How To Make a Geometric Collage using Adobe Illustrator & Adobe Photoshop

everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics
back with another video tutorial. Today we’re going to make use of both Adobe Illustrator
and Adobe Photoshop to combine their powers to produce a trendy geometric photo collage.
This style of artwork has a somewhat retro vibe to it and it’s the kind of art you’d
see on album covers or as a series of abstract poster prints. The process is quite simple, so hopefully
this tutorial will be a good one for beginners. We’ll be using Illustrator for its powerful
shape building tools to construct a geometric vector pattern, then we’ll transfer the artwork
over to Photoshop to use the image editing tools to digitally cut and paste snippings
of a photograph into a cool looking collage. It’s pretty much the same thing we all did
in school where we would cut things out of magazines with scissors, then stick them into
a scrapbook, except with this technique you don’t end up with glue in your hair. I’ll be showing you how to create this particular
layout, but these other examples were made with the exact same process, just with different
geometric shapes which use different compositions of circles and triangles. The great thing
about this technique is you can follow the same steps and produce a different result
each time just by mixing up the vector shapes or subject of the photograph. So let’s get started and I’ll show you how
it’s made. We’ll begin in Adobe Illustrator in order
to create the geometric pattern. Select the Ellipse tool and click the red
and white ‘None’ icon at the bottom of the toolbar to clear out the fill colour, leaving
the default black stroke. Click anywhere on the artboard to bring up
the manual settings and enter 500px in both fields. Grab the Selection tool and Move the shape
towards the middle of the artboard. Select the Ellipse tool again and make a second
circle, this time at half the size using 250px. Go to View and turn on Smart Guides. These
little green tooltips will make it easy to snap and align the shapes together. With the Selection tool active, move the smaller
circle until it snaps centrally to the upper edge of the larger circle. Hold the ALT key, then begin dragging a duplicate
of the smaller circle. Align this one to the bottom edge. Hold the Shift key while clicking the first
smaller circle to add it to the selection, then go to Edit>Copy, followed by Edit>Paste
in Front. Hover around the corner handle until the rotate
icon appears. Hold the Shift key while dragging to restrict the angle to line up the duplicates
at 90 degrees. Select one of the circles and make a duplicate
by copying and pasting, then move it until it lines up centrally. You could continue making a pattern purely
out of circles, like I did with one of my examples, or you can mix in other shapes.
Select the Polygon tool from the toolbar and click on the artboard. The size should still be set at 250px, then
same diameter of the circles. Reduce the number of sides to 3 to form a triangle. Grab the Selection tool again and move this
triangle shape into alignment with the pattern by snapping the points to the main circle
outline. Copy and paste this triangle shape, then rotate
it by 180 degrees and line it up symmetrically to form a star shape. Drag out a selection around all the shapes,
then copy them to the clipboard with Edit>Copy or the CMD+C shortcut. That’s the main vector work complete, so let’s
move over to Photoshop to compose the full artwork. Open up a nice photograph, like this
image of Lake Louise I picked out from Images of landscapes always work well with
this style, but you could also experiment with different subjects. Paste in the copied shapes from Illustrator
as Pixels in Photoshop. Scale the artwork up while holding the Alt and Shift keys to
keep the shape centralized and in proportion, then hit Enter. Currently the linework is in black, so go
to Image>Adjustments>Invert to quickly switch it to white. Rename the vector lines layer to make it easy
to identify, then select the Magic Wand tool. Check the Contiguous option is selected and
Sample All Layers is off. Click within the first segment of the geometric
shape to make a selection. With the Magic Wand tool still active, move this selection
to a random area of the image. Activate the background photo layer in the
Layers panel, then go to Edit>Copy and Edit>Paste to make a cliipping of this area. Select the Move tool, then turn off the Auto-Select
feature in the toolbar. Move this snipping from its current position back to fit into
the geometric segment. It will snap nearby, but it might need nudging into place with
the cursor keys. Activate the Vector Lines layer again and
select the Magic Wand tool. Click the next segment to make a selection. Move it to a
random place within the image and copy and paste the contents of the Background layer. Move this new clipping back into place within
the geometric pattern. Continue following these same steps for every
segment of the pattern. It’s a slightly tedious process but it’s great to see the artwork
come to life as you progress. To speed up the process, introduce some keyboard
shortcuts such as W for the Magic Wand, V for the Move tool, then CMD+C and CMD+V for
Copy and Paste. Once your collage is complete, you might need
to zoom in and double check the alignment of your pieces. Turn back on the Auto-Select
feature of the move tool to make it easier to select and nudge any individual pieces. The composition looks great as it is, but
there’s a couple more steps that can really help transform it into more of a retro style
piece of artwork. Add a Curves adjustment layer to the top of
the Layer stack. Change the drop down menu to adjust the Red channel only, then begin
tweaking the line to alter the colours of the image. Change the dropdown to Green and then Blue
and alter the line to add more or less of each colour in the shadows near the bottom
left, and the highlights in the top right of the graph. The key is to make opposite splits between
two channels, so if you have increased the Reds in the shadows, try decreasing the blues,
but adding more blue in the highlights and vice versa. No retro design would be complete without
some grainy textures, so download my free Grungy Photocopy Textures and Dust & Scratches
Textures from my website. Open up one of the Photocopy Textures, press
CMD+A to Select All, followed by CMD+C to Copy. Paste it into the main working document. Press CMD+T to Transform, then scale the texture
to fit the canvas size. Change the blending mode to Screen to render the black background
transparent. Reduce the opacity to adjust how much of a
distressed look is added to your artwork. Repeat the process, this time with one of
the dust and scratches textures to add an extra level of grain to the image. The final result is an abstract piece of art
with portions of the image cut out and recomposed into a collage effect. The geometric lines
keep everything balanced while the additional texturing and colour adjustment finishes off
the image with an aged retro style appearance. You’ve seen my other examples where I used
only circles and only triangles to create different geometric patterns. Why not explore
this technique further by creating a whole series of artwork prints? So I hope you found the tips in this tutorial
useful. If you did, be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay tuned for more. If you fancy
grabbing more resources like those texture packs be sure to head over to my website for
more. If you’re watching this on my website, be sure to check out my Spoon Grahics channel
on YouTube for more video tutorials, otherwise thank you very much for watching and I’ll
see you all in the next one.


