Minimalistic Poster Design: Design a Stylish Poster in Three Simple Steps | Michael Letto | Skillshare

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Minimalistic Poster Design: Design a Stylish Poster in Three Simple Steps

teacher avatar Michael Letto, Graphic Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (14m)
    • 1. Course Trailer

    • 2. Course Requirements

    • 3. Class Project

    • 4. Principle: White Space is Good Space

    • 5. Illustrator: Choosing Your Letter

    • 6. Photoshop: Image Masking

    • 7. Changing Our Background

    • 8. Mock-Up & Share (Optional)

    • 9. Thanks!

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About This Class


In this quick class I'm going to go over a standard principle used when creating minimalistic artwork. We'll then apply that principle to a poster design that we'll create from scratch. No software experience necessary! Even if you're a true beginner, you'll be able to pick up the skills you need to create something you can be proud of!

It's my hope that what you learn in this class will be transferred to other work you do. At the very least, this class will encourage you to think about the design choices you make, and how those choices affect your work.

So what're you waiting for? Enroll today!

Meet Your Teacher

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Michael Letto

Graphic Designer


Hey there!

My name is Michael Letto and I'm a graphic designer from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I'm a young professional currently doing full-time design work for a non-profit organization. I also do freelance work for a variety of local clients. You can check out some of the work I've done by visiting my website.

