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Text Effect Quickie: Vibrant Pop Text Effect

In just a few moments, you can add a vibrant splash to your text that will really add some pop-culture flavor to your designs! Great for spicing up banners and promotional material when time’s a concern.

This is a Text Effect Quickie — a tutorial that teaches an effect quickly, yet is an effective technique that can be used time and time again. If you’re looking for advanced tutorials, be sure to check out the rest of our Photoshop Tutorials on Tutorial9!

What We’re Making

This Text Effect Quickie will show you a real simple way to create a vibrant, poppy type in just a few minutes. It’s a great effect to use on promotional materials, posters, or even in website graphics!

Vibrant Text Effect in Use

Before getting started, you may want to grab a Pop-styled font to work with. Really, anything with a bold look will probably look great, but for that extra pop feel, you may be interested in trying out a font like:

Step 1 – Background

The background is a key element to this effect. If the background doesn’t give off a poppy, groovy sort of feel, the text alone may not be enough to compensate for the loss.

Paint Layers, then set to Overlay to create a nice lighting effect in Photoshop

Start out with a base color of your choosing (I chose an especially bright Lime Green: #b7f22b), and fill the entire background layer of your document.

Create a new layer.

Now, using a white foreground color, and a soft (0% hardness), large (300px-ish) brush, make a few dabs in your new layer. Set this layers blending mode to Overlay.

Repeat this process of adding new layers, painting a few dabs on each, and setting them to overlay to build up a nice lighting effect as shown in the example on the right. Varying the size of the brush, and overlapping your dabs will help add depth to your background.

Step 2 – Setting the Type

As suggested earlier, using a bolder typeface is probably a good idea for this effect, as legibility may become a problem with something too small or thin. Another thing to keep in mind when setting the type is the actual placement of letters. Since this is more of a Pop-culture effect, we want the actual placement of elements to depict such a style.

For inspiration on type placement, try exploring various avenues that are well integrated in Pop-culture to see how they design their graphics. I tend to see more abstract combinations of text in such areas, along with frequent use of placing text at angles, and fitting words into one another. On a final note, to make this specific effect work best, you should use a White Font.

Below is an example I put together using CLUB and Impact:

Set Type in Photoshop

Step 3 – Setting Up the Layer Style

Go into your text layers Blending Options (Right Click Layer > Blending Options).

Apply the layer effects shown below, making any modifications as needed.

Drop Shadow

Drop Shadow Effect for Vibrant Pop Text Effect Layer Style

Outer Glow

Outer Glow Effect for Vibrant Pop Text Effect Layer Style

Gradient Overlay

We’ll need to build a custom gradient for our gradient overlay effect. If you’ve never built a custom gradient, I suggest taking a look at our Layer Styles in Photoshop Tutorial prior to this step.

The gradient should be setup as follows:

Custom Gradient

Gradient Overlay Effect for Vibrant Pop Text Effect Layer Style

Stroke Overlay


Final Design

Download the Text Effect

If you’re looking for an easier way to apply the layer effects, you can also download our Vibrant Pop Text Effect for free! It’s still important to note that some changes may need to be made to the effects in order to fit your design.


  1. Add point Subtract point

    thank you for sharing. I am after a tutorial how to make a add banner, are you able to writer this tutorial please?

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  2. Add point Subtract point

    really nice effect.. ad so simple.. thanks for sharing.!!

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  3. Add point Subtract point
    Georgia (1 Point) June 14, 2010 at 3:40 am

    You know this reminds me of something psychedelic. The colors and the font is perfectly spot on. I’ve been trying to design a textual logo somewhat like this (in essence, of course) for my mini project incorporating elements of this tutorial and it was a disaster! I didn’t manage to get it looking right. It was a little bit… off somehow. Finally, I decided to use the professional services of an online logo design site instead ( and got the logo I wanted at an affordable price and fast too, within 24 hours. I did provide this link for reference and inspiration to my designer as I liked how yours look. I’m not going to design a logo without any professional help anytime soon though it’s fun. And liberating. Haha. BTW, thanks for posting this! It looks fantastic.

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    Web Design (0 Points) April 26, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Nice tutorial. thanks for sharing :)

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  5. Add point Subtract point
    แปล เอกสาร (0 Points) March 8, 2010 at 1:58 am

    Thanks for you Photoshop tips.

