- What You'll Learn in This Text Distortion Effect Tutorial
- What You'll Need
- How to Set Up a PSD File Landscape Poster
- How to Organize Photoshop Layers
- How to Create the Poster Background
- How to Distort Text in Photoshop
- How to Save the PSD File of Your Distorted Text
- Distort Effect Generators From Envato Elements
- Explore More Tutorials and Resources
In this tutorial, we'll be creating a cool music poster by using layer masks and multiple text layers. This easy text distortion technique can be applied to any font and with any image. At the end of this tutorial, you'll find an awesome list of distorted text generator add-ons for Photoshop and Illustrator.
If you're running out of time, be sure to check out Envato Elements for layer styles compatible with Photoshop. You can also find add-ons for glitched out text and distorted fonts. There are plenty of options that can help you save time on your projects, like the doppler effect in Photoshop which inspired this tutorial.
Do you like to learn new skills by watching videos? Then you can watch this new video from the Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel to learn how to distort text in Photoshop:
What You'll Learn in This Text Distortion Effect Tutorial
- How to set up a Photoshop document
- How to create margins and layer organization
- How to use adjustment layers and layer masks
- How to distort text in Photoshop
- How to export your distorted text
What You'll Need
You can install the font and download the image or use your own assets.
1. How to Set Up a PSD File Landscape Poster
The first thing you need to do in this tutorial on how to distort text in Photoshop, is open the program and create a New Document. Set the Size to 297 x 210 mm. Set the Resolution to 300 dpi and the Color Mode to CMYK. Click Create.
Create Margins by going to View > New Guide Layout. In the New Guide Layout window, check the Margins box and set all the margins to 1 cm. Click OK.
2. How to Organize Photoshop Layers
Head over to the Layers panel. Click on Create New Group.
Name one group Background and the other group Foreground.
3. How to Create the Poster Background
To learn how to distort text in Photoshop, we need to work on the background first. In the Layers panel, click on Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer > Gradient. Click on the Gradient Swatch to change the colors.
Under Gradient Type, set the left color stop to
#26169f. Set the right color stop to
#da2e34. Click OK.
In the Gradient Fill window, set the Angle to 35. Click OK.
Select the Gradient Fill layer on the Layers panel.
Head over to Filter > Stylize > Tiles. In the Warning window, click on Convert to Smart Object. In the Tiles window, set the Number of Tiles to 10. Set the Maximum Offset to 10%. Under Fill Empty Area With: select Background Color. Click OK.
Head over to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur. Set the Angle to 50° and the Distance to 222. Click OK.
While selecting the gradient layer, press Command-T to Transform. Slightly resize the layer so that it overlaps the edge of the document.
Head over to the Layers panel, and click on Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer > Solid Color. Double-click on the swatch to change the color. Set the color to
In the Layers panel, set the Opacity to 30%.
Head over to the Layers panel, and click on Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer > Gradient.
In the Gradient Fill window, set the Style to Radial. Click on the swatch of the Gradient Fill window. In the Gradient Editor window, set the Opacity Stop Location (top swatch) to 50%. Set the Color Stop to 25. Click OK.
Collapse the Background group.
4. How to Distort Text in Photoshop
Select the Foreground group.
Press T to select the Type Tool and click on the document to add "RHYTHM OF THE NIGHT." In the Options panel, set the Font to DAMNURSE CHRONICAL and the Size to 115 pt.
Place the text in the center of the document.
Drag the Cool Millennial Woman image into the Photoshop document.
Press Command-T to Transform. On the Options panel, set the Horizontal and Vertical Scale to 65%.
Set the Y axis to 1500 px.
To start with the distort effect, go to the Layers panel, right-click on the image and select Create Clipping Mask. This will be the main text that will be completely legible.
Select the image and the text layer. To select both, click on one, hold Command, and select the next layer. Drag both layers onto the Create New Layer button to Duplicate the layers.
Select the Text Layer and click on the Add Layer Mask button.
Press Command-T to Transform and move the layer slightly above the original text. Hold Shift to maintain the same Y position.
