Posters are printed or digital artworks designed with the purpose of communicating a political ideal, informing of an upcoming event or inviting the people to purchase a determined product; there are also many posters designed to be exclusively art pieces that help artists to promote themselves. Usually posters have a combination of graphic resources and typefaces, although we can see some exceptions once in a while.
The key of a good poster design is that it has an eye-catching design and a clear message, we can translate these two elements into “remembrance”. On this showcase we like to show you 100 essential tutorials that will guide you across the road of becoming an expert in poster design, because right now you’re maybe just a tiny amoeba wanting to become a homo sapiens.
You’re just a floating amoeba passing by
The first level on your road to become an awesome poster designer, you will start learning how to make use of some of the basic Illustrator and Photoshop tools to make eye-catching posters. We are working with only essential tools, nothing too complicated, this level is more for you to start understanding the parameters that determine a well poster design.
Using Photoshop you will learn how to create a colorful poster mixing photography and typefaces, just a few more steps and you will make a nice artwork for your friends to see.
Using a starting solid color palette, you will learn how to use Photoshop for make a grungy poster by exploring textures, shadows and blending modes.
Using some basic Photoshop principles, you will find the way to make a rock poster such as the one displayed on the previous screenshot.
On this tutorial you will learn how to emulate the classic Hollywood’s blending posters using masks and solving the color part by turning everything into duotone.
Simple and yet attractive, this poster design is one of the nicest of this category.
One of the nicest and easy-to-do posters of this roundup, you will be surprised with the little amount of steps required to complete it.
Learn how to manipulate of pictures in Photoshop in order to create a conceptual poster, handle typography and texture management on the process.
A very simple and effective design that can be used to get some inspiration before start working.
In this PS tutorial, you’ll be studying how to manipulate an eye’s picture to create a LASIK flap and learn techniques for drawing transparent objects.
There’s definitely some Tron Legacy inspiration perceived across this poster design.
This tutorial will show you how to create a simple but still attractive movie poster using just a picture and some typography, the poster is inspired on the movie “The Last House on The Left”.
Vintage is one of the favorites styles by many designers, because it allows to play with old-fashion elements and make them look nice.
Using pure typography you can create an eye-catching poster with enough graphic richness to be picture-free.
Throughout this tutorial, you will learn how to create some nice textures for the background, manipulate a picture by giving it a stylish look and also make some color variations.
Masking photographs is an unusual way to make pretty cool designs like the one on the previous screenshot.
A different format was utilized for this tutorial, instead of a rectangular marquee, they chose a elliptical one.
On this tutorial you will put together a poster using a main photograph and a lot of typography using the old-collage style.
After completing this first step on your evolution that will eventually turn you into a homo sapiens, let’s see the main conclusions that we can infer after completing these 10 poster tutorials:
1. If you don’t have an extended knowledge on graphic software, use manual resources and adapt them to digital media, things like collage and handwritten fonts are always a great resource.
2. Using textures is a nice way to give some flavor to your designs, although it’s important not to abuse of them because then they will become an annoying noise.
3. A good photograph can do more than half of the job when designing a poster, it’s just a matter of good diagramming and coherent picking of the image.
Now you’re a tadpole, so at least you have legs
This level is an opportunity for start experimenting with effects, textures, photo editing and more, also you will see how the traditional design guidelines can be broken to achieve some great designs. Once you master these following tutorials, the next level will become your next challenge.
Make a strong use of the warp tool in Photoshop to complete this great 60’s poster, ideal for promoting gigs and rock events.
Similar to the motion picture Dragon Ball, you can learn how to create this fancy poster design.
Follow this tutorial in order to understand how to create a fancy vintage design like this great example.
Inspired by Sheppard Fairey’s famous political poster series for the Obama campaign in the USA, this tutorial is a mix of Illustrator and Photoshop’s techniques that can help you reach this graphic style.
There are some basic things to understand before you start making a horror movie poster, and this tutorial could help you with that.
Right for this Halloween season, this tutorial made by Chris Spooner is a resemblance of the old classic 50’s posters.
