Create intricate poster designs from simple shapes. | Tom Appleton | Skillshare

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Create intricate poster designs from simple shapes.

teacher avatar Tom Appleton, 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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Creating the sphere


    • 3.

      Manipulating the shape


    • 4.

      Adding colour and composing


    • 5.



    • 6.

      Further shape manipulation


    • 7.

      Type abstraction


    • 8.



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About This Class

In this class I show two completely different ways of designing a poster from the same starting point, following similar techniques but reaching completely different outcomes. I cover a range of techniques such as 3D shape generation, object manipulation and typographic abstraction. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Tom Appleton

Graphic Designer

Level: Intermediate

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1. Introduction: hi, guys. And welcome to another poster design tutorial. So today we learned how to make these two posters. Andi, Although they're obviously so completely different, they actually are made in the exact same way. Andi, I'm gonna show you how made both of them. So we start with just a circle and we take that it's Photoshopped on used three D functionality to create a spherical mesh and from there were able to turn that into a vector on manipulated and style. Eyes it in thes two dramatically different ways to create completely different styles of person design. We're gonna be looking at some cell time for over face a more abstract typography, different textures and line waits. Andi just composing an abstracts poster on putting it together. These are two styles I absolutely love. The 2nd 1 based more on sort of a manga perspective, but they're just abstract designs. Andi, think you guys are gonna like it, so let's get started 2. Creating the sphere: So we're gonna start in photo shop on just setting off the document. First, I'm gonna be working in a three. Andi, have some resolution to 300 just because we're gonna be using the three D features foot shop on on, we're going to make it a quite intricate shape. It's worth having the max rooms off image quality that you can at this point, we can bring it down later so that we're not really working with massive files on that it's going to create. So the first thing we'll do is create a new layer. Andi, it's gonna come over here to my tools. Andi, hold down, Andi. So the Ellipse tool So holding shift, I'm just gonna draw out this cycle. So for now, we just make it whites. Make sure it's why, with no stroke rate, things just a white circle on a white background is just rang. Click on your circle layer and score two restaurants layer from there. I just want to go to the top pair on three day new mess from layer mesh preset and then down to sphere. So let me ask you, a few lights would go to the three d works face Just like yes, the workspace. Andi For now, all we're gonna be using is this little properties menu here. So where's the surface? You just need that selected in this style. You just want to keep that one solid for now. Underneath. Here. Just take this lines, bucks. And then, as you can see, that's going to create this mash or this off grid effects on your ran on your circle. You can change the width of the line, but they're also tighten together. You really do want to keep it, just that one. It makes the next part like easier and that's it. That's all we're gonna be doing for three D. So to get out of this, you just want to go to window workspace and then just back to whatever workspace usually use. I'm just going to go to the essentials. Three D environment. Just click off that layer and then that Sarah Shea 3. Manipulating the shape: So the next thing we would do with this shape is just right Click on the layer and just come down to rest. Arise three day. I know that those is restaurants out into an image. Is there still no background on it? And now we can use this freely. So the next part is we want to put this shape into illustrator and turn into a vector. So I'm just gonna open my telestrator. So I'm just gonna work in a three again I'm gonna choose a portray orientation. I'm just down here more settings. I'm just gonna keep the roster effect on 72 PP. I now just to stop the file size from game particularly large when we start to work with this fear further. So it's going to create a document. So if I just go back into focus up here and just move my whole window to the side if I have this lay selected Onda move towards selected, I can just drag it straight through into Illustrator. If that isn't working for you, just save our as a PNG without any background and then just file on place that in. So now we're in illustrator. I'm just gonna make a copy of this by clicking, holding all and just dragging off to the side Too tense into a vector. We need Teoh, What's called live? Trace the image. So if you click on it at this bar at the top here, where is an image trace? Just have a look down on this drop down arrow at the tracing presets and just goto High Fidelity Photo and click on that. So what this is doing is turning every single little shape in this sphere into a vector, and this allows us toe manipulate and play with it further. So once that's finished, just expand the shape here at the top. It's made second of the seconds and then, as you can see by all these blue lines, is turned every single little shape into a vector on this is where within starts to stop. Slow down. If you're working on a laptop like I am, so if you do command why you can see the outlines of all your different vectors, and if you see here where the square is, this is a this is white. So if I just command, why again to go back and move this off to the side. You