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Graphic Design: Create a Fuzzy text

Beginner level Adobe Photoshop Adobe Photoshop

Introduction

I’m pretty sure that all of us are familiar with the WordArt effects that come by default in Microsoft Word. These effects are a classic within the design world, although their lack of quality and flat design can make cry even the most inexperienced designer.

Therefore, many designers opt for applying different types of effects to their texts. Join me in this tutorial and you’ll learn to use a new text effect at the same time you extend your knowledge as a designer.

Throughout the tutorial, we’re going to work with different layer styles, we’ll learn to stroke a path with the Brush tool and apply a texture to a previously designed text. Shall we start?


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First Steps

The first thing we need to make sure every time we start a new project is that the image has the ideal dimensions and resolution (ppi) according to the work we’re developing. As we’re going to create an image from scratch, its dimensions will be 1280x720 px and, as it’s intended for the web, I’ve opted for a resolution of 72 ppi.

After that, go to the section Attachments, where you’ll find the texture and font we’re going to use for this project. Download them and you’ll be ready to get started! In the Attachments tab you’ll also find the brush we’ll be using in this tutorial. However, it would be better if you design your own brush and work with it. You can download the template I used for creating my brush and also I recommend that you have a look at this tutorial on how to create your own brushes.

So now we have all we need, let’s get the ball rolling!

Step 1

As I just said, create a new file of 1280x720 px and a resolution of 72 ppi. As we’re working with an image, the color mode will be RGB. 

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Step 2

Select the Text tool and write a word to apply a text effect. In my case, I’ve used the font Proxima Nova Condensed Bold, for which you have to pay. Although I invite you to try out other fonts. If you don’t want to give much thought to the font you could use, my advice is to work with Bebas Neue Bold, with which you’ll get a pretty similar effect. 

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Step 3

Select the text layer and go to the menu Type → Convert to Shape.

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Stroke the Text

This step will be about stroking the text to draw strands of fur coming out the shape. To do so, we’ll be working with the Brush tool and the Path panel. Ready? 

Step 1

Click on the Path panel. If you can't find a panel or it isn’t enabled, remember that you can open it directly from the Window menu. However, you’ll normally find the tab of the Path panel next to the Layers and Channels tabs.

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Step 2

Let’s double-click on the layer called “Work Path”. Then, save and rename with the same word used in your text. This way, we’re saving this path and can come back to it any time we want to use it again.


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Step 3

Now, go to the panel Layers. If we hide the layer with the text, we’ll see that a blue line appears around the text. This line corresponds to the path.  

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Step 4

Create a new layer.

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Step 5

Now, we’re going to use the outline to create our furry path. As I already mentioned, it would be better if you use the template I provide you here to create your own customized brush.

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Yet, if you prefer using mine, here is the link, where you can download the brush I created. 

Step 6

At this point, we need to be careful because, although it's generally a simple process, we might face some complex steps. First, we need to make sure that we're working on the empty layer that we created before. Once we’ve selected it, go to the Path panel and select the path we saved before.

Next, click on the Brush tool and set its size according to the outline of our text. Don’t worry if the size doesn't fit the outline. It isn't easy to get the perfect size at the drop of a hat, but the shortcut Control + Z is a good friend since it lets us undo and try out new combinations.  

Let’s stroke the path. To do so, click on the small circle you’ll find at the bottom of the Path panel (it's an empty circle with a dotted line).

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The next step consists of filling the text with the same color, so in the Path panel, click on the white circle below.

 
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The fur layer covering the text is ready, so let’s move on to the next part of the tutorial! It’s the perfect time to take a breath and build up your batteries before starting. 

Apply Blending Options

In this section, we’re going to apply different layer styles that will give our design a realistic effect. Once we finish it, we’ll be ready to add the texture. 

Step 1

Let’s create a layer with a solid color for the background. In my case, as the fur is blue, I’ve selected orange for the background (#d89936). To create this layer, go to Layers→ New fill or adjustment layer → Solid color…


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Step 2

Our text is black, so we’re going to invert the color to white by selecting the layer with the color and pressing Ctrl + I. Another way of doing this is to select the layer and click on Image → Adjustments → Invert. 

