If you're an illustrator I'm willing to bet you love illustration work from the '50s and '60s.
There's just something about classic illustrations from that era.
Sketching with real pencils, building up dry brush work, using masking fluid, and adding text by taping on typed sheet.
It added soul and character to the work.
Programs like Photoshop and Illustrator save us a ton of time. But they also make it hard to capture the subtle nuances of traditional illustration techniques.
Today if you want to bring those subtle nuances to your work you have to work pretty hard.
Most illustrators and designers have developed their own unique process. It typically involves some mix of Illustrator, Photoshop, searching through tutorial websites, scanning, Photoshop brushes, filters and a little luck.
Some designers get amazing results this way. But when you're on a deadline (or just want to have fun and not think too much) it can be overwhelming.
My friend Brad Woodard and I thought it would be cool if there was a product that took some of the work out of the process.
So we decided to make a natural media brush and tutorial pack (so you can get everything you need to make natural looking illustrations in one place).
Step 1. Spent a ton of time collecting and sharing illustration work we loved
We used Pinterest to build a collection of illustrations we loved. This included a lot of 1950s children's book illustrations. It also included work from current designers that achieve a great looking hand drawn look in their illustrations.
Step 2. Create 100+ brush presets and test them with Brad
I'll be the first to admit I'm not the best illustrator. But Brad Woodard is one of my favorites. What I love so much about his work is that it seamlessly mixes mid-century inspired illustration with modern touches.
So we spent hours on Skype working together. I'd make brushes, try them myself and then send them over to Brad via Skype chat.
He'd try them in his illustration work. Then give me feedback (for example, "This brush sucks, Dustin. Don't ever make one like that again").
After early a dozen hours working, refining and testing we had a set of 20 brushes we both loved. For every one we kept, we threw away 5.
Step 3. Create a set of tutorials to compliment the brushes
Early on in our conversations Brad mentioned something really interesting to me. Normally, when you buy brushes you're kind of left hanging. You have to download them and just start messing around. Eventually you might find a few you like.
We thought it made more sense to include tutorials with a REAL project. That way, you can download the brushes, install them and start working on something right away.
That way you get way more value. Not only do you have the tools, but you also have someone helping you get the most out of them.
Step 4. Add lots of little touches to make the pack as awesome as possible
It would be easy to make a pack of brushes, put it in a ZIP file and offer it for sale.
But if you've bought RetroSupply products before you know we never do that. We want to make the products as friendly and enjoyable to use as possible.
So we did what we always do with RetroSupply products. We thought out the little details to make the product the best it could be.
Here's some of the little details we added:
The result is a brush/tutorial pack that we're both proud of. It's helps you improve your illustration work with great tools and great tutorials.
This pack is the first in a series of "dream brush" packs that Brad and I are making together.
Each one explores a different style of mid-century illustration work. This first pack is all about illustrations that use pencils and dry brushes.
Here's what's included in the SpaceRanger Pack:
If you were to take a class and get supplies to learn this kind of stuff at a real school (even an affordable community college) you'd be set back over $100. And that's low-balling it.
But with the SpaceRanger Brush and Tutorial pack you acquire some incredible tools and skills for about the price of a take-and-bake pizza. Plus, you don't have to drive across town for 12 weeks taking the classes.
The only way we could make this easier is if you could download the knowledge into your head (and that technology simply doesn't exist yet).
The SpaceRanger Brush Pack requires Adobe Photoshop CS4+ as well as a pressure sensitive tablet (for example, a Wacom Cintiq). File size is approximately 19.5 MB.
Warning: This pack is deeply discounted. As a result we reserve the right to end the sale and increase the price at anytime. This price is only available as long as it is on this page.
People are constantly telling us that they want everything in the shop. That's why we made the I Want It All Kit. It's an easy way to get access to 70+ premium design goods at a great price. Plus, you get some extra perks (keep reading to see the perks).
70+ Premium Products
Get instant access to every RetroSupply product every created. That includes 67 products including actions, templates, brushes, overlays, mock-ups, vector tools, logo templates and fonts.
Files are made available to you via a secure Dropbox link. So you can download products at your leisure (instead of waiting for a gigantic file to download).
Useful Instructions and Videos
Start using your products quickly with well organized PDF instruction guides and videos.
We've organized each file for easy access by the following categories: Actions, Templates, Overlays, Brushes, Mock-ups, Vectors, Logos and Fonts.
[BONUS #1] Lifetime Member Discount
Get your own personal "Member's Pass" code that will allow you to get 25% off of every product we make for life! Whenever you see a new product you like just enter your code at checkout and get an instant discount!
[BONUS #2] Get the Next 3 Products FREE
We have some exciting new products coming out in the next 6 weeks. You'll get each of these 3 new products in your inbox FREE before we offer it for sale.
We are certain you'll love your RetroSupply goods. If for any reason you're not satisfied with your purchase just send us a note within 90 days of purchase. Any feedback on how we can improve would be great but is not required. We'll give you a 100% refund on your purchase. Plus, you can keep all the files. No hard feelings.
I already own a few of your products. Do I have to pay for the ones I've already purchased?
This is an incredible offer. The prices are already deeply discounted. However, if you already own some of the products we'd be happy to offer a small additional discount. Just message us at support[at]retrosupply.co
What version of Photoshop and Illustrator do I need?
