Typography is a fundamental discipline for all designers. In addition to learning the ins and outs of kerning, tracking, and leading, it’s essential to know the basic font styles and the tones each style evokes in a given composition. The art of typography doesn’t end once you’ve kerned each letter perfectly. Text effects bring character and personality to a design by incorporating textures, depth, and more.
To help guide your design journey, we’ve compiled a list of 11 impressive typography tutorials for all skill levels to transform your type designs.
1. Distressed Text Effect
Textures add visual interest in a design by providing a tactile feel to an otherwise flat graphic. Made in-house by yours truly, these 50 free ink textures are super versatile, so you can use them across all design elements and typography. Each texture is uniquely different, ranging from washed-and-worn to distressed grunge. You can apply these graphics in any Adobe program, but there are two in-depth tutorials on how to give your text a distressed effect in both Photoshop and Illustrator.
2. Neon Glow Effect
Inspired by our 2018 Creative Trends, this tutorial electrifies your typography by incorporating a look that is reminiscent of the New Minimalism aesthetic. Follow along with this neon glow effect tutorial and learn how to use Photoshop’s blend modes, layers, and glow effects to take your typography up a notch.
3. Vintage Text Effects
Retro-inspired styles are always a hit in the design community. Give your typography a hint of vintage charm with these three text effects made entirely in Adobe InDesign. Experiment with halftone textures, letterpress effects, and text overlays with this extensive vintage text effect tutorial.
4. Paper Cut-Out Tutorial
Taken from our 2018 Digital Crafts Trend, this typography tutorial deviates from the predominant flat design style by bringing in tactile textures and mimicking fabric- and paper-centric crafts. Learn how to create drastic drop shadow effects, layer shapes, and master the pathfinder menu in this intermediate paper cut-out typography tutorial.
5. Isometric Typography
Isometric design is an on-trend illustrative style that presents three-dimensional vector objects through isometric projection on a two-dimensional plane. Designers across the creative spectrum have incorporated isometric styles to offer a unique perspective to the common flat style, which represents shapes strictly two-dimensionally. Learn how to navigate Adobe Illustrator’s Extrude & Bevel menu and the Gradient Tool in this isometric typography tutorial.
6. Simple Drop Shadow Effect
Drop shadows might get a bad rap in the design world, but there is truly no easier way to elevate type by adding three-dimensional elements to two-dimensional text. These shadows can range from faint hints of color to more prominent or even textured shadows. Master the art of the drop shadow effect, and make your typography pop with these two techniques in Adobe Illustrator.
7. Customize Standard Fonts
Sometimes, using the default font style is not enough for a composition. Maybe the terminal needs a subtle change, or maybe the swashes need to be more accentuated. Learn how to take a simple default font even further with this tutorial on customizing standard fonts.
8. Overlapping Text Layout
Typography is an art in and of itself; the practice of arranging various font styles, assigning color, and establishing an interaction among text elements impacts how viewers perceive the whole design. It’s more than just placing heading and copy text in a composition to provide information. Take it a step further by thinking about how to integrate words and letters. With this overlapping text layout tutorial, you can learn how to create visually interesting type layouts with the use of layers, gradients, and Illustrator’s handy Pen Tool.
9. Chiseled Text Effect
The chiseled, or beveled, typographic effect has been in the design world for quite some time, but its treatment and style have continuously evolved. You can use this versatile type effect in various compositions and apply it to several font styles. Discover how to truly make your typography pop in Adobe Illustrator with this chiseled text effect tutorial.
10. Digital Glitch Text Effect
Glitch art is the practice of manipulating and distorting imagery and typography to create a sense of irregularity by incorporating unexpected visuals and chaos in an otherwise perfect, flat design. By pairing blend modes, layers, and blurs with cutout typography, you can incorporate a versatile digital glitch appearance in Adobe Illustrator in just a few simple steps.
11. Warp Effects
Typography doesn’t just need to look visually pleasing, it also needs to fit within your design. Manipulating type takes your design a step further by adding personality to the composition and allowing the text to conform to other design elements. With Adobe Illustrator’s countless effects, you can subtly — or carelessly — distort your text to fit a multitude of applications. Learn about the many Warp Effects and how to apply them wisely to simple typographic designs.