GIMP is one of the most amazing photo editing tools around, and you can make awesome designs such as this great poster.
On this tutorial you will learn how to make a retro-grunge poster using the pen tool some textures and playing with text to make it look more retro
The using of patterns is a nice resource when it’s properly implemented as it happens on this design.
I’m not sure if this is a Grunge design, but the girl is definitely a rock star inside a nice poster design.
Thanks to Photoshop you will learn how to manage to create an awesome indie poster reminiscent of the DIY culture and the classic alternative bands.
Vectorizing is one of the best ways of saving damaged and/or low quality pictures, for then start working on them.
This tutorial uses a variety of techniques to create a funky music poster in Adobe Photoshop, focused specifically on managing effects.
Learn how to create this cool looking poster design using some easy to handle techniques. You’ll be learning how to use different types of brushes and also working with stock images.
From this tutorial you can start looking for a stylized and coarse effect, rather than a photo-realistic halftone interpretation of a design. create a 3-color design that looks great on screen, printed from your home printer, or screen-printed using the silk-screen printing method.
Use some cool tricks to get an awesome custom wallpaper or movie poster with pure Photoshop.
This may look harder than what actually is, you can be sure that this tutorial will be easy to complete.
Lovely space design with a lot of vintage ambience, another great post by Abduzeedo.
Fashion design has its own style, which is very similar to the use of fancy and elegant elements, like the ones on this poster design.
Using grunge textures along with gradients and vintage tones is a technique that often produces nice results.
Another trick to make fancy poster designs is combining vintage and colorful palettes to obtain design such as this one.
On this tutorial David Oei and Carolyn Sullivan show us how they created their entry for the first round of the Crestock Photoshop Contest 2008, a poster inspired by the Russian Constructivist movement.
After finishing this level, there are some new techniques and styles that you must be now able to manipulate, such as the halftone partner and photo manipulation, you have also learned how to make themed posters for gigs and use the constructivist style to generate a great political poster.
1. Halftone partner is a great way to take advantage of a picture that was not taken at 300 dpi or is just too small to work with.
2. Many times the use of solid color and controlled palettes can be as effective as using shiny surfaces and fancy Photoshop effects.
3. Using masks, organizing layers and understanding the importance of hierarchies is the best way to create nice designs that are not just eye-catching but easy to read and understand, while the process does not take much time to the designer.
Get out of the water, now you’re a big lizard!
Since this level, you will learn how to mess around with the standard guidelines that most posters follow and still reaching amazing graphic results. You will also learn how to perform more complex tasks with the most recognized graphic programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
Using some advanced Photoshop, this tutorial will guide you across the making of a grungy typographic poster using some typefaces, a typewriter machine and some cool textures.
The difficult part of this tutorial is giving the Avatar appearance to our lady, besides that, it’s very easy to complete.
Simple and lovely spring poster design, full of details and color to work with.
Placing a lot of elements inside a cartel can either give it an unprofessional or fancy look.
You don’t have to implement typefaces within your poster designs, a picture can worth a million words.
Similar to a previous poster design tutorial of this showcase, this one has a few extra details to work with.
The site offers you all the resources needed for completing this great grunge poster design.
In this intermediate Photoshop tutorial you will travel through the making of a fabulous and creative advertisement poster. This is what I would consider great for advertising your newest product, or just getting some design practice.
This tutorial requires an additional skill from you, which is managing Alchemy for making the shapes.
Using some pretty cool Photoshop effects, you can create this astounding Lord of the Rings poster, similar to the original.
Creating a retro design is nothing new, but there are some things to keep an eye out for when imitating graphic design from any past decades. You will use PS to recreate this awesome poster.
Awesome typographic poster made with a combination of Photoshop and Illustrator techniques.
Great and easy to follow tutorial showing how to create a hyperspace photo manipulation using Photoshop shapes, brushes, clouds filter and blending modes.
Inspired by films such as “The Day After Tomorrow”, this tutorial will guide you on the developing of a nice movie poster using Photoshop.
