Spotify Duotone Photo Effect Photoshop Tutorial (+ FREE PS Action!)

Hello everyone, this is Chris from Spoon Graphics
back again with another video tutorial. This time we’re going to play around in Photoshop
to recreate the cool duotone photo effect that’s most famously recognised from the recent
Spotify rebranding, but I’ve also seen it used elsewhere around the web to create really
vibrant images. This effect is really quite simple with a Gradient Map doing most of the
work, but I’ll take you through a bunch of steps to help you get the best results. The
key to this effect is finding two colours that perfectly complement each other, so I’ve
included a a Photoshop Action that will apply a bunch of colour combinations for you to
choose from down in the description area below. This duotone photo effect works with any image,
but photos of people work best to replicate how Spotify uses this style on the artist
and band shots. So find yourself an image and open it up in
Adobe Photoshop. Select the Pen tool and zoom right into the
document, then begin tracing around the subject so we can remove it from the background. Or
alternatively you could always choose an isolated image to begin with! There’s a few different techniques you can
use to cut out your images, so I’ll link up my Ultimate Guide to Cutting Stuff Out down
in the description. You might find a different technique to the Pen tool works better with
your chosen photo. Once you’ve made a path around your image,
right click and choose Make Selection. Enter 2px (or less depending on the scale of your
document) to blur the edges slightly to avoid getting a harsh cutout. Go to Edit>Copy and Edit Paste to move this
clipping onto its own layer, then add a new layer and place it between the portrait and
original background. Fill this layer with white. Add a new Gradient Map adjustment layer and
move it to the top of the layer stack. Edit the colours for the shadows and highlights.
I’m using #24206a and #73d970 but you can find loads more in the free Photoshop Action
I’ve created. Move the gradient slider left and right to
balance between the two colours, then hit OK to apply the effect. Add a Brightness and Contrast adjustment layer
then move the Contrast slider to around +30. That’s the basic photo effect complete, but
we can add a few little extra touches to really give it that Spotify style. Create a new layer
then grab the Ellipse tool and draw a few white circles over the image. Hold the CMD or CTRL key, and click on the
layer thumbnail of the cut out portrait layer to loads its selection, then add a layer mask
to the circles layer to clip them to size. Draw a selection over one of the circles and
fill the mask with white to remove the masking from this area to allow the circle to sit
on top. So that finishes off the Spotify style duotone
photo effect in Photoshop. I hope you enjoyed it! If you did don’t forget to hit that Like
button to help spread the word and share the video with your friends, and if you want to
see more, subscribe to my YouTube channel and my website at Remember
to try out my free Action below to test out other vibrant colour combinations and feel
free to send me your results on Twitter at @chrisspooner. So as always thank you very
much for watching and I’ll see you in the next one.


  1. Mike Onslow June 23, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Hi Chris, such a simple effect but looks great! I use Photoshop a lot but rarely use any masking nor have I thought about using the pen tool to cut things out, so very helpful video too!

  2. Igor Malinovsky June 23, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    That's nice one, Chris!

  3. MrMirofl [Purcy aka Cusor] June 23, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Cool effect 🙂

  4. Jose Figueroa June 24, 2015 at 5:34 am

    Nice video man thank you

  5. M K June 24, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Great tut thanks Chris! I figured it out on Pixelmator and needed to play with layers, but it still came out great! Cheers

  6. Thomas Rothrock June 24, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    Adobe Color CC (formerly known as Kuler) is perfect for playing with complementary colors.

    Thanks for the awesome tutorial Chris.

  7. Brad Spalding June 24, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    Thanks Chris!

  8. zCool ­ June 30, 2015 at 1:46 am


  9. savZE July 16, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Simple Gradient Map …

  10. Mauricio Dall'Agata July 20, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    I really want to edit my photos like that, but I don't know nothing about photoshop, wich photoshop do I need to download? And how do I implement the duotone effect action?

