wide.

Once the shield properly in placed, we need to adjust the color of its background fill to match the color of our document’s background color (#231f20). The shape in question is the black path at the bottom of the group.

Here’s the result after a quick shot of the eyedropper tool (I).

We’re moving forward, nicely, but the shield’s pattern showing through the helmet’s open areas creates visual tensions. To remedy that, we are going to create a background fill shape by using offset path. With the helmet highlighted, let’s head to Object > Path > Offset path. The dialog box will allow us to create the shape that matches the helmet with an extra 0.25″ added to its edges. Note the round joins for a softer feel.

The function creates a new path, that is the same color than the one used a base. We need to change the color of that path to our background color as well (#231f20).

With that done, and with some layer clean-up later, this is where we’re at.

Step three: the circular frame elements

Adding these in is nothing trickier than giving them their own layer, proper size, and proper order. Let’s start with the more complex of the two, with the pointy elements.

After creating a layer for them placed below the helmet and shield one, it needs to be pasted in centered, and sized at 6.383″ wide.

The second frame is to be pasted behind the first one, centered, and sized at 7.25″ wide.

The various black areas of that second frame need to be changed to our background color (#231f20).

Step four: the text

Adding the text is a walk in the park, thanks to the type on a path tool. Let’s start by creating a centered circle with a diameter of 7.65″ in a new layer.

We’re typing our first part of the title (“ANCIENT WARRIOR STORIES”) on that circle. It’s set in white-colored League Spartan, sized 18 points tall, centered, and tracked at 250.

After creating a second circle, we can add the second part of our title (“VOL. 01: ATHENS & SPARTA”).

The issue we have is the alignment of the text object on its circular path.

The good news is that after double-clicking on the type on a path tool icon in the main toolbar…

….we get access to this option panel, that allows us to change the alignment to ascender, which in turns makes things look a lot better.

With that done, we’re almost done with our cover, as the main elements are in place.

Step five: some fluff for good measure

While our cover’s main elements are in place, the corners are slightly empty at the moment. It can give the impression that our content is floating in the middle of the page. Let’s add some corners elements to visually close the frame around the center piece. The corners of this element will do.

After ungrouping the piece/releasing the compound path, we’ll be able to select the corners in question separately from the rest.

After a bit of clean-up, and selective grouping, we obtain each individual corner element.

They should be pasted at 0.25″ in each direction of the corners, and sized at 1″ wide.

And because we’ve properly named our layers/vector objects, this is what our file organization looks like.

Step six: leveraging our texture library to add a final layer of substance to the mix

To properly wrap this piece up, we are going to add three textures to it to give it some “meat.” First, let’s save a high resolution PSD file of our piece (File > Export > Export as). Note the checked Use artboard box, to trim the elements that are outside the bounds of our canvas.

A few technical notes and reminders

As we embark on the texture side of things, it’s a good time to remember a few base rules, and processes:

  1. Don’t know what a clipped layer is? Glad you asked! This means that the layer is only visible/applies to the layer directly below it. You can very quickly do this by holding ALT down on your keyboard and clicking between the two layers. Here’s a quick demonstration.
  2. Every time we’ll work with textures, we’ll follow this simple process: place as smart object, sharpen1, desaturate, enhance contrast with levels, and modify the blending mode.
  3. Placing the textures as smart objects, and using adjustment layers to tweak them, allows us to stick to a non-destructive workflow. We’ve explored in depth the numerous pros and few cons of such a workflow in this past tutorial: “How to Use Textures The Right Way.”

Notes: 1 – accessed through the Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen menu.

Let’s start with a texture from our vintage paper texture, vol. 01 set.

The texture is vintage-paper-textures-volume-01-sbh-001.jpg.

It’s placed in our PSD file as a smart object, sized up to 165%, rotated 90°, and sharpened.

After being desaturated with a clipped hue/adjustment layer, we’ll be enhancing its contrast with a clipped levels adjustment layer.

And after changing the texture’s blending mode to soft light @ 75% opacity, we’re achieving the first part of our texture effect.

Next is a vignette. I strongly recommend using this lossless vignette technique, found via Design Panoply (#6). The color of my shape layer is our trusty dark gray, #231f20.

Note the 150 pixels feathering value.

After changing the vignette shape blending mode to soft light @ 50% opacity, our effect is achieved.

The last texture we’ll add to the piece is from our photocopy noise texture set.

The texture is the first one in the pack, photocopy-noise-textures-001-sbh.jpg.

That texture is placed centered, and sized up to 100%.

We’re using levels to make the white specks of dust really “pop.”

The result, after changing the texture’s blending mode to screen @ 100%, is quite satisfactory.

And here’s a last look at our layer palette in Photoshop.

Let’s wrap this party up!

Phew, we’re all done! Look at this cover. Let’s mock it up for the client presentation.

I hope that you enjoyed following along the tutorial as much as I enjoyed creating it, and that your outcome matches the goals you set for yourself before diving in.

Did I leave anything unclear? Any suggestions? Don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments below! I’ll be happy to help.

The hard to kill vector pack is now available! Go grab it! If you already have, I hope you enjoy it, and that this tutorial gave you a sense of what you’ll be able to accomplish with it.

Purchase the Pack

And on that note, I’ll see you next time. Cheers!

Grab the March 2018 Arsenal Product Bundle

Graphic Design Bundle

It’s a great month to be a member of Go Media’s Arsenal subscription. Not only do you have access to our entire library for only $15/mth, but you are able to download this month’s special graphic design bundle of products at no extra charge.

Members: Download now (no extra charge)

Not an Arsenal Member yet? Join now and gain instant access to our entire library, including this bundle, for only $15.

Get it for $15 when you subscribe

Not interested in our membership? No worries. You can still purchase this bundle for 60% off the original price, now through 3/31/3018 – or the individual products inside of it, on their own.

What’s Included in this Graphic Design Bundle by Go Media’s Arsenal:

Graphic Design Bundle

Graphic Design Bundle: March 2018 Arsenal Product Bundle

Members: Download now (no extra charge)

Get it for $15 when you subscribe

free slime textures

Download: Free Slime Textures

Presenting Free Slime Textures

Introducing the Slime Texture Pack, created by young creative BearCubSlimes. The eight free slime textures included in this pack are high-resolution photography of homemade slime, some of which are available on her shop on Etsy. These textures give photography or design work an extra edge, so download them and see what you can create with them today.

Slime Textures 1
Slime Textures 2

For more awesome textures like these, head to our eCommerce site, the Arsenal.

Tutorial: Rockin’ Some Radical Glitch Effects in PS (plus 4 Free TV Glitch Textures just for YOU)

TV Glitch Effects: Makin’ Em in PS (& Free TV Glitch Textures, Too!)

So guys, we’re kind of obsessed with these tv glitch textures we’ve been seeing around town lately. So, we created some for you to use and apply to your work right now.

Download: 4 Free TV Glitch Textures by Go Media’s Arsenal 

We also thought you might like to learn how to apply your own glitch effect on photos in Photoshop. So stick around and we’ll create some magic together.

Ready, set…

Step 1

Choose your photo and open it up in PS.

Something about this photo really called to me. Can’t put my finger on it.

5282951160_8a261e63a4_o

Step 2

Press play.

Step 3

Open up your channels panel, then highlight your red panel.

2

Step 4

From your menu options, select Filter > Distort > Shear

3

Step 5

Using the points given, create a soft wave.

In the “Undefined Areas,” section, select “Repeat Edge Pixels,” then select “Ok” to Save.

4

Step 6

Look back at your channels panel. Make sure all of your colors are selected now. What do you think? Love what you see? Want more cowbell?

5

If you’re craving more glitch, select your green panel and repeat the process we completed in Step 5.

6

Step 7

And, you guessed it! Feel free to repeat with the blue color channel as well.

Play with it until you’re satisfied.

7

Step 8

Last, let’s go Filter > Noise > Add Noise. Crank that up as high as you’d like (Gaussian) and Ok to Save.

8

Step 8

Boom! You’re done! Mock that beautiful art up on a MockupEverything.com or Arsenal template and call it a day. I salute you!

final-final

Hope you guys had fun. What freebie textures, what tutorials do you want us to create next? Please let us know in the comments section below!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will’s hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Introducing Justin Will’s Sci-Fi vector pack!

Hello, dear Zine reader! It’s Simon on this end of the keyboard for a new tutorial. This time, we’ll have a close look at how to use Justin Will’s hand drawn Sci-Fi vector pack.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The pack features a lot of the typical elements of a good Sci-Fi story: robots, crazy laboratory contraptions, a ray gun, a spaceman, and more! Each of the vectors has been given extra care in its execution to be unique, yet quickly recognizable.The assets all feature this clean, detailed, yet almost child-like treatment to them.

Untitled-1

DOWNLOAD JUSTIN’S SCI-FI VECTOR PACK NOW!

Arsenal Members, you get this pack at no extra charge! (Feels like your birthday, doesn’t it?)

Technical notes

We’ll be using mostly Photoshop CC for the tutorial, but any version of Photoshop past CS3 should be fine. Note also that I’m working on a Windows-based system, but other than visual appearance and slightly different keyboard shortcuts, that will not have any impact on the process we’ll go through. We’ll use Illustrator only to open the vector asset, and to paste it in our Photoshop document.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

We are going to work extensively with textures. It’s a good time to remind you guys of a few base rules, and processes:

  1. Don’t know what a clipped layer is? Glad you asked! This means that the layer is only visible/applies to the layer directly below it. You can very quickly do this by holding ALT down on your keyboard and clicking between the two layers. Here’s a quick demonstration.
  2. Every time we’ll work with textures, we’ll follow this simple process: place as smart object, sharpen1, desaturate, enhance contrast with levels, and modify the blending mode.
  3. Placing the textures as smart objects, and using adjustment layers to tweak them, allows us to stick to a non-destructive workflow. We’ve explored in depth the numerous pros and few cons of such a workflow in this past tutorial: “How to Use Textures The Right Way.”

