Looking for a summer fix? This pastel poster evokes long, hot days eating ice cream in the park. It’s also super simple to create in Adobe InDesign and is a great way of picking up some new techniques for creating print layouts.
Ready to bring the sunshine in? Let’s get started!
What You’ll Need to Create Your Poster
You’ll need access to Adobe InDesign to create the main layout of your poster. We’ll also dip into Adobe Illustrator to briefly edit some vector graphics. You can use alternative vector software, such as Inkscape or CorelDRAW, for this step.
You’ll also need to download the following image and font files from Elements:
Install the fonts on your computer, and you’re ready to start putting your poster together.
1. How to Create a Pastel Color Palette for Your Poster
Open InDesign and go to File > New > Document.
Choose Print for the Intent from the top of the window, and select A3 for the Page Size. Add a Bleed of 5 mm to all edges of the document. Then click Create.
Expand the Layers panel (Window > Layers), and double-click on the Layer 1 name. Rename it as Background and click OK.
Choose New Layer from the panel’s drop-down menu, at top-right, and name it Type.
Create two more new layers: Sparks and then Texture at the top of the sequence.
Then lock all layers except Background, which we’ll work on first.
Expand the Swatches panel (Window > Color > Swatches), and choose New Color Swatch from the panel’s menu.
With the Color Type set to Process and Mode to CMYK, set the levels below to C=2 M=5 Y=29 K=0. Click Add and then OK.
Repeat the process to create a further six new CMYK swatches, with the following values:
- C=29 M=49 Y=65 K=7
- C=23 M=0 Y=25 K=0
- C=0 M=40 Y=9 K=0
- C=6 M=21 Y=14 K=0
- C=7 M=0 Y=43 K=0
- C=2 M=0 Y=3 K=0
2. How to Build Up Typography on Your Poster
Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and drag across the whole page, extending it up to the edge of the bleed on all sides.
From the Swatches panel, set the Fill Color of the shape to your new pink swatch, C=0 M=40 Y=9 K=0.
Lock the Background layer and unlock the Type layer above it.
Switch to the Line Tool (\), and drag to create a shallow diagonal line across the top-right section of the page, as shown below.
Select the Type on a Path Tool (Shift-T), and click once onto the left side of the line, to transform it into a text path.
Type in ‘Ice’. From either the top Controls panel or the Character panel (Window > Type & Tables > Character), set the Font to Author Type and the Font Size to around 260 pt.
Switch to the Selection Tool (V, Escape) to select the line, not the text sitting on it. From the Swatches panel, adjust the Stroke Color of the line to [None] to make it invisible.
Select the line and Edit > Copy, Edit > Paste it, moving it below the first text line.
Edit the text to read ‘Cream’, and reduce the Font Size to around 210 pt. Maneuver the text line into a snug position below ‘Ice’.
Edit > Paste the text line again, adjusting the text to read ‘always’. Change the Font Size to 220 pt, and maneuver the line into position below ‘Cream’.
Paste in three more text lines, setting the first to read ‘good’, the second to ‘idea’, and the final one to an exclamation mark. Move them into roughly the same position as shown below.
Paste another text line, moving it over to the left side of ‘always’. Type in ‘IS’ and set the Font to Burtons, 80 pt.
Copy and Paste this text line, moving the second to the left of ‘good’ and editing the text to ‘A’.
Select the top text line, ‘Ice’, and click on the ‘T’ icon at the top-left corner of the Swatches panel, to be able to edit the Font Color.
Switch the Font Color to your brown swatch, C=29 M=49 Y=65 K=7.
Set ‘Cream’ in C=2 M=5 Y=29 K=0.
Apply C=23 M=0 Y=25 K=0 to ‘always’.
Set ‘good’ in C=2 M=5 Y=29 K=0, ‘idea’ in C=29 M=49 Y=65 K=7, and the exclamation mark in C=23 M=0 Y=25 K=0. Finally set ‘IS’ and ‘A’ in the palest new swatch, C=2 M=0 Y=3 K=0.
Select all the text lines except the small ‘IS’ and ‘A’, and go to Object on the top main menu. Go to Effects > Drop Shadow.
Click on the colored square to the right of the Mode menu to open the Effect Color window. Choose the pink swatch, C=0 M=40 Y=9 K=0, and click OK.
Back in the Effects window, increase the Opacity of the shadow to 100%, Distance to 5 mm, Angle to around 140, Size to 1 mm, Spread to 100%, and Noise to about 30%.
Click OK to exit the window.
Select the two small text lines containing ‘IS’ and ‘A’, and go to Effects > Drop Shadow, as before.
Repeat the same settings as before (Opacity 100%, Distance 5 mm, Angle 140, Size 1 mm, Spread 100% and Noise 30%), but this time choose your yellow swatch, C=7 M=0 Y=43 K=0, for the Effect Color.
3. How to Add Framing Elements and Texture to Your Poster
Open up the ribbon and design elements vector in Illustrator, or your vector software of choice.
Select the circular sparks illustration pictured below, and Edit > Copy it.
Minimize the Illustrator window and head back to your InDesign document.
Lock the Type layer and unlock the Sparks layer.
Edit > Paste the sparks vector directly onto the layer. Then Right-Click > Ungroup the vector.
Delete about two-thirds of the vector shape, and move the remaining third into position to the right of the ‘e’ in ‘Ice’.
Copy and Paste this shape, and move the second over the top of ‘C’.
Paste two more shapes, moving one next to the ‘i’ in ‘idea’ and the second to the bottom-right of the exclamation mark.
Adjust the Fill Color of the top shape to C=29 M=49 Y=65 K=7, to match the brown color of ‘Ice’.
Then adjust the colors of the other shapes to match the letters they are nearest to.
Lock the Sparks layer and unlock the top layer, Texture.
Use the Rectangle Frame Tool (F) to create an image frame across the whole page. Go to File > Place, and navigate to the vintage grit textures images you downloaded earlier.
Go into the PNG folder and choose the second texture, ‘Grit02-byGhostlyPixels.png’, before clicking Open, and allowing it to fill the image frame.
With the image frame selected, go to Object > Effects > Transparency. Choose Screen for the Mode, and bring the Opacity down to 70%.
Click OK to exit the window.
4. How to Export Your Poster
Your poster is finished—great job! If you want to share your poster online, you can simply go to File > Export and choose JPEG or PNG from the Format menu.
If you want to get your poster printed professionally, read on to find out how to make a press-ready file.
Go to File > Export. Choose Adobe PDF (Print) from the Format menu, name the file and click Save.
In the Export Adobe PDF window that opens, choose [Press Quality] from the Adobe PDF Preset menu at the top.
Click on Marks and Bleeds in the window’s left-hand menu. Check both All Printer’s Marks and Use Document Bleed Settings, before clicking Export.
And there we have it! Your poster is exported, and this PDF file is ready for sending straight off to be printed.
Conclusion: Your Finished Ice-Cream Poster
Your poster is finished—great job!
In this tutorial, we’ve covered several techniques for creating print designs in InDesign, including how to set up a flyer layout and format typography. We’ve also looked at how to use fonts, textures, and colors to bring a vintage, mid-century vibe to your design.
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