  11. pedro vargas jr. August 8, 2015 at 10:47 pm


  12. Michael Dunn November 11, 2015 at 2:40 am

    u r perfect.

  13. Michael Dunn December 4, 2015 at 12:41 am

    The action aspect of this, is AMAZING. What a truly helpful resource. I really appreciate you going the extra step! (:

  14. chronicle PH January 13, 2016 at 1:38 am

    Nice 🙂 Dude ,

  15. Oscar Martínez February 24, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    Pretty nice

  16. steve graphic designer March 15, 2016 at 4:09 am

    so cool thanks:)

  17. Dieter van Dortmont March 24, 2016 at 11:35 am

    how does he make it white? BTW I am a noob in photoshop

  18. kris lam April 5, 2016 at 5:56 am

    Hi Chris, how did you move the left circle on top of the person @ 2:41?

  19. thoschisax June 1, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    Thanks a lot, your action saved my day! 😉

  20. Steve Pena June 13, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Awesome Demo Chris !!

  21. sabbib007madness July 1, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    can you please make a video of this image,d.dGo&psig=AFQjCNGg1pzwngRB0cYjmUVlsZWclHX7aQ&ust=1467489763448640

  22. Kelly July 26, 2016 at 12:59 am

    Hello! This was an excellent tutorial and so easy to follow. I can't wait to try it out!

  23. Tathiane Avila July 27, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    This tutorial is simple and easy! I loved <3

  24. Angelo Silva July 28, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    Awesome tutorial! Thanks!

  25. Nicholin V September 28, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    Hey Chris, what should i do with the second layer of the picture I meant adding the green layer duotone thing need respond because its off screen and also how to fill the backround green. I download the data from your website which the CS6 din't just work. It was start to say though, im very sorry and suck at these ones
    I would appreciate that if help me as well.

  26. Susie Jones September 30, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    Very grateful for your clear, concise directions and the free stuff, too!

  27. Eric October 2, 2016 at 10:53 pm


  28. Zurbi October 16, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    thank you 🙂

  29. Lauren Kate Kelly November 10, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Such a great tutorial because you move through it quickly and efficiently–thank you! One of the best PS videos I've ever seen.

  30. Jermaine Cork January 25, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    How do I get the action to work?

  31. imDonDiestro February 5, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    i can't put the circles on one layer. each circle makes its own layer. how do i resolve this?

  32. Michael Philips March 1, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    I like the way it takes you over 1 minute for you to even open photoshop! Great tutorial!

  33. Darlene Crawford March 12, 2017 at 7:17 am

    Nice. Thanks so much for the free Spotify Duotone Photo Effect Action! : )

  34. Rosangela Sena March 12, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    How to change the colou of the circles you made? Like this we found on Lady Gaga's

  35. Jaime Becktel April 8, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    The image is clear but your actions are blurry.

  36. 08 10 April 9, 2017 at 2:10 pm


  37. Alonso Reyes April 29, 2017 at 3:47 am

    Amazing tutorial!!! Thank you!!!

  38. Yung Trip 09 May 8, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    u go too fast and dont zoom in on detailed selections, or explain. Poor tutorial

  39. T. Hanks May 16, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    I like your tuts, but you go waaayyyyy to fast, I have to rewind every action like 5 times so dislike from me

  40. Clare McFadyen May 20, 2017 at 12:11 am


  41. Marimon May 26, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    So stoked that you shared the action file for free. You're fucking awesome. Thank you!

  42. cnbirdie June 15, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    at 2:25 – how to you move some of the white circles behind the cutout? i missed which keystrokes you use to attach to cutout layer.

  43. LandOwl July 28, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    Thank you so much for providing the actions!

  44. Aniket Sawantdesai August 21, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    Easily done, Thanks man!! One big like and subscribe from me 😀

  45. Si N August 25, 2017 at 3:38 pm


  46. Rotbart1337 August 26, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Man this is soo fast, can't follow without slowing it down by 0.5. Also, half of what you do is out of screen. Dislike.

