Photoshop Tutorial: Text and Effects

In this tutorial, we’re going to use text and several different effects to make a realistic image with a message about the revision process of design.

1. In Photoshop, open the crumpled-paper.jpg image from the Photoshop Tutorial Files folder by going to File > Open. This is a free-to-use image from

2. Save the image as a .psd file by going to Save As and saving the image into your tutorials folder.

2. Rotate the image so the page becomes vertical: Image > Rotate > 90 degrees Counter Clockwise.

3. For a later technique, we need to make a copy of this file that is blurred. Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the radius to about 2 pixels. It should look a bit blurry, but with all the creases still visible.

4. Click on the tab for “Channels” in the layers panel. Click the eyeball icons so only the Green channel is showing. (These channels show the composition of your image in RGB color mode, which is a combination of red, green and blue light.)

5. In the top menu, go to Image > Calculations. In the box that appears, make sure Blending is set to “Normal” and Result is set to “New Document.” This will create a new .psd file.

Choose the correct settings to create a new .psd document from the single color channel.

6. The new .psd file should open automatically. Go to File > Save As and save it into your folder with a name like crumpled-paper-DISPLACEMENT.psd so it will be easy for you to find later. Once it’s saved, you can close that file and return to the original one.

7. Back in the original file, click the eyeball icons back on and return to the Layers tab. If the layer with the photo is labeled “Background,” right-click the layer and choose Layer From Background.

Type your text toward the top of the page image.

8. With the text tool, click to add text near the top of the page.

  • Type the word “DESIGN” and choose a thick, bold font such as Arial Black.
  • Adjust the size so the word fills the top of the page like a headline.
  • Choose a bright color of your preference.

9. With that text layer selected in the layers panel, go to Type > Warp Text. Choose an effect such as Arc, Arc Upper or Arch. Adjust the Bend slider so the word is only slightly warped and still easy to read.

10. Again with the text tool, click below “DESIGN” and type “is iterative.”

  • Adjust the size so it’s smaller than the large word and fits across the page.
  • Choose a different bright color.

11. Select both text layers in the layers panel by holding down Shift to click them both.

  • Right-click and choose Rasterize Type. Once test is rasterized, it is treated as a graphic element and can no longer be edited as text.
  • Right-click again and choose Merge Layers.

12. Select the layer that contains the words, and go to Filter > Distort > Displace. When you click OK, you will be prompted to choose a file. Locate the crumpled-paper-DISPLACEMENT.psd saved earlier.

(If your text becomes unreadable, you may need to reopen the displacement file and make it blurrier, then repeat this step.)

13. With this displacement effect applied, the text is warped to the paper texture, but it still does not look realistic. Change the blend mode of the text layer to Multiply, and reduce the opacity to about 75%.

14. Select both layers in the layers panel and go to Edit > Transform > Rotate. Make the piece of paper tilted toward the left, and move it slightly to the right. To apply the transformation, double-click the image or hit Enter on your keyboard.

Rotate all layers together to set the text and background at a slight angle.

15. Use the crop tool to crop up from the bottom so only the top of the paper is showing.

16. Use the eyedropper tool to click on the black background behind the piece of paper, and then use the paint bucket to fill in the blank corners that appeared when the image was rotated. (Make sure you have the photo layer selected, not the text.)

17. To make sure the black background blends evenly, go to Select > Color Range. In the box that pops up, click the black part of the image and it will automatically identify the similar color range. This will select the entire black background.

Use the eyedropper within the black-and-white thumbnail to select the color range.

18.Go to Filter > Blur > Average. This will even out the color of the entire black background. Go to Select > Deselect to make the dotted line go away.

19. The image is complete! Make sure the file is saved in your tutorials folder.