Parody Poster: Grey’s Anatomy

This was one of the easier posters to recreate. Here’s what the original poster looks like:

Grey’s Anatomy - original poster

I started out looking for a similar font, settling on Haettenschweiler. Some of the letters were slightly different and the apostrophe was very different, but it was close enough for me! I created two separate text layers for each word and then added a red rectangle for the accent.

Finding a similar font

Next, working on the original poster jpeg in Photoshop, I used the pen tool to map out similar rectangular shapes. Each rectangular shape in the original poster isn’t necessarily a distinct photo, however; some shapes combine to hold a larger image, as demonstrated here:

Combined shapes

So, here’s what I did:

1. Used Pen Tool and clicked four points to create a rectangular Vector Shape layer.

Creating first rectangle

2. Clicked on the vector mask to select it in the Layers palette, then clicked the “Add to Shape Area” icon in the options bar. (I thought “Auto add/delete” had to be checked when I made my diagram, but as it turns out, that has more to do with using the pen tool to remove or add points to an existing path, so you can ignore that part!)

Changing option to add to shape

3. Used the Pen Tool to draw the second rectangle shape. The new shape, instead of appearing on its own shape layer, is added on to the existing shape layer.

Second shape added to same layer

4. Clicked on “Create new shape layer” icon in the options bar, then created other rectangles.

Choosing create new shape layer icon

Eventually, I ended up with a bunch of shapes that were close to the original. These shapes were all over the original poster, though, which was a low resolution jpeg and about 1/8 of the size of my finished document. So, selecting all the layers, I dragged them from the Layers palette and dropped them on top of the new document to copy them over.

Selecting all layers

Then I used the Transform command (Ctrl-T) to resize all the layers at once to make them big enough for the new document.

Shapes in new poster document

Now it was a simple matter to paste in different photos. I used the shape layers as clipping masks for the photos:

1. Paste in a photo and move the layer in the Layers Palette so it is immediately above the shape that you want to use as a clipping mask:

Paste photo

2. Place the cursor in between the two layers. Hold down the Alt (PC)/Option (Mac) key and you’ll see the cursor change. Click in between the two layers, and you’ll see the top layer indent with a small arrow added. The top layer has just been “clipped” by the bottom layer. You can move the top layer around, but only the areas that overlap with the bottom layer will show up.
Creating clipping mask

Repeating this with the other photos, I also added some adjustment layers (Curves, Levels, etc.) to adjust the photo contrast and clipped them to the appropriate shape layers as well.

And here’s what the final poster looks like:

Final parody poster

See other articles in the Parody Posters series.

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