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Author Name: Stephen Kui

Post Category: Tips for Graphic Designers

The "metallic" effect seems to be rather popular, so here’s a simple 7-step method for a very easy approach to that effect.

The PSD source file is available if you subscribe to the RSS Feed.

Step 1.

Start with some text of any color on any background, it doesn’t have to be black.


Step 2.

Select the text layer and enter "Blending Options." Now head over to "Bevel and Emboss" and choose that. Many people like to use a bevel, but I like an emboss, and here are the settings. Remember to adapt them to your size.

Step-2Step 3.

Now choose gradient overlay, which will cover the text’s color. This should ideally be a silvery color, so use a dark gray on both sides, and then add a lighter gray in the middle. I also find lightening the upper (dark) gray adds a nice touch to it. Here are the settings:

Step-3Step 4.

Once that’s done, I find it makes the text look more interesting if you add a 1 pixel gray stroke to the outside.

Step-4Step 5.

Now control+click the [T] in the text layer to retrieve its selection, and paint in some light, light gray near the center of the top, and darker gray or black around the bottom edges. A 300px soft brush works great for this.

Step-5Step 6.

Some people like to add a reflection to the bottom. Personally, I don’t think it looks all that great, but I’ll cover it anyways.

Create a new layer, and apply the image. Then perform an edit -> transform -> flip vertical. Next, use the rectangle tool to delete most of the excess empty color (for cleanliness) and move it beneath the bottom of the text. Lower the opacity so it looks "reflected." (I used 20 as the opacity).


There’s your simple, easy approach to creating some metallic text. Of course, this method can be refined for those who want to make it more realistic, but this is just a basic way to get that "metallic" effect a lot of people are after.

And you’re all done! Like this tutorial or want the PSD? Visit me at

Author Charlie B. Johnson

has written Posts 388 .

  1. Nick On October 5th, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Wow! Nicely done!

    good,fast and efficient way to achieve the metal look.

  1. Terry: Graphic Design Philadelphia On October 20th, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Thank you for the tutorial. I found it easy to follow and even though I may not get the opportunity to employ it at work, I’m sure that this knowledge will come in handy on one of my side projects.

  1. Michael On September 11th, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    Never knew it was this simple to create metallic text. I’m sure I can make use of it to create more blogs and websites. You sure have a very informative and educating site for non graphic designers to learn stuff. Great job :-)

  1. GAURAV JHA On September 15th, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    That’s really great. It saves my lot time. I am luckier to get this tutorial very soon after I began to search.

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