  47. champion715 September 29, 2017 at 3:33 am

    i DL the ACTION file. double clicked it, it took me back to my PS program (the image i was working on) but nothing showed up. plz tell me how to use this file after DLing it. thnx

  48. Osama Al Jamal October 16, 2017 at 10:11 am

    you're toooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo fast and the accent is strong

  49. Spoon Graphics November 2, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    Join my mailing list at Spoon Graphics if you want to keep up with all my other content. Every subscriber gets a FREE design resources bundle! 📦

  50. bambam ji November 7, 2017 at 11:04 am

    is the gradient map for pscs6 different from cc? i can't achieve that kind of blending gradient 🙁

  51. iBerserkTV November 9, 2017 at 3:34 am

    How do i download and use the filter on Photoshop? Wtf kind of tutorial is this.

  52. Sid Khanye November 17, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Nicely done bro, thanks.

  53. ApexJnr November 19, 2017 at 4:55 am

    Liked nad subbed for the action

  54. Zzzannie November 29, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    would be handy to show ur entire screen ???

  55. Hard Blues December 28, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    Thank you, love short and to the point tutorials

  56. Puneet Mehta January 15, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    Great Tutorial! Thanks 🙂

  57. Kelly Thomas January 17, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    Way too fast…

  58. ADM Finance January 19, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Nice!!!! Thanks from Brazil !!!

  59. Rez February 20, 2018 at 10:40 pm

    Sweet tutorial but your link to your PS Action won't load.

  60. Horrormane February 21, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    The audio is very messed up. Can't understand anything over that music.

  61. Laban Le Fleur March 9, 2018 at 6:45 am

    Didn't realise it was that easy haha thanks.

  62. longchank0 March 19, 2018 at 7:40 am

    what's the pink/yellow light transition effect in the video ?? thanks a lot

  63. ivan March 27, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    too fast

  64. PHOTO-MOMENTS by dennis irmiter April 21, 2018 at 6:21 am

    where can i download the action?

  65. itikkental April 26, 2018 at 3:31 am

    way to fast and no detail on what you click.. so dislike

  66. kaitlyn zuniga May 12, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    omg i had no idea it was so easy…i spent like 2 weeks trying to figure this out on my own

  67. Lommy June 11, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    Thank you! A small note: the most important part is unclear and said too fast… (-: We are photoshop dummies, remember!

  68. Bash 717 August 2, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    very difficult to follow

  69. Hooz August 12, 2018 at 12:15 am

    I'm not a professional of photoshop and found it very easy to follow the tutorial, practically before the video ended I had already made the effect. I can not understand the hateful comments.

  70. Vanesha Patel August 14, 2018 at 2:10 am

    This is great but idk how to do the gradient map….

  71. Amber Brannon August 21, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    This was BEYOND helpful! thanks for sharing!

  72. Carine Carine August 30, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    Hang on did you use a shortcut to fill the layer with white?

  73. Emily Woffindin September 10, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    Good vid! But way to quick to follow.

  74. Kevin Lerens September 11, 2018 at 11:40 am

    Tutorial is good but just too fast for noobs. Sorry boys

  75. Hiratsani October 13, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    kontol anjing

  76. Rob Ch. October 29, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    thank you lad it works like a charm for me!

  77. Potting Soil November 5, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    This isn't hard to follow at all.

  78. Amanda Cardarelli November 21, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    MUITO OBRIGADA, super fácil, rápido e eficiente

  79. Anggi Wijaya December 21, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    this is quick and clear enough. thanks a lot for sharing!

  80. Chad Landenberger February 20, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    This just saved me a bunch of time. Thanks!

  81. wm17959 April 2, 2019 at 12:06 am

    I wasn't able to follow your video and I could not get this to work for me.

  82. Alexandra Tihanovich June 13, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    Chris, you rock, thank you for sharing your freebies with the design community, I am so grateful!

  83. Yaniss September 16, 2019 at 9:32 am

    this is so cool mate. love it thanks for sharing

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