Notes: 1 – accessed through the Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen menu

So, what are we going to build?

Given the comic book/children’s book illustration style of the assets, we wanted the final output to fit these realms. After some experimentation, and a dozen thumbnail sketches, here are the two main ideas that came to life: a NASA recruitment poster, and a book cover for a (fake) children’s book called “The gentle robot.” I worked with color pencils to establish a color palette right away.

The slightly colder blue and green hues of the robot’s body contrast nicely with the warmer orange background.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

In this concept, the orange space suit of the astronaut contrasts with the colder dark blue and magenta of the deep space behind him.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

After discussion, we decided to focus on the children’s book cover: it felt truer to the asset, and to the desired target audience.

We’ll need to grab a few things before we start

Good news! Aside from the vector asset, all the things you’ll need for the tutorial are free resources. We also decided to make two textures from the Arsenal available as freebies, so you wouldn’t be hindered in the completion of the piece. The assets you’ll need to get are textures, available from the Lost and Taken archives, as well as from the Lost and Taken Flickr stream.

The first texture is Grey_Grunge4.jpg, from Lost and Taken’s five grey texture pack. Pro tip: grab the whole set, all of these are great.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The next texture is LT_Microscopic35mmFilm_02.JPG, from the seven microscopic film textures pack.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Next, is Vintage_Paper_7.jpg, from the early 20th century paper textures set.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The following asset is DigitalNoise_05.jpg, from the digital noise textures pack.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Next, brown16, from Lost and Taken’s Flickr stream. Pro tip: remember to always download the highest possible size, or better yet, the original size, when grabbing textures from Flickr.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Next, free_high_res_texture_455, also from Lost and Taken’s Flickr stream.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The last two textures that interest us have generously been made available as freebies by Go Media’s Arsenal. Pro tip: become a member today, for access to thousands of design assets, for only $15 a month.

The first texture is vintage-paper-textures-volume-01-sbh-005.jpg, from the Vintage Paper Textures, Volume 1 set.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The second freebie is metal-dumpster-textures-021-sbh.jpg, from the metal dumpster texture pack.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

DOWNLOAD THE FREEBIE ARCHIVE

Document setup

Since we are working on a book cover, we are going to work within a document with different measurements from our typical 18″x24″. One of the most popular book cover sizes is 6″x9″, which is an aspect ratio of 2:3.

Our document will have a one inch bleed/safe zone around it, to account for trimming and other production constraints. This means that instead of being 6″x9″ on the nose, it’ll be 8″x11″.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The next step is to add a few guides. We’ll use them to mark the actual cover’s size, as well as the center of our canvas. I’m using Photoshop CC’s New Guide Layout feature to generate these rapidly.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Note: if you don’t have the CC version of Photoshop, you can leverage the power of GuideGuide to accomplish the grid-related tasks quickly. The current version isn’t free, but older versions are.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Additionally, we can also add guides to mark a half inch zone within the safe zone. These will help us not to stick our content too close to the edges of the cover.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

With that done, we can get started with the real thing.

Building up the background

The first step is to fill the background layer with a pale orange, #fde2c6.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The first texture we’ll use is brown16 (5025205871_cab14db56b_o.jpg).

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

It needs to be placed as a smart object, centered in the canvas, and scaled down to 52%. That way, it will fit well within the final format of the cover (6″x9″).

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

After sharpening the texture (Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen), we need to desaturate the texture using a clipped hue/saturation adjustment layer.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Next, we need to use a clipped levels adjustment layer to adjust the texture’s details.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Finally, we need to change the blending mode of the texture to soft light @ 85% opacity.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The next texture is LT_Microscopic35mmFilm_02.JPG.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

It needs to be centered in the canvas, rotated 90° clockwise, and scaled down to 17%.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

After sharpening, and desaturating, we need to use a clipped curves adjustment layer to invert the texture.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The trick to invert the texture is to use the negative preset in the drop down menu.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Then, a clipped levels adjustment layer to tweak the texture.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Finally, we need to change the blending mode to soft light @ 85% opacity.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Our background is set. Now, we need to organize our layers better.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The robot

As we want to build the book cover for a story about a robot, we need to bring the said robot in our piece. Let’s open the vector set in Illustrator.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Our robot is second from the left in the first row.

the-shop-go-media-sci-fi-vectors-tutorial-001-300x300

It needs to be placed in our document as a smart object, scaled up to 225%, and located precisely at X: 4″, and Y: 7″.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The next step is to give the robot a bright blue color overlay (#78c8d8).

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Now, we need to give some additional colors to the robot. Let’s start by giving it its main color fill. The robot will be a light blue color, #d6f6f1. We need to create a new layer below the robot’s smart object, and to paint the color in carefully, without going over the lines. Given the scale we are working at, a hard, round 100 pixels brush will do just fine. Pro tip: you can use your magic wand (W) to create a selection if you don’t trust the precision of your brush strokes.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The next step is to add a secondary color to the robot. We’ll fill its “hands” and “sleeves” with a pink hue, #dd86a5. Note that we’re filling the area inside the sleeves.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Now, we need to give the robot some depth. We’ll do this by painting a green hue (#bad9ab) in select places, where there would be shadows. The exact positions of the shadows don’t matter, as long as they are consistent.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Also, a small hard brush (between 12 and 18 pixels), and zooming in at 100%, will both be paramount to paint precisely the small details.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The last thing we need to give the robot is a grounding shadow, otherwise it will look like it’s floating in space. We are going to use the ellipse tool (U) for that. The ellipse is 3.75″x0.5″, and located at X: 4″, and Y: 4.35″. Its color is #dd86a5, the same pink hue used for the sleeve and pincers.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

With that done, we can organize our layers some more.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Type

A book cover without a title and author name appearing is not often heard of. Our story is called “The gentle robot,” and was written by Cassia Ovami (internet high five if you find the real author name hidden behind this anagram).

The two typefaces we’ll use for the cover are part of free font families from the Google Fonts project: Open Sans, and Droid Serif. Pro tip: download the whole Open Sans family (Open Sans, Open Sans Condensed), as well as the whole Droid family (Droid Sans, Droid Sans Mono, and Droid Serif).

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Once the fonts have been downloaded, we need to  generate three separate text blocks:

  1. “THE” – set in Droid Serif Bold Italic, that is 24 points tall, with kerning set to metrics, and colored in blue #78c8d8
  2. “GENTLE ROBOT” – set in Open Sans Extrabold, that is 48 points tall, with kerning set to optical, and also colored in blue #78c8d8
  3. “CASSIA OVAMI” – set in Droid Serif Bold Italic, that is 24 points tall, with kerning set to metrics, and colored in #dd86a5

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Here are the position coordinates for each block:

  • THE – X: 4″, and Y: 1.65″
  • GENTLE ROBOT – X: 4″, and Y: 2.30″
  • CASSIA OVAMI – X: 4″, and Y: 3.125″

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

There is an obvious gap between the title, and the author name. We’ll use this space to add a blue rectangular divider. We’ll create it using the rectangle tool (U). The shape is colored in our blue (#78c8d8), and measures 5″x0.1″. It’s placed at X: 4“, and Y: 2.7″.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

With that, our text block is complete.  A bit of layer organization, and we can move on to the finishing touches!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Textures! Textures everywhere!

We’ll approach adding textures to the piece in two phases: first, we need to add some textures to the robot, so it doesn’t clash too much with the background. Then, we’ll add texture that will impact the piece as a whole, visually linking everything together. The process we’ll follow is the same as before (place as smart object, sharpen, desaturate, enhance contrast with levels, and modify the blending mode).

The robot

The first texture we’ll add to the robot is the first of the Arsenal freebie set: vintage-paper-textures-volume-01-sbh-005.jpg.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

It needs to be placed centered in the frame, rotated 90° clockwise, and scaled up 160%. The layer should be located right above the robot smart object in the layer stack, which is why the title block is still visible. Pro tip: the title block layer group can be turned off for a better view of the texture work.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Clipped levels adjustment layer.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Blending mode: soft light @ 100% opacity.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The next texture is the second Arsenal freebie, metal-dumpster-textures-021-sbh.jpg.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

It’s placed at X: 3″, and Y: 7.15″, scaled down to 16%. We also need to rotate it from 180°.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Blending mode: soft light @ 85% opacity.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The last of the three robot texture is Vintage_Paper_7.jpg.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

It’s placed at X: 4″, and Y: 6″, scale untouched.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Blending mode: color burn @ 10% opacity.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Now, we need to limit the impact of these three textures to the robot and its supporting shadow. First, let’s give the textures and their adjustment layers their own layer sub-group.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Next, using the magic wand (W), and with the robot smart object highlighted in the layer palette, we are going to select the empty space around the robot.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Next, we are going to invert the selection (CTRL/CMD+SHIFT+I or Select > Inverse), to select only the robot.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Now, to add the pink supporting shape to our selection, we need to CTRL/CMD+SHIFT+CLICK its thumbnail in the layer palette. CTRL/CMD+CLICK loads a layer’s content as a selection. Using SHIFT as the shortcut modifier tells Photoshop to add that to the currently active selection, rather than create a new one instead.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Finally, we can highlight the robot textures layer sub-group at the bottom of the layer palette, and click on the add layer mask button of the layer palette for a layer mask that limits the textures’ visibility to the robot. Alternatively, we can use the Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal selection menu.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

And with that done, we can move on to the global textures.

