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Design for the season with a frigid text effect

Added on Thursday 2nd of February 2012 02:59 am EST

By Renée Dustman
Adobe Photoshop CS2/CS3/CS4/CS5
Operating Systems:
Macintosh, Microsoft Windows

Designing for the seasons is nothing new. Whether it’s summer or winter, each season brings with it new colors, unique layouts, and, of course, relevant text effects. With Photoshop, you can create an icy text effect for any design project without a lot of work.


To help you create a snow and ice text effect, we’ll:

  • Create text and take advantage of a Photoshop preset style to speed the process up.
  • Combine filters to create the look of snow and ice.
  • Add multiple layer styles to add definition to the text.
  • Make use of another preset style to really snowball the effect.



Depending on where you live, you probably associate winter with ice and snow and (brr!) freezing cold temperatures. Unless you pack up and move south, what choice do you have but to succumb to the season and embrace it? You can begin by enhancing your images and seasonal layouts with text that exemplifies winter, as we’ve done to the ad shown in Figure A. Thanks to Photoshop, you can create this text effect inside where it’s nice and warm.



Create a new document according to our specs.
Begin by creating a New Photoshop document by choosing File > New to open the New dialog box. Assign the new document these specifications:

  1. Set the image size to 3.5 inches wide by 1.5 inches high and the Resolution to 300 Pixels/Inch.
  2. Choose RGB Color from the Color Mode pop-up menu and White from the Background Contents pop-up menu.

When you’re done, click OK to create the new document.


To set the text:

  1. Select the Horizontal Type tool and click and drag a text box from the top-left corner of your canvas down to the bottom-right corner. Winter in the resulting text box (or a word of your choosing).

You can format the selected text using the tool options bar or Character panel. We’ll use the tool options bar.


To format your text:

  1. Select the Impact font from the Set The Font Family pop-up menu.
  2. Choose 72 pt from the Set The Font Size pop-up menu.
  3. Select Smooth from the Set The Anti-aliasing Method pop-up menu.
  4. Select the Move tool from the Tools panel and center the text on your canvas.


Apply a style
Next, we’ll use a Photoshop preset style as the basis for a custom effect. To do so:

  1. Display the Styles panel (Window > Styles) and locate the Blue Glass (Button) style, as shown in Figure B.
  2. Click on the style to apply it to the text, also shown Figure B.
  3. Double-click on the Indicates Layer Effects icon to the right of the word Winter on the Layers panel. The Layer Style options display.

For all of the remaining figures in this article you can slightly overlap 2 over 1 as necessary for space.



To edit a layer style:

  1. Click on the Bevel And Emboss style in the Style window to open the Bevel And Emboss options.
  2. In the Shading pane, click on the Gloss Contour pop-up menu to open the Contour picker.
  3. Click on the Gaussian thumbnail, as shown in Figure C.
  4. Click OK to apply the new setting to the Winter text layer, also shown in Figure C.



To duplicate and merge layers:

  1. Click and drag the Winter layer to the Create A New Layer button located at the bottom of the Layers panel to duplicate the layer.
  2. Scroll down to the Background layer and click on the Eye icon for this layer to hide it.
  3. Choose Mer...

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