I found this image in MoMa website. This poster was designed by Juan Carlos Distéfano in 1964. I try to replicate the effect of the text. Turns out it harder than it looks.

Juan Carlos Distéfano

Any tips how to achieve this style?



I suspect this was drawn entirely by hand as it predates the era of digital design.

You could do something similar using Photoshop and Illustrator together.

First in Photoshop, create a slightly blurred image of some white text on a 50% grey background, make sure the layers are flattened, and that you have the foreground colour set to black and the background colour set to white in the toolbox, then do Filter > Sketch > Halftone pattern, with the "Line" pattern selected.

Something like this perhaps

enter image description here

Then you could copy and paste this into Illustrator, auto trace it, Expand the trace and make a Live Paint object and fill it with the Live Paint Bucket.

Here's the result

enter image description here

If you want more of those angular diamond shapes, I think you'd have to edit the curves and anchors manually. But any way, it's a good starting point.

  • 1
    In 1960's many newspapers still used line width modulation half-toning method to print grayscale photos. I guess the artist has manually drawn an enlargened copy of a printing plate of the text which has been in small size and quite unsharp in a photo. – user287001 Jun 29 '20 at 12:06
  • wow amazing! Thank you so much for the comprehensive reply. This would do the trick! – Mopingworld Jun 29 '20 at 12:51

I suspect this will have more than one method to achieve your desired outcome.

You could:

Use the stroke width tool

Draw out a series of strokes and space them to your liking. Type out your text to act as a guide. Using the width tool (shfit+w on mac) adjust the the stroke to create the desired look. Use your typed text as a guide to follow and remove when done.

If you want to fine tune the look with some unique feature, then outline the strokes and continue.

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