Last week the new Man of Steel trailer was released and it is simply amazing. I remember watching the Superman movies when I was child and seeing the reboot of the movie brings me back to a lot of good memories. The visuals of this new movie are also really something, much darker and realistic than the previous ones. The Superman logo follows this same aesthetic and since the first time viewing the trailer I knew it must be the subject of a tutorial.

So in this tutorial we will show you how to create the Superman, Man of Steel logo using Illustrator and Photoshop. We will also utilize some stock photos for textures and the original poster for reference. The whole process will take from 3-5 hours depending on your pace. In the end it will be really fun to create and well worth the time spent.

Step 1

Let's start the symbol in Illustrator. With the Pen Tool (P) start creating the shield. Maker sure you have red for the stroke with a nice weight and using round corners.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Step 2

Now still using the Pen Tool, start creating the S. You can use the real logo for reference.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Step 3

If you notice, the Man of Steel logo has some details in the center, so let's try to replicate that using the Pen Tool. The stroke here is not really necessary because we will edit that in Photoshop later on.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Step 4

Go to Effect>3D>Extrue & Bevel Options. For the Angle use: -4º, 0º, 0º with 120º for the Perspective. Change the Depth to 35pt.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Step 5

Remove the caps of the 3D and then change the color to grey. Go to Object>Expand. Then go to Window>Pathfinder. Select Unite for the Shape Mode so you have one object.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Step 6

Now let's go to Photoshop. Create a new document. I am using 2880x1800 pixels. For the background use a gradient with white in the center and black on edges.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Step 7

Copy the objects from Illustrator and paste them in Photoshop. It's important to make sure that each object has its own layer, so you will have one for the 3D extrusion, one for the red symbol and 2 layers for the yellow details.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Step 8

Select one of the yellow details and go to Layer>Layer Styles. Select Bevel and Emboss and use the values below.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Step 9

Select Inner Glow and use the values in the image below.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Step 10

Last but no least, select Drop Shadow. Again use the image below for reference.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Step 11

You will have an effect like the image below. The idea of the layer styles was to add a subtle white stroke with a shadow.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Step 12

Group each layer into a folder, then for each folder do this: Go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal All. With the Brush Tool (B) and a very soft brush using black, paint in the areas marked below to hide some parts of the details.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Step 13

With the Brush Tool (B), and using a hard brush, paint a little dark detail in the center. If you look at the orginal, they have some sort of the same detail. Let's create now and adjust later on in the tutorial.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Step 14

Add a layer on top of the red symbol, the one that has the S and the shield. Group this new layer into a folder. With the Brush Tool (B) and a very soft brush, paint some dark areas with black at 20%.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Step 15

Select the layer of the red symbols and go to Layer>Layer Style. Start by selecting Bevel & Emboss and use the values below.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Step 16

Select Contour and use the default values.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Step 17

Select Inner Shadow. The idea of the inner shadow is to increase the strenght of the highlights.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Step 18

Now let's add a radial gradient on top with Multiply to create a more dramatic light effect.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Step 19

You can add more layers to make the dark areas a bit more strong, but in the end of these steps you will probably have something similar to the image below.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Step 20

Let's start adding some textures. Select the 3D layer and go to Layer>Layer Style>Color Overlay. Use yellow for the color. Place your metal texture on top of this layer, the one we are using is courtesy of Shutterstock and it's titled Metal plate steel background. Hi res texture by R-studio. After that, holding the Command(MAC)/Control(PC) keys, click on the thumb of the layer of the 3D object, that will create a marquee selection of the 3D area. Select the texture layer and group it into a folder, then with the folder selected go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection. You will mask the layer and make just the 3D area visible. Change the Blend Mode of the folder to Multiply.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Step 21

Add another layer and group it into a folder, repeat the masking process to make sure that everything you do will be only visible over the 3D area. Change the Blend Mode of the folder to Color Dodge, then with the layer select, paint some highlights with the Brush Tool (B) with a very soft brush and white for the color. Note: Start painting with 30% opacity to not make it too bright.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Step 22

Repeat the same process, but this time it's going to be to create the shadows. Use Linear Burn for the Blend Mode for the folder however. Also use the Lasso Tool (L) to create the nice transition in the 3D sides (1-4)

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Step 23

Select the 3D layer and the red symbol layer and duplicate them. After that merge those 2 layers into one and fill this new layer with black. Move the layer down to create a little shadow and go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Use 10 pixels for the Radius, also change the Blend Mode to Multiply at 80%.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Step 24

Let's import a new texture. This time we are using another image from Shutterstock, it's titled Metal background by Phiseksit. Use Soft Light for the Blend Mode.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Step 25

Duplicate the texture layer and move the layer position so it is on top of all other layers. Maker a Marquee Selection of the symbol only and go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection. The only area visible of the texture will be the one over the symbol. Change the Blend Mode to Overlay.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Step 26

Let's add another texture. This one this time is from Google Images and you can find it here http://www.texturex.com/albums/Metal-Textures/TextureX%20steel%20texture.... Place it at the top of all other textures and use Soft Light for the Blend Mode at 70%.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Step 27

Now let's add the final texture, this one will be underneath the last 2, but still on top of all other layers. You can download it at http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs50/f/2009/262/3/f/Scratched_Steel_Texture_b... . Use Soft Light for the Blend Mode as well.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Conclusion

Add another layer on top of all layers and group it into a folder. Change the Blend Mode of the folder to Linear Dodge at 80% Opacity. Select the layer in this folder and then with the Brush Tool (B) and a very soft brush, paint a spot light with white at the top of the symbol. After that your design is pretty much done. You can of course improve the details and textures, but the process won't change, so now it's up to you to make it the way you want it.

Man of Steel Symbol in Illustrator & Photoshop

Download Photoshop file

Download the Photoshop file used for this tutorial

About the author of this post

Abduzeedo is a blog about design. There are all sorts of articles for those who want to look for inspiration. Also you will find very useful tutorials for the most used applications out there, with a special selection of Photoshop Tutorials and Illustrator Tutorials. Of course there are other softwares conteplated like Pixelmator, Fireworks, and web design tutorials.