5 Popular Text Treatments for Photoshop Beginners (Tutorials)

You don’t have to be a photoshop wizard to put together these popular text graphics. Just follow the steps to create your own designs.

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Knockout or “Cut Out” Text

Photos on Text (Clipping Mask)

Offset Outlines Over Text

Script Over Solid Text

Peekaboo Text

Each of these graphic elements can be incorporated into more complex designs to add visual interest.

1. Knockout or “Cut Out” Text

Knocking out text is a simple text treatment that draws the eyes into the layers of an image. Personally, I like to use it sparingly for titles or captions. It can have a block-y, fun visual effect — like a moodboard.

For this example, I am doing the simplest possible option — it’s just three layers.

To start, you can add all three layers into your project. You’ll want an image or color for the background. Next, you’ll want a shape, like a rectangle, circle or triangle. Finally, you’ll create a text layer.

PRO TIP: This works best on typefaces that have a heavier weight. Otherwise, it can be hard for the eye to actually read the message.

Once you have created all three layers, it’s time to change your background.

Click on the Background layer and delete it. Then, select your image layer.

Select Layer > New > Background from Layer. This will turn your image into the background.

Next, select your text layer.

Select fx > Blending Options. Then, in the window choose “Knockout” and “Shallow.

Move the Opacity to 0%.

Your final result is a text layer that shows through to your background layer.

2.Photos On Text (Clipping Mask)

Layering photos on top of text has become popular recently with shows like “Scandal” using it for the title. If you do a different image for each letter, it can be a powerful way to get several moments into one word.

For the simplest possible version, you just need two layers text and image. To begin, you add a text layer in a font that is wide enough to reveal the image content. Also, add an image that you want to cover the letters.

Select the image layer. Then, go to Layer > Create Clipping Mask.

This will make your image conform to the outlines of the letters. Then, you can adjust the placement of the image by clicking and dragging into position.

3.Offset Outlines Over Text

Line art, including around text, tops the list of cool design elements for 2020. You can easily add a playful dimension to your graphics by adding an offset outline to text.

To create this look, you just need to start with two text layers. First, create your text in your preffered size and font. Then, simply copy the layer.

Select the top layer. Then, go to fx > stroke. Set your stroke color and thickness.

Next, change the “Fill” on your layer to 0%. You will be left with an outline only.

Finally, you can move your text, and rotate it slightly, to create an offset appearance. If you prefer, you can do this multiple times — even doing a different offset for each letter. The more you do, the more chaotic and playful it becomes.

4. Script Over Solid Text

Layering fonts can break up a thought into two parts. This forces the eye to dwell on the message and take it in more slowly.

For this example, we’re using simple layers to put a script font over a sans serif font. Simply put a rectangle between your two text layers to give the impression that the lettering has been cut away.

5. Peekaboo Text (Object Select + Erase)

It’s easier than you think to make images that wrap around text. All you have to do is boost your cut-out skills.

For this example, I want the flowers to pop out of the letter. First, place the image layer. Then, write the text over it — taking note of which pieces you want to interact with the letters. Then, make a copy of the initial image. It must be in the same exact place as the original layer.

Then, you just need to cut out the parts you want to pop through the letters.

You can use the magnetic lasso tool, object selection tool or even the color selector depending on the image. Then, you simply erase the areas where you want the text to show.

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If you enjoyed this set of tutorials, you’ll love my collected posts at The Drawing Board. I regularly add infographics, color combinations (with hex codes) and ideas to boost your design projects.

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Published by Danielle

I'm a writer and artist in Lynchburg, Virginia.

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