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Graphic Design Bundle

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Members: Download now (no extra charge)

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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

How to Use Vector Textures

Tutorial: How to Use Vector Textures in Adobe Illustrator to Distress Your Logo/Design

Complete Halftone Collection

If you’re halftone-obsessed, our new collection is for you.

Our Complete Halftone Collection

We’re not sure what’s dreamier than a halftone. The tiny dots that create a gradient-like effect can produce such remarkable results.

Here at the Arsenal, we have nine packs that will give you the effect you’re after without the effort. Download them all in this complete collection – originally $105 – now only $27!

Or, become a member of our graphic design subscription and get them all (plus the rest of our huge product library) for only $15 a month.

Shop Collection

What’s Included?

complete halftone collection

complete halftone collection

complete halftone collection

4

5

6

7

8

9

All of the packs you see here are also available for individual purchase.

Shop Collection

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

Illustrator Poster Design Tutorial: Let’s make a horror movie poster with vector set 23

Illustrator Poster Design Tutorial

With the re-release of our latest, horror-themed, vector set, we felt it was fitting to have an Halloween tutorial. So today, we’re going to work on re-creating this poster for Dracula’s daughter, a fictitious movie from five or six decades ago. We will be using vectors from Go Media’s Arsenal to help us out with this poster (you can purchase below!).

Complete Vector Set 23

illustrator tutorial - image 1

The design above was a team effort between Steve Knerem, Jeff Finley, and myself. As you can see, not all the details are historically accurate (actor names, type choices), there are some alignment issues, and a typo, but it’s a good base to start from.

We’ll be using Illustrator as our main tool throughout this tutorial. This will allow us to easily limit the number of colors of our final piece. This is for two reasons: we want to potentially screen print the piece, and it forces us to design more efficiently.

We’ll see how to recolor the vector elements from set 23 to match our color palette, how to place them around, how to manipulate the type to create the title elements, and more! Let’s get started, shall we?

Complete Vector Set 23

Step zero: the layout

The first step would be to take a piece of paper and a pen, and to comp some layout options. This is also where we looked at the content of set 23, and decided which pieces to use. Steve is the one who came up with the concepts for the poster’s layout. He also fixed the poster size at 18″ by 24″. Here are a couple of the sketches he made:

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Layout sketch 01 Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Layout sketch 02 Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Layout sketch 03

As you can see, the diamond element, along with the witch’s head have been there from the start. The earlier versions of the composition were a bit busier, with a lot of elements in the bottom half of the frame. We decided to simplify things.

Since the process between Steve, Jeff, and myself was very organic, I’ll spare you the headaches of the back and forth between us. From now on, this will be written as if we started from scratch. Also, since there were so many people involved and that some of the steps haven’t been documented, we might end up with an end result slightly different from the mockup at the top.

Step one: document setup

The first step is straight forward: we need to create a new document in Illustrator. I created an 18″x24″ document, at 300 dpi and in CMYK.

illustrator tutorial - image 2

Useful goodie: here are the main colors we’ll be using.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Color palette

Step two: background elements

Main background color

After placing a series of guides (to find the middle, and get a sense of the bleed I’d like to keep), I’ve created a  new layer that I’ve named “bg elements.” I then used my rectangle tool (M) to create a centered 18″x24″ rectangle filled with a very dark gray (#121213).

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Guides and backrgound set-up

Background texture

The texture part is pretty easy: Steve created a vector texture pack as part of set 23.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Vector texture pack from set 23

I just grabbed the grunge texture in the pack, placed it in above the dark gray rectangle, sized it to fill the whole artboard, and colored it in RGB black (#000000). This way, it contrasts softly against the dark gray of our background rectangle.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Placing the background texture

The finishing touch for the texture is to hide the parts of it that extend beyond our artboard (when sized at 18″ wide, the texture is almost 26.2″ tall). We’re going to use a clipping mask for this. Just create another 18″x24″ rectangle above the texture group, center it, and remove any fill or stroke color. I’ve also renamed it to texture clipping mask. Then, select both the texture and the rectangle, right click, and select the Make clipping mask option. And you’ll have a clean looking background!

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Background texture clipping mask

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Background texture clipping mask result

Background burst

The purple burst is the focal element of the background. You’ll notice in our mockup above that the burst is grunged out by the texture. This means that we’ll have to place it between the bg and the Texture clipping group sub-layers.

In order to get a burst, we need to first create a circle. Mine is 16″ in diameter. It’s centered in the artboard, and filled in purple (#614a72).

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Background burst creation, base circle

Next, we’ll be using the Zig Zag filter to create the burst out of that circle. It’s in Effects > Distort and transform > Zig Zag. Make sure the Preview box is checked, and start tinkering with values until you get a satisfying burst. I’ve used  an absolute value of 2.5″ for the size, and 50 ridges per segment. I also chose smooth points versus corners, as it gives me a softer, more worn look.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Background burst creation, Zig Zag filter

As you can see, the burst is way too wide right now. A little bit of resizing from the center, and we’re good to go (hold SHIFT + ALT while dragging one of the corners of the bounding box inwards). You could also make your burst around 12″ wide right away.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Background burst creation, resizing

And our background is ready!

