Here is an inspiring tutorial that combines different secret Photoshop techniques to create a colorful poster.

It also shows you the effectiveness of  Photoshop brushes and blend modes, and how you can use them to greatly improve artworks. It finishes with a nice composition and some useful tips you can use in your design projects. The techniques involved in this tutorial are not complicate.

This is what we are going to create:

Step 01

First we’re going to open a new document with dimensions:

Let’s create the background. Click the little black and white circle that’s at the bottom of the layers palette and select “Gradient” like the picture below:

Make sure the dialogue box looks like this:

Then select the rectangle next to the word “Gradient” and insert the following settings:

This is what we should now have:

Now we’re going to add some glows to make the background look a little more unique than just a gradient. Grab the brush tool and select a circular brush with a hardness of 0% and a foreground color of #ccffff. Create a new layer above the  background layer and click once in the middle of the background image. Set this layers opacity around 60%.

Step 02

Make a new layer, download the Splatter Brushes from Bittbox, i that use them like in the picture below. The color i’ve used is #77e5e4

Duplicate that layer and then selected the bottom one. With my favorite filter, Gaussian Blur, I blurred the bottom splat layer about 3px (at 72 dpi, blur radius will be higher for higher res images) and set the layer mode to Color Dodge.

Now go to top splat layer (with NO blur), set the blend mode  to the Linear Dodge.

You can try different colors for the splats and other little details and do the same blur and layer modes as above to achieve this glowing effect. The pink I used here is #e577d2

The gradient fade to dark in the background helps to create the illusion that these pieces really are glowing.

Step 03

Now we’re going to add some typography.  First go here to download the Angelic War Font that we’ll be using.  Select the text tool  and type “design” (or whatever you want your composition to say).

Click the “design” layer in the layers palette and select the little fx in the bottom of the layers palette and click “Drop Shadow.”  Enter the following settings:

Then select the check box next to “gradient overlay” and add the following settings:

The colors of the grandient are #1b2f2f on the left, and on the right is #231d1d

You should have something like this:

Step 04

Save the file you created, in what format you want, preferably .psd (Photoshop format).

Download the free Photoshop Actions Set from my DeviantART page.

Experiment with these to get different colour results: when you’ve found one you like, you’ve finished.

This is the result that i like the most:

Step 05

We are going to add some lighting to our composition, so go to Filter > Render > Lighting Effects and select the options like in the image below. Play about with the angling settings until you get something that you like.

Now go to Filter > Render > Lens Flare and select the options like in the image below. Play about with the angling settings until you get something that you like.

Aply again the Lighting Effect.

Let’s add some extra effects, the lighting dots. Go to Filter > Render > Lens Flare.

Step 06

Let’s apply some texture to our composition.

Download the “60+ Vintage Style Textures Every Designer Should Have” Pack and select whatever texture you like, or use my texture from below (clik on the picture to download the the full resolution picture).

Put the texture on top of the poster, and set the Blend Mode to Overlay and the Opacity to 75%.

The Final Result:

So here we are folks. I hope you can successfully apply these effects to your own composition.


Hopefully you will find something in the tutorial useful. Remember, the only limit is your imagination, so don’t hold back.

Learn how to use this technique as you create your own website at

About the Author: Alex Roman

I'm a 24-year old independent graphic artist and architect based in Bucharest and also the co-owner of iCanBeCREATIVE. I specialize in branding for small businesses and startups: logos, websites, flyers, posters; mostly everything a brand may need to put the word out there in a professional way.

I really love what I do. Want to hire me? Follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

  • Mary Ann:

    ooohhhh…photoshop..i hope i could make one too,,like this one,,the one you’ve done…

  • Milli:

    Fantastic tutorial, M really impressed what you have in icanbecreative. It is very helpful for newbies like me. Thanks keep updating us.

  • poekieajam:

    I can’t find the filter render lightning effects, maybe the wrong version of CS6 PS?

  • hasan:

    Fantastic blog …….and thanks……..

  • bart:

    One cool tutorial! AWESOME!!

  • Tiffany:

    WOW!…This is AMAZING…….I tried it and it was so beautiful. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  • Emu Meat:

    nice tutorials thanks for sharing it

  • Wall Paint Colors:

    Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Extremely useful information specially the last part :) I care for such info a lot. I was seeking this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  • James:

    Thanks a lot, great tutorial :3 This is what I made xD

  • findw3:

    excellent tutorial… thanks

  • Masks:

    Exceptionally beautiful design, i think i should that i should adopt this style and revamp the design of my masks blog.

