Home > Text Effects, Tutorials > Colourful Glowing Text effect in Photoshop

Colourful Glowing Text effect in Photoshop


Now, I am going to show you how to create a colourful glowing text in Photoshop. It is a very simple process and can be done in a jiffy. This tutorial basically dives into the concept of blending modes and guassian blur effect and also migrates into a bit of shiny typography.

Step 1

For the best results with this effect, you’ll want to use a dark background. The background should have a hint of color, and should avoid from being too dark (such as pure black). I’ll use a dark violet (#120612).


Step 2

Using the Type Tool, type whatever it is you’d like to apply the effect to, but only type one letter per layer. That is, you need to type a letter, apply the text, then create a new type layer with your next letter. When everything is done, you should have a separate layer for each letter. The font i used is Century Gothic.


Rather than wasting too much time trying to get things aligned perfectly, let’s handle it all in a quick step. Select the Move Tool. Create a selection around the first letter (Ctrl + Click the Layer Thumbnail in the Layers Palette). Next, Select ALL of the Type Layers (Click the Bottom Type Layers name, hold shift, then click the top Type Layers name). Now, in the Options bar, Click “Align Bottom Edges” – the icon that looks like this

Deselect everything (Ctrl + D), and now start moving your individual letters so that they slightly overlap one another, to get a similar effect as shown above.

Step 3

Create a new Layer above your type layers. Using the Gradient Tool, and a White to Transparent gradient, fill in the work area so that the Gradient is not TOO OPAQUE, or TOO TRANSPARENT where it overlaps with the text, but fades nicely in that area. The gradient should move from top to bottom – Top being the most opaque (Hold Shift to make a perfectly straight gradient).


Step 4

Create a selection of the layer contents for your first letter (in this case it is R – Ctrl + Click the Layer Thumbnail in the Layers Palette). Now, Select the Gradient Layer.  Copy (Ctrl + C) and Paste so that you’ve created a copy of the gradient in the shape of the letter. If you were to disable ALL of the layers except for this new layer you just created, and the background, you’d now have this:


It’s really a lot simpler than it sounds. Repeat this process for the rest of the letters, always making sure to selecting the gradient layer prior to cutting out your layer. When you’re finished, put away all your letters and gradient layers (delete them, or hide them).


Step 5

You may want to name all of your individual layers and put them in a group. This makes it more organised, and this way you don’t lose track of which letter is which.
Create a new layer above all your ‘gradient-letters’. Grab the Paint Bucket Tool, and a bright color (I’m starting with #7fff5d). Create a selection of your first gradient-letter, and fill in that selection with your selected color on the new layer. Set this layers Blending Mode to Screen or overlay, depending upon which you feel has a better look (i chose overlay mode).


Repeat this process for the remaining letters (each color on a new layer). Try using the same colors more than once every now and then.

Step 6

When you’re sure that the type is set correctly, Merge all of your gradient-letters (Select the layers, then Ctrl + E). Then, Merge all of your colors into one layer (Make sure the blending mode is still set to screen or if you have put all the layers in a group, then the mode is PASS THROUGH).
You should now have two layers – one with the plain gradient layers, the other with the colors for the letters.

Step 7

Now, we need to add the glowing effect. This can be achieved by using the Guassian blur tool. Duplicate your gradient-letters layer (Not the color layer). Apply a Gaussian Blur with value of 1-3 px on this layer.
Repeat this step (Duplicate & Blur) on your Color layer. Set this layer to Lighten or Screen (use best judgment). Depending on the saturation and intensity of your colors, you may choose to duplicate the color layer a second time.

Step 8

Select ALL of the layers being used for the text effect, then Duplicate them. Merge the duplicated version into one layer. Use the Surface Reflection Technique shown in one of the previous tutorials to get the mirror effect. Apply a guassian blur of 5 px to this layer to give a unique glassy finish.


Step 9

Now, its time to play along with your imagination. I’d recommend experimenting with lighting effects in the background — simple things like adding some highlights behind the text. This can be achieved by creating a new layer right above the dark background. Then, take the brush tool and use a 300 px soft brush with a white foreground colour and click on the area where the text is. Change the blending mode to overlay and duplicate the layer once.

Playing with additional blurs can also add a bit of liveliness to the text. Try Duplicating a layer, and applying a motion blur to see how that works out!

You can also add a tranlucent floor by using the rectangular marquee tool and selecting the area where you think the floor might be (just below the text, like I have done here) and create a new layer add a white to transparent gradient and set the opacity of the layer to 30%)

9Click on the image for a larger view

If you have any questions, you can comment and we are eager to help you. Good Luck!!!

  1. December 28, 2009 at 10:05 AM

    Thanks for your tutor, I think wonderful & creative can be used theme blog.

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