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advanced photoshop
Oct
8

Photoshop Tutorial: Create striking typography

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Anna-lisa Saywell

How to enhance your typefaces with lighting and texture using both Illustrator and Photoshop

Jennifer Cirpici

Step 1

Photoshop Tutorial: Create striking typography

We’re going to work first in Illustrator and then switch to Photoshop. Search for a big and swirly font. We downloaded the Creampuff font and set the colour not fully to black (for the gradients later). We made a line with the Pen tool set on Stroke, and edited it with the Width tool. Make the middle bigger and the ends small by dragging, and add lines to the edges of each letter.  We made these lines 1.5pt thick.

Step 2

Photoshop Tutorial: Create striking typography

Now we’re following the rest of the flow from each letter with more lines. Repeat Step 1 with the Width tool. These aren’t highlights, but lines that we’re going to blend, so make these lines longer; we used a weighting of 0.5 pt. Make sure each line has a different thickness in the middle for an extra nice effect.

Step 3

Photoshop Tutorial: Create striking typography

Go to Object>Blend>Specified Steps>20, then go to Object>Blend>Make. If this doesn’t look good, use Cmd/Ctrl+Z to undo, and make the lines thicker or the Specified Steps number smaller. You should end up with something similar to our screenshot. Repeat this step with each letter.

Step 4

Photoshop Tutorial: Create striking typography

Select both lines and click on Object>Expand. We put a black-to-white gradient on it. If you don’t see your lines clearly because of the gradient, you can always lower the opacity, change their direction or select the lines again and go to Object>Blend Options.

Step 5

Photoshop Tutorial: Create striking typography

We also give the highlights a gradient, but with less of a metallic look than the inner lines. To do this you need to select a highlight and go to Object>Expand Appearance. Make sure that the edges blend well into the black; you can do this by lowering the opacity of the gradient. Select all of the letters that make up your word and Object>Group them. Now with the Ellipse tool make two circles. To these we add another gradient, this time white-to-white with Opacity at 0%. Change your circle gradients to Radial and move to a position that makes the letters shine.

Step 6

Photoshop Tutorial: Create striking typography

Copy your text and paste, making the duplicate bigger and putting it in the same place as the original. Select the text and go to Object>Expand. Now erase everything outside the magnifying glasses and erase from the original word the parts inside the reflective glasses. Make sure you preserve a copy of the original text (by making it a hidden layer).

Step 7

Photoshop Tutorial: Create striking typography

This is the last step we’re going to do in Illustrator. With a black-to-white Radial gradient, create some bubbles around the letters for an extra touch. Because these bubbles are white, they blend well into the background. When you make something in Illustrator and you want to edit it in Photoshop, paste the AI file into Photoshop. By double-clicking on the layer you can directly edit it in Illustrator whenever you want.

Step 8

Photoshop Tutorial: Create striking typography

Now the fun stuff begins! Save the AI file and paste it into your Photoshop document. Choose additional elements – we used pearls to suit the design – and change it to black and white. Blur it with Gaussian Blur and paste it onto your word. If you use a graphics tablet, you can always make your own pearls with the Brush tool.

Step 9

Photoshop Tutorial: Create striking typography

Draw a couple of circles with the Ellipse tool, set them on Soft Light or Overlay and blend them into the letters. From now on we’re doing the final touches and adding some extra effects before we start the colouring. Remember that nothing has to be complicated and even little circles like this can make a good impression.

Step 10

Photoshop Tutorial: Create striking typography

Here we’re adding a handmade texture to the text. You can find a selection of watercolour textures on the disc to experiment with at this stage. You can also add a texture to the background – however, we wanted to keep this clean, so decided against it.

Step 11

Photoshop Tutorial: Create striking typography

With the Elliptical Marquee tool, select the magnifying glasses and go to Image>Apply Image then Blur>Gaussian Blur at 1.5 pixels. Also add a slight texture to the glasses. You can download some great textures from www.cgtextures.com, make your own or use the ones on the disc. Don’t forget to blur these textures as well for a cohesive finish.

Step 12

Photoshop Tutorial: Create striking typography

The way you colour something can influence your style, so try to put your own colour techniques into the piece. There are several ways to colour. For example, you can use the Brush tool and work in bright purple, applying Soft Light or Overlay blending, or you can use Color Balance.