can see that where it was previously transparent. It's now creative, solid white shape behind that. So you want to do is take your direct selection till the white selection tool and just go around and just delete the areas that you don't want primarily these white areas. I'm also going to get rid of my shadow because I don't feel like I really need that. If you have any other left, have a little bit side. Best scare through and delete them. So we now have this shape as one vector, so we can now upscale and downscale it, and it's not lose any quality. So is worth saving at this point. There's a lot of things you can do with this shape, and it's worth revisiting in the future to try different things with. So for this particular tutorial, I'm going to show you this scanning technique. Um, that works really well with this particular grids type texture, and it's really simple to there. I just want to take your dire extraction toe. Andi, hold down on just select an area. When that comes up blue like that just hover over and then just click and drag and hold shift if you like. So when you let go, it's created this sort of stretched glitchy effect. So So just to show you that again on doing is using the direct selection tool selecting area and then again with the direct station toe just holding and dragon. So as you can see, it's creating these subtle effects of going top inside itself, as you could still see the shadow of the sphere. You see, you get a really good feel for it when you drag it out diagonally and I'll show you that next. So again, select, click and drank. So this is the sort of basis of this technique on this. So much potential and what you can do with this. It's just the texture that makes this technique works so well. All these different squares on the shading just saw works with dragging the fact that it stretches out the pixels. Another little thing you can dio again. It's just really simple, but isn't quite a subtle Just by selecting some pixels again, just make a selection. And if you look up here to your line tools you can align and distribute things to your art bottle selection. Suffice late are bought and then distribute everything horizontally. It's going to spread everything across the screen like that. Andi. That's just another cool thing that is worth start thinking about, so that was spreading it horizontally. But you can also do it vertically and see what happens there. So again it just creates a completely different effect. But you could also then take this that you just made and then drag that out, which in my case, hasn't worked all but you may have better luck with that or try distributing that across the page, so it's just create some different shapes and textures, and it's just another little trick to try. Someone's gonna play this for another couple of minutes, Andi. Then we'll start talking into Opposed to design in the next part of Catcher in the next way 4. Adding colour and composing: So I've just been playing with this little bit further. I've gone for the approach of lots of little like abstractions in it. There is no one that that I saw did bigger, more bolts off glitches. Sigh. Um and this is just something that I wanted to try for now. So when you're doing yours, just sort of have a player on for yourself and see what you think works the best on next thing we would do with this before I start making into a poster is I just want to exploit out as a pierce d or P N J r. Something without a background, um, something go past, pay up NJ, export that out, keep it high quality And then once that's expired, I can close this and we've not got that massive file Teoh cope with. So I'm just making the same size document again. But now I can put in my sphere. So once you get in shape and Teoh illustrates her again, I'm going to put some cool on it. Or at least that's the background. I think I'm going to just try Black for now. She got black or try, you know as long as you backgrounds trump to the images transparent about these different colors do work with the style of shape on. Did make it look a little less Death star like, But I'm gonna sit with black. You could always try clipping masking a closer portion off your image so far as to zoom way in. So I like this and then take this background, put it on top. So that object arranged and bring to front on aligned that with this art. But I could translate that. Select my image layer at the command seven to a clipping mask and to put that image inside it. So from that edit, the contents of my clipping mask just have to double click on when everything goes gray like this can then freely move this around. So by changing the orientation and zooming in and changing it around it again, it makes it look less Death star like, um, which may be something that you would like with that school. So these are my three ideas. Andi, these air. Just what I've solved come up with. As I've been teaching this class in the next part, I'm gonna want some type, and I'm gonna finalize these three post ideas, and then we'll move on to the next part of what we can do with this fear shape. 