Creating Creepy Typography – Photoshop Tutorial

Photoshop, the revolutionary photo-editing tool, gives us new reasons to be amused. When one says “Photoshop”, the first thing that comes to our mind is – Awesome picture editing! But how frequently do we think of the fact that it has the ability to offer distinguished typography too? Well, Rarely. In this Photoshop tutorial, we are going to focus on the typography section of the professional editing software.

And what’s more, we are going to create creepy text that blends with scary pictures to leave viewers horror-struck. Before we start, here is the list of resources used to create and illustrate this creepy typography Photoshop Tutorial.

Resources Used (Stock Photos):

  • Spooky Tree
  • Winter Branch
  • Raven
  • Creepy Tree Bark
  • Abstract Lights (Premium Brush Set)

Step 1: Open Photoshop and create a new, 800x600px document. Go to Gradient and set the colors to f8f8f8 and e0e0e0. Drag a radial gradient on your document.


Step 2: Select the bark texture. Add a hue/saturation adjustment layer. Apply a Clipping Mask layer, for which can be done by selecting Create Clipping Mask from the Layer menu. Once done, change the blend mode of the bark texture layer to Overlayand reduce its opacity to 30%.


Step 3: Create a new layer for Brush Marks and use the abstract lights image. Now you need to apply multiple brush marks and change their opacity and blend mode to 80% and Overlay respectively. The basic idea is to cover the background effect with white and black brush marks.


Step 4: Enter the text. The font of your text is not important, but we recommend to use a simple, bold font. In this tutorial, we are using the letters PSD in bold font.


Step 5: Open and cut the branches (from the resource file); and use separate layers to keep them. This will help you to use them efficiently in different areas of the text. In this illustration, we will place the tree in the bottom against P. To stylize the tree and make it more suitable for our image, we can play with blending options, opacity and color overlay.


Step 6: Now place the branches over the letters. To give it a clean and realistic shape, use the Puppet Warp tool (Edit > Puppet Warp). You may warp the branches to fit into the letters.


Step 7: Once you’ve covered every letter of your text, make sure that you apply the same blending options, overlay and opacity on all the branches.


Step 8: Create a new layer and apply abstract brushes on the boundaries of your text. This will give a spooky and legible touch.


Step 9: Create Highlights layer and make several white to transparent gradients. Change the opacity of this layer to 40%.


Step 10: Paste the Raven in any of the letters to give your typography a realistic touch.


That’s It! You can now leave a spooky effect on the viewers of your creepy images!