In this guide, you will learn how to create your own Print-Ready Art Film poster. We will just be using some simple gradient and color effects to turn your simple Photograph Poster in to something worthy of Cannes. This is perfect for beginners who want that Art Film style poster.
Resources: Fleeing the conflict – By Julien Harneis (Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0)
Step 1: Setting up the document
Our initial step is to create a print ready poster document. Of course, this is the key initial task to make sure that whatever you create layer on can easily past to a commercial printer for production. Once in Photoshop, create a new document by pressing CTRL+N. Then, apply the settings listed below. Take note that we are using a standard poster dimension plus 0.25 inches for bleeds.
- Width: 11.25 inches
- Height: 17.25 inches
- Resolution: 300 ppi
- Color Mode: CMYK (for print)
Step 2: Adding Bleeds
Part of a proper print ready document is the addition of bleeds and margins. For our poster to document we will add 0.125 inches of bleed from the edges, and then 0.125 inches of margins all around. We first add the bleed guidelines. Go to View -> New Guide… The new guide window should open. Here you can add guidelines precisely through its value in inches. Create 4 guidelines first with these settings:
- Left Bleed: Vertical – 0.125 inches
- Right Bleed: Vertical – 11.125
- Top Bleed: Horizontal – 0.125 inches
- Bottom Bleed: Horizontal – 17.125 inches
Step 3: Adding Margins
We repeat the procedure as step 3 for the margins. This time though of course, the margins are 0.125 inches away from the bleeds themselves. So the measurement for the margins should be like this:
- Left Margin: Vertical – 0.25 inches
- Right Margin: Vertical – 11 inches
- Top Margin: Horizontal – 0.25 inches
- Bottom Margin: Horizontal – 17 inches
Step 4: Inserting and Scaling the feature image
Next we will insert the main image of our Art Film Poster. Usually for art films, the image is already pretty artistic, however make sure that you are getting the high resolution original copy of the image. It is best to get the full resolution scan at 300ppi or higher for the best high quality result. The important thing when pasting them into print documents as well is that you scale them properly. So once you paste in your image, press CTRL+T and hold down the SHIFT key as you click and drag the anchor boxes. This constrains the proportions of our transformation, making sure that everything is to scale as you increase or decrease its size. For our example we used a nice image from flickr.com made.
Step 5: Enhancing the Image
Before we do anything really fancy, we should first try and enhance our image. While it looks great, it still needs of course a little tweak to make it print ready. To do this, we will just adjust its curves. Go to the menu bar and select Image -> Adjustments -> Levels. Once the Levels window opens, adjust three sliders. Try to make your image a bit lighter and more vivid. The values will vary from image to image so you will want to use your eyes and intuition here.
Step 6: Adding a Fill Layer
Next we add a fill layer to play with the colors of our art poster a bit. For our example we will use a gradient color adjustment layer. Just go to Layer -> New Fill layer… -> Gradient. A window should open for the details of this new layer, just name the layer any descriptive name that you like.
Step 7: Gradient Fill Layer Adjustment
Once the layer is created, you will now be able to set the actual color scheme of the gradient fill. Just click on the gradient box to set your own colors. Here in our example, we will be using a violet to orange color, with a linear style set to 90 degrees.
Step 8: Changing the Blend Mode
Then, we change the blend mode of this adjustment layer to “screen”. Just select the layer in the layers panel, and then look for the blend mode drop down menu on the top left side of the layers panel. Simply click on it and select “screen” from the drop down list. Also, just beside it are the opacity controls, reduce the opacity of the layer to 70%.
Step 9: Adding Some Graininess Part 1
Our next step is to add some graininess to the image. To do this, we must first create a new layer on top of everything. So create a new layer by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+N. In the small window that opens, set the name of this new layer to Grain. Then, fill this up with a black placeholder color. Do not worry if it fills up everything.
Step 10: Adding Some Graininess part 2
Press the “D” and “X” keys to change your foreground and background colors to their default black and white settings. Then, go to Filter -> Noise -> Add Noise… The Add noise window should then open. Set the amount to 120%. Use “Gaussian” distribution. Also make sure to check the checkbox for “Monochromatic”.
Step 11: Adding Some Graininess Part 3
Then, we just change the blend mode of this “Noise” layer to “Overlay”. We also reduce its opacity a bit to 55%.
Step 12: Border Color Area
We are still note done though. To add more emphasis to our center, we will create new layer that will colorize the edges of our poster, acting as a “border color area”. Create a new layer by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+N. Name it any name you like once the window opens. After pressing OK, use a large and soft brush with a darker theme color and paint around design, creating a large fuzzy border.
Step 13: Border Color Area Part 2
Now, just change the blend mode of this border area to “Color”. You will now see a better and more creative colorized border effect around or design.
Step 14: Writing the Titles
Then, we just use the text tool to write the titles. Take note that it is best to use a sans serif font style here. Something that is clean and straight. Some built in fonts that you can use are Arial, whilst you can also search the web for other similar sans serif fonts as well. So for our example, we just typed in a fake but creative poster title.
Step 15: Text Layer Style
To make our text layers a bit more visible, we add a layer style to them. To do this, just double click on your text layer to bring up its layer style. Then, click on the “Stroke” layer style. Use a 1 pixel value for the size, and change the color to a deep or dark red.
Step 16: Adding the Rest of our Text
We then just add the rest of our text with the same font style. We just vary the font size for a little creative effect. If the background gets too white, we also change the font color to a deeper red.
Step 17: Symbols and final details
Finally, we just add in some symbol shapes. These came from the custom shape tool, but in most art film movie posters, this should be the production company logo, or maybe a symbol of the film festivals and organizations that it has gained awards or popularity on. Just copy and paste in all the rest of the needed symbols and text details.
Step 18: Final Result
That finishes are Art Film Style poster. As you can see, it is just about some subtle creative colors and effects. Try creating one now of your own. Good Luck!