In this tutorial, you'll create different versions of a simple poster in Adobe Photoshop. You'll learn some basics like working with artboards and placing images. You can apply these skills to making other posters or other kinds of projects in Photoshop.
To start your project, you can use the sample images available for download on the tutorial page or photos of your own. You can also use Adobe mobile apps, like Lightroom for Mobile, to capture and edit photos on your smartphone or tablet and bring them into Photoshop.
Just be sure to use full resolution photos so they print well at poster size.
If you're having your posters printed by a third party service, consult them about poster dimensions and resolution.
To open an image for your poster:
- Choose File, Open, and navigate to an image.
- Select it and click Open.
In order to create several versions of the poster, we'll use artboards. Artboards let you create multiple layouts with different content or in different sizes in a single document, and you can see them all at once.
We'll start by creating an artboard for this image:
- Select the background image layer in the Layers panel.
- Choose Layer, New, Artboard from Layers.
- Name the artboard Leaf and click Okay.
A new artboard is created that's the size of the image.
Now we'll add some text to the poster design:
- Select the Horizontal Type tool. Go to the Tool Options bar.
- Select the size. Type in a larger value, and press Enter or Return.
- Click anywhere in your design, and in capital letters enter a few lines of text, pressing Enter or Return between each line.
- Select that text by clicking and dragging over it.
- Then click the center text button to center it.
- Choose a font from the menu here picking any font you have.
I chose a Typekit font that comes with my Creative Cloud subscription. Typekit is a service offering access to a fast library of fonts for use in your designs for print and web.
Let's change the color of the text so it's a bit more readable:
- Select a light color in the swatches panel to apply it.
- Click the check mark in the Options bar to commit your text edits.
- To move the text into place in the design, click and hold down in the Artboard tool and select the Move tool.
- Drag the text into the center of the design here.
That looks good, but we want another version of the poster design.
We'll just copy this artboard and make a few changes to the copy:
- Click the word leaf above the artboard to select the leaf artboard.
- Choose Layer, Duplicate Artboard.
- Name the new artboard River and click Okay.
- Choose View, Fit on Screen just to make sure you can see both artboards.
- First we'll replace the image on the new River artboard.
- Select the Layer 0 on the new River artboard choose Layer, Delete, Layer.
- Click Yes to delete the image.
- Then choose File, Place Embedded.
- Select another image, like this Yosemite River photo,
- and click Place to place a copy of the image in the file at a size that fits inside the artboard.
- Then click the check mark in the Options bar.
The new image is covering the text on the River artboard.
To fix that:
- Drag the Yosemite River image layer below the text layer in the Layers panel.
- When a line appears, release the mouse button.
- You should now see the text on top of the image.
Now let's change the color of the text to make it more readable. In Photoshop you can sample color from an image to use:
- Select the Eyedropper tool.
- Click in this area of the leaf image over in the Leaf artboard to sample a color.
- Now we'll save the color in the Libraries panel so it's easy to access in the future.
- Click the Libraries tab or choose Window, Libraries to open the Libraries panel.
Creative Cloud Libraries let you capture and organize assets like colors, styles for text, images, and more that you can access in other projects in Photoshopand across other desktop and mobile apps.
Click the Add Foreground Color button at the bottom of the Libraries panel to save the color you sampled with the Eyedropper tool into a Library. Select the Type layer in the Layers panel, and click the color in the Libraries panel to apply it to that text.
No matter what document is open in Photoshop, that Library will always be accessible to you when you're logged in with your Adobe ID.
To learn more about working with Libraries including sharing them, make sure to check out the Creative Cloud Libraries tutorials on adobe.com.
In Photoshop you can Save or Export or both. Saving saves all the artboards intact in one file along with the layers. Exporting allows you to save each individual artboard separately in a flattened format so you'll have a copy of each poster in a separate file for printing or sharing.
Let's first save our project by choosing File, Save. Choose a destination and click Save. Click Okay. Now we'll export the individual posters. Choose File, Export, Export As. In the Export As dialogue box, you can choose the file type. Click Export All to save each individual artboard as a separate file. Choose where to export the files, then click Export.
We now have two different versions of our poster ready to go. You can use the skills you just learned to create your next project in Photoshop. Have some fun and see what you create.