August 27, 2020

Making Your Text Stand Out

 Happy Thursday!  Can you believe it’s almost the end of August?  I swear time is passing faster and faster each month!  Well I’m here today to bring you another quick tutorial.  Have you ever fallen in love with a beautiful pattern paper, but after using it, couldn’t add a spot of text since it wouldn’t show up that well?  If so, you’ll love the tutorial this month as we will look at a few different ways to make text show up better.

Let me show you what I mean.  Here is my layout using Simple and Sweet Album Templates 8.  

Can you find my text box?  Can you read it if you can?  It’s not so legible is it?  Let’s try a few things!

First, you can add a stroke around your text by going to the bottom of your layers panel, clicking on the fx button and choosing stroke as your style.  I chose a darker color from my paper, a size of 2px on the outside with a blend mode of multiply and here’s my result. 

It’s okay, but let’s try something different.  Instead of a stroke, you can add an outer glow.  Once again go to the fx button (or you can go to the top and choose Layer>Layer Style>Outer Glow).  Using the same color as before, I chose a blend mode of multiply with an opacity of 39% and this is what happened:

And don’t forget the trick of adding a paint or piece of vellum under the text.  I chose to add a paint with a blend mode set to Multiply and this is what I got:

What else can we do?  Well, how about click on the thumbnail of your text while holding down CONTROL on a PC or COMMAND on a Mac.  You should see the marching ants around your text selection like this:

Next, with the marching ants still around your text, go to Select>Modify>Expand at the top of your tool bar.  I usually expand mine around 5-10 pixels but can choose whichever number you like.

Now, with the marching ants STILL surrounding your text (but at a slightly bigger area than before), create a new layer UNDERNEATH the text layer like this:

Then, set your foreground color to your color of choice.  With the ants still marching around your text, click on the EMPTY layer underneath it, and hit ALT and BACKSPACE on a PC or OPTION and BACKSPACE on a Mac to fill that layer with your foreground color like this:

I know.  It doesn’t look like much now.  But now add a Gaussian Blur to it by selecting Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur.  I choose a setting of 168 and then added a Multiply blend mode to it:

And it turned out like this:

It’s a subtle difference but brings out the text.  You can always play around with the expanded size, color, blur, and blend mode too!  I decided to use this method on top of the paint that I showed you before. Here is the before and after so you can see the difference:


Have fun playing around with all these techniques.  Choose different colors for strokes and outer glows as well as change up your blend modes.  There are so many possibilities!!  Well that’s it.  I hope this helps you next time you want to use text on busy papers!  See y’all in September. Stay safe and healthy.

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