Pixelmator Tip #26 – How To Create A Retro Poster

Ninja Share:

Retro posters were the original champions of flat design. It is amazing the amount of detail you can get across with very simple retro designs.

In this tutorial we’ll show you how to create a realistic retro poster for an airshow using Pixelmator.

The Final Product

Here is what you will create at the end of this tutorial.



Step One

Create a new document for a poster of size 800x1280px.


Step Two

Create a new layer called Background with a white fill colour.


Step Three

In order to give the poster a realistic paper feel, we are going to use a crumpled paper texture from Deviant Art. Add it into a new layer above the background layer, and adjust the size to fit the proportions of your canvas.


Step Four

Add a new rectangle shape with about half inch border at the top and sides, and one inch from the bottom. Fill the rectangle with fill colour #6f93a0 for a nice vintage flat blue colour.


Step Five

Select the layer blending option for the rectangle and select Overlay.This should show the crumpled paper texture through the rectangle.

Next right-click on the rectangle and choose Make Editable. On the left edge of the rectangle add two points about a third from the top and third from the bottom. If you are not sure, then try your hand at our tutorial on creating and editing simple shapes first.

Don’t worry about being exact here as we will need to move them to fit our plane shape later on.

Next add two more points in-between the two points you just created and move these points inwards. Line up the points as shown in the image below.


Step Six

Now lets add some text. In the white imagineear.com/pharmacy/ space below the blue shape, add some text. We used font Futura set to Medium, of size 35px, and a kern (letter spacing) of 10%. We also used the same colour as the rectangle, #6f93a0


Step Seven

Once you are happy with the small text, now lets add in the main title. First add in the top tile – we used font Impact, set to Regular, with a fill colour of white, and of size 110px.

Line this up to the centre of the poster, then duplicate this layer, and rotate 180 degrees to create the reflection. Line up the reflection underneath the main title as shown.


Step Eight

Now lets add in the airplane shape. Here is one we created earlier of an awesome WWII fighter.



Add it to the poster and line up the tip of the wings to the edges of the rectangle shape. At this point, you may need to adjust the new points your created so that they line up to the airplane wings.


Step Nine

Select all the layers you have created, and now right click, and select Merge All Layers.

To this merged layer, we then add an effect from the effects toolbar (CMD+3), under Stylize, choose Vintage, and then Freesia.


Step Ten

Now let’s apply some noise to make this look realistic – add an effect from the effects toolbar (CMD+3), under Stylize, choose Noise, and then set this to 2px with monochrome selected.


And now, we are finished. Here is the final poster created using Pixelmator.




Have not have fun adding in some smoke. Just add another layer on top of your poster layer. From the Effects toolbar (CMD+3), select Generator, then Clouds. Set the layer blending mode of this layer to Overlay.







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