Coldplay – Graphic Design (Breakdown)


This Coldplay album re-design, was my final project in a Graphic Design course. I used Photoshop for this project.

How did I create this effect?

Well, it wasn't that easy. It took time and thought, but eventually I developed a technique and I was very happy with the results. So after creating 8 pages of the album, I think I can break the process down into 3 major steps.


      Create a path (using the

pen tool

    for all the different elements). In the case of the example below, that's a path for each element of the face. And I mean each element- eyebrows, hair, pupils, teeth, and so on.


2. & 3.

    Create a new layer and make a selection of a specific path (ctr+click on path). Then using a soft brush (or a ‘wet paint' brush) slowly paint the layer. While painting, slightly change the color of the brush from time to time. For best results, start with the ‘lowest' layer first (i.e. the face skin in our case) and go ‘up' until you reach the top layers (nose, pupil, eye brows..)

Chris Martin Design Breakdown


Staying organized is very important in a project like this. Make sure you give names to all the paths and layers accordingly. If you don’t do this, you will very quickly find yourself lost in layers and paths.
Coldplay Guitar and Jonny BucklandColdplay Chris Martin

The brush I used was a soft wet paint brush, in a 90% opacity. Sometimes even lower. Which means you need to paint over and over until you get a nice looking surface. The best trick I found was changing the color of the brush just a little every few strokes. It creates a much more natural look. If you're not sure what color a face should be, you can sample a real face (using the eyedropper tool). Same for hair, eyes and so on.

Patience is also very important. Getting good looking results takes time, and lots of tries. Don't give up! It can be frustrating if it doesn't come out exactly like you want, but keep on going. Make sure you have the History window open so you can quickly go back a few steps and start over.
Coldplay Will Campion
Coldplay Guitar - Life in technicolorIf you're going to add text, the only tip I can give is try to make it one color, not a gradient, and perhaps a color which comes from your painting.

Have Fun!

That's probably the most important tip. If you work without enjoying yourself, it won't work. Yes it will be tiring and long and you'll probably face some problems on the way. But always remember you've got to have fun, you've got to enjoy what you're creating.Coldplay - Guy Berryman

I think that covers all I've got to say about this project. I hope this breakdown helps you open your mind to a new technique. If you like this post please let me know with a short comment. And it would also be nice if you'd click the Like button and share it with your friends.

Thanks and see you around,

– For more pictures from this album, go here!

Coldplay Guitar Jhonny Buckland

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