How To Create a Vintage Toy Packaging Design (Illustrator & Photoshop Tutorial)

everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics back with another video tutorial. I stumbled across some packaging designs for
old cap gun toys recently, which gave me the inspiration to reproduce the style myself. Follow along with today’s tutorial to create
a vintage toy packaging design using both Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. We’ll begin in Illustrator to draw the main
product illustration, lay out the type, and compose the design. Then I’ll show you how to give the artwork
a vintage appearance in Photoshop with the help of some textures, filters and brushes
which will help to mimic the appearance of aged prints. But first, if you want access to a massive
library of assets to use in your projects, check out Envato Elements…. The vintage packaging design I’ll be creating
in this tutorial is based on old wild west cap gun toys. You can see the originals were supplied in
cardboard boxes, which were produced with low-cost, limited colour printing, typically
using red or blue ink, or no ink at all so the natural colour of the cardboard formed
part of the design. The actual product was pictured as an illustration,
sometimes with quite a simplistic appearance, which makes it an easy art style to replicate. So to begin, open up Adobe Illustrator and
create a new document. The size doesn’t matter for now since this
is just for tracing the outline of the cowboy gun. I’m using a photo of a Colt Single Action
Army for reference from Wikipedia. Go to File>Place to import the image, then
scale and rotate it to fit. Turn down the opacity to around 30%, then
go to Object>Lock>Selection to avoid accidentally moving it out of place. Select the Pen tool, then clear out the default
white fill, leaving just the black stroke. Begin tracing the main outline of the gun
by clicking and dragging bezier curves. At any points you want to form a corner, hold
the ALT key and click the point to remove the bezier handle before continuing. Trace around the entire outline of the gun
and finish the back at the starting point to form a complete path. In the Stroke panel, increase the stroke weight
to around 3pt. Zoom back in to the image, then begin tracing
the areas inside the outline. These paths can be open ended, but they should
start and end within the width of the outlining stroke. To deselect the path, hold the CMD key and
click on some empty space on the artboard before starting the next path. Other details like the circular screw heads
can be easily drawn using the ellipse tool. Select the main outline, then go to Edit>Copy
and Edit>Paste in Back. Switch the black stroke to a black fill. Hold the Shift key while drawing a selection
across the illustration to capture all the individual strokes, but not this currently
selected outline. Go to Object>Expand to convert those strokes
into shapes. Click the Unite button in the Pathfinder panel
to merge them into one outline. Shift-Click the black fill shape again to
add it back to the selection, then click the Minus Front button in the Pathfinder panel
to punch out the stroke lines from the black fill. Select and delete the negative space within
the trigger guard with the Direct Selection tool. Create another new document to compose the
full design. I’ve set mine up in Millimetres and the CMYK
colour mode. Select the rectangle tool and draw a shape
to fill the entire artboard. Remove the black stroke, then change the fill
to red. I’m using 100 magenta, 100 yellow and 10 black. Lock this rectangle to avoid accidentally
moving it. Draw another rectangle across the artboard. Set this one up with no fill but a white stroke. In the stroke settings, adjust it to 20pt,
aligned to the inside. Copy and Paste in the gun illustration, then
change the fill to white. Go to Object>Transform>Reflect and choose
vertical so it sits the other way. Use the Type tool to begin laying out the
brand name. I’m using a suitable font named Colt from
the Adobe Fonts library. Give this text a white fill, then go to Object
>Transform>Shear. Choose Vertical, then enter -8 degrees. Next, go to Effect>Distort & Transform>Free
Distort. Drag the two left corners apart to stretch
the text. Go to Object>Expand Appearance to permanently
apply this effect. Use the Rectangle tool to draw a shape as
the basis for a banner graphic. Place some text on top to complete the ficitonal
Western Frontier brand name. Here I’m using Futura Bold, also available
on the Adobe Fonts Library, but with the tracking set to 200. Give this text the same red fill as the background
by using the eyedropper to sample the hue. To accurately line up the text with the banner,
it first needs converting to outlines from the right-click menu. Hold Shift to select both objects then they
can be aligned horizontally and vertically using the Align panel. Grab the Pen tool, then with the rectangle
selected, add a point halfway down the left and right side. Switch over to the Direct Selection tool and
nudge these points inwards while holding the shift key. Select both the banner and text again, then
go to Object>Envelope Distort>Make with Warp. Choose the Flag preset, then adjust the Bend
amount to -30. Apply a Shear transformation using -10 degrees Rotate and position this banner over the other
text. To add an outline, we first need to go to
Object>Expand, then right click and choose Ungroup so the banner shape can be selected
individually. Go to Object>Path>Offset Path and enter
a value of around 1.5mm. Use the eyedropper tool to quickly give this
offset shape the same red fill as the background. Make any final position adjustments before
selecting all the items that form the brand logo, then right click and choose Group. To add a similar border effect to the gun
illustration, add an offset path. Since this illustration is made of several
pieces, unite them all into one shape using the Pathfinder, then give it the red fill. The offset shape is currently sitting on top
of the white illustration. Right click and choose Arrange>Send to Back
so the illustration reappears. The whole illustration then needs bringing
on top of the text. Click it to select everything, then right
click and choose Arrange>Bring to Front. Use the type tool to add some more elements
