Design a Vintage Baseball Card in Photoshop



Tutorial Resources

Step 1: Set Up the Photoshop Document

Create a new Photoshop document (File > New) at 600x750px.

Use the Gradient Tool (G) to make a subtle gradient on the Background layer.

Step 2: Creating the Card’s Background

Using the Rectangle Tool (U), create a rectangle (360x504px) that will represent the baseball card. Fill it with white.

Create another rectangle (which will be the inner area where the content will be) with the Rectangle Tool (U). The inner rectangle is 15px smaller on each side compared to the bigger, white rectangle. Fill the inner rectangle with a light blue color (#1ba2f7).

Make sure to reset your Foreground and Background colors to black and white by pressing D on keyboard. Create a new layer. Then go to Filter > Render > Clouds.

Cmd-click/Ctrl-click on the inner blue rectangle’s vector mask thumbnail to create a selection, make sure the clouds layer is the active layer, then go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection.

Change the Blend Mode of the clouds layer to Overlay and set its Opacity to 90%.

Import the New York Yankees Stadium image (listed in tutorial resources) in our design. We aren’t going for historical accuracy here, obviously. Use the image below as a reference on how to position the image.

Apply the Gaussian Blur filter at 1.5px Radius.

Afterwards, set the Blend Mode to Multiply.

Duplicate the stadium layer twice. Select the duplicated layer that is just above the stadium layer and go to Filter > Stylize > Find Edges.

Move on to the second duplicated layer and apply Filter > Stylize > Glowing Edges. Use these settings:

  • Edge Width: 2
  • Edge Brightness: 8
  • Smoothness: 10

While the "stadium glowing edges" layer is still the active layer, choose Image > Adjust > Desaturate (Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + U). Invert the colors of the layer by pressing Cmd/Ctrl + I and then set the Opacity to 60%.

Select all stadium layers and group them (Cmd/Ctrl + G). Cmd/Ctrl + click on the blue rectangle (inner area) to create the selection. Make sure you’re on the stadium group, then go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection. Lower the layer group’s Opacity to 90%.

Step 3: Isolating the Baseball Player

Download and open the Joe DiMaggio photo in Photoshop. Choose the Pen Tool (P) from the Tools Panel, pick Paths mode in the Options Bar, and then carefully draw around the player.

In the Paths Panel (Window > Paths), Control-click/right-click on the path you drew with the Pen Tool and then choose Make Selection from the menu that appears.

Copy and paste Mr. DiMaggio in a new Photoshop document so that we can process him further before we placing him into our design.

Step 4: Coloring the Baseball Player

Let’s colorize Joe DiMaggio’s black and white photo.

Create selection around Joe DiMaggio (Cmd-click/Ctrl-click on the layer’s thumbnail).

Go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color and fill this layer with the color we are going to use for the skin (#e2b97b).

Change the Blend Mode of the layer to Color. Click on the vector mask thumbnail in the Layers Panel (the one on the right that’s primarily black) so that we’ll be painting on it.

With the Brush Tool (B) (Hardness set to 100%, Foreground color set to black), start painting on the vector mask to remove the color from areas other than the face and hands.

If you make a mistake, simply select the Eraser Tool (E) and paint back the area that you accidentally masked out.

Following the previous process, let’s create another solid color fill layer (Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color), but this time we are going to fill this layer with navy blue color (#00005a).

Using the Brush Tool (B) on the vector mask, remove the navy blue color from the subject’s face, hands, baseball bat and shoes so that the color only shows up in his uniform. Quite simple and easy.

Let’s look at the image right now; you should have something like this:

Let’s add some color to the lips (#ff9253).

To finish coloring, we will create one more solid color fill layer with black as the color, which will help us give more intense colors on the shoes, socks and sleeves. Again, go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color, fill it with black (#000000). This time, set Blend Mode to Soft Light. Use the Brush Tool (B) on the vector mask to remove the color from all areas other than his shoes, socks and sleeves.

Select all layers and merge them into one layer (Cmd/Ctrl + E).

Cmd-click/Ctrl-click on the thumbnail of the merged layer to make a selection around Joe DiMaggio, then copy and paste him in our design.

Step 5: Place the Baseball Player on Card

First, adjust the size (scale it down) and the position of the player.

Duplicate the baseball player layer twice and set the Blend Mode for the duplicated layers to Multiply.

Select the layer just above the original baseball player layer and then apply Filter > Stylize > Find Edges. Lower this layer’s Opacity to 20%.

Next, click on the other duplicated layer (which should be on top of the first duplicated layer). Go to Filter > Stylize > Glowing Edges and use the following settings:

  • Edge Width: 1
  • Edge Brightness: 7
  • Smoothness: 1

Desaturate this layer by going to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate (Shift + Cmd/Ctrl + U).

Invert the layer’s colors by pressing Cmd/Ctrl + I.

Set the layer’s Opacity to 60%.

By doing this, we have achieved an illustrated look of the baseball player without having to laboriously paint it manually.

