‘Tour de France’ posters

posted by Veerle Pieters
18 July 2013

While I was creating this infographic for Grinta! magazine, I was thinking why not turn this into a poster design for the 100th edition of the Tour of France. The idea of designing a poster on this subject had already been on my mind for a while, but this time I had a few concrete ideas & finally some time to actually create them…

The 100th edition of the Tour

The fact that this year is a special one for the Tour of France, as it is the 100th edition, sparked the idea of designing a poster. The French landscape I used for the infographic seemed perfect as a starting point.

To fit the landscape on a poster I had to change the composition from landscape to portrait, by moving and rearranging fields and other elements. I also decided to use a bit of the same typographical style by using the typefaces Trend and Thirsty Rough. The smaller words however such as la, ième and du were drawn manually based on Trend Ornaments.

Once I was on a roll, I figured I design another one, using the place names of all the stages. So for the 2nd poster I thought of placing all the names in the background, in combination with this interesting geometrical cog shape that I used for the Parts group in this infographic.

While I was thinking of selling them on Fab, I thought I need to create a few more. While browsing around the idea crossed my mind to use illustrations for the letters TOUR. The letter T and O were already defined as a handpump and a cog, so I started to play around a bit with different elements until I had a legible word. After I finished the first one, I thought it would be nice to create the same poster in two other color variations as well.

Special sale on Fab until July 22nd!

These posters are currently on sale on Fab until July 22nd!
Buy on Fab EU OR Buy on Fab US

When I completed the design of the first poster, I felt it needed some texture, but I wanted to keep things 100% vector-based. This way they were resizable to any possible size without quality loss. This gives me the best flexibility, and I could keep the file size low as well and don't having to worry about dpi or resolution.

Buy them now!

Want one (or more than one) of my posters hanging on your wall? Well, I have some good news! The posters are currently available on Fab Europe in A2 size on 250 gsm MuseoMAX matte paper, and if you are from the U.S.A. and Canada you can buy them on Fab US on 80 lb Archival Paper (W 16.50” H 23.40”).

Special sale on Fab until July 22nd!

These posters are currently on sale on Fab until July 22nd!
Buy on Fab EU OR Buy on Fab US

Creation of the texture

First I looked for a subtle light pattern with a nice speckle texture. After opening the texture file in Photoshop I followed these steps:

  • Play with Levels: Image > Adjustments > Levels
  • Change Color Mode to Grayscale: Image > Mode > Grayscale
  • Enlarge the image by 200%: Image > Image Size > Width 200%, Height 200%
  • Play with Levels again: Image > Adjustments > Levels
  • Place the image in Illustration File > Place
  • Image Trace the image: Control bar > Image Trace drop down menu > Sketched Art
  • Expand the result: Object > Expand
  • Remove the white background box using the Direct Selection (white arrow)
  • Manually tweak the dots where needed for a perfect pattern
  • Create pattern: Object > Pattern > Make
  • In Pattern mode I chose Grid and other default settings
Showing some of the steps of the creation of the texture

In the posters with the coloured background I used 3 overlaying texture patterns (see image below). The first pattern uses a big white dot. The 2 other patterns were created starting from the 1st pattern, but I scaled it down to 50%, and also rotated it 180°. Then also I've used a color that is darker than the color of the background but within the same hue. So I tweaked the color of this pattern swatch for each poster separately choosing a dark color with the same hue (dark stone red, dark teal and dark khaki green). In the Appearance panel I stacked 3 fills of patterns using different Opacity modes for each.

Appearance and Layers panel

Creating these posters was a really fun challenge, and I'm happy how they've turned out. Hope you enjoyed the extra small tutorial about how I created the texture background, and you feel inspired to do some design experimenting in Adobe© Illustrator yourself.


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