Creating posters, cards and other neat things with Photoshop or Photoshop Elements




There are really only a few basic concepts to understand. Then you’ll be pumping out posters faster than…well, something that pumps things out fast.




1)      If scanning, scan your images so that they will be of sufficient size for your poster. You can always down-size images if needed.

2)      If your images are from a digital camera, resize to your needs.

3)      Make sure all images are of the same resolution (240 dpi for inkjet)

4)      Do everything you’d typically do to an image: Levels, color corrections, curves, sharpening, etc. Be sure to flatten any layers.

5)      Decide on the size of individual images in your poster and resize as needed. Save using the Save As command.



Once you have your selected images ready


1)      Create a new document at your final poster size (e.g. 12x18 @ 240 dpi). Go to File>New to do this. Make sure this document is the same resolution as your images. Set Mode to RGB Color and Background Contents to White.

2)      With your selected images open, use the MOVE TOOL to move them into the new document. (Click and drag the image) With each moved image, a new layer is created.

3)      To make alignment easier, use the guides (Photoshop only). View>New Guide. You can also grab and drag guides. Here’s how: Make sure you’re using the Rulers (View>Ruler) and move the cursor into the ruler area. The cursor will change to an arrow. Click and drag into your image. This will place a guide wherever you want it. For more info, search for Guides in the Photoshop Help file.

4)      Place text using the text tool. Each time you place new text, a new layer is created. This makes it easy to edit and move your text later. Choose fonts and sizes to your liking.

5)      Add drop shadow or other layer styles as you see fit.
HINT: to achieve a consistent appearance in your drop shadows, adjust the drop shadow on only one text layer to your satisfaction. Now go to Layers>Layer Style>Copy Layer Style. You can then paste the layer style into any of your other layers using the same menu (Layers>Layer Style>Paste Layer Style). If you link all the layers that you wish to apply the style to, you can choose the Paste Layer Style to Linked option. This applies the style to all linked layers.


Add a background image if you wish


1)      The background image must be the same size and resolution as the poster. (If your poster is 12x18 @ 240 dpi, so must be the background.)

2)      You can use a complete image or part of an image. Just part of an image works quite well.

3)      Use the Crop Tool to crop out part of an image to use as a background

4)      In the Options Bar for the Crop Tool, set image size and resolution.

5)      Crop the area you need.

6)      Using the Move Tool, drag the background image to your poster. This will create a new layer (you can rename it Background Image if you’d like). By holding down the SHIFT KEY while moving, the background will align perfectly.

7)      Move the Background Image layer towards the bottom of the layer stack and place it above the white background layer. (Click and drag the layer in the Layers Palette)

8)      Fade back the background by adjusting the Opacity of Background Image layer to your liking.

9)      If you don’t like the background you’ve chosen, go back to the image you cropped from and choose another section. (If you haven’t already closed the image, you’ll need to step back in History to the point before you cropped)

10)  Try several backgrounds. Since they’ll all be in separate layers, you can view several options.

Don’t be worried that you’re cropping a small part of an image and upsizing it to your final poster size. Since you’re fading it back anyway, background image quality is not a concern.



Some options and suggestions