Create an Ancient Typography with Dry Soil Texture and Floral Brushset in Photoshop

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In this tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to create this cool, ancient-style typography using dry soil texture and floral brushset in Photoshop. I will also share with you the technique I learnt for creating some really cool light strips for your image.

Along the way, we will be using  a lot of layer blending technqiues, musking, image adjustment tools and adjustment layers, plus the gradient tool and blur tool. This is an intermediate tutorial so beginners may find it a bit tricky. Well, never hurt to have a try!

Here is preview of the final effect: (click to enlarge)


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Let’s get started!

To complete this tutorial, you will need the following stocks:


Dry Soil

Floral Brushes

Cloud Brushes

Step 1

Create a new document sized 1000 * 800 px with white background. Create a new layer called “radial gradient” and grab the Gradient Tool (G) and select the radial gradient fill option, fill this layer as shown below:



Step 2

On top of the “Radial Gradient” layer, use the font we have just downloaded, type some text onto it. ( I only typed a letter “A” however you may type whatever text you want)


Apply the following layer blending option to this layer:

Drop Shadow


Inner Glow


Bevel and Emboss


Color Overlay


Gradient Overlay


And you will have the following effect:


Step 3

Load the selection of the text layer by holding down the Ctrl key and left-click the layer thumbnail image on the layer palette:



Hit Ctrl + Alt + R and bring up the Refine Edge Tool, apply the following settings:


Load the “Dry Soil” texture into Photoshop and drag the selection of the text layer (To do this, select the Rectangular Marquee Tool, move your mouse over the selection, left-click and hold to drag):


Copy and paste the selection back to our document, you will have the following effect:


Name this newly-created layer as “dry soil texture” and change its blending mode to “Hard Light” and you will have the following effect:


Step 4

On top of the “dry soil texture” layer, add the following adjustment layers with the respective settings (make sure you tick the “use previous layer as clipping mask” option for all adjustment layers)





Color Balance



Bright and Contrast


Black and white


And you will have the following effect:


Step 5

Now I would like to show you an interesting method to add  light stripes to the text. Create a new layer on top of all previous layers, grab the rectangular marquee tool to draw a selection as below:


Then grab a big soft brush with white colour (I used 800px) and do a few clicks in the following postition, while maintaining the selection:


Then resize, rotate the selection until it reaches the effect as shown below:


Name this layer as “light strips” and duplicate it  a couple of times, move the duplicated layers as shown below:


Merge the duplicated layers and again make several duplication of the merged layer, move them around to the desired position:


When you’re happy with the position, merge all those light strips layers and use the Eraser Tool with a soft round brush to erase the bit where covers the text:


Step 6

To add some more decoration to the text, we can use the two brushsets we downloaded and simply do some painting :)

Create a new layer just above the “Radial Light” layer, use the Cloud Brushes to paint some clouds on the bottom part of the canvas:


Create another layer on top of the cloud layer, use the Floral Brushes to add some nice floral swirls around the text:


Step 7

To add some final touches, add two more adjustment layers on top of all other layers: (Don’t tick “use previous layer as clipping mask” this time)



Use the following vector musk on Curves Adjusment layer:




Use the following vector musk on Levels Adjusment layer:


Colour Balance



Use the following vector musk on Color Balance Adjusment layer:


And you will have the following final effect:


Ok that’s it for this tutorial! Of course you can further enhance this image by adding some more effect, textures and filters.

Here is my final version for this tutorial: (Added some radial blur, adjusted contrast) – click to enlarge:


Hope you enjoy this tutorial, drop me a comment if you have any question, I will try my best to help you out.

Cheers and have a nice day!

Categories: Text Effects

Tags: ,,,,,,,,

  • dragyn

    I cannot wait to try this out.
    thanks so much

  • Tony


  • joyoge designers’ bookmark

    very nice typography effect thanks for tutorial..

  • ricardoFx

    good work @james, congratz.

  • AMQ

    For the last colour balance adjustment, you posted pictures of the same thing, both showing the values for shadows, was one of them suppose to be Midtones? thanks

  • ewink

    II am speechLess dude,,,,

    This is awesoMe!!!!

  • admin

    @AMQ: yeah, the other one is midtones :) I uploaded the wrong screenshot, really really sorry about that

  • admin

    Thanks everyone for the support! glad you all enjoyed it!

