Learn how to turn boring text into a point of interest in 6 easy steps with this Photoshop tutorial.

Creating a Grunge, Wooden Typography Effect in Photoshop CS4

Turning boring text into a point of interest can be easily done in Photoshop CS4 and can really add a lot to any poster, web page or, with its ever growing fanbase online, business card printing designs. In this tutorial, you will learn how to give your text the wooden look in 6 easy steps.

Step 1: Background 
Open Photoshop and open a photo or background that you would like to use. For this tutorial, I am using a photo from freeimages.com called TT 2 and resized to 650x435px.

Step 1: Background 

Step 2: Text 
Type in your text into the center of the background using a large font size. Here, I've used a Photoshop font named Stencil Std bold at 72pt.

Step 2: Text 

Step 3: Wood Texture 
First, create a new layer above the text layers in your Layers panel (the Create a New Layer button is at the bottom of the panel; you can drag the layer to the top of the panel). Open your wood texture in a new document in Photoshop and hit Ctrl + A then Ctrl + C to select and copy the image. Now go back to the original document you are creating and select the new layer. Hit Ctrl + V to paste the wood image onto the layer. The wood texture should now be covering the rest of your document.

Step 3: Wood Texture

Press Ctrl while left clicking onto your text. Since I have two layers of text, I selected the top line of text first using this method. You should now see your text as a moving dotted outline on the wood texture. Now you can click on the Mask Layers button at the bottom of the Layers panel. Your text will appear with the wood texture.

Step 3: First Layer Text 

If you have a second layer of text, as I do, then simply complete the same steps as you did for the first layer of text.

Step 3: Second Layer Text 

Step 4: Emboss 
To apply an emboss effect, right click on the first text layer and choose Blending Options. On the left side of the Layer Style panel that pops up, select Bevel and Emboss and then click on the Bevel and Emboss text to see the menu. Set the Depth to 1,000%, change Size to 2 px, enter 120 degrees for the Angle, and change the Shadow Mode Opacity to 100%. Then click on the box next to Highlight Mode and enter #CEBE80 in the # box at the bottom of the pop up screen. Make sure Shadow Mode color is #000000.

Step 4: Emboss

Now select and activate Inner Glow. Choose Normal for the Blend Mode, change the Opacity to 50%, select the color box and enter #2E2E00, set Choke to 20%, and Size to 20 px.

Step 4: Inner Glow

To add the same effects to the second layer of text, go to Layer>Layer Style>Copy Layer Style. Then click on your second text layer, go to Layer>Layer Style>Paste Layer Style.

Step 4: Paste Layer Style

Step 5: Create a Border 
Adding a border around the text really makes the emboss effect stand out. To do this, first create a new layer and drag it below the text layers. Then hold down Ctrl + Shift + left click on each of the text layers to select both of them at the same time. Next go to Select>Modify>Expand and enter 6 pixels in the box that appears.

Step 5: Create a Border

Now go to Edit>Fill. In the Use drop down menu, choose "Color..." The Choose a color box will appear, and at the bottom of the screen in the # box you will need to enter FFFFFF. Click OK in this box and the Fill box.

Step 5: Choose a Color

Your Text will now be surrounded by a thick, white border.

Step 5: White Border

Step 6: Pillow Emboss 
To add a pillow emboss to the border, right click on the border layer and choose Blending Options. On the right side in Blend Mode, choose Soft Light. In the menu on the left of the Layer Style panel, choose Bevel and Emboss and click on the text to see the menu. In Style, select Pillow Emboss and in Technique, choose Chisel Hard. The Depth should be 200%, the Size 1 px, the Altitude 25 degrees, check Anti-aliased, enter #DBC09C for Highlight Mode and #000000 for Shadow Mode, and change the Shadow Mode Opacity to 50%.

Step 6: Pillow Emboss 

Now activate Inner Glow, and in Blend Mode choose Normal. Set the Opacity to 60%, the color box should be #000000, and Size should be 10 px. This should give your border a grunge appearance.

Step 6: Inner Glow

Your grunge wooden text effect is complete and ready to be used for flyers, poster printing, websites, and more!


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