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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Text Effects

How to Create a Typewriter Font Text Effect (And the Best Typewriter Fonts)

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:MediumLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Do you love old typewriters and the style they apply to the letters? Those duplicated letters, and the illegible and sometimes even blurred and almost missed symbols?

In this tutorial, I will show you a quick and easy way to create a vintage typewriter font effect using a displacement map, textures, and smart filters. And if you want to know what a typewriter font looks like, check the best typewriter font collection available on Envato Elements:

Enigma Typewriter Sans Font

This classic typewriter font will help you to recreate the style of old documents and papers. It was inspired by the "Enigma machine" and has a great vintage and grungy look. This typewriter font supports multilingual glyphs and comes in one TTF file.

httpselementsenvatocomenigma-typewriter-sans-font-2C69VV

Silk Remington

Inspired by the name of the old brand, this product is an authentic old typewriter font, created by Jadugar Design Studio. This vintage typewriter font comes in five variations, from Thin to Rough, so it could be really useful for different types of projects.

httpselementsenvatocomsilk-remington-XSHUFJ

Not my type typewriter font

If you ask what font looks like a typewriter, the answer is the one that is created with a real typewriter. This typewriter font was made with an Oliver Courier Typewriter from an antique market. If you need a simple old typewriter font with a great number of alternates, this one is the best choice for you.

httpselementsenvatocomnot-my-type-typewriter-font-8X4YTT

AMTW

If you are looking for an American typewriter font, take a look at AMTW. This classic typewriter font could be used in many ways because it comes in three styles: regular, rough, and rough-rough.

httpselementsenvatocomamtw-NHWEA7

Catalina Typewriter

If you are looking for a font that looks like a typewriter but was made by hand, Catalina Typewriter is the best typewriter font for you. This neatly handwritten font would be perfect for creating typewriter font tattoo sketches, table cards, menus, and much more.

httpselementsenvatocomcatalina-typewriter-V2Z22X

Let's start to create our own vintage typewriter font effect. If you want to learn this effect via video, check out our lesson on the Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:

Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used in the production of this tutorial:

1. How to Prepare the Document

Step 1

Let's get started by setting up a New Document by pressing Control-N. Set the document size to 1500 by 1000 px.

Creating a new document

Step 2

Drag and Drop the textures from the tutorial assets to the document, and then make these layers Invisible.

dragging the textures inside the document

Step 3

Hit T and create two text layers with any words you want to use.

creating text layers

Step 4

After that, add a Mask to each layer.

adding the masks to the text layers

Step 5

Select the text layers while holding Shift, and hit Control-G to create a group of the layers. Then add a mask to this group as we did before.

Creating first group of layers

Step 6

Now we need to create four duplicates of the group using Right Click > Duplicate Layer.

creating duplicates of the group of layers

2. How to Create a Typewriter Font Text Effect

Step 1

Select the mask of the first text layer and then Control-click on the icon of the text layer.

creating a selection on the mask of the text layer

Step 2

Go to Select > Modify > Contract  and use the following setting: Contract By: 4 px.

creating a contract selection

Step 3

Press Shift-Control-I to invert the selection, and then hit Shift-F5 to fill the selection with black.

inverting the selection

Step 4

Add the same mask effect to the second text layer and hit Control-D to deselect.

inverting the second layer selection

Step 5

Select the mask of the first layer and then go to Filter Gallery > Brush Strokes > Splatter and use the following settings: Set Radius: 10; Smoothness: 15. After that, add the same filter to the mask of the second layer using Alt-Control-F.

adding splatter effect to the mask of the layer

Step 6

Put the ink texture inside the first group of layers.

adding the effect and moving the layer

Step 7

Double-Click on the ink texture in the Layers panel, and then go to Color Overlay and use white.

adding color overlay to the texture

Step 8

Now we need to add the selection to the masks of the second group of layers, as we did before. But this time we'll use the following settings: Contract By: 2 px.

adding selections to the masks of the second group

Step 9

After that, select the mask of the text layer and go to Filter > Filter Gallery > Brush Strokes > Sprayed Strokes and set the Stroke Length to 20Spray Radius to 0, and the Direction to Horizontal. Then add the same effect to the second layer mask using Alt-Control-F.

creating effects for the second group of text layers

Step 10

Now let's go to the next group of layers and add the masking effect to both text layers as we did before, but this time we don't need to use the contract function.

adding the mask effects to text layers

Step 11

Select the Mask of the layer and then go to Filter > Distort > Displace and use the following settings: 

  • Horizontal Scale: 4
  • Vertical Scale: 4
  • Displacement map: Tile
  • Undefined Areas: Repeat Edge Pixels

Hit the OK button, and now you need to select the PSD file from the tutorial assets as a displacement map. Add the same effect to the second layer using Alt-Control-F.

adding a displacement map to the mask of the text layers

Step 12

Add the masking effect to the text layers in the fourth group with the Contract by 4 px setting. 

creating a contract selection

Step 13

Select the mask of the text layer and go to Filter > Distortion > Ripple, using the following settings: Amount: 69%; Size: Medium. After that, select the mask of the second text layer and hit Alt-Control-F to add the same filter.

adding the ripple effect to the mask of the layer

Step 14

Select the mask of the first layer and then go to Filter Gallery > Sketch > Torn Edges and use the following settings:

  • Image Balance: 40 
  • Smoothness: 15
  • Contrast: 15

After that, add the same filter to the mask of the second layer using Alt-Control-F.

Step 15

Now let's go to the last group of layers and create a mask effect as we did before using Contract by 4 px.

creating a contract selection

Step 16

Go to Filter Gallery > Brush Strokes > Splatter and use the following settings: Spray Radius: 10; Smoothness: 15. After that, add the same filter to the mask of the second layer using Alt-Control-F.

adding the splatter effect to the mask of the layer

Step 17

And finally, let's add the last filter to the mask. Go to Filter Gallery again, and then select Texture > Craquelure and set the Crack Spacing to 35, Depth to 10, and Brightness to 0. Use the same effect for the mask of the second layer.

adding craquelure effect to the mask

Step 18

Now we need to make some of the elements invisible. Select the mask of the first group of layers, and then hit M and select some words you would like to make visible. Hold Shift to make multiple selections.

selecting the words on the mask of first group of layers

Step 19

Hit Shift-Control-I to invert the selection and then Control-I to invert the mask.

inverting the mask of the group

Step 20

Delete some parts of different group masks as we did before.

making the the part of the masks invisible

Step 21

Move the first group of layers about 10 px to the left while holding Shift.

moving the group of layers

Step 22

Change the Opacity of the group to 90%.

changing the opacity of the group

Step 23

Create a duplicate of the overlay texture and move both layers above all the groups. Then change the Blending Mode of the first texture to Hard Light and the Opacity to 52%. After that, change the Blending Mode of the second texture to Multiply.

changing the blending modes and opacity of the layers

Step 24

Select the first overlay texture and hit Alt-Shift-Control-B. Then hit OK.

adding black and white filter

Step 25

Go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast and set the Brightness to -80 and Contrast to 100.

Changing the brightness and contrast of the texture

Step 26

And for the last step, we need to put all the previous groups in a new group and then Right-Click on the first texture and select Create a Clipping Mask.

creating a clipping mask

Awesome Work, You're Now Done!

Congratulations! You have created an old typewriter font effect using a displacement map, textures, and smart filters. Here is our final result:

Final result image

If you would like to learn more about Photoshop text effects, check these tutorials:

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