Retro Shadow Text Effect – Photoshop Tutorial
This Retro Shadow text effect is often offered for Illustrator, but rarely for Photoshop. Using a pattern, it is very easy to achieve this result.
Retro Shadow Text Effect
To create this Retro Shadow text effect, I used a free font, a texture and a hatch pattern that I created myself.
Copper Penny DTP font from Dafont
Paper Pack from Yaolin-Yaolin on Deviantart
Create a new document 816px x 550px, white background.
Unzip the Paper Pack file and open texture 2.
Drag the texture into your document.
Reduce the opacity to 25%.
Select the Type Tool, Copper Penny DTP font, size 100pt, colour black.
You will need to open the Character window that will either be found on the right side of the screen – it looks like A| – or you will find it from the Window menu at the top of the screen – Window > Character.
Apply the following settings:
Now type the first word of your text – in my case ‘RETRO’.
Right click on the layer in the layers palette and select Rasterize Type.
Duplicate this text layer twice.
Rename the layers – from top to bottom: RETRO – RETRO outline – RETRO shadow (or replace RETRO with your own word – but this is how I will refer to these layers from here on).
Working on the ‘RETRO outline’ layer, select the Move Tool, and using the arrow keys on the keyboard, move the text by hitting the right arrow 5 times.
Hold down the Ctrl key and click on the thumbnail of the layer to select the pixels.
Select > Modify > Contract > Contract by 2 pixels, click on OK. Now hit the Delete key on the keyboard. Ctrl+D to deselect.
On letters like the T where the serif is visible on the left side, use the Eraser Tool to clear it.
Working on the ‘RETRO shadow’ layer, select the Move Tool, and using the arrow keys on the keyboard, move the text by hitting the down arrow key 10 times, and the left arrow key 10 times.
Set the layer Fill (top of the layers palette) to 0, and double click on the layer to bring up the blending options.
Select Pattern Overlay and select the Hatch pattern. Make sure the scale is set to 100%.
How to Load Patterns
Download the pattern file to somewhere that you can easily navigate to on your device. Double click on the layer in the layers palette to bring up the blending options and select Pattern Overlay.
- Click on the small downward arrowhead beside the pattern
- Click on the icon on the right
- Select Load Patterns
Navigate to the downloaded pattern file. Now you will see the pattern in the selection box.
Hold down the Ctrl key and click on the thumbnail of the ‘RETRO’ layer in the layers palette to select the pixels.
Select > Expand > Expand by 1 px, click OK.
Make sure the ‘RETRO shadow’ layer is active and hit the Delete key on the keyboard.
That is the first letter completed. Repeat from Step 2 for any other words you require – in my case, ‘SHADOW’, so the layers will be renamed: SHADOW – SHADOW outline – SHADOW shadow.
Here are the letters that have serifs to the left that need to be erased from the ‘…outline’ layers:
Group all of the text layers together – click on top layer in the layers palette, hold down the Shift key, click on the bottom text layer – ‘RETRO shadow’ in my case – this will select all the layers. Right click on any highlighted layer, Ctrl+G.
Rename the group ‘centre text’.
You can now move this group around your canvas, keeping all the layers aligned with each other.
To centre the text – Ctrl+A to select the whole canvas, select the Move Tool and use the centering tools at the top of the screen.
Select the Type Tool, Copper Penny DTP font, size 36pt, colour black.
Return to the Character panel and set the tracking back to 0.
Type the text you require for the curved top part.
On a new layer, type the text for the curved bottom part.
Working on the top curve layer – Ctrl+T to enter Transform mode. Right click in the Transform box and select Warp.
Using the drop down box at the top of the screen, select Arc, and change the Bend to 25%.
Repeat this process for the bottom curved text, but set the Bend to -25%.
I tried the effect with some other fonts, and here are the results: