When fonts and graphic effects come together to create a vintage layout. Photoshop tutorial 01

This is a Photoshop tutorial on how you can successfully render a vintage graphic layout.

Vintage graphics have a special nostalgic appeal that can work wonders for a variety of purposes.

When you include fonts that feel consistent with this vintage effect then the final result can be spectacular.



There are so many applications for this ability to create a vintage graphic layout that the possibilities are limited only by your imagination. This is a way that you can make your graphics stand out from the myriad other graphics that people see in a day.

Different is the name of the game and vintage graphics are instantly seen for being reminiscent of the good old days.  


This Photoshop tutorial will show you how you can take any image you like and give it a genuine vintage appearance. Anyone can do this if they know how but not everyone knows how to do it in a way that makes it look genuine and appealing. Those who can use the best tools and know how to use them for maximum effect are destined to be the most successful in their endeavors.

This tutorial is designed to show you some more Photoshop effects to achieve all your goals and set yourself apart from the crowd.


You will learn how to make your own vintage graphics that look genuine and appealing so that you can use this technique anytime you want.


The tutorial will show you different screenshots for Photoshop CS4 on a PC. The shortcuts are detailed for both PC and Macintosh, though; the equivalents of the latter will simply be shown in brackets, such as right-click [Ctrl+click].


To achieve a worn-out effect for a label, you will have to create a texture that looks like old cardboard first.

You can create your own texture following this tutorial  Photoshop tutorial: How to realize a texture that looks like an "old cardboard" and use it to create a vintage layout or download it already done from our "Subscribers area".


Once we have our texture, we can then apply it to a readily made design (you can use your own design, or download our original .psd layout HERE (22Mb) .

However, we will need to group the texture layers first. Select all the layers (Shift + Click the first and last layers) and drag and drop them onto the group icon at the bottom of the layers palette.



Then Right + Click [Ctrl + Click] the layer palette menu and choose “Duplicate Group” from the drop-down menu.



Your entire group should now be placed at the top of the design layer stack.  Transform this new group until it fits the label by clicking on Ctrl + T [Command + T]). Make sure the borders fit the label in the end and set the group to the “Darken” blending mode. This will ensure that the texture will only affect the design's lighter shades. Reduce the opacity as needed.

Then, mask out the group in the shape of the label. You don't have to trace it, though. Just select and highlight the layer called “Forma 1” and Ctrl + Click [Command + Click] the mask.

Go back to the group, highlight it, and click on the mask icon to enable a readily made mask. If you need to resize the group at this point, though, then you will have to unlink the group from the mask by clicking on the small chain between the two thumbnails. If you don't do this, you will end up resizing both the mask and the group.



When you're done, link them again by clicking in-between them. Ideally, you should leave a small white border between the label and the texture to show the “paper” thickness, though. 



Apply a Filter>Ocean Ripple to the mask to roughen up the border. Blur it slightly and resize it to fit the label. Don't forget to unlink and relink the mask to the layer!

We will now create a fake fold on the top-left corner of the label. Reset the standard foreground and background layer (hit D) and use a big brush to trace a straight line across the label (press shift while painting), reverse the colors (hit X) and draw a straight line just beside the first one. You should now have a black line near a white line.



Change the blending mode to “Overlay” and reduce the opacity to around 5-10%. For more roughness, apply an “Underpainting” filter to the strokes by clicking on Filter>Artistic>Underpainting).

Blur the results a little bit and double-click on the space near the layer name to prompt the layer style menu.

Tick the box near “Pattern Overlay” and choose a rough pattern (this is optional, though).  We will now take care of the halftone effect on the coloured part (the print).

Select all of the layers that have colour informations in them (in our case, this would be the entire box layout group), copy them by dragging and dropping them onto the new layer icon), and go the layers palette menu.

Once there, choose “Merge Layers”. Then, go to Filter>Pixelate>Colour Halftone.



Set it to overlay and lower the opacity. Copy this layer and apply a linear light mode to apply the halftone effect on the edges. Lower the opacity there, as well.

Drag both the halftone layer between the box layout and the texture, and mask them with the same layer mask as the texture group (use Alt + Click [Option + Click] on the texture group mask and drag it to the halftone layers). This will ensure that the halftone won't affect the drop shadow or the green background. You will have to paint the mask inward, though, if you want to “protect” the edges. Then, just paint a few pixels with a black hard brush onto the 4 edges of the label.

Since the colours are too bright now, we will have to desaturate them and lighten them up a little bit. To do this, select a “Hue/Sat” adjustment layer in the adjustment layers icon drop-down menu. Instead of selecting “Master”, use the drop-down menu shown below and lower the saturation and increase the lightness there. Do the same with the rest. This way, you won't change any other other colours, like the texture colour and the green background colour. Basically, doing this will save you a mask.



We will now “destroy” the printed part just by applying some layers with carefully selected blending modes. This will make the editing non-destructive.

Add a new blank layer and fill it with black. Drag it just on top of the halftone layers and clip it to them (Alt + Click [Option + Click] in the tiny space between the 2 layers.



On this layer, apply a heavy noise at around 100 and copy it. Make sure you've clipped the new layer, too. Then, change the blending modes for the two layers to screen, so that the patches and noise only show up on the parts that are “lighter than black”. Turn off the visibility of the “copy”.

On the first layer, use a low opacity soft brush in white to create patches. Set it to “screen”, so that only the white parts affect the underlying layer. You can choose a round brush with a low flow for this, and paint on random strokes. See the result of this layer here:



Set the opacity very low.  On the “copy” layer, turn on the visibility and use a “Dry Brush” filter (Filter>Artistic>Dry Brush). Tweak the settings until you can see some flecks (my settings are 8/8/3). The blending mode should be on “screen”. As usual, change the opacity as needed.


We're done!


Now, this is how it should look. Do take note that the hue/sat layer may be on top in your case, though. Fortunately, the order isn't very important. You just have to make sure that it stays on top of the “halftone” layers. 



Don't hesitate to name your layers properly. Replace all of the “filtered layers” with “smart filtered” layers (smart objects), for example, and try to group relevant layers together all he time, so that you won't have any trouble sorting out your effects in the end.








FONTS USED to create the vintage layout:



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