Making a Shepard Fairey Style Poster


Making a Shepard Fairey Style Poster
Making a Shepard Fairey
Style Poster
To assist Mr. Jamieson and
keep track of your progress, if
you have any difficulty, go back
three steps and see if you forgot
something before raising your
hand for assistance.
Open your photo into GIMP.
Before you do anything else,
save as a GIMP (.xcf) file.
Name it poster-period-your
first and last name. (Ex.
poster-2B-John Student).
Just as a back-up, in your
Layers Window (Ctrl+L),
click on the
button to
create a
duplicate of
your photo.
Then turn off
the bottom
layer (click
on the eyeball).
Use your preferred selection
tool (Path, Scissor, Eraser,
Color Select, Fuzzy Select or
Quick Mask) to the
background out of the back of
your subject. Note: you may
need to invert (Ctrl + I) to
avoid cutting the person out.
If white background appears
around your person instead of
the gray checkerboard, select
the white area with the Fuzzy
Select tool (the magic wand).
Then, go to
Colors>Color to Alpha…
Then, click OK. You should
see the familiar checkerboard
(clear) pattern.
Don’t forget to deselect your
selection by going to
(Ctrl + Shift + a)
On the menubar, click on
Image>Mode>Grayscale to
convert your color photo to
Black and White (grayscale).
Repeat what you just did,
only this time select
Image>Mode>RGB. Your
image should remain
grayscale. Don’t worry. This
will allow you to put color
back into your picture). If
you don’t do this, you will
not be able to add color to
your image.
Go to Colors>Posterize and
set the number of colors
under Posterize Levels to
between 4-8. Whichever
view looks best to you.
Go to Colors>Brightness &
Contrast and slightly increase
the contrast so you see the
colors more distinctly.
At this point, you can choose
any color you wish. If you
want to follow the Obama
poster color scheme, to get
the right color blue, click on
the Foreground Color tool
(the black rectangle on your
toolbar) and where it says
HTML notation, type
68a2a4. Then, press the
Enter key and click OK.
Choose the Color Select (The
one with a finger pointing to
blue-red-green) tool.
Drag the Foreground Select
tool (the color that you
picked on your toolbar) and
drop it onto your selection.
Now, pick another color in
the Foreground Select tool. If
you want the Obama poster
red, then type e01227
into the HTML notation field,
press the Enter key and select
Using the color select tool as
you did in Step #15, click and
highlight another gray/black
color in your photo. Then
click and drag the Foreground
Select tool and drop it onto
your selection or use the Paint
Brush tool to paint the portions
of the image you prefer to
Choose yet another color the
Foreground Select tool.
Or type fdeeab into the
HTML notation field for the
Obama poster yellow, press
the Enter key and select OK.
At this point, you may want
to use the Color Select tool to
select the remaining areas not
yet chosen.
Remember, if you select too
much of one area or don’t
like what you see, you can
use Ctrl+Z (undo) to start
Finally, open the Foreground
Select tool again and choose a
dark color for the black in the
picture (it can remain black if
you want. Or if you want the
Obama poster dark blue, type
00214c into the HTML
notation field, press the Enter
key and select OK.
Use the Color Select tool to
click on the black in your
photo, then drag this dark
color into it.
Now it’s time to create your
background. Start by creating
a new layer.
In your new layer, use the
Rectangle Selection tool to
create a rectangle that takes
up half of your layer.
Then, click on the
Foreground Selection tool
and select one of the colors
you used in your poster
already. They are saved in
the Foreground Select tool.
Put it on the opposite color of
where you see that color the
most that half of the picture (
for example, red vs. blue or
blue vs. red). Then, Invert
the selection (Ctrl + i) and
drop the other color into the
other side.
Go to Select>None
(Ctrl+Shift+A) to deselect
In the Layers window, drag
and drop the New Layer
(background) between the
Pasted Layer and the
Background (see below).
At this point you can use the
Resize tool or the Cropping
tool to change the size of
your Pasted Layer. Then,
move it to the top of the
image so there is space below
to write something.
Create a new layer
and make sure it is
on top of all the
other layers.
Using the Rectangle tool,
again, put a rectangle at the
bottom of the picture. This is
where you are going to put
your text.
Fill the rectangle with another
one of the colors that you
used in the poster. For the
Obama poster it’s the dark
blue color (00214c) you
previously used to paint over
the black portions of your
Click on the Text Tool, click
on the color and select one of
the colors you used in the
background above. Click on
the Font icon and select the
Microsoft PhagsPa Bold
font. Then, drag a rectangle
into your banner at the
bottom of your picture. Type
your person’s name or better
yet a slogan describing what
they were famous for in all
caps. Resize your font so it
fits nicely.
Center your message. Adjust
the size of your font. Then,
save your GIMP file (Ctrl+s).
Export your final work as
first and last
(Ex. poster2B-John