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1. Course Trailer: Hey, my name is Michael Leto and I'm a graphic designer from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In this class, I'm gonna show you how to create a minimal style poster similar to what you see here. The class project will involve creating a poster using one typographic letter and one image of something that starts with that letter. You'll learn about a single principle used when creating minimal artwork as well as the technical skills needed to execute it. It's my hope that what you learn in the short class will be useful to you and other work that you create. This class is for anyone who has an interest in creating fun artwork in a minimal style. Beginners are always welcome. I'll see you in class and I can't wait to see what you create. 2. Course Requirements: Like I said, this class is beginner friendly, and if you have no idea where to even start, I'm here to help. This class will require the use of Adobe Photo Shop and Adobe Illustrator. If you don't have these programs, you can download a free trial from adobe dot com. In addition to these programs, you'll need access to photos and fonts you can use in your project, which I will offer links to in the resource section. 3. Class Project: the project will be working out together will be a minimal poster using one typographic letter and one image of something that starts with that letter. For example, the letter I chose Z, so I chose to use an image of a zebra. The class project can be divided into three simple steps. Number one. Choose the type face number to choose a letter and number three choose an image in a later video. I'll teach you how to mask the image to fill the shape of the letter that you choose. For now, however, start your class project by sharing what typeface you choose. Any typeface will work for this project. The only requirement is that it's something that you feel comfortable working with for an entire project. You can take a look at the websites I've posted in the resource section, or you can choose the font you're already familiar with. In the next video, we'll quickly go over a simple principle for creating minimalistic artwork 4. Principle: White Space is Good Space: a key principle in creating minimal artwork is a utilizing whitespace. A lot of new designers are tempted to fill their canvas with whatever they can. But I want to challenge you with this project to fight that temptation. Think about the space on your canvas. The space that you don't fill is just as important and perhaps even more important in the space that you do. Phil. For any project you work on before you add an element to your canvas, ask yourself. Does this addition help or hinder my work? Too many items on a canvas can create visual noise or business that you didn't intend. However, if you utilize whitespace, you sharpen the focus of the overall peace. It's important to think about the design choices you make rationalised replacement of elements. If you are able to think through your decisions, your project will be so much better for it. The viewers attention is then directed toward what's left on the canvas. So all that to say, Don't be afraid of white space 5. Illustrator: Choosing Your Letter: all right, so now we're going to jump into Illustrator and lay out our canvas. I went ahead and created a 24 inch by 36 inch canvas, as that is a standard poster size, but feel free to create whatever size canvas you like. This project would be finalized in Photoshopped, and in all honesty, it could be done completely in photo shop. But the reason I'm starting in Illustrator is because I find it much easier to manipulate type in this program as it is a vector and shape based program. If you haven't already choose the type face you want to work with, you can lay out a few different options to see how they compare to each other. Font size doesn't matter at this point, just make sure it's big enough for you to see on your canvas. There isn't a specific style of typeface that works with this project, so go ahead and choose whatever you like. Then select a single letter you want to use for the poster. Remember that we're gonna You also included an image of something that starts with that letter, so you might want to consider that as well Once you've selected your letter, make a copy of your text box by holding the all key and dragon off your canvas. This is a backup in case we make a mistake. Then convert your original text box toe outlines by pressing command or control and shift. And no, this converts the text into a shape. There, you can more easily maneuver and manipulate, enlarge or shrink the letter to whatever size you like and placed around the canvas to see what it looks like in different spots. Remember to update your class project with your progress so far. Once you have a general idea of where you want that typeface to be on the canvas, you can jump in the photo shop. 6. Photoshop: Image Masking: So now we're gonna jump into Photoshopped to mask an image onto our letter. Before you do that, copy the letter. You manipulated an illustrator by pressing command or control. See then create a new document Photoshopped the same size as the one you created. An illustrator. Unlock the background layer by double clicking on it and naming background. Paste the letter by pressing command control V and you'll be given a choice as to how the object will be imported into Photoshopped. Select pixels and click OK, renamed the layer Toe letter and place it generally where you want it to be. You don't have to show the entire letter. You can crop part of its shape by placing it a little off the canvas like I am, but it's totally up to you. Once you place your letter where you like it, you're ready to mask an image onto the shape. Find an image online of something that begins with the letter that you chose. There are many great websites that offer high quality copyright free photos for you to use at no charge, and I've included some links in the resource section for you to look at Once you've selected and saved your image, open it in photo shop by going to file place and selecting your image. Confirmed the placement by pressing, enter and renamed the layer to image. Keep this layer above your letter layer. Masking an image is very easy, and there are different ways to go about it. What I would do in this situation is simply hover over your mouse between the thumbnail of your image layer and your letter layer. Now hold the all key and you'll notice the pointer changes to a square with an arrow by clicking it. Photoshopped masks the top layer with whatever shape is on the bottom layer. This is a flexible method because you can move the image layer to your liking without being destructive. The final step to this process is grouping thes two layers. You can do that by selecting both layers and pressing Commander Control G. You can select multiple layers by holding shift renamed the group Image Mask. Now you can move that group wherever you like, and the image masking will stay intact. If you want to manipulate the mask again, go into the group and move the image. Next will quickly go over our background and adding texture to our poster 7. Changing Our Background: If you want to change your background color, you can do that easily by using the paint bucket tool with whatever color you want. Consider how color interacts with the image that is masking your letter. Does it help or hinder your project? We talked about Whitespace earlier, and that doesn't always mean literal whitespace. Minimalism also doesn't mean you have to maintain a black and white color scheme like I am in this project, but I encourage you to think about the colors that you use in your project. Don't just make a blue background because you like the color blue. Think about how that blue interacts with your letter. Is it clashing too much, or is there a visual harmony present in the overall work? I prefer a white background as it complements the black and white of the zebra, so I'm just gonna leave it as it is. Create another layer and rename it radiant. To do this, you'll need to create some guides from the top of your screen, dragged the ruler down to create a guide near the middle of your canvas. You'll feel the lines snap in place when it hits the middle. Do the same thing for the left. If you don't see these rulers, press command or control R to make them visible now, select your radiant tool and make sure the color is white to black. The default grading is black and white, but you might need to click reverse to make sure it's white to black in the grating options , change it from the default linear to radio by clicking on this symbol now on the Grady. It later click and drag outward from the middle of the guides to create a Grady in that is white in the center and black around the edges. Change the blending mode from normal toe overlay and adjust capacity as necessary. The reason I put this above the image mask is because it unifies the project and its subtle enough that it doesn't distract the eye or create unnecessary noise. And that's it. Yours will look different than mine, but our poster is complete. It could be tempting to keep adding different elements, but the challenge with minimalism is to know when enough is enough. We've created a simple, elegant piece using only a letter and an image for a very last step I'm gonna show you how to display this poster in a mock up form so you can share it with the world. 8. Mock-Up & Share (Optional): This is an optional step, but I thought it'd be cool to share this with you, as it's an extra step I often take with my work. We've created a poster together, but it's unlikely that I'll actually print this, but that doesn't mean it can be shared. So what we're gonna do is use a poster mock up to create a realistic display of the image as if it was actually printed. There are loads of resources out there that you can download to mock up your work, and this particular one we're using today is a freebie from in a studio. I'm gonna leave a link to this free download in the resource section. This is a great resource that has been offered completely for free by the creators. It's so easy to use, and it makes your work look great. Go ahead and open up the PSD file and Photoshopped, depending on what version you're using, the program might ask you to select an option When you open it, click on key players. Look in the layers panel that reads, Change me double click on that layer, and it will open that layer in a new photo shop window. All you need to do is place your poster design in this window. So head back to your poster design and create a new layer at the very top. Go to image, apply image. Now click and hold on this layer and drag it into the mock up window. Depending on what size you major poster, you might have to adjust it in this window. Make it fit as best as you can without breaking the proportion. Then I would suggest creating a white or black border around the remaining space. You can do that easily by creating a new layer, placing it one layer down from your poster design and filling it with the color you want to use for your border. You might need to add additional space for your border on a new layer at the very top. Just do what feels best, depending on the size of your poster, and that's it. Save it by pressing Commander Control s then go back to the original mock up file we opened earlier. You'll see your design in place of mine. One other item to note you'll see a folder called Background Color with a layer named Change Me. If you double click on that, you can change the color of the Grady in that is in the background. I suggest using two colors that complement the colors in your poster. If you can't find a combination that works, black and white is always a safe bet you can. Now go ahead and say this as a J pacto, upload it onto your website, your instagram wherever you'd like to share it. I'm challenging myself this year by creating a poster every day for the entire year of 2017 . Each day I upload a different poster designed to my instagram page, and using these mock ups really adds a unique look. 9. Thanks!: Now that you've created your minimalistic poster, I hope you can say you've learned something about the process of creating minimalistic art . Remember to update your class project with your final poster design. I can't wait to see what you've created. I've really enjoyed teaching the short class. So I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to watch it. If you have any questions, feel free to post them. I'd love to connect and help anyone beyond these few minutes here. Thanks again, and I'll see you next time.