For this tutorial we have teamed up with Designer Luis Felippe Cavalcanti in order to show you how to design a nice chewing tobacco packaging inspired by the 1920-50s.

For this tutorial Felippe used our Vintage Font Bundle - but of course you can use any font you want, so feel free to have a look at our other fonts if you prefer a different style. The softwares that we use here are Adobe Illustrator CC and Photoshop. Felippe walks you through the tutorial step by step, making it easy to follow and learn something new. Enjoy!

Before we begin, try to find some old labels and tobacco packaging, that inspire you. You can check some cool ideas on our Pinterest account here.

Focus on the layout shape, hierarchy, letter styles, colors, and textures present in each design and start sketching. You can use pencil and paper, iPad or whatever works best for you to create a rough layout. Open Illustrator and import your sketch. Set the sketch picture to 40% opacity and lock the layer in the layers panel.

Create a new layer and name it "Graphics". Write a list close to your sketch with all the words that will later go on the tobacco package. Create the color palette you’re going to use and set it as global color, so that you can easily change it later. Read more about global colors here.

Open the ornaments included in the Vintage Font Bundle and copy the ornaments and frame that you think fit to your sketch. Create a rectangle (Press "M") in order to define your work area and to align the elements later. Pick a frame and use the Selection Tool (A) to select parts of the frame and align it to your sketch.

Let’s create our curved grid: Select Pen Tool (P), holding shift. Drag and slide to the left to create a curve. Make sure it matches the sketch, you can play around with the anchor points to smoothen it out.

Create a copy (CTRL/CMD+C) and place it on the same position (CTRL/CMD+F). Still selected, right-click to select "transform". Click on "flip along the horizontal axis" or "flip and position as the image below". Select both half curves and right-click to select "join"(or press CTRL/CMD+J).

Repeat these process to create the other elements. To create the round frame select the Ellipse Tool (L) and make a custom ellipse, set the size that fits best with your label; press Shift+X to invert black for the stroke and you will see the outlined circle. Position it to the middle and press CTRL/CMD+C then CTRL/CMD+F to make a copy on the same place. Click on the corner of the bounding box to scale the copied circle and make it smaller. Use the align tool to center the circles.

Click right on "Type Tool" and select "type-on-a-path-tool". Click on the curved grid line and write the brand name of your product. Mine is "RED • DOG". On the other curves click and write down your product description: "carefully selected" and below "Chewing Tobacco".

For the writing "carefully selected" I used Old Erika Font. Set the best kerning and size - remember to always create a good optical proportion and make the hierarchy consistent. Select Type Tool (T) and write the slogan of your package ("ready rubbed"). I’m using Blackriver Font here. Open "make envelop" and select "Arc Mode". Set a number to create a curved style.

Repeat this to the other info, always remembering hierarchy and optical alignment. Select a letter and apply alternate characters to make variations. Here I used Royal Signage for "Ludwig P. & Sons". Set an alternate for my L, but feel free to play!

It's time for Ornaments! The Vintage Font Bundle gives you a huge variety of ornaments in various styles. You can also find additional ornament sets here.

Choose ornaments that can fill the space and not steal away the attention from what we’re communicating. Use Selection Tool (V) to choose the right scale and rotate to make it fit better. Make a copy and flip in order to create a symmetrical composition. Create lines to join the ornaments and experiment on different shapes.

Now let's implement some vintage illustration/picture. I used a vintage illustration of a dog (complete vector set available in our E-Mail Newsletter), added an ellipse a little bit smaller than the one previously created. Select both and use right-click to make a clipping mask. After this, try to adjust the space and position of each element. Look at the picture above on the right: before and after.

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Start adding color and stroke details to the design. Select the Shape Builder Tool (Shift+M) and select an ornament to create a solid and filled shape to contrast the rest of the design.

Double click on the clipping mask and create a shape around the illustration of the dog. Send it to the back, by selecting the shape (right-click>arrange>send to back). Create an ellipse and fill it with a bright color to emphasize the contrast between illustration and background.

I decided not to use any black in the design after all and changed the all black part to a dark green. After everything is aligned and filled with colors, let’s add some rough effect on the green rectangle and then use Photoshop to make a good and classical vintage effect.

Select everything in Illustrator, create a group and copy it. Then open Photoshop. Open some grunge paper textures, that you can download for free in the Heritage Type Co. newsletter. Now place your packaging-design in Photoshop. Use texture (2) and apply another texture with some wrinkled paper, I used texture (6). Press CTRL/CMD + Shift + U to make the paper texture black and white (see my layer panel at the end).

Make a copy of the b&w texture pressing CTRL/CMD+J and select the first copy. Go to "image > adjustments > levels" or CTRL/CMD+L. Slide to the right side of the black pin to increase the contrast between black and white parts, always keeping the grey pin between them. Click "OK" and set the blend mode of the image to screen and put the opacity between 30 % - 50 %. On the original b&w texture, set the blend mode to multiply. Make a copy of that to increase the black parts of the textures.

Try out another color scheme on Illustrator and place in the Photoshop document, always below the two textures with blend mode. Arrange to your taste and save it as JPG to share your amazing work!

We hope you enjoyed this tutorial and of course, if you have any questions or feedback, please comment below and we are happy to help. Also we love to see how our fonts, illustrations and graphics are used among various projects. If you would like to share your designs with us, check out our gallery here and submit. Thank you!


Splendide, de véritable chef-d’œuvre !!!!!!!!! J’adore, je suis aux anges!!!!!!!!!!!

ricke ricke76 March 28, 2022

Awesome tutorial, you are a true master. Thanks Felippe.

Jordan September 16, 2021

Awesome tutorial, you are a true master. Thanks Felippe.

Jordan September 16, 2021

May I simply just say what a relief to uncover a person that genuinely knows what they are discussing on the web. You certainly realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More people should look at this and understand this side of the story. I was surprised you aren’t more popular given that you surely possess the gift.

Little Big Snake October 08, 2020

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