Design a Chilling and Icy Text Effect in Photoshop

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In this tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to design this chilling and icy text effect in Photoshop. Yesterday and today are both really hot in my city (suppose to be winter right now here!!), so I though I can make something to cool myself down :)

Along the way, we will be practicing a lot of layer blending technques, applying texture, selection technique, and an interesting method to create snowy/foggy effect.  Have a try!

Here is a preview of the final effect for this tutorial: (click to enlarge)


Alternative version: (click to enlarge)


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Ok let’s get started!

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

Ice Grunge Brushset


Ice Package

Step 1

Create a new document sized 1000px * 600px, leave the background colour as white, and let’s firstly make a background to work on.

Grab the Ice Grunge Brushset we just downloaded, paint around the edges of the background layer as shown below: (tip: set the opacity and flow of the brush to around 50%, and try to use a variety of brushes in the set so we can have a mixture of patterns)

Optionally, you can apply the Star Brushset for extra effect.

1 paint

We can now add some cooling effect to the background. To do so, I added two adjustment layers to it:

Colour Balance

1 col bal

Brightness and Contrast

1 brightness

and here is the effect so far:

1 effect

Step 2

Use the font we just downloaded and type some texts onto the document:

2 type

Apply the following layer blending option to this text layer:

Drop Shadow

2 drop shadow

Inner Shadow

2 inner sha

Outer Glow

2 outer glow

Inner Glow

2 inner glow

Bevel and Emboss

2 bevel

Color Overlay

2 col over

Gradient Overlay

2 gra overlay

Pattern Overlay

2 pattern overlay


2 stroke

and you will have the following effect:

2 effect

Step 3

Load any one image from the Ice Package into Photoshop (I chose the ice6_0174 image), select a distinct portion of the image use the Rectangluar Marquee Tool, copy and paste the selection onto our document, rotate it slightly as shown below:

3 copy paste

Rename this layer as “Icy Texture right” and change its blending mode to “Screen”, use the ice brushset we download to erase the edge of this layer so only the centre part of the image remains:

3 erase

Duplicate this “Icy Texture right” layer once and drag the duplicated layer to the left, rename the layer as “”Icy Texture Left”, keep the blending mode as “Screen”, and you will have the following effect:

3 effect

Step 4

Now let’s create some shattered ice around the text.

Load a different image from the ice package into Photoshop (I chose ice6_0176.jpg file) and use the same method as described above, select a portion of the image, copy and paste it onto our document, and put it just beneath text layer:

4 copy paste

Use the ice grunge brushset to erase the edge and leave just the bits in the centre. (Tip: repeatly left-click the centre of this image for the shattering effect)

4 erase

Rename this layer as “Background Ice Texture Right”, Add the following adjustment layers to this layer (make sure to tick “use previous layer as clipping mask” option)

Black and White

4 bw

Colour Balance

4 col bal

and you will have the following effect:

4 effect 2

Duplicate the above three layers, and drag them to the left, you will have the following effect:

4 effect

And we can add some extra effect under the text. To do this, grab the Ellipitical Marquee Tool with 20px feather, create a new layer just below the text layer, draw a selection as shown below:

4 draw

Maintain the selection, again grab the ice brushset we downloaded, paint inside the selection. You will have the following effect:

4 base

Step 5

Now we can fine-tune the image a bit. Firstly, we flatten the image (don’t forget to save a copy of the original before flatten it) and duplicate the background layer once, apply the following motion blur settings to the duplicate layer:

5 motion blur

Now we come to the interesting part: change the blending mode of this duplicated layer to “Pin Light”, keep the opacity of this layer to 100%, and hit Ctrl + T and resize the duplicate layer as shown below:

5 resize

Erase the edges of the duplicated layer.

You can see by doing so, we created a nice snowy/foggy to our icy text.

Now we can finalise the image by adding the following adjustment layers:


5 curves


5 hue

Colour Balance

5 col bal

and here is the final effect I have for this tutorial: (click to enlarge)


That’s it for this tutorial! Of course you can further enhance the image effect by mixing lighting effect, change hue/saturation settings, etc.

Here is an alternative version I have after I change a few things (Decided to give it a darker/groovy theme): (click to enlarge)


Hope you enjoy it! Drop me a comment if you have any question, I will try my best to help you out.

Till next time, have a great day!


  • My name is James and I have been using Photoshop since version 5.0 (long time ago!). PSD Vault is my spare time hobby and I write majority of the Photoshop tutorials and articles here. I hope you enjoy my blog, and feel free to leave a comment or contact me if you have any questions.

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