In this tutorial I will teach you some of the techniques I use when designing my banners. It requires a basic knowledge of Illustrator and Photoshop, but if you don’t understand anything please feel free to ask me.
I have covered all the basic steps I used when making banners, but there are obviously a lot more things you could add to this to make it your own.
About the Author
This tutorial was written by the very talented Molly-Anne Kristin, a 15-year-old graphic designer from London. You can view her deviantART page at rxpture.deviantart.com or her personal website at http://indie-vidual.net.
Open a new canvas in Photoshop – I generally use 1200 x 1000px. I will be using a paper texture scan from sxc.hu as the background. In Photoshop hit CTRL+T to resize it. I also changed the brightness/contrast to fade it.
Now open up Illustrator. It doesn’t really matter what size document you use – I am going to use 1200 x 1000px again. Using the Paintbrush Tool (B) draw a random shape. Select the Warp Tool (Shift+R), and make your shape look even more random. I applied a purple / pink gradient to my shape.
Something random like shown above will be great.
Hit the Selection Tool (V) and select your shape. Copy it (CTRL+C) and paste it (CTRL+V). Make it about 50% smaller, using the box around it. I applied an orange gradient to this new shape, and used the Warp Tool to alter it slightly.
Hit CTRL+A to select everything. Go to Object > Blend > Blend options, and make your settings are similar to mine. Then go to Object > Blend > Make.
Hit CTRL+A again, and copy this. Paste it into your Photoshop document as a Smart Object.
Repeat steps 2-5, except making completely different shapes each time.
Go into Illustrator again and delete everything on the canvas. Select the Paintbrush Tool (B), and draw some diagonal lines. Select the 5pt Oval brush, which is default in illustrator. I made the lines orange and 4pt.
And this is what I’ve come up with:
Paste your new lines into your Photoshop document. Repeat step 7 a few times, changing the line thickness and colour. Experiment with the layer order, putting some of the lines behind the shapes.
Coming together now!
I used a dotted line brush in Photoshop to add some more lines. I then applied a dotted pattern from Illustrator, which can be found in Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Dots.
And after adding some patterns and brushes:
I then added some thick diagonal line brushes I made earlier. If you don’t have these, you can feel free to use mine:
Using a technique similar to Step 2, draw a random shape with the Paintbrush Tool (B) and Warp (Shift+R) it. I gave it a black stroke of 1px, and filled it in white. Paste this into your Photoshop canvas. I did this step twice.
I then repeated Step 11, but removed the black stroke and filled the entire shape with black. I applied a black drop shadow to the shape in Photoshop. You can do this twice if you think it needs it.
(click for full size)
Create some unique brushes then add them to your document. These are some brushes I designed earlier:
Create a cross shape in Photoshop, define it as a brush (Edit > Define Brush Preset), then change your brush settings (Window > Brushes) according to mine:
(click above image for larger version)
Apply this brush to different areas of your canvas. I started by using the brush in a bright orange color (#ee9c27) and then in white. Put these “plus” layers at the bottom.
Now, back in Illustrator, draw 4 rectangles, each having a different colour. Leave a gap between each of them. It doesn’t matter how wide they are, but make them about 20px in height.
Click “New Brush”, and make the new shapes into an Art Brush, click “OK” with all the default settings.
Using this new brush, draw a path with either the Pen Tool (P) or Paintbrush Tool (B).
Paste your rainbow shape into Photoshop. I pasted it onto a layer near the bottom. I also adjusted the Hue slightly, to make the colours work better.
Create a new layer in Photoshop on top of everything. Set the layer mode to Lighten. Using a large, soft brush (I used a 198px one), apply some random blobs onto your canvas. I used a gold / yellow colour, and then some more in hotpink.
Thanks for reading this tutorial everyone, and I hope you enjoyed it! Unfortunately the PSD file for this tutorial won’t be downloadable. Just remember to get creative and add your own steps while following the tutorial.