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How to Create a Quick Vintage Text Effect in Adobe InDesign

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This post is part of a series called Text Effects in Adobe InDesign.
How to Create a Quick Pop Art Type Effect in Adobe InDesign
How to Create a Quick Letterpress Type Effect in Adobe InDesign
This post is part of a series called Retro Text Effect Tutorials.
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What You'll Be Creating

Want to create a stunning text effect in next to no time? While Photoshop is great for creating advanced type effects, you can also create similar designs using the Effects panel in Adobe InDesign. 

Here we’ll put together a vintage type effect with letterpress-style detailing. The best news? This type effect only takes a few minutes to create. So what are you waiting for?

On the hunt for letterpress or vintage fonts for your next project? You'll find a huge selection of cool typefaces over on GraphicRiver and Envato Elements

How to Create a Vintage Text Effect in InDesign

For this effect, you’ll need a condensed font style (such as Bebas Neue Bold, which is used here) and a paper texture image (try this vintage paper background from PhotoDune).

vintage effect finalvintage effect finalvintage effect final

Step 1

Open up InDesign and go to File > New > Document to create a new document if you wish. If you want to integrate the effect into an existing InDesign document, you can skip this step and create the effect directly on your existing layout. Here I’ve set up the page to A3 landscape, and the Intent to Print

To create this vintage letterpress-style effect, you’ll need four color swatches—two pairs of different colored swatches in light and dark versions. Expand the Swatches panel (Window > Color > Swatches) and select New Color Swatch from the panel’s drop-down menu. To create the swatches I’ve used here, add these CMYK swatches to your panel:

  • Blue: C=76 M=32 Y=1 K=0
  • Dark Blue: C=100 M=79 Y=46 K=53
  • Mustard: C=10 M=15 Y=73 K=1
  • Gold: C=25 M=35 Y=98 K=0
gold swatchgold swatchgold swatch

Step 2

Expand the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and create two layers: Background at the bottom and Type above. Lock the Type layer, so that we’re working on Background for now. 

background layerbackground layerbackground layer

Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and drag across the whole page, setting the Fill to Mustard from the Swatches panel. 

mustard fillmustard fillmustard fill

Select the Rectangle Frame Tool (F) and create an image frame over the top, with the same dimensions as the colored rectangle below. Go to File > Place, choose your paper texture image, and Open, allowing it to fill the frame completely. 

With the image frame selected go to Object > Effects > Transparency, setting the Mode to Multiply and bringing the Opacity down to 50%


Click on Gradient Feather at the bottom of the panel’s left-hand menu. Choose Radial for the Type, allowing the lighter part of the gradient to extend outwards from the center of the page. Click OK to exit the window. 


Step 3

Lock the Background layer and unlock the layer above, Type

Take the Type Tool (T) and create a large text frame in the center of the page. Type in your text, and set the font to your condensed style (or another style if you prefer), like Bebas Neue Bold.

Once you’re happy with the formatting of the text, Edit > Copy, Edit > Paste a copy onto the pasteboard to preserve a copy. Select the original text frame and head up to Type > Create Outlines, to convert the text into a vector. 

bebas neuebebas neuebebas neue

Step 4

From the Swatches panel, set the Fill of the vector to the paler of your dark swatches (here, Gold), and the Stroke to the darkest (here, Dark Blue). 

stroke bluestroke bluestroke blue

Go to Object > Effects > Inner Shadow and apply a Multiply Mode shadow effect, with a Gold Effect Color. Bring up the Choke to about 40% and Noise to around 40%.

effect coloreffect coloreffect color

Click on Inner Glow in the left-hand menu and apply a Gold effect with a low Opacity, and high Choke (70%) and high Noise (100%).

inner glowinner glowinner glow
effect so fareffect so fareffect so far

Step 5

Select the vector and Edit > Copy, Edit > Paste in Place, shifting it slightly down and to the left using the arrow keys. Set the Fill to [None] and Stroke to Gold

pasted vectorpasted vectorpasted vector

Then go to Object > Effects > Transparency and set the Mode to Multiply and Opacity to 80%. This will give the effect a slight misprinted effect, adding to the vintage feel of the text. 


Step 6

Edit > Paste in Place another copy of the text vector, and then Right-Click > Arrange > Send to Back. Shift the position down and to the right, creating a shadow effect. Set the Stroke to [None] and Fill to Blue

blue fillblue fillblue fill

Go to Object > Effects > Drop Shadow and choose Dark Blue for the Effect Color. Increase the Spread to about 60% and the Noise to 10%.

effect coloreffect coloreffect color

Click OK, and you’ve finished your vintage type effect. 

Conclusion: Your Finished Type Effect

Great job! This vintage type effect would make a great addition to poster artwork or as a cool logo for a branding project. 

Looking for vintage-inspired fonts for your next project? Head over to GraphicRiver or Envato Elements to track down letterpress-inspired typefaces to give your designs a retro edge.

final vintage effectfinal vintage effectfinal vintage effect
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