Design an Awesome Geometric Shaped Typography with Grungy Background in Photoshop

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In this tutorial, I will show the processes involved in designing and creating this really cool, Geometric Shaped Typography with Grungy Background in Photoshop. This is a simple tutorial yet the effect looks awesome, have a try!

Along the way, I will also give you some tricks that you can use for creating awesome lighting and smoky effect to spice up your design.

The techniques involved in creating this typo include layer blending, filter effects, image adjustments and custom brushsets. Hope you enjoy it!

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


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OK let’s get started!

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



Step 1

Create a new document sized 1200 * 1700px, fill the background layer with black colour. Create a new layer on top of it and grab the brushset we just downloaded and paint some grungy texture as shown below:

1 effect

The trick here is to set your brush flow and opacity to a reletively low level, both around 30% – 40%, and vary the brushset size when you paint. Also don’t stick with one brushset, try mixing different ones together and see what result that brings you.

If you want to skip this step, you can simply download a copy of this background texture here.

Now we want to make a space for our text and create some depth for the image. To do so, on the texture layer, add the following layer mask to it:

1 mask

To adjust the lighting contrast a bit, we can add a Curves adjustment layer on top of all previous layers:

1 curves

and here is the effect so far:

1 effect 2

Step 2

Use the font we download before, type and position the text as shown below: (Use a dark gray colour as font colour)

2 type

Tips: type the texts on seperate layers, use the free transform tool (Ctrl + T) to rotate and fit them together.

Once you’re happy with the position, rasterise and merge those text layers and apply the following layer blending option to the merged layer:

Drop Shadow

2 drop sha

Bevel and Emboss

2 bevel

Gradient Overlay

2 gradient

and you will have the following effect:

2 effect

Now we’re in the fun part of this tutorial – Duplicate this merged text layer five times, and set each layer’s opacity as shown below:

2 type opacity

Use your up and right arrow key on your keyboard, repeatly type them until each layer seperates from each other and form this effect as shown below:

2 effect 2

Step 3

Load the selection of the last text layer (hold ctrl + left-click the thumbnail image of that text layer on the layer pallette), and apply the following refine edge settings:

refine edge

Maintain the selection, create a new layer called “cloud” and render some cloud in it: (Black and White colour)

3 render cloud

Duplicate this cloud layer three times, and drag the last text layer on top of the duplicated cloud layer, you will have the following effect:

3 drag layer up

Duplicate the cloud layer twice, and drag the two layers on top of text layer, change their blending mode to “overlay” and you will have the following effect:

3 effect 2

Step 4

Now we can add some colours onto the image to spice it up a bit. To do this, I simply create a new layer called “colour 1” on top of all previous layers, and grab a big soft round brush and select some colour I like to paint over it:

4 paint

Change the blending mode of this layer to “overlay”.

I also want to highlight the edge of the grungy background, so I add another layer called “colour 2” and grab a brown colour brush to paint around the edges:

4 paint 2

Set the blending mode of this layer to “colour dodge”.

You can also highlight some part of the text, simply create another layer called “highlight” and grab a white soft round, big size brush and paint over desired area:

4 paint 3

Change thie blending mode of this layer to “soft light”.

For final refinement, I added two adjustment layers on top of all previous layers:


4 curves

Colour balance

4 col bal

Apply the following mask to the colour balance adjustment layer:

4 mask col bal

Overall, you will have the following effect:

4 effect

Ok that’s pretty much it for this tutorial! Of course this doesn’t stop you from enhancing it and put it some your own creativity to it.

I further added some lines and apply some of this brushset around the edge of the text.

Here is my final effect for this tutorial: (click to enlarge)


That’s it for this tut! Hope you enjoy this tutorial and find it useful and inspirational! Cheers and 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.

  • Show Comments

  • Kevin

    Dumb question, but how do I add the layer mask to the texture layer (step1)?

  • James

    @kevin: you can go to layer > layer mask > Reveal All, or you can click the “add layer mask” button (a symbol has a circle inside a rectangle) on the layer palette.
    Hope this helps “)

  • Kevin

    @James, I appreciate your reply. Though, I still don’t get it. Once I did that, what do I need to do then? Nothing seems to happen to the grungetexture after I clicked Reveale All.

  • James

    @Kevin: after you add the layer mask and reveal all, click on the mask you just added, grab the eraser tool with a soft brush setting, erase the centre portion of the grungy texture.

    Again Hope this helps.

  • Kevin

    If I do that, the grunge layer becomes transperant and the black background shows up. that looks not like the picture shown in the tutorial. gosh, i guess should start learning more basics first. ;)


  • Santa

    Awesome tutorial, well explained, had no troubles. Thanks man

  • Ani Samuel

    Wooow! this is great. have been looking for something like this for the past months. thanks for shering. looking forward for your next tuts

  • James

    @Kevin: I had a look at your screenshot – the layer mask wasn’t added, and the brush size you chose is too small. Try using a larger, soft round brush.

    For layer mask basic, you have a look at this doc here:

    Hope this helps!

  • Taji

    I have cs2 and not cs 3 so i am stuck on step 3

  • hedda

    That was fun – thanks for the tut! :)

  • James

    @Taji: cs2 can still achieve similar effect without the refine edge. You can make a selection around the text using Lasso Tool, and set its feather according the one shown on Step 3 refine edge, and render the cloud inside the selection.

    Once you render the cloud, perhaps use the free transform tool to adjust it a bit to fit the size of the text layer.

