The pop art movement of the 1950s celebrated the birth of consumer culture, taking mundane things like the humble soup can out of the supermarket and into art galleries – often for the very first time.


It’s a distinctive, tongue-in-cheek style that’s still relevant today – after all, our society hasn’t got any less consumer-oriented. This means that pop art is a useful, versatile visual shorthand for 21st-Century designers, instantly evoking kitsch, with a sharp note of satire. In this masterclass, Mark Mayers shows you how to get that pop art look using layering, the Live Trace tool, filters and some cleverly chosen images.


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Step 1
In Photoshop, open Bubble_car.tif (which can be downloaded from the right or found on this month’s CD) and clean up any stray pixels with the Brush and Eraser tools. Draw a closed path around the people, make a path-based selection and then hit Delete. Next, erase the number plate and bonnet logo and save the image to a convenient location.


Step 2
Open Colour_distress.jpg, convert it to CMYK, then save as a TIFF with no compression (see tip box, right). In Illustrator, create a new CMYK document 430-x-307mm. Make a rectangle 420-x-297mm, position it centrally and select View > Guides > Make Guides. Next, go File > Place, select the saved Colour_distress.tif and align to the guides. Label the layer ‘Placed distress’ and lock it.