Design & UX
By Jennifer Farley

Create An Easy Sophisticated Metal Type In Photoshop With Layer Styles

By Jennifer Farley

Layer Styles in Photoshop allow us to create an unbelievable array of effects such as glass, ice or plastic. Best of all, after you’ve played around with the styles to get the effect you like, you can then save it and reuse it on other objects on different layers.

1. Create a new document 600 x 600 pixels.

2. Set the foreground color to #003366 (mid blue) and the background color to #000033 (dark blue/navy). Select the Gradient Tool (G) and on the tool options bar at the top of the screen, choose ‘Foreground To Background’ and choose ‘Radial Gradient’.


3. Drag out from the centre of the document towards the edge, so you have a gradient that looks a bit like this:


To give the background more texture, choose Filter > Texture > Texturiser. Choose Sandstone for the texture, 100% for Scaling and 2 for Relief. Click OK to apply the texture.



That’s the background setup. Now we can focus on the type.

4. Add some text. I’m using Times New Roman regular, size 150pt and set to white.


5. With the Type layer selected, click on the Layer Style icon at the bottom of the Layers palette and choose Gradient Overlay from the drop down menu.


When the Gradient Overlay dialog box opens up, click on the Gradient in the middle to open up the Gradient Editor. Set up a Gradient with three stops as follows. The first stop is dark blue (#000033), the second stop is white and the third, on the right hand side is mid blue (#003366). Don’t click OK yet.



6. Now click on the word Stroke on the left hand side. Set the Stroke Size to 1 px, position to Outside and Opacity to 84%. Set the Fill Type to Gradient, then click on the Gradient in the middle.


When the Gradient Editor opens, click on the small triangle in the upper right corner and choose Metals from the drop down menu. Then choose Silver from the Presets. Click OK to close the Gradient Editor.



7. Still inside the Layer Style dialog box, choose Inner Shadow and use the following settings. Don’t click OK yet.



8. And where would we be without a Drop Shadow to finish? Click on the words Drop Shadow on the left hand side and set the following:


The final effect should look something like this.


To save the style you’ve created for future use, simply click the New Style button on the Layer Style dialog box and give it a name.

It’s easy to go back and change any of the styles you’ve applied by clicking on the name on the Layers palette and the text is still fully editable.

  • Diogo Duarte

    This is an ugly effect, ppl… Sry.

  • crimestick

    Yeah…not sure “sophisticated” is quite the right word here.

  • oghnia

    Yup I agree, this is ugly

  • lol what they said ^. I can’t believe this got approved.

  • w1nk5

    I concur… that text effect is terrible.

  • AK

    Jennifer writes a lot of helpful articles. You guys couldn’t think of a better word than ugly? Be a little more civil. It’s like listening to a bunch of kids blurt out their thoughts.

  • Ok guys, I can see I won’t be winning text effect of the year with this one. I don’t actually think it looks that bad. The stroke is maybe a little dubious but I like the rest of it. The whole point of this tut and any other Photoshop tuts I put up here is to show people how to do things that they can use and apply in their own work. I don’t expect to see a whole slew of websites suddenly using this text effect.

    Contrary to what you might think, not everyone has used layer styles before and many people don’t go much further than the drop shadow. There is a whole world of effects that can be created using the layer style dialog box.

    AK thanks for your support, it is much appreciated.

  • AndrewCooper

    I think what people are trying to say is that quite honestly – The text effect is rubbish and yes, it is ugly. BUT (and this is a HUGE but) they have forgotten to make a comment about the most important part of the tutorial – The tutorial itself.

    You’re a great teacher Jennifer and I always enjoy working through your graphics tutorials as they are easy to follow without getting frustrated about what to do next. That is what matters.

    The effect in this case is a bad example, but the tutorial, as is with every other tutorial you’ve posted, is brilliantly helpful and helps the reader get the job done. That’s what matters.

  • siamino

    Have to say as someone not too well versed in the ways of Photoshop, I found this a pretty handy tutorial, although my version came out a tad strong/dark on the gradient front. Thank you Jennifer – and keep them coming! Cheers, Si

  • Chris A

    I agree with everyone else with the example but the tutorial was very useful. I can make code pour me a beer but with stuff like Photoshop I need help. Definitely will be using this technique in the future. Thanks Jen!

  • I love how people get chastised for being honest. This text effect is sub par at best.

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