One of the best ways to stay fresh, relevant and in-demand as a designer or illustrator is to learn from other talented creatives. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, it’s important to continually sharpen your skills – so we’ve scoured the web to bring you the very best retro and vintage tutorials for Photoshop.
To make navigation easier, we’ve divided the tutorials into the following categories: retro and vintage techniques; retro and vintage styles; typography tutorials; posters; photography; and Photoshop and Illustrator.
There’s no time like the present for learning new skills. Scroll down to start adding new strings to your creative bow – or bookmark this page for when you’re next able to invest a little time into growing your skill set. Trust us, your future self will thank you...
Find out how to quickly and easily roughen the edges of your work in Photoshop with this short video tutorial. The pro technique covered here will let you age your designs to create a tactile, natural effect – and the tutorial comes with a pack of 12 free Photoshop brushes (The Edge & Fold Distressor Brush Pack, which you can also download here for free) as well.
Learn to convert an image using the Threshold adjustment to make vintage art from any image with this 12 minute video tutorial. You’ll find out how to use masks and adjustment layers to lighten and darken areas of an image to get great results. You’ll also walk through how to create a reusable noise layer – and why using a fill layer makes better sense than filling a layer with color.
Marty from Blue Lightening TV shares some best-practice techniques for creating a retro logo design in this brilliant, bite-sized video tutorial (it’s less than seven minutes long).
You’ll need a concrete texture to follow the steps – we have 10 free ones you can choose from on our Freebies page.
Another one by Marty from Blue Lightening TV – this time he shares some best-practice techniques for transforming a photograph into a classic, pop art-style comic page in this fantastic 10-minute video tutorial. He’s using Photoshop CC 2014 – if you’re using Photoshop CC 2015, try his Warhol-style portrait tutorial instead.
Quickly create retro shapes and patterns with designer Luke O’Neill’s top tips for working with vector shape layers in Photoshop CS6.
Add depth to a flat-looking piece of digital artwork by combining textures with subtle shading and highlights. This tutorial shows you the Photoshop techniques you need.
Peter O’Toole reveals how to increase the depth of your vintage illustrations with handmade brush strokes in Photoshop.
Tim Green walks through how to use photos to create surreal montages that have that authentic washed-out vintage look.
Ollie Munden and Harriet Seed cover a number of techniques for creating tattoo-style art, based on 50s rockabilly and navy motifs in this Photoshop tutorial, which walks through how to create a vintage-style poster.
Tom Kemp Starley reveals how to create a surreal, 1940s-inspired composition using a mix of photos and graphics, the Warp tool, Curves and brushes.
Channel the 1980s to create type-based retro-futuristic artwork with a textured, vintage feel.
What’s the difference between a brush preset and a tool preset? And how do you install them? Suzanne Sarver explains why tool presets are awesome and walks through how to get started with them in this helpful step-by-step tutorial.
Matchbooks and matchboxes became popular as advertising vehicles in the 1950s. Find out how to quickly recreate a vintage matchbook print effect using just a few textures and Photoshop filters (and get your hands on a few quality free resources at the same time) with this 10-minute tutorial.
Add an organic, handmade feel to your designs with this video tutorial, which walks through how to create wood type effects in Photoshop.
You can follow along using a free sample pack, which includes free
Photoshop styles, brushes, splatters and even the background artwork for you to use however you like.
Learn how to turn a photo of a person into pixel art as a fictional arcade game character from the early 90s.
New York-based illustrator Kervin Brisseaux shares his techniques for creating a sports illustration with a retro-futuristic sci-fi look.
Damien Vignaux (aka Elroy) explains how to use faux 3D modelling and Photoshop texturing to create a striking vintage-style low-poly artwork.
Top illustrator Peter O'Toole shows you how to create a vintage aesthetic using textures, a limited colour palette and Photoshop’s Channel Mixer.
Create a worn out, low-saturation vintage beach ad with this beginner to intermediate level Photoshop tutorial.
Combine images, textures, blending modes and adjustment layers to achieve a realistic vintage baseball card.
Find out how to create an Outrun-style retro-futuristic text effect from scratch in this Photoshop tutorial. You’ll walk through how to use a mixture of gradients, textures, colors, fonts, grain, shadows and more to create a cool retro-futuristic effect.
