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Replicating 1960s magazine print look

Community Beginner ,
Dec 22, 2023 Dec 22, 2023

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I'm a little lost on how to go about replicating this effect in Photoshop. I'm working on a project that needs an authentic midcentury look, and I'm trying to reverse engineer the magazine print photo look of the early/mid 60's.  I know it's a lot to ask, but if someone's successfully done something like this before and could post a quick step-by-step of a few helpful tricks, I'd be super grateful.  Or if there's a tutorial or template I've missed in my searching, I'll be happy to check it out.  Google just hasn't turned up anything at all that quite tackles this particular look, and I haven't yet found any convincing templates.

 

I'm looking to reproduce those really grainy gradients and shadows, the slightly posterized and saturated look of the printed colors, etc.
IMG_8288.jpgIMG_8289.JPG

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Experiment , macOS , Windows

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Community Expert ,
Dec 22, 2023 Dec 22, 2023

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I would start with these vintage Color Lookup Tables to apply the tone of the image:

https://exchange.adobe.com/apps/cc/100359/100-vintage-retro-luts

Then apply some grain using a filter to add noise.

Ignore the masking below - its just to show before/after results.

kevinstohlmeyer_0-1703259874912.png

 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 22, 2023 Dec 22, 2023

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@Joel Dizzle forgot to mention you should definitely check out https://creativemarket.com - they have a ton of retro/vintage mid-mod textures, LUT and other downloadable add-ons that can definitely help.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 22, 2023 Dec 22, 2023

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What is the final output?

 

Device/monitor?

 

Print? What output method?

 

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 22, 2023 Dec 22, 2023

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Ah, I didn't mention that.  This project is going to print, but I don't have a lot of information about that stage of it yet.  I gather it's going to be a fairly high quality print with faithful reproduction of the graphics we submit.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 22, 2023 Dec 22, 2023

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I wonder if working in CMYK would help.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 22, 2023 Dec 22, 2023

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First reduce the dynamic range to the typical 5-stop dynamic range of a color transparency.

Then blur it a bit to reflect the poorer overall resolution of older photographic equipment and film.

Add a color cast to the shadows, and exaggerate cyans and reds. (orange skin tones, anyone?)

 

60magazine_04B.png

60magazine_03B.png

60magazine.png

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Community Expert ,
Dec 22, 2023 Dec 22, 2023

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The grain in the 50s and 60s was due to rather low res printing dots.

So I would recommend to add noise. You can do it with a noise filter or even in Camera Raw. You can also blur a little.

Ilf you have a high res image you can also test Halftone screen filter but the minimal dot size is 4 pixels.

Fast and unperfect example combining several rechniques

from this

Capture d’écran 2023-12-22 à 21.09.32.png

To this

Capture d’écran 2023-12-22 à 21.27.52.png

Hope it helps

 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 22, 2023 Dec 22, 2023

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Grain/noise is OK, however I strongly disagree with adding any type of halftime screen to the file when the final output is a halftime print. This is why I originally asked what the output method was.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 04, 2024 Jan 04, 2024

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@Stephen_A_Marsh I agree that a halftone screen added to the image would perhaps clash with the printer's screening.

 

I hope this helps
neil barstow, colourmanagement net - adobe forum volunteer - co-author: 'getting colour right'
google me "neil barstow colourmanagement" for lots of free articles on colour management

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Community Expert ,
Jan 04, 2024 Jan 04, 2024

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Many years ago, I recall, there was an elaborate hoax where someone simulated a magazine review of a non-existent music keyboard, which many took as real. One thing they did was to put faint, blurred, reversed left to right text in the image, to look like printing on the other side bleeding through.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 04, 2024 Jan 04, 2024

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I just recently looked through some "prestige" coffe-table books from the 80s and early 90s, and all I could focus on was the appalling quality of the photos. I had simply forgotten. Back then we simply assumed that was how it should be.

 

Everything was off. Color reproduction, contrast, detail and sharpness. You'd never get away with it today. Equipment and procedures are so much better today.

 

I was being kind in my example above. In reality it would probably have looked worse.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 07, 2024 Feb 07, 2024

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LATEST

Really late in replying to this! Thank you for your initial response to this thread; it got me started in the right direction and drew my attention to some aspects of these prints that I hadn't noticed.  I have to say I absolutely adore the appalling quality of the photos in old magazines and books lol (right now I'm remembering ads in old early-90s video game magazines and those delightfully dated home remodeling / woodworking books that tried so hard to take really neat and clean photos of a guy with an almost-mullet). 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 04, 2024 Jan 04, 2024

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Could you please provide one of the images you want to edit thusly? 

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 07, 2024 Feb 07, 2024

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Cross-posting to my own thread from another one, since I know someone else will have the same question and come across this thread eventually.  This approach worked fantastically for a project.

 

I found a few risograph templates that gave a somewhat convincing effect - this one in particular came in handy, with some modifications. I disabled any halftone effects and used a film grain effect.  The trick is to deepen the shadows and overall contrast and then bring up the value of the shadows; then add film grain over a very subtle gaussian blur, and push the oranges / reds, especially in skin tones.   

I quickly mocked up this scene in Blender from the Lytegem ad above that I found in a compendium of 60's ads:

JoelDizzle_0-1707344951325.png

and then processed it with these filters:

JoelDizzle_3-1707345429339.png

 to get this:

JoelDizzle_2-1707345163601.png

The "filter gallery" filters (going upward) on the lower layer are Dry Brush and Cutout, respectively.  The camera raw filter is where a lot of the color grading and noise happens.  The top layer is an overlay layer at around 35% opacity, with a film grain and about 1px blur applied. 

I understand that in some circles it's downright heresy to call this effect attractive, let alone pursue it, but if you find yourself in a situation where you actually need to recreate the effect, some of these risograph templates come pretty close. 

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