Texturing the whole piece

There are three textures in our list that we haven’t used yet, and these are the last three we need to add to the piece.

The first of these textures is free_high_res_texture_455.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

We’ll use it placed centered in the canvas, rotated of 90° clockwise, and scaled down to 52%.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Blending mode: soft light @ 100% opacity.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The next texture is Grey_Grunge4.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

It’s placed centered in the canvas, and scaled down to 27%.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Blending mode: soft light @ 35% opacity.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Finally, the last texture! It’s DigitalNoise_05.jpg.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

It’s centered in the canvas, rotated of 90° clockwise, and scaled down to 18%.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The only adjustment needed here is a clipped curves adjustment layer, set to negative.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Blending mode: soft light @ 65% opacity.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

The piece is now complete. We can organize the layer stack better.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

With that done, it’s time to save a copy of our document, cropped to the final dimensions of the cover (6″x9″).

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

After that, we can mock it up, to get a sense of what it would look like once printed.

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Wrapping things up

Phew, we’re done! I hope that you enjoyed the ride, and that you have learned a few tips here and there to reuse in your own work. If you’ve already grabbed Justin’s Sci-Fi vector pack, I hope that thus tutorial gave you a sense of what you can accomplish with it. If you haven’t, I wonder why you still haven’t!

DOWNLOAD JUSTIN WILL’S SCI-FI VECTOR PACK

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

Do you have questions? Suggestions? Ideas on how to improve the workflow presented here? Please do reach out in the comments below!

How to create a cute robot children book cover with Justin Will's hand drawn Sci-Fi vectors!

You should also share your outcome with us, either in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or by tweeting it to us at @go_media.

And on that note, that’s all for me today. Until next time!

Illustrator and Photoshop Tutorial: Create a cool occult LP jacket with the occult symbols collection!Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection

Illustrator and Photoshop Tutorial: Create a cool occult LP jacket with the occult symbols vector collection!

A dive in the deep end

Hello Zine readers! Simon from The Shop here.

It’s been a while, and I hope you all have had cool things happen since we spoke last. I’m excited to be back here today, and to share my latest Illustrator / Photoshop tutorial with you. We’re going to create a cool album cover with Jeff’s Occult vector collection found on the Go Media Arsenal.

Illustrator and Photoshop Tutorial: Create a cool occult LP jacket with the occult symbols collection!

Illustrator and Photoshop Tutorial: Create a cool occult LP jacket with the occult symbols collection!

Illustrator and Photoshop Tutorial: Create a cool occult LP jacket with the occult symbols collection!

Illustrator and Photoshop Tutorial: Create a cool occult LP jacket with the occult symbols collection!

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

You should get the complete thing. For less than $40, you get a really nice set of assets, that you can re-use in so many projects.

BUY THE OCCULT SYMBOLS COMPLETE COLLECTION

The brief is alas fake, but let me introduce you to the band: they’re called Fiat Lux, and have just released their album Æterna. Imagine a band at the crossroads between Xploding Plastic’s Kissed by a kisser:

This Will Destroy You

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KStWfDdOYlM

And Slipknot’s Vermilion Part II

With these references, we could define the band’s universe as dark, strange, occult, mysterious, and “out there.” From there, it’s time to look at our resources, and to start sketching.

Step 0: conceptualizing

Like I said earlier, our primary resource will be the sweet collection of occult symbols and esoteric elements Jeff designed and recently released on the Arsenal. Let’s have a closer look at the various packs composing the full collection.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection! Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection! Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection! Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection! Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection! Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection! Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection! Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection! Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection! Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection! Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection! Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection! Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection! Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

As you can, the 500+ elements give us quite a range of options to choose from, and of directions to explore. It’s time to break out the pencil and paper, and to find arrangements that fit the band’s universe. After a few hours of playing with combinations, these are the ones I came up with that I liked the most and that I felt were presentable to “the client.”

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

After chatting a bit with Heather, who agreed to play the role of the band, we agreed on the top right design. It looks like a complex design, but is accomplished with only a few elements. It speaks of time (the hourglass), of control and/or the divine and spiritual (the all seeing eye), of mysteries (the keys), of power (the lightning bolts, the crown, and the diamond), of death (the skulls)…

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Now that we have a design, we should execute it, don’t you think?

Step 1: vectors

The design will be assembled and colored in Illustrator, and then textured in Photoshop. This will allow us to get the best of both worlds, when we need it. We need Illustrator’s flexibility and vector manipulation tools to quickly build our layout, while we need Photoshop’s unparalleled abilities to manipulate textures.

File setup

Obviously, that’s where we start. It’s like putting the foundation for our final piece in place. Start by creating a new 15″x15″ document in Illustrator. Most record art is usually delivered at 12.5″x12.5″, so why 15″x15″? The reason why is easy: even though we’re working in vectors, working at size 1:1 (or slightly bigger) helps when you’ll place all of that in Photoshop. Working at 15″x15″ could also help you/your client to quickly re-purpose the art as a print of some kind.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Assets gathering

Next, we need to go through the various packs in the occult collection, and to get all of the assets we’ll need in our Illustrator document. From gma_all-seeing-eyes.ai, we need the bottom left element (all seeing eye with small burst).

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

From gma_esoteric_spiritual_symbols.ai, we need the thin diamond asset.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

From gma_esoteric-misc.ai, we need quite a few: globe, masonic symbol, crown, and hourglass.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

The triangular element comes from gma_hand-drawn-shapes.ai

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

The key asset comes from gma_keys-anchors.ai.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

The skulls are from gma_skulls-crossbones.ai

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

And the lightning bolts are from gma_wings_laurels_lightning.ai

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

And here are all of our assets

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Layout building

Building the layout itself is simple: we’re just sticking to the sketch. Start by organizing the elements as the sketch as them. I also placed guides in place to assist in the process: a series at 1″ of the canvas’ edges, and some to indicate its center. Don’t worry about proportions, or orientations just yet.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

From there, having your sketch in front of you, it’s easy to place and resize elements appropriately. Let’s start with the corner elements. I have them all placed within the guides at 1″ of the piece’s edges. I have up-sized the hourglass slightly, increasing its width to 1″, and also flipped the orientation of the globe (Transform > Reflect > Vertical).

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Next is the “center piece” of our design: the crown/all seeing eye/triangular element combo. I started by increasing the width of the all seeing eye to 5″, and adjusted both the crown and triangular element’s sizes from there. The logic I followed was to give both elements a line thickness comparable to the all seeing eye, which makes them elements of a same ensemble. The crown ended up being 3.5″ wide, and the triangular element 3″ wide.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

In order to make the visual flow of the piece more dynamic, I also turned the triangular element upside-down.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

The top of the crown is aligned with the top horizontal guide. The all seeing eye is aligned so the top of the eye lines up with the horizontal center guide.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Our center piece is ready.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Let’s put the lightning bolts in place next, as they’ll be our cue to align both the skull pair and the key pair. I’m using them to create a visual link from the crown to the triangular element. Each bolt is aligned to its respective guide close to the frame’s edge, as well as roughly vertically centered in the piece. That combination of constrains place the new dimensions of one of the bolts at roughly 4.5″ wide.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

I like the result, but the bolts are too thick and overpowering compared to the rest of the elements. A quick trick is to give them a stroke (aligned to the inside of their shape), and to subtract it using the pathfinder. Let me show you how.

Start by assigning a stroke to both bolts, in order to make their thickness visually more satisfying. I’m using a white stroke, in order to right away get a sense of the results. I’m using 5 points for the stroke thickness.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Once we’re happy with the amount of lightning hidden by the stroke, it’s time to actually delete it. Start by expanding the stroke to make it a vector element (Object > Expand appearance).

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Proceed then to use the Pathfinder’s Merge functionality to effectively fuse the white outline and the black bolt together.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

What the Pathfinder will do is merge the various shapes, and “clean out” the hidden paths.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Once you have done that, you can delete the white shape after selecting it with your direct selection tool (A).

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Apply the same process to the second bolt.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

From there, you can rearrange the bolts to fit the layout better visually. Here’s the before:

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

And here’s the after (with guides). The bolts have been lowered, in order to line up with the triangular element.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

From there, it’s time to finalize the placement of the skulls. I’ve located them between the bolt and the crown. I’ve also flipped the skulls appropriately so they are directed towards the outside of the piece.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

The last piece of our layout puzzle is the pair of skeleton keys. These are rotated 45°, and aligned with the edge of the bolts, as well as with the first “module” of each bolt.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Step 2: colors!

The color palette I chose comes from COLOURlovers, and is called Kabbalah ², which fits right in with our theme.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

The palette features 5 colors, but we’ll only use 4 of them. From left to right:

  • Off white (Yesod), #CCD0BB
  • Tan (kether), #BDBA85
  • Blood red (Kabbalah), #903024
  • Dark purple (gothik kabbalah), #14061D
  • Purple (Kabbalah), #221847

There are quite a few ways to apply a color palette to a piece, and I’ve selected two of them that I sent to my “client.” One features a light background, and the other one a dark one. Both already have an unsettling feel to them, that we’ll further emphasize with textures.