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  6. Add point Subtract point
    ร้านค้าออนไลน์ (0 Points) February 2, 2010 at 6:08 am

    The effect looks great. Thank you

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  7. Add point Subtract point
    เพลงใหม่ล่าสุด (0 Points) February 2, 2010 at 1:46 am

    wow Cool tip thank for sharing.131

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  8. Add point Subtract point
    เพลงใหม่ล่าสุด (0 Points) February 1, 2010 at 3:03 am

    wow Cool tip thank for sharing.125

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  9. Add point Subtract point
    โหลดเพลงmp3ฟรี (0 Points) January 30, 2010 at 11:58 am

    wow thanks so much.

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  10. Add point Subtract point

    I loved this one, simple and easy, thanks!

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  11. Add point Subtract point

    I need to know how to add this layer style in photoshope

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  12. Add point Subtract point

    Nice.. Thank you 4 this tutorial…

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  13. Add point Subtract point
    Quick Link Now (0 Points) November 14, 2009 at 6:20 am

    hey man, thats really cool…

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  14. Add point Subtract point
    aghil (0 Points) July 31, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    im like to use this technique to enhance something in my website, this is great, thanks for sharing!

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  15. Add point Subtract point
    huwaw69 (0 Points) May 2, 2009 at 9:26 am

    im gonna use this technique to enhance something in my website, this is great, thanks for sharing!

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  16. Add point Subtract point
    Rahul Chowdhury (0 Points) April 29, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Great Effect Man, should help me in many ways. Thanks again!

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  17. Add point Subtract point
    vincen17 (0 Points) April 29, 2009 at 12:08 am

    The way to use this layer style is to click on the layer you want to copy layer style, then choose copy layer style and go to the layer you want to apply this layer style, and then right click on it and choose paste layer style.

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    Matías Quijada (0 Points) March 31, 2009 at 12:35 am

    How can i use this layer style?, i cant found where to use it x_x. Great site man, really great.

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  19. Add point Subtract point

    Amazing tutorial. I like it! The art looks juicy. BTW. It looks better if you use other font color for the text other than white :)

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  20. Add point Subtract point

    This was definitely one of my favorite tutorials. It’s so simple!

    I played with background colors, and when you’re using the right font, a black background looks AMAZING. The white and black seem to blend together to make some sort of red in between.

    ALSO. The Sporedom font on and Transformers solid font look great with this effect!

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  21. Add point Subtract point
    technista (0 Points) January 23, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Thanks for the great tutorial! I made a variation of it for my new website using a funky free font called “Kinkle”.

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  22. Add point Subtract point
    Danh ba web 2.0 (0 Points) November 3, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    great tutorial for me ! Thanks you very much

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  23. Add point Subtract point

    can u please send us the link of the font? its pretty cool… i wanna use it for my design.. ^^ thanks

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  24. Add point Subtract point

    Hey, this image actually looks really low contrast on both of my LCDs and the text is hard to read and doesn’t seem to “pop”. It also fails the color contrast test, found at: . Consider contrast and usability in design!

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  25. Add point Subtract point

    Hey men, its so cool…thnaks for that, really really i´ll need that!!!

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  26. Add point Subtract point
    Devise (0 Points) August 4, 2008 at 2:57 am

    When you download the layer style, it comes up as an asl file. How do you apply the file to the font. Sorry, ionno, I tried copying the file and then right clicking to paste it, but it wont. Thanks!

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  27. Add point Subtract point

    @Brian – It’s really on the cheap side when you think about it. I actually contacted the maker of it a few months ago asking about the pricing, expecting some steep cost for the font, but was overly surprised when he quickly responded with a $5 charge.

    In regards to a font – that’s CHEAP. It’s definitely a font to be used on special occasions over any normal instances though, as it’s not the easiest to read or anything.

    Thanks mate! Glad you like’ em!

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  28. Add point Subtract point
    Brian (0 Points) July 30, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    Would be cool if that Club font were free, it’s a really nice font.

    And great tutorial David, I love this quickies! Keep up the good work!

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  29. Add point Subtract point

    @J.T. Shaver – Glad you found the tutorial enjoyable :) I’m a pretty big fan of PSDTUTS really. Some of the writers there simply blow my mind.

    Thanks Iceberg!

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  30. Add point Subtract point
    Iceberg (0 Points) July 30, 2008 at 2:24 am

    Almost has a retro look to it. Cool tutorial!

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  31. Add point Subtract point
    J.T. Shaver (0 Points) July 30, 2008 at 1:57 am

    Very cool. I like you guys more than psdtuts. Shhhh…

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  32. Add point Subtract point

    Thanks Tyler! That’s an important step to get the effect to look the way it does, since the effects are layered in a specific way (which isn’t adjustable). Hope these quick effects serve you well mate!

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  33. Add point Subtract point

    The effect looks great. Using the outer glow as a stroke is also something people rarely think of doing. Looking forward to more Quickies!

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