  • AMQ

    Ok Thanks for the fix, this is a great tutorial! awesome job, keep it up!

  • Calvin

    The white lines wernt very detailed. Im sure lots of people are professionals at this, but coming from a learner, it was very undetailed, other then that it was great, I wish i knew how to do this with multiple letters.

  • Calvin

    I got stuck for hours, and still havent figured out the end, you tell no way of how to add those images to the layer styles.
    also i looked up vector musk, and nothing comes up. What is a vector musk, maybe your using a different language? I really cant figure out how to add it, and ive been working on this part for hours.

  • admin

    @Calvin: if you use CS3, a simple way to add a mask to your layer is to click to little circle-inside-rectangle icon down the bottom of the layer palette. After clicking it you will see a mask is added, grab an eraser tool (soft one) and eraser the parts you don’t want on the mask you have just added.

    Hope this helps

  • Joel

    thnx a lot man !
    I can’t do step5 , what do you mean to resize and rotate it
    can you explain more .

  • Calvin

    @Joel: I had the same problem as you, What you do is use the marquee tool to make a square, then use the white soft brush on it, then deselect with contol+D, then click the move tool, and with that you can transform and rotate. As a suggestion I think its easier to do that once, then duplicate the layer, and keep duplicating. It saves time, and gets each one the same shape, and angle.

  • Lori

    Now that’s some hellofa’ effect. I tried, it got (almost) as good as yours.

  • Mohd

    Thx So Much DUUUUDE !!

    i might use it to design a Cover for a college Magazine ..

    thx in Advance ..

  • ahmed

    thank you very much , this very good tray to arrive to your design

  • AntiRipOff

    This is a rip-off from just so you all know, it’s not “admin” who has made this guide

  • admin

    @AntiRipOff: not sure whether you’re a legitimate commentator or else, but if you look like the “Author URL” on the post on, you will see the author URL to be “”.

    Just to make it clear to everyone: I have given permission to to re-publish my tutorial (providing they link back to, and they are the only one I have ever, or will give permission to.

  • Black.emperor.scorpion

    Got stuck up man! How to load the soil and then use the rectangular marque tool and then how to copy and paste in our document? Actually i got confused in these steps bro. I m learning photoshop and was inspired to do this seeing the quality work that you have presented.
    Really awesome work. Wish to see more from you.

    Pls help!

  • pLMztR

    Hi ive been following and making exactly all of your tutorials some came out nice and some didnt “still learning” anyway i cant seem to get the curve thingy right the picture is more black instead of white like yours, shud i apply like some blending mode to the curve layers?

  • huwaw69

    wow this is really a great text effect! i like the way you did to the text is when you put the floral swirls… very attractive

  • Shanlyn

    Hello there! This is a cool tutorial! I had always been wanting to do some nice typography as I see online. Thanks for posting this!

    I had done mine here

    Hmm. Not as good as yours as this is my first try. And also I’m using ver 7.0 hence I got some problem with certain functions tt may be different from yours.
    Oh. May I ask, whenever I try to transform my brushes size, it will become slight blur (esp when increasing). Is there any way to prevent this?

    Thanks again! (:

  • DarkPaIn

    i cant do the last steps with the vector masks… can someone explain it for me… cause i tried a lot ot times and still cant make it right..

  • DarkPaIn


  • DarkPaIn

    here it is… it’s awfull… can someone explain the last steps with the curves, levels and color balance, and btw i apply a layer with a black color caus i cant get the black result only with deleting the places in the vector mask…

  • admin

    @DarkPain: this is James and apologise for the delay replying. For the curves, levels and color balance adjustment, if you use PS cs3, you will find all of them under the Menu Layers > New Adjustment layer. With the mask, my screenshot simply gives you an idea which areas are to be hidden.

    Your image looks not too bad, maybe just need a bit of fine-tuning with colour contrast :)

    Hope this helps

  • DarkPaIn

    heh, thanks, but i dont have the problem to find them in the menu, just when i apply them the image cant get dark, its white… and to get some kind of dark effect i had to apply a new layer under the Text layer and fill it all with black and then on this layer i created a mask and delete some areas.. but i tried again and get this. Looks ok for me.

    Anyway , thanks, u post a great tutorial wich helps me a lot.

