If you do a simple search on Google or Yahoo with the search term: "Photoshop text effects"
, you will see there are millions of web pages
illustrating thousands of text effects on the Internet. If you look closely at these illustrations
and their categories, you will notice that the thousands of different text effects really are
many variations and combinations of styles and effects avaiable in traditional two-dimensional graphic
applications such as Photoshop, Paintshop Pro, or the open-source Gimp.
This article summarizes those basic features which I found essential and useful to my graphic
design work. By understanding the principles behind these popular effects well, you can then build
a solid foundation to come up with your own million design variations.
Depending upon your applications and needs, properly combined styles and effects can be very effective to
highlight and bring attention to your messages. You should try to use the following examples and tutorials
as a guide to accomplish your design's goals rather than just copying and following the techniques blindly
without any basic understanding. This will help you to come up with your own creative ideas and to acquire
the necessary steps to become a better designer.
Photoshop treats text as a special graphic object with certain transformation limitations. As a graphic object,
you can change its color, opacity, and layer styles. Certain layer styles such as gradient or stroke are faster,
more accurate and more effective to render when the text string remains a text object. This is because a text
object contains vector information regarding the typeface, font size, and font weight, so at any display scale,
the border and the surface area of each character in the text string are known.
As a text object, you can insert, delete characters in the text string, and adjust the text alignment properties.
However, certain operations such as perspective transformation and scaling can be applied to a pure graphic
object only. A text object can be converted to a graphic object by rasterizing its layer. In Photoshop, there is
no facility yet to convert an imported graphic object back to text.
Modern computers give a designer choice of millions of colors at her fingertips. The following default character
string "MyChar" is shown with the commercial typeface Impact at 24 point (150 dpi resolution) in different color
settings. On this page, you can define your own text string and change the color of the text and its background
interactively to see your own variation.
Click one of the eyedropper icons to display the color picker to choose
your favorite color for either the text or its background interactively. This option requires
Variation 1: Simple colors
. The most basic and boring form of a text object is a string of characters
displayed in its text color, also known as the foreground color, to a color background. In many cases, a very
simple design with careful choices of colors can often achieve the desired results much more effective than a
Colors are known to associate with moods. Effective use of colors on simple designs often produces visual appeal,
a sense of elegance and formality.
The use of this variation in your design requires very careful attention to the typeface, its font color and
the background color. Since there are two basic colors and there is no other visual effect involved, the colors
set the mood of the design.
Dark colors tend to imply negative emotions such as sadness, fatigue, anger, confusion, gravity, prohibitions,
difficulties, or masculinity, etc.. Bright colors tend to imply positive energies and thoughts such as freshness,
love, hope, fragility, femininity, etc.. Since color is very much a subjective perception, a person's cultural
background and traditions greatly influence their response to color. The contours and shape of the typeface have
the secondary influence on the overall design. These text attributes help enhance the interpretation of colors
in its contrast or harmonious design settings.