Colorful Image Typography

PREVIEW

In this tutorial, we’re going to make a typographic poster from a simple photo using Photoshop techniques. I haven’t done something like this before despite the fact that I started doing typography both in GIMP and Photoshop. Filling out an image with different fonts appears so cool to me and it inspires me to do one.

The described effects look nice on portraits or any other images with good contrast and light background, but you can easily adjust the contrast and make the background lighter using the different tools and filters in Photoshop.

Step 1 : Choose your photo

In Adobe Photoshop, open your chosen image and adjust the contrast (Image>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast…). The image used can be downloaded HERE.

Step 2 : Create various text brushes

Create a new document (File>New) in a size that’s smaller than your photo: the specifics don’t really matter. Press D to set the Foreground color to black. Use the Type tool (T) to type several different words in various fonts and sizes (in this case we used a person’s name). One at a time, draw a selection around each word with the Rectangular Marquee tool (M), and from the Edit menu, choose Define Brush Preset. Name each brush in the Brush Name dialog and click OK.

Step 3 : Selecting the shadows

Switch back to the photograph (Background layer). From the Select menu, choose Color Range. From the Select drop-down menu in the Color Range dialog, choose Shadows and click OK. (In our example, nothing in the background was selected. If parts of the background are selected in your photo, see the next step for removing those selected areas.)

Then, press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to copy the selected pixels onto a new layer. Press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to copy the selected pixels onto a new layer. Click back on the Background layer in the Layers panel to activate it.

Step 4 : Selecting the Midtones

Go back to the Select menu and choose Color Range again. From the Select drop-down menu in the Color Range dialog, choose Midtones and click OK. If (as in this example) some of the background is selected, use the Lasso tool (L) with the Option key (PC: Alt key) held down to circle the areas you don’t want selected. Then, press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to copy the selected pixels onto a new layer.

Step 5 : Fill the layers with black and gray

Click the Eye icon next to the Background layer in the Layers panel to hide that layer from view. Click on the midtones layer (Layer 2) and from the Edit menu choose Fill. Use 50% Gray, check the Preserve Transparency box, and click OK. Then, activate the shadow layer (Layer 1) and use the Fill command again, except this time use Black with Preserve Transparency checked. You should have a very basic portrait made from black and 50% gray.

Step 6 : Fine-tune the results and merge down layers

If necessary, show the original Background (click where the Eye icon used to be) and use the Brush tool (B) to paint with black on the shadow layer, gray on the midtones layer, or use the Eraser tool (E) to completely remove areas. (Note: For gray, click on the Foreground color swatch, enter R:128, G:128, and B:128 in the Color Picker, and click OK.) In this example, we added a little more definition to the ears by painting with gray on the midtones layer. Once you’re satisfied, click on the top layer (the shadow layer) and press Command-E (PC: Ctrl-E) to merge it with the midtones layer.

Step 7 : Adjust brush settings and apply some texts

Click the Create a New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. Press D to set your default colors. Press Command-Delete (PC: Ctrl-Backspace) to fill the new layer with white. Choose one of your custom brushes from the Brush Picker in the Options Bar, and in the Brushes panel (Window>Brushes), click on the words “Brush Tip Shape.” Adjust the Spacing so there’s space between each word. Under Shape Dynamics, vary the size and rotation of the brush. As you paint on the white layer, experiment with the Shape Dynamics. Repeat with your other custom brushes. For now, just get some “text paint” on the layer—we’ll continue painting in a moment.

Step 8 : Copy the image

Create a new layer and drag it above the black-and-gray portrait layer. Press Command-Delete (PC: Ctrl-Backspace) to fill it with white. This will provide a white background behind our image. Hide all the layers except the black-and-gray portrait layer, and then click on that layer to make it active. Press Command-A (PC: Ctrl-A) to Select All and then Command-C (PC: Ctrl-C) to Copy.

