Pixelmator Tip #16 – How To Create A Vintage Poster

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In this tutorial, we show you how to create a vintage retro poster (for a film festival) using Pixelmator.

We drew inspiration for this tutorial from the amazing works of Anne Kovecses – you can see her fantastic work on her behance page, or follow her on tumblr.

The Finished Poster

Here is what you will be able to create at the end of this tutorial. So let’s get started.

Step 1

Create a new document with dimensions 600x800px. This is typically what we use for web posters; however you will need larger dimensions and quality for print posters.

600x800Next, choose your image. You want to select an image (either portrait or landscape) that will gracefully degrade when we apply vintage effects later on in the tutorial. We used a photo snapped using an iPhone.


Step 2

Place you image into a new layer called “photo“, and adjust the size of the image to take over about 3/4 of the poster (we used the golden ratio [1:1.6] to figure our optimal placements of the image). The other 1/4 of the image is going to hold the poster text.

vintage-poster-1Step 3

Next open up the Effects panel (CMD+3) and under Stylize, use the Vintage effect. We choose the wormwood effect with a 30% vignette.

vintage-poster-3We now get the following effect.

vintage-poster-4Step 4

Now select the background layer and fill it with black colour.

vintage-poster-5Step 5

Now enable the rulers and guides if you haven’t already done so (under View menu option). We want to use the guides to split the image (not the entire poster) into 3 x 3 grid.

vintage-poster-7Step 6

To create the retro effect, we are going to create some shapes. Add a triangular shape filled with white colour and add it as shown. Use the guides you have added to help you with the placement.

vintage-poster-8Use the free transform (CMD + F), and adjust the points of the triangle as shown below.

vintage-poster-9Step 7

Add in new triangular shapes (each one on a new layer) and fill up the 3×3 grid as shown. All we did was simply duplicate the original layer, adjusted the location using the guides, and rotated the shape as necessary. This is where you can get truly creative.

vintage-poster-10Step 8

Once you have placed the triangles to your liking, we will start to colour them. We used 3 basic flat colours (red = #c0392b, blue = #2980b9, and green = #16a085) and white in our swatch. You should aim to keep the colours as minimalist as possible. Select the first layer for a triangle shape, and choose a layer blending option of Multiply with an opacity of 80%.

vintage-poster-11Continue filling up the different triangle shapes with colour. We also used the opacity of 60% to get a lighter red colour.


You can still adjust the shapes as required if you don’t like how the poster looks. We selected all the triangle shapes, grouped them, and then flipped horizontal.

vintage-poster-13Step 9

To give it a real retro vintage effect, we will create a triangular pattern for one of the triangular shapes. To do this, create a triangle shape on a new layer filled with black colour, and adjusted to the size required. Right click on the layer, and select “convert to pixels“. Next under the Effects panel, choose Tile, and then select Affine with the following settings.


Now move the layer with the pattern triangle texture, above the large triangle that you want to use . Right click on the pattern and select “create clipping mask“. This should create the following effect:

vintage-poster-15Step 10

Next select all the layers we have been working on (except the background layer) and merge them together. To this merged layer, under the Effects panel, choose Stylize, and add the Noise filter with 2px and select Monochrome. This give us a slightly grainy effect.

vintage-poster-16Next, under the Stylize section, select the Vintage effect. This time we choose Wormwood with the following settings.

vintage-poster-17Step 11

Now we have completed the work on the photo part of the poster, we now start adding in text. First, add in a rectangle with white colour to the bottom part of the poster, and now we start adding some text. We used the font DIN Alternate for primary font, and Sacremento for the secondary font.

vintage-poster-18Step 12

Adjust the text as you need to achieve the vintage effect – you can use google as a source of inspiration on vintage typography.

vintage-poster-19Here is the final poster – we hope you enjoyed creating your very own vintage poster in Pixelmator.


If you have created something using our tutorials, we’d love to see and pin up what you have done on our site, so post it as a comment or email it to us.


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