How to create a Music Theme Poster using Adobe Photoshop

October 20, 2009 in Featured, Photoshop by admin

How to create a Music theme Poster using Adobe Photoshop

Author: Cucu Tudor-Ionel

Freelance graphic designer Cucu Tudor-Ionel is a student located in Bacau, Romania and currently writing tutorials based on personal projects. At the age of 13 he started to work in photoshop, continuing with tutorials about virtual-tuning, and then creating different chops and websites in his non-existent free time.

Step 1-Create a new document

Start by doing  a new image (Ctrl+N) 1600x1200px .

Step 2-Item1 (Monitor)

Fill it with black and select Pen Tool(P) using vectormask. Drag the same lines to create the basic shapes of the monitor and name the layers to make your work easy (“Display”/”Monitor”/”Sides”) .

Using the Pen Tool(P) create the second part of the monitor(you must give it a 3d look, so now you create the shape of the sides). Then go to the display layer and right-click on the layer to select Blending Mode>Gradient Overlay and reduce slowly the opacity but grow the scale


colour used for display shape: #343434

Step 3-Monitor Details

You must create the margin of the display which should be darker. Create another shape (Colour : #000000) and place the layer behind the “Display” layer. To create the edges of the monitor you have to drag the those lines like I did then right-click and select “Stroke Path..” . The second thing in this step that you have to do, is to select a new blending mode to the display: Inner Shadow


Step 4-Lights & Shadows

Pay attention to the details. You must create reflections, lights and shadows.

Make selection with the Pen Tool(P) then with the Brush Tool(B) with a big master diameter brush easily on the margins.

Don’t forget to round the monitor edges, using the same tools Pen Tool(P) for making the selection than the Brushtool(B).

Colours for brushes ( White #FFFFFF for the reflexions / Black #000000 for the shadows)

Step 5-Detailing the Monitor

Let’s create some elements to give the monitor a realistic touch.

Use Elipse Tool(U) to create some circles and than give them Bevel and Emboss effect from Blending Options

Step 6-Add Noise

Add noise to each shape that you created in the 2nd step (Filter>Noise>Add noise).

This is how the monitor should look, for the moment. Now we must start to add a background on the monitor.

Step 7-Desaturate Headset

Open the headset image and desaturate it (ctrl+shift+u). Then, using the Pen Tool(P) select the headphones because you must extract them and place it in your wallpaper.


The same you should do with the shadow of the headphones in another layer, using black colour and overlay(blending option). Take the Blur Tool(B) and blur the shadow margins, to make it more realistic.

Step 8-More Monitor Adjustments

Go back to the shapes created in Step 1 and give it a more cyan look, using Gradient Overlay from Blending Options.

Monitor Margins – Overlay:20% ; Scale:53%

Monitor Display – Overlay:54% ; Scale:150%


Step 9-Gunge/Splatter Brushes

Add the final elements to the background using the grunge or splatter brushes, placing them in the selection made with the Pen Tool(P). Place them randomly giving it a nice and dynamic effect.

Step 10-Item#2 (Record Disc)

Now is time to add another element of “Music” theme and that will be a disk. Extract from the stock image the disc, using Pen Tool(P)>Make Selection. (Feather:0) and place it in your wallpaper in the right corner. You must desaturate it (Ctrl+shift+u) then add a Radial blur effect (Filter>Blur>Radial Blur..). If it’s needed and you want to keep the low cyan color look you must go to the Color Balance and change the color a bit to cyan (Image>Adjustments>Color Balance..).



Step 11-Item#3 (Cassette)

Another element of the wallpaper is the Cassette Tape. You must extract it using the Pentool as you did for the disk in the step 11, desaturate it(Ctrl+Shift+u), go to Image>Adjustments>Color Balance. and add some cyan color, then right-click on the layer with the cassette tape and select the blending options (Gradient Overlay and Pattern Overlay) as I did in the image.



Step 12-Item#4 (Audio Jack)

The third main element of the wallpaper is the Audio Jack, which you will have to introduce in your chop. The same thing to do: Select it with Pentool(P) and copy-paste it in your file placing it near the monitor.


Step 13-Stroke lines

Now that we finished with the three main elements that we imported from stock images, we have to emphasize them surrounding the items with stroke lines, using green(#c0ff16) and orange(#ff9000 / #ff4800) colors. Erase the parts of the lines that aren’t needed using Eraser Tool(E).


Step 14-Adding Words

It’s time to type some words (Audio/VJ/Deejay/Dance/Audio etc.) and place them as I did, or however you like. Right click on the each word transform it and put it in different positions. Pick different colors for the text like white/orange/green.

Step 15-Fill the Background with Wall Texture

Add the wall texture on your poster. Firstly, crop it and erase the margins with the Eraser Tool(E). Then Distort it, using “Free Transform” and multiply it till you cover all the background of the poster. Use Clone Stamp(S) to cover all the dead spots.

Step 16-Shadows

Adding Shadows it’s not very hard, but it’s an important step for giving to the poster a nice and quite realistic effect. So, for text words, which you added in step 15 you must add the “Drop Shadow” Blending mode like in the image below. For the monitor and the other items you must remake the black shape of the item, using Pentool and then to make it real use the Gaussian Blur effect and lower the opacity of the layer.

Step 17-Pen Tool

As you can see Pen Tool(P) is one of the most important tools in Photoshop. Use it again for creating those two shapes Orange(#fd4801) and Green(#9ed112) and place their layers behind the monitor and text.

Step 18-Darkness

Using the Brush Tool(B) with a big master-diameter(~730px), add some black colour on the wallpaper edges. The margins should be darker and the center part of the poster should be lighter.

The shadow of the shapes created in the previous step are made using the same technique as for the items: Use the Pentool to create the black shape then use Gaussian Blur to make it out of focus and than lower the opacity.

Step 19-Brushes

Load the set of splatter brushes I attached it and than try to add them randomly on the poster giving them a different opacity or blending mode(overlay/soft light etc.) till you realise a nice environment. Don’t forget that all the layers of the brushes must be placed behind the items and text layers, but over the shapes we created in step 17.

*Second photo is to offer you a clearly view where you should place the brushes!



Download the PSD

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Credits for the resources i used in this tutorial :