Decorating Text

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Creating text and then decorating it is often a daunting task, not knowing what colors to use and how to achieve effective results with the resources you have is often hard to overcome. Keeping your text simple but still having it stand out is an art in itself. Here we learn lots of techniques on decorating text like using textures, brushes and patterns. Pick and mix which techniques you use or just try all of them and end up with an image like this.

Preview of Final Results


Decorating Text Photoshop Tutorial

Step 1


Before we start on the actual image, we first need to create a simple pattern which we will use later. Create a new document with dimensions 20x20px then go edit>preferences>grid… and use these settings. Create a new layer (Shift+Ctrl+N), hide the background layer then set the foreground color to #808080. Now recreate the image shown here using whatever method you feel comfortable with, the polygonal lasso tool is a good choice for what we want to achieve. Now save the pattern by going edit>define pattern, after saving, close this document. When making patterns like this one it is important to make sure that they will repeat when tiled, there are various methods of achieving this like the offset filter, however with a pattern this simple it easy enough just to visualize it.


Step 2


Create a new document, this time with dimensions of 1024x768px then select the gradient tool (G) and open the gradient editor. Click the arrow in the presets box and choose pastels, select the first gradient in this set. Using a linear gradient drag from the bottom of the page to the top, holding Shift to keep it vertical. Lastly change the opacity of this layer to 75%. A gradient is always a strong way to begin a piece like this but does require a texture over it.


Step 3


Here we will create our background texture, first find a simple image of clouds, the one I used can be found here. Copy and paste this image then resize it to fit the page. Next invert the colors (Ctrl+I) and set the blending mode to screen. Now add a bit more depth to the background by doing exactly the same with another image of clouds like this one. When adding a texture to any piece on Photoshop, always experiment with all the blending modes as some will look better than others depending on the texture you use.

Step 4

Before you start on the foreground, a good idea is to set up some swatches that you will use regularly throughout this piece. Double click on the foreground color and create a swatch of these three colors; #b5005e, #39d336, #00baff.


Step 5


Okay now for the text, start by creating a new layer group named ‘foreground’, it will become clear why we did this later on. Select the text tool (T) and draw a text box that goes from the left of the page to the right. Type your text in then highlight it all and go window>character to bring up the character settings. Use all the same settings as shown here. The reason for the wide character spacing is to allow enough space for the borders we will add.


Step 6

Right click on the text layer and select blending options and add a drop shadow, outer glow, bevel and emboss, color overlay, pattern overlay and a stroke. Use the settings shown below. You will notice that, although we used the drop shadow and the outer glow, we just mimicked the effect produced by a stroke. The blending options can be very powerful when used in this way so take words like drop shadow as a guideline rather than an instruction.









  1. Very nice art work. My path was not so smooth, need more practice. I could hide some imperfections in color mode:-). My pattern creation was not cool, either. TU so much for sharing.

  2. Still The First Step to Create Pattern was confusing. What you mean by use polygon tool and make the first image. We didn’t get. Anyone one can help? What it really means?

    • I got a little confused there too. What you do is create a new layer, hide the background by clicking the eye looking button on the left of it, click your color square at the bottomish left and put in the hex code number #808080 if you dont know what that is, it is the bottom middle option when you click the color square. Then just set layer 1 to that color. Next you use the polygonal lasso tool to recreate the first image that was shown. So just use the lasso tool to select parts to delete to RECREATE the FIRST image shown. Hope I helped!