  1. ArianMas February 9, 2016 at 8:03 pm


  2. Pedro Ortiz February 9, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    Greaaaaeeet!!!! 😀

  3. lnferal February 9, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    coool man! Thanks!

  4. RJS™ Graphic Designer February 9, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    Amazing tutorial! very glad i came across this, very nice technique and creative! thank you!

  5. Pasquale Vertulli February 9, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    wow 😀 I love your videos.. can you have a look at my channel?

  6. Julije Jelaska February 9, 2016 at 9:34 pm


  7. Pak Flicks February 9, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Awesome tutorial, Thank you.

  8. Jake Lamont February 9, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    Keep up the excellent tutorials, love the style of your finished pieces

  9. Newecreator February 10, 2016 at 3:15 am

    My favorite part is when you did the curves.

  10. Anjali Gupta February 10, 2016 at 4:43 am

    Thank you
    lovely tutorial

  11. Ismael Miró February 10, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Amazing, thanks!!!!

  12. Connie Campbell February 10, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Great tutorial, thanks!

  13. Emanuel Băran February 14, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Really awesome tutorial!
    You might want to add the usage the keyboard shortcut Ctrl/Cmd + J (copy selection to new layer) instead of Ctrl+C , Ctrl+V

  14. Eddy Oliveira February 14, 2016 at 9:35 pm


  15. Andrzej C February 15, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    excellent, thank you!!

  16. Olga Fafa February 16, 2016 at 1:36 am

    Great! Thanks!

  17. David Oana March 2, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Very nice tutorial! I used this to make a similar image 🙂 Thanks!

