Number Illustration In Photoshop

In this tutorial I will teach you how to create your own number illustration. The design and techniques used in this tutorial can be adapted for many design projects.

Final Image

1.    Open up a new canvas size 300mm x 420mm x 300 resolution. This means the canvas will be big enough to use for printed design projects and all sorts of other commercial purposes. You should always select 300 resolution if you want your work for this purpose.

2.    Add a texture to the background, I downloaded and added a paper texture from www.sxc.hu and used edit > free transform to make it fit to the canvas. I then added some contrast to bring it to life a little.

Step 1

3.    Next select the T ‘text’ tool and enter a number of your choice, I choose 7 because it’s lucky. I used the font Goudy Stout but you can use any font you think will fit with your vision.

Step 2

4.    On a new layer we are going to add some highlights, there are many ways to do this but because I like to draw freehand I am going to use the paintbrush tool with the colour white selected. Now paint in some highlights around some of the edges and corners varying the sizes and thickness as you go.

Step 3

5.    Now we are going to make a pattern so open a new canvas size 25px x 25px and select the line tool set to 5px and make a cross shape in black. Select image > define pattern > and choose a name and save. Now close this canvas and return to your illustration.

Step 4

6.    I used the ellipse/rectangle/rounded rectangle tool to create shapes around the number (each on their own layers) and I used the edit > transform > warp tool to create the exact shapes that I wanted. I set the layer style by double clicking the layer to pattern overlay and selected the cross pattern we made in step 5, from here I could choose how big I wanted the pattern to be etc... I then choose where to place these layers some above the number 7 and some below.

Step 5

7.    You can use a soft edged eraser on low opacity to gently erase some parts of your highlights and cross patterns to create a grungy effect.

Step 6

8.    On a new layers use the pencil tool to free hand some custom shapes on top of your number fill these with white and lower the opacity, over layering these shapes will create interesting shades.

Step 7

9.    Now on another new layer we are going to add some vibrant colour, select a real royal blue and use the pencil tool again to draw in some drip effect shapes fill them and do to the same with a green colour. (These can all be done on the same layer)

Step 8

10.    The final step in this tutorial is to really go wild!! Have fun and experiment with colours, patterns and shapes around your original number. Work each new shape etc.. on a new layer so you can easily make edits and change colours and opacities when you feel the need. I used mainly the shape tools again and the transform tool to manipulate the shapes and placed my layers under the number. Changing the colour palette can drastically change your image in minutes so once completed you can always play around with the hue/saturation to see what you can achieve.

Step 9

Final Image

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