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20 Tutorials for creating posters using Illustrator

This round up is focused on how you can utilise the tools available in illustrator, in order to create unique poster designs. The compilation features 20 of the top tutorials for creating unique posters using illustrator. The round up features a variety of tutorials from typography focused designs to abstract shaped posters. A range of various posters to broaden, strengthen and improve your knowledge when it comes to crafting posters using illustrator.

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1. How To Create a Colorful Abstract Poster in Illustrator

Follow this step by step tutorial to create a colourful and vibrant abstract poster design. We’ll create a series of tessellating shapes using Illustrator’s Pathfinder tool, then begin adding colour swatches and gradients to bring the design to life. To finish the poster off, we’ll then import it into Photoshop to add some polish in the form of subtle textures.

2. Create an Inspirational Vector Political Poster

This tutorial is inspired by Sheppard Fairey’s famous political poster series for the Obama campaign in the US. We’ll be showing you how to create this style of design. We’ll start with basic image editing techniques in Adobe Photoshop to get our guide layers setup, and then we’ll jump into Adobe Illustrator. You don’t need any fancy equipment to do this. I used an older mouse that still has the rubber ball.

3. How To Create a Tessellating Geometric Poster Design

Follow this step by step tutorial to create a trendy geometric poster design with a series of tessellating three dimensional cubes. We’ll be creating the colourful shapes in Adobe Illustrator, then bring everything over to Photoshop to finish off the poster with subtle textures and colour casts.

4. 7 Steps to Create a Geometric Poster Vector Design

Let’s have fun with pops of color in this text treatment tutorial! We’ll use simple shapes to transform text into a fantastic geometric poster vector design in seven steps flat!

5. Daft Punk Poster in Illustrator

Daft Punk is releasing their new album next month, titled Random Access Memories. While biking around in San Francisco I started seeing some posters and billboards on walls advertising the new album and was inspired by the amazing artwork. Of course, I’ve always wanted to do something for Daft Punk so this post’s timing seems just about right.

6. How to Create a Retro Poster With an Astronaut Child in Adobe Illustrator

In this tutorial you will learn how to create an astronomy-inspired retro poster. We will use the Clipping Mask a lot, as well as Warp Effects, and at the end we will apply a texture to add a vintage look to our poster.

7. Create a 50s Ad Poster in Illustrator

It seems that the 50s are back, not just in advertising and design, but also on clothes, TV shows, and elsewhere.

8. Create a super bright and colourful vector poster in Illustrator

In this tutorial, Ben guides you through some of his favourite tools in Illustrator. These include the relatively new – and very smooth – Variable Stroke-Width tool, the tidied-up dashed-line functions, the improved shape-building tools, and most excitingly of all, the new perspective tools.

9. Design a geometric pattern for an poster

This tutorial explains how to create one of Simon C Page’s seemingly complicated posters via some nifty tricks in Illustrator and InDesign. Usually he uses Flash Pro’s ActionScript language – but here he shows you how to do it in Illustrator, using that application’s ExtendScript toolkit.

10. How to Design a Retro Theatre Poster in Adobe Illustrator

In this tutorial, we’ll be designing an illustrated tribute poster for the original production of Once Upon a Mattress, though the design could just as easily be used for a current production. We’ll use Illustrator’s basic shape tools and the Pen Tool to layer shapes for the base of our illustration, and then we’ll add details and texture with vector brushes and clipping masks, along with some fun typography.

11. How to Create a Hand-Lettering Textured Poster in Adobe Illustrator

Are you a coffee lover with a passion for beautiful fonts and hand-lettering? Follow this tutorial to create a beautiful retro-style coffee-inspired poster that you can print and hang on a wall in your kitchen! We’ll be using simple shapes, free fonts and some drawing tools of Adobe Illustrator to create a balanced composition with a coffee cup, whimsical text, and intricate hand-lettering. Then we’ll finish up by adding a gentle textured touch to our poster. 

12. How to Design a Vintage Travel Poster in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop

In honor of St. Patrick’s day, this tutorial will walk you through the steps of creating an Ireland travel poster in a vintage style.

13. Making of Robot Earth 3009 Typographic Illustration

During this tutorial, I’ll show you the process for creating one of my illustrated type posters. I love to work type into all of my illustrations for the balance and rhythm it provides to a layout, but I especially love creating images out of type itself… the graphic designer inside me compels me to do it!

14. Master retro poster design

In this tutorial, Fabio Sasso will show you how to create a poster-style illustration that taps into American style from the first half of the 20th century. We draw on the Art Deco style that grew out of Paris in the 1920s and spread internationally in the 1930s, but we also reference US TV and film studio branding from the 1940s and 1950s, which often used Art Deco. The most famous example is the ‘radio tower’ logo and ident of RKO Radio Pictures, but here Fabio’s main reference is a poster for US TV channel NBC.

15. How to Get More Out of Low-Resolution Images Using Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator

For this tutorial we will use the Noise Tool in Adobe Photoshop in order to be able to use a low-resolution image for print and create a type poster. Then we’ll finish off the poster in Illustrator.

16. Create a typographic poster in Adobe Illustrator

Today, I’m going to show you how to create an inspirational typographic poster using some of Illustrator’s basic tools and handy keyboard shortcuts. Truth be told, I love inspirational and witty quotes, especially on design and creativity.

17. Create a Vibrant Abstract Vector Design Illustrator

Follow this step by step Illustrator tutorial to create a vibrant abstract design. We’ll put Illustrator’s Gradient Mesh tool to use to create a colourful shape, then build up layers of objects to create an abstract design with lots of vibrancy, bright colours and transparency effects.

18. How To Create an Abstract Geometric Poster Design

Some of the coolest designs can be created with the simplest of tools. In this tutorial we’ll create a cool abstract poster design using nothing more than a hexagon. With careful composition, an enticing colour scheme and a series of textures you can easily create a great looking design that would work perfectly as a poster, or even artwork for a book or album cover.

19. The Making of 3 – A Limited Edition Poster Design

Here’s a detailed walkthrough of the design process, showing how the design of “3” was conceptualised as a sketch, constructed in Illustrator and given some digital polishing with a range of final touches in Photoshop.

20. Create a Distressed Vector Typographic Poster Design

Follow this step by step walkthrough of my recent design process for the ‘Spectrum’ poster. Starting with custom made type in Illustrator, we’ll move our vector graphics into Photoshop for some serious distressing with Photoshop brushes, blending modes and more!

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