In the first one, the background is our off white, the corner elements are dark purple, the skulls and keys are purple, the lightning bolts are tan, and the center piece elements are blood red.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

In the dark version, the background is dark purple, the corner elements are purple, the skulls and keys are red, the crown, bolts, and triangular element are tan, and the all seeing eye is off white. This helps to give it a bit more prominence in the composition.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

The “band” – Heather – preferred the dark one. The only change we made was to make the corner elements  off white, because they were getting lost on the dark purple background. The resulting composition is below.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Finally, before moving forward in any way, it’s time for some file cleanup. Organizing and labeling your layers properly will save you (and anybody else that has to work with your file) a lot of time in the next stages.

I gave the center piece elements their own layer, then moved on to the secondary elements, followed by the corner elements, and finishing with the background and the guides. I also labeled all of these for what they are.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Step 3: textures!

This is going to be the step where we’ll bring our carefully constructed layout to life, by adding substance and depth to it. All but one of the textures we’ll be using here are free.

Assembling the textures

Start by making sure you have the resources handy, which will be helpful and speed up the execution. Let’s assemble them.

Valleys in the Vinyl’s antique envelope texture

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

I’m gifting you a texture from my personal vault, because it felt so right to use with the piece. It was generated from one of these sheets of very heavy paper, that got slightly creased. Save it by following this link.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

We’ll use photocopy-noise-textures-sbh-005.jpg for some subtle masking.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Lost and Taken’s remixed chalk and pastel textures, #7

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

StarNet blog’s painter’s effect texture pack, #4

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

This brush stroke effect texture, by Chank Diesel

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

This photocopy texture by clarisaponcedeleon

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

This film texture by JakezDaniel

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Finally, this tough to find record wear pattern texture (see link in video description), from whichever dark corner of the internet I found it at. I suspect it’s a scan of an old copy of the Beatles’ White album.

Please note: This record texture was originally found on the web here, but since then has been removed. We are providing this file here. If you are the original creator of the file and would like to see yourself credited in another way, or removed, please get in touch.

Preparing the Photoshop document

Before we start adding textures everywhere, you need to create a new Photoshop document, and to transfer all of the vector elements into it. Because we’re going to independently affect the elements from the background, you need to at least have the background and the elements as separate smart objects into it. I actually transfered everything as independent elements, as you’ll see below.

First, we create that 15″x15″ canvas in Photoshop.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Putting the same guides in place.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Placing the corner elements.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Placing the center piece.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Adding the skulls and the keys.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

And organizing and labeling the layer mess.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Quick notes

Quick note #1: in this tutorial, the term “clipping” or “clipped layer” is used a few times. This means that the layer is only visible/applies to the layer directly below it. You can very quickly do this by holding ‘Alt’ down on your keyboard and clicking between the two layers. Photoshop secrets created an handy animated gif demonstration.

Quick note #2: every time we’ll work with textures, we’ll follow this simple process: place as smart object, sharpen, desaturate, enhance contrast with levels, and modify the blending mode.

Placing the textures as smart objects, and using adjustment layers to tweak them, allows us to stick to a non destructive workflow. I’ve explored in depth the numerous pros and few cons of such a workflow in a past tutorial for the good peeps at Design Cuts: “How to Use Textures The Right Way.”

Actual texture work, part I

We’re going to start by texturing the background. We’re going to give it some coarse paper grain. Place BB_AntiqueEnvelope_04.jpg in your document, right above the background layer. Sharpen it (Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen).

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Desaturate it with a clipped hue/saturation adjustment layer.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Emphasize the texture’s unique features with a clipped levels adjustment layer.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Change the texture’s blending mode to Soft light @ 100% opacity.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

From there on, and I’ve said in my Quick notes, the process will be the same for most textures: place as a smart object, sharpen, desaturate, adjust the levels, and change the blending mode.

The next texture is the creased heavy paper texture I’ve passed on to you as a freebie.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Levels

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Blending mode: Soft light @ 75% opacity.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Adding type!

Now that the background is textured, we can turn the other elements back on. And we can notice something rather embarrassing: I haven’t added the type elements for the artist and album name! Since we’re just about to texture the various vector elements, it’s just the good time to add them in. We’ll be using League Spartan, a free and beautiful typeface by The League of Movable Type.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

As stated at the beginning, the band is called Fiat Lux, and the album’s name is Æterna. I’ve set my type 36 points tall, and set the kerning to Optical. I’ve simply placed the band’s name at the top of the crown, and the album name below the triangular element.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Before we can proceed with the aging/texturing of the type, we need to do some layer organization. Start by giving the type elements their own layer group.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Proceed then to group all of the various vector elements layer groups and the type elements into a master layer group.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Next, add a layer mask to the master layer group. Make sure it’s unlinked from its content. This will allow us to edit the layer mask content independently from the layers themselves.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Proceed to open photocopy-noise-textures-sbh-005.jpg.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Copy its content, and paste it into the layer mask. You can do so by clicking and pressing the ALT/OPTION key on the layer mask’s thumbnail.  This will give you access to the layer mask’s content, in which you can copy, paste, resize, paint, erase, etc, just like the rest of the time. You’ll just be limited to black, white, and gray hues when doing so.

This is what you’ll see once you’ve pasted the texture in the layer mask.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Place the comet at your taste. I’m trying to bring as much of its white artifacts in the frame.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

After sharpening the texture, proceed to invert it.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Simply click back on one of the layers to see the result.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Should you be unsatisfied, you can use levels (CTRL/CMD+L) to tweak the texture’s impact on your piece.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

The result wasn’t as intense as I wanted to the first time.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

This below is much better.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

And here’s the result.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Actual texture work, part II

We can now move on to the rest of the texture work. We’ll follow the same process as when texturing the background.

Let’s start with LT_RemixedChalkPastel_07.jpg.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Levels

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Blending mode: Soft light @ 50% opacity.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Next in the texture stack is StarNet blog’s painter’s effect texture pack, #4.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Blending mode: Soft light @ 35% opacity.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

The following texture in our piece is the brush stroke texture.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Blending mode: Soft light @ 65% opacity.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Next is the photocopy texture. It’ll help us to create a nice, organic vignette effect. Place it without fear of distorting it, so it cover precisely our canvas.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Note how we’re using levels to reduce how light overall the texture is in this case.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Blending mode: Overlay @ 100% opacity.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

It’s time to add some dust speckles and artifacts with JakezDaniel film texture.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Other than sharpening, that texture doesn’t need any desaturation or levels tweaking. We can simply change its blending mode to Screen @ 35% opacity, and we’re done.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Next up is the texture that’s going to emulate the wear pattern you’d find on an old record sleeve. While we’re using the same technique to display its artifacts as the film texture (Screen only lets white pixels show, while black ones are shown as transparent), we’ll use levels to tweak its intensity.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Blending mode: Screen @ 50% opacity.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Here’s a look at my layers:

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Step 4: finishing touches

We’re going to add a halftone effect to our record sleeve art. It will emulate the cheap print job that this band had to rely on to be able to afford publishing their record. Start by creating a merged copy of all the visible layers (CTRL/CMD+ALT/OPTION+SHIFT+E). It’ll create a new layer at the top of your layer stack. I renamed it “Halftones.”

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Convert the layer to a smart object (Filter > Convert for smart filters on Photoshop CC).

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Go to Filter > Pixelate > Color halftone. The value that matters here is the Max. radius of 12 pixels. It determines how big my halftones dots will be.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Since the effect is quite strong, simply lower the layer’s opacity to 35%.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Our piece is finished!

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

We can now quickly head to MockupEverything to create a photo-realistic preview of what the record will look like, and land that art approval much better than with simply a “flat” JPG would.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

You have to admit that, being able to get a realistic preview of what could be is quite appealing!

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

And that concludes our tutorial. I hope you had as much fun following it as I had writing it.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

We’d love to see your own outcomes! Please share them with us, either in the Go Media Flickr pool, the Go Media Pinterest guest pinner board, the Go Media Facebook page, or even our Twitter feed.

Create a cool occult LP design with the occult symbols collection!

And that’s all I have for today. Until next time, cheers!

The Shop - Rolled ink texture pack, volume 01 - http://arsenal.gomedia.us/shop/textures/rolled-ink-texture-pack-volume-1/

Texture tutorial: How to apply our rolled ink textures to your design for that old-time print shop vibe

Introducing The Shop’s rolled ink texture packs, volume 01 and 02

Ladies and gentlemen, drum roll please. I’m happy to announce that my rolled ink texture packs are finally available on the Arsenal! Simon from The Shop here, and I’ll be walking you through both texture packs, as well as through a few techniques to make good use of them. On to the texture tutorial!

Rolled Ink Texture Pack, Volume 1

Rolled Ink Texture Pack, Volume 1Texture Tutorial: Rolled Ink Texture Pack, Volume 1

Rolled Ink Texture Pack, Volume 1

Rolled Ink Texture Pack, Volume 1

BUY THE SHOP’S ROLLED INK TEXTURES, VOLUME 01

So, what is it about these textures that makes them awesome?

Well, for a start, they have been created by hand. I used both a foam and a rubber roll to execute them, and lots of rich, deep, black ink.

The result is that series of 28 textures in total (14 in each pack). After experimenting with pressure, ink quantity, roller motion, and paper types, the textures were left to dry for a few days. After the drying was complete, they were scanned in at very high resolution (800 dpi and more). Following the scanning process, they were carefully, and minimally edited to produce a set of textures sized at 5000 x 7800 pixels on average.

Both sets are delivered in the form of flat RGB .jpg images in a ZIP archive.

Texture Tutorial: Rolled Ink Texture Pack, Volume 2Rolled Ink Texture Pack, Volume 2Rolled Ink Texture Pack, Volume 2Rolled Ink Texture Pack, Volume 2sbh-rolled-ink-vol-02-texture-pack-arsenal-visual-assets-rev-01-05-prvs-02

BUY THE SHOP’S ROLLED INK TEXTURES, VOLUME 02

Cool story, but how do I use these textures?

