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Retro Rainbow Photoshop Tutorials

Although often used in the wrong context, the motif of ’70s Retro Rainbow designs seems to occur in many modern designs – from products designs to posters and web designs. The rainbow colors are particularly eye-catching and lively; they may provide the design with a dynamics and help to vividly convey the message of the graphic work. [Updated June/14/2017]

Retro Rainbow Photoshop Tutorials

In past few months I came across to many artworks and new concepts of retro designs which gave me a thought to gather few for this inspirational post.

Further Reading on SmashingMag: Link

Below you’ll find a showcase of beautiful Retro Rainbow designs and resources. They range from popular Flickr photos to unconventional sources of inspiration, from helpful tutorials to useful related tools. Share your favorite sources of inspiration in the comments.

Tutorial: Create A Retro Cosmic Design in Photoshop5

rainbow16

Signalnoise Tutorial: Rainbow Shards7

rainbow28

Add A Realistic Rainbow To A Photo With Photoshop9

rainbow310

Abstract rainbow colors Photoshop video tutorial11

rainbow412

Photoshop Tutorial: Create a Colorful Rainbow Fantasy Scene13

rainbow514

MSNBC Style Effect15

rainbow616

Rainbow Background Photoshop Tutorial17

rainbow718

How to make Rainbow background19

rainbow820

How to create abstract colorful rainbow background21

rainbow922

Photoshop Tutorial: Rainbow Glass Effect23

rainbow1024

Glow Effect Wallpaper in Photoshop – Tutorial25

rainbow1126

Abstract Rainbow Wallpaper In Photoshop27

rainbow1228

Create Rainbow Logos with Warped Grids29

rainbow1330

Rainbow Colored Eyes Effect With Photoshop31

rainbow1432

Creating A Cartoon Rainbow33

rainbow1534

Bright Rainbow Text Effect35

rainbow1636

The Rusty Rainbow Killed The Rabbit37

rainbow1738

Shining Neon Text Effect in Photoshop39

rainbow1840

Painting the sky invitation (Photoshop tutorial)41

rainbow1942

Making of the Imaginary Paint Dancers43

rainbow2044

Awesome digital bokeh effect in Photoshop45

rainbow2146

Create a Grungy Scene with Colorful Lights in Photoshop47

rainbow2248

Colorful Glow Text Effects49

rainbow2350

Creating A Fantastic Fantasy Night Sky In Photoshop51

rainbow2452

Photoshop tutorial: Create a glowing superhero53

rainbow2554

Advanced Glow Effects55

rainbow2656

Photoshop Tutorial Web Design Colorful Rainbow57

rainbow2758

Recreate Pride Facebook Rainbow Effect In Abode Photoshop59

rainbow2860

Create Super Glossy 3D Typography in Illustrator and Photoshop61

rainbow2962

Create striking photo and vector mash-ups63

rainbow3064

Fluffy Clouds in Photoshop65

rainbow3166

Animated Rainbow Wallpaper67

rainbow3268

Create a Funky Retro Wavy Text Effect in Photoshop69

rainbow3370

Make a Retro-Space Typography Poster with Colorful Lights71

rainbow3472

Design a Retro Styled Poster73

rainbow3574

How to create a set of Photoshop grunge brushes75

rainbow3676

Tutorial Time: Rainbow Wallpaper77

rainbow3778

Photoshop Graphic Design Tutorial79

rainbow3880

Earth Day. Green Planet81

rainbow3982

Mastering Photoshop: Noise, Textures, Gradients and Rounded Rectangles83

rainbow4084

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/10/07/retro-and-vintage-in-modern-web-design/
  2. 2 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/04/21/celebration-of-vintage-and-retro-design/
  3. 3 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/10/14/30-beautiful-vintageretro-photoshop-tutorials/
  4. 4 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/10/26/retro-and-vintage-typography-showcase/
  5. 5 http://www.fudgegraphics.com/2009/07/tutorial-create-a-retro-cosmic-design-in-photoshop/
  6. 6 http://www.fudgegraphics.com/2009/07/tutorial-create-a-retro-cosmic-design-in-photoshop/
  7. 7 http://blog.signalnoise.com/2010/05/25/signalnoise-tutorial-rainbow-shards/
  8. 8 http://blog.signalnoise.com/2010/05/25/signalnoise-tutorial-rainbow-shards/
  9. 9 http://www.photoshopessentials.com/photo-effects/rainbow/
  10. 10 http://www.photoshopessentials.com/photo-effects/rainbow/
  11. 11 http://www.psdgraphics.com/video-tutorials/abstract-rainbow-colors-photoshop-video-tutorial-hd/
  12. 12 http://www.psdgraphics.com/video-tutorials/abstract-rainbow-colors-photoshop-video-tutorial-hd/
  13. 13 http://www.pxleyes.com/tutorial/photoshop/1694/Create-a-Colorful-Rainbow-Fantasy-Scene.html
  14. 14 http://www.pxleyes.com/tutorial/photoshop/1694/Create-a-Colorful-Rainbow-Fantasy-Scene.html
  15. 15 https://design.tutsplus.com/tutorials/reader-request-msnbc-style-effect--psd-81
  16. 16 https://design.tutsplus.com/tutorials/reader-request-msnbc-style-effect--psd-81
  17. 17 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpVhDkrZf2U
  18. 18 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpVhDkrZf2U
  19. 19 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLe9qgJ99lg
  20. 20 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLe9qgJ99lg
  21. 21 http://designstacks.net/how-to-create-abstract-colorful-rainbow-background
  22. 22 http://designstacks.net/how-to-create-abstract-colorful-rainbow-background
  23. 23 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgHXrRAY_Xc
  24. 24 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgHXrRAY_Xc
