Last year I began doing graphic design for Parkway Playhouse: posters, web graphics, web ads etc. Since they were putting on one of my plays, you can better believe that I had a self-serving interest in seeing the posters look good... or at least as good as I could make them. Lo and behold, they've asked me to design for the 2013 season as well. (This is either evidence of my general competence or the principle that the evil you know is better than the evil you do not know.)
Not surprisingly, since I am not a trained or "real" graphic designer, one of the design concepts was beyond my capabilities. It doesn't take much. However, if I pride myself on anything it's being able to figure it out and, in the words of Tim Gunn, MAKE IT WORK. Google turned up several tutorials (see below) on faux letter press which were extremely helpful and taught me a few new things about Adobe Elements (which I've been using for nearly 8 years and thought I knew inside and out).
Additional poking around turned up distressed brushes I could load (also below) and dafont.com always has great new fonts and dingbats. Now, how to figure out how to keep them loaded and not load them every time I open the program.
A big THANK YOU to all the other graphic designers, artists, photographers, typeface designers, bloggers and YouTubers who freely share their time/talents to teach others. Further thanks to those who allow some of their work to be used freely. You are an inspiration, in part because of your talent, but also in part because sharing your creativity encourages others to create. (I do my part to check licenses and permissions before incorporating others' work and I encourage you to do so as well.)
I'm still learning and need to push the limits, but I'm so proud of what I've learned to do, I can hardly stand it. If I get a new item of clothing, I have to wear it the next day... so I guess this is the equivalent urge. I have to show you what I've done! (These still may undergo some changes--since they haven't actually been approved by the artistic director--but still....)
Helpful Sites& Credits: