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  1. Design & Illustration
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How to Create a Typography Poster Design in Adobe InDesign

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Get into the party spirit with this St. Patrick’s Day poster that will make everyone green with envy! On 17 March, people around the world honour the Patron Saint of Ireland and Irish culture as a whole.

Featuring the traditional Irish shamrock, an emerald color palette, and vintage-style textures and type, this is a fun introduction to poster layout skills in Adobe InDesign. Why not adapt the text to fit your own St. Patrick’s Day celebration?

final poster

Looking for something a bit different for your celebrations? Discover more eye-catching event poster and flyer templates over on Envato Market.

This tutorial is suitable for beginner-to-intermediate users of InDesign. You’ll also need access to Adobe Illustrator to prepare the shamrock graphic. 

Ready? Let’s go!

1. Create the Poster Document in InDesign

Step 1

Open up Adobe InDesign, and go to File > New > Document. 

Set the Intent to Print, deselect Facing Pages, and choose A3 from the Page Size drop-down menu.

A3 page size

Set the Margins to 14 mm on all sides, and add a Bleed of 5 mm all the way around. 

bleed and margins

Click OK to create your poster document.

new document

2. Give the Poster an Emerald Backdrop

Step 1

Expand or open the Layers panel (Window > Layers).

Double-click on the default Layer 1 name and rename the layer Background

Click on the Create New Layer button at the bottom of the panel and rename the new layer Typography. Create a final new layer and rename it Shamrock

new layers

Lock both the Typography and Shamrock layers and click on the Background layer to activate it.

unlocked layer

Step 2

Take the Rectangle Frame Tool (F) from the left-hand Tools panel and drag onto the page to create an image frame that extends across the whole page, up to the edges of the bleed on all sides.

layers panel

Select and download a paper texture with a vintage feel. I've used a vintage paper texture from Envato Market.

Return to your InDesign document, and select the rectangle frame. Go to File > Place and select the paper image. Click Open.

Click on the Fill Frame Proportionally button on the top Controls panel to arrange the image in the frame.

paper background

Step 3

Expand or open the Swatches panel and create a new CMYK Process Swatch. Name the swatch Dark Green and set the values to C=93 M=44 Y=82 K=54. Click Add, and OK.

dark green swatch

Select the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a rectangle the same size over the top of the paper image frame.

Set the Fill Color of the rectangle to Dark Green. 

green rectangle

Step 4

Select the green rectangle and go to Object > Effects > Transparency. Set the Mode to Multiply, and reduce the Opacity to 80%. Click OK

multiply transparency

Some of that papery texture sitting behind will now be pulled forward and made more visible.

background color

Step 5

From the Swatches panel’s drop-down menu, click on New Gradient Swatch. 

new gradient swatch

Name the swatch Background Gradient and set the Type to Linear. Click on the left-hand stop on the Gradient Ramp, adjust the Stop Color to Swatches, and choose Dark Green from the list of swatches.

swatch stop

Click on the right-hand stop on the ramp, and adjust this to the [Black] swatch. 

Pull the slider over slightly towards the right-side of the ramp to create a slightly paler gradient. Then go ahead and click OK.

new gradient
gradient applied

3. Bring in a Lucky Shamrock!

It’s time to add a lucky charm to our poster design. For this step of the tutorial, you’ll need to open up Adobe Illustrator.

Step 1

You can either draw your own shamrock silhouette or download a simple silhouetted vector, like one from this selection of clovers and shamrocks from Envato Market.

Download the vector and open it up in Adobe Illustrator. Isolate just one simple silhouette of a shamrock, and make sure it has a long stem. 

Set the Fill Color of the shape to a solid black, then hop up to Edit > Copy.

vector shamrock

Step 2

Return to your InDesign document and to the Layers panel. Lock the Background layer and unlock the top layer, Shamrock.

layers panel

Go to Edit > Paste to drop your shamrock vector directly onto the page. Hold Shift to resize it, so that it fills about two-thirds of the page, as shown below. Center it on the page as much as possible too.

pasted vector

From the Swatches panel, adjust the Fill Color of the vector to [None]. Then go to File > Place and choose the same paper image we used for the background of the poster. Click Open to fill the vector with the paper texture.

paper shamrock

Step 3

In the Swatches panel, create a new CMYK Process Swatch and rename it Pale Green. Set the values to C=67 M=16 Y=96 K=2. Click Add, and OK.

pale green swatch

Select the paper-filled shamrock and Edit > Copy, Edit > Paste in Place. 

Double-click inside the pasted vector to select the paper image directly and delete it, so you have just the vector frame remaining. Set the Fill Color to Pale Green.

pale green shamrock

With the green shamrock selected go to Object > Effects > Transparency and set the Mode to Multiply. Click OK.

multiply transparency
shamrock complete

4. Fill Your Poster With Vintage-Style Typography

Step 1

Return to the Layers panel and lock the Shamrock layer. Unlock the Typography layer below.

layers panel

Create a new CMYK Process Swatch, named Beige, with the values C=7 M=15 Y=20 K=0. 

beige swatch

Step 2

Download and install the free font Zantroke. This is a lovely slab serif font, which is great for poster layouts.

