After seeing some recent Type work by VicenĂ§ Fontanet (or, Drasik), in his recent project for âMiniblackâ,
I just had to give the effect a shot myself in Photoshop. Itâs a
wondeful little style that could easily be integrated into any dark
graphic design where some upbeat text is needed.
Step 1 â Choosing a Background
the best results with this effect, youâll want to use a dark
background. The background should have a hint of color, and should
avoid from being too dark (such as pure black). Being inspired from Drasikâs work, Iâll use a dark violet (#120612).
to get this out of the way, as you may notice throughout this tutorial,
there are LOTS of different ways to go about accomplishing this effect
â this is just the way I found to be most convenient.
Step 2 â Setting the Type
Weâll be setting the type in a not-so-traditional way, which will allow us to get a special layering.
Using the Type Tool, type whatever it is youâd like to apply the effect to, BUT only type one letter per layer. That is, you need to type a letter, apply the text, then create a new type layer with your next letter. When all is said and done, you should have a separate layer for each letter.
Youâre image probably looks something like this (Quick Note: Type used below is Century Gothic):
Well, that leaves something to be left desired.
Rather than wasting too much time trying to get things aligned perfectly, letâs handle it all in a quick step. Select the Move Tool. Create a selection around the first letter (Ctrl + Click the Layer Thumbnail in the Layers Palette). Next, Select ALL of the Type Layers (Click the Bottom Type Layers name, hold shift, then click the top Type Layers name). Now, in the Options bar, Click âAlign Bottom Edgesâ â the icon that looks like this
Deselect everything (Ctrl + D), and now start moving your individual letters so that they slightly overlap one another.
Step 3 â Add a Gradient
Create a new Layer above your type layers. Using the Gradient Tool, and a White to Transparent gradient,
fill in the work area so that the Gradient is not TOO OPAQUE, or TOO
TRANSPARENT where it overlaps with the text, but fades nicely in that
area. The gradient should move from top to bottom â Top being the most
opaque (Hold Shift to make a perfectly straight gradient).
Step 4 â Cutting out Letters
Imagine that weâre making shaped-cookies.
Itâs a stretch, but stay with me. In a way, this gradient will serve as
our âdoughâ, while the letters will be our âcookie cuttersâ. Those
individual type layers created earlier are tools we can use to create
shapes from the gradient.
Letâs go through it step by step and
see if it makes more sense. Create a selection of the layer contents
for your first letter (Ctrl + Click the Layer Thumbnail in the Layers Palette). Now, Select the Gradient Layer (By âSelectâ, I mean click the layer â do not select the layer contents. We want the selection of the first letter to remain). Copy (Ctrl + C) and Paste so that youâve created a copy of the gradient in the shape of the letter. If you were to disable ALL of the layers except for this new layer you just created, and the background, youâd now have this:
really a lot simpler than it sounds. Repeat this process for the rest
of the letters, always making sure to selecting the gradient layer (the dough) prior to cutting out your layer. When youâre finished, put away all your letters and gradient layers (delete them, or hide them).
Step 5 â Just Add Color!
may want to name all of your individual layers, that way you donât lose
track of which letter is which, but perhaps youâve got a manageable
number and thatâs not necessary.
Create a new layer above all your âgradient-lettersâ. Grab the Paint Bucket Tool, and a bright color (Iâm starting with #7fff5d). Create a selection of your first gradient-letter (Ignore any messages you may or may not see about no selection being shown), and fill in that selection with your selected color on the new layer. Set this layers Blending Mode to Screen.
Repeat this process for the remaining letters (each color on a new layer). Try using the same colors more than once every now and then.
Step 6 â Merge
When youâre sure that the type is set correctly, Merge all of your gradient-letters (Select the layers, then Ctrl + E). Then, Merge all of your colors into one layer (Make sure the blending mode is still set to screen).
should now have two layers â one with the plain gradient layers, the
other with the colors for the letters. We didnât have to do this, itâs
just easier to manage.
Step 7 â Getting the Glow
Duplicate your gradient-letters layer (Not the color layer). Apply a Gaussian Blur (See our Filters Tutorial) with value of 1-3 on this layer.
Repeat this step (Duplicate & Blur) on your Color layer. Set this layer to Lighten or Screen (use best judgment). Depending on the saturation and intensity of your colors, you may choose to duplicate the color layer a second time.
Using the Eraser Tool,
and a soft brush, go back and erase parts of the colored layers so that
the type appears to fade from color to a ghostly white.
Step 9 â Reflect
Select ALL of the layers being used for the text effect, then Duplicate them. Merge the duplicated version into one layer. Use the trendy Surface Reflection Technique shown in our 5 Essential Reflections for Photoshop Tutorial to mirror your type.
Step 10 â Adjust as Needed!
here on out, Iâll let you play on your own with the effect. Iâd
recommend playing with lighting effects in the background â simple
things like adding some highlights behind the textâŠ though you
certainly could go all out as Drasik does in his work!
Here are some additional steps I took to improve upon the effect:
with additional blurs can also add a bit of liveliness to the text. Try
Duplicating a layer, and applying a motion blur to see how that works
out for you!
Feel free to grab the PSD if youâre having any trouble!