On this tutorial you will take a ride through the process of creating this cool old school sci-fi poster image, based on Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The thing with Photoshop is that you can have a starting picture and turn it into something completely different an nicer, as seen on this example.
These type of poster designs are ideal for modern, trending advertisements and campaigns.
Develop this fancy African illustration that can be easily implemented as a poster design.
Learn how to make a classic movie poster with Photoshop to use on your upcoming movie.
You will guess that this design has some 3D intervention on it, but the truth is that it’s only a brush.
On this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a poster design inspired by the Russian Constructivism. You will cut up some images and paste them together to create a stylized revolutionary design.
The melting milk that’s blended with the car picture looks amazing, along with the nice background.
Chris Spooner brought us an awesome freebie, not only the original source ready for download but the article on how he made it.
Fancy poster design, ideal to implement within your fashion designs to make them look fancy, trending and elegant.
In this tutorial, we’ll learn how create a turn-of-the-century Vaudeville poster, just some Photoshop effects and textures and you will learn how to make wonderful posters like this one.
Astonishing poster design that mixes a great vintage color palette with a very modern design.
Using the mesh tool and some Illustrator basics, you can make this sweet boxing poster.
Lovely poster design to receive this holidays season and a happy 2011.
There are plenty of ways to create a Watercolor Effect in Photoshop, and on this tutorial we will see one of them while making an awesome design with Jim Morrison, I’m sure that he will really like it.
Big lizard conclusions
So what have we learned after completing these 10 tutorials?, one of the most relevant conclusions must be that Photoshop and Illustrator posses a lot of secrets and tricks that can make our life way much easier, also that recreating old school designs is not as hard is it may seem to be, it’s just a matter of knowing how to do it.
1. Blending modes and effects are great ways to play with contrasts, highlights and tones for developing awesome images.
2. Most famous posters can be reproduced with just some basic knowledge and creativity, if at this level we were able to duplicate a Lord of the Rings poster, imagine what can we do with more skills.
3. Always look for inspiration, is the best way to learn of how others solved graphic issues in different styles, it’s imperative to know about things such as Pop Art and Bauhaus.
Chimps rule, they are the little kings of the jungle
Congratulations for making it to this level, know you’re about to learn how to make fabulous poster designs utilizing advanced illustration techniques of a level that can compete against some of the major brands around, the only thing you need to have is a bit of creativity because the tools are served.
Gorgeous photo manipulation to create a great futuristic poster design with Adobe Photoshop.
Using Photoshop blending modes and some filters you can generate an awesome poster like this one.
Awesome poster design tutorial, this would be definitely a Sheldon Cooper’s favorite.
This tutorial proves that Illustrator and Photoshop work awesome together, as you can see on this poster.
Nice poster design that features many cool photo editing techniques, including photomontage and retouching.
You will need a few advanced skills if you want to complete this 3D tutorial.
Pure digital painting in Photoshop, this is not our classic Pink Panther cartoon, because if it is, damn she’s angry.
Almost any scene can be created with a little Photoshop and having the right resources.
Remember the awesome Jumper poster?, well now you’re about to learn how to do it in Photoshop.
Using Photoshop’s blending modes along with a mix of textures and brushes you can create an awesome abstract space poster.
Buying a PSD Tuts Plus premium account gives you access to this entire tutorial, a fantastic anaglyph poster.
Astonishing Dark Knight poster, the idea itself is brilliant, as well as the execution of the design.
You don’t need incredible illustration skills to make this, just a few Photoshop and Illustrator abilities.
Constructivism is often associated with communist politics and propaganda, but it’s much more than that, this is about using bright colors, playing with lightness, perspective, geometrical forms, besides photomontage techniques and digital collage, and all of this can be translated into a Photoshop file.
This was done absolutely from zero, every part of the character and the poster in general was made in Photoshop.
This tutorial covers several Photoshop techniques for enhancing a basic banner design for a product or service.
After completing this tutorial you will learn how to make an awesome rockstar poster, although it’s important for us to tell you that it requires a lot of Photoshop skills.
