photoshop creative

Photoshop Tutorial: Neon text effect, part 1

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
September 30, 2013

These bright, colourful lights can be easily created in Photoshop

Download all you need for this tutorial here

Neon text effect in Photoshop

This could be created using the Pen tool, but a ready-made font is the far easier option. We will then create three signs using a custom shape, and while we found it best to making one horizontal and two vertical, this is up to you. Finally we simulate a nighttime effect using adjustment layers and blending modes, and create the neon effect using layer styles. We will also show you how to add some stars that can be found in Photoshop’s custom shape presets.


Open the city image in Photoshop. This will be the background for our image. First we want to make the image darker so it looks like evening, and we do this using a Hue/Saturation adjustment Layer. To add this into your stack go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Hue/Saturation.


In the Hue/Saturation layer dialog, first tick the Colorize box then set Hue to 213. Next set Saturation to 34 and Lightness to -26. Change the blending mode to Multiply, and this will make the picture darker.


Download the brick wall image and open it into Photoshop to sit above the Hue/Saturation layer we just created. In the Layers palette find the walls thumbnail and then, while holding the Alt/Opt key, drag it to the Create a new layer Icon. This will open a Duplicate Layer dialog box.


From the Destination Document select the name of your picture and click the Ok button. Next choose the Move tool and drag the wall to the left until about a third of the wall is left visible. Name this layer Wall.


Next we want to add a layer mask to the Wall layer by going to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal All. Use a textured brush to mask away some of the outer edge of the wall.


Set your Foreground colour to black by pressing D on your keyboard, then on the wall layer’s mask paint away the edge to create a rough texture. This will create an effect that is more realistic than the smooth look it currently has.


With the wall and the background now completed, move on to the signs the neon will be attached too. Locate the file ‘signs.csh’ and install it into Photoshop. Next select the Custom Shape tool from the Toolbar and from the list choose the shape Sign 1.


First we make sure the Shape Layers icon in the Options bar is selected, this will create our shape on a new layer. We then set the Foreground colour to #662217. This is a dark red and will be the back colour of our signs.


As we have Sign 1 already selected we can draw the shape and position this down the edge of the wall. Name this layer Sign 1, then select Sign 2 from the Custom Shape tool’s list and draw two more next to the original sign. Name these layers Sign 2 and Sign 3.


We now want to make the wall and signs darker and look more like nighttime. Make a new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer at the top of the stack, click Colorize then set Hue to 213, Saturation to 34 and Lightness to -26. Also, set the layer blending mode to Multiply.

Continue to part 2 of this tutorial…

  • Pingback: Photoshop Tutorial: Neon text effect, part 2 | Photoshop Creative()

  • khalid

    where to locate the signs.chs file?

  • Simon Skellon

    Please find the .csh now at the top with the other files. Thanks for reading!

  • Simon Skellon

    Please find the .csh now at the top with the other files. Thanks for reading!

  • Simon Rudd

    This is one of mine from a few years ago 😀