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Create a 60s Psychedelic Style Concert Poster

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial, we will go through the steps to create a retro 1960s psychedelic concert poster in Photoshop. This concert poster tutorial relies heavily on the use of the Warp Tool, but includes a few other techniques as well. Let's get started.

Want more inspiration for 60s posters? Check out our amazing selection of 60s poster templates and retro posters available on Envato Elements and GraphicRiver from Envato Market.

What You'll Learn in This Psychedelic Graphic Design Tutorial

While we work on our 60s posters today with this psychedelic poster tutorial, you'll learn:

  • How to create guides for your 60s psychedelic art
  • How to draw psychedelic letters
  • How to add texture to the psychedelic design
  • How to add a model to the 1960s poster design

1. How to Create the Guides

Step 1

To start this psychedelic poster tutorial, create a new document with a poster-like size ratio. Visualize how you want the document for your 1960s poster design to be laid out, and draw some rough guides with the Brush Tool (B) on a New Layer called "guides". I drew several different compartments that will each contain a different piece of text and one that will contain an image.

Psychedelic Poster Tutorial Create the Guides

Step 2

Make a solid color adjustment layer and fill it with a deep purple. Select the Rounded Rectangle Tool (U). Set the radius so that you get a nice rounded edge that you like. Make sure that you set Make Work Path As Checked on the property bar. Now click and drag to make your border. Grab the Pen Tool (P), and while holding Command, click and drag to select the path. Then click in the Subtract Path button on the property bar. Then make a solid Color Adjustment Layer and Fill it with an orange color.

Psychedelic Poster Tutorial Create the Guides

2. How to Draw Psychedelic Letters

Step 1

Now let's set the first bit of text for your psychedelic design. I used a font called Hobo Std for mine. Grab the Text Tool (T) and click anywhere on the canvas. Then type your text for the psychedelic lettering. Hit Command-T and scale the text up so that it fits the first compartment. Hit Enter to set the transform. On the Layers palette, right-click on the text layer and select Convert to Shape. This turns the psychedelic lettering into paths.

Psychedelic Poster Tutorial Add Psychedelic Lettering

Step 2

Go Edit > Transform > Warp and warp the text to fit the compartment. I find it's easiest to start with the corner handles and then adjust the others afterwards. The Warp Tool can take some getting used to, though it's fairly intuitive. Play around with it until you get a good result. Repeat this step for all the psychedelic lettering sections.

Psychedelic Poster Tutorial Add Text

Step 3

Now let's go back in and change the color on some of this text. First, I want some of the text to have a stroke. Make the Fill color on the 'with special guests' layer white. Then set the layer's Blending Mode to Multiply.

Double-click on the layer to the right of the layer's name to open the Layer Styles palette. Give the layer a Stroke with the settings below. Go ahead and change the colors on the other text to whatever you like. Also, apply a stroke to some of the other text.

Concert Poster Tutorial Add Text

Step 4

Many of these old posters were screen printed. Let's give ours a little of that effect. Load the selection of the 'Lumedia' layer by Command-Clicking on its vector thumbnail. Hit M for the Marquee Tool. Then hit the arrow keys to move the selection down and to the right. Now hit Alt-Command-Click on the same layer thumbnail to subtract from the selection.

Make a new solid color adjustment layer just above the original text and fill it with your secondary color. Set the Opacity to 75% and give it a nudge so it doesn't line up correctly. That way it will look more handmade.

How to Draw Psychedelic Letters Add Text

3. How to Add Texture

The thing that's really going to make this look good and realistic is some texture. I have a paper texture that I got from BittBox that will do nicely. Copy the texture into the document. Then put it at the top in the Layers palette. Set the Blending Mode to Linear Light and set the Fill to 25%.

Concert Poster Tutorial Add Texture

4. How to Add the Model

Step 1

Now let's move on to our image that will fill the rest of the poster. I got an image of a female singer from iStockphoto. Duplicate the Blue Channel by dragging it to the New Channel button at the bottom of the Channels Palette. Apply a harsh curve to it that looks something like below. Do the same to the red channel. Now invert each of the two new channels you made by selecting them and hitting Command-I.

Concert Poster Tutorial Add the Model

Step 2

Make a new Solid Color Adjustment Layer and fill it with the lightest color that you used in the poster. Load the selection of one of the channels you made by holding Command-clicking on its thumbnail in the Channels palette. Make a new Solid Color Adjustment Layer above the previous one, and fill it with one of the other colors from the poster. Do the same with the remaining channel that you created, and fill it with the remaining color from the poster.

Now, on each of the masks on the solid color adjustment layers, apply a threshold. Go to Image > Adjustments > Threshold and drag the slider until you get the detail that looks good to you. Do the same for the other mask on the other color.

Psychedelic Graphic Design Add the Model

Step 3

Now, let's get back to the poster. With the Pen Tool (P), draw a path around the blank area of the poster. Make a new Group by clicking on the folder icon at the bottom of the Layers palette. With the path highlighted, hit the Add Layer Mask button twice to apply the path as a vector mask.

Psychedelic Graphic Design Add the Model

Our Final 60s Psychedelic Art Poster

Now drag the three color fill layers from the singer image over to the poster document and put them into the group that you just created. Scale the image to fill the space as you see fit. I flipped mine horizontally to make it fit better.

This concert poster tutorial is all done! Check out our final 1960s psychedelic-style concert poster below. Have fun with these techniques and this style of psychedelic design. Try playing around with the steps in this tutorial to make different types of 60s posters.

1960s Psychedlic Concert Poster Photoshop Tutorial

Create Retro Posters Online With Placeit

Need a cool poster design for your retro party? Subscribe to Placeit to access unlimited design options for all your needs. Check out some of our favorite examples of psychedelic graphic design below!

1. Cool Psychedelic Design with Poster Maker

Psychedelic Graphic Design Poster Maker

This modern interpretation of 60s psychedelic art is very unique. Edit the font style, text, and color scheme of this 1960s poster design. You can even change the abstract illustrations featured in the center. Create fun looks with this 60s poster template.

2. Illustrated Music Poster Design Maker With a Powerful Style

60s Poster Design Maker

60s posters with a punk look are great at catching the eye. This one features protest imagery, but everything is customizable here. Make a great concert poster with this 60s poster design.

3. Poster Design Maker For a Conference Featuring Wavy Monochromatic Lines

Poster Design Maker For a Conference

This poster design maker from Placeit looks like an alternate universe 1960s poster design. Add a description of your event or offer, edit the dates, and customize the colors. With a few quick clicks, you'll have a great design from this alternate 60s poster template.

4. Poster Design Generator For a Band's World Tour Featuring Wavy Abstract Graphics

Poster Design Generator

While it's not quite 60s psychedelic art, this abstract poster template scratches that itch. Get as monochromatic or flashy as you'd like by changing the color scheme of the poster generator. It's a great look for bands or event posters.

5. Online Poster Design Maker With Abstract Graphics and Textures

Online Abstract Poster Design Maker

We round out our list with this wonderful abstract poster design. The classic aesthetic is complemented by whatever abstract composition you choose to fit your look. It's definitely an eye-catching way to draw attention to your new project or event. 

Create Even More With Poster Tutorials From Envato Tuts+

Creating a psychedelic design is easy with the right concert poster tutorial. If you'd like to sharpen your new design skills, we've got even more poster tutorials for you from Envato Tuts+! There are so many to choose from, but here are a few to get you started.

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