Episode 6: Photoshopping Obama ‘Hope’ Posters

By Ash Davies
September 20, 2009 from Graphic Design,Photo Editing,Podcast

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President Obama’s ‘Hope’ poster is one of the most recognisable pieces of street art of all time, and is being called a cultural phenomenon. Created by Shepard Fairey, this poster became instantly viral and played a huge part in the success of Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign. In this tutorial you’ll learn how to apply the same effect to your own photo using nothing but Photoshop.

This certainly is the most complicated tutorial I’ve produced to date, and that’s largely because this effect (as far as I’m aware) has never been replicated on only photoshop. Through my research the only tutorials I found incorporated Adobe Illustrator. As a result, I had to experiment and create my own method.

Download the original photo.

This is the original photo I’ve used in the tutorial.

Download the Obama Pattern (right click > Save as)

In order to create your own ‘Hope’ poster, you’ll need to download this pattern by right clicking the link and selecting save as. You can easily install this by simply double clicking the file. The pattern should then appear in photoshop.

Download the Nevis Font (Link)

You might also like to download the ‘Nevis’ font, which you can find over at Ten by Twenty. The original uses the font ‘Gotham’, but this is a font you have to purchase. Nevis is the closest free font I could find.

This is the ‘Hope’ poster I created in the tutorial:

Good luck!

By publishing this tutorial, PhotoGuides is in no way endorsing any political party or belief. The tutorial is simply to demonstrate the method used to create this artistic piece.

  • Anonymus

    when you open it, click open with, and select photoshop.

  • Emily

    This was an amazing tutorial. I had found some others that required different programs, but this works well and is all in photoshop. I actually have PSE7 so I had to makes some adjustments, figure out how to do some things, but it all worked great in the end, thank you so very much.

  • 2ndapinkn1ndastink

    yeah the link for pattern does not start correctly. tried new browser, tried open with, tried double click, tried save as then open. nothing works.

  • 2ndapinkn1ndastink

    nevermind. you have to go to the arrow on the right(in the pattern window) and select load patterns. mybadd.

  • Paul Edulian

    where is the pattern file link???

  • oCanaduhh

    It seems as if the Palette Knife is hidden in CS6…

  • http://www.facebook.com/AFOPANTHER Chris Masek

    if you go to filter gallery its in the artistic folder

  • Borkeskorkes

    cs6 dont read the .pat file :P

  • scottld

    When doing tutorials you need to give people some time to “see” things. You type in the colour numbers and cut away one frame after the last number. Your PS skills are great but thank god you dont make training videos. (Oh wait you do. yikes).

  • Juzi


  • Tar

    You are truly awesome. Thanks for your time… much appreciated

  • thebigcheese

    I mean sure, he could have spend more time waiting, or you could you know pause the video, and go at your own pace ;)

  • MariaB

    Thanks for this great tutorial. Question: In CS6, no matter what I do in the pallette knife dialog box, i get alot of gray pixels along the edges which is obviously not the idea….is there something I am missing?

  • Muhammadz Wallid Badawi

    the tutorial is not too obvious can you give a written tutorial

  • Francesco Capomassi

    Sorry, i dont get where is the link i have to right-click to get the pattern, please help :P

  • http://batman-news.com Superdaddy33

    Tutorial=sucky. Actually dshow how to do it p[lease.