Step 9 : Paste image into the layer mask

Show all layers and activate the layer with the painted words. Click on the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to add a layer mask. Hold down Option (PC: Alt) and click on the layer mask thumbnail (this will hide the painted text and show just the mask). Press Command-V (PC: Ctrl-V) to paste the copied pixels onto the mask. Press Command-D (PC: Ctrl-D) to Deselect. Press Command-I (PC: Ctrl-I) to Invert the mask (your mask should look like a negative of the black-and-gray pixel image that you pasted).

Step 10 : Add more texts with varying brushes

Activate the painted text layer (not the mask) by clicking on the layer thumbnail, and continue painting using the different custom brushes you created. You can also continue to experiment with the brush settings for Size, Spacing, and Shape Dynamics. (Although you don’t need a pressure sensitive pen for this technique, it sure helps!)

Step 11 : Add a new layer with random texts

The painted text will only appear inside the white and gray areas of the mask. To add a bit more randomness to the portrait, add a new layer above the painted text layer. Then use the same text brushes to add a few words here and there outside the boundaries of the mask.

Step 12 : Apply Gradient

With the image with layer mask active, click the New fill icon below the layers palette then select Gradient…Choose the yellow, red, blue gradient in the selection box, click Ok. Set blend mode to Overlay.

And here’s the final result:

Shiny Chrome Text Effect

Preview

Here’s the final image we are going to make:

Preview

Preview

Step 1. Make a scanline background.

To do this, create a new document, 1×6 pixels. Set foreground color to gray (50%) to fill the layer created. Next, set the foreground color to a lighter gray than the first one (35%), pick the Pencil Tool and shade one-third of the rectangular shape we made (e.g., the top part).

Step 2. Create a new document.

Open a new document, 1200×600 pixels, fill with the scanline pattern you’ve just created, then fill layer with blue color.

scanline (gray)

scanline (gray)

scanline (blue)

scanline (blue)

Step 3. Type the text.

With the foreground color set to white, type the text you want to work with. You can use the serpentine font like the one I used here.

serpentine font

serpentine font

Step 4. Applying the layer styles.

With the correct settings and values in applying the different layer styles, we will be able to create a beautiful and shiny chrome text effect here. Using a different font and color background may give different results. Experiment value variations to meet the desired outcome. Afterall, your own creativity and originality is the most important and which this tutorial hopes to give inspiration.

The following guides you through the process of the layer style application.

4.1 Bevel and emboss

Bevel and Emboss

Bevel and Emboss

4.2 Contour

Contour

Contour

4.3 Stroke

Stroke

Stroke

4.4 Drop Shadow

Drop Shadow

Drop Shadow

Done!

Variations

You can do your own style and variations, like the ones I did below. To do it, create a new layer above all the layers in the layers palette, fill that with any background you want (Select>All, Edit>Copy, Edit>Paste), then make a clipping mask (by right-clicking the layer, then select Create clipping mask).

variation1

variation2

Text Reflection Effect

There have been countless tutorials on how to make a text reflection using Photoshop, but then I would like to share my own way of doing it, nevertheless. So easy, you can do it maybe in 5 minutes depending how fast you deal with it. Let’s start right away then…

This is the image we’re working with, step-by-step:

Step 1 : Create a new document (File>New). You may follow the settings I did below:

Step 2 : Double-click the layer (Background) on the layer dialog box. That would then be changed into an unlocked layer named “Layer 0”.


Step 3 : Fill layer with black (Edit>Fill>Black).

Step 4 : Type text. Grab the text tool (that big T located in the Tools box), choose the font type and size you want, big bold font is preferable. I used Gill Sans MT here.



Hit the check icon located on the top right of your screen to get rid of that line below your text and accepting what you just typed (e.g., “REFLECTION”).

Step 5 : Resize and reposition the text. To do this, go to Edit>Free Transform. Just drag the handler (adjustment points) to enlarge and reposition the text. Hit Enter when done.

Step 6 : Duplicate the text layer. Right-click the active layer (REFLECTION) then select “Duplicate layer…”. You have then your “REFLECTION copy” by now as seen in your layer dialog box.