Place all baseball player layers into a layer group (Layer > Group Layers), then make a selection around the inner area of the card (Cmd-click/Ctrl-click on the blue rectangle vector mask). Then go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection to hide parts of the baseball player that are outside of the inner area of the card.

Step 6: Add Text and Logo to the Card

Grab the Pen Tool (P), choose Shape Layers mode in the Options Bar, and then create the shape at the bottom of the card, shown below. Fill the shape with a blue color (#023b9b).

Download and install the free League Gothic font (if you don’t have it installed yet). Using the Horizontal Type Tool (T), add some text on the card. Use the following image as a reference for the font settings.

Grab the New York Yankees logo and import it into our work. Resize it a bit (make it smaller) using Free Transform (Cmd/Ctrl +T) and position it as shown below.

Step 7: Adjusting the Card Colors

We are going to adjust the color of the card now by adding a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. This will change the card’s colors so that it has a faded, vintage look.

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation. Change the Saturation to -50.

Step 8: Old Print Texturing and Vintage Coloring

We will reproduce the "old print", grainy texturing effect and vintage coloring.

Create a new layer (Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + N) on top of all the layers. Set the Foreground color to orange (#fc7500) and fill the new layer with this color (Alt + Backspace). Use Filter > Noise > Add Noise with the Amount at 10% and Distribution set to Gaussian (also make sure that the Monochromatic option is checked).

Change the Blend Mode to Multiply and Opacity to 40%.

Cmd-click/Ctrl-click on the card body layer mask (it’s the white rectangle) to make a selection around it. Be sure you are on the orange layer and then go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection.

Download this Film Texture and open it in Photoshop. Place it into our main document.

Change the Blend Mode of the film texture layer to Soft Light and set the Opacity of the layer to 30%. This will give our work an aged, worn look.

Apply a layer mask on the film layer just like we did for the orange noise layer.

Finally add a Drop Shadow layer effect to the card body layer to give it a nice touch.

That’s it, we’re done!

Tutorial Summary

In this tutorial, we did a lot. We utilized photos, textures, blending modes, filters and adjustment layers to achieve the final design. You discovered different design techniques such as coloring a black and white photo, creating an "old print", grainy texturing effect using the Noise filter, reproducing an illustrated effect using Stylize filters, how to use adjustment layers to control the scene’s colors, and more.

I encourage you to try different photos, textures, shapes and fonts to create your own unique vintage baseball card. Make sure to show off your work by linking to your version in the comments and adding it to our Flickr group so we can see what you can come up with. Thanks for reading!


Download Source Files

  • Jasmina Stanojevic

    Great image manipulation Nikola! Amazing tutorial as always!

  • Well done, man! Looking great! πŸ™‚

  • Well done, man! Looking great! πŸ™‚

  • Richard Fleming

    I’ll trade you my Joe Baseball and Babe Ruth rookie cards for your Willie Mays.

  • Neil Schierstedt

    Where is the Mr. Coffee?

  • Kevin W.

    Killer Tutorial! Love it.

  • Your tutorials are always choc-a-bloc with tips and tricks – and the end results are consistently awesome! Thank you for another great one – can’t wait to try some of your techniques out.

  • Nikola, awesome as usual πŸ˜‰

  • conwayeast

    Awesome tutorial man. You’re one of the few people who actually show everything step by step. You don’t just say I made a few adjustments here and changed some blending modes. You actually show us what you did. I hate the Yankees, but I love the tutorial!

  • Good tutorial…

  • thanks Jack, good to know you like it!

  • Thank you so much for nice words Heath! I’m so glad you find useful stuff in my tutorials.

  • thanks man! back in the days i start reading tutorials, i notice that some small steps are missing quite often, and I know how much time you can loose trying to figure out what is wrong. I really try to explain every step.

  • thanks Jasmina, glad you enjoy image manipulation!

  • thanks buddy, when you say looking great that means something!

  • Superb tutorial Nikola!! Well written and so original
    It is the best PS tutorial I’ve seen in months!!

  • Skills

    perfect like always

  • Andika

    Hey, thanks, Nikola. Nice tutorial. This is what I made: πŸ˜€

  • awesome tutorial, really easy to follow. Thank you for not leaving out some of the minor details, that some tutorials do.

    I used your tutorial to make a Heath Bell baseball card and feature it on our website for our monthly Typography Desktop Calendar Wallpapers.

    Check it out.

  • Very cool!

  • Nice job Andika!

  • Good job Andika!

  • nice work Andy!

  • thank you Jacob and Nikola !

  • Rashmita

    Nice very nice tutorials

  • Aris

    Hi Nikola.

    I’m Graphic Designer from the Philippines (currently working in Saudi Arabia).

    Just want to say thank you very much for this wonderful tutorial. Very interesting & inspiring indeed.

    Hope you don’t mind if I do share it in the Photoshop Workshops for Graphic Artists that I conduct here in KSA? Please let me know what you think.

    Again, salamat sa iyo (thank you) & keep up the great work.

    God bless.

