Three-dimensional typography is something we've seen a lot of recently, and it doesn't seem to be dying down, either. This post showcases a huge collection of 3D typography, and we have no doubt whatsoever that it is going inspire!
So, how is this magnificent typography produced? There are actually a handful of ways, and the correct piece of software is chosen depending on what look you want to go for. 3D editing software such as Maya or Cinema 4D is used to create rendered shapes, making your typography look like each shape is a real life object, such as the first two examples below.
Adobe software, such as Photoshop and Illustrator, can also be used to create 3D typography, using various different tools and techniques. This option usually produces a softer and more artistic/illustrated look, such as examples Question and Noony Style which can be found below. Of course, us creatives don't limit ourselves to such applications, as can be seen below with projects titled Freelance and Eelst, which were actually produced by cutting and frying potatoes - yes, they're fries!
If you'd like to see all the steps involved in creating 3D typography digitally, try our course on making 3D text in Adobe Illustrator.
The life-like effects in this fantastic rendered image are brought to life even further due to the subtle gray background and excellent shadows.
The detail in every pixel of this ribbon typography composition is perfect, and has clearly had a lot of time put into it.
This piece shows off what can be created when merging various different pieces of software to create something unique and this stunning.
One of the biggest joys of this piece is not only the three-dimensional typography, but the composition and blurred foreground and background objects, making the piece look even more realistic, as if it is a photograph rather than a digital render.
This is personally one of my favorite pieces in this showcase. The 3D typography has been produced using time, a sharp knife, potatoes, a pan, oil, and a camera. The outcome is superb!
This is another interesting ribbon-style typography effect similar to what we saw in the earlier design titled Porta. It has been produced in a different way which ultimately makes it very different.
By using various textures and stock images, your typography art can be made even more realistic - in this example, a stock image of a splash of water has been used with some clever techniques to make the art appear as realistic as possible.
Here is another piece that makes use of stock images and texture to create an interesting composition. In this piece, a stone/rock texture has been used to make the 3D type appear like it has been carved out of rock.
This artistic piece makes use of subtle grunge to add a different feel to the design compared to many others in this design. Although it is very cartoony, it also has a certain realisticness to it.
This clever typography illustration has been used to produce a very visually appealing chart/graph in an extremely unique way - I wish my old math class included making graphics this stunning!
Not all three-dimensional typography has to look like a photo, and this piece proves that. It uses a beautiful illustration technique that is commonly seen being used in apparel (especially t-shirt) and poster design.
In this piece, the typography has been shaped to act as a robot's body, making it a main focal point of the poster in two completely different ways. The overall concept and composition of this piece is superb!
This piece, titled Handmade is incredibly realistic. Why? Because it's real! This has been produced out of old boxes and a footstool - a simple and fun way to produce a stunning piece of work!
Another example of simple illustrated 3D typography - this example here is actually a very small selection of the full piece (the full piece is very, very long!) so be sure to click through to view the full-size version!
The color scheme used in this piece is fantastic, cool greys and white with a bright and vivid pink - a wonderful combination! This piece has clearly been produced using a professional piece of 3D software such as Maya or Cinema 4D.
This piece uses some fantastic techniques and lighting effects, and has a very clever name to go with it. The dark-to-light radial background brings out the best of the typography concept.
This is a reasonably minimal but great piece of 3D typography, merging different angles into one composition to make it visually appealing and quite fascinating!
3D typography is quite a big trend when it comes to club flyers, postcards and posters, and the technique is pulled off well in this example, making use of noisy texture to add a different look to the design which isn't used too much in this modern day when it comes to three-dimensional objects.
Depending on how you look at it, this piece has both a two- and three-dimensional look to it. The illustrator/designer has used simple gradients to produce shadows, making it appear as if some corners of the text has been folded over.
Here is another piece that has made use of stock photos to add interest to the typography - in this case, it plays a major part and makes this piece as good as it is!
Although busy compositions are often not pulled off quite how they should be, this piece is composed very well, especially when you really look into how many different elements have been used: stock images, textures, patterns, lighting effects, and of course the 3D typography!
A very minimal three-dimensional type design, this time making use of different blending modes and options to overlay certain colors, producing a stunning and visually interesting effect.
Some may argue this isn't real 3D typography, but in actual fact, it is. A thick black border has been used to make the text appear 3D, even if it really isn't - the use of texture brings this composition to life.
As you've probably guessed, this piece isn't actually real. It is, however, a very good photo-manipulation, which has clearly had a lot of thought put into it because the angles and shadows are virtually perfect!
With most people viewing this being some form of a creative professional, we all have Flickr accounts. This piece in particular is for you. The 3D look, glowing lighting effects and reflections, and superb shadows make this composition a stunner!
This piece makes use of some vector-style shapes and paint/ink splatter brushes to produce an interesting background for the 3D typography, making it much more visually appealing and interesting to look at.
As well as having a nice catchy slogan/title, this piece uses some great techniques to grab your attention. The text itself is actually black (which is the same as the background) and is only visible because of the 3D effect that has been applied to the text.
This wonderfully illustrated monster actually makes up the typography, with the face of the monster making the M shape, and its body making the rest of the letters ONSTER. An incredible and interesting composition!
This space style design uses repeated patterns and simple bevel and emboss styles to produce a three-dimensional look on its otherwise-simple typography.
Social Media is actually a design purely based on a white color scheme, but cleverly uses shadows and social media logos to make it stand out like there's no tomorrow!
Like a few others in this showcase, this composition uses different angles to produce a very interesting composition that us humans automatically fall in love with. The use of subtle grunge texture and incredible lighting effects and shadows makes this piece very beautiful!
Like the Social Media typography illustration above, this design uses a similar technique but makes use of newspaper cuttings instead of social media logos. Shadows, lighting and reflections are used to bring the composition to life.
This typography illustration makes use of flooring and wall textures to produce a real three-dimensional look in the composition.
Although this is just a photograph, it provides great inspiration for typography nerds. The shadows, lighting and depth of field are pretty magnificent!
This 3D typography appears to be three-dimensional mainly because of its white and red typography - without this, it honestly would just look like a few big black blobs! The composition is great, and the use of texture in the background adds that extra something to complete the look.
This magnificent poster uses three-dimensional typography to really catch the passer-by's attention. If you really like it, why not click on the image to be taken to a tutorial on how to create this exact image? Courtesy of, you guessed it, Tuts+!
This strange but interesting composition makes use of all kinds of elements, from texture to stock photos and everything in between. It has been produced incredibly well and could probably be stared at with admiration for quite a long time!
I really love the magnificent hand-drawn style this piece has. The very subtle and light noise add a really unique look to the design and makes it one of my personal favorites in this showcase.
As mentioned in the introduction of this article, here is another 3D type project that was produced using potatoes and frying pans. This piece was actually used as a book cover, which can be viewed by clicking through to the original location of the image. Incredible!
Eugenio Rada makes use of some wonderful lighting and shadow effects and uses blurring techniques to its advantage to create focal points in different areas, such as the bottom of the EU and bottom and tip of the N and A.
We'd love to know what your favorite typography projects are, so be sure to let us know in the comments section below!
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