Create A Simple Letter Press Effect in Photoshop

Letter Press

Letter Press typography is very popular at the moment in both web and graphic design. Here’s a little step-by-step tutorial that will make you master the letter press effect for sure.

Step One: Create A Document

First things first, create a new document with a 800 X 600 pixels in size and make sure it’s set to transparent background.

Step Two: The Background

For the background, I will be using a very regular and simple gray color #7f7f7f, you can just use the Paint Bucket tool (G) and fill your layer out.

Step Three: Adding Text

Now using the Text Tool, type something! I am using a font that you can download for free called Honey Script, with the color #414141, and the size is 200 pt.
Click on the little icon that looks like multiple tabs for more options.
Then match your settings to mine.

Step Four: Drop Shadow

On your text layer, right click and select “Blending Options”, then go to “Text Shadow”. Match your setting to mine.
The reason I want the drop shadow to be white is because my background is dark, if you want a light background, you can keep the default drop shadow settings but maybe change the size, distance and opacity (shown above).

Step Five: Inner Shadow

Now select “Inner Shadow”, and match your settings to mine.
This setting should work fine with both light and dark backgrounds.
So, we are now done with the text.

Step Six: Add A Little Something

Now let’s add some effects to our poster. On your color panel, make the foreground color #686868 and your background color #7f7f7f.
Now go to your background layer, and then go to Filter > Render > Clouds.

Step Seven: Some Color Would Look Nice

Make a new layer and place it between the background and the text layers. Now fill it with a gradient of a foreground #d71069 and the background #c61061. And make a line from the middle of the poster to the bottom left.
Set the layer to Overlay.

Step Five: Merge Everything, And You’re Done!

Merge all visible layers by right clicking and choosing Merge All Visible.

That’s all folks! Here’s how my final image looks like. (Click on the preview to see it in full size)

Written By Nina

Haneen (Nina) Krimly is a 19 year old freelance blogger, photographer and designer. She's the main owner of Junkiee.Net. Nina is an Adobe certified associate for Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver. She is currently a full time student in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Twitter | Flickr | DeviantART)


  1. Eli

    March 18th, 2010 at 06:53 am

    You can also add a 1px distance shadow with an angle of 90° @ normal blending mode.
    I got an article about it on my site too.

  2. Sp0nky

    May 2nd, 2010 at 03:51 am

    I love this site :) thx :)

  3. Design Earth

    May 4th, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Nice tut, thanks

  4. nora

    November 15th, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    I think it would be cool to have this website

  5. faraz

    March 15th, 2011 at 04:10 am

    A simple one but yet a resourceful tutorial….thanks for sharing

  6. kit

    June 8th, 2011 at 03:39 pm

    A nice tutorial, but it’s a little frustrating that the examples are so full of artifacts from compression. While I can understand compressing the screen captures, using a hot pink (or anything in the red family) with black text and then compressing it in a JPEG format tends not to come out well. If the viewer is very familiar with what a letterpress effect is, it doesn’t matter. However, if the viewer isn’t familiar with the term, the quality of the example image actually impedes the viewers ability to discern what the actual effect is. (I had to look it since I was unfamiliar with the term myself)

  7. Morgan & Me Creative

    November 24th, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Great tip. Very useful for typographic heavy themed designs.

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