    Hope this helps

  • Angad


    Thanks for a brilliant tutorial. I tried to go for a radial blur instead of clouds. Here’s The End Result.

    Keep up the good work :)

  • Wonderful post…Great share.

  • Taji

    thank you so much that did help!

  • Very colorful and interesting effect. Nicely done!

  • Dwayne

    i’m using cs4. . when i hold ctrl + left click the thumbnail to refine edges. . refine edges doesn’t show up. any help?

  • Kidgico

    After you ctrl+left click the thumbnail go to select refine edge for the window or press alt+ctrl+R for the shortcut.

  • salek

    i dont get the layer mask thing….when i erase it the checkered background comes into view.

  • James

    @salek: you can add the layer mask from the layer palette, there is a small button on the bottom and says “add layer mask” and click on it, then click on the thumbnail of the mask you just added, use the eraser tool to erase the portion you would like to hide.
    Hope this helps :)

  • CWill 78

    very nice heres my version


  • very nice. Thank for share

  • It`s a great tutorials . I have made it but in the others version .

    Thanks for sharing .

  • Tigerclaw

    i failed alot <_< didnt even bother to retry cuz if i dont get it on the first try i will bever do it

  • Onfinay

    THX nice Tut. !!

  • Onfinay

    My version =)

  • MAtt

    Dude, this was a great tutorial, and amazing looking effect, I am going to probably use it on my bands next myspace layout. Thanks a ton.

  • Alvaro

    THANK U so much!!!! The best tutorial I’ve found today :D

  • Rikke

    can one person be so kind and take a screenshot of everything he / she dos in step 3?
    everything is just wrong when I do it …
    Pleas help me .

  • Drknzz

    Well really cool tut, but i couldn’t understand this:

    “Now we want to make a space for our text and create some depth for the image. To do so, on the texture layer, add the following layer mask to it”

    How do i embed an image into a mask? O.o

    Still, made the mask all by myselft, and here’s my result :D

  • Bill Pope

    Fantastic tutorial, thanks very much for taking the time and trouble to prepare this for us…………did my own, now adorns my desktop ! : )

    This is mine, by the way……….


  • Michiel

    Very nice tut, one of the best i ever do (in effects).

    Here is my result:

  • R10

    very good tutorial, it would be very good if you give me a free PSD copy

  • Thanks. very very very nice. i’m gonna try it.

  • José Gomes

    Great Tutorial

    But for some reason Refine Edge is not working for me…
    Im using CS4 and refine edge like you explained just makes the whole image black, and does nothing

  • NeiL
  • Azri

    hye there, i did bought ur PSD file –

    currently i’m still waitin to receive that PSD file.


  • Great tut, i’ll link this tutorial in my blog :D

  • Very nice effect. Simple and cool.
    I used it for my new Flyer, look here:

  • justin marcelo

    why cant i use the text ? the one you let us download

  • justin marcelo

    can understand this
    Use your up and right arrow key on your keyboard, repeatly type them until each layer seperates from each other and form this effect as shown below:

  • john

    need help with step 1 on the texture mask layer

  • James

    Thx man!!
    this is my first time making a design!!

  • Noble

    I LOve It !

  • Niko

    I’m just stuck at step number 3 because i dont know where to find “Refine edges” im using cs3 Please Help Thanks

  • blu3

    Awsome .. great work friends .. so happy to get the experience from each-others …

    wish u all ahve fun

  • Nice 3d effect!

  • thnksss i really enjoy doing this tut

  • Femi

    great tutorial. lol i made one but it came out wierd. i think its because i used my logo instead of a font :) dis is my version

  • rose

    Maintain the selection, create a new layer called “cloud” and render some cloud in it: (Black and White colour)
    i’m stuck on rendering some cloud, can please help? Thank you

  • yamel

    Gracias me sirvio de muxa ayuda, esta genial el tuts.

  • jee

    very cool tutorial..i simply love typography..cheers man..

  • Düzce Haber

    Nice 3d effect!

  • Troll

    1) For a beginner, this is like looking for aliens.
    2) For a Semi-Pro, some of your steps need alot more explanation.
    For example: “create a new layer called “cloud” and render some cloud in it: (Black and White colour)”.
    I know what this means but, someothers might not. You maybe good at photoshop (hense you made this good picture), but some others will close this tutorial raging of stress that they can’t do a step.

  • choo

    Good your effect & cool blog thank

  • These are some cool effects!

  • david

    Im having a hard time in step 2! I keep hitting those arrow keys but nothing happens i cant get it to duplicate? / stack up like that please help! :)


  • jimmy

    nice work man…i like it…i tried it… rocks

  • These are some cool effects!

  • Kriti

    I’m not getting the cloudy effect on the text.

  • guest

    Yeah, step 3 is hard to understand. Help !!!

  • with step 3, you need to load the selection of the original text layer first and refine its edge with the settings shown, then render some cloud in it.
    If you’re having difficulty with the selection, perhaps this link will help: http://learn–

  • This is really great

  • WOW, great tricks to achieve amazing effects.

  • Miscojones

    so cool

  • So much of designs

  • Tan Jakkrapan Itharat

    cool guy

  • thats awesome 

  • Matt Robson

    I think tuts need to be made for the noobs of photoshop Because i dont understand at all what to do in this step (that i have pasted below). Ive looked at some guides on making a mask but i dont get anything that looks like this =/

    Now we want to make a space for our text and create some depth for the
    image. To do so, on the texture layer, add the following layer mask to

  • Matt Robson

    Hmm nvm the whole of step one is confusing to me, and i do not get what is shown in the pictures

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