Nineties style is making a big comeback in fashion and design at the moment. Tap into the trend with this flyer design, perfect for advertising club nights and music events. Inspired by the nostalgic branding of Saved by the Bell and Clueless, this layout is simple to put together and gives a contemporary twist to nineties styling.
We’ll be using Adobe InDesign to put the layout together and Adobe Photoshop for image editing. This is a great tutorial for relative beginners to the software, who want to learn more about creating promotional media for print.
Ready to take a trip back in time? Let’s go...
1. What You’ll Need to Create Your Flyer
You’ll need to have access to InDesign and Photoshop for this tutorial—if you don’t already have these, you can download a 30-day free trial from the Adobe website.
You’ll also need to download the following images and font files:
Install the fonts on your system, and you’re ready to get started!
2. How to Prepare Your Cassette Image
Open up the cassette tape image in Photoshop.
We want to remove the white background of the tape before we use it on our flyer design. To do this, take the Magic Wand Tool (W) and click onto the white area surrounding the tape.
Click on the Refine Edge button at the top of the workspace. In the window that opens, check the Smart Radius box, and adjust the Radius, Smooth and Shift Edge sliders until you have a tight selection around the edge of the tape. When you’re happy, click OK.
In the Layers panel, Duplicate the Background layer and Hide the visibility of the original Background layer. With the Background copy layer selected, hit Delete on your keyboard to remove the white background.
Head up to Select > Color Range.
Click once on one part of the white area remaining inside the gaps of the cassette. Pull the slider along until only the very white areas have been isolated by the color range selection.
Exit the window, and click on the Refine Edge button. As we did before, adjust the sliders until you have a tight selection, before clicking OK.
Then hit Delete to remove the remaining white background.
Go to Select > Color Range, as before, and this time click on one part of the red label on the cassette. Pull the Fuzziness slider along until all of the pink area of the cassette is selected.
From the Adjustment Layer menu at the bottom of the Layers panel, choose Color Balance.
Pull the Magenta slider to the left until the red is adjusted to a bright pink shade.
Head up to File > Save As, and Save your image as a Photoshop (PSD) file, which will preserve the transparent background.
3. How to Create a Colorful Backdrop for Your Flyer
Minimize your Photoshop window and open up Adobe InDesign. Go to File > New > Document.
Uncheck the Facing Pages box, and set the Page Size to Flyer 8.5x11. Set the Margins to 0.5 in and add a Bleed of 0.125 in to all edges of the page.
Click OK to create the document.
Expand the Swatches panel (Window > Color > Swatches), and click on the New Swatch button at the bottom of the panel. Double-click on the New Swatch to open the Swatch Options window. Edit your swatch, renaming it Beige and setting the levels to C=0 M=5 Y=10 K=0. Click OK.
Create a further four new swatches, with the following names and CMYK values:
- Mint: C=55 M=0 Y=31 K=0
- Baby Blue: C=65 M=16 Y=4 K=0
- Candy Pink: C=0 M=59 Y=6 K=0
- Bright Yellow: C=10 M=0 Y=79 K=0
Expand the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and double-click on the default Layer 1 name. Rename the layer Background.
Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and drag onto the page, creating a rectangle in the top-left corner of the page. From the Swatches panel, set the Fill of the shape to Mint and the Stroke Color to [None].
Continue to build up rectangle and square shapes down the left-hand side of the page, adjusting the color to different swatches in your palette.
Build up more shapes across the whole page in an irregular pattern, setting the Fill to different swatches, until you’ve filled up the whole page.
You can add 90s-style texture to some of the shapes by selecting some that share the same color fill and going to Object > Effects > Inner Glow.
Set the Mode to Multiply and the color to a similar shade to the Fill (so here, for Mint rectangles I’ve chosen a Cyan color), and increase the Choke and Noise to 100%.
Increase the Size until the noise texture fills the whole shape.
Create a New Layer, and name it Image. Lock the Background layer below.
Use the Rectangle Frame Tool (F) to create an image frame in the center of the page, and then go to File > Place. Choose your saved cassette tape PSD image, and Open.
