Step 2
Now it’s time to draw our letters. I’ve chosen the word ‘HEIST’. Have a play around and practice with this technique until you feel confident, it shouldn’t take too long. Holding down the key I specified earlier, click and drag with the Ellipse tool until you have created forms that resemble the shape of the letters – but remember to keep it simple, bold and abstract.

Step 3
Now let’s bring the letters into Photoshop. Create a new A4 document at 300dpi in landscape orientation. Copy the first letter from your Illustrator document, then paste it into Photoshop as a Smart Object. Do this for all the letters. Now scale and position them until you have a good layout that fills the canvas. Highlight all layers and go to Layer > Rasterize > Layers. Now invert each layer by going to Image > Adjustments > Invert.

Step 4
Time to add some texture. Grab one of the old film textures you downloaded at the start and drag it into your document above all layers, then set the blending mode to Screen. This makes only the white of the texture show through, so we have no textured background. So grab another texture – I chose some rough black paper, and increased the levels so it’s mostly white, setting the blending mode to Multiply at 50% opacity. You can scan your own texture or download similar ones for free from stock.xchng at

Step 5
Now it’s time to incorporate some colour – bringing in colour at this stage will give us a much clearer idea where we’re headed. Grab the abstract stock image you downloaded before starting the tutorial (see the introduction) and bring into Photoshop, rotating it 90° clockwise and flipping it vertically. Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation and tick Colorize, set the hue to 60 and the saturation to 93, then drag it into your main document. Place this layer underneath the textures, set the blend mode to Darken at 50% opacity. Duplicate this layer a few times, position and scale it around the canvas and put the opacity back to 100%.