  25. 25 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hloxmasUEdQ
  26. 26 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hloxmasUEdQ
  27. 27 http://www.photoshoplayer.com/intermediate/abstract-rainbow-wall-paper-in-photoshop/
  28. 28 http://www.photoshoplayer.com/intermediate/abstract-rainbow-wall-paper-in-photoshop/
  29. 29 https://design.tutsplus.com/tutorials/create-rainbow-logos-with-warped-grids--psd-142
  30. 30 https://design.tutsplus.com/tutorials/create-rainbow-logos-with-warped-grids--psd-142
  31. 31 http://www.photoshopessentials.com/photo-effects/rainbow-colored-eyes-effect-with-photoshop/
  32. 32 http://www.photoshopessentials.com/photo-effects/rainbow-colored-eyes-effect-with-photoshop/
  33. 33 http://www.psd-dude.com/tutorials/creating-a-cartoon-rainbow.aspx
  34. 34 http://www.psd-dude.com/tutorials/creating-a-cartoon-rainbow.aspx
  35. 35 https://photoshopstar.com/text-effects/bright-rainbow-text-effect/
  36. 36 https://photoshopstar.com/text-effects/bright-rainbow-text-effect/
  37. 37 http://www.psd-dude.com/tutorials/the-rusty-rainbow-killed-the-rabbit.aspx
  38. 38 http://www.psd-dude.com/tutorials/the-rusty-rainbow-killed-the-rabbit.aspx
  39. 39 http://abduzeedo.com/shining-neon-text-effect-photoshop
  40. 40 http://abduzeedo.com/shining-neon-text-effect-photoshop
  41. 41 http://www.fleetingthing.com/?projects=painting-the-sky-invitation-photoshop-tutorial
  42. 42 http://www.fleetingthing.com/?projects=painting-the-sky-invitation-photoshop-tutorial
  43. 43 http://10steps.sg/tutorials/photoshop/making-of-the-imaginary-paint-dancers/
  44. 44 http://10steps.sg/tutorials/photoshop/making-of-the-imaginary-paint-dancers/
  45. 45 http://abduzeedo.com/awesome-digital-bokeh-effect-photoshop
  46. 46 http://abduzeedo.com/awesome-digital-bokeh-effect-photoshop
  47. 47 http://designinstruct.com/digital-art/create-a-grungy-scene-with-colorful-lights-in-photoshop/
  48. 48 http://designinstruct.com/digital-art/create-a-grungy-scene-with-colorful-lights-in-photoshop/
  49. 49 http://designstacks.net/colorful-glow-text-effects
  50. 50 http://designstacks.net/colorful-glow-text-effects
  51. 51 https://design.tutsplus.com/tutorials/creating-a-fantastic-fantasy-night-sky-in-photoshop--psd-64
  52. 52 https://design.tutsplus.com/tutorials/creating-a-fantastic-fantasy-night-sky-in-photoshop--psd-64
  53. 53 http://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/tutorials/photoshop/create-glowing-superhero/#1
  54. 54 http://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/tutorials/photoshop/create-glowing-superhero/#1
  55. 55 https://design.tutsplus.com/tutorials/advanced-glow-effects--psd-12
  56. 56 https://design.tutsplus.com/tutorials/advanced-glow-effects--psd-12
  57. 57 http://www.psdboxs.com/2015/04/photoshop-tutorial-web-design-colorful-rainbow.html
  58. 58 http://www.psdboxs.com/2015/04/photoshop-tutorial-web-design-colorful-rainbow.html
  59. 59 https://www.colorexpertsbd.com/blog/pride-facebook-rainbow-effect-photoshop
  60. 60 https://www.colorexpertsbd.com/blog/pride-facebook-rainbow-effect-photoshop
  61. 61 https://design.tutsplus.com/tutorials/create-super-glossy-3d-typography-in-illustrator-and-photoshop--psd-11196
  62. 62 https://design.tutsplus.com/tutorials/create-super-glossy-3d-typography-in-illustrator-and-photoshop--psd-11196
  63. 63 http://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/tutorials/photoshop/create-striking-photo-vector-mash-ups/
  64. 64 http://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/tutorials/photoshop/create-striking-photo-vector-mash-ups/
  65. 65 http://abduzeedo.com/fluffy-clouds-photoshop
  66. 66 http://abduzeedo.com/fluffy-clouds-photoshop
  67. 67 http://designstacks.net/animated-rainbow-wallpaper
  68. 68 http://designstacks.net/animated-rainbow-wallpaper
  69. 69 http://designinstruct.com/graphic-design/text-effects/create-a-funky-retro-wavy-text-effect-in-photoshop/
  70. 70 http://designinstruct.com/graphic-design/text-effects/create-a-funky-retro-wavy-text-effect-in-photoshop/
  71. 71 http://designinstruct.com/graphic-design/make-a-retro-space-typography-poster-with-colorful-lights/
  72. 72 http://designinstruct.com/graphic-design/make-a-retro-space-typography-poster-with-colorful-lights/
  73. 73 http://psd.fanextra.com/tutorials/designing/design-a-retro-styled-poster/
  74. 74 http://psd.fanextra.com/tutorials/designing/design-a-retro-styled-poster/
  75. 75 http://veerle-v2.duoh.com/blog/comments/how_to_create_a_set_of_photoshop_grunge_brushes/
  76. 76 http://veerle-v2.duoh.com/blog/comments/how_to_create_a_set_of_photoshop_grunge_brushes/
  77. 77 http://zooll.com/tutorial-time-rainbowfest-wallpaper/
  78. 78 http://zooll.com/tutorial-time-rainbowfest-wallpaper/
  79. 79 http://www.pstut.info/photoshop-tutorials/design-a-3d-retro-strip/
  80. 80 http://www.pstut.info/photoshop-tutorials/design-a-3d-retro-strip/
  81. 81 http://alfoart.com/green_planet_1.html
  82. 82 http://alfoart.com/green_planet_1.html
  83. 83 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2011/02/mastering-photoshop-noise-textures-gradients-and-rounded-rectangles/
  84. 84 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2011/02/mastering-photoshop-noise-textures-gradients-and-rounded-rectangles/

