In this tutorial, Fabio Sasso will show you how to create a poster-style illustration that taps into American style from the first half of the 20th century. We draw on the Art Deco style that grew out of Paris in the 1920s and spread internationally in the 1930s, but we also reference US TV and film studio branding from the 1940s and 1950s, which often used Art Deco. The most famous example is the ‘radio tower’ logo and ident of RKO Radio Pictures, but here Fabio’s main reference is a poster for US TV channel NBC.

Fabio starts by exploring how Illustrator CS5’s Perspective Grid tool can be used to create architecture, before applying gradients to give the results a sense of depth. After that he uses Photoshop to apply textures, giving the image that retro feel.

Step 1 Let’s start in Illustrator. Create a new document, then select the Perspective Grid tool (Shift + P). Adjust the controls so you have a perspective like the screenshot above.