Introduction: How to Make a Retro Poster

About: Hi, I am John and I love digital art. I like to create all kind of graphic design resources, tutorials and other cool stuff for free :)

In this tutorial I will show you how to make a retro poster in just a few easy steps. To make this cool retro poster we need these resources:

Step 1: Add the Car Silhouette

Create a new layer called Background and fill it with color white.

Download the car silhouette pack that includes CSH, ABR and PNG files. For this tutorial I will use the custom shapes, so load the CSH file in Photoshop. Add the car silhouette and use color black.

If you are using other software you can use the PNG files included in this pack.

Step 2: Merge the Layers

Press Shift+Control+Alt+E to make a copy of all the visible layers. Call this layer Car Background and fill it with color white.

Step 3: Remove the White Background

Use the Magic Wand Tool to select the white background. Press delete to remove the white background.

Place the Car Background layer below the Car Silhouette layer.

Step 4: Add the Sunburst Background

Add the Sunburst Background in a new layer below the car layers. Resize and rotate by 90 degrees the background.

Step 5: Add the Retro Text

Add a rectangle shape using the Rectangle Tool. Pick the color #a32b2b for the shape.

Add a text using a font that you like. I used League Spartan font, but you can choose a retro font that you like. The color for the text is white.

Step 6: Add the Dust Texture

Select the Car Silhouette layer and the Text layer and put them in a group. Add a Layer Mask to this group.

Add the Dust Texture above this group. Click on the Layer Mask of the group and go to Image > Apply Image.

Press Control+I to invert the mask. Then you can delete the Dust Texture layer.

Step 7: Use a Levels Adjustment to Sharpen the Mask

Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels and sharpen the dust texture mask to obtain a grunge effect.

Step 8: Add the Old Paper Texture

Add the old paper texture in a new layer. Set the blend mode to Multiply.

Step 9: Add the Grunge Texture

Add the grunge texture in a new layer. Set the blend mode to Soft Light. Also add a Levels adjustment. Right click and choose Create Clipping Mask.

Step 10: Add a Border

Create a new layer and call it Border. Fill the layer with color white. Set the Fill to 0% and add a Stroke layer style. The color of the border is #e3c79f with 80% opacity level.

Step 11: Retro Poster Final Result

So, here is the final result for the grunge retro poster.

I made this poster in Photoshop. But, you can use the same images to obtain the same result using other software like Gimp, Photopea, etc.

Step 12: Make Posters Online

Photoshop Alternative

If you don't have Photoshop, there are lots of Photoshop alternatives that are free to use. Pick a photo editing software from this list; they are free & easy to use even by beginners.

To make posters online I use this free graphic design software that has over 800 free online fonts, vector graphics, plus smart photo filters just like Photoshop.

This retro poster design is easy to create online. Just follow these steps:

  • Add the Sunburst Background from Elements > Photos > Sunburst
  • Add a Car PNG image from Elements > PNGs > Vehicles & Transportation
  • Apply Threshold filter to the Car PNG image.
  • Add the Poster Title

  • Use a Bold font from the fonts list

  • To add round text use the curved text generator

Retro Poster Template

Create the poster design from scratch or, edit this retro poster design template for fast results.