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50 Stunning Photoshop Text Effect Tutorials

Photoshop’s text and layer tools can be used to create some really awesome effects. We’ve put together a list of 60 of the best tutorials we could find to help you stay up to date on the latest trends and techniques. You’ll find some really cool grunge and glass styles (plus a few surprises!) and learn how some of the best designers create their unique effects.

Courtesy: LemonDesign1

Instead of listing 100 plus tutorials that you’ll bookmark never to come back, we’ve decided to take you through the basics of typography, hopefully inspiring and then teaching you. Typography is an art just like any other. You have to feel the form, admire the curves and connect with the flow.

You may want to take a look at the following related posts:

Introduction to Typography Link


Typography is the art of arranging type, designing type, and modifying type glyphs. The arrangement of type involves the selection of typefaces, point size, line length, line spacing (leading), adjustment of space between groups of letters (tracking) and adjustment of space between pairs of letters (kerning).

Here are some resources to give you further insight:

The Wisest Mind Has Something Yet to Learn Link


And we, too, never stop being inspired, learning and creating:

How to Choose the Right Type Link

types of type

Guess if you can, choose if you dare. Typeface can make or break your design. Let the type speak for itself: its dimensions, curves, strength and space should define your purpose.

Resources to Live by Link


Finding quality fonts can be overwhelming because there are literally millions out there and finding the right one is a painful process. Here are a few resources I use to find a font for a project I am working on.

Here Come the Tutorials Link

Now that you understand the importance of typography, let’s move on to the awesome Photoshop tutorials we were talking about. The above resources on type were pretty general, whereas these tutorials deal mainly with text effects that you could use in posters, magazines or whatever you wish. The basics of typography apply to most of the work you will do with the tutorials below.

Go Crazy with 3D Link

3D texture
Create amazing 3D-textured text with Illustrator and Photoshop in this in-depth tutorial.


Create a spectacular flaming meteor effect on text20
Take typography one step further by having text falling from the sky in a burning inferno. Yes, this is the text-on-fire tutorial to end all text-on-fire tutorials. It uses a little Illustrator for the text and a lot of Photoshop to burn up the screen!

Flaming Meteor Effect on Text21

Funky 3D-style letters22
A straightforward guide to creating funky 3D-style letters.


How to create high-quality metal 3D text in Photoshop24
This tutorial shows you how to create 3D text and give it a high-quality metal look using only Photoshop.

Metal 3D Text in Photosop25

Light and shade26
In this tutorial we are going to take some very basic principles of light and shade to make a rather impressive-looking text effect.


Create Destructive Black and White Lettering with a Dramatic Splash Effect28
Learn how to make some expressive lettering, which includes thoughts connected with a central word. You’ll turn standard text into a stunning, destructive illustration, and give it a final unique look.


Chunky 3D letters

Create big chunky 3D letters with this colorful tutorial!


Stunning 3D effects in 30 minutes30
Together, with a pinch of this and a dash of that, we’ll figure out how to create this cool effect in just 30 minutes.

Stunning 3D effects31

How to Quickly Create a Stylish Retro Text Effect32
Learn how to create a quite cool retro text effect. You will learn how to use the Perspective tool to create depth and how designers can use default gradients in unusual ways.

Stunning 3D effects33

3D text with a touch of grunge
A pretty detailed tutorial that shows you how to create grungy 3D text.

3D Grunge Text

Design soft stylized 3D type34
Learn the basics of creating polished 3D type using Illustrator and Photoshop.

Stylized 3D35

Create a 3D flowery text effect

3D Flowery Text Effect

Create a dream-like design with 3D typograph36
This detailed tutorial shows you how to create a 3D typography-based design. All the elements revolve around the theme of dreaming.

Dream 3D Typography37

Elements of Nature Link

Quick and dirty Photoshop text effects from scratch38 (six tutorials in one)
Learn how to make six different effects using just layer styles. So really, this is like six tutorials in one!

Gold Text39

Create a spectacular grass text effect in Photoshop40
In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a rather cool-looking grass text effect.

Grass Text Effect41

Plastic text42
Turn text into plastic using Photoshop’s layer styles.


Icy cold44

Get ready for winter: create icy cold text!


Text in stitches46
In this Photoshop tutorial, you will learn how to convert text to a path and stitch that path using a custom brush set.