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Background burst result

Step three: assembling our main elements

Copying from the vector packs

Now that we have our background, it’s time to grab the elements we’ll be needing for the rest of the poster. I have the following:

You should note that you don’t have to use these elements for your poster design. It would be absolutely acceptable to grab some other vector elements, or to make your own, to follow along with this tutorial.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Assembling main elements

As you can see, there are some things we won’t need (the hands of the zombies, the scrolls and supporting elements of the “sexy” witch, etc). Let’s go ahead and delete these. Ungroup, use the direct selection tool if needed (A), select the parts we don’t need, and here’s the result:

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Editing elements: removing the useless extras

Preparing the portraits and the wolf ornament

I’m going to walk you through preparing the first portrait. The process will be the same for the three other ones. Let’s prepare the top left one.

You could ask, why are we modifying these? The purpose behind this modification is to have the four surrounding portraits toned down in terms of colors. This will let the center piece have much more visual impact.

First, we need a black circle we can put in the background. The head of the zombie is 2″ tall, so I made my circle 2.5″ in diameter.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Support circle

If we look at the finished product, the circle has a lighter (#232323) stroke. It also crops the portrait closer. The first thing I’ve done is to align the stroke of the circle to the inside, and to thicken it to 10 points. I’ve then resized the circle closer to the top of the head. So close in fact, that some of the hair goes over the edge of the circle.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the outline

Next, and in order to simplify the recoloring process, I’ve actually used the Pathfinder to merge the head together. We could keep it un-merged, but it would make the process even longer, to figure out all the paths and to select the right ones.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Merging the zombie head

After merging, ungroup the head, and start selecting the shapes to switch them either to black for the dark parts of the face (#000000), or to dark gray (#222222). It will take a few minutes, but it’s going to be worth it! As part of the recoloring process, I’ve also recreated the pupils in the eyes with two circles. This is because the original ones are half-circles, that get deformed during the merging process anyways. Once the coloring is done, it’s time to group the head back together.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Recoloring the head Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Recoloring the head Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Recoloring the head Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Grouping the head back together

Time to clip the head within the frame we created. Unlock the background stroked circle, and make a copy of it. Then proceed to paste it in front (CTRL/CMD + F) of the original circle. Then go to Object > Expand appearance. Ungroup the result. This will allow us to select and use the inner circle as a clipping mask for the portrait. Once you’ve applied the clipping mask, the portrait is almost done!

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Preparing the clipping mask Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Preparing the clipping mask Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Preparing the clipping mask Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Preparing the clipping mask Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Portrait with the clipping mask

We now need to use elements from the wolf ornament to pimp the portrait frame a little. Following a similar process to the zombie head itself, we’ll be ungrouping the ornament, eliminating the parts we don’t want, recolorizing it, and applying it to the top and side edges. After that, we’ll be applying a stroke to all of that, to help it standing from the grunge texture of the background. See the process in pictures in pictures below:

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece

There’s one thing that didn’t work according to plan, and it was in the next to last step. When offsetting the path of the copy (Object > Path > Offset path), the black stroke around the ornate elements was just too much. So I used my direct selection tool to delete the extra elements around them, to make it visually lighter.

Following a similar process, you can prepare the three other portraits. Or, you could dig into your layers, figure out where the zombie head clipping group is, and just swap the head out for the other portraits, so you don’t have to recreate the circle and the other elements each time. This is done by simply dragging the layers in the appropriate order and within the right groups via the layer palette.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the other portraits Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the other portraits Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the other portraits Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the other portraits Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the other portraits

In order to avoid having to recreate the frame around the head, I simply flipped it using the Transform menu available when right-clicking (Transform > Reflect). Below are a few shots of going through the remaining two portraits, as well as the wolf ornament.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the other portraits Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the other portraits Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the other portraits Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the other portraits Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the other portraits Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the other portraits Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the other portraits Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Placing the portraits Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Placing the portraits Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the wolf ornament Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the wolf ornament Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the wolf ornament Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the wolf ornament Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the wolf ornament Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the wolf ornament Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the wolf ornament

Phew, that took its sweet time. Time to get the center diamond shape prepared.

The diamond

To create the “petals”, we’ll be using two overlapping circles and a bit of Pathfinder magic. We’ll then proceed to trace the diamond shape, using our smart guides (View > Smart guides) to align its top and bottom edges with the top and bottom of the top and bottom “petal”, and its side extremities to the center of the horizontal petal line, and to the edge of the diagonal petal. I promise this makes sense in the images below (you’ll be able to see my values for size, stroke thickness, etc., in them too).

After some trickery with strokes and expanded appearances, we can recreate the same type of effect as in the original piece. It has a green outer stroke (#60806b), which also seems to merge with the petals, an inner black stroke, and an orange center (#cb7856).