Oh boy, am I glad you asked. I precisely prepared a quick piece showcasing these textures, so we could experiment a little bit. We’ll use both Photoshop and Illustrator for this tutorial, but you should be all right with just Photoshop.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Step 0: Assets gathering

Before we get started, you’ll need to put your hands on a few assets.

The first asset is an old envelope texture, courtesy of our very own Dustin Schmieding.

BB_AntiqueEnvelope_04 - https://flic.kr/p/fp9yw6

The next asset is a blue soft grunge texture, also from Dustin (through his Valleys in the Vinyl blog)

Colored grunge texture #2 - http://valleysinthevinyl.com/2011/10/5-colored-grunge-textures/

Finally, I prepared a small freebie pack for you guys.

GET THE TUTORIAL ASSETS AND FREEBIES

It includes the vector type element used in my piece. I crafted it using a typeface called Felt Noisy, made by the awesome folks at PintassilgoPrints. Consider buying that amazing, messy brush style font! You won’t regret it one bit. The file is available in Ai (CC), EPS (CS3), and PDF formats. It includes a black and white and pre-colored version of the artwork.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Talking about colors, here’s a palette I’ve established for my piece, based on the colors of WMC Fest!
WMC_Fest
Color by COLOURlovers

The freebies we’ve included in the pack are two of the textures from the Rolled ink textures, volume 02 pack. They are #4 and #12. They will be used in the tutorial.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorialThe Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Finally, the last asset you should have at hand is a useful set of Photoshop actions by Media Militia. They allow you to turn white pixels to transparent ones, with a single mouse click.

Removing a White Background with Photoshop Actions - Media Militia - http://mediamilitia.com/removing-a-white-background-with-photoshop-actions/

I’d like you to also quickly read the post – it includes some background on how the actions work, and instructions to install them.

Step 1: file setup

The first step is to create the canvas we’ll be working in. I’m using an 24″x18″ file @ 300 dpi.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

I’ve also created a few guides to give a loose structure to work from. I’ve placed my vertical guides at 1″, 2″, 12″, 22″, and 23″. My horizontal guides are placed at 1″, 2″, 9″, 16″, and 17″. This “grid” gives me a quick indications of my piece’s center, as well as marks a nice border zone around it.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Step 2: the background

Start by filling your background layer with our bright yellow (#fbfbd9).

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Feel free to double click on it so it becomes an unlocked layer.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Create a new layer above the yellow layer, and fill it with our dark green  (#337061).

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

You know have two layers, one being completely invisible.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

We’re going to leverage rolled-ink-texture-pack-volume-02-sbh-007.jpg from the second volume of the rolled ink textures. Pasted into a layer mask, this texture will allow us to reveal the hidden yellow layer. Visually, this will translate into a bright border around our dark piece.

Open the texture in Photoshop.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Select its content, and copy it (CTRL/CMD+C). Head back to our piece. Add a layer mask to our green layer.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Make sure the layer and the layer mask are “untied” to each other (no chain link). This will allow us to move/transform their content independently from each other.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Now, ALT/OPTION+CLICK on the layer mask to access its content. Simply paste the texture in there (CTRL/CMD+V).

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

In a layer mask, black pixels represent the parts of the image that will be hidden, and white pixels the ones that will be shown. The various gray levels represent the various degrees of transparency. With that in mind, we’re going to place our texture so it will allow a bit of the yellow layer to show at the edges of the piece. We’ll obviously have to invert the layer mask’s content to achieve our effect.

You can see that I’m slightly distorting the texture to fit the project/goal at hand.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Once the texture is in place, invert it (CTRL/CMD+I).

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Click back on the layer’s thumbnail to admire our result. This is the perfect moment to further tweak the layer mask if the result isn’t quite where you’d like it to be.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

I’m personally happy with the texture overall, but I think some of its artifacts (paper folds and creases) are showing too strongly. I’m going to use the levels panel (CTRL/CMD+I) to fix this. With the layer mask selected, bring up the levels. Tweak the various sliders until you reach a level you feel comfortable with. My values bring a stronger contrast to the texture, “washing off” some of its detailed creases, folds, etc.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

And here’s our cleaner, and better defined result.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

And we’re done with our background. Proceed to some house-cleaning (or else!), and let’s get ready to move on to adding the type element to our poster.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Step 3: bringing the type in

It’s time to move on to Illustrator, and to open one of the files containing the type element.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

You have a couple options from here:

  1. Grab the pre-colored element, copy it, and paste it into your Photoshop document
  2. Use the monochrome element, tweak the colors to your liking, copy it, and paste it into your Photoshop document
  3. Get the Felt Noisy typeface, and use the many alternate characters available to tweak the type element to fit your tastes just right (and then paste it into your Photoshop document)

Because I’m already happy with my current color scheme, I’ll settle on the already colored type piece. Simply copy it, and paste it in your Photoshop document. I HIGHLY recommend keeping the type as a smart object, as this will retain its vector properties within your raster file. This could come in handy should you decide to tweak the type’s placement or size later.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Size the type to your liking.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Once you’re happy with the type, proceed to organize things a bit.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

It’s now time to finally use our rolled ink textures.

Step 4: using the rolled ink textures to create ink noise

If you haven’t done so yet, it’s time to grab Media Militia’s actions, and to get them installed. Next, open rolled-ink-texture-pack-volume-02-sbh-012.jpg from your asset pack.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

You can use levels to tweak the texture to your liking (lighter or darker).

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Once you’re done with that, it’s time to run one of the actions to obtain a version of our texture with a transparent background. Make sure that your colors are reset to the default (you can press “D” for that), and run the “maximum opacity” action. This will ensure the best result for the following steps.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

You’ll end up with a file looking like this

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Simply drag it into our main file.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Turn it into a smart object (Filters > Convert for smart filters in Photoshop CC).

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Once the layer is a smart object, resize it and position it so it covers as much of our piece as possible. It should also not have an overwhelming effect.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Once the texture is in place, proceed to give it a color overlay of our bright yellow (#fbfbd9).

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Open rolled-ink-texture-pack-volume-02-sbh-004.jpg, and follow the same process. The only difference is that you’ll give it a green color overlay (#337061).

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Once you’re happy with your ink effects, it’s time to organize things a little bit. I renamed my layers to reflect the textures that were used to generate them, and grouped them properly.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Step 5: textures!

It’s time to add a little bit of textures to our piece. This will tie things together, as well as add extra depth.

I’ll be using a texture workflow that’s as non-destructive as possible. I wrote extensively about following such a process for the good folks over at Design Cuts:

Adjustment layers, clipping masks, and clipped layers will become your new best friends. While it might seem cumbersome at first, such a workflow has many advantages. You could go back to your original piece of content in a heartbeat, by simply turning layers off. You could quickly change the intensity of an effect used during the making of the piece, to make it stronger or more subtle.

The gist of it is to use clipped adjustment layers to your textures, so you can revert your changes at all times. Makes sense? Alright, let’s get going.

The first texture is BB_AntiqueEnvelope_04.jpg.

BB_AntiqueEnvelope_04 - https://flic.kr/p/fp9yw6

Place it in your document so no seams are visible.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Desaturate it (the Saturation slider of the Hue/saturation adjustment layer is set at -100).

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Next, use a Levels adjustment layer to bring the texture’s artifacts and grain out.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Finally, change the layer’s blending mode to Soft light @ 75% opacity.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

The next texture is VV_ColoredGrunge_02.jpg. The interesting feature of this texture is that it features a soft vignette. We’ll make advantage of that to focus the viewers’ attention to the center of the piece, where the type is.

Colored grunge texture #2 - http://valleysinthevinyl.com/2011/10/5-colored-grunge-textures/

We’ll repeat the same process: place the texture as a smart object, desaturate it, use levels to enhance it, and switch its blending mode.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Blending mode: Soft light @ 35% opacity.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

This concludes the texture part. Here’s what my layer stack is looking like.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Step 6: finishing touch

In our case, the finishing touch will be a subtle halftone effect. This will allow us to give the piece a tactile feel, as if it were printed.

Start by creating a merged copy of all your visible layers (CTRL/CMD+SHIFT+ALT/OPTION+E). I’ve renamed my copy Halftones.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Convert the layer to a smart object.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Proceed to add a Color halftone effect to your layer (Filter > Pixelate > Color halftone).

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

The result is obviously not adequate.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Start by changing the effect’s blending mode. You can do so by clicking on this little button, on the right of the effect name in the layer palette.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Change the blending mode to Soft light @ 100% opacity.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

From there, change the actual layer’s blending mode to Lighter Color @ 75% opacity.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Because of the effect’s nature, the colors in the piece have slightly shifted. You can fix this if you don’t like the result by adding a hue/saturation adjustment layer, clipped to the halftone layer.

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

And we’re done! Isn’t it looking nice?

The Shop - Rolled ink texture packs tutorial

Concluding thoughts

Well, we’re done. I hope you had as much fun following along as I had writing this tutorial. I also hope that this short write-up helped you to see the potential these ink textures have to quickly bring some ink elements in your designs, to be used as masks, or as textural elements.

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions! I’ll be watching the comments below, but you can also tweet at me @simonhartmann.

We’d love to see your tutorial outcomes! Don’t hesitate to post them on the Go Media facebook page, or in the Go Media Flickr pool, or in the Go Media Pinterest galleries.