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Akhtar Sheikha is a freelance web and graphic designer as well as developer. He is the author and owner of 2experts Design, a design blog with great inspirational posts. You can follow 2experts design on Twitter.

  1. 1

    Great! Very useful

    1
  2. 2

    WOW! I like 5 design and I download to do myself !

    Thanks
    Atiq

    0
  3. 3

    Great list and really useful for designers :)

    Regards

    0
  4. 4

    Martin Ansty

    April 19, 2009 5:49 am

    The link on the very first item links to the wrong page (the link text/caption is also wrong, there’s no 3d pixel stretching going on there)

    (SM) Thank you for the correction, the link was updated.

    0
  5. 5

    Derek McDonald

    April 19, 2009 6:06 am

    Looks like a good collection there. I might have to give a few of them a go.

    0
  6. 6

    Wow, this is great.
    I might use this techniques for our new school logo design.
    Thanks SM

    0
  7. 7

    Thrilled to see my tutorial at the top of the roundup :P Very nice collection!

    0
  8. 8

    the colorburned links are wrong also, but great collection!

    (SM) Thanks, the links are fixed now.

    0
  9. 9

    Fourth to the bottom with the tree, by Whoa Oh, isn’t by him – he just has it on his flicker. He even says its not his but he doesn’t know who to give credit to.

    Looks like JP33 to me. He should be included anyway, his stuff uses a lot of rainbows and is better than everything I see here.

    I do like the stuff by FalkPhotoDesign though.

    0
  10. 10

    Thanks a bunch. Some of them are pretty amazing.

    0
  11. 11

    Luis Eduardo

    April 19, 2009 1:21 pm

    This is a great post for inspiration and tutorials, you can use in soo many ways…..

