How To Mix Typography and Images to Create a Nike Inspired Poster

In this Photoshop tutorial, we’ll learn to create a floating text effect much like a series of Nike/Chicago Marathon posters from a few years ago. We will learn to blend text into a photo so it almost looks like it should be there by using shadows and masks and grain to help pull the scene together.

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Recording notes:

  • Open the stock image and note the stock, the font used, and the inspiration source
  • Add a Gradient map to make the image black and white, but drop the white point to 95% white/gray
  • Type out FIND, YOUR, and FAST each as separate text boxes
  • Prenton RP Ultra Con… (BLACK) font, 225pt, 50 tracking, and all caps.
  • Select each text layer and shew the H:-15
  • Set the size of FAST to 225*1.618 and after showing that, boost it a little more to 430pt
  • Arrange the text as you see fit in the image
  • Convert each text layer to a Smart Object
  • Blur the smaller text 1px and the big text 2px
  • Group the text and add a mask to the layer group
  • Use the Lasso tool w/ 2px feathering to quickly select bits of the model and mask away the overlapped text.
  • Group this group and add a fresh layer mask and use some texturing/grit brushes to grunge up the text a tiny bit.
  • Blur the mask with the grit by 1px
  • Reduce opacity of the text group to 90%
  • Add a layer of noise to match the rest of the image
  • Create and blur a long, flat shadow for beneath the floating text and set to Soft Light and tweak the opacity if needed
  • Type out the word “Chicago” with Industry font set to 60pt and fill with color #0daddb also, remove any tracking or kerning stuff
  • Duplicate this text and reduce the size by dividing by 1.618 and type the word Marathon and move below “CHICAGO”
  • Duplicate Marathon text and move up to the top and divide again by 1.618 and type “SQUARESPACE” or some other sponsor name
  • Duplicate this text field and divide again by 1.618 (twice) and type “20” and duplicate the field and type in “19” for the “20––19” marathon.
  • Duplicate the Marathon text and add a #OWNTHEGYM mark to below the wordmark.
  • Select all the text and Free Transform it down 50% in size
  • Center it to the document and move to the bottom of the poster.
  • Add Curves above it all to tweak the contrast and tone.