Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating an antique pub sign using Photoshop


Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy

with Bert Monroy

Video: Creating an antique pub sign using Photoshop

This week what we're going to do is create a Antique Pub sign. There we go, we got our basic letters right there, alright.
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Watch the Online Video Course Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy
13h 32m Intermediate Jun 07, 2013 Updated Mar 27, 2015

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Take a 10-minute recess every week and join Bert Monroy in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, the playgrounds of digital artists. Every Friday Bert walks through a fun, self-contained project that tests your skills and challenges the imagination. These programs aren't just image editors; they are sandboxes for creativity and experimentation. Take a spin through a carousel of tools and get reinspired, each and every week.

Design Photography
Illustrator Photoshop
Bert Monroy

Creating an antique pub sign using Photoshop

This week what we're going to do is create a Antique Pub sign. Some rusty letters and old wood, and it's just an exercise in filters basically, and some type controls. Now, keep in mind that it's not what I'm doing but how I'm doing it because some of these techniques can be applied to other situations to solve problems you might be faced with. So let's start with creating our basic type, I'm going to get my Text tool here and we'll pick something that's fairly common and simple.

Let's just take good old times and I'll use bold and set at 250 points, let's see how big that's going to be. Let's make it 200 points, alright? And right here in the center, it's centered. We're going to go in here and type in Rusty Nail Pub. There we go, we got our basic letters right there, alright. So now, those are going to work, that's going to work fine. However, it's not the way I want it to look. I want it to have a kind of a stylized kind of a look.

So what we're going to do now is, I'm going to go in here and take my type and create a work path so now they are paths. So I go into my Layers, and I can throw away the Text. Don't need it anymore, because I have that paths that I'm going to be working with. So, we'll take this batch down here and I'm going to Cmd + T to get my controls here. I'm just going to shrink it down, and bring it down to the bottom here. Get it out of the way now, select this, and let's bring this over here and let's make them a little smaller.

I keep them there for now. And let's work with the word Rusty, so I'm going to select the entire word there and going to do a little transform on it. Let's tighten it up this way and pull it down, way down like that, that looks good, ' kay. Now what I'm going to do now is, I'm going to take the USTY and I'm going to go in there, and let's just make sure we just select that part. I don't want to select the little part of the R down there, there we go we got all those paths selected.

I'm going to go in there, I'm going to shrink those down a little bit, about like that and a little lower there we go. And I'm going to move em over closer to the R just a little bit there. So now I'm going to take the R over here, and I'm going to knock out that little center part. And what I'm going to do is I'm going to take and extend this little part down here go, straight out to about here and go up and over, then, hold on my Option key so I can get a hancle so I can come down here and connect it to the end right there, so I've got this whole kind of a new bottom part to it.

I'm going to select the USDY again and I'm going to do something else to it now. I'm going to go in there and warp it, so I'm going to warp it, so I'm going to bring this up, straight up. Bring this guy in, kind of even it out in there in little higher and kind of bring this guy in, about like that. So we start getting this little curve to, to our word right there. A little bit of a curve, let's bring this up a little bit. There we go, click OK.

And there's that, which now, we can take the word, Nail, and we'll put that right in here. Put that right about there, so it's just about even with the end. And what I'm going to do with that, is, I'm going to Warp that. So go in there and Warp this. And we'll bring this up to meet that, and we'll kind of curve these to follow that same curve that we have up above. Click OK. That's looking good. Now the whole bottom part of the r, right here, I'm going to bring it down, hitting my cursor keys to bring it down to match up right there with the Nail.

So that's looking good. Maybe the bottom of the U, can come down just a little bit. So I selected those particular paths, and I'm pulling those down. And this starts to fill up that area nicely. Now I could take the word pub, and we'll bring that up put it right there, flush with the left. And I'm going to scale it, all the way over so that the word pub fits along the bottom like that. So now we have our basic word, alright, so this put em in to the center here, right here like that.

And now with a rounded Rectangle tool, I just going to draw, set the path, I'm going to draw little selection right around this. Right there, to be the wooden part of our sign, okay? The words are going to be made out of a rusty metal, and then this plaque here will be made out of a wood. So now, we're ready to go, I'm going to create a new layer and this layer we'll call the Plaque and I'll select it. I'm going to select just that path there and we'll pick up a nice brown color.

Let's say we pick up a nice brown like, about like that and I'm going to go ahead and fill in that layer, I'm going to fill with that path right there. So now we can turn off our paths, in fact let's save them. Okay. So there, now that we have that, I'm going to give that path, or, or rather that, that shape right here, I'm going to give it a, a, a filter. So we've got this deep brown here and for my other color, we'll pick a kind of a light beige like that, that looks good.

Alright, so we have those two colors so in this area here, what I'm going to do, I'm going to lock the transparency, make sure nothing goes out of it. I'm going to go in there and say Render > Fibers. And I'm going to go in there and play with the variance until I get a nice strong kind of a wooden, kind of a texture like that. I click OK, and I have my wood. So now, turn this off and double click on it to give it a little, a little Bevel and Emboss right there Bevel and Emboss, increase the depth.