  • This is an awesome idea!! aside from the baseball theme actually this tutorial made me think of other graphic themes to work on. thank you so much for the inspiration. I need this for the project i am working at right now. All the best! Cheers!

  • Wow! what a nice work hahah! a little bit patience in doing this kind of works, but i know if you are inspired in doing it, you can do it! great job. It will help me to apply this tips to my work…well done! GBU

  • Absolutely amazing effect, and every step clearly explained. I’m putting on a baseball cap so I can take it off to you– thank you, sir!!

  • Becky

    Quite amazing effect and nice tutorial!!I learn it a lot!~really thank you!

  • Doctor Dan

    Wow! Super. So nice, as others have said, that you take it step by step and really teach others. Thank you!

  • Patrick
  • thx πŸ™‚

  • dave

    This is awesome, I was just going through many pictures I took during the season and trying to figure out some cool things to do with them. I think I know now.

  • dolores

    Good teaching tutorial – thanks!

  • Jan Wall

    I was at this point “Cmd-click/Ctrl-click on the inner blue rectangle’s vector mask thumbnail to create a selection, make sure the clouds layer is the active layer, then go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection” and I did as stated but could not select the blue triangle. At this point how many layers are there? Is the blue triangle on a separate layer? I’m on Photoshop CS4 Mac. Thanks for this tutorial and your help.

  • Rachel

    Great tutorial! I was able to follow it really well, now I can use these techniques and apply them to my own work πŸ™‚

  • Fantastic tutorial, learnt a lot in an hour or two!

    I’ve done one of a football player in the UK @Tim_Cahill

    Used to collect stickers when I was growing up

  • Nice tutorial


  • Herbert

    Im becoming master at photoshop! thanks to Nikola


  • Alysia

    great Tutorial, Love it! even I’m little bit lost as I’m a begginer….but it’s really helpfull, thanks for sharing.

  • Alexandre SimΓ΅es

    Great Nikola Lazarevic.

    Mostra como a simplicidade Γ© o melhor de tudo, igual ao conceito da Bauhaus.

    Congratulations, buddy

  • Lori

    I can’t thank you enough! It was a perfect tutorial and taught me lots of new things…so thanks for sharing.

  • Ani

    Sadly, the images aren’t appearing πŸ™
    ” 502 Bad Gateway ” it says!

  • Ray

    Nikola, thank you very much for this tutorial. I came across this post a couple of days ago and I was thrilled to see this. Since I love baseball and my son is a Yankees fan I was sold. I had to make one of my own. And I did. Although I am not a skilled photoshopper I managed to get it done. Because of my enthousiasm I immediately had my son dressed up in Yankees uniform and took a picture of him indoors. First result was not to my satisfaction. Today had him dressed up again, took some pictures photoshopped it and now I am very pleased with the result. I made it with photoshop elements. Took some shortcuts with your source files but I am pleased. This tutorial taught me a lot. Thanks you very much.

  • margo

    Hi! I can’t seem to fill the selection with the colour. (The Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Colour) part. My selection stays grey/black. Do you have any idea why?

    Great tutorial, btw.

  • David Monseur

    This is fantastic, however, I’m having difficulties at the end of Step 2. I can group the stadium layers and click on the blue rectangle (inner area) to create the selection. Next step is my problem. “Make sure you’re on the stadium group, then go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection.”

    “Reveal Selection” is whited-out and not an option from my drop down menu. What is it I’m doing wrong? Thank you!

  • matthew Keenan

    i am doing a marketing project for school is there any way to make a vintage card design of myself looking similar to a Honus Wagner card

  • Phil Griggs

    This is awesome! Stumble across this looking for something else. But my question is this. Can I do this in Photoshop Elements 9? Don’t have regular photoshop?


    Phil Griggs

  • In your Photoshop document’s canvas, do you still have a marquee selection around the blue rectangle when you go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection? Once you have a selection around the blue rectangle, in the Layers Panel, click on the stadium group to make it the active layer. Then go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection.

    Let me know if you’re still experiencing issues.

  • Hey Phil. I’m not familiar with the Photoshop Elements 9 interface, but it’s worth a shot. When I used Photoshop Elements (way back in the day), I only used it for simple photo-editing (like cropping and enhancing exposure).

    You’d probably have to work around and modify a lot of the techniques being described in this tutorial if you were going to use Photoshop Elements.

    Let me know if you try it out and were able to come out with a good outcome. (Post a link to your final result as well!)

  • bukk78

    Thanks a lot, i love it.

  • I loved this tutorial…very straight forward and easy to understand! Here’s a link to what I created for our company Christmas card titled ‘Home For The Holidays’. Thanks again for this post!

  • Rory Edwards

    Thanks so much – your tutorials are great, keep ’em coming.

    Here is my attempt –

  • Kim Gorman

    Thank you so much, I am using this to create a baseball card for my uncle who was recently killed in a tragic auto accident. He was an avid baseball player and I think it is a brilliant tribute to an amazing man.

  • fariz

    Thanks so much mr. Nikola Lazarevic – your tutorials are great!!