Return to InDesign and take the Type Tool (T) from the Tools panel. Move over onto the blank pasteboard for now and drag to create a square text frame. Type in ‘P’, and set the Font to Zantroke, Size 250 pt. Adjust the Font Color to Beige.

character panel zantroke

With the text frame selected, go to Type > Create Outlines to transform the letter into a vector. 

create outlines
vectorized letter

You can now resize the vector letter flexibly, holding down Shift to maintain the proportions. Make it a bit larger, and position it up on the top-left corner of the page, as shown.

beige letter

Step 3

Select the vector ‘P’ and Edit > Copy, Edit > Paste in Place. Remove the Fill Color from the pasted vector, and then go to File > Place

Select the paper texture image again and click Open. Click on the Fill Frame Proportionally button to fill the letter with the image.

paper-filled vector

Then Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) > Arrange > Send to Back

send to back

Select the beige ‘P’ which is now on top, and go to Object > Effects > Transparency. Keep the Mode as Normal, and reduce the Opacity to 50%.

effects transparency

Drag your mouse over both ‘P’ vectors and Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) > Group.

grouped elements
placed P

Step 4

Repeat the process detailed in Steps 2 and 3, above, for more letters, making up the whole word ‘PADDY’S’.

Position the ‘A’ just below the ‘P’, slightly overlapping. Don’t worry if parts of the letters sit behind the shamrock—this will add to the overall collage effect of the poster.

A type effect

Sit the next ‘D’ over on the right side of the page, hiding behind a shamrock leaf.

D type

Add the other ‘D’ and a ‘Y’ either side of the stem...

Y type

... then place an ‘S’ in the bottom-right corner of the page. 

S type

Add an apostrophe to finish the effect.


You’ll end up with a striking ‘PADDY’S’ type effect that looks really stylish and eye-catching. Great work!

text effect

Now all that’s left to do is to fill up the rest of the poster with details about the event...

Step 5

Return to the Swatches panel and create a new CMYK Process Swatch. Rename it Emerald, and set the values to C=80 M=28 Y=81 K=14; click OK.

emerald swatch

Move over to the pasteboard next to the page and use the Type Tool (T) to create a new text frame. Type in ‘ST’ and set the Font to Zantroke, Size 110 pt, and Font Color to Emerald

character panel zantroke

Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) > Transform > Rotate 90 Degrees CCW. Position the text frame at the top-left corner of the page, so that it just slots into the gap left between the serifs of the ‘P’.

rotated text frame

Step 6

Create another text frame, type in ‘CELEBRATE’ and set the Font to Zantroke, Size 80 pt, and in Pale Green. 

Position along the top of the page, to the right of the ‘P’ and extending across the rest of the width of the page.

character panel

Step 7

Build up text across the top-right section of the page. Set each item of text in a separate text frame, and vary the sizes and colors to create a unified chunk of type. 

You can copy the text content I’ve done here, or adapt the text to your own event details.

character panel

Step 8

Scroll down to the bottom-left corner of the page, and fill this space with a few text frames as well, setting the Font to Zantroke and varying the colors between Emerald and Pale Green.

character panel

Step 9

Create a new text frame, type in ‘DAY’ and set the Font to Zantroke, Size 100 pt, Emerald. Rotate the frame 90 Degrees CW, and position it over on the right side of the page, just above the large ‘S’.

character panel

Step 10

Select with your mouse all the text frames except the beige ‘PADDY’S’ vectors and the ‘ST’ and ‘DAY’ text frames. Then Right-Click (Windows) or Control-Click (Mac) > Arrange > Send to Back.

send to back

It’s looking great—we’re very nearly there!

poster layout so far

As a final step, keep the text frames selected and go to Object > Effects > Transparency, and reduce the Opacity to 80%, just to keep the ‘PADDY’S’ and shamrock looking like the most dominant elements on the page.

normal transparency
poster layout complete

5. Export Your Poster for Print

Your poster artwork is finished, fantastic work!

You’re now ready to export your poster for printing. You can also save your poster as a web-friendly file, by going to File > Export and choosing Adobe PDF (Interactive) from the Format drop-down menu.

For a print-friendly version, go to File > Export. Choose Adobe PDF (Print) from the Format drop-down menu.

adobe pdf for print

Choose [Press Quality] from the Adobe PDF Preset menu.

press quality

Click on Marks and Bleeds in the left-hand menu and check All Printer’s Marks and Use Document Bleed Settings.

marks and bleeds

Click on Export to create your print-ready poster file. 

pdf final

What You’ve Learned

Awesome work!

In this tutorial we’ve covered a range of skills which would be equally applicable to other poster projects or layout projects in Adobe InDesign. You can now:

  • Create a poster template in InDesign
  • Build up background textures and colors on your artwork
  • Create a strong graphic design using Illustrator vectors
  • Create complex text effects and edit typography in both vector and live formats
  • Export your completed poster artwork as a print-ready file

I hope you enjoy celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, wherever you are in the world! Please feel free to share your own St Paddy’s poster designs—we’d love to see them.

If you’re looking for even more events design inspiration you can find a huge range of poster and flyer templates over on Envato Market.

mock up poster
Looking for something to help kick start your next project?
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