3 terrible text effects
Graphic Design

3 terrible text effects – Tipster Friday

Some text effects are awesome. When done by an expert, these effects create an image that says so much more than the text itself. The effects give a theme, goal, or maybe a target demographic to what was just words.

Some effects though, especially when used poorly, just give a cheesy, fake look to otherwise perfectly good words. Today’s Tipster Friday video discusses the biggest offenders, and how (if it’s possible) to use them for good instead of evil.

Watch Tipster Ara as she gives you her top 3 terrible text effects, and how, if you must use them, to make them a little less terrible. You can also read the transcript below if you lack speakers or the privacy of your own office.


Video Transcription

Welcome back folks! Once again it’s Tipster Friday where I give you tips you’ve probably never heard of.

This week we’re talking about…3 Terrible Text Effects

Text effects are totally awesome, but they are way easy to overdo. Nothing says newbie designer like a headline with six different effects on it just because you can. Here are three text effects that scream “amateur.”

First up: Drop-shadow

This is every new designer’s favorite effect once they’ve discovered it. Remember the first time you checked the drop shadow box and you were like “Whoa, it’s like the text is coming off the page”?

Now don’t get me wrong. You can certainly see drop shadow used in professional designs all the time, but when you do, it tends to be very slight and soft. The problem starts when you make the shadow too hard and too distant from the text. Less is more with this effect.

Next is Bevel and Emboss

This is another effect that attempts to make text look “realistic,” but unless you have a really specific purpose for it, you’re better off without it.

New designers often only mess with the size and leave everything else alone. The result is really fake and cheesy.

If you must use Bevel and Emboss, experiment with the blending modes in the highlight and shadow. Changing them from their defaults can really help this effect.

Number three is the cardinal sin of all graphic design faux pas: Rainbow gradient

Honestly, I don’t know why design programs continue to make this effect available. There should be a function that if you try to apply rainbow gradient it shuts down your program without saving. Unlike the other text effects, there’s no way to make rainbow gradient look good. Say “no” to rainbow gradients.

Just to drive home my point…

Shoo, get out of here!

Want to learn how to how to make a text effect that actually looks good? Click here to watch last week’s video where I show you how to make an awesome letterpress text effect in Photoshop.

See you next week!


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