All products have been tested in Photoshop and Illustrator CS4 and above. However, 90% of other products will work in CS3 as well.
What happens after I purchase?
Within 2-3 minutes you'll receive an email from us with a link. This link will include access to all products. You can start downloading whatever you want immediately.
The Illustrator's Brush Kit for Adobe Illustrator is a collection of 6 of our best-selling Illustrator brush packs. Each one of these packs has become a best-seller.
32 sponge and ink scatter brushes that make it easy to recreate the textures of mid-century children's books.
40 ink pen brushes that make it easy to achieve the same kinds of strokes illustrators used in mid-century commercial illustration work.
40 pencil and charcoal brushes achieve the impossible, getting realistic pencil strokes in Illustrator!
35 halftone and line textures created from a $200 '50s army surplus catalog. Easy to use. Just grab the blob brush and paint halftones and lines like magic!
23 chalk brushes inspired by chalkboard art and sandwich board signs from the '30s.
30 ink and water brushes make it easy to add a wash of color and shading to your work with the swipe of your mouse.
Each pack was made from real source material and references historical commercial illustration work.
So what exactly does that mean? Here's the breakdown.
Whenever possible we sample the brushes from mid-century catalogs, advertisements, posters and other material. We acquire this material from places like Ebay, antique stores, estate sales and swap meets.
Of course we combine and tweak each piece of the product so it's not an exact replica out of respect for these great commercial artists of the past.
When we make our brushes we pay close attention to how the brush looked originally.
For example, when we created the VectorTone pack we paid close attention to the ratio between the dots, the shape of the dots after soaking into the paper, and how often flaws occurred.
Yeah, sometimes we get a little obsessive compulsive on the details. But it's who we are!
Sometimes the best way to recreate these old effects is to recreate them. In many cases we actually purchase material and then recreate retro work and then sample the work we created.
For example, InkWash is a throwback to the ink washes that illustrators used to add shading to their work. For this pack we looked at the original uses of ink washes in ads and articles from old science magazines.
Then we purchased india ink, brushes and heavy illustration paper. By tweaking our ink and water proportions, brush strokes and how loaded the brush was we created hundreds of samples.
Finally, we picked the best samples to convert into brushes.
Sound quality is poor on this video, but seeing the effect is awesome!
Early Bird Special: Grab The Mid-Century Print Pack Mega Bundle for the special price of $49 for a limited time!
Design products tend to fall under one of two camps.
There hasn't been a class that gives you the tools you need as well as the knowledge you need to achieve specific results in your work (especially retro effects) - except The Mid-Century Mega Bundle.
The Mid-Century Mega Bundle is our popular Mid-Century Print Pack on steriods. You'll get actions, videos, brushes, textures, authentic retro stock art, and more. All in one pack!
Typically lifetime access to this pack would cost $254 (including the actions, videos, and clip art at retail price).
But today we've got something special for you. You can get this entire collection for just $49.
The Mid-Century Print Pack has been one of our best-selling products (just check out the 37 reviews below) - but with the 10 video bonuses and bonus stock art it's an absolute steal.
This collection is great for anyone trying to:
RetroMatic is a Photoshop action that gives you one of the most classic effects of mid-century print work, registration errors.
Registration errors occur when two or more colors are printed in separate passes. The result is the colors not perfectly matching up. The result is slight gaps between colors and lines and happy mistakes where the inks overlap.
SparkPrint is a Photoshop action that let’s you achieve another classic mid-century effect in your work - monotones.
Monotones were an economical way to add different tints of a color to print work without using different color inks (every color cost extra money - so it was in printers and advertisers best interest to use the same color to save on printing expenses).
The InkChamp Photoshop action reproduces the subtle ink starve you see around the edges of color inks. It’s a subtle but powerful effect that adds a great finishing touch to colored areas.
Remember those photograph/painting style pieces you see so often from the 50s? PhotoBaker makes it easy to achieve a similar effect.
Most halftones used in design work in Photoshop use a filter.
Perfect-O-Tone utilized a technique I learned from a designer friend who had some of the best halftones in his work I had ever seen. It works by converting your chosen layer into bitmap halftones that behave exactly like real halftones.
One of the first actions we ever released. RetroPrint recreates the look of newsprint including ink viscosity, roughness, and texture.
The Blacksmith Photoshop action was designed to simulate the subtle rough edges of ink on paper. Particularly when printed on cheap paper stock that was used in newspapers and magazines.
Includes videos that walk you through using each action. Plus, you'll get additional videos that teach you how to create the effects in the actions manually (so you can create these effects on your own if you want).
I bet you didn't know we have a sister stock image site. Yep, true story. In this pack, we'll give you 20 surprise pieces of authentic retro vector art from the 1940s and 1950s. These images took nearly a year to find, have researched by IP attorneys and get vectorized!
Most of the individual packs in the set come with suprise extras including subtle texture brushes, paper textures, and more. So when you download the pack expect some surprises!
The amount of tools and information you get in this product is insane.
I don't think there's even anywhere you can get a pack that provides such a comprehensive collection of retro resources.
Whether you're a professional designer or just starting in Photoshop this pack would be a disservice to your work not grab at this price.
Grab this pack now for $49 and rest easy knowing you got everything you need to create mid-century effects in Photoshop!