photoshop creative

Make retro text in four steps

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
December 18, 2015

Use layers and blend modes to create ’80s-style typography


1. Get started


This effect works best with bright letters; the blend modes will enhance the natural zest. But if not, try adding a gradient clipping mask to the type. Add a Bevel or Emboss in Layers Styles to make the text seem less flat.

2. Overlay an image


We placed a couple of disco balls over the text to give pattern and texture. Place a clipping mask of a bright texture over the top to give some colour, and choose Screen as the blend mode to mix it into the existing colour of the text.

3. Add gradients


Add another layer and insert a gradient. Follow the direction of the letter. Set the mode to Color, Opacity: 80%. Insert two more gradient layers, one white to black, the other light colour to a dark colour. Change both to Soft Light.

4. Add lens flare


Create black layers, and go to Filter>Lighting Effects>Lens Flare. Insert your flares and set the layers to Screen. Now you can position them across your type, which you wouldn’t be able to do if you just added them straight on.