Creating Colorful Text in Photoshop

Combining text with an image creates all sorts of creative problems. It can be difficult to unify the text and image. It can also be difficult to get the text to stand out from image. When editing with Photoshop, you can use layer effects, such as drop shadows, embossing and stroke outlines. You can also use the pre-defined effects available in layer styles.

Sometimes it can be fun to make your own customized fills for text. Here are three examples:


Original image used in examples 1 and 2
 
Example 1: Create text embedded in an image
using a clipping mask with a duplicate layer

Example 2: Create colorful text using a clipping mask
of your original image and a solid colored
background layer

Example 3: Create colorful text using
a clipping mask with a gradient layer
Example 1: Text made from your background image
  1. Open your image in Photoshop
  2. Use the text tool to type your text onto your image.
    Choose a color that is easy to preview. It doesn't matter what color you choose, as the color will be replaced in this exercise. Bold text often works best.
  3. Add a simple layer effect, such as a drop shadow or stroke outline.
    You can find layer effects options under Layer > Layer Style
  4. In your layers panel, make your background layer your active layer.
  5. Duplicate your background layer.
  6. In your layers panel, drag your text layer between the background copy and background layer.
  7. Make the topmost layer (background copy) your active layer.
  8. Click Layer > Create Clipping Mask.
  9. Save your work.
  10. You may adjust the placement of your text by making your text layer active and moving it with your move tool.
  11. You can change your font and font size by highlighting the text with your text tool.
  12. You can change your layer effects by double clicking on effects in the layers panel.
  13. Save your work.
Example 2: Colorful text using an image
  1. Follow steps #1 - 9 in  Example 1
  2. Make your background layer your active layer in the layers panel.
  3. Make the colors in your toolbox return to default by clicking D on your keyboard.
  4. Select the entire image by clicking Select > All (Ctrl+A or Cmd+A)
  5. Replace your background with white by cutting.
    Edit > Cut
  6. You may adjust the placement of your text by making your text layer active and moving it with your move tool.
  7. You can change your font and font size by highlighting the text with your text tool.
  8. You can change your layer effects by double clicking on effects in the layers panel.
  9. Save your work.
Example 3: Colorful text using a gradient layer
  1. Create a new image in Photoshop
    File > New
    Make sure your background color is white before you click OK
  2. Use the text tool to type your text onto your white canvas.
    Choose a color that is easy to preview. It doesn't matter what color you choose, as the color will be replaced in this exercise. Bold text often works best.
  3. Create a gradient layer. Click Layer > New Fill Layer > Gradient
    In the gradient fill dialogue box, choose a gradient with a pleasant color scheme. Don't worry that you can not see your text. I recommend setting your angle to something other than 90, so you will see variation in your text colors. This can be adjusted later. When you have chosen a grdient color scheme and angle you like, click OK.
  4. Click Layer > Create Clipping Mask.
  5. Save your work.
  6. You may adjust the placement of your text by making your text layer active and moving it with your move tool.
  7. You can change your font and font size by highlighting the text with your text tool.
  8. You can change your layer effects by double clicking on effects in the layers panel.
  9. Save your work.

Photo of the Week - December 29, 2012

Composite Image - 4 shots combined
Double-crested Cormorant taking off
Swantown Marina
Olympia, Washington

December 29, 2012

According to the National Park Service:
"Double-crested cormorants are large, dark-colored birds that make their living diving beneath the surface of the water and pursuing fish, their favorite quarry. While clumsy-looking on land or when on favorite perches, cormorants are both agile and swift in the water.

While feathers are waterproof simply due to their physical structure, the cormorant’s feathers are “wettable,” and quickly become water-logged, reducing the bird’s buoyancy and increasing its swimming efficiency. In addition, the bones of cormorants, unlike most other birds, are dense and heavy.

While both adaptations help the bird pursue its swift underwater prey, heavy bones and water-logged feathers makes flight more difficult. Cormorants are often seen holding their wings spread to facilitate drying (not warming as in other birds) and when taking off must often “patter” across the surface of the water to build up sufficient flying speed before taking to the air."

This photo was made by sandwiching four individual images of a single cormorant. The shots were taken sequentially in 1.5 seconds.



Merry Christmas - Olympia Style



The Kiss by Richard Beyer
Percival Landing
Olympia, WA
December 25, 2012
 
Wishing you a Merry Christmas
Olympia Style


Photo of the Week - December 22, 2012


Light through a Restaurant Window
Olympia, WA
December 22, 2012

Photo of the Week - December 18, 2012

Winter Light in the Atrium of the Parking Lot
REI Seattle
Seattle, WA

December 18, 2012

Photo of the Week - December 12, 2012

Playing with Holiday Lights
December 12, 2012

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