Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    written by Nikola Lazarevic

    Follow this step by step process of designing a timeless swiss style poster design for the imaginary ambient music festival “Bella Musica”, which was held on Ibiza in July 1978. The design process involves turning digital photos into imperfect analog photos with light leaks, dark vignettes and blurred focus, creating patterns, mixing images, textures and blend modes to achive the final design.

    “Bella Musica” poster design is directly inspired by the works of Swiss designer Josef Muller-Brockmann.

    Preview

    Click on the preview image to see the poster in full size.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Tutorial Resources

    Step 1: Turn Digital Photo into Old Style Analog Photo

    First things first – we have to turn our perfect digital photo into old style analog photo with imperfections. Colour washes of warm tones, dark vignettes surrounding the shots, blurred focus and light leaks where the film has been excessively exposed, were all common problems that appeared during the processing of film.
    Let’s recreate all those characteristics. Open Ibiza photo (or any other photo of your choice) in Photoshop.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Add Curves Adjustment Layer (go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves) to the photo.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    From the drop down menu choose the Green Channel and adjust the curve.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Next move to the Blue Channel and adjust the curve using image below as a reference.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Create new layer (Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + N) above Curves Adjustment Layer and fill it with #ff00e4 color. Change the Blend Mode to Soft Light and set the Opacity to 20%.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Press Cmd/Ctrl + A to select all, then go to Edit > Copy Merged and then paste this duplicate on a new layer (Edit > Paste). Apply Gaussian Blur to this layer.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Add a Layer Mask to the blur layer and with large soft brush erase blurring, leaving spots of blurring only on the edges of the photo.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Create another new layer on top, and with large soft brush dub a few red spots (#b81119) to create light leaks.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Change Blend Mode of this layer to Linear Dodge (Add) and lower the Opacity to 70%.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    It’s time to create vignette. Cmd/Ctrl+A to select all, create new layer, then go to Edit > Stroke to add a 100px black stroke inside the document.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Apply Gaussian Blur with maximum Radius of 250px to stroke layer,

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    and change the Blend Mode to Soft Light and Opacity to 70%.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    With large white brush dub a spot,

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    and change Blend Mode to Soft Light.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Finally we need to add grain structure to the photo.

    Create new layer and fill it with black color. Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise and add some noise.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Set the Blend Mode to Screen and Opacity to 15%.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Voila! We have perfect/imperfect analog photo!

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    We can now proceed to the next step.

    Step 2: Setting Up the Poster Canvas

    Create a document (File > New) with your desired poster dimensions. Because I’m only designing for screen, I’ll use an document sized at 1296x1728px, set to RGB at 72dpi. If your work will be printed, you’ll need a much higher resolution-at least 300dpi. You’ll also need to set up bleeds and margins. Set your background color to a #f9f4de.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Create new layer, then with Rectangluar Marquee Tool (M) create selection and fill it with #aac9c1.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Step 3: Add Analog Photo to Design

    Import photo we prepared onto design.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Using Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) create selection like shown on the image below,

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    and apply Layer Mask (Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection).

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Cmd/Ctrl + click on Layer Mask Thumbnail to make selection, grab Rectangular Marquee Tool (M), make sure “Intersect with selection” is selected, and draw rectangle around bottom half of circle. The result will be selection around bottom half of the photo.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Create new layer and fill the selection with #aac9c1 and set the Blend Mode to Multiply.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Repeat the same process for the upper half of the photo but this time use #f9f4de color.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    I like to keep layers organized, so I will advice you to select photo layer and both color layers (upper and bottom half of the photo) and group them (Cmd/Ctrl + G) into one group (name this group “photo”).

    Step 4: Create Circles Around Photo

    First create new layer below “photo” group. Cmd/Ctrl + click on photo Layer Mask Thumbnail to make selection, then go to Select > Modify > Expand to expand selection by 10px.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Fill the selection with #d2632b color.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Create new layer below orange circle layer, Cmd/Ctrl + click on orange circle layer thumbnail to create selection and then expand selection by 10px. Fill this layer with #ce8125 color.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Repeat the above process to create another circle (position below first 2 circles). Fill this circle with #dfa329.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Finally add one more circle (below first 3 circles) filled with #d2c09a color.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Select all circles, group them, and set the group Opacity to 30%.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Step 5: Create and Add Pattern

    Create new document using 10 pixels for the width and 10 pixels for the height, with transparent background. Set the Foreground color to #060400 and using Rectangle Tool (U) draw small rectangle.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop
    3200% zoom

    Go to Edit -> Define Pattern. Name the new pattern the way you want it.

