Step 15 Time to add colour. This is the hard part, but here’s a trick: create a line-art version of your artwork under the ‘etched’ one, so you can fill the parts without fiddling with the shading. To do this, place a large rectangle over the top and select Crop in the Pathfinder palette. Delete all blank fills and strokes. Lock down everything except the current piece. Click Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + D for a transparent background. Select a piece of white in your illustration, then click Select > Same > Fill Color and delete it. All that’s left should be the black. Merge it together. Now create a new layer and place it under your line art. Lock the line art layer.

Step 16 To fill out the print and make it seem more iconic, I’ve added some organic swirls and shapes around the main design.

Joshua Smith

Who: Working under the moniker of Hydro74, Orlando-based designer Joshua Smith is as happy creating type treatments and illustrations for world-famous brands as designing his own T-shirts as the Brass Tack label ( His works have featured on everything from magazine covers to snowboards and trainers. He also sells his typefaces. “I personally strive to learn something new from every project or try out some techniques that I’ve only used a couple of times before and want to perfect,” he says.
Software: Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator
Time to complete: 4 hours

Project Files

 The resources for this tutorial may be downloaded from the Download Zone.