Finally, don’t forget to get your hands on both volumes of The Shop’s Rolled ink textures!
BUY THE SHOP’S ROLLED INK TEXTURES, VOLUME 01

BUY THE SHOP’S ROLLED INK TEXTURES, VOLUME 02

Dirty plastic noise texture pack

How to Apply a Noise Texture to Your Design with the Dirty Plastic Noise Texture Pack

Hello there!

Simon from The Shop on this end of the keyboard. I’m excited today, because one of my go-to personal texture packs is released on the Go Media Arsenal! Let me show you what the Dirty Plastic Noise Texture Pack can do for you.

Dirty Plastic Noise Texture Pack – $9

Dirty plastic noise texture pack

Dirty plastic noise texture pack

Where do the textures come from?

These noisy and dusty textures come from an unlikely place. You know these little plastic pockets in billfolds to hold extra credit and ID cards? Well, now you know.

I’ve had that leather billfold for a while. It’s old, and all worn out. It’s been at the bottom of countless pockets and bags. And it has accumulated a lot of dirt, dust, and other lint particles.

I pulled out these little plastic pockets, cut them down in flat “sheets,” and scanned them at very high resolution (on average 5250×7400 pixels @ 2400 dpi). These textures are the result of that scanning process.

Unlike my Photocopy Noise texture pack, these textures actually show little dust worms, smudges, and similar artifacts. They don’t look like glitch elements, but more like actual speckles of matter.

Technical data

The pack contains 4 variations of each textures:

  • Black speckles on black (JPGs)
  • Black speckles on transparent background (PNGs)
  • White speckles on black (JPGs)
  • Transparent speckles on black (PNGs)
  • 5250 x 7400 pixels @ 2400 dpi

Dirty Plastic Noise Texture Pack – $9

Previews

Dirty plastic noise texture pack

Dirty plastic noise texture pack

How to use the textures

It’s actually quite simple: put them on Screen or Multiply, and noise things away. Add a specific color overlay, and add subtle speckles to your backgrounds. Paste them in your layer masks for subtle weathering. Let me walk you through some of the steps of the creation of the hero image to demonstrate.

Part 1: background building

I’m using a 1270×770 pixels document in Photoshop.

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I’ve filled my background with a dark, muted green (#2c2918).

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Insert 2014-05-16-plastic-card-holder-textures-black-on-white-sbh-007.png in your document. It’s important to use the transparent version for our effect to function later on.

2014-05-16-plastic-card-holder-textures-black-on-white-sbh-007

Note: I like to place my documents (File > Place) rather than paste them in, as it allows me to have them as smart objects, which help to keep a non-destructive workflow.

Place your texture so it covers the whole canvas. In my case, I’ve kept the vertical orientation. Once you’re happy with your texture placement, validate the transformation, and reduce the layer’s opacity to 50%.

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From there, it’s time to blend that texture a bit better with the background. In this specific case, we could use a blending mode, or we could use a color overlay. I chose the latter. Double click on the layer to bring up its blending options dialog box.

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Head to color overlay, and pick #3e3f41as the color.

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Validate, and admire the result. We added some subtle textures to our piece in three steps (place, size, color overlay).

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Part 2: using blending modes and opacity levels

As I’ve said before, and due to the nature of the textures, the two best blending modes to use here are multiply (and its derivatives Color burn and Linear Burn), and screen. Note that nothing stops you from experimenting further!

After placing my type elements in my piece (they are set in Duke, from Lost Type Co-op), and adding a bit of texture to them, I felt like the piece could use some additional texture buildup.

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I’ve selected 2014-05-16-plastic-card-holder-textures-black-on-white-sbh-006 as my next texture. I really like the bottom part of that texture the horizontal smudge).

2014-05-16-plastic-card-holder-textures-black-on-white-sbh-006

In order to feature that in a significant manner in my design, I rotated the texture 90° clockwise.

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Next, change its blending mode to multiply at 50% opacity. The result keeps that sweet part of the texture, but without being overbearing (thanks to the lowered opacity), and multiply knocks away the white pixels.

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dirty-plastic-noise-texture-pack-demo-tutorial-204

The next texture to place in the document is 2014-05-16-plastic-card-holder-textures-black-on-white-sbh-010.png. It’s simply placed in the document horizontally, and has its opacity lowered at 50%.

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Next up is 2014-05-16-plastic-card-holder-textures-white-on-black-sbh-006.jpg. With this white on black texture, the goal is to add a lot of dust speckles using Screen.

2014-05-16-plastic-card-holder-textures-white-on-black-sbh-006

The texture is placed horizontally in the canvas, and more or less vertically centered.

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From there, change its blending mode to Screen @ 25% opacity.

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The next texture I used is 2014-05-16-plastic-card-holder-textures-black-on-white-sbh-013.png.

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Rotate it 90° clockwise when placing it, and then lower its opacity to 50%.

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dirty-plastic-noise-texture-pack-demo-tutorial-211

Lastly, I placed a paper texture to add just a little bit of grain to our image. I found the texture on Flickr, and it was shared by our very own Dustin Schmieding.

BB_AntiqueEnvelope_04

Place the texture in your piece so none of the paper seams are visible.

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I’ve used the levels palette (CTRL/CMD+Ito increase dramatically the contrast of my texture. Desaturate the texture (CTRL/CMD+SHIFT+U), and then increase the dark tone value, lower the mid-tones towards the dark ones, and reduce the range of the highlights.

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This results in the grain of the texture being exacerbated.

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Finally, put the texture on Soft light @ 15%, and admire your hero image.

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Wrap-up thoughts

This quick example is obviously just scratching the surface of what’s possible here. You could combine these in many more creative ways. And their high resolution will allow you to use them in projects ranging from screen to paper without significant quality loss.

I hope you liked following the quick demo as much as I liked putting it together. Until next time, cheers! And don’t forget to go buy the pack:

Buy the Dirty Plastic Noise Texture Pack

Introducing the Ultimate Texture Bundle from Go Media’s Arsenal

Stock Up with Our Ultimate Texture Bundle

The endless hunt for textures is over when you purchase the Ultimate Texture Collection Bundle, available on Go Media’s Arsenal.

This download is jam-packed with the best of the best: 6 sets, one collection and one pack of high-resolution, completely unique, Go Media made textures.

That’s 835 textures in total, my friends.

Originally $214, now $45 for a limited time

I want it now – $45

Here’s what’s included:

Set 1 – Complete Texture Set

You get 105 high quality and detailed texture photos. Included in the set are Concrete, Wood, Paint, Rust, Oddshots, Metal, and Masonry.

texture collection texture set 1 complete texture set by go media

Set 2 – Complete Texture Set

You get 105 high quality and detailed texture photos. Included in the set are Paper, Bark, Earth, Grime, Stone, Geometry, and Oddshots 2. All at your disposal for wicked design awesomeness!

texture collection texture set 2 complete texture set by go media

Set 3 – Complete Texture Set

A set of which dreams are made. You get 105 high quality and detailed texture photos. Included in the set are Paper Stains, Rust 2, Stamped Metal, Wood 2, Ice, Painted, and Masonry 2.

texture collection set 3 complete texture set by go media

Set 4 – Complete Texture Set

You get 105 of the highest quality textures available. Included in the set are Ink in Water, Rust 3, Wallpaper, Tiles, Motion Blur, Grunge, and Skin & Fur. Take a look through the image galleries; there are some truly stand-out additions in this fourth texture set from Go Media.

texture collection texture set 4 complete texture set by go media

Set 5 – Complete Texture Set

We’re taken things up a notch in this latest texture set, which includes 200 brand new high-resolution images inside 10 unique packs: Clouds, Dust, Fabric, Fur, Lensflare, Motionblur, Paint, Paper, Photocopy, and Smoke.

texture collection texture set 5 complete texture set by go media

The Rolled Ink Texture Pack

Textures are an excellent tool for adding subtle, yet effective elements like noise, visual interest, depth and definition to your designs.  So are you ready to get your hands a little dirty? Then, dive head first into the Rolled Ink Texture Pack by your friends here at Go Media. The Rolled Ink Texture Pack contains 48 textures we created using a brayer, our favorite black ink, a variety of interesting surfaces and a little elbow grease.  What resulted is completely unique and awesome if we do say so ourselves.

You get:

  • 48 Rolled Ink Textures, from subtle to strong, straight to circular, calm to chaotic, all excellent in their own right.

texture collection rolled ink texture set by go media

The Go Media Building Texture Collection

We have a super cool old building here at Go Media. We went through it with a fine-toothed comb, and cameras, and captured this collection of textures. It includes 122 textures, divided in five categories: fabric, dust, grunge, noise, and wood grains. ‘Nuff said.

texture collection preview go media building collection

Watercolor Texture Set 1

The Go Media Watercolor Set 1 contains 45 abstract, high resolution (8.5 x 11″” at 300 DPI) watercolor washes.

texture collection watercolor textures by go media

Hurry! The Ultimate Texture Bundle is available for a limited time!

I want it now – $45

Illustrator Tutorial: Using Plant Textures to Create a Gritty Text Tee

Illustrator Tutorial: Using Plant Textures to Create a Gritty Text Tee

Hey Friends,

I’m going to show you a simple way to use my Plant textures for a text tee design. The purpose is to show you how I use addition and subtraction methods to make text a little gritty in Illustrator.

Want to Follow Along? First:

Buy Plant Textures Pack

Ok, Let’s Go!

To start I’m going to use my hashtag #CROMfitness. This is my personal fitness plan I came up with and have fun with. And if you have to ask “Who is CROM?” I’m gonna hang my head in shame, just google it.

