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How to Create a Wax Seal Text Effect in Adobe InDesign

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Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

This cool text effect gives logos or other type an old-fashioned twist. It’s quick to put together in Adobe InDesign, and you can easily adapt the effect to your own text or graphics for a unique look.

What You’ll Need

You’ll need to use both InDesign and Photoshop to create this effect, as well as the following fonts and images from Envato Elements:

1. How to Create Your InDesign Document

Open InDesign and go to File > New > Document. Set the Page Size to A3, and click Create

Expand the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and double-click on Layer 1, renaming it Paper

Click on New Layer in the panel’s drop-down menu, naming this second layer Seal. Create a third and final new layer named Text

Then lock all the layers except Text

text layertext layertext layer

2. How to Create Your Logo

You may already have your own logo or type design to hand. If so, skip ahead to section 3. If not, here we’ll look at how to put together a quick logo design for applying our wax effect to.

Step 1

Select the Ellipse Tool (L) from the Tools panel and, while holding Shift, drag across the page to create a large circle. From the Swatches panel, make sure the Fill Color is set to [None] and Stroke Color to [Black].

Expand the Stroke panel (Window > Stroke) and set the Weight of the circle’s stroke to 6.5 pt.

stroke panelstroke panelstroke panel

Step 2

Edit > Copy and Edit > Paste in Place the circle on top of the first. 

From the Stroke panel, increase the Weight to 8 pt and Type to Dashed (3 and 2). 

dashed linedashed linedashed line

Step 3

Use the Type Tool (T) to create a text frame across the top-center of the circle, typing in the first word of the logo.

From either the top Controls panel or the Character and Paragraph panels (Window > Type & Tables > Character/Paragraph), set the Font to Hamilton Serif Painted, Size 75 pt and Align Center. 

character panelcharacter panelcharacter panel

Copy and Paste the text frame, setting the copy below, and editing the text to read the second word of the logo. 

text framestext framestext frames

Step 4

Create a text frame between the two existing ones, and type in ‘AND’. 

Set the Font to Hamilton Serif SVG, Size 23 pt and Align Center.

and textand textand text

Step 5

Use the Line Tool (\) to add two short lines to the left and right of ‘AND’. 

From the Stroke panel, set the Weight to 5 pt and change the Cap to a Round Cap to soften the ends. 

stroke panelstroke panelstroke panel
line toolline toolline tool

Step 6

Select all the elements of the logo and go to Type > Create Outlines to vectorise the text. 

create outlinescreate outlinescreate outlines

Then Right-Click > Group the vector elements together.

grouped logogrouped logogrouped logo

3. How to Edit the Paper and Seal for Your Effect

Step 1

Lock the Text layer and unlock the Paper layer. From the Pages panel (Window > Pages), click on the Create New Page button at the bottom of the panel to create a second page, which we’ll work on here. 

Working on Page 2 of your document, create an image frame across the whole page using the Rectangle Frame Tool (F), and File > Place. 

Choose one of the images in the Vintage paper textures pack, and Open, allowing it to fill up the whole frame. 

paper imagepaper imagepaper image

Step 2

Open the Red wax seal image in Photoshop, and duplicate the Background layer, switching off the visibility of the original layer.

red wax sealred wax sealred wax seal

Step 3

Go to Select > Color Range, and click once on the white background of the image.

In the Color Range window that opens, adjust the Fuzziness slider until roughly all the white background has been selected, and then click OK

color rangecolor rangecolor range

Step 4

Click on the Refine Edge button in the top Controls panel. 

Check Smart Radius and adjust the Radius and Shift Edge sliders until the selection around the edge of the seal is as tight as possible. When you’re happy, click OK

refine edgerefine edgerefine edge

Delete the background, and then head up to File > Save As, saving the image as a Photoshop file.

deleted backgrounddeleted backgrounddeleted background

Step 5

Head back to your InDesign document and lock the Paper layer. Unlock the Seal layer. 

Create an image frame centrally on the page using the Rectangle Frame Tool (F) and File > Place, choosing your edited wax seal image. Click Open

With the image frame selected, go to Object > Effects > Drop Shadow. Bring the Opacity down to around 60%, and set the Distance to 1 mm, Size to 3 mm, Spread to 4%, and Noise to 10%. Then click OK.

drop shadowdrop shadowdrop shadow

4. How to Add Your Logo to the Seal

Step 1

Lock the Seal layer and unlock the top layer, Text

Hop back up to Page 1 of your document and Edit > Copy the logo design. 

Back down on Page 2, Edit > Paste the logo onto the page and resize it so that it fits snugly onto the seal, as shown below. 

resized logoresized logoresized logo

Step 2

Expand the Swatches panel (Window > Color > Swatches) and choose New Color Swatch from the panel’s drop-down menu.

With the Color Mode set to CMYK, set the levels below to C=17 M=100 Y=100 K=8. Then click Add and Done.

Repeat to create three more new swatches:

  • C=8 M=14 Y=4 K=0
  • C=21 M=100 Y=100 K=16
  • C=13 M=94 Y=95 K=4
new swatchesnew swatchesnew swatches

Step 3

Apply the C=17 M=100 Y=100 K=8 swatch to the Stroke Color of the logo’s circle and inner lines. 

fill colorfill colorfill color

Apply C=13 M=94 Y=95 K=4 to the Fill Color of the outlined text. 

fill colorfill colorfill color

Step 4

With all the logo elements selected, go to Object > Effects > Drop Shadow. 

Set the Opacity to about 55%, Distance to 2 mm, Angle to 180, Size to 3 mm, Spread to 15%, and Noise to 10%.

drop shadowdrop shadowdrop shadow

Click on Inner Glow in the window’s left-hand menu. Click on the colored square next to the Mode menu to adjust the Effect Color to C=8 M=14 Y=4 K=0

Back in the Effects window, increase the Opacity to 85%, and add about 10% Noise. 

inner glowinner glowinner glow

Click on Bevel and Emboss in the window’s left-hand menu. Set the Style to Outer Bevel, Technique to Smooth, and Direction to Up. Set the Size to 3 mm, Soften to 1 mm, and Depth to 100%. 

Under the Shading options, set the Angle to about -115, and switch the Shadow color to one of the red swatches, bringing the Opacity up to 100%. 

bevel embossbevel embossbevel emboss

Click OK to apply all the effects and exit the window. 

effects appliedeffects appliedeffects applied

Step 5

To make the effect ‘pop’ even more, Copy and Edit > Paste in Place the logo on top of the first. 

paste in placepaste in placepaste in place

Awesome Work, You're Done!

Your text effect is finished—awesome work!

final text effectfinal text effectfinal text effect

If you're on the hunt for more great fonts to use in your text effects, head on over to Envato Elements to browse a huge range of display typefaces.

Make sure to check out these other quick text effect tutorials:

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