Nail the basics and create stunning, vintage hand-lettering with this easy-to-follow tutorial. It comes with a pack of six free Photoshop brushes to help you get started…
Design Cuts walk through how to use intake design elements to create an ad for an old school garage and repairs shop in this helpful Photoshop tutorial. As well as working with textures, typefaces and other design elements, you’ll learn some very handy Photoshop tips and tricks that you can apply to your own projects.
(If you need some retro design elements to follow this tutorial, be sure to check out our collection.)
Recreate the line gradient effect that you sometimes see in wood engravings and sign lettering with this 10-step vintage text tutorial. You can apply the effect to any type that you like for an authentic retro feel.
Chris Spooner goes back to the 1980s to show you how to produce an 80s-style chrome text effect, mixing layer style and color overlays to get to the final result.
Luke O’Neill runs through how to use the new Match Font feature in Photoshop, and how to get the best results out of it.
3D artist Craig Minchington looks at how to design elegant 3D type using the new tools in Photoshop CS6.
Thomas Burden explains how to add texture to lifeless renders of 3D elements to create a Tom Waits-inspired piece, with a grubby old-school New York coffee house aesthetic.
Celebrate the 80s with this retro Photoshop tutorial for creating a 1980s VHS image-style.
Capture the abstract theme of old album art by following this step-by-step Photoshop tutorial for manipulating a landscape photo with various color adjustments in Photoshop, and integrating typography.
Use the shape attributes in Photoshop CC, along with a couple of layer styles, to quickly and easily create a retro, leather-like, 3D text effect.
Learn how to mask out an image so that it just shows through the editable text, making it friendlier to modifications later on, in this tutorial for creating a retro-colored psychedelic text effect.
Jan Stverak explains how to create a mech-inspired text effect using layer styles in Photoshop.
In this advanced tutorial, João Oliveira explains how to create a 3D typographic illustration using Cinema 4D to build the 3D and Photoshop for the post-production.
Recreate a 1960s-style boxing poster and brush up on some basic graphic design principles in this 21-step Photoshop tutorial.
Dig out your most grungy brushes and textures to design an old-school, low-fi horror movie poster this Halloween.
Combine stock photos, textures and brushes with blend mode techniques and filters to create a striking vintage-style poster design.
Give your illustrations a retro-futuristic style with this Photoshop tutorial, which walks through how to create a space-themed poster design with intense lighting effects and distressed textures.
Combine stock photos and distressed, grungy textures to create a retro futuristic poster design.
Andrea Austoni walks through how to create an atmospheric, textured poster for a rave in this video Photoshop tutorial.
Get creative with stock, with this essential tutorial for quickly creating stunning designs using stock imagery.
Designer and illustrator James White walks through how to add a bold, pop culture retro flair to a photo using Photoshop's filters and layer styles.
Add depth to your images while keeping them neutral, with this handy Photoshop tutorial for creating a pastel photo effect.
Learn how to turn digital photos into imperfect analog photos with light leaks, dark vignettes and blurred focus, before creating patterns, mixing images, textures and blend modes to achieve a vintage Swiss-style poster design.
Luke O’Neil demonstrates how to quickly create striking graphic backgrounds that will bring your designs to life, using Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign.
Combine photography and typography to create a dark, vintage-style motorcycle poster design in this step-by-step Photoshop and Illustrator tutorial.
Design your own abstract gradient pattern art using a mixture of Photoshop and Illustrator techniques.
Create retro-style interweaving geometric-line artwork in Illustrator and add a vintage, aged look in Photoshop.
Switch between Illustrator and Photoshop to create a retro and vintage poster design with screenprint effects.
Transform crisp, clean vector art into a vintage, screenprint-style, typographic poster design with distressed textures and a muted color scheme.
Transform a photograph into an abstract collage of geometric shapes, using Illustrator and Photoshop.
Recreate the vintage postcard style of image-based 3D text – each letter has a different image – with this tutorial for creating retro postcards.
ATTENTION DESIGNERS AND ILLUSTRATORS!
If you’re looking for affordable, high-quality design goods for Photoshop and Illustrator, check out our full selection of unique retro and vintage design resources, including brushes, actions, textures, fonts and more.
Successful social media strategy for designers, illustrators and artists is built on brilliant creative – and a handful of best-practice rules for building engagement and reach. Learn them here.
Our hand-picked collection of the very best free textures – both retro and vintage textures – for Photoshop and Illustrator. (We’ll show you where to find the best premium textures too...)