I’ll be working with the 30″x24″ poster size so if you want to follow along, create a new image that’s 300 dpi and 30″x24″–that’s 9000×7200 pixels. This file will be monstrous–as in 197 Megs monstrous (but if you want to eventually print this thing at full poster size, this is the size you’ll want to be working in).
Your main photo image should be about 75% of the full frame size, but it will be a different aspect ratio. Resize it to 6750×4650 and position it 750 pixels (2.5″) from the top.
Pick a highlight color for your border and main title. This color should compliment the photo and not blend in with it–this usually means it won’t be the main color but instead, one of the support colors. I went with the red in Mario’s overalls. Generally, you should pick a very saturated color like red or violet and avoid softer colors like pink or lavender. Use the eyedropper tool to sample the color from your photo.
Draw a 15 pixel border around your main image and leave an 1/8″ black gap between the image and the border. That’s a 6825×4725 pixel rectangle, measured from the inside.
The main title will be in two different font sizes–the larger is 2″ and the smaller is about 1.625″. These come to about a 300 pt font and a 250 pt font. Use Times New Roman and type in all caps and just make three different layers (one for the middle of your word, and one each for the first and last letter).
Line up the tops of the letters in the title. Then draw a 15 pixel underline beneath the smaller portion of your main title and line it up with the bottoms of the larger title font letters. I just ended up copying a piece of my main border at the proper length and pasting it in. If you picked a big word, you may have to tweak the size a bit. Just move things around until they look right.
The subtitle will also be in two different sizes–the larger is 7/16″ and the smaller is about 5/16″. These come to about a 64 pt font and a 45 pt font. You can get away with using Arial, but to be authentic use a slightly thinner sans serif font like Century Gothic. Again, it should be in all caps, and the first letter of each word should be in the larger font size. And it should be white.
For your reference, some common poster sizes are:
Size Aspect Ratio 24x36 1.5 24x30 1.25 18x24 1.33 16x20 1.25 11x14 1.27 8x10 1.25 5x7 1.4
Despair.com‘s very own poster generator. It’s good for some fast fun, but lacking in many ways (you can’t export a poster size, the fonts aren’t quite right, etc…).
Zipped Photoshop Doc Of “Perseverance” — if you’re a lazy bum and don’t want to make it on your own. ;) This has everything separated by layers–just edit the words, stick in your own photo, and change the highlight color.
Smaller Zipped Photoshop Doc Of “Protoss” — only 1125×900 if you don’t want to deal with a 9000×7200 resolution file.