- How to Create the Background
- How to Create the Text
- How to Add the Stroke and Use the Stroke Overprint
- How to Add Multiple Layer Effect Instances
- How to Add the Inner Shadows
- How to Add the Inner Glow and Color Overlay Effects
- How to Add the Drop Shadows
- How to Add a Few Other New Options
- How to Add the Texture
The latest Photoshop update comes with a couple of pretty awesome new layer style features, such as multiple layer style instances and stroke overprint. This retro text effect tutorial for Photoshop will show you how to use those features to create a one-layer-only, retro text effect.
We've also shared a few premade text effects with vintage and retro designs that you can download. They all are part of Envato Elements, an all-you-can-download creative platform.
What You'll Learn in This Retro Text Effect Photoshop Tutorial
- How to create the background and text
- How to add a stroke and use a stroke overprint
- How to add multiple layer effect instances
- How to add inner shadows
- How to add inner glow and color overlay effects
- How to add drop shadows
- How to add texture
What You'll Need
The following assets were used during the production of this retro text effect tutorial for Photoshop:
1. How to Create the Background
Create a new 950 x 950 px document, and duplicate the Background layer twice. Change the second copy's Fill value to 0.
Double-click the Background copy layer to apply a Gradient Overlay effect with the following settings:
- Style: Radial
- Scale: 150%
- Click the Gradient box to create the gradient using the colors
#ede6cfto the left and
#e1c194to the right.
This will apply the main gradient fill.
Double-click the Background copy 2 layer to apply a Pattern Overlay effect with the following settings:
- Blend Mode: Soft Light
- Pattern: Sawtooth
This will add a subtle chevron pattern to the gradient fill.
2. How to Create the Text
Create the text using the font Intro Inline Regular, the Size 200 pt, and any color you like since we'll be using a Color Overlay effect later on.
If you are adding more than one line of text, open the Character panel (Window > Character), and change the Leading value to 190 pt.
In order to space out the letters evenly, you'll need to place the cursor between each pair of letters you want to adjust, and type in a suitable Tracking value.
The values used here are:
- W/O, O/N: -50
- D/E, E/R: 100
- F/U, U/L: 150
3. How to Add the Stroke and Use the Stroke Overprint
Double-click the text layer to apply the following layer style:
Add a Stroke with these settings:
- Size: 3
- Position: Inside
- Opacity: 48%
- Check the Overprint box
The Overprint option is a new improvement to the Stroke effect.
What it does is that it allows the translucent inner stroke's fill (with an Opacity value less than 100%) to blend with the color of the shape or text it is applied to.
When the Overprint option is unchecked, the shape or text fill will be completely knocked out, and the background behind the translucent stroke will be shown instead.
4. How to Add Multiple Layer Effect Instances
A couple of effects have a little + icon to their right (the Stroke, Inner Shadow, Color Overlay, Gradient Overlay and Drop Shadow effects).
When you click that + icon, you can add up to 10 instances per layer of the effect next to it.
So if you click the + icon next to the Stroke effect, you'll notice that another tab of Stroke will appear below the one you already have, with the same settings and values applied.
Click the second Stroke effect instance to activate it, and use the following settings for it:
- Position: Outside
- Opacity: 100%
You'll see that this applies another stroke effect to the text, without the need to use another separate layer or layer style.
5. How to Add the Inner Shadows
Add an Inner Shadow with these settings:
- Opacity: 80%
- Distance: 8
- Size: 5
Add another instance of the Inner Shadow effect with these settings:
- Uncheck the Use Global Light box
- Angle: 63
- Distance: 11
This will enable you to add inner shadows with different Angle values using only one layer, and the same layer style.
6. How to Add the Inner Glow and Color Overlay Effects
Add an Inner Glow with these settings:
- Blend Mode: Color Burn
- Opacity: 100%
- Noise: 100%
- Source: Center
- Size: 35
Add a Color Overlay with these settings:
7. How to Add the Drop Shadows
This step in Photoshop is where the vintage 3D text effect is really going to start to pop.
Add a Drop Shadow with these settings:
- Opacity: 100%
- Distance: 8
- Spread: 100
- Size: 4
Add another instance of the Drop Shadow effect with these settings:
- Uncheck the Use Global Light box
- Angle: 119
- Distance: 17
Add a third instance of the Drop Shadow effect to the vintage text with these settings:
- Opacity: 61%
- Angle: 121
- Distance: 26
Add a fourth instance of the Drop Shadow effect with these settings:
- Opacity: 35%
- Angle: 41
- Distance: 13
- Spread: 47
- Size: 9
Add a fifth instance of the Drop Shadow effect. This instance will be very similar to the fourth one, so instead of clicking any Drop Shadow's + icon, make sure to click the + icon next to the fourth Drop Shadow instance.
