Craft a Leathery Text Effect in Photoshop
If you want your messaging to be truly distinctive, there’s no more direct and effective approach than crafting your own custom lettering. Modern viewers are barraged with information, and their attention span has tapered sharply as a result. Custom typography can separate your value proposition from the “noise” of more typical advertising, and it allows you to thematically integrate the look of your type with the content of your message. If your offer involves leather, for example, there’s no better way to reinforce your message than with stitched, leathery type that embodies the appeal of your products.
So today, we are going to create a hanging leather text effect in Photoshop. In this tutorial, I’ll walk you through the process of creating this text effect by using some interesting techniques, patterns, and tools. Let’s get started.
(Download the finished, layered PSD file.)
Open Photoshop and create a new file with an 800px width and a 600px height.
First, create a new layer, then fill it with color #c8d4d7 using the paint bucket tool. Add a little “noise” to the background by clicking on on “Filter” > “Noise”. Add 2% noise.
After the noise, select the background layer and click on “Layer” > “Layer style” > “Pattern overlay” and a light, subtle pattern.
Now, let’s start with the text. First, select the text tool and add the first letter using color #ffffff. Rotate it a bit using “Edit” > “Free Transform”.
Select the text layer we created above and click on “Layer styles” to add some Bevel & Emboss and Drop Shadow. Use the settings below.
Open the white leather texture and paste it on the text, then click on “Layer” > “Create Clipping Mask”.
Select the rounded rectangle tool and create a very small rectangle. Rotate the small rectangle using free transform (“Edit” > “Free Transform” or Cmd/Ctrl + “T”). Then, select the rectangle layer and click on “Layer Styles” to add Bevel & Emboss once again. Use the settings shown below.
Open the bluish leather texture and paste it on the small rectangle we have created above. Scale it down and click on “Layer” > “Create Clipping Mask”.
Now, repeat the same process to create three small rectangles and add Texture and Bevel & Emboss using the same settings shown above.
Select the type tool and add another letter; this time, it should be smaller than the previous one. Place it in the middle and then click on “Layer Styles” to add some Stroke and Inner Shadow. Use the following values.
Now, open the blue leather texture, paste it on the text, and click on “Layer” > “Create Clipping Mask”.
Select the type tool again and add another “D” in the middle. Now, click on “Layer styles” to add Bevel & Emboss, Stroke, and Drop Shadow. Use the settings shown below for all three effects.
Open the brown leather texture. Now, scale it down using the free transform tool and paste it on the text. Then, click on “Layers” > “Create Clipping Mask.”
Repeat the same process and add another letter using the type tool. Then, click on “Layer Styles” to add the Bevel & Emboss, Stroke, and Drop Shadow. Use the same settings for these effects from the last step, but adjust the Bevel & Emboss settings to match the image below.
Now, take the brown leather texture and paste it onto the letter, scale it down, and click on “Layer” > “Create Clipping Mask”. We need to adjust the color for this one, so select the leather layer and click on “Layer” > “Layer style” > “Color overlay”. Use color #ff7200 with blending mode set to “Overlay”.
Now, let’s start with the stitches. We’ll first set the foreground color to #f8f8f8. Select a hard round brush and then click on the brush panel to adjust its size and spacing to appear as stitches. After this, create a new layer, select the pen tool, and create a path on the text. Finally, right-click on it and select “Stroke path”.
Select the above layer with the stitches and click on “Layer styles” to add some Drop Shadow using the settings below.
Repeat the same process to create more stitches while adjusting the size and color. Continue to add the some drop shadow with the same settings as above for all stitches.
Now we will start with the hanging leather strap. Select the hard round brush to create a vertical line using color #4b4b4b. Then, click on “Filter” > “Blur” > “Gaussian Blur”.
For the embedded metal ring, select the hard round brush and apply it using color #363636. Then, select the eraser tool to erase the middle creating a ring. Then, click on “Layer Styles” from the layer panel and add Bevel & Emboss, Stroke, and Drop shadow using the following settings.
Repeat the same process to create new rings as needed, this time using color #9d9d9d. Now, simply copy the layer styles from the first ring and paste them onto new ring layers.
Create a new layer and select the hard round brush to create a vertical line using color #d8d8d8. Then, select the layer and click on “Layer Styles” to add Bevel & Emboss and Drop Shadow using the following values.
Select the above layer and click on “Filter” > “Noise” > “Add Noise”. Now, to finish it off, use some burn and dodge delicately over the hanging leather straps, and our straps are done.
Now, let’s add the final shadow to the text. Select the type tool and add another letter, this time using color #949494. Then, right-click on the layer and select “Rasterize Layer”. Place this layer just above the background layer. Now, click on “Filter” > “Blur” > “Gaussian Blur”.
Once again, click on “Filter” but this time add some noise by choosing “Filter” > “Noise” > “Add Noise”.
Simply repeat the same process to add additional text.
We are done! I hope you enjoyed the leathery text tutorial. I’ll be back with more; let me know your thoughts.