The layer might not be completely white, but don't worry about it. Let me give you a tip to avoid this problem: create and new fill layer of solid color, in this case, white, and drag the layer above the text layer. Select this just created white layer, right click and press Create Clipping Mask (a shortcut for this is holding Alt and clicking on the line between the two layers). After selecting this option, you’ll see that a down arrow appears next to the thumbnail of the layer. This icon indicates that you’ve activated this effect.


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Now, select both the fill layer of solid color and the text layer in order to create a smart object. This way, we’re creating a single layer. It’s also possible to combine them, although I personally prefer working with smart objects and avoid doing a destructive edition. So, to create a smart object, select the two layers and then right click → Convert to Smart Object.

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Step 3

Let’s start by applying different effects to our text layer, however, in order for you to see it clearer, I’m going to add the texture first and the effects later on.

To do this, we just need to drag the texture I attached here to the file. Adjust it to the size of the text, although we’ll need to modify it again afterward.

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Step 4

How are we going to add the texture to our text? As we did before: creating a clipping mask. So, right click on the layer → Create Clipping Mask.

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Step 5

Now we're ready to start working with the blending options! There are two ways of opening the blending options panel: by double-clicking on the layer (do not click on the thumbnail nor the name) or by right-clicking on the layer → Blending Options…

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Step 6 

First, inside this panel, activate the option Bevel and Emboss to add volume to the text. Adjust the parameters in the following way:

Structure:

  • Style: Inner Bevel
  • Technique: Smooth
  • Depth: 65 %
  • Direction: Up
  • Size: 20 px
  • Soften: 15 px

Shading:

  • Angle: 90º
  • Use Global Light
  • Altitude: 30ª
  • Gloss Contour: Gaussian
  • Anti-aliased
  • Highlight Mode: Soft Light (#ffffff)
  • Opacity: 65 %
  • Shadow Mode: Overlay (#332614)
  • Opacity: 25 %
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Step 7

Let’s add now an Inner Glow, with which we'll get glows emanating from the inside edges of the text. The settings would be as follows:

Structure:

  • Blend Mode: Screen
  • Opacity: 25 %
  • Solid color (#cfb9a6)

Elements:

  • Technique: Softer
  • Source: Center
  • Choke: 5 %
  • Size: 160 px

Quality:

  • Range: 100 %
  • Jitter: 0 %

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Step 8

Now we’re going to add Drop Shadow twice: one for the text and one to add a glow to the outside edges. These are the settings for the first shadow:

Structure:

  • Blend Mode: Normal (#6d655d)
  • Opacity: 85 %
  • Angle: 0º 
  • Distance: 5 px
  • Spread: 100 %
  • Size: 0 px
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Step 9

Let’s set now the second Drop Shadow, which is for adding gloss to the edges. The settings are as follows:

Structure:

  • Blend Mode: Normal (#e5dacf)
  • Opacity: 100 %
  • Angle:
  • Distance: 0 px
  • Spread: 0 %
  • Size: 2 px
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Step 10 

In the last step, we’re going to select Color Overlay to add color to the text and intensify the gloss. The settings are:

Color:

  • Blend Mode: Normal (#ffffff)
  • Opacity: 20 %
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Our design is almost ready! It only remains to change the color of the fur.

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Step 11

To color the text, the first thing we need to do is to create a new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. In this case, I’ve selected light-blue to heighten the contrast between the text and the background. We can create an adjustment layer directly from the Adjustments panel if it’s active. Otherwise, it’s also possible to open it from the Window menu. 

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As we don’t want it to affect the background, let's create a clipping mask above the text. 

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Let’s double-click on this layer and tweak the properties until getting the desired color. Don't forget to activate the option Color on the Properties panel for coloring the selected layers (in this case, the one with the text). The following are the values I’ve used:

  • Hue: 185
  • Saturation: 25
  • Lightness: -25
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The End!

I really hope you enjoyed this tutorial as much as I did and that you found the explanations easy to understand. If you have any doubt or suggestion, I invite you to post them on the forum of the tutorial. I’m looking forward to meeting your furry, lovely and fluffy results in the Projects tab on the Tutpad site. If you liked the tutorial, don’t miss out on our other courses and tutorials! See you next time! :)

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Discussion

Don’t you know how to say what’s on your mind? What about turning your thoughts into adorable, fluffy and fuzzy messages? Join me in this tutorial and you won’t have to pull your hair out anymore. So, just let your hair down and enjoy. Ready?

Tut Details

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