  • photo manipulation

    thanks bro, its very usefll for me. thanks for share this tutorial for us :)

  • lyn

    wow.. you have a nice editing.. awesome!

  • Mandala

    In Step 2, you have selected Screen as your Inner Glow blending option. I’m doing this in CS4, and Screen is greyed-out and un-selectable. Why would this be?

  • Mandala

    Likewise, in Step 3, I am asked to change the blending mode of the layer to “Hard Light,” yet I am unable to do this because it is greyed-out and un-selectable.

  • admin

    @Mandala: hi thanks for trying out my tutorial! I would say this is gonna be a version issue. I haven’t got a hand on CS4 yet..

  • Lakshmi Mareddy

    Very Very nice tutorial, and informative as well.. Gave me some ideas:)

  • nevershine

    thanks very much !

    I love this ~

  • Tigerclaw

    where must i start at Step 7? please Email me on or add me on MSN

  • Tigerclaw

    never mind :D i found it :P

  • Tigerclaw

    hmm.. i dont get the same outcome for some reason, what do i have to do with the Vector musk thing? i dont understand

  • Greg

    Hey there. I’ve got right up to the bit with they vector masks and have no idea what I’m doing now. Please give more details on how to use this whole vector mask thing. Other than that. awesome tutorial and the end result is amazing!

  • Joa

    Im stock at step 7 .. I Really Dont Know, What To Do
    If Someone Can Help Me, Please Add My Msn,

    and this is my result until step 7:

  • Amanda

    I’m having trouble with the Load “Dry Soil” texture part of this tutorial. I’m using CS3 and I just don’t understand it. Could you help me out?

  • James

    @Amanda: with step 3, you will need to firstly load the selection of the text layer. To do this, simply hold down your Ctrl key, and left click on the thumbnail image of your text layer on your layer palette. Then you can drag the loaded selection to the soil texture.

    Hope this helps!

  • hamid

    please help me
    i can not find this:
    (make sure you tick the “use previous layer as clipping mask” option for all adjustment layers)
    u have this text at all of your tut but i cant make it plz help me here or mail me the picture of this section

  • hamid

    founded :D try to it :d

  • hamid

    i do all ur settings and i can not make with u in step 4

    plz see this for my work in step 4

  • hamid

    put psd here i try that again an make bad

  • hamid

    i cant so much do it , im tired for do it
    put video tut for each posting if u make tut

  • hamid
  • Rosemary

    I’ cant do step 7 , i don’t know which layer you do that step .
    I like your tutorial very much ,but I don’t know the last step so I cant
    finish it .what a pity!

  • NoobStEr

    I cannot use the Cloud Brushes… it says: Could not load the brushes because the file is not compatible with this version of Photoshop .. :(

  • NoobStEr

    I’m using Photoshop 7.0 …

  • Azaz

    very nice effect very good, i m very impress to this effect,
    plz show more effects

  • Smashing Buzz

    very much helping for creative typography. thanks

  • Max

    I’ve really tried on the last stage, and there seems to be more than one who has not understood the vector Mask section…I actually spent 20 minutes searching for what ‘Vector Musks’ were…arg.

    Anyway, you are equally as godly as you are a pain for doing this haha. Please explain the vector masks…I know where to find them – but I don’t know how to use them like you have…would be greatly appreciated ;)

  • taryarL

    pretty cool :)
    thank so much!

  • MR X


  • Sandra Vanhooser

    Hey, thanks for the tutorial. I am always looking to better my typography skills! Keep them coming. You do great with instructions too! I only got caught up on a couple steps, but figured them out after a while. Thanks again!

  • gagamo

    Woow, I been watching, I been reading your tutorial and it looks fantastic you’re great bro. Thanks for sharing it with all of us… Good bles you man.

  • MvO-Design

    Nice tut man, only the links above from the fonts and brushes aren’t working anymore.

    But i searched voor some cloud en floral brushes and i made this tut to only a little bit different. Thanks man for the tut!

    C ya

  • Tips Menulis Online

    Wow. I have no words I can express. The design is very beautiful. Thanks

  • Roncarrmusic

    AMAZING! very very creative.

  • Wepasa


  • sam1

    Good day! I have the same problem
    with hamid…
    i cant find the

    make sure you tick the “use previous layer as clipping mask” option for all adjustment layers.. thing…
    please help! thanks.. God Bless..

