We continue our series looking at how you can create stylish and innovative effects with some of Photoshop’s most overused filters. In this tutorial, Fabio Sasso will show you how to put together an inspired vintage design playing with the Color Halftone filter.

Halftones are collections of dots that, from a distance, appear to merge into shades between the colour of the dots and the background. They were first used for printing in the 19th Century to allow newspapers to show shades of grey, and have been popular ever since. Currently, halftones are often used for creating screenprinted projects, T-shirts, stickers and posters to make the most of a small number of inks – but the dots used are often so small that its use isn’t apparent. 

In the past, larger dots were used that were more obvious to the reader, so the use of digital-created halftones can bring a retro feel that harks back to the newspapers and comics of your childhood. Applying the Color Halftone filters to a whole image could look cheesy, so here Fabio shows that by using it sparingly around a 50s-style photograph, you can achieve stylish results. 

Step 1 Open Photoshop and create a new A4 document at 300dpi. Then import a stock photo of a modern pinup, the one I used was courtesy of Shutterstock and you can get it at bit.ly/b3vYP5.

After that with the Magic Wand tool (W) select the white background, and with the new Refine tool in Photoshop CS5, extract it precisely. It wouldn’t be exactly necessary to delete the background because that will be done late in the tutorial, but this will be necessary to create the masks we will use. Duplicate this layer, changing their names to ‘Girl 1’ and, below it, ‘Girl 2’ (imaginative, huh) because we will need extra copies to layer the effect over the model shot.