Take a really strong light and darks, increase the size of it like that and then that white, that white isn't good. I want the light to come over from just about that angle there and instead of white I'm going to pick a kind of beige color, something a little more warmer about like that, that looks about right there you go. Click OK, and we'll punch it up a bit. So we get a nice strong bright light up there and for the background let's choose us something a little more in the browns for down there. Click OK, and we're there.

So now I'm going to go in here and do a few things to this later after we've played with the letters. Now create another one and we'll call this one Letters. And we get our paths, there's our paths. So, I'm going to select all the paths right in there and make sure I Deselect that outside part. Alright, I just did a with the Shift key, clicked on that to Deselect it. So, now all my letters inside are selected and in a new layer for letters, still got that brown color.

In fact, let's lighten it up a little bit. Let's go more with something like that, and then go ahead and fill the path in there. There's our letters so now, we're going to give the letters a couple of filters. So we're in that layer right there, and let's give it a Filter right off the bat. So now I'll come over here and we'll give it a Filter and pretty much the same kind of a thing we did before but, Filter gallery is going to allow us to get some interesting little things happening here.

So I've got this spatter currently selected in the Filter gallery. What I'm going to do is I'm going to come down here to Texture, and I'm going to choose the texturizer, which I have set to sandstone. Which is what I usually use, there are others, but I'm going to use sandstone and I got the pretty high up, let's bring it down eh, bout there. So it's not too strong, and the scaling maybe we could make it a little tighter. And now that we got it smaller, let's bring, bring up that a little more so we got a little more definition there, that's looking good. Click OK.

So now we're going to give this quite a few layer styles. I'm going to go into the layer styles for it, and the let's move it out here so we can kind of see it better, see the whole sign. And the first thing I'm going to do is give it a bevel and emboss as well, alright. So here, I'm going to change the technique to chisel hard. And I'm going to push that depth way up so I get a really strong, hard edge in there, maybe make it a tiny, a little bit smaller. Let's go to about a three that looks pretty good, a nice little three there.

And again, these colors aren't good so I'm going to change this to a kind of a beige tone, right about like that and background can stay with the black. Let's push this up, so we get a really strong highlight there and bring that depth in some more there we go. We've got that, will give it a little drop shadow, as well. So it starts to separate, and pull the, the words off the sign a bit and might want to make those a little stronger. There's a little shadow and then to kind of muddle it up inside, make it a little more dirty, I'm going to go in there and give it a little satin and there's my satin.

Now I'm going to go in there and choose a more complex, in fact let's go with this one right there, and play around with the size and the distance there. Let's get that size going see, so now we've got this little model stuff going through there it starts to look a little dirtier, okay. You can even darken it up a little bit, now it's looking good. And you know in the bevel embossed wood, what I'm going to do is change this to more of a, a much warmer color, there we go. So now we're starting to get a much nicer kind of a feel up there. Click OK, and there, we've got the beginnings of our rusty sign and I did say the beginnings.

because now what we're going to do is we're going to age the whole thing. going to start with the rusty sign, I'm going to take it, and I'm going to make a selection of it. going to Cmd click on it. Right there to make it a selection and give it a mask. There it is and this is what the mask looks like right there. Now, I am going to apply an effect which is going to make this very distressed looking type but the Filter is not going to do what I want to the actual layer, which is why I created a mask. If I go to the Layer and choose the Filter that I want to use, which in this case is in my Filter gallery, it's a little thing here called under brush strokes, I have a thing called Spatter and you see what it did inside? It just created this kind of effect let's cancel that.

We have the effect inside that we want. So I'm going to do it to the mask. I got the mass selected, and I come up here and say the Filter gallery, and I use the brush strokes, spatter, and we can see what it's doing to the letters right there. Now I can push up that radius and bring up the smoothness, whatever, but what I want to do is I'm going to bring the radius down, about like that, that looks good and the smoothness we can bring that down just a little bit. It's doing it to the mask, so when I click OK, now you'll see that the letters are suddenly all distressed and have that feeling of being nice and rusty.

So what I'm going to do now is to the plaque, I want a nice rough edge to that as well. So what I'm going to do, is I'm going to go and make that a selection, and give that a mask and as I did before, I'm going to go into the mask and in the Filter gallery, I got to spatter. I got that spatter, which I'm going to bump it up a little bit and make it a little smoother. About like that and I'm going to give it another filter, a second Filter and this Filter we're going to play around just to smooth it up a little bit, we'll see what things are going to look like.

Like right there, the sumi-e, see how the sumi-e just kind of blurred it a little bit, soften it up and that's good so back in the spatter, we can kind of make it bigger. And bring that smoothness like that and the two filters working together is going to give me that effect. So when I click OK, now we see that the sign itself has the nice little rough edges all around and we have a totally stylized rusty looking sign for an antique pub somewhere that we created with straight type, converting it to little paths, and then playing with a bunch of different Filters to finalize the effect.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy .

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Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.
Q: Why are some of the 3D menu items grayed out when I try to follow along?
A: The 3D features in Photoshop CC require a computer with at least 512MB VRAM. If your computer doesn't meet this criterion, the 3D menu features will be greyed out.
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