For this tutorial we will design a typographic poster using the Color Halftone filter to achieve a Roy Lichtenstein art style look.
What You’ll Need to Create Your Poster
You will also need to download and install the following font file and image:
Install the font on your system and you are ready to get started!
1. How to Create a New Document and Set Rulers in Photoshop
In Photoshop, go to File > New. Name the document Girl Power. Set the Width to 1275 px and Height to 1650 px. I will change the measurements of Width and Height to Inches. Set the Resolution to 72 Pixels/Inch. To start, we will set the Color Mode to Grayscale and change it later on. Click OK. Later on, we will need to change the mode to Duotone, and the only way to do this is by starting with a Grayscale mode file.
Press Command-R to activate the rulers on the document. As I mentioned in the step above, I am using inches for this project. If you wish to change to other units, go to Photoshop > Preferences > Units & Rulers. A Preferences window will pop up, and you will be able to change to the desired system.
Click on the Rulers and drag onto the page to create a guide. Hold Shift to drag to an even number. In this case, let’s create a 1 inch margin all around our document. Hide or display the guides by pressing Command-;.
2. How to Use the Color Halftone Filter
In order to be able to create a screen or halftone effect, we need to start with a grayscale file and turn it into Monotone. A halftone effect only works on gradients if you are using CMYK or RGB. We are looking for an even pattern, and this can only be achieved by converting our file mode from Grayscale to Monotone. Head over to Image > Mode > Duotone.
The Duotone Options window will pop up. Under Type, select Monotone. For Ink 1, click on the second square and use the color black or the code
#000000. Click OK.
Using the Paint Bucket Tool (G), color the page with the following color code:
Head over to Filter > Pixelate > Color Halftone.
The Color Halftone window will pop up. Use the settings from the image below and click OK.
We want to create a denser look and have the dots be white. On the Layers panel, duplicate the Background layer by pressing Command-J. Let’s invert the pattern by pressing Command-I. The layer should change from left to right like the image below.
In order to be able to work in color, we have to change the mode again to RGB. Go to Image > Mode > RGB Color.
Create a new layer by pressing Shift-Command-N, and name it Blue background. Using the Paint Bucket Tool (G), select a blue foreground color (
#0000ff), and paint over the new layer.
To be able to see the halftone texture we created on Layer 1, we need to set the Blending Mode of the blue background layer to Screen on the Layers panel.
We can alter the size of Layer 1 to create a more prominent texture. I am resizing mine by pressing Command-T. Head over to the Options bar and check that the Maintain Aspect Ratio button is activated. Set the Width and Height to 130%.
3. How to Add and Adjust Text
Set the foreground color to black on the Tools panel. Press T to activate the Type Tool and type Girl Power on three lines like the image below. We want to the text to cover the poster horizontally. I used separate layers for each word and activated right align text on the Options bar for the word Power. To edit the style, bring up the Character panel by going to Type > Panels > Character Panel. I am using the font Prompt Black Italic and set the Size to 360 pt. For the word Power, set the Leading to 280 pt.
On the Layers panel, select both layers by pressing Shift and clicking on each layer. We want to add movement to the poster, so we will rotate these two text layers. Press Command-T to rotate and hold Shift for an even rotation to 15 degrees. Alternatively, you can head over to the Options bar and type -15.00 in the Rotate option. Hit Enter to set the text. Place the text just within the top margin.
On this specific poster, we want the type to bleed over to create a strong aesthetic, so we will leave the sides to bleed over.
To add more texture to the text, we need to duplicate the two layers we created. Do this by selecting both layers on the Layers panel and pressing Command-J. Using the Move Tool (V), drag both of the new layers under the main text and move them to the right. To create contrast, let’s set the font style to Thin Italic on the Characters panel.
4. How to Add a Halftone Texture to the Text
We want to add movement and a Lichtenstein effect to the poster. Let’s duplicate the text layers and set them in two other colors. First, we need to create folders containing all these layers to keep things organized. On the Layers panel, select the four text layers we created and drag them towards the folder at the bottom.
Duplicate the folder to create three more folders by pressing Command-J on the folder. Name each folder with the following color names: black, white, yellow, red.
Using the Characters panel, change the color of each folder’s text layer. Use plain black and white for the first two. For yellow, use the code
#ffd200 and for red, the code
#ff3d00. In order to see all the layers, we need to slightly move them around—there is no right or wrong for this part! I used the keyboard as it gives us more control compared to the mouse.
The red text is taking over our poster, so I would like to add some texture and contrast to that text layer. Let’s duplicate (Command-J) Layer 1 with the halftone and drag it into the Red folder. Open the Red folder by clicking on the arrow. We will now be working within this folder.
Select the four text layers, and Right Click > Rasterize Type. Keep the four layers selected and Right Click > Merge Layers.
Remember we are still working on the Red folder. Press Command and click on the newly merged layer thumbnail. This will outline and select the objects in this layer, i.e. our text.
Deactivate the visibility of the Power copy text layer and, while still selecting the objects, click on Layer 1 copy. Remember this is the halftone layer we duplicated. Press Shift-Command-I and use the Erase Tool (E) to brush over the poster. This will erase everything in the layer but the words we selected.
We still want to maintain the red color to make our poster stand out. On the Layers panel, activate the visibility of the Power Copy text layer and set the Blending Mode to Screen. We want this layer to be transparent, so let’s merge the two layers left under the Red folder and set the Blending Mode to Multiply.
If desired, on the Layers panel we can duplicate the black folder layer and set the blending mode to Color Burn and the Opacity to 55% to add more shadowing to the poster.
5. How to Save the Poster for Web
Head over to File > Save for Web (Shift-Option-Command-S). Set the quality to Maximum, or lower the quality if there are any size constraints. Under Image Size, set the width and height to the size you need. Click on Save…, add a name, and click on Save.
Great Job! You’ve Finished This Tutorial!
In this tutorial, we’ve created a poster using the famous Roy Lichtenstein style. Today we’ve learned how to:
- Create a typography-based poster and add interesting touches by multiplying layers.
- Use the Halftone Color filter in a different way.
- Use textures and apply them on text layers.