Select the Layer Mask thumbnail. Head over to the Tools panel, and select the Gradient Tool (G).
To create the Doppler Effect, use the Gradient Tool to fade the text. Drag from the very top of the text towards the bottom. It can take a few tries, so use Command-Z to Undo until you find the desired effect.
Select the duplicated layers (the ones that now include the Layer Mask), right-click, and select the red tag.
Select the duplicated layers and duplicate them five times, as in Step 4.
Select the text layer that's at the very top of the Layers panel. Press Command-T to Transform and align the text with the top margin.
Select all of the text layers, including the original text. Press Command to select multiple layers. Head over to the Options bar, and click on the Distribute Vertically button.
Select the original image and text layer. Duplicate both by dragging the layers onto the New Layer button. Select the two image and text layers that are at the bottom. Right-click and select the green tag.
Select the text layer with the green tag and press Command-T to Transform. Drag the text layer under the original text.
Select the text layer and add a Layer Mask.
On the Tools panel, select the Gradient Tool (G). Repeat Step 7, but this time fade the text from the bottom.
Select the green tag layers. Duplicate them five times by dragging the layers onto the New Layer button.
Select the bottom text layer and press Command-T to Transform. Drag the text layer towards the bottom margin.
Select all of the green tagged text layers, including the original text.
Head over to the Options bar, and click on the Distribute Vertically button.
Collapse the Foreground layer by clicking on the folder icon.
Select Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer > Brightness and Contrast. Adjust the brightness and contrast until you find the desired result.
5. How to Save the PSD File of Your Distorted Text
Head over to File > Save As and select Format from the dropdown menu.
Save as PSD so you can edit the file in the future. Select JPEG if you plan to print the file. To export a file for Web, head over to File > Export > Save for Web.
Make the necessary adjustments under Image Size. Click Save.
Distort Effect Generators From Envato Elements
If you're short on time, try using a distorted text effect add-on from Envato Elements. They're easy to use, very well organized, and you're just a few clicks away from awesome results.
Doppler Photoshop Distortion Effect (PSD)
This is the true Doppler effect for you to apply to your designs with just a few clicks! This distorted text generator is set up with smart layers, and you can choose from four different backgrounds and many gradient maps.
Blurred Graphic Photoshop Distortion Style (AI)
Blur vector graphics and create distorted fonts easily with this Adobe Illustrator effect. You can use nine graphic styles that will help you twist, spin, add a Doppler effect, shake, and many more things with this effect.
Poster Studio for Photoshop (PSD)
These fully editable PSD templates can help you mock up your most creative posters. Choose between different poster textures, patterns, and torn paper levels. The pack comes with brushes to make your posters even more realistic.
Liquid Melting Distortion Text Effect (PSD)
Glitched-out text is easy to achieve with this liquid melting text effect. Easily distort fonts with one of these three PSD files. The pack is print-ready, so you can create awesome creative posters.
Urban Distortion Text Effect (PSD)
Use this modern text distorter add-on on social media projects, posters, and flyers. With eight PSD files, you're sure to find and design the most creative projects. Distort text layers, vector shapes, and whole folder groups.
Explore More Tutorials and Resources
In this tutorial, you learned all the essential tools you need to use to create an awesome glitched-out distort text effect. You learned to set up a Photoshop file, use layer masks and adjustment layers, and maintain proper file organization. With these skills, you'll be able to design creative posters that are trendy and suitable for social media, posters, and branding projects.
If you're interested in more awesome distorted text effects, be sure to check out:
- How to Create an Inflated 3D Frilly Text Effect in Adobe PhotoshopRose28 Jun 2021
- How to Make a 3D Hologram Text Effect Photoshop ActionAnderson Luiz14 May 2021
- 100+ Best Photoshop Text Effect TutorialsMelody Nieves07 Aug 2022
- J in Different Fonts, Styles, and Text EffectsLaura Keung29 Jan 2023
- How to Create a Cartoon Text Effect in Adobe PhotoshopJan Stverak19 Apr 2021
- 30+ Cool Photoshop Text Effects, Actions & Styles for 2023Melody Nieves27 Dec 2022