Step 7 : Flip the text vertically. You can do this by going to Edit>Transform>Flip vertical. You should have the flipped text by now, overlapping the original text. Grab the Move tool then drag down the flipped text while pressing the Shift key. Release mouse when done. You should have something like the one below.

Step 8 : Create layer mask. With the “REFLECTION copy” being the active layer, click the “Add layer mask” icon located below the layer dialog panel (that little square with a white circle in it).
We are doing this to make a fading effect on the flipped text we just created.

Step 9 : Make a gradient. Grab the gradient tool, then select Linear gradient. While holding the Shift key, make a gradient out of your mouse from bottom up to the middle.

This is what it looks like now:

You can stop here actually. Most tutorials end here. Well, for me, I’d like to add a little bit more effect on the text. I don’t want it to be too flat. Let’s apply more layer style to make the text stand out.

Step 10 : Apply layer style. Right-click the existing active layer (“REFLECTION copy”) then select Blending Options. With the Layer Style dialog box in view, check Inner Shadow, then hit Ok.

Step 11 : Apply layer style again. This time, right-click the original text layer (“REFLECTION”), hit Blending Options, then check Inner Shadow again. Just leave the default values as is. Hit Ok.

Finally, this is what it looks like now… and done!

Image in Text – Photoshop Tutorial

Here’s one of the first text effects I’ve learned in Photoshop. I remember quite well I made one for the birthday of my friend, sort of a birthday postcard, with “Happy Birthday” inscribed on it. I posted this to his Facebook wall and he is so delighted and gave his sweetest thanks. I was so happy for it. So, here we are, I’d like to share it too!

Step 1: Open A Photo To Place Inside Your Text
First, we need the image that we’re going to place inside of our text. I’ll use this panoramic photo of Boracay (a famous tourist destination in the Philippines):

Step 2: Duplicate The Background Layer
If we look in the Layers palette, we can see that we currently have one layer, named Background. This layer contains our image. We need to duplicate this layer, and the easiest way to do that is by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+J (Win) / Command+J (Mac). If we look once again in the Layers palette, we see that we now have two layers. The original Background layer is on the bottom, and a copy of the Background layer, which Photoshop automatically named “Layer 1”, is sitting above it:

Step 3: Add A New Blank Layer Between The Two Layers
Next, we need to add a new blank layer between the Background layer and “Layer 1”. Currently, “Layer 1” is the layer that’s selected in the Layers palette. We can tell which layer is selected because the selected layer is always highlighted in blue. Normally, when we add a new layer, Photoshop places the new layer directly above whichever layer is currently selected, which means that Photoshop would place the layer above “Layer 1”. That’s not what we want. We want the new layer to be placed below “Layer 1”. Here’s a useful trick. To add a new layer below the currently selected layer, hold down your Ctrl (Win) / Command (Mac) key and click on the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette. Holding down Ctrl (Win) / Command (Mac) is the trick to placing the layer below the currently selected layer:
We now have a new blank layer named “Layer 2” sitting directly between the Background layer and “Layer 1”:

Step 4: Fill The New Layer With White
At the moment, our new layer is completely blank. Let’s fill it with white so it will appear as a white background after we’ve placed our image inside the text. Go up to the Edit menu at the top of the screen and choose Fill. This will bring up Photoshop’s Fill dialog box. Select White for the Contents option at the top of the dialog box, then click OK to exit out of the dialog box

Nothing will appear to have happened in the document window, since the image on “Layer 1” is blocking “Layer 2” from view, but if we look at the layer preview thumbnail for “Layer 2” in the Layers palette, we can see that sure enough, the layer is now filled with solid white:

Step 5: Select “Layer 1” In The Layers Palette
It’s time to add our text, but in order to see the text when we add it, we’ll need to have the text appear above “Layer 1”, otherwise the image on “Layer 1” will block the text from view. To make sure we can see our text, click on “Layer 1” in the Layers palette to select it. This way, as soon as we begin typing, Photoshop will create a new type layer for us and place the type layer directly above “Layer 1”:

Step 6: Select The Type Tool
To add the text, we’ll need Photoshop’s Type Tool, so select the Type Tool (that big T) from the Tools palette. You can also quickly select the Type Tool by pressing the letter T on your keyboard:

Step 7: Choose A Font In The Options Bar
With the Type Tool selected, go up to the Options Bar at the top of the screen and choose whichever font you want to use for the effect. Generally, fonts with thick letters work best. I’m going to choose Arial Black. Don’t worry about the font size for now:

Step 8: Set White As Your Foreground Color
This step isn’t absolutely necessary, but to help me see my text, I’m going to use white for my text color. The color you choose for your text doesn’t really matter since we’ll be filling the text with an image in a moment, but it still helps to be able to see the text when we’re adding it. To set the text color to white, all we need to do is set Photoshop’s Foreground color to white. First, press the letter D on your keyboard, which will reset the Foreground and Background colors to their defaults. Black is the default color for the Foreground color and white is the default color for the Background color. To swap them so white becomes the Foreground color, press the letter X on your keyboard. If you look at the Foreground and Background color swatches near the bottom of the Tools palette, you’ll see that white is now the Foreground color (the left swatch):

Step 9: Add Your Text
With the Type Tool selected, your font chosen and white as your Foreground color, click inside your document window and add your text. I’m going to type the word “EASYTWEAKS”, obviously the name of my blog:

When you’re done, click on the checkmark (located at the top) up in the Options Bar to accept the text.

Step 10: Resize and Reposition The Text With The Free Transform Command
You’ll probably need to resize and reposition your text at this point, and we can do both of those things using Photoshop’s Free Transform command. Press Ctrl+T (Win) / Command+T (Mac) on your keyboard to bring up the Free Transform box and handles around your text, then drag any of the handles to resize the text. If you want to resize the text without distorting the look of it, hold down your Shift key and drag any of the four corner handles. You can also resize the text from its center by holding down the Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) key as you drag. Finally, to move the text, click anywhere inside the Free Transform box and drag your mouse to move the text around inside the document window:

Press Enter (Win) / Return (Mac) when you’re done to accept the transformation and exit out of the Free Transform command.

Step 11: Drag The Text Layer Below “Layer 1”
Now that we have our text the way we want it, we need to move the type layer below the text in the Layers palette. Click on the text layer, then simply drag it down below “Layer 1”. You’ll see a thick black line appear between “Layer 1” and “Layer 2”:

Release your mouse button when the black line appears to drop the type layer into place between “Layer 1” and “Layer 2”.

Step 12: Select “Layer 1” Again
Click once again on “Layer 1” in the Layers palette to select it:

The text will temporarily disappear inside the document window now that the image on “Layer 1” is blocking it from view.

Step 13: Create A Clipping Mask
To create the illusion that the photo is inside the text, we need to use a clipping mask. This will “clip” the photo on “Layer 1” to the text on the layer directly below it. Any areas of the photo that appear directly above the letters will remain visible in the document. The rest of the photo will disappear from view.

With “Layer 1” selected in the Layers palette, go up to the Layer menu at the top of the screen and choose Create Clipping Mask:

The result above will appear at once when the Ok button is clicked on the dialog box. In the layer dialog box, you can also see the change in the icon of the active layer (e.g., only the text with image in it appears, and the background is nowhere to be seen).

Step 14: Add A Drop Shadow (Optional)
To complete my effect, I’m going to add a drop shadow to the letters. If you want to follow along, first select the type layer in the Layers palette, then click on the Layer Styles icon (fx) at the bottom of the Layers palette:

Select Drop Shadow from the list of layer styles that appears:

This brings up Photoshop’s Layer Style dialog box set to the Drop Shadow options in the middle column. I’m going to leave most of the options alone, but I’ll lower the Opacity of the drop shadow down to about 75% so it’s not quite so intense, and I’ll set the Angle of the drop shadow to 30°:

Click OK when you’re done to apply the drop shadow an exit out of the Layer Style dialog box. Here is my final “image in text” effect:

And there we have it!