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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Poster Design
Design

How to Make a Halftone Roy Lichtenstein Style Poster in Adobe Photoshop

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:MediumLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

For this tutorial we will design a typographic poster using the Color Halftone filter to achieve a Roy Lichtenstein art style look.

Get inspired and check out poster and flyer design templates over on GraphicRiver.

What You'll Need to Create Your Poster

You will also need to download and install the following font file and image: 

Install the font on your system and you are ready to get started! 

1. How to Create a New Document and Set Rulers in Photoshop

Step 1

In Photoshop, go to File > New. Name the document Girl Power. Set the Width to 1275 px and Height to 1650 px. I will change the measurements of Width and Height to Inches. Set the Resolution to 72 Pixels/Inch. To start, we will set the Color Mode to Grayscale and change it later on. Click OK. Later on, we will need to change the mode to Duotone, and the only way to do this is by starting with a Grayscale mode file.

Create a new file in Photoshop Make sure the color mode is set to Grayscale

Step 2

Press Command-R to activate the rulers on the document. As I mentioned in the step above, I am using inches for this project. If you wish to change to other units, go to Photoshop > Preferences > Units & Rulers. A Preferences window will pop up, and you will be able to change to the desired system. 

Set up rulers If desired change the units through the Preferences menu

Step 3

Click on the Rulers and drag onto the page to create a guide. Hold Shift to drag to an even number. In this case, let’s create a 1 inch margin all around our document. Hide or display the guides by pressing Command-;.

Set margin guides to 1 inch all around the page

2. How to Use the Color Halftone Filter

Step 1

In order to be able to create a screen or halftone effect, we need to start with a grayscale file and turn it into Monotone. A halftone effect only works on gradients if you are using CMYK or RGB. We are looking for an even pattern, and this can only be achieved by converting our file mode from Grayscale to Monotone. Head over to Image > Mode > Duotone.

Change the document mode to Duotone in order to create an even halftone pattern

Step 2

The Duotone Options window will pop up. Under Type, select Monotone. For Ink 1, click on the second square and use the color black or the code #000000. Click OK.

Choose Monotone under the Type option and use a black color under ink 1

Step 3

Using the Paint Bucket Tool (G), color the page with the following color code: #a2a2a2.

Color the page with a light gray

Step 4

Head over to Filter > Pixelate > Color Halftone.

Apply the Color Halftone filter

Step 5

The Color Halftone window will pop up. Use the settings from the image below and click OK.

On the Color Halftone settings use 5 pixels for the radius For each channel use 45 degrees angles

Step 6

We want to create a denser look and have the dots be white. On the Layers panel, duplicate the Background layer by pressing Command-J. Let’s invert the pattern by pressing Command-I. The layer should change from left to right like the image below.

Invert the pattern we created by pressing Command-I

Step 7

In order to be able to work in color, we have to change the mode again to RGB. Go to Image > Mode > RGB Color.

Change the file mode to RGB to work with colors

Step 8

Create a new layer by pressing Shift-Command-N, and name it Blue background. Using the Paint Bucket Tool (G), select a blue foreground color (#0000ff), and paint over the new layer.

Create a new layer and color the page with an electric blue or any desired color

Step 9

To be able to see the halftone texture we created on Layer 1, we need to set the Blending Mode of the blue background layer to Screen on the Layers panel.

Set the new blue colored layer to the Screen blending mode

Step 10

We can alter the size of Layer 1 to create a more prominent texture. I am resizing mine by pressing Command-T. Head over to the Options bar and check that the Maintain Aspect Ratio button is activated. Set the Width and Height to 130%.

Alter the size of the pattern to create bigger or smaller dots

3. How to Add and Adjust Text 

Step 1

Set the foreground color to black on the Tools panel. Press T to activate the Type Tool and type Girl Power on three lines like the image below. We want to the text to cover the poster horizontally. I used separate layers for each word and activated right align text on the Options bar for the word Power. To edit the style, bring up the Character panel by going to Type > Panels > Character Panel. I am using the font Prompt Black Italic and set the Size to 360 pt. For the word Power, set the Leading to 280 pt.