I’ll open Illustrator and type out the text in Impact. I know, real creative, but we’re going for simplicity. Open the Plants pack. I’m choosing a texture that has a lot of breaks or speckles in the texture.

illustrator-tutorial-1 illustrator-tutorial-2 illustrator-tutorial-3

The texture I’m using is obviously rectangle so I’m going to cut out certain areas with the LASSO TOOL.

illustrator-tutorial-4 illustrator-tutorial-5

You will want to select the image you cut out, pull up the PATHFINDER box and UNITE the cut out area. I’ll do this for 5 more cutouts and there we have 6 new textures.

illustrator-tutorial-6 illustrator-tutorial-7 illustrator-tutorial-8

Next, I’m going to take one of the newly made textures and make another one with even smaller specs.

ill-tutorial-10 ill-tutorial-11 illustrator-tutorial-9

Next step is to EXPAND your text and place the texture over the certain letter.

ill-tutorial-13 illututorial-12

This part has been my own formula, the best way I’ve found to extract the texture from the expanded text.

-Grab a letter with the WHITE ARROW tool.

-Hold Shift +grab the texture with the BLACK ARROW tool.

-Select the MINUS FRONT tab from the PATHFINDER box with the WHITE ARROW tool and there you have the beginning of the grungy look. This is the SUBTRACTION technique.

ill-tutorial-14 ill-tutorial-15 ill-tutorial-16 ill-tutorial-17

Repeat these steps with the rest of your letters.

ill-tutorial-18 ill-tutorial-19 ill-tutorial-20 ill-tutorial-21

Next, I’m going to add a stroke to the hashtag by using the Offset Path.

Select the hashtag then choose OBJECT – PATH- OFFSET PATH. This will provide essentially a black stroke around the outside of the object/hashtag.

With your WHITE ARROW tool grab the outer edge of the black stroke and make the fill white and create a black stroke.

ill tutorial-24 ill -tutorial-25 ill tutorial-26 ill-tutorial-22 illtutorial-23

Here is the additional part that I have used for many of my drawings. This is just a simple splatter effect. I’m going to grab a different Plant texture and cut out different areas with LASSO tool like I did with the texture before.

ill  tutorial-27 ill -tutorial-28ill  tutorial-29

From here, I’ll start building the various spots where I want this splatter look. I’ll experiment with the look and feel of the different areas until I get the solution I want.

Just a tip, this is not mandatory but you can take your WHITE ARROW tool, select the letter and splatter, select the UNITE tab in the PATHFINDER box. This will keep everything together. So there you have my super simple ADDITION technique. With the subtractions and additions you get a roughed up text that doesn’t look so boring.

ill -tutorial-30

Ok let’s mock up our tee using the World’s Best Mockup tees from Go Media, which you can buy in packs on the Arsenal, or individually on MockupEverything.com.

ill tutorial-31 ill -tutorial-32

Make an EPS file of the image and bring it into Photoshop. Drop it onto the file and adjust the size and color. We now have a great visual for the CROMfitness.

ill -tutorial-33 ill -tutorial-34

Thanks for reading through this short tutorial. I find that the most simple effects/techniques provide the coolest results that make people say “How did he do that?”

Make sure you pick up these textures and make something nobody has ever seen before so they are asking you “How did you do that?”

Buy Plant Textures Pack

Introducing the Nature Textures Pack: Ultimate Ground Textures Pack & How to Use It!

Introducing the Ultimate Ground Textures Pack

Hey Gang!

As you well know, textures give a sense of life and depth to an otherwise flat design. On a recent trip to Italy, I had the opportunity to capture my own gritty, grainy and one-of-a-kind images. I’ve found these to be perfect for roughening up those pieces that need a little punch.

You know I couldn’t keep them to myself.

Today I’d like to introduce to you the second in my series of six Nature Texture Packs.

Say hello to the Ground Pack!

This pack includes 10 carefully crafted photographs from my recent travels and 11 images I vectorized, all of which are available for your use roughening and dirtying your designs.

10 photo textures included
10 photo textures included

nature textures ground preview 2

11 vector textures included
11 vector textures included

You’ll need to grab it now, because today I’ll be taking you through a step by step pamphlet brochure design using a few textures and overlays in Photoshop.

Like…now: only $9.

What we’re making:

ImageForTutorial

I am featuring a picture of a marble bust from the Uffizi gallery in Florence, Italy. My wife and I had the opportunity in May 2013 to do some traveling with friends and take in a ton of gallery sights and the beautiful country side.

So let’s get to it.

Buy Ultimate Ground Textures Pack now!

Here is the statue of our character in Photoshop. I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do at first so I just started experimenting.

texture-tutorial-photoshop-1

I’ll go ahead and place him on a document for print that will crop him nicely.

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Next I’m going to grab the actual photo that is included in the pack and set it over the character.

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Next I’m just going to see what happens and play around with some options to see what kind of effect I can get.

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I love this look so far but I want him to look like he is coming out of the ground. I’ll grab some brushes from my Godmachine pack I downloaded and see what happens.

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Ok so from here I want to utilize another texture so I’ll grab a different one. Here is an important tip, set the texture on a large document and make it that size so it covers the character.

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Once again I’ll start experimenting and see what happens and add some color.

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At this point I want to see how this looks with text and I’ll experiment with stroke colors, drop shadows and size of the fonts.

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I’m liking it so far but not thrilled with the color….so let’s see what happens.

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Very cool! I decided to add effects to the words as well. I feel the words go with the image now. It’s very important not to just slap anything together and expect it to work. Make the image balance with the text and colors.

Last item I thought is to change “History” to “Italy” and add the Uffizi Gallery Florence, Italy to make it look like an actual brochure when you walk into this specific exhibit.

texture-tutorial-photoshop-25

texture-tutorial-photoshop-26

So there it is. This has a complicated look but made simple by experimenting with layer effects, a photograph, a graphic, text and design. It’s like cooking where each ingredient needs to work together yet stand on their own.

Thanks for checking this out and purchasing the packs and set!

_______________________________________

For more of Steve’s work, check him out his site or chat with him on Twitter.

Buy the Ultimate Ground Textures Pack!

Freebie Alert! Grab these 12 Free Textures from Go Media’s Arsenal!

Free Textures Freebie Alert!

While going through folders the other day, I stumbled upon all of the textures I submitted to the lovely Liz Hunt for Texture Set 5. To be honest, when creating the pack, I went texture crazy. Needless to say, there was some material that doesn’t appear in the final product. Since it’s just sitting around unused (and also because I love you guys), I thought I would share some of it. Yes, that means free textures just for you.

Here’s what you’re getting:

free texture from go media's arsenal 1free texture from go media's arsenal 2free textures from go media's arsenal 3 free textures from go media's arsenal 4 free textures from go media's arsenal 5 free textures from go media's arsenal 6 free textures from go media's arsenal 7 free textures from go media's arsenal 8 free textures from go media's arsenal 9 free textures from go media's arsenal 10 free textures from go media's arsenal 11

Download the free textures now!

Freebie Textures from Go Media’s Arsenal Download 1

Freebie Textures from Go Media’s Arsenal Download 2

Freebie Textures from Go Media’s Arsenal Download 3

Bonus!

gma_tex_set05_smoke_05

Smoke Texture from Set 5

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Natural Clouds Texture Pack

Clouds from Go Media's Arsenal Texture Set 5

Dust and Dirt Texture Pack

dirt from Go Media's Arsenal Texture Set 5

Fabric Texture Pack

Fabric from Go Media's Arsenal Texture Set 5

Fur Texture Pack

Fur from Go Media's Arsenal Texture Set 5

Lens Flare Texture Pack

Lens Flare from Go Media's Arsenal Texture Set 5

Motion Blur Texture Pack

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Abstract Paint Texture Pack

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Photocopy Texture Pack

Photocopy from Go Media's Arsenal Texture Set 5

Colored Smoke Texture Pack

colored smoke from Go Media's Arsenal Texture Set 5

Folded Paper Texture Pack

Folded Paper from Go Media's Arsenal Texture Set 5

See you all again soon for more freebie goodness! Until then, head to the Arsenal to check out our new layout and let us know what you think!

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Poster Design Tutorial: How to Get Non-corporate Results with our Office Interior Textures: Corporate Texture Packs!

Poster Design Tutorial: How to Easily Get Non-corporate Results with our Office Interior Textures: Corporate Texture Packs!

Hello all! Simon from Studio Ace of Spade here today. I’m writing to announce the release of the corporate texture packs, volume I and volume II, on the Arsenal today! I’ve written a tutorial to accompany the packs. Enjoy!

The corporate texture packs - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

The corporate texture packs - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

How did these packs came to be?

Well, I happened to have access to one of the millions of generic office buildings around Cleveland this past winter. I couldn’t help but notice the wide range of often cheap imitations of materials in all of that office furniture and decor.

The textures range from fake wood grain, wallpapers, soulless tiles, blend fabric patterns for office furniture, etc. There are a few gems here and there, and if you’re looking to emulate the “9 to 5 stale job atmosphere that you could believe we’re in the Office or in Office Space,” these packs are your new best friends.

Hold on your horses, where’s the DIY spirit?

It seems a bit contradictory to create resources from an atmosphere we creative people usually deem at best stale. I’ve been the first one surprised by the good surprises hidden all over. For instance, while some of the wood grains are obnoxiously fake, some of them are actually bluffing. There are beautiful noise patterns in drop-ceiling tiles. I’ve rarely seen so many different fabric options while not in a fabric store. And I haven’t talked about carpets and wallpapers yet (although the pattern creators for some of these should probably not be allowed to design anything else of their lives).

