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design guide

Create A 90s Ad in 5 Simple Steps

What you'll need
- Any editing software that handles layers
- We use Adobe XD which has a free version
- A clean shoe (and a photo of it)
The 5 steps in this guide
Create a cutout
Add shadow
Add heading
Add gradient
Insert grain layer

1. Create a cutout

So we are biased, but we love using our own removal app from the menu bar of our Macs. But frankly, any app will work for you, just avoid using removal websites as you lose control of your photos and you might be surprised what others could use them for.
Avoid removal websites
By uploading your photos to unknown websites, you lose control over your rights and what others might use your photos for. Instead, use a dedicated app or an in-app function.

2. Add a shadow

Your shoes must look realistic, so let's add a shadow underneath the shoe. If you want to go that extra mile, you might add a little blur to it as well.

3. Insert your heading

No ad is complete without its strong headline, and boy did the 90s produce some amazing copy. Here we used the same font as Nike used in their famous shoe ads; Futura PT. Remember to reduce the letter spacing for that compact look.
Font: Futura PT Condensed Extra bold
Spacing: -60
Line Height: 0.85

4. Add a gradient and the rest of the text

We might think the 2010s were the years of the gradients. But in fact they were widely used in the 90s too, but a bit more discreet. Usually from white to a colour of your choice.
Here we added the ITC Garamond font which is a similar font you can see in Apples famous ads from those times.
Gradient HEX: #FFFFFF - #126FA0
Font: ITC Garamond Std Light Italic
Spacing: -40
Line Height: 1

5. Add a grain filter for a softer feel

The final step is to add that old school look with the help of a texture layer. We used the layer-mode called screen. But feel free to experiment yourself to find a look that works for you. You can download the texture file below for free.
Layer Appearance: Screen
Opacity: 38%

Download the noise texture for free here

Extra tip

Lastly, if you want to go that extra mile, use a warm gradient layer on top of your image and add a bit of blur to it. That's it!
We hope this guide has been helpful. And feel free to send us an email on which guides you'd like to see us do next!
Create photo cutouts with a simple click
next guide: Recreate this 90s magazine look
See our guide for this look