to the design. Set ‘Made in’ using the same Futura formatting
with 200 tracking, then enter USA in the Colt font, both with a white fill. Scale them so they’re the same width and position
them on top of each other. Draw a Star shape as decoration, then select
all three items and use the Align panel to centre them up. Add a circle to contain the elements, set
with a white stroke with a weight of 3pt. Group these elements, then position the graphic
within the main layout. Draw a rectangle across the artboard to add
a band which will contain some text. Use the Arrange>Send Backward shortcut of
CMD (or CTRL on Winwdows) and [ to place it underneath the revolver illustration. The awkward looking piece within the trigger
guard can be deleted with the Direct Selection tool. Lay out some text using the same formatting
used elsewhere for consistency. Setting the fill to red gives it that knocked-out
appearance against the white background. Using inspiration from those authentic examples
found on Google, this fictional concept can be finished off with some more text elements
to fill out the remaining space. Additional star graphics help add some visual
interest. An easy way to create consistent spacing is
to nudge them a specific number of times, or one big nudge while holding the Shift key. I’m not making my design to any specific packaging
dimensions, so any remaining space can be effectively cropped by adjusting the size
of the background rectangle. Unlock the elements first, then alter the
shape size by moving the bottom selection handle. That’s the main design concept complete for
our fictional toy packaging, but it doesn’t have much of an authentic vintage appearance. To remedy that, we’ll switch over to Photoshop. Illustrator is great for composing a design
and constructing graphic elements, but Photoshop is much more powerful when it comes to working
with textures and raster effects. Select All and go to Copy, then create a new
document in Photoshop. It will automatically load the correct proportions
but the pixel size will be quite small. Go to Image>Image Size and increase the
width value to create a larger canvas. If you were actually working on a live packaging
design you would obviously set a specific size at 300ppi, but this artwork is just for
fun. Paste in the Illustrator artwork and scale
it to fit. The easiest and best way to add a vintage
paper or cardboard effect is to use the real thing in the form of a stock image or texture
download. This Old Paper Texture is by Lukasz Szwaj
on Shutterstock. Open the texture image, then Select All with
CMD+A, Copy with CMD+C, Close the document with CMD+W then Paste with CMD+V. Use the
CMD+T shortcut for Transform in order to scale the texture to fit the canvas. To allow the paper texture to interact with
the underlying artwork, change the blending mode to Multiply. You can affect the result by altering the
levels of the texture with the CMD+L shortcut. Darkening the texture makes it show up more. You can also bring out the detail by increasing
the contrast between the midtones and shadows. Altering the Levels might make the texture
a little too yellowy, so use the CMD+U shortcut for Hue/Saturation to decrease the saturation
slightly. Next we’ll add some effects to the main artwork
to give it an old print look. First right click the layer and choose Convert
To Smart Object so the filters are added non-destructively. When designs are printed onto paper, the ink
bleeds slightly at the edges. This is an aesthetic that is common with old
prints. To simulate this in Photoshop to go Filter
>Noise>Median. Choose a value that subtly rounds off the
corners, but doesn’t blur everything too much. 1 to 2 pixels will suffice. Another filter that helps to simulate bleeding
ink is the Filter>Distort>Ripple effect. Change the Size to Large, then adjust the
slider to a small amount, like 8%. Finally, add a quick Sharpen filter to reduce
the blurriness from the Median filter. Old prints are usually quite distressed where
the ink has worn away over the years. Add a Layer Mask and use one of my free brush
packs from Spoon Graphics to add some wear and tear. I’m using my Grain Shader brushes this time,
which are linked to in the description area below. Add a quick sharpen filter to the layer mask
to bring out the grainy details. You can also affect the result by adjusting
the levels to increase or decrease the brightness and contrast. As a finishing touch, I also added some crease
lines from a pack of Folded Paper Textures by Simon Birky Hartmann. These are available to Access All Areas members
on Spoon Graphics. Number 5 is just the texture I’m looking for. Paste it into the document at the top of the
layer stack and scale it to size. To capture just the brightest white areas
that form the folds and crease areas, switch to the Channels panel and hold the CMD key
while clicking the main CMYK channel to load its selection. Switch back to the Layers panel and turn off
this texture layer. In the artwork’s layer mask, fill this active
selection with black using the ALT+Backspace shortcut to add the creases to the rest of
the distressing effects. Use the CMD+D shortcut to Deselect to see
the finished design. The final result is a vintage packaging design
that takes inspiration from old wild west cap gun toys. Creating the basic concept was pretty straight
forward with Illustrator’s graphic tools, but it didn’t look very realistic. Processing the artwork in Photoshop with textures
and filters really helped to give it an aged and distressed appearance, to make it look
just like those authentic examples from the 40s. If you want a ready-made revolver graphic
to follow along with this tutorial, download my Free Wild West vector graphics pack from
Spoon Graphics. It contains a flat illustration, and a more
advanced one with additional shading effects, plus a load of other graphics you can use
to build western themed designs. Subscribe to the channel if you want to stick
around for more of my content, and be sure to join my mailing list at Spoon Graphics
if you want to download all my free resources in one big bundle. As always thank you very much for watching,
and I’ll see you in the next one.

11 Replies to “How To Create a Vintage Toy Packaging Design (Illustrator & Photoshop Tutorial)”

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