Just have a look below:

The corporate texture packs - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

The corporate texture packs - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

The corporate texture packs - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

The corporate texture packs - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

A demonstration by the example

Rather than discuss things, I decided to show you how these two packs of textures can help us to spruce up Steve Knerem’s Day of the Dead vector t-shirt design pack. Don’t know what a t-shirt design pack is? Watch this:

What are we going to create?

We’re going to take this great, flat colored vector piece, and turn it into a sweet poster with the help of the texture packs. We’ll use some wood grain textures to build a rich background, some of the noise and scratch textures to weather the art a bit, and some of the other ones to package the whole thing in a consistent ensemble. We’ll be using both Photoshop and Illustrator to accomplish this. Let’s go!

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Preparing our document

First thing first, let’s create a brand new canvas in Photoshop. I’m using an 11″x17″ @ 300 dpi, RGB, document.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Once your canvas is there, create a few guides, so you have a basic grid in place. I’ve put guides to indicate the center of the frame (5.5″ and 8.5″), as well at 1″ of the edges (1″, 10″, and 1″, and 16″).

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Bringing the art in

It’s time to bring the t-shirt design pack into our Photoshop document. Simply copy and paste the design as a smart object into your canvas. This will allow us to keep its scalability as we work on the piece.

Copying the piece in Illustrator

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Pasting in Photoshop

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

I’ve scaled the piece so it’s approximately 9″ wide. Note that I haven’t copied the background along.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

It’s simply easier to fill the background layer with the same gray (#454545) directly in Photoshop.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Oh, and don’t forget to do some layer house-keeping.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Adding textures to the background

Our goal was to create a rich, warm, wooden background for the piece. After looking through the packs, corporate-texture-pack-volume-02-010-sbh.jpg looks like a solid starting point.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Let’s place it into our document, right above our gray background layer. Scale it up so it fills your whole canvas.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

The result is interesting,  but is a overbearing compared to the piece. First, let’s rasterize the texture layer, and sharpen it a few times (Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen). Once that’s taken care of, change its blending mode to Soft light @ 100% opacity.

The result is better, but still not very amazing.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

To remedy the issue, start by desaturating the texture layer (CTRL/CMD+SHIFT+U).

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Next, change the color of the background layer to a saturated, deep brown. I’m using #762514.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

(Don’t forget the layer housekeeping since you’ve changed the color)

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

It’s better, but not there yet. Let’s use the levels (CTRL/CMD+L) to fine tune the contrast of the texture.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

There you have it.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

A quick touch to make sure that the art doesn’t fade too much in the background: let’s add a drop shadow to its layer. Well, more of a glow actually. The color of the shadow is the same brown than our background (#762514). Using the Linear dodge (add) blending mode for the drop shadow, we’re creating something along the lines of a very soft glow that visually detaches the centerpiece from the background, but without being obnoxious.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Here’s a closer view.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Let’s finalize our background with a slight vignette effect. After some investigation, corporate-texture-pack-volume-02-013-sbh.jpg seems like a solid candidate to accomplish the effect. Its center is brighter, and the edge of the texture is darker. We’re going to make sure these characteristics are more pronounced thanks to the levels panel.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Start by placing the texture in your document. Note that I didn’t transform it proportionally, but rather stretched it to fit the canvas.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

We’re going to follow the same process than we did for the wood grain texture: rasterize, sharpen, desaturate, and enhance contrast with levels.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Desaturate and sharpen.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Levels. Note how much grain this step is bringing forward.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Conclude by changing the layer’s blending mode to Soft light at 75% opacity.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

And we have ourselves a vignette.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

With the background done, it’s time to move forward to the weathering of the centerpiece.

Centerpiece treatment

The main treatment we want to apply to the art is some kind of weathering. I’m planning on doing a regular grunge effect, and to re-apply the background’s wood grain to it, so it looks like chipping paint or something. First, some “regular” grunge. What we’ll do is paste textures in layer masks. Accomplishing such a thing is very easy:

  1. Open your texture.
  2. Copy its contents.
  3. ALT/OPTION+CLICK the thumbnail of the layer mask you wish to paste the texture into. This will show you the content of the layer mask, and allow you to edit it. Make sure to disable the little chain link of the layer mask so you can move the texture without moving the element along
  4. Make the edits you deem necessary (size, placement, sharpening, levels, etc.)
  5. Admire the result

After looking through the packs, I’ve spotted corporate-texture-pack-volume-02-034-sbh.jpg as a very good candidate.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Start by adding a layer mask to the art’s smart object. Make sure its association with the smart object is turned off.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Once that’s done, copy the texture and paste it into the layer mask. Make sure it covers at least the centerpiece. The whole width of the poster isn’t a bad idea.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Once that’s done, and once the obligatory sharpening has been taken care of, it’s time to play with levels.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Because the document and the texture are high-resolution, sometimes, the levels outcome will be less contrasted than its preview. Don’t hesitate to repeat the step to reach the desired result.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Click back on the layer thumbnail to admire the result.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Here’s a close-up. The art is well worn, which is what we wanted.

sbh-the-shop-corporate-texture-packs-demo-cinqo-de-mayo-04a07

Now, let’s add the wood grain to the mix. Start by some layer housekeeping. Give the Art its own layer group, along with another layer mask.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Next, turn off all the layers but bg – #762514 (the background color) and corporate-texture-pack-volume-02-010-sbh (the wood grain texture).

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Copy the content of both of these layers (CTRL/CMD+A to select all, CTRL+SHIFT+C to copy-merged the visible content), turn back all the layers on, and paste the result in the Art layer group layer mask.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

This is obviously too dark and will fully erase the centerpiece. Let’s work some levels magic, so we only keep a faint wood grain in the mask.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

The result is a bit too intense, as the layer is still a bit too dark.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Some more levels work will fix this:

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Note the double levels pass,  after the first one failed to produce a strong enough result.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

And here’s the result! It looks like the piece is painted on that piece of wood, and is just fading away following the wood grain.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

We’re going to add a texture that isn’t included in the corporate texture packs, but that is available for free on Flickr. It’s a brush stroke texture, and will help to reinforce the “painted-on-wood” effect we’re looking for. It’s called 16342_cream_over_green_detail, and it’s available on Chank Diesel’s Flickr stream. Don’t forget to grab the biggest size available! Place it into your document, at the top of your layer stack.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Repeat the whole rasterize / sharpen / desaturate / levels process…

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Levels.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Change the blending mode to Soft light @ 100% opacity.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

The effect is what we’re looking for, but we need to localize it to the centerpiece itself rather than the whole poster. To do so, CTRL/CMD+CLICK the Art smart object’s thumbnail. This will create a selection which will include only the content of that layer. Proceed to add a layer mask to the brush stroke texture layer by highlighting it, and by clicking the Add layer mask button at the bottom of your layer palette.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

As you can see, the texture is now confined to the centerpiece. The effect is still a hair too strong at this point.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Simply lower the texture layer’s opacity to 25% opacity, and you’ll be good to go.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Close-up.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Global textures

In a ways, we’ve already started this process with the brush stroke texture. We are now going to add a few texture that will impact the whole piece (background + centerpiece). This will participate to visually make the ensemble consistent. We’ll follow the same routine as before.

First on the line is corporate-texture-pack-volume-01-015-sbh.jpg, a wallpaper texture.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Start by placing it in the canvas so the darkest part of the texture is at the bottom.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Levels.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Put the texture’s blending mode to Soft light @ 35% opacity, and you’ll be good.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

The next texture is corporate-texture-pack-volume-02-023-sbh.jpg, a scratched brushed metal texture. Our work with levels will be quite extreme, as we want to make the scratches appear in the piece as much as possible.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

I placed the texture so as much as possible of the scratched are be in the canvas.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

I also sharpened the texture quite a few times to make the scratches and other characteristics from the metal more visible.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Levels.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Change the layer’s blending mode to Screen @ 25% opacity.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Finally, the last texture we’ll place into our piece is corporate-texture-pack-volume-02-040-sbh.jpg. It’s a concrete texture that’s been captured just outside of the building the other ones come from. It participates to add a bit of a noisy quality, and reinforces the vignette effect on the piece.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Levels.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Blending mode: Soft light @ 25% opacity.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Final touches

Bear with me, it’s almost the end!

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

First, I’d like to make the wood grain from the background a hair more visible. To accomplish this, simply duplicate the wood grain texture once.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

The effect is too strong, because our layer is so dark. To bring this back to reasonable proportions, simply lower the opacity of the layer copy to 25%.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Now that that’s done, I’d like to add just a bit of noise to the piece. I’ll be using photocopy-noise-textures-sbh-001.jpg, from my photocopy noise texture pack. Scale the texture so it covers the whole canvas.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Blending mode: Screen @ 25% opacity.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

Since this is the last texture, it’s the perfect time for a little bit of house keeping:

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

And with that done, you’re all set to admire your beautiful piece!

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

You could mock it up for the world to drool over.

The corporate texture packs demo - by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

I hope you had as much fun following this tutorial as I had writing in. I also hope that it convinced you of the potential of both volume I and volume II of the corporate texture packs. I’m looking forward to your own takes on this how-to. Don’t forget to share them in the Go Media Flickr Pool.

Don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have, both about the texture packs and the tutorial itself! I’ll be watching the comments over the next couple of days. You can also find me on twitter @simonhartmann, where you should follow me.

BUY THE CORPORATE TEXTURE PACK VOLUME I

BUY THE CORPORATE TEXTURE PACK VOLUME II

BUY THE DAY OF THE DEAD T-SHIRT DESIGN PACK BY STEVE KNEREM