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond

Adding texture to the diamond

The orange part of the diamond features the hand-drawn snake skin texture that’s available in the vector texture pack. We’ll simply add this texture at the top of the diamond itself, and use a copy of the diamond path as a clipping mask. In terms of scaling the texture, it’s your call. Remember that the diamond shape will be our big, central element in the poster. So if we just size the texture to cover the diamond, it’ll be very big once blown up to its appropriate final size. I’d suggest making a collage of a couple of duplicates of the texture for a better effect. You should also consider making a couple of duplicates, then reverse the source texture to finish the texturing. This will make it look less uniform.

Because the diamond has a stroke aligned on the inside, we’ll need to expand the copy, merge it to subtract the black outline from the orange diamond, ungroup the result, and delete the black outline before being able to use it as a clipping mask. Look at the image sequence below for the step by step actions I’ve taken.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding texture to the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding texture to the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding texture to the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding texture to the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding texture to the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding texture to the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding texture to the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding texture to the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding texture to the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding texture to the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding texture to the diamond

Colorizing and including the witch in the diamond

The process to colorize the witch is very similar to the one used for the portraits: merging, ungrouping, selecting the shapes, changing the colors, etc. My goal is to keep the color palette to a minimum overall, so I’ve only introduced one more color, a dark green for the skin’s shadows (#44594a). I’m reusing the snake skin’s bright orange for her pupils and teeth. The lighter parts of her collar are that dark gray used for the portraits. I’ve also left the crystal ball as is, as I want to keep its transparency effects intact.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the witch portrait

After making sure that my witch is placed above the diamond’s layer, I just placed it on top, and decided to size it to obtain a similar crop to our original piece. The hands will be cropped by the lower edges of the diamond, and the head of the witch will come pretty close to the top edges. The cool thing is that you can move the hands apart if needed to fill the frame better, which I’ve done. After placing the witch, I just made a quick copy of the snake skin texture clipping mask to clip the witch, and it’s good for the final touches: the bats and birds. These were simply placed, duplicated and mirrored, and centered. I then colored them black for a higher contrast against that orange background.

After that assembling, I just created a copy of the diamond, witch, birds, and bats, and placed it in its own layer atop of everything else in the poster frame.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding the witch portrait

Phew, we’re done with the bulk of this tutorial here. Now, onto the type!

Step four: type elements

There’s not too much type on this poster. Each actor portrait features the name and role. There’s a two part sub-header above the diamond. Finally, the main title is at the bottom of the diamond. The typefaces that have been used are Hitchcock, Cooper Black Std, and Coop from House Industries.

The actor name and role are very straight forward. Two different sizes of text in a lighter gray (18 and 24 points, in #323232), and done.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Portrait type Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Portrait type

The sub-headers (“What is she hiding?” and “What is her secret?”) are also quite easy. They’re written using the Hitchcock typeface. The trick with these is to use the Flag mode in the Warp filter (Effect > Warp > Flag). We’re also going to use filler characters (I’m using the underscore, but whatever works, as they’re going to be deleted) to fine tune the curve we’re giving the text.

There’s also a “shadow” effect with it. I’ve obtained it by simply duplicating my text group, and offsetting the lower group by eight arrow taps down, and eight arrow taps to the right.

The process is identical for the second sub-header, except that it’s aligned to the right, and that the text offsetting is also reversed to the left. See the image sequence below for the various values I’ve used.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers

The big piece is the main title. It features complex layering, and a full shape outline.

There are three layers: orange, black, and green. The key to the effect is to offset the black layer less than the green one to get the uniform look. In order to obtain the full shape outline, we’re going to merge a copy of all the layers, place it in the back, and either add a stroke to it or use the offset path function. I personally prefer offset path, so that’s what I’ll show you. It’s all written in Coop Bold, and we’re using the Flag filter again (but at 15% this time). The top line is sized at 200 points, the bottom at 250 points. The line height is at 225 points.

Along the way, I also realized that beefing up some of the shapes by adding a stroke to give them more weight and smooth the overall visual balance helped. The black layer of text, the green layer of text, as well as the full shape outline all went through that treatment. In some cases, some of the letter shapes needed to be fixed once they were expanded.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Result!

And now that that’s done, we can say it’s over!

Bonus! Step five: fake folds

To finish things off, we can add a fake folds vector element on top of everything. A long time ago, I scanned in that folded/scratched paper texture. After placing it in Ai, I live-traced it and got the following vector element:

illustrator tutorial - image 3

You just have to place that element in a new layer above your poster, drop its opacity to 50%, and you’ve got yourself fake folds!

illustrator tutorial - image 4

And because we’re in a good mood, you can even download these fake folds for your own use, in both personal and commercial projects. And while you’re at it, you should sign up on our email list to hear about all the rest of the good stuff we release on the Arsenal.

And finally, don’t forget to mock your final art up, and to show it off in the Go Media Flickr pool.

illustrator tutorial - image 5

Well, that’s it for this tutorial. Don’t forget to check out vector set 23 on the Arsenal, and until next time, cheers!