Creating the “Mad Men” Look Part I

by Mallory on June 20, 2014 No comments

Creating the “Mad Men” Look Part I: Black Tie Optional

Watching the final season of AMC’s Mad Men, we thought we’d pay tribute to its seven-season run with a Mad Men-inspired invitation tutorial.

Our love for Don Draper and friends (enemies), however, is not our only motivation; the show’s iconic 1960s style has become a favored go-to look for graphic designers—for reasons you’ll see below.

To get started, we’re going to need a suit—a 1960s suit. Graphic Stock has no shortage of ready-to-go options for this, of course, but it’s worth knowing how to create this look on your own if you can’t find what you’re looking for in a vector.

It’s really quite easy to flatten and stylize the photograph below, found in its original form here. All it takes is a very rough trace of each selection (shirt, tie, lapels, etc.). Simplistic lines will actually work better here, so don’t worry too much about staying in the lines; just use the pen tool and trace approximately, keeping each element in a separate layer to maximize your options later on.

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As soon as the tracing is finished, we can turn each of the layers to solid black and white.

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The resulting image is 90 percent there, but the lapels are lost by the black on black—which is why it helps to use separate layers.

Throwing a soft gradient over the lapel layers adds the necessary separation without any unnecessary complication.

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Add some text—we’ll go with Trade Gothic Bold to mimic the font from Mad Men—and the cover of our invitation is complete.

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Check back for Part II: A Fixed Record and Part III: Smoke and Mirrors

MalloryCreating the “Mad Men” Look Part I

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