Some of the best features in Photoshop are the text, object and image effects such as textures, patterns, gradients, and styles.
Styles are those amazing special effects that you see rolling across the screen with movie titles and making book covers, posters, and billboards appear. They are made of textures and gradients, along with text, shapes, photos, illustrations and other objects, plus tons of colors and special effects. Styles make text and objects beautiful, chilling, outrageous, fantastic, and even scary.
Check out these book covers I’ve created for various published authors. You can also do this. Let’s dive in and create great textures, patterns and gradients.
Drafting your document
Let’s open a file first, add some text and then deal with each function individually.
1. Open Photoshop and create a new file (File NewConfirm your Inches, Width, Height, and Orientation settings in the Preset Details panel.
Tip: Always start with a high resolution image (minimum 300 pixels per inch), regardless of the final product. You can always reduce the file size without degrading the image quality; you cannot enlarge it.
2. Choose the Text tool and enter a line of text.
Tip: In the world of design and typography, characters are called fonts. The various attributes (bold, italic, narrow, etc.) that are included in the font pack are called fonts. For future reference, enter the font, font, size, and color before creating your text box. It’s easier and saves time.
3. I entered the words Park City, using the Impact font, Normal font (as opposed to bold, italic, expanded, etc.), 100 point size, and Auto Leading on an 8×8 canvas.
Note: If your text box is automatically filled with a paragraph of Latin text, don’t panic – that’s just placeholder text that you can easily delete. Select Edit Preferences Typeand remove the check mark from the check box Fill new text layers with placeholder text
4. Open the Layers, Style, Paragraph, and Character panels if they are not already visible on the screen. Combine paragraph and draw in one panel and the layers and styles in another panel. Open the Patterns and Gradients panel and delete the swatches and color. They are not necessary because all you need to do is double-click the foreground / background color squares (in the Tools panel) to see / use the color picker and color libraries.
Working with Photoshop textures
Textures in Photoshop are the same as in life, except you can’t actually touch them. You can work with designs or abstract patterns such as sandpaper, brick, wood, fabric, leather, and more.
Photoshop comes with tons of great textures that you can apply to your text or images through the Filters menu. For example:
1. Select the text layer named Park City.
2. Select Filter Filter Gallery
3. Read the pop-up window and select Convert to smart object
4. The Filter Gallery opens and displays the text layer. Click the up or down arrows to view the entire page on the screen.
5. Notice the folders in the panel on the right. Click to open the Texture folder (or any other folder that interests you).
6. Scroll through the textures and select one. (I chose Texturizer.)
7. In the right pane, click the down arrow and choose a structure from the list. (I chose Canvas.)
8. Use the buttons below to adjust the “Canvas” texture: Scale, Emboss, Light (source), or Invert. The adjustment buttons differ based on the selected texture.
9. Play with the different textures and options until you are satisfied with the result, then click OK
You can also apply textures from the Layers panel:
- Right click on the text layer and choose Mix options
- below Chamfer and Relief click on the word Textures, not just the box.
- below Texture elements, click the down arrow next to it Patterns box.
- All saved patterns are displayed (in folders).
- Choose a folder and then choose a pattern.
Photoshop ignores the colors and background of the selected pattern, leaves only the texture portions, and then overlays the pattern over your text, object, or image.
6. You can adjust the scale and depth or invert the texture.
7. When you are satisfied with the result, click OK
NOTE: Follow the Patterns instructions below to create custom textures from the pattern menus.
Working with Photoshop Patterns
Patterns are almost the same as textures, except that patterns are smaller, repeating designs that are pieced together to look like a continuous surface, and they are not necessarily textured. Patterns are more about images, although they can also be an abstract design. Patterns are created, saved and used as layers, while textures are applied as filters.
Photoshop comes with a few standard patterns that you can apply to your text or images from the Blending Options menu. These are just examples. There are thousands of patterns you can download for free, or you can create your own.
1. Right-click on the text layer named Park City.
2. Select Mix options from the drop-down menu.
3. Click or highlight it Pattern overlay option in the left panel (you need to click on the words, not just check the box).
