Create elegant gradient typography in Photoshop CS4

In this article we will create a clean, elegant, gradient typography as shown below:


Follow these steps:

1. Launch Photoshop CS4.

2. Set the Background color (small overlapped square) in the Tools panel (docked to the left of the main window by default) is set to black. By default the Foreground color is black and background in white. Click on the double arrow sign next to the boxes to interchange the colors.


But you can click on any of the boxes and choose a new color for foreground and background.

3. Key in CTRL + N or Go to File > New. In the New dialog box, specify the dimensions as Width – 300px and Height – 200px. Choose the Background Contents to Background color.


4. New document with a black background (or a background you have chosen).

5. To create a gradient effect on the background we can use two tools:

a. The Gradient tool

b. The Brush tool

In this example we will use the regular brush tool to create a light gradient to the document. Create a new layer by clicking on the Create a new layer icon in the Layers Panel.


Double click on the text Layer 1 and rename it to ‘Light Layer’. Keep the layer highlighted and follow the next step.

6. Set the background color to white. Choose the brush tool from the Tools Panel. In the Options bar at the top of the window, open the Brush Preset Picker by clicking on the small downward arrow and choose Soft Mechanical 500 pixels brush. Increase its Master diameter to around 615 px to get a better effect.


7. Now hold down the brush on the document, in the center or upwards, to adjust the angle of light as you want. Then reduce the opacity of the layer to get a subtle effect. See image below:


8. The background is now ready and it is time to add text to it. The text too will have a gradient effect. Choose the Horizontal Type tool from the Tools Panel and click on the document. Choose the font and other details in the Options bar. Start typing the text; in this case, we will just type ‘Some Text’.


9. Now we would like to center the text; horizontally as well as vertically. For that, key in CTRL + A (to select all) or choose Select > All.

10. With the ‘Some Text’ as the active layer in the Layers Panel, go to Layers > Align Layers to Selection > Horizontal Centers. This would center the text horizontally in the middle of your document. Similarly to vertically center the text, go to Layers > Align Layers to Selection > Vertical Centers.


11. Now it is time to add the gradient and effects to the text. Double click the ‘Some Text’ layer to open the Layer Style dialog box. Click on Gradient Overlay.


Click on the Gradient box to open the Gradient Editor as shown below:


Choose the gradient by clicking on the small arrows and choose a gradient as shown above, which is white at the top and darkens to gray in the bottom of the text. Click OK in both the dialog boxes to exit. The gradient text is visible now.


Next we will add a shadow to the text to give it a raising effect. Again double click on the ‘Some Text’ layer and in the Layer Style window and click on Drop shadow. Choose the options as shown in the image given below:


Click OK to exit and we are done! The final document would look like this:


Filed Under: Adobe Photoshop


About the Author: Minal is a freelance web and graphics designer. She specializes in designing Logos, Stationery, Graphics and Icons as well as website templates using graphical tools like Photoshop, Illustrator and Expression Web. Twitter @saffronstroke

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  3. Joe Burns says:

    I am new with photoshop, so i don’t really know that much. However i know thee basic commands like the ones that are in MS paint as well. I don’t really know how to do like special effects though. Please give a tutorial or explain. Thanks

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