  • Surrey Web Design

    Really nice looking work, the floral embellishment is a nice touch but I would have stopped before the lines slashing across it. I really like the way your comments are laid out too.

  • Sonya

    The antiquated effect is done to medieval perfection. I’ve been trying to design an archaic-type logo somewhat like this (in essence, more or less) for myself and I can’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 although it’s fun. Lol…

  • JovanP

    Hey.. Great work.. Really love your work..

    I have just one question, which are the numbers of the curves in the part where I should adjust curves level?! Let’s just say I can’t make it right.. :oD



  • United Services

    hey..goos work man!!!!! I love that

  • just try

    i cant download the font !!
    any help?

  • blogger tricks

    what are you people.. good God… thats an awesome tutorial mate.. you are a superhero… are you an alien?

  • Andrew Sibert

    You are the man ! Bye

  • Essex Website Designers

    Looks brilliant! It’s rather cool how you do that :)

    thanks for all the info.

  • Madera

    I have just one question, which are the numbers of the curves in the part where I should adjust curves level?!

  • BoB

    Great tutorial, but I also can’t do the last step. Please help :(

  • peruk

    what are you people.. good God… thats an awesome tutorial mate.. you are a superhero… are you an alien?

  • Shobi

    I have just one question, which are the numbers of the curves in the part where I should adjust curves level?! Let’s just say I can’t make it right..

  • bloodyfairy

    i didnt understand anything -_- i was always asking a friend -_-

  • Seth Hoover

    AMAZING!!!!! Implementing this now! Thanks a mil!

  • k d

    i cant understand the vector mask thingy someone pls help me 

  • paka

    it is great but I have the same question how do I apply the vector masks to the curves, levels and color balance layers at the end….can you show me please

  • PSD Vault

    @paka: it’s done via a soft eraser (0% hardness). If you’re having trouble with this, you can check out one of my video tutorial about layer masking here:

  • Rickymartin_142002

    Nice work

  • Derar As’hab

    Um i like this so much! but couldn’t understand it so much ! if you explain more it would be better!

  • Tyler Hiscock

    Thanks a lot! This was great!

  • mark

    really missing the part of when adding layer etc. I love the outcome, but i cant get the same result.. Please make it more detailed..

  • Sirwan Shariat Panah

    that’s amazin’ man I really love it

  • PSD Vault

    @mark: I will make a video tutorial to explain this part soon.

  • Noriko.F

    that is awesome! thanks so much! I love this tutorial :)

  • Lundsgaard

    Dont understand step 3 :/

  • Cherry

    Step 3 lost me too :( if you can add more detail would be fantastic.. i love the outcome so very much… but i can’t make it exactly as it should be….

  • HarryRodgers

    I understand step 3, but can’t quite get the same effect on the last step of step 2. When I move them to the left and to the right, they don’t come up like that at all. Tried moving and spinning yet it still didn’t work. Help from anyone would be greatly appreciated.

  • vallabh

    Awsm tutorial

  • Brian Vaughan

    This is a horrible tut. Your settings for the blending options are different from the resulting effect. Had to adjust the opacity of the color overlay, just so the water layer clipping mask would show up. And step 3 is barely complete, (for beginners). Don’t get me wrong, I love the results, but I’m 2 hours into creating this, and just started step 4.

  • Sendi

    how to make water brush?

  • Aathira

    horrible tutorial! step 2 was the most important of all and that was just brushed through without any clarity! was too excited to start off, but deeply disappointed…. to the core :( if possible please try to elaborate. thanks

  • Fahmi Linkinpark

    The refine edge menu is different, please, post with cs5 or cs6!!!!!

  • yaz

    Thankyou :D had to change a few things in cs6 but the outcome looks great :D

  • eathar

    Step 7 not only succeed clouds change color and the rest does not change color, what shall I do?

  • eathar

    I’m stuck at step 7 .. I Really Don’t Know, What To Do
    If Someone Can Help Me, Please Add Email

  • eathar

    I’m stuck at step 7 .. I Really Don’t Know, What To Do
    If Someone Can Help Me, Please Add My Email
    Possible help me
    Foliage changes color only and does not change the color of the clouds

  • eathar

    I’m stuck at step 7 .. I Really Don’t Know, What To Do
    If Someone Can Help Me, Please Add My Email
    Possible help me
    Foliage changes color only and does not change the color of the clouds!