4. In the Pattern Overlay window (on the right), click the down arrow next to the Pattern field and choose a folder from the list.
5. Scroll through the list, select a pattern, use the tools to make custom changes, then click OK
6. Notice how the pattern fills the words Park City.
Create custom Photoshop patterns
You can create your own Patterns for Photoshop with almost any image (for which you have image rights, of course). Here’s how.
1. Open a photo, illustration, or painting file.
2. Use the rectangular selection frame to select a square or rectangular part of the photo.
3. Select Edit Define pattern
4. Name the pattern and click OK
5. Close the photo file.
6. Right-click on the text layer named Park City.
7. Choose Mix options from the drop-down menu.
8. Highlight it Pattern overlay option.
9. Select your new pattern from the list and click OK
10. Now the Park City text is filled with gold leaf.
11. Choose the folder icon in the Patterns panel and enter a name for the new folder, for example Customization
12. Place your cursor on the new pattern box, hold and drag to the new folder.
Download and install Photoshop patterns for free
Need more cartridges? You can find an endless supply online. Just search for “free Photoshop patterns” and browse the sites that appear in the results.
After you’ve downloaded your patterns, go to the Patterns & Gradients panel and click the menu icon in the top right corner. Select Import patterns
6. Navigate to the folder where you saved the downloaded patterns. Select the pattern file and click load
8. Notice a new folder in your Patterns panel. Click on the folder to open and expand the window to see all your beautiful patterns.
Have fun and experiment with dozens of different patterns in your Park City text.
Working with Photoshop gradients
Gradients are a wash (or gradient) of colors that spread across a palette of many colors. Photoshop comes with a nice variety of gradients that can be used as is or customized for your project. You can also download thousands of third-party gradients or create your custom gradients.
1. Select the Park City text again.
2. Right-click on the layer and choose Clear layer style from the drop-down menu (even though it wasn’t technically style).
3. Choose Mix options from the drop-down menu.
4. Click or highlight it Gradient overlay option.
5. Scroll through the list of folders and click a folder. The gradients in that folder are displayed.
6. Click on the one you like and click OK, or use the options on this panel to adjust the selected gradient. For example, there are 27 blending modes, you can invert the gradient, align to the layer, change the angle, scale, opacity or style: linear, radial, angle, reflected, or diamond. You can also dither it and, if you like, save it as a style.
How to Create Custom Photoshop Gradients
1. In the Gradients panel, click the Add box (it looks like a plus sign) at the bottom center of the panel.
2. The Gradient editor dialog box will open.
3. Double-click the small boxes (left or right) below the scroll bar and the Color Picker palette opens.
4. Choose a color for each side.
5. Click below the slider to add more color boxes, then choose more colors.
6. Drag the box down and away from the scroll bar to remove it.
7. Slide the individual boxes back and forth to achieve the result of a premium gradient.
8. Type a name in the Name field.
9. Click on it New button and then click OK
11. Choose Mix options from the drop-down menu.
12. Click or highlight it Gradient overlay option.
13. Find your new gradient at the bottom. Select it and click OK.
More tips to refine your images
Now that you have four different Park City logos you can add some flair to amp up the ‘wow’ factor.
1. Rename the four layers to distinguish which ones: Cust Pattern, Cust Gradient, Download Pattern and Photoshop Texture.
2. Select Cust pattern, right-click and choose Mix options
3. Choose Chamfer and relief Inner chamfer Chisel HardNotice the difference.
4. Select Custom gradient, right-click on it and choose Mix options
5. Choose Inner shadow Normaland then change the angle.
6. Select Photoshop texture, right-click and choose Mix options
7. Choose Drop shadow Normaland then change the angle.
8. Select Download pattern, right-click and choose Mix options
9. Choose Stroke Normal Outside Size 6
If you like one or more of these effect combinations you can save them as a style. Select the layer with the effects you want to save and then open it Mix options panel. Click on it on the right New style button, give it a name and click OK twice.