Neon Effect in Photoshop

October 28, 2010

Today, I want to teach you how to add a cool neon effect to text. This is an intermediate Photoshop tutorial where you will be playing with Gaussian blur, layer styles and rendering. As per ususal, I have included a short video tutorial at the end of this post. Experiment with the tools that you learn about here and have fun creating your very own stunning neon design.

Here is the design that we will be creating:

final neon photoshop effect design

Step 1: Setting up the Background

Open a new document in Photoshop that is 1900px by 1200px. Fill the background with black by going to Edit -> Fill -> Use: Black.

Step 2: Adding your text

Add whatever text you want to add the neon effect to to the stage. I used Verdana Bold 200px to write the word 'Pixellogo'. I also made my text green (#68a62a). Rasterize this text layer by going to Layer -> Rasterize -> Type. Duplicate this layer so that you have two different rasterized text layers to work with.

Step 2: Neon Effect In Photoshop

Step 3: Adding a Gaussian Blur

Select your first, bottom rasterized text layer. Go to Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur and use a radius of 5.5px.

Step 4: Setting the Layer Styles

Now, select the other, top rasterized text layer. Go to Layer -> Group Layers so that this layer is placed inside of a folder. Change the blending mode for the folder to Colour Dodge. Select the rasterized text  layer inside this folder and go to Layer -> Layer Style -> Inner Shadow. Set the Blend Mode to Multiply and use Black. Set the Opacity to 75%, Angle to -90, Distance to 1px and Size to 2px. Set the Contour to the Cone-Inverted preset. Your settings should look like this:

inner Shadow: Neon Effect In Photoshop

Now, switch to the layer style Outer Glow. Set the blend mode to Colour Dodge, Opacity to 50%, Noise to 0% and choose white as your colour. Your settings should look like this:

outer glow: neon Effect In Photoshop

Finally, you need to add a blur to this layer. Go to Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur and set the radius to 2.0px.

step 4: Neon Effect In Photoshop

Step 5: Adding a Blur behind the Type

Select the folder as well as both of the type layers. Go to Layer -> Duplicate Layers... Merge these new duplicate layers by going to Layer -> Merge Layers while they are still selected. With the new merge layer still selected, go to Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur and set the radius to 100px. Move this layer so that it is above your black background and below the rest of your neon type.

step 5: neon Effect In Photoshop

Step 6: Adding Clouds to the Backgound

Create a new layer. Reset your colours to Black and White. Go to Filter ->Render-> Clouds. You will get something like this:

clouds: neon Effect In Photoshop

Set this layers blending mode to Soft Light and its Opacity to 30%. This just adds a little texture to your design.

Step 7: Adding Depth

Select again the first rasterized text layer and go to Layer -> Layer Style -> Drop Shadow.Set the Blend Mode to Colour Burn, use Black as your colour, set Opacity to 25%, the Angle to 90, Distance to 20px and the Size to 10px.

Drop Shadow

The added Drop Shadow effect adds more depth to your design. You should have something like this:

Step6: neon Effect Photoshop

Step 8: Adding more Texture

Now, I just want to add a little rain drop effect to the background. For this step, I used one of the rain drop wallpapers from my earlier post 29 Fabulous Free Textures. Simply add the texture to your design and set the Blend Mode to Screen and the Opacity to 30% and you're done!

Here is a short video tutorial:

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