Add a subtle Drop Shadow to your tape by selecting the image frame and going to Object > Effects > Drop Shadow. Set the Mode to Multiply and Opacity to about 30%. Click OK.
4. How to Add Nostalgic Typography to Your Design
Lock the Image layer and create a New Layer, Typography.
Use the Type Tool (T) to create a text frame over the top-left corner of the cassette. Type in ‘90’ and, from either the Controls panel at the top of the workspace or the Character panel (Window > Type & Tables > Character), set the Font to Thunderstorm, Size 220 pt.
From the Swatches panel, set the Font Color to [Paper] (white).
Edit > Copy and Edit > Paste the text frame, moving it to the bottom-right of the first text frame, and typing in a small ‘s’, reducing the Font Size.
Then Paste again, moving the frame down to the bottom-right of the cassette. Edit the text to read ‘Rave’ and increase the Font Size to 260 pt.
In the Layers panel, right-click on the Typography layer and choose Duplicate Layer.
Drag the Typography copy layer down to sit below Typography.
Double-click the copied layer to open the Options window. Rename the layer Typography - Pink Shadow. Click OK and then Lock the Typography layer above.
Drag your mouse across the page to select all the text frame sitting on the layer, and hit the Down and Right Arrow keys to shift them across a little. Adjust the Font Color to Candy Pink.
Create a New Swatch from the Swatches panel. Name it Purple and set the levels to C=35 M=71 Y=10 K=0.
Duplicate the Typography - Pink Shadow layer.
Move it below the original Pink Shadow layer, and Lock the original.
Rename the new layer Typography - Purple Shadow.
Drag your mouse across the page to select all the text frames on this layer, and shift them down and to the left a little. Adjust the Font Color to Purple, giving the impression of a shadow effect.
Lock the Typography - Purple Shadow layer and Unlock the top layer Typography.
Here, you can add extra details about your event in the top corners of the flyer. Set these in text frames created with the Type Tool (T), and set the Font to Charlevoix Pro Bold.
You can also use the Stroke panel (Window > Stroke) to create underlines for text details.
Set extra information at the bottom of the flyer, using dashes and different colors to differentiate the various items.
5. How to Create Extra Details for Your Flyer
Return to the Layers panel and lock the Typography layer.
Create a New Layer called Shapes, and drag this down to sit above the Background layer and below Image.
Use the Pen Tool (P) to create a small, imperfect triangle shape somewhere on the flyer. You can give this a color fill of your choice.
Copy and Paste the triangle repeatedly, scattering the shapes across the layout, and varying the rotation and color fill.
Move over to the blank pasteboard somewhere next to the flyer, and select the Pencil Tool (N). Draw a rough ‘spark’ shape, with a curved top and meeting in a point at the base.
Use the Delete Anchor Point Tool to remove excess points and use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select individual points and shift their position, smoothing the outline.
Remove any Stroke Color from the shape, and then head up to Object > Effects > Gradient Feather. Add a subtle Gradient extending from the base of the shape. Once you’re happy with the effect, click OK to exit the window.
Move the spark shape into position on the flyer, around the edge of the cassette. Copy, Paste, Rotate and Resize shapes to create a burst effect around the perimeter of the cassette.
The artwork for your flyer is finished—awesome job! All that’s left to do is to export your design for printing.
Go to File > Export and choose Adobe PDF (Print) from the Format menu. Click Save.
In the Export Adobe PDF window that opens, choose Press Quality from the Preset menu at the top.
Click on the Marks and Bleeds option in the left-hand menu. Check All Printer’s Marks and Use Document Bleed Settings, before hitting OK.
The PDF document created is ready for sending straight off to the printers!
Conclusion: Your Finished Flyer
Big congratulations are in order—your 90s-inspired flyer is ready to print and circulate. I hope your event is a hit!
We've covered lots of skills in this tutorial for putting together promotional media for print. You now know how to:
- Set up a colorful, textured background for your flyer designs.
- Edit images in Photoshop, ready for integrating into an InDesign layout.
- Format advanced typography, creating type that suits the mood of your design.
- Create and edit shapes and graphics to add interest to your flyers.