Create a Simple, Elegant Textured Metal Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating
Using textures often adds nice detailing to effects, and gives depth to flat designs. This tutorial will show you how to create a simple metal text effect using layer styles. Then, it will show you how to make that text look more interesting by adding a simple texture overlay to it. Let's get started!
The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial.
Create a new 1024 x 1024 px document in Adobe Photoshop. Set the Foreground color to #7d7d7d and the Background color to #434343. Pick the Gradient Tool, choose the Foreground to Background gradient fill, and click the Radial Gradient icon.
Then, click and drag from the center of the document to one of the corners to create the background gradient, and duplicate the Background layer.
Background Gradient Fill
Double-click the Background copy layer to apply a Pattern Overlay effect using the following values:
  • Blend Mode: Multiply
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Pattern: paper_2
Pattern Overlay
This will add a subtle pattern to the background.
Background with Pattern Overlay
Duplicate the Background copy layer, then right click the copy, and choose Rasterize Layer Style. If you're working with versions earlier than CS6, group the copy layer then merge the group.
Change the rasterized layer's Blend Mode to Overlay. This will intensify the pattern and darken up the background.
Duplicate Background Layer
Create the text in All Caps using the font spinweradC Bold, the color #454646, the font Size 300 pt, and if you're creating more than one line of text, change the Leading value to 250.
Create the Text
Duplicate the text layer, and then change its Fill value to 0.
Duplicate the Text Layer
Double-click the original text layer to apply a simple Drop Shadow effect using the values below:
  • Distance: 35
  • Size: 50
Drop Shadow
This will apply the shadow to the bottom text layer.
Text with Drop Shadow
Double-click the copy text layer to apply the following layer style.
Add a Bevel and Emboss with these settings:
  • Size: 10
  • Uncheck the Use Global Light box
  • Angle: -169
  • Altitude: 64
  • Check the Anti-aliased box
  • Highlight Mode: Vivid Light
Bevel and Emboss
For the Contour, just check the Anti-aliased box.
Add a Texture using the 3 px tile Pattern.
Add a Stroke with these settings:
  • Size: 1
  • Fill Type: Gradient
  • Style: Reflected
  • Angle: 45
  • Use the Chrome Bar 135 gradient
Add an Inner Glow with these settings:
  • Blend Mode: Overlay
  • Noise: 100%
  • Color: #f6f6f6
  • Size: 10
Inner Glow
Add a Gradient Overlay with these settings:
  • Blend Mode: Soft Light
  • Opacity: 35%
  • Style: Reflected
  • Angle: 45
  • Check the Reverse box
  • Use the stove pipe 10 gradient
Gradient Overlay
Add a Drop Shadow with these settings:
  • Opacity: 62%
  • Distance: 8
  • Size: 8
Drop Shadow
This will style the main text. The text looks a bit flat though, and lacks some interesting details. So we're going to use a texture to fix that.
Styled Text
Place the NYC Stock image on top of all layers, then go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and change the Radius to 1.5.
Gaussian Blur the Texture
Change the texture layer's Blend Mode to Overlay, and lower its Opacity to 20%, or any other value you like, depending on how subtle or strong you want the effect to be. You can also resize the texture and move it around now that you can see the text behind it until you like the result you get.
Change the Texture Layers Settings
Command/Control-Click a text layer's thumbnail to create a selection.
Text Selection
Click the Add layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to get rid of the extra texture outside the text.
The cool thing about using a layer mask instead of deleting is that you can reapply it to any other text you create without the need to work on the texture all over again.
Add Layer Mask
Set the Foreground color to #ebebeb, pick the Brush Tool, and open the Brush panel (Window > Brush).
Choose a soft round 35 px brush tip, and change its Roundness value to 30%.
Brush Settings
Create a new layer on top of all layers, call it Flares, and change its Blend Mode to Vivid Light. Then add some flares over a couple of the horizontal text edges.
Add Brush To Horizontal Parts
To add more flares with different Angle values all over the text, you can change the brush tip's Angle value by clicking and dragging the arrow in the preview box next to the Angle value in the Brush panel, or by simply typing in a value manually in the Angle field.
Change the Brushs Angle
Click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose Levels.
Add Levels Adjustment Layer
Change the Highlights value to 245 to brighten up the effect a little bit.
Change Levels Value
Click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon again and choose Gradient Map.
Add Gradient Map Adjustment Layer
Choose the gradient below from the CSP True Sky Gradients.grd file, then change the Gradient Map layer's Blend Mode to Vivid Light, and its Opacity to 30%. This will enhance the coloring of the final result.
Change the Gradient Map Values
In this tutorial, we created and styled some text using a couple of different layer effects to achieve the metal look.
Then we used a stock image texture to add some detailing to the metal text, and to make it look less flat and more interesting. After that, we modified a simple brush to add a couple of flares over the text edges.
Finally, we added some adjustment layers to enhance the lighting and the coloring of the final result.
Please feel free to leave your comments, suggestions, and outcomes below.


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