Welcome to the tutorial, you’ll be learning how to make some retro, cartoon-styled text.

The result image is shown below:

Comic Text Tutorial Result Image

Step 1

First of all create a new document. I used a document size of “400×200”. Fill the background with a nice, light-colored gradient. The colors I used for my gradient were “#bac6f0” and “#e598a1“.

Background Gradient Filled

Now I added in some retro half-tone patterns into the background. You can find a nice tutorial for this effect here.

Background Retro Effects

Step 2

Now, you need a font to suit the “Cartoonish” theme. Head over to and pick out a nice cartoonish font. The font I used is called “BadaBoom BB“, you can download it from here.

Now write out your text in a medium-red color. The color I used was “#921313” and the size I used was “60 pt”.

Written Text Out

Step 3

Now, right-click the text layer and go into “Blending Options“.

Blending Options

Now, click and apply the following layer styles:

  1. Inner Shadow
  2. Gradient Overlay
  3. Stroke

Your text should now look like this:

After Applying Layer Styles

Step 4

Now we’ll add some more effects to the text.

First, make a selection around the text by holding “ctrl” and “clicking” the text layer’s thumbnail.

Selection Around Text

Be sure you’re on a new layer, then fill the selection with white (#FFFFFF) Now move the selection down 1 pixel, press “delete“.

1 Pixel Line

Move this line down 1 pixel, then change the Layer Mode to Soft Light, you can leave the opacity at 100%.

Layer Mode Changed

Again, make a selection around your text then make a new layer. Fill your selection with black (#000000), then move the selection up 2 pixels and press “delete”.

Black Stroke

With a soft brush, erase the top of the black stroke, change the layer mode to “Soft Light” and lower the opacity to about “60-90%“.

Layer Mode Change

Lastly I added in some glossy shine, you can do this by following these simple steps:

  1. Make a new layer then make a selection around the text.
  2. With the gradient tool, draw a “White to Transparent” gradient from the top of the selection to the bottom.
  3. Make a selection of the bottom half of the gradient, delete this part.
  4. Change the layer mode for the gradient layer to “Soft Light” and lower the opacity if necesary.

Glossy Shine Effect

Step 5

Now, I always like to add post effects. First merge all the layers together, or copy the whole thing into a New Layer. Then apply (Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen), fade the sharpen, (Edit > Fade Sharpen) then apply Noise, (Filter > Noise > Add Noise)

Comic Text Tutorial Result Image

Thanks for reading the tutorial, I hope you enjoyed it!