  • Akarasakii:

    I did it! I made one @.@

  • STEPH:

    Thanks so much! I love the vintage textures that you provided a link for. They are beautiful and I will use them often. Great tut, easy to follow, hope to see more:)

  • gimp brushes:

    great tutorial, i’m going to try this…

  • hikari:

    thanks for share great articles…i learn a lot.

  • ameer:

    wow .. Amazing graphic designing tutorial wrk

  • Yordan:

    Great tutorial and very inspiring.

  • R.Gunasekar:

    Amazing tutorial for designers. Step by step explanation with screen shot is very useful for upcoming designers.

  • robb:

    mine came out sick thanks man!!!

  • Bernard Suryanarayana:

    finaly I found what I was looking for

    how did you guys found this information??thank you for your article I saw it on Google And I saved it .I like. Please send me updates

    thank you and have a nice day

  • Jennifer:

    Thanks for the tutorial, I used a similar brush but still not as good as yours!

  • spletne:

    a lot of work put into this tutorial, thanks

  • Stefi:

    I think that brush you use is not in this download

  • Graphics Design Firm:

    Wow! nice tutorial. Very helpful to people like graphics design professional. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful work.

  • Amy:

    hi which brush from the downloadable brush set did u use as there are a few here! please help i’d love to get it lilke yours! i really like the effects thanks for teaching me new stuff!

  • klaudio:

    great tutorial! thanks a lot!

  • ali:

    Beautiful Tutorial, thanks!

  • master:

    verey good

  • lil-wiktoria:

    as he say Mind Blowing tutorial,thank you :-)
    I had lil problems first Time but now it’s ok.

  • Brett Widmann:

    This is a very nice tutorial! Thanks for sharing.

  • William Christopher Mangrobang:

    This was a great tutorial; Easy to follow too. I’m going to be applying this to more works now… Thanks~!

  • F-sanat:

    Very nice.. Thank you :)

  • Clipping:

    My favorite word design. Awesome tutorial, well explained & easy to learn. Very creative design. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post. :)

  • Alex:

    exelent tutorial thanks!

  • rushali:

    Awesome !! I am a novice worker at photoshop..i am tryin ur tricks.. !! thanks…a sharin.. am gonna check more of these..

  • pooja:

    Amazing concreate texture.I like all.

  • zarithzulkifli:

    awesome! thank you for sharing =)

  • Barbara:

    I like this tutorial easy to follow. Very well done.

  • Flasherman:

    Quite nice

  • Al Kamal Md. Razib:

    Awesome tutorial ! Well done. Thanks for sharing.

  • NLP Training:

    I like to learn more about photoshop. I’m not that 100% artist, but I could say that I do have a little talent in designing. I hope this can help me improve my photoshop skills.

  • Rob T:

    Thx for the tutorial. I really like the style of this piece.

  • Jakub:

    Cool tut, thanks for share!

  • Website Design Surrey:

    Amazing effect! def going to give this tutorial a go! Cheers!

  • Inu:

    Super tare,tine-o tot asa!

  • admin:

    those are called Photoshop Actions, go to google and find out how to install and use them:

  • skilleriuxyto:

    I dont understand how to do those effects like with those where you say “experement with these” I dont get it how to do that help anyone?

  • lava360blog:

    not a secret any more :) good step by step details. thanks for share

  • April:

    Hey i don’t have CS3 or CS4 photoshop, so i can’t do this :( can you give me a free download link? i have been trying to find one for ages!!!

  • Brian Jones:

    Excellent tutorial and the best I have seen in quite some time. Thank you for sharing!

  • Amarelo:

    Awesome tutorial with so many useful tips&tricks. Very well written and absolutely wonderful composition you created. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  • missy crissy:

    Your tutorials are very well done and very easy to follow. Thank you for this.

  • Stella:

    Thanks for sharing this perfect tut! very detailed! nice work, more of them!

  • Mike Rundle:

    Fantastic tutorial, it’s especially helpful that you’ve included clear screenshots of the finer details with the actual tutorial.

  • James Leahy:

    Nicely done, I like how you did the lightening.

  • Trinity:

    Sweet tutorial! Thanks a lot. Learned a few nice techniques here

  • kailash:

    Very nice .. great job.

  • Hannah Williams:

    Very mindblowing, I’m triying this, is very good detailed.

  • Trevor M.:

    Nice one, great effect, thanks!

  • Arcy:

    Very cool idea, well done.

  • Hannah Williams:

    really nice tutorial thank you

  • Gorny S. Needa:

    Mind Blowing Tutorial Alex, thanks!

  • Andrew:

    Great graphics tut. I will try this ..

  • Hezi:

    Really cool tut, thanks for taking the time to share!