Photoshop Tutorial: Radio Station Advertisement Design

My first tutorial in a little while, so please bear with me!

In this tutorial we’ll be using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop (versions CS3) to create/design a beautiful radio station advertisement. We’ll just be using Illustrator to design a few simple elements, so if you don’t have it or don’t know how to use it, you can easily download some cool design bits from sites like Vecteezy (free) or Vector Stock (premium, very affordable).

We’ll be creating most of the design in Adobe Photoshop, so let’s say this is just a Photoshop tutorial!

Our Result

This is what I came up with, and hopefully what you’ll be able to design from following this tutorial:

Radio Station Advert Design Photoshop Tutorial

Step 1

Step one is setting up the canvas. Select ‘international paper’ in your new file menu, then select A4. However, you can use whatever settings you want, so feel free to use something else. Here’s a screenshot of what I”ll be using:

New Document Settings (Photoshop)

CMYK/RGB color mode will be depending on if you’re getting it printed or if it’s just for practice. You’ll probably have more control over the colors though if you use RGB as the color mode.

Fill the background with a nice radial gradient.

Radial Gradient Added

Colors used for this gradient were #f9ae1a and #a42b21.

If you want, you can set up some rulers in the center of your document so you know where to place all of your elements later on. Hit CTRL+R to enable rulers, then drag two lines over our document. If you don’t want to see these lines while you’re working, hit CTRL+H.

Step 1.2

This is an optional step, it’s regarding the rulers that you saw in the above screenshot (where I added the gradient in). If you’re a newbie with Photoshop, my guess is you won’t know how to place the rulers in the center of the document. My usual method for accomplishing this, is the following:

  1. Start by getting out the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M).
  2. Now, set the settings near the top of Photoshop to Fixed Size.
  3. Set the width to 50% and height to 50%.
  4. Place this 50% selection in the top left of your canvas area.
  5. Drag a ruler onto your canvas and hopefully it will snap to your half selection.
  6. We’re done. If you were unable to complete this successfully, I wouldn’t worry about it!

OK, time to move on.

Step 2

Now you need to get some stock photos/elements. Start by going over to stock.xchng (sign up for an account, if you don’t have one), then download a stock or two, preferably of a speaker or something similar. I’m using these two stocks to start off with: Speakers 2, Speakers 5.

Search for Stock Photos on Stock.Xchng

Step 3

Open up your stock photos and cut out the white from around the objects, like what I’ve done here:

Cutout Stock Photo with Pen Tool

Note: Use the Pen Tool, take your time to go all the way around the object, and it doesn’t matter if your path is in the inside of your shape slightly, either. After you’ve made the paths you should make a selection and delete the white.

Cutout Stock Photo with Pen Tool

After you’ve cut out both/all of your stock photos, copy them to your other document and position them accordingly. Before you start transforming or editing your stocks though, you should first right-click them in the layers palette and convert them to smart objects.

Converting them to smart objects will allow you to edit them freely later without losing the image quality.

Convert to Smart Object

Rotated and Resized Speakers

Lookin’ good!

Step 4

Now we need some cool elements. For this you can either use Photoshop brushes or vectors, but most brushes most likely won’t be big enough for the size we’re working with. You can either create your own, download some for free, or buy some for a couple of bucks (credits). Remember what I said above regarding Vecteezy and Vector Stock.

Let’s start with something simple. Start up Illustrator, create a new document then enable the grid (and snap to grid).

Using the Rectangle Tool I want you to create a few small, different colored rectangles just like this:

Rectangle Shapes Illustrator

Note: It shouldn’t matter what size the rectangles are, just go with the grid. Select all of your newly-created shapes and drag them into the Brushes palette. Select New Art Brush.

New Art Brush Adobe Illustrator

Alright, now we have a simple brush. Create a bit of a wavy path and apply your new brush to it. If any the edges of the brush look a little dodgy in some areas, don’t worry about it, we can conceal that later!

Wavy Path with Brush Applied

Select your path and copy it over to Photoshop. Resize/rotate and position to your liking.

Wavy Brush Path Added

Not bad!

Step 5

Over at Vecteezy I found a nice free sample pack called BySkell Free Samples. Open this in Illustrator and take a few pieces from it and place them in your Photoshop document. I started by just using the splatter.

Adobe Illustrator Screenshot

Place it accordingly then fill it with black (as it was grey to start with). If you think some parts of the splatter get in the way, take an eraser to it.

Vector Brush Added

There are some other nice elements in that free sample pack, so feel free to use whatever you need to make your design look great.

Vector Tree Added

Above: After adding in the vector tree, change it’s color to white.

Grunge Element Added

Above: Grunge element added. After copying it to your Photoshop document, rotate/resize it and position it at the top. Then simply change the layer mode to Multiply and lower the opacity to around 30-40%.

Step 6

Let’s add a few simple adjustments/details. Start by applying a bit of an Outer Glow to both of our speaker stock layers.

Outer Glow Applied

You may also like to experiment with other layer styles on some of your other layers. I added a similar layer style (as above) to the tree layer, except I lowered the opacity slightly and made it a bit larger.

Get creative!