Text In Stitches47

Wet watercolor48

A watercolor on wet paper effect. Experiment to create different painting effects.


How to create a gold text effect in Photoshop50
Learn how to create a gold text effect. I personally love this effect, so subtle yet powerful.

gold text51

Colored chrome
Make chrome text and then color it!


Reflective liquid type52

Create liquid text, a very handy trick.

Reflective Liquid53

Wood inlay54
A decorative wood-inlay text effect.


Paper-craft text effect56
In this tutorial, you will learn how to create paper-craft text effects.


Dramatic text-on-fire effect in Photoshop58
Learn how to use a photograph of fire to strike text to the match. This is a beautiful tutorial, a must-see.

dramatic text on fire effect59

Grunge & Co. Link

How to Create a Copper Photoshop Text Effect60
This is a strong and eye-catching text effect, though relatively simple to create. You’ll be using bevel and emboss styles, pattern overlays, and combining different techniques to mock-up the text into a related background.


Vanity License Plate62

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to create a custom vanity license plate using a few basic Photoshop tools a piece of reference material and some creative layer stylings.


Star Wars text effect
A step-by-step guide to creating a Star Wars text effect.


Create a trendy typographic poster design64
Using simple shapes, you can produce some great-looking contemporary designs that create a big impact on posters; another good example being the recent Trendy Geometric Lines65 tutorial.

poster design66

Graffiti with Photoshop67

When you don’t have the guts to pull this off in the real world, Photoshop to the rescue. Learn how to make graffiti with Photoshop.


Super-cool frilly bits typography69
In this tutorial, you will learn how to mix some vectors with letters to create a really nice design. This one is a personal favorite.

frilly bits typography70

Typography wallpaper in Photoshop71
Why not design your own typographic wallpaper from now on?

Typography Wallpaper72

Dirty grunge text
Create dirty grunge text in Photoshop.


Learn how to make stylish floral typography.


Worn and torn75

Create worn and torn text with this easy-to-follow guide.


Grunge rubber stamp.
Create a grunge rubber stamp effect in seven simple steps.


Distorted letters77
Learn to distort letters using Photoshop brushes with this amazingly easy tutorial.


Decorative text

Learn how to decorate text with colorful floral patterns in this tutorial.


Light and Glass Link

A slick supernatural text effect79

Create a smoky night effect with text, giving it an eerie supernatural feel. It’s a good exercise in using the wave distortion filter.

Supernatural Text Effect80

Smoke type in Photoshop in 10 steps81
Learn how to create a smoke typography effect by playing with some brushes and adjustment layers. It’s a very easy tutorial, and you will be able to finish the whole process in 5 to 10 minutes.

Smoke Type.82

Moonshine effect83
In just a few simple steps, you can add a soft, calm, easy-going moon-like text effect.


Transparent glass lettering in Photoshop85

In this tutorial, you’ll use some super layer effects and a bit of magic to make a lettering style that looks transparent and stunning.

Transparent Glass Lettering86

Scan-line text
Create a style dubbed “Scan-Line Text,” which is basically text that glows like bright scan lines, with a smart reflection as well. Learn how to create this amazing yet simple effect with this easy-to-follow tutorial.

Scanline Text

Create a layered glowing text effect87
In this tutorial, we will create this effect using very basic Photoshop tools and layering effects.

Layered Glowing Text88

Vibrant pop text effect89

In just a few moments, you can add a vibrant splash to your text that will really give your design a pop-culture flavor!

Vibrant Pop Text90

Slow-shutter effect
Learn how to create this beautiful slow-shutter text effect.

shutter effect

Colorful glow91
A colorful, glowing text effect, great for integrating in designs with dark backgrounds.


Retro and Vintage Link

Colorful retro text
A colorful retro text effect using both Illustrator and Photoshop.


Colorful watercolor93
Learn to make a colorful and distinctive watercolor text effect with this tutorial.


Experiments Link

Furry text95
Create a tactile, furry text effect that looks like the real thing!


Barbed wire
Wrap your text in barbed wire!


Light burst97

An amazing light-burst effect!