    Thanks

    0
  12. 12

    Really nice designs, its hard to find vintage stuff like this ^_^

    0
  13. 13

    Wow, that is like WAY cool dude, I like it.

    RT

    0
  14. 14

    Thanks for the feature SM!

    0
  15. 15

    Retro art always has a tendency to come back in some form..but now technology can create such beautifully detailed works..

    0
  16. 16

    WOW!
    This is a very useful list for designers. A great round of applause for writer of the article. I must say, Smashing Magazine has always been on the top for providing such an informative articles.

    0
  17. 17

    Thomas Strobl

    April 19, 2009 9:09 pm

    to be honest there were some examples that arent up to a SmashingMag-level. I expected a little higher quality. Nevertheless thanks for the work, its a pretty big list.

    0
  18. 18

    Nice! Very nice!
    Thank you.

    0
  19. 19

    This is really useful for web and graphics designers. Thanks for providing such inspiration.

    0
  20. 20

    Robert (InToGraphics @ the forum)

    April 20, 2009 12:08 am

    “Me as my own Superstar”
    It looks like a rainbow afro, and is super cool.

    Thanks,
    Robert

    0
  21. 21

    Danish Refai

    April 20, 2009 1:02 am

    That is without the doubt the best i’ve seeen !
    Love it !

    0
  22. 22

    Perfect timing. My latest brief is to produce a rainbow inspired page/microsite for one of my clients! Good work!

    0
  23. 23

    Good article but I echo that this list should have referenced ISO50. Scott Hansen’s work is amazing!

    0
  24. 24

    I`m I right or are those images lazy loaded?
    I don`t think it`s good idea, supposing web developers haven`t got limitated internet connection or cache capacity.
    I hate loading!
    But the article is as usual very good :)

    0
  25. 25

    Christine Cerniglia

    April 20, 2009 6:19 am

    Hey thanks for the feature :)

    0
  26. 26

    awesome, thank you very much, You have done it again smashing magazine! :)

    0
  27. 27

    Great! Very useful

    0
  28. 28

    Beautiful collection, some of them are quite impressive!

    0
  29. 29

    Great and useful post. Although I’m annoyed to find that Adobetutorialz didn’t bother to do research on the car they used before naming their tutorial. I think it’s important for all of us designers to do this before we try and publish any work we do. You don’t want to loose credibility of a designer simply for not taking the time to do a little research. That car is not a Ford Mustang. It’s a 1954 Chevy Bel Air. Sorry to be anal but just my opinion. =) Great tutorial though.

    re: Retro Lighting – Ford Mustang tutorial

    0
  30. 30

    Brian Temecula

    April 20, 2009 9:01 pm

    I’m anti-rainbow, so I found no interest in this article.

    0
  31. 31

    Nice design bro, i think i should looks more design from you, very amazing…

    0
  32. 32

    just want so say some thing “great job”

    0
  33. 33

    John McMullen

    April 21, 2009 4:20 am

    @ Chris : I’m right there with you, was actually just coming to post that. Being a Mustang enthusiast I was disappointed he put Mustangs with rainbows anyways, but to find that it wasn’t even a Mustang? The twerp.

    0
  34. 34

    @ Thomas Strobl: I would say may be some designs may not inspire me but it doesn’t mean that they are sub standard. Each design has something for someone.

    Nice post, cheers!

    0
  35. 35

    francesco poroli

    April 22, 2009 8:47 am

    thanks for inclunding me in this list….
    cheers :-)
    francesco

    0
  36. 36

    Ghulam Abbas Khatri

    April 23, 2009 2:22 am

    great Akhtar Sheikha… great ..love it..

    0
  37. 37

    @Chris: You beat me to it, even to the year! Being a Mustang owner and having modeled a ’54 Bel Air in Lightwave, I thought I was supremely positioned to make that comment!

    0
  38. 38

    Cathedral Graphic Design

    May 4, 2009 10:55 am

    @ Everybody who commented about the Mustang…

    What kind of American is it anyway who doesn’t even know what a classic Mustang looks like? And does the Bel Air really look like a classic muscle? hehe

    At any rate, it was a great post, I like rainbows in general quite a bit and some of these were very well made! Mr Whizard, etc, great work.

    Moonshine Design was a little cheezy though, the ugly 350Z marred it… good illustration + uninteresting photography of a low-trim-line roadster doesn’t match.

    0
  39. 39

    I’m honored that you chose to list my image among so many greats. Thanks!

    0
  40. 40

    satyajeet prasad

    June 23, 2010 3:14 am

    Nice design. i think i should looks more design from you, very Good……………..

    0

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