5. Composition: so welcome back. So we're just gonna finish off this set of three posters before moving on to the next idea for this sphere shape American fish. McFadden's resettle type. Um, they'll just run through the three of them, so I'm sure right out my type. Been using this word? Dead light Recently, I read it somewhere. I thought it was cornets soffits with this poster. I'm gonna go Futura. It's your medium. Expand my lead in You know why? No, Just just the sacre. The practice of Adan Type two. A poster. I'm not feeling this typeface it all a little technique for creating a solvent margin. Just really quickly An illustrator Vice, go command wise. Look at my outlines. I can see that this is my actual canvas, my outboard. So if I just draw out with a rectangle How big or Emergence Bay and Smith that color? I can just hold on, drag this out. Just put that like that And then any type I can just fit perfectly into the corn like that And then I know that it's the same distance on either side. So when I come out like this, even the my actual images larger. I know that it's right for my art, Bart. So I just take these same measurements again, do the same thing so really simple, really? Just working quickly with things like this. If you're doing this for a professional project, obviously recommend making a grid working in design. But for the sake of practice in making abstract purses, just for the fun of it can really can get away with just using shapes like this for your margins and they go, that's all I need. And that little bit of text really does make the difference. So now we need to figure out how I'm gonna put that text on the other two. First er's and I just quickly speed through this and I'll catch you at the very end. On they go. That's just three poster ideas made really quickly on Stein from just a circle in Photoshopped on a tandem into these three. This set of three spacey soft posters and you could make them feel completely different by adding color. Maybe walk in the info, show off further in a different way. There's lots you can do with this, so I hope you enjoy this first part and I'll catch you in the next bit 6. Further shape manipulation: So for this next part, we're gonna be straight into Australia. We're gonna be using the same shape again from the beginning, straight out of Photoshopped. But we're gonna be creates when it looks totally different. So I'm gonna make a sort of a manga style poster design in like an abstract, glitchy sort of way, using the same techniques as before on this is to sort of one that I was just playing with before I started recording Andi, if you just look and it closer, this is our spare shape. The's Ah, the distributed parts of it. Andi, this type very simple to doing for a shop, and that's really all it is. But all together, it creates me really quite stylized and solve exciting. So that's what we're going to make in in this next part. So the first buyer is to trace our shape again on instead of doing high fidelity. This time, we're going to go straight to just default. So you've just quick default or just click image trace and give that a second to tell it into a vector on again. Just expand that you can drive yourself to the side on just like the white areas around it . So I personally like the shape so much as it is. I don't even know if it needs manipulating, but I am going to just a little bit. So mention Start by just selecting an area. Andi, as we did before, just dragging with the dire escalation, told to see what happens so again, it's really cool technique, Andi, although we're doing the same thing as the other. The other poster. You can obviously tell just how different this really is. Someone's gonna shrink this down a little bit, holding old as unsure if tas I shrink it, keep everything so in proportion. Ondas You can see on this very that was making before we have this off background just shapes just random shapes. Andi. The way of doing that is just using the diary selection tool, selecting part off your shape, use in command, see to Kopay and then paste in the out. And that's just going to be a tiny little piece like that. So with the direct station, till here as one, take a selection of this and then making using this alliance of art barred if you click and make sure that's on. Lines are barred by using these distribute options. Here, you can stretch out the shapes. Andi, spread them all over the page. Said like that, which it doesn't quite look, Don't really look good. But that is the that is the trick. So if this but isn't working for me, I'll choose a different power. Obviously, we're gonna choose this better. I mean, that's just a cool little chunk. Anyway, someone's gonna keep a copy of that in group it. Skeptics, I really like that on and again. Just try and drag in with the direct selection on distributing it around the page, so that works slightly better. I'm just gonna undo. I'm just going to again make sure before you click off it that you group it objects and group because then you can make changes to the whole selection rather than trying to drag everything and select everything. So I'm gonna dio is use this down here at the default filling stroke on. I want white selection with black outline, and this looks slightly marred. The solve the style I'm going for since Kenbrell on this end, and we're gonna put it to the back So I quite like that. That looks. And now I'm just going to make some quick changes to just the same sort of 10 years we've been doing. Okay, so feel like we're getting somewhere. I'm gonna take this little bit from before that I really liked and just sort of use it somewhere. So we've got the basics of how this is gonna work, and it looks really complicated like this. But when you just leave it to just dispersant around the page and they know straightly the work, it comes together quite quickly. And I really like working in this way a lot off. My tutorials are around Sof working with what illustrating Photoshopped solve give you. So in the next part, we're going to look at in some typography to this poster. 