Flower text99
Create a pretty floral text effect. It looks difficult but is surprisingly easy!<!–


Further Resources Link

You may want to take a look at the following related round-ups:

You’ll find even more tutorials on these websites:

Smashing eBooks Link

Also, you may want to take a look at some of our Smashing eBooks:


Footnotes Link

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  2. 2 /2010/09/22/round-up-of-useful-adobe-photoshop-techniques-tutorials-and-tools/
  3. 3 /2009/06/01/60-amazing-poster-and-advertisment-tutorials/
  4. 4 /2008/12/07/50-excellent-digital-photography-photoshop-tutorials/
  5. 5 /2008/11/03/photoshop-tutorials-to-improve-modeling-skills/
  6. 6 /2008/10/14/30-beautiful-vintageretro-photoshop-tutorials/
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  10. 10 /2010/11/16/web-typography-100-educational-resources-tools-and-techniques/
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  12. 12 /2008/02/25/breathtaking-typographic-posters/
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  14. 14 /2011/03/24/how-to-choose-a-typeface/
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  16. 16 /2010/12/14/what-font-should-i-use-five-principles-for-choosing-and-using-typefaces/
  17. 17 /tag/free-fonts/
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  101. 101 /2008/12/07/50-excellent-digital-photography-photoshop-tutorials/
  102. 102 /2008/07/15/70-beauty-retouching-photoshop-tutorials/
  103. 103 /2008/11/03/photoshop-tutorials-to-improve-modeling-skills/
  104. 104 /2008/10/28/40-beautiful-grunge-photoshop-tutorials/
  105. 105 /2008/10/14/30-beautiful-vintageretro-photoshop-tutorials/
  106. 106 /2008/04/03/adobe-photoshop-tutorials-rainbows-glows-and-light-effects/
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SmashingConf Barcelona 2016

Hold on, Tiger! Thank you for reading the article. Did you know that we also publish printed books and run friendly conferences – crafted for pros like you? Like SmashingConf Barcelona, on October 25–26, with smart design patterns and front-end techniques.

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Andrew Gibson is a photographer and writer. He runs Magical Places Fine Art, an online photography magazine and another great photography resource.

  1. 1

    Wow!!! Great Collection of Text Effects Tutorials. Two thumbs up for SM.

  2. 3

    inspiring! …cool sm!

  3. 4

    lot of nice stuff here. will be playing around with some of these in the future during designs

  4. 5

    Michael Chacon

    March 4, 2009 6:19 pm

    great! Thanks so much!

  5. 6

    Webnip Jonathan

    March 4, 2009 6:38 pm

    Nice, some of these could be usefull ! People ofter underestimate the importance of typography ;-)

  6. 7

    wow that’s cool.
    like them all


  7. 8

    this is awesome. thank you so much.

  8. 9

    Great list, very useful !

  9. 10

    Very Cool! Good job SM.

  10. 11

    Wtf… AWESOME dude! Very, very and VERY awesome list.

    Thanks! :D

  11. 12

    really gorgeous

  12. 13

    Anyone have a mirror for the “Super-cool frilly bits typography” tutorial? Site seems to be MIA and it looks interesting. Awesome list, by the way!

  13. 14

    Hey! Thanks for featuring my tutorial. It’s an honor. I haven’t had time to write many tutorials lately, maybe I’ll find time now :)

  14. 15

    Chetan Kumar N

    March 4, 2009 8:42 pm

    Amazing mind blowing thks a lot for the collection

  15. 16

    Ejaz Siddiqui

    March 4, 2009 9:22 pm

    Great List, I would love to see more tutorials on typography. Thanks

  16. 17

    Houssam Zein

    March 4, 2009 9:39 pm

    I am getting addicted to this site – Smashing

  17. 18

    Rahul Acharya

    March 4, 2009 9:42 pm

    Great collection, thanks for this awesome list.

  18. 19

    Ohh! Glad to see mine – C for Creativity being featured on Smash! Thank You!
    And awesome list as always!

  19. 20

    Dan Whitmore

    March 4, 2009 11:43 pm

    No offence, but how many MORE times do we need to see a ‘text effect photoshop tutorials’ list showing the same old tutorials again?

    Unique content please!

    • 21

      Why don’t you stop being rude and obnoxious and stop coming to this website if you are just gonna be a big meanie!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m offended.

  20. 22

    Allahverdi Sefihanov

    March 4, 2009 11:52 pm

    effect of CRAFT is simple but awesome… really stunning…


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