  18. Gilmar Oliveira March 2, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    very usefull!

  19. d4v1d March 5, 2016 at 2:04 am

    Love it! Smart and well made. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  20. DonkeyOnAUnicycle March 16, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    Some of the best photoshop tutorials out there. Keep up the good work 🙂

  21. WARGIRLWARGIRL March 22, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    Really cool stuff, Thank you!

  22. Andrew Man March 30, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    hi man , can you put a download link for the vector lines? i can`t make them like yours

  23. Rosana Est April 14, 2016 at 5:36 am

    Awesome tutorial 🙂 Thank you!!.

  24. Cincy yeya May 9, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    how to copied from illustratoooooooooooor 🙁

  25. Jesh s2 June 1, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    amazing tutorial!!

  26. darkjulu June 17, 2016 at 11:06 am

    I really want to say you are so awesome :)!!

  27. david carter July 16, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Thank you!!!!!

  28. Andrew Hammer July 19, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Awesome video, thanks for sharing

  29. Camilla Agerbak August 8, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    Loved your video!!

    – In the end of your video you are talking very fast, perhaps a bit slower in the future 😉

  30. Bébé van der Vlis August 15, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    that's just awesome. you're the best, thank you.

  31. Muhamad Thoriq Al'Fatir September 15, 2016 at 2:36 am

    your tutorial is very helpful for me thanks chris !

  32. Lucie Schulz October 20, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    Great tutorial, great to follow and it just looks amazing!

  33. Kuroi Kun October 22, 2016 at 10:15 am

    nice tutorial! it look great! btw i like your accent XD

  34. Koko Nava October 23, 2016 at 10:54 am

    really helpful!

  35. Ralph Moreau October 25, 2016 at 2:14 pm


  36. Rafael Renz Dayao November 3, 2016 at 8:39 am

    In Filipino we call this MALUPET (Amazingly-amazing)

  37. nanaandbump November 10, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Thanks for being so quick and professional! Very well done tutorial!

  38. Chand Alam November 27, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    This video really helpful for me thankyou sir.

  39. Olga Lavrentyeva November 29, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    Great tito, Thank you !

  40. Cringey Name December 24, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Hi around 2:12 won't it be easier to use Rotate 90 degrees CW or CCW in the Transform?
    and thanks for the tutorial ^^

  41. Chano December 30, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    These are awesome tutorials and very well explained, thanks !

  42. Johnny February 22, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    Dude, you sound so much like Cristopher Walken… (@ 4:10 – the way you emphasize those N's, unbelievable ^_^ )

    Great tutorial,
    learned some new techniques!

    Also subscribed to your blog

  43. Laurence Talbot March 31, 2017 at 11:27 pm

    This is amazing ! Love it

  44. Benjamin Gibson April 26, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    is there a magic wand tool equivalent in photoshop cs6?

  45. Spoon Graphics May 20, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Love this design? Get the t-shirt!

  46. Tamás Kovács-Ajtai June 19, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    It could be easyer if you user smart objects.

  47. cowsrock1q June 24, 2017 at 2:39 am

    uhhh this isn't working for me..

  48. Mohamed Shafyq August 25, 2017 at 5:53 am

    Hey , im having a problem

  49. anshika kikku September 2, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    how to copy n paste the whole thing ???? m getting only the outlines? help me out…….

  50. nostalgia565 November 9, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Hello! You can't use photoshop itself to draw your circle pattern? Do you have to use absolutly Adobe illustrator?

  51. Jerred and Natalie December 20, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    I'm getting a little pixilation from my selections with the wand when copying and pasting in the new segments which leaves something like a 1px line missing from my segments. any tips?

  52. IDM gothic December 28, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Thanks for amazin guides ^^7

  53. mar April 25, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    You are talking very fast

  54. Jen Packard May 18, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    This is fantastic! Excellent tutorial and resources. Thanks much!!

  55. Aryan Shrine October 13, 2018 at 6:43 am

    Need lean to slowly plz

  56. Marco Sosa February 18, 2019 at 3:02 am

    what’s the size of your canvas in photoshop?

  57. esther .th August 15, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    Qué maravilla

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