Step 7

Add a little texture. Check out HighResolutionTextures for some nice texture packs. Select a texture, place it over your canvas and mess with layer modes, opacities and level adjustments (for the texture itself).

Textures Added

The last thing to add would be the text. Sometimes this takes a while to get right, just go through your font collection and find the right font combination.

Text/Typography Added

The font used in the above image is called “Kozuka Gothic Pro,” and I believe it’s a commercial font (may come with Photoshop).

I think the design could do with some more floral elements or something like that, so I recommend you search the web and try a heap of different things.

We’re finished

Looks like we’re finished, sorry! If I missed something out, or you need help with anything, please feel free to leave a comment below. Unfortunately the PSD file from this tutorial was way too large for me to upload, so I hope you can do without it (for now, at least). Once I can I’ll upload the PSD file and allow free download.

Also see: – Cool silver charms and leather bracelets design! Totally awesome sterling silver bracelets.

Recommended for designers
  1. Joseph said at 8:29 am on September 1, 2008

    Good to see you back in the tutorial game :)

  2. angrysponge said at 2:48 pm on September 13, 2008

    An easier way to find the center:

    1. Ctrl-R to bring up rulers.
    2. Right-click on the ruler to bring up the context menu.
    3. Select ‘percent’
    4. Drag a ruler line from each side, placing on 50.

    Great tutorial! Keep it up!

  3. Eli said at 3:18 am on September 15, 2008

    angrysponge: Thanks heaps for the tip. I’ll remember that!

  4. Randa said at 3:34 pm on October 1, 2008

    liked it much :)

  5. Keenan said at 1:03 am on October 3, 2008

    Sadly I don’t have Illustrator however I did my wrap effect in photoshop with the Disort > Shear by playing with the points. Then putting it into my document and using free transform for the rest.

  6. Kyle Gallant said at 2:41 pm on October 6, 2008

    I haven’t used illustrator in forever, and this has made me want to use it again… I like the way you made that ribbon, very useful stuff!

  7. Jibz said at 1:33 pm on March 18, 2009

    Is there another way to create the ribbon by using Photoshop not Illustrator. I have Illustrator and Photoshop, but my Illustrator is only for Windows and I am using my Mac with Photoshop CS4

  8. Anine said at 4:08 am on May 9, 2009

    I don’t understand step 5 at all! What do you mean about “Open this in Illustrator and take a few pieces from it and place them in your Photoshop document.”
    Please please PLEASE help me

  9. Eli said at 4:25 am on May 9, 2009

    Anine: basically you just have to download this vector pack and open it in Illustrator. Then copy a few of the shapes from the Illustrator document into your poster design (in Photoshop).

  10. Anine said at 6:38 am on May 9, 2009

    What do you mean about copy some of the shapes? How do i do that?

  11. Eli said at 6:54 am on May 9, 2009

    Anine: you just have to select a shape (using one of the selection tools) and copy (CTRL+C), go to your Photoshop document and paste (CTRL+V).

  12. Anine said at 8:57 am on May 9, 2009

    Hello again.

    ” you just have to select a shape (using one of the selection tools) and copy (CTRL+C), go to your Photoshop document and paste (CTRL+V)”

    I don’t really understand how to do this? I am sorry, i am a little stupid i know, but how do i select? I dont make it. That “byskell free samples” set
    is just a picture in illustrator, so i dont understand how to cut one of the shapes out? Omg, i am really bad to this.

  13. Anine said at 9:00 am on May 9, 2009

    Oh sorrrryy! I made it. Had opened the wrong document. Hurray.

  14. Peter said at 9:07 pm on June 8, 2009

    plz upload the PSD file

  15. Sijo said at 10:49 am on August 1, 2009

    (Im using Photoshop & Ill. CS4 and am using the tutorial to make a blog header at 72 dpi, 800×140 pixels…)
    When I dragged the vector ribbon into photoshop, it asked whether I wanted to paste smart object, pixels, path or a shape layer, so I said ‘smart object’. But then it became super blurry, and I am confused as to why since I thought vectors will remain sharp.
    Can anyone help with this? Thank you!

  16. Kevin said at 7:05 pm on August 16, 2009

    you can send me this psd file… il will upload it 4 you :-)

  17. CMYK said at 8:53 pm on September 2, 2009

    Nicee tutorial!!

    Thanks 4 sharing!

  18. SAY said at 5:20 pm on September 23, 2009

    WOW- excellent tutorial. Many thanks for sharing :D

  19. Chris Pierre said at 10:19 pm on October 16, 2009

    Real Nice Tut, exactly what I was looking for.

  20. big age casino said at 3:56 pm on February 17, 2010

    The tutorial of the photoshop is good. Really i understood well after viewing your tutorial then going to classes. Definitely i will spread out your informations to my friends and surroundings. Thanks a lot to share it with us.

  21. scott said at 1:52 pm on March 6, 2010

    how do you add the stock photos and keep background because everytime i try it, it opens a whole new document.

  22. phil said at 9:12 pm on May 14, 2010

    Nice Tutorial, thx!

  23. Free PSD Tutorials said at 3:21 pm on January 12, 2011

    awesome tutorial :D thanx

  24. linda said at 9:27 pm on April 17, 2011

    this tutorial really help me,thank u so much

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