    Back to our design, add a layer below last circle, with Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) create rectangle and fill with any color.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Open the Layer Style dialog window by double-clicking on the layer. Add Pattern Overlay effect, using the pattern we created,

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    and set Fill of this layer to 0%.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    I didn’t want to have pattern over the circles so I did the following: Cmd/Ctrl + click on bottom circle layer thumbnail, make sure that the layer with pattern is selected and then apply layer mask to this layer (Layer > Layer Mask > Hide Selection).

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Step 6: Add Event Title and Description

    Pick up Horizontal Type Tool (T), for the font choose Helvetica, and add event title.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Next, we need to add some info about the event at the bottom of the poster.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Step 7: Final Touches

    Set the Foreground color to #aac9c1 and with Ellipse Tool (U) create circle (hold Alt + Shift to create perfect circle).

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Change the Blend Mode to Multiply.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Duplicate this layer (Cmd/Ctrl +J) three times and position the circles like shown on the image below.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Import free sample texture from wegraphics Folded and Scratched Paper Textures Part I pack onto our design, resize it a bit (make it smaller and keep torn part outside) and run sharpen filter (Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen).

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Set the Blend Mode to Screen and Opacity to around 20%.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    One more thing left to do – we need border around our design. Cmd/Ctrl + A to select all, create new layer on top of all layers, go to Edit > Stroke and give our design 20px white stroke.

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Here Is The Final Result!

    Design a Swiss Style Music Festival Poster in Photoshop

    Get more inspiration in vintage photography and infographic design.

    Your Turn To Talk

    I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments. If you follow this tutorial, please feel free to post a link to your final product in the comments area below, we’d love to see it. Thanks for following along with me!

    Authored by

    Web Designer, Blogger, M.Sc in Electronic Engineering from Nis, Serbia. Founder of webexpedition18.com. You can find me on Twitter.

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19 Comments
ADD COMMENT
  • Rocky says:

    March 31, 2011

    Nice article buddy.. i like it.. may be i should try this :)

    • Nikola Lazarevic says:

      April 1, 2011

      thanks Rocky, I would love to see your design

  • Federica Sibella says:

    March 31, 2011

    Hi Nikola, I have to say your tutorials are always very well explained and show interesting techniques: congrats! I like the result, particularly the subtle dotted pattern. Thanks for sharing this and keep it on!

  • Jeprie says:

    March 31, 2011

    As always, you’re the master of vintage. By the way, is Swiss style needs to use Helvetica?

    • Nikola Lazarevic says:

      April 1, 2011

      Thanks Jeprie. I don’t think that swiss style needs to use Helvetica, but it’s one of the swiss style marks.

  • Heath Waller says:

    March 31, 2011

    Love this tutorial. Love the results! The adding a black stroke then blurring and blending it is genius. This is why your blog continues to be a must-visit during my week. Thank you for yet another great tutorial.

    • Nikola Lazarevic says:

      April 1, 2011

      thank you so much Heath for nice words. glad you like the tutorial!

  • Jacques van Heerden says:

    March 31, 2011

    Really Nice Nikola, keep up the great work :)

  • Sri Ganesh.M says:

    March 31, 2011

    Thats a wonderful work NIk! :D i love the poster very much !.

  • Adrian says:

    March 31, 2011

    Nice work Nikola, good retro poster :D

  • rajasegar says:

    April 1, 2011

    Great tutorial, very easy to follow, thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Nikola Lazarevic says:

    April 1, 2011

    thanks for positive comments guys, really appreciate it

  • Roger C.Parker says:

    April 2, 2011

    Dear Nikola:
    Thank you for sharing so much inspiration and details in this post.

    Some of this is beyond my current PhotoShop skills, but I appreciate the amount of thought and work you put into this post.

    Best wishes–
    Roger

  • Taimur Asghar says:

    April 2, 2011

    Now this is a master piece. Really liked the design reflecting both simplicity and creative approach. Thanks for this tutorial, will try it out in spare time..

  • Frank says:

    April 4, 2011

    I’d rather love to attend these concerts that are shown at the bottom!!!

  • Web Design Company Mumbai says:

    April 7, 2011

    Nice Tutorial.

  • Hank_Scorpio says:

    April 15, 2011

    The problem with this is added the text in photoshop – which will be raster (jagged edges) when printed, as most file types output as RASTER from photoshop. The best format to get the text output as VECTOR is to leave the Text Layers as Text Layers and save as PDF – you should include this step in saving the file.

    If you can you should save the image without the text and place the saved PSD or TIFF file into Quark/InDesign/Illustrator (or you favourite page layout program) and then add the text in there instead.

    No point in having a beautiful cover art if the text is going to come out all jagged.

    Nice tut by the way – good luck!

  • Hank_Scorpio says:

    April 18, 2011

    There’s no way a printers going to be able to print that small type in that 4 colour black – you’re using Hexadecimal values, for a print job the black text should be in the K channel only.