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.

See also: 83 Best Photoshop tutorials

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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