Psychedelic poster design

The following tutorial guides you through the process of designing a gig or event poster in the vein of the classic psychedelic posters of the 1960s. This design is inspired by the cosmic imagery associated with artists and bands such as Sun Ra and Parliament, which themselves took influence from Egyptian art as well as using space and time as a theme. The importance of having a strong theme to create an eye-catching piece of poster art can't be emphasised enough.

Whatever theme you choose, this tutorial will show you everything you need to produce each of the main layers of your illustration, whether that be the detail in the outlines and around the title, or the fore, mid and background graphics of the image.

We choose three Pantone colours for our design, rather than a standard CMYK palette, and we design bold patterns to draw the viewers' interest. You'll need an intermediate understanding of Illustrator to get started and some basic experience of drawing vector paths because many of the more detailed elements in the design require this skill. Over the following pages, you'll also discover how to use spot colours, including a metallic Pantone colour, and how to set up a basic spot varnish for an extra special finish. So log in, boot up and trip out...

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