Illuminated Text

with 13 Comments

 

Is your title dull or boring? Create a WOW factor by illuminating the text!

Step One: Open a Photo

  • Open a photo (File > Open).
  • Press the letter D to reset the Color Chips to the default of black over white.

 

 

Step Two: Choose a Color

The trick to getting this tutorial to work is to use a color that mimics light.

  • Click on the Foreground Color Chip to open the Color Picker.
  • In the Color Picker, enter one of the following Hex #’s:
    • For a very warm or golden light in the photo, enter Hex #ffcf8a.
    • For a neutral warm light, enter Hex #ecbe8d. (This is the Hex # I’m using.)
    • For a neutral cool light, enter Hex #d8dcde.
    • For a very cool or blueish light, enter Hex #d0e6e4.
    • If none of these fit, you can try sampling a color from the light in the photo you’re using.
  • Click OK to close the Color Picker.

 

Step Three: Add Text

  • Get the Horizontal Type tool.
  • In the Tool Options, choose a font, size, and alignment. I’m using Bebas Neue at 219 pts. The Color Chip should be the color your chose in Step Two.

Note: The font size you need will majorly depend on the resolution of your photo.

  • On the document, click once to place the cursor.
  • Type a word or phrase. I’m using the words “Wishing You A.”
  • Click the checkmark to commit the type.

 

 

(Optional) Add Another Line of Text

  • In the Layers panel, click on the Create a New Layer icon.
  • In the Tool Options of the Horizontal Type tool, choose a different font and size (or keep it the same). I’m using Betterfly Smooth at 255 pts.
  • Holding down the Shift key, click on the document and type a word or phrase. I’m using the words “Happy New Year!”
  • Click the checkmark to commit the type.

Repeat these instructions to add additional lines of text.

 

 

Step Four: Merge the Text Layers

Skip this step if you only have one line of text.

  • In the Layers panel, hold down the Shift key and click on the bottom type layer. Now all the type layers should be active.
  • Press Ctrl E (Mac: Cmd E) to merge the two type layers together.

 

Step Five: Add a Radial Gradient

  • Get the Gradient tool.
  • In the Layers panel, click on the Create a New Layer icon.
  • Press the letter D to reset the Color Chips.
  • Press the letter X to switch the Color Chips.
  • In the Tool Options, open the Gradient Picker and choose Foreground to Transparent.

Note: If you do not see Foreground to Transparent, open the menu and choose Default. Then, open the flyout menu and choose Large List. (PS: Open the menu and choose Reset Gradients. Click OK. Then, open the flyout menu and choose Large List.)

  • In the Tool Options, set the Mode to Normal and the Opacity to 100%. Check Transparency and Dither, but uncheck Reverse. Click on the Radial Gradient icon.
  • On the document, click and drag from the center of the text outward to create a small circle.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Create Clipping Mask.

 

 

Step Six: Add a Reflected Gradient

  • In the Tool Options of the Gradient tool, set the Opacity to 60% and check Reverse. Click on the Reflected Gradient icon.
  • In the Layers panel, click on the merged type layer to activate it.
  • Click on the Add Layer Mask icon.
  • Black should be the Foreground Color Chip. If it isn’t, press the letter X.
  • On the document, hold down the Shift key and click and drag from the center of the text to the right until you’re past the edge of the text by a small amount.

Note: The goal is to make just the left and right edges of the text appear slightly transparent. You may have to adjust the length you drag your reflected gradient to achieve that result. To do that, click and drag again.

 

 

Here’s the final result:

 

 

And while this tutorial works really well with photos that have a light source (such as the sun, fireworks, Christmas lights, etc), you don’t have to always use it with photos. Here is an example of using this technique to make an illuminated title for a card:

 

Credits:
Tutorial and Card: Jenifer Juris
Photo: Stock photo by Tessa Rampersand
Kit: Celebrate by Kristin Cronin-Barrow and Studio Flergs
Fonts: Bebas Neue, Betterfly Smooth, Charlotte

 

Love the card featured in this tutorial? 

Check out Jenifer’s class, A Year of Cards. In this class you can create a year of personalized cards for the people you love in 1 to 3 weeks and enjoy holidays and special events all year without feeling frazzled or stressed! For Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. Learn more about A Year of Cards.

 

 

Download PDF

 

 

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Jenifer JurisAuthor: Jenifer Juris | Contact Us
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13 Responses

  1. Nancy
    | Reply

    Thanks Jen… that does make such a beautiful effect! It truly is in the details that moves something from looking good to fantastic!

    • Jenifer Juris
      | Reply

      You’re welcome! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  2. Barbara
    | Reply

    Thanks for the great tutorial Jenifer.

    • Jenifer Juris
      | Reply

      You’re so welcome! 🙂

  3. Leslie Ann Sartor
    | Reply

    Hi Jen, great tut! I have a question, I’m not quite sure what you meant by this “Note: The font size you need will majorly depend on the resolution of your photo.” Are you talking about dpi of the photo? And why does it make a difference? Thanks so much,
    Leslie Ann

    • Jenifer Juris
      | Reply

      Yes. The higher the resolution, the larger your text will need to be in order to be seen. If you use a size 100 pt font on a photo with lower resolution, it might appear very large. But if you use the same 100 pt font on a very high resolution photo, it might appear very small. Essentially, the more pixels your photo has (the higher the resolution), the larger the font needs to be in order to be visible. I hope that helps! 🙂

  4. Donna
    | Reply

    WOW! I love this text effect. Thanks for the tutorial Jenifer!

    • Jenifer Juris
      | Reply

      Thank you so much, Donna! 🙂

  5. Pixie
    | Reply

    Oh wow! What an awesome effect! I’ll have to try this.

    • Jenifer Juris
      | Reply

      Thank you so much! 🙂 I can’t wait to see how you use it. 🙂

  6. Carol
    | Reply

    Thank you for this tut, Jen. As always, I have learned a lot. I also want to say again and again, thank you for making it possible for us to download the PDF. Having that right by my side is beyond great! Seriously, it helps me a lot and refreshes this old brain.

    • Jenifer Juris
      | Reply

      I’m so glad you like the tutorial and I agree, that PDF is very handy! 🙂

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