Illustrator and designer Gordon Reid – aka Middle Boop – has developed a solid reputation, with an international client list that includes the BBC, Red Bull and American Express.

The retro aesthetic of the 1950s and 1960s is currently back in vogue, with the trend expected to gather pace over the course of the year.

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It’s not hard to see why retro design is so enduringly popular: the bold, blocky colours, simple imagery and vivid typography make this a striking era of design.

In this tutorial, Gordon Reid – who works under the creative handle Middle Boop – shows how he blended retro imagery and colour schemes with digital technology to create this month’s stunning cover image.  

He walks you step-by-step through the process of preparing stock images for compositing, lighting, colouring and texturing the design – as well as providing a few sneaky keyboard shortcuts to speed things up.

The stock images that Reid has used are all available from iStock. You can buy them from,, and – or if you prefer, you can substitute similar images of your own.


Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator

Time to complete

2 - 3 hours

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