Awesome tutorial by Abduzeedo where you’re about to learn how to make amazing posters such as this Nike ad.
Abduzeedo is always releasing beautiful and useful tutorials, such as this great ice-cold image effect.
A current trend in graphic design during these days is mixing surreal graphics and photographs, like it happens on this example.
Great poster design, you will be amazed by the amount of independent pictures that were joined together in a nice way.
The Chimp level was the last one of the “standard” levels, showing how to squeeze the juice to both Photoshop and Illustrator, learn how to use the effects, blending modes, customizing pictures and even working with a little 3D. As you can see, many great posters are quite simple but have a powerful color management, a well chosen effect and a nice slogan.
1. There are several ways of reaching a high artistic level, you can either be an awesome illustrator how knows how to take full advantage of his skills or you can be a great designer that compensates his lack of illustrating skills with great diagramming, good typography selections and well executed effects.
2. Do not fill your designs with effects, that will make it look kitsch and saturated, instead of that you should make a proper use of empty spaces, clean areas and high contrasts.
3. Once you have mastered your designing skills, it’s important to always stay updated with the latest trends and techniques and apply them constantly on your designs.
Soon you will become a Homo Sapiens, the smartest creature on earth
Well, there has been more than 40 tutorials and it seems that you managed to complete all of them (unless you cheated), now you have reached the highest level of this article, will you be able to evolve from a chimp to a actual human been?, will you stop making ordinary designs and start making excellent artworks?, OK let us know what you’re really made of.
Great Photoshop tutorial, I bet you’re noticing that this is definitely the master level, let’s see if you can make it across this interesting tutorial.
If you really like the war movies, specially “Saving Private Ryan”, you will love to learn how to use Photoshop to make this splendid poster design.
One of our favorite poster tutorials of this showcase, if you’re a fan of b-movies like us, then you will absolutely love learning how to make a poster for your next movie.
On this tutorial you are going to create an awesome poster using several photo manipulation techniques. With some cool Photoshop options you can turn all the photos you chose, into one stunning looking explosive artwork.
Look the level that you can reach if you work constantly on improving your designing skills, you can easily be making in Photoshop the next Resident Evil remake.
Explore all the Photoshop potential on this tutorial, use curves, blending modes, brushes and much more, definitely an awesome tutorial.
On this tutorial you are going to get creative with layering, lighting, and texture to build a fantastic abstract piece, you will employ some unusual techniques to make a fan poster for the band Omega Code.
On this tutorial, you will create drawn elements, use design brushes, bring them into Photoshop, and merge them into a unique poster composition that feels hand-made, stylistically unified, and personalized.
An extended tutorial when you are about to learn how to make a beautiful green planet with Photoshop.
The power of the posterization technique shouldn’t be underestimated when it comes to creating art with Photoshop. On this piece by Baz Pringle, Photoshop’s Posterize tool is used to maximum effect.
Fabulous poster design, this is ready to be completed by advanced users, because it includes 3D elements and Photoshop job.
Awesome poster tutorial, you will learn how to work with 3D and Photoshop to make a fancy design.
And that’s it for this showcase, 50 of the nicest and most helpful poster design tutorials around, from awesome movie posters like Indiana Jones and Lord of the Rings to an awesome b-movie design, you will find al types of inspirational resources to implement on your upcoming designs.
So what have we learned since we were just microscopic creatures that are know full grown homo sapiens, masters of poster designing?.
1. It’s important to always gather references, you might think that you have the greatest poster idea ever and then find out that actually the 4 color faces was something that Andy Warhol did 50 years ago.
2. Practice a lot, you have all the needed tools to create your own style, maybe a vintage look with some fancy Photoshop effects.
3. You don’t need to be an awesome illustrator to succeed on poster design, you can easily create a collage design and do something way much better than a complicated design made with brushes and effects.
We have reached the end of this roundup, we expect that you find really helpful this reunion of some of the best poster design tutorials, let us know of other articles that we forgot to mention, remember that your comments and support are the fuel that constantly nourishes our site, see you on our next post.