7. Type abstraction: So this store working with on looking back over just the one that I did? Oh, yeah. We're gonna look at how make this sort of abstract typography. And again, it's just really quick and easy to dio but can really affect your poster design and make it look really abstracts and interesting. So I'm gonna come back into this one, and we're going to use that same word again. That dead light just it's put an future. So once, you could have written that once, you just want to click it, hold all and shift and bring it down like this. And with that still selected just command dear couple of times and it will repeat the last action that that object made all took. So once you have that like that, it wanted slight everything, Kafai. And then we're going back into photo shop. I've already got this same a three document ready to go. So I was gonna make a new layer on pace, the sin as pixels. Now, when you paste the end, you'll notice A has no background, which is usually a good thing. But in this case, we have to have a background so I'm just gonna imagine with a white background layer. So you just select birthday layers on and right click on and merged layers. We'll make a copy of this in case I go wrong, but I just want to go edit on Puppet Warp. Onda talked about the puppet warp on a lot more detail in my previous tutorial, but I'll go through again quickly now, so the puppet warp is based around this mesh. You can show and hide the masters you wish. It's based around this idea of laying pins down in these little triangles on. Then you can move thes pins on bond they saw move around the other pins that you've laid so you can create some really cool solve intricate manipulations by doing this so you can choose the mod rigid, normal distort. In all honesty, there's not a huge difference between the three sides. Stick to normal the densities. How many points there are in your grit again, Normal is perfectly fine. The expansion is how much soft white space the rays in between, You're manipulation. So if I put the expansion, I have this big whites, this big, transparent space here, and that increases with the more expansion. So let's just put that on zero. And then you can also show and hide the mesh. I personally like to hide the mesh because they feel like I have more of a more control over what's going on. And I'm not just following this mesh. That makes sense. Andi, I'm just going to play around with this for a second. So to me, that feels pretty good on any currently reader. But it works, and it looks cool. So again, I'm just gonna move Photoshopped to the side, drag this straight across, and then I'm gonna live. Trace. This is Well, I'm just gonna do it. Default on just image Trace. And then that's the vector as well. And I have all these shapes to work with. So do that expand direct selection tool. Andi, delete White. And then you will probably have to go through Andi. Just delete all your white shapes inside, but it shouldn't take too long. So here's my little bit of typography. Ain't so I have. So it's pretty similar toe what had before? So I was used, whichever feel. I'm just going to start adding this into the composition. That feels pretty good that I do just want to make sure that it sits in this corner nicely . I'm shouldn't do that by correct another really quick margin. So even in the midst of all this sort of chaos, this margin hair is still right. And that is important so that it doesn't just look like a mess. It does look like we thought about it. So I'm just gonna take again my typographic elements. I'm just taking this justice where Dead light in Japanese. And that's just for the aesthetic. But I'm going for in this particular poster, you may also be interested in Japanese typography, which is perfectly fine. Andi just work with it. Have you'd like this type just literally says another post two designed by Tom Appleton. It doesn't need to bay edgy all the time. It's just the sake of putting type on a poster. Just so brings it to life way . So then, one last thing as the this white space here's really brother and may. So it's gonna move this down, and then I'm gonna have a really quick Tidier if this is a little bit too crazy way So the competition's about finished. I'm pretty happy with that. I'm just gonna put the into photo shop, Andi, Then that will be the very end. 8. Finalising: So just coming towards the end of the video now, I've just exported my poster from Illustrator. And although I really like the classic black on white comic sort of style, I'm just gonna have a look at some quick color possibilities and again working quickly. How we could just color this as quickly as possible. So the absolute quickest would be to come to your adjustments. Just window adjustments are here. Andi, just click this bottom left Adjustment on in there on that will change the whole poster. Teoh, you know, have a black background on this. Gives it a completely different feel. Another way of core in this is if you double click on the layer come to color overlay. You could set the blend mode of a white overlay to exclusion and then that's your negative . But you could also then try various different cause on DSI. How that fails. Try different blending merge to you know, so light and on red for May I think that looks really cool. So I'm gonna make a copy of a fax. I want to keep hold of that on. The other thing we could do is do the same but with Grady in and just see how that fails, so just choosing to cause of my grade in may change the angle a little bit, smoothed it out by changing the scale and then trying some blending Mose. So again that feels different by having the to cause sounds too quick. Ways of changing you color just using les styles. So that's my final poster in this style, as well as the other three persons from Alia and to have made all those with really just one simple cycle in photo shop. It's really cool just to see what you can do with the absolute bare minimum. So if you've made it this far, thanks watch. Until the end, I decided to see what everybody makes with all these different techniques that sometimes you can do. Considering we just started with one simple white circle on. We've made four different poster designs that look obviously three and a set, and one looks totally different on that was just starting with that one white circle. So share with us what you've made, and I'm excited to see them on do best of luck, experimenting with everything, Thanks again for watching, and I'll see in the next one