Create a Trendy Duotone Portrait Effect in Photoshop

Create a Trendy Duotone Portrait Effect in Photoshop

Perfect for posters and album artwork

This tutorial will teach you how to create a trendy duotone effect ideal for poster designs and album artwork. Using Photoshop and a couple of free resources we will put together this simple but impactful effect.

Step 1

Start by launching Photoshop and creating a new document. It is recommended to use a square canvas for this effect,  the exact dimensions are really up to you but I suggest 2000 x 2000 pixels (you may need to make some adjustments as you go later if using different dimensions)

Step 2

Place the photo which you want to apply to the effect on into your document. I am using this free portrait photo from Unsplash in this tutorial.

Step 3

Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels... and adjust the shadow and highlight levels until you have a very strong contrast between black and white.

Step 4

Use the Rectangle tool to draw a simple square in the centre of the document, 1480 x 1480 pixels in size. Set the Fill to #FFFFFF and Stroke to None.

Step 5

Using the Direct Selection tool, select your rectangle and copy (CMD/CTRL+C) and paste (CMD/CTRL+V) it in place, then use the Transform tools (CMD/CTRL+T) to reduce it's size to 1400 x 1400 pixels. Lastly, set the path operations to Subtract Front Shape to cut it out from the original square shape. The result should be a thick white square border.

Step 6

Use the Type tool to enter some text 'DUO' using Montserrat Bold at 350 px with 400 Tracking.

Step 7

Group together the text and rectangle layers.

Step 8

Duplicate your image layer and move it to the top of the Layers panel. Then right click on it and choose Create Clipping Mask to clip it to the group containing your text and rectangle layers.

Step 9

On the duplicated copy of your image layer, go to Image > Adjustments > Invert (CMD/CTRL+I). The effect is starting to come together now, although it is still monochrome and lacks some texture.

Step 10

Download this free sample of a halftone texture from the Grunge Halftone Textures and place it into your document.

Step 11

Go to Image > Adjustments > Invert (CMD/CTRL+I) to switch the colors around.

Step 12

Set the blend mode of the halftone texture layer to Screen.

Step 13

With the topmost layer selected, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map... in the Properties panel, double click on the gradient to edit it and create a simple custom gradient from bright pink #EA1264 to bright yellow #FDE542.

Step 14

Now for the fun part, experiment with different gradients to customise your effect! Here are a couple of examples using #7318EB / #48EBDA...

...and #15AB73 / #D7FD31. These are just a handful of examples, feel free to experiment and even use more than two colors in your gradient.

Result & Conclusion

Here is the final result. The overall effect can be customised quite easily by using different gradient maps or even different textures. If you also add your own text and use a different image, you can truly make this effect your own! Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed following along with this tutorial and learned something new.


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