This will create a fifth instance below the fourth one, with the same settings. Change the following ones:
- Angle: 130
- Distance: 38
And voila! There you have it. A pretty complex retro text effect created using only one text layer and one layer style.
You'll also find all the effect instances added to the layer effects list of the layer.
8. How to Add a Few Other New Options
In addition to the + icon, you'll also see a set of new icons at the bottom left corner of the Layer Style box. The first one to the left is the fx icon.
When you click the fx icon, you'll get a menu with a few options, as well as all the layer effect names, which you can click to add the effects as well as new instances.
The Delete Hidden Effects option will get rid of all the unused or inactive effects and instances. You can click an effect's name from the fx menu to show or add it back any time you like.
The Show All Effects option will show all the effects, whether they are used or not.
The Reset to Default List option will simply set everything back to its default, including getting rid of any added effect instances.
The Move effect up and Move effect down icons can be used to change the order of the effect instances, and the Delete effect icon will remove the selected effect or instance.
9. How to Add the Texture
Once you're done with the layer style, place the Grungy paper texture v.5 image on top of the text layer, resize it as needed, and place it as you like.
Then, change its layer's Blend Mode to Linear Burn, and its Opacity to 50%.
And You're Done!
In this Photoshop tutorial, we made a cool vintage 3D text effect. We started by creating a simple gradient with a subtle pattern background. Then we created a text layer, and adjusted a couple of its settings such as the leading and tracking values.
After that, we used a couple of layer effects, along with the new layer style features, to create a retro text effect. Finally, we added a simple grungy texture to finish off the effect. And all of that in one layer! Here's the final result:
Retro Text Effects and Layer Styles From Envato Elements
As you can see, it's not hard to create your own retro text effects in Photoshop. But when you've got projects to work on and not a lot of time, it makes more sense to trust one of the cool vintage text effect downloads from Envato Elements. Let's look at a few of them available from the all-you-can-download creative service.
1. Retro Melt Text Effect (PSD)
The Retro Melt text effect is, like, totally groovy. Its included PSD creates a cool text with vintage 70s style. Use it with whatever words you want to liquify thanks to the easy-to-use Smart Object layers.
2. Alter Iridescent Chrome Effect (PSD)
Alter is a retro text effect for Photoshop and a flashy callback to the 80s. The chrome look is done realistically, and so are the iridescent colors. You can use it with text, symbols, and logos. Try it if you want a vintage 3D text effect for an event poster or digital art project.
3. Stitched Fabric Photoshop Action (ATN, ABR, PAT)
This download looks just like stitched fabric. One of the coolest things about this selection is that it comes with 18 different stitch styles and three different stitch sizes. It also works with a number of different colors. Depending on the project, Fabric can make a great Photoshop vintage text effect.
4. Back to the 90s Retro Text Effect (PSD)
Yes, 1990 is over 30 years ago now, making this text as vintage and retro as it gets. And the cool recreation of the aesthetic on show here is true to the era. Everything is editable in this Photoshop vintage 3D text effect, and the Smart Object layers make doing so easy.
The distressed letterpress look is done perfectly in this Photoshop vintage text effect. It's a nice bundle of 12 effects, each with different styles and packed into PSDs that have well-organized layers. Create some cool text with unique vintage flair thanks to this download.
Discover More Photoshop Resources and Tutorials
The creativity doesn't have to stop here. Our instructors have created even more text effect tutorials for you to browse right here on Envato Tuts+. Check out just a small sample of what you can start making today:
- How to Create a Fun Felt Photoshop Text EffectJohn Negoita18 Oct 2022
- How to Create a Quick Sparkling Diamonds Text Effect in Adobe PhotoshopRose19 Sep 2022
- How to Create a 3D Chipped, Painted Wood Text Effect in Adobe PhotoshopRose24 May 2022
- How to Create a 3D Marquee Bulb Sign Text Effect in Adobe PhotoshopRose29 Mar 2022
- How to Create a Realistic Neon Light Text Effect in Adobe PhotoshopRose22 Apr 2023
- How to Create a Honey Text Effect in PhotoshopMarko Kožokar21 Feb 2022
- Create a Simple, Elegant Textured Metal Text Effect in Adobe PhotoshopJonathan Lam15 Mar 2022
- How to Create a 3D Isometric Text Effect in PhotoshopJonathan Lam31 Jan 2022
- How to Create an Easy Gold Glitter Text Effect in Adobe PhotoshopRose28 Oct 2021
- How to Create an Inflated 3D Frilly Text Effect in Adobe PhotoshopRose28 Jun 2021