How to Create a Rustic Wooden Sign Effect in Photoshop

Hello everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics back with another video tutorial for Adobe Photoshop Today I'm going to show you a useful technique for applying a design to a textured background, such as wood

This is great for creating rustic wooden signs, or any other effect where your design looks like it has been painted on a surface and distressed from years of weathering To begin, we first need an image of the textured surface we want to apply our artwork to I'm using this free image of a Wood Board Structure to create a wooden sign The colours are little too rich, so a quick Hue/Saturation adjustment layer helps to bring down the saturation slightly We also need some artwork to place upon the texture, so I'll quickly take you through the process of creating my Farm Fresh design

You could also paste in your logo art, a lettering design or any other imagery Grab the Type tool and enter the word Farm I'm using this nice typeface named Gastromond from the Adobe Fonts Library Activate it for use Photoshop using the link in the description Give the text a white fill and scale it up in size to fill the left half of the canvas

Switch back to the Move tool to make a duplicate of the text element Hold the ALT key while dragging it to make a copy, then double click to edit the wording to Fresh Line up the text on the left side, then press CMD (or the CTRL key on Windows) +T shortcut for Transform Scale the text to the same width as the word Farm Make another copy of the text element and edit the wording to Eggs

For this word I'm using the font named Corner Store, also from the Adobe Fonts Library This script font doesn't have any clear edges to line up, so instead optically scale it so it looks the right size While transforming, right click and choose Skew, then drag the right handle upwards to give the script a rise effect Shift and click all the text elements in the Layer stack, then press CMD+T to move and scale them into place within the canvas To complement this artwork theme, I have some ready-made vector graphics of various farm animals available to download from Spoon Graphics

Open the Meat Cut Illustrations file in Adobe Illustrator Make a copy of the Chicken, then right click and choose Ungroup We don't need the various meat cut text elements, so select them all and hit Delete The same goes with the dotted lines With just the main body silhouette left, clear out the stroke and swap the black fill to white

Copy this graphic, then switch back over to Photoshop and hit CMD+V to Paste Select Pixels, then hit Enter Scale this graphic up in size and position it to fill out the remaining space in the composition To finish off this design, add a new layer, then use the Elliptical marquee tool to draw an egg shape Use the ALT+Backspace shortcut to fill the selection with the current foreground colour, which should still be white from setting up the text

Use the CMD+T Transform shortcut to rotate the egg, hit Enter to apply, then ALT+Drag with the Move tool to make a copy Rotate this duplicate into a different orientation with the CMD+T shortcut, then repeat with a third egg Hold Shift and select all the layers that make up the design, then hit CMD+G to create a Group Before adding some texturing to the artwork, let's first eliminate the crisp digital appearance to try and give it more of a hand-made look Right click on the Group and choose Convert to Smart Object

Go to Filter > Distort > Ripple Change the Size to Large, then small amount of distortion between 10-20% Turn off the visibility of the artwork group, leaving just the original texture Switch over to the Channels panel, then hold the CMD key and click the thumbnail of one of the channels Usually the Blue channel has the most contrast

Swap back to the Layers panel and bring back the artwork Add a Layer mask to this group while the selection is active to automatically fill it with the texture Depending on the brightness of your texture image it might be necessary to hit CMD+I to invert the mask This current mask is fading the artwork too much, so while the mask thumbnail is selected, hit CMD+L to bring up the Levels Move the sliders back and forth to adjust the appearance of the mask

The darker the shadows, the more they will erase the artwork, the lighter the highlights, the more the artwork will be preserved Aim for high contrast so the artwork still has a bright white fill, but the details of the texture erase it in the roughest areas There's another filter that can really help to boost the realism to make it seem like the artwork is really painted onto the texture Turn off the visibility of the artwork again Go to Select > All, followed by Edit > Copy Merged

Create a new document and paste in the texture Go to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate, then go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur This image will be used as a displacement map, so adding a small amount of blur helps to distort the artwork smoothly without any jagged edges Find a small amount that just takes the hard edges away from the texture Go to File > Save As and save this file as a PSD with a recognisable name Close the image to return back to the main document

Bring back the visibility of the artwork again, then make sure you select the group and not the group's mask, otherwise the effect will be applied to the Layer Mask which is currently selected Go to Filter > Distort > Displace Hit Enter on the default values, then navigate to the displacement map file we just made This Displacement filter subtly distorts the artwork around the bumps and contours of the texture The final result is a realistic wooden sign effect where the artwork is worn away wherever there's cracks or dirt within the texture

The addition of those two extra Photoshop filters also help to enhance the hand-made look by making it seem like the design has been physically painted on to the surface This tutorial focused on using a wooden texture, but you can also use the same technique to apply your designs to rusty metal, brick walls, concrete or any other grungy material If you enjoyed this tutorial or learnt any new tricks a thumbs up to help spread the word would be really appreciated Subscribe to my channel to see more of my video tutorials, and join my mailing list at Spoon Graphics to download more of my free design resources As always thank you very much for watching, and I'll see you in the next one

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