PSDFan Extra

Design a Retro, Rock T-Shirt Design

Final Image

This is the final image that we’ll be creating:

Images Used

The following images are used in this tutorial:

Man’s Face
Free Vector Set
Free Cosmic Age Font

Step 1

Open up a document (1000X1000px) and create a new layer called ‘t-shirt shape’. Use your lasso tool and elliptical marquee tool to draw out a rough tshirt shape, and then fill your selection with black.

Step 2

Now create a new layer called ‘yellow rectangle’. Use your marquee tool to create a yellow (E4DB4C) shape in the center of your tshirt.

Step 3

Now go to your custom shapes panel and select a shape with a rough border. Apply this border shape over your yellow shape, and then rasterize and merge down your border layer.

Step 4

Now paste in your photo of a man’s face.

Step 5

Now change your photo layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’, and then make it grayscale by going to image>adjustments>desaturate. Then go to image>adjustments>brightness/contrast and up your contrast to +100. Finally reduce your layer opacity to 40%.

Step 6

Now create a new document (20X10px). Create a new layer and create a black circle in the left half of your document. Then hide your original background layer and go to edit>define pattern. Call your new pattern ‘circle pattern’.

Step 7

Now return to your original document and create a shape spanning across your yellow shape area, roughly 10px high. Then reduce your fill opacity to 0% in your layer’s palette. Then go to your layer’s blending options and apply a pattern overlay using your new ‘circle pattern’ layer. The 0% fill opacity will hide your original shape, but allow your pattern of circles to be visible.

Now go to edit>transform>scale and scale your shape until you have a perfect row of circles. Then create a layer beneath your circles layer and merge down your circle layer with this layer. This should keep your circle shapes, but remove the actual pattern overlay effect, just keep it’s results. Then duplicate this layer of circles and move them to fit to the bottom of your yellow area. Then duplicate again and rotate 90 degrees to fit the sides of your yellow area. Then merge all circle layers together and reduce this layer’s opacity to 90%.

Step 8

Now grab a skull image from the vector set linked to at the top of this tutorial. Paste in the skull 3 times to the right side of the yellow area.

Step 9

Now create 4 rows of stars below your yellow area. To do this, use the same pattern overlay technique as demonstrated with the circle border.

Step 10

Now with your stars layer selected, go to edit>transform>perspective. Pinch in the top corners of your stars object, to create the impression of depth.

Step 11

Now go to the blending options for what should now be your merged, rasterized stars layer. Apply a gradient overlay, ranging from orange (FF7800) to dark red (9C0606).

Step 12

Open up a vector image of a rockstar. In this particular case the rockstar is black, against a yellow and white background. To select only the black data in this image, go to select>color range, and then select ‘shadows’. Then, once you’ve selected your rockstar/mike, paste him into the original document containing your tshirt.

Step 13

Once you’ve pasted your rockstar into the original document, change it’s color from black to white, by going to image>adjustments>brightness/contrast and up both brightness/contrast to +100. Now go to the blending options for this layer and apply a 7px black stroke effect.

Step 14

Now draw out a lightening bolt shape on a new layer called ‘lightening’. To draw the shape use your lasso tool, and hold shift to draw lines at 90 degree and 45 degree angles, making your shape more exact. Then fill your selection with white, and apply a 4px black stroke effect. Then duplicate your lightening shape layer, and move the duplicate below the original. Right click on the duplicate layer in your layers palette and click and click ‘remove layer style’. This should remove your stroke effect. Then go to the blending options for this layer and apply a red color overlay (FF0000).

Finally, duplicate these two lightening layers to create an identical lightening shape + red shadow to the right of the original.

Step 15

Now download the free font ‘cosmic age’ (link at the start of this tutorial). Write out some text above and below your yellow area. Apply a 3px red stroke outline in the layer’s blending options. For the text at the bottom of the yellow area, go to edit>transform>skew, and skew the text to the left.

Step 16

Now we want to give our tshirt design a slightly faded, worn look to fit with the retro, rock concept. Create a new top layer called ‘texture’ and create a selection around your tshirt design using your lasso tool. Then go to filter>render>clouds. Then go to filter>sharpen>sharpen more. Apply the sharpen more filter 5 times.

Step 17

Change your texture layer’s blend mode to ‘multiply’ and reduce this layer’s opacity to 60%. This should give your shirt design a slightly worn, textured appearance.

And We’re Done!

I really hope that you enjoyed this tutorial, and as always would appreciate your comments.

Download Source File for this Tutorial

About the Author:

Tom is the founder of PSDFAN. He loves writing tutorials, learning more about design and interacting with the community. On a more interesting note he can also play guitar hero drunk with his teeth.

Leave a comment


  1. Kenny Starfighter says:

    hmm, I thought it was to be a tutorial about screenprinting techniques!?

  2. LBrother says:

    Hmm. I like it! :D

  3. Tom says:

    Kenny: No sorry, I’m afraid that’s not really my area of expertise. I hope you found the Photoshop element useful though.

    LBrother: Thanks :)

  4. very nice tutorial thank you..

  5. Badzi G. Dickson says:

    am cool

  6. fara! says:

    XD! thanks a lot! & oh! I’m snagging your tshirt to be the base. I mean, the Step1 pic! Hope you won’t mind it.
    Heheee~ >D

  7. SJ JOHN says:

    It was not shown the proper procedure on what tool they used. sorry for that, but next time, you need to emphasize on what layer your referring about.

  8. sivanathan says:

    thankyou boss

  9. Vector says:

    Thxx, retro rock t-shirt rocks!!

  10. vectors says:

    Thanks so very much…. its very nice shirt

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