Use the Text Tool to add the text Girl Power in 3 lines

Step 2

On the Layers panel, select both layers by pressing Shift and clicking on each layer. We want to add movement to the poster, so we will rotate these two text layers. Press Command-T to rotate and hold Shift for an even rotation to 15 degrees. Alternatively, you can head over to the Options bar and type -15.00 in the Rotate option. Hit Enter to set the text. Place the text just within the top margin. 

On this specific poster, we want the type to bleed over to create a strong aesthetic, so we will leave the sides to bleed over. 

Rotate the text by pressing Command-T and rotate to 15 degrees

Step 3

To add more texture to the text, we need to duplicate the two layers we created. Do this by selecting both layers on the Layers panel and pressing Command-J. Using the Move Tool (V), drag both of the new layers under the main text and move them to the right. To create contrast, let’s set the font style to Thin Italic on the Characters panel.

Duplicate the text layers and change the style to a thin family font

4. How to Add a Halftone Texture to the Text

Step 1

We want to add movement and a Lichtenstein effect to the poster. Let's duplicate the text layers and set them in two other colors. First, we need to create folders containing all these layers to keep things organized. On the Layers panel, select the four text layers we created and drag them towards the folder at the bottom.

Use folders to keep the text layers organized

Step 2

Duplicate the folder to create three more folders by pressing Command-J on the folder. Name each folder with the following color names: black, white, yellow, red.

Duplicate the folders containing the text layers and rename with the colors we are about to use Black white yellow and red

Step 3

Using the Characters panel, change the color of each folder’s text layer. Use plain black and white for the first two. For yellow, use the code #ffd200 and for red, the code #ff3d00. In order to see all the layers, we need to slightly move them around—there is no right or wrong for this part! I used the keyboard as it gives us more control compared to the mouse.

Change each folders text layer to the designated color

Step 4

The red text is taking over our poster, so I would like to add some texture and contrast to that text layer. Let’s duplicate (Command-J) Layer 1 with the halftone and drag it into the Red folder. Open the Red folder by clicking on the arrow. We will now be working within this folder.

Duplicate the textured layer and place in the red folder Edit the folder with the red text to visually tone down its prominence

Step 5

Select the four text layers, and Right Click > Rasterize Type. Keep the four layers selected and Right Click > Merge Layers.

Rasterize the type under the red folder and merge the layers

Step 6

Remember we are still working on the Red folder. Press Command and click on the newly merged layer thumbnail. This will outline and select the objects in this layer, i.e. our text.

Press Command on the merged layer this will select the objects in the layer

Step 7

Deactivate the visibility of the Power copy text layer and, while still selecting the objects, click on Layer 1 copy. Remember this is the halftone layer we duplicated. Press Shift-Command-I and use the Erase Tool (E) to brush over the poster. This will erase everything in the layer but the words we selected.

Invert the selection and head over to the textured layer Using the Erase Tool E delete the background

Step 8

We still want to maintain the red color to make our poster stand out. On the Layers panel, activate the visibility of the Power Copy text layer and set the Blending Mode to Screen. We want this layer to be transparent, so let’s merge the two layers left under the Red folder and set the Blending Mode to Multiply.

Change the Blending Mode of the red text to Screen and merge with the textured layer Set the folder Blending Mode to Multiply

Step 9

If desired, on the Layers panel we can duplicate the black folder layer and set the blending mode to Color Burn and the Opacity to 55% to add more shadowing to the poster.

Duplicate one of the text folders one more time and set the Blending Mode to Color Burn Lower the Opacity to 55 to add more shadowing to the poster

5. How to Save the Poster for Web

Head over to File > Save for Web (Shift-Option-Command-S). Set the quality to Maximum, or lower the quality if there are any size constraints. Under Image Size, set the width and height to the size you need. Click on Save..., add a name, and click on Save.

Save the poster for Web by pressing Shift-Option-Command-S

Great Job! You've Finished This Tutorial!

In this tutorial, we've created a poster using the famous Roy Lichtenstein style. Today we've learned how to:

  • Create a typography-based poster and add interesting touches by multiplying layers.
  • Use the Halftone Color filter in a different way.
  • Use textures and apply them on text layers.
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