Constructivist Propaganda Poster Tutorial

In the following David Oei and Carolyn Sullivan show us how they created their entry for the first round of the Crestock Photoshop Contest 2008 – a poster inspired by the Russian Constructivist movement

Immediately after we read the briefing for the project Carolyn and myself both thought of the Russian Constructivist movement as our jumping off point.

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We refreshed ourselves with artists/designers Rodchenko and Lissitzky’s work but wanted to add some contemporary elements, such some retro Lichtenstein feel. We wanted to end up with a Constructivist inspired poster with sharp visual movement and an -to-understand message.

We started with the main elements of the poster, side-by-side pictures of Obama and McCain. To get a neo/retro Lichtenstein style we processed the images with a combination of filters and .

1. Using the pen tool, we outlined and erased background .

2. We wanted a higher contrast image so we posterized the image with the Poster Edges filter with minimal edge intensity.

3. To achieve the Lichetenstein-like style we used the Halftone Pattern Filter with high contrast and the smallest dot pattern available.

4. Next we used Hue and Saturation to colorize the image.

5. We repeated these steps with the McCain images; outline, posterize, halftone and color.

6. We processed the American Flag and Tank with the same methods. We then inverted the selection.

7. The crowd image was easy to extract from the provided art. We simply used the magic wand tool to select the first row of people.

8. We combined all of the images that we had processed into our Constructivist design .

9. We added the text.

10. We added a hand-made inner shadow and a stock image background design to give it a more gritty feel and also to add some depth to the poster. We multiplied each image on to the top of all of the layers.

The final result:

[View fullsize image]

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