How To Create a Nostalgic Text Effect in Photoshop

Play Video



Ah, the good ‘ole days! What a wonderful time. Wouldn’t you agree?

We’re going way back with this Photoshop text effect tutorial. I mean way back… to the nostalgic ‘60s.

That’s even before my time. How ‘bout you?

Either way, you’re going to learn a whole lot of new tricks for text effects in Photoshop. Ready to master a unique retro text effect? Fantastic! Let’s do it…

Table of Contents

Note: the (above) video tutorial was created with Photoshop beginners in mind. The following step-by-step instructions are for more experienced users.

Step 1: Create a New Document + Text

create new document

Let’s go ahead and create a new document for this Photoshop project; File > New. The width should be 1920, and the height will be 1080 @ 300ppi. For Background Contents, set the color to #afa58f.

A text effect design wouldn’t be possible without some text! You’ll need your Text Tool (T), of course. The key to this nostalgic text effect is choosing the right font.

I found the perfect one, and it’s free! It’s called “Thirsty Script.” Set the font size to 60, and make sure you change the color to white. Type out the word Nostalgic.

Let’s align the text to the center of the canvas. Deactivate the text tool by hitting Escape and then select your Move Tool (V). Hold down your Ctrl key and click on the Background layer to select it.

To align the text, navigate to the tool options, and you’ll see all the alignment tools. Locate and apply the “Align horizontal center” + “Align vertical center” to align your text.

Rotate Your Text

Select your Nostalgic text layer and activate your Free Transform Tool; Command or Ctrl + T. Click on the outside of the blue outline and move up to around minus 6-degrees. Deactivate the tool by hitting Enter or Return.

Step 2: Add Layer Styles

add layer styles 1

The initial style will be an Inner Shadow. To add one, double click on your text layer to open up the Layer Style panel.

From the left panel, select Inner Shadow and apply the following settings; Opacity 25%, Angle 120, Distance 4px, Choke 0%, and Size 5px. Also, make sure you have “Use Global Light” turned on.

Is It a Stroke?

The next layer style we’re going to add looks like a stroke. However, it’s actually a drop shadow. I prefer this over a stroke since we have more control over the position of the “stroke.”

In the left panel, select Drop Shadow. Here are my settings; Opacity 100%, Angle 120, Distance 2px, Spread 100%, Size 4px, and a color of #ece0ad.

add layer styles 2

The Secret To This Nostalgic Text Effect

The key to this retro text effect is additional drop shadows… 5 in total! Take a look at the left panel and the icon to the right of Drop Shadow. It’s a plus sign. Click on it.

This gives you another Drop Shadow! Let’s set up four more shadows as follows;

Drop Shadow 2

Drop Shadow 3

Drop Shadow 4

Drop Shadow 5

Step 3: Create a Custom Pattern

create custom shape

This next step involves creating a new custom pattern! We’ve actually made this exact pattern in a previous Photoshop retro text effect tutorial. Instead of repeating that information here, navigate to that post to learn how to create, save, and apply.

Step 4: Apply a Retro Texture + Finishing Touches

apply retro texture

The final step is adding retro texture to our overall artwork and styling the text one more time. Let’s start off by creating a sixth drop shadow!

This shadow is going to add depth to our retro text. Once added, it will give the illusion that the retro text is above your canvas! Add another drop shadow with these settings;

The last thing to do is add the texture, which you can download from here. Place it in your canvas by dragging it from your operating system over your Photoshop interface.

This will add it as a new layer once you release your mouse button. Increase the file size to fill up your canvas.

Grab a side or corner and drag it out while also holding down your Alt or Option key. This allows you to resize from the center.

Once you’ve filled up the canvas, tap your Enter or Return key. Next, style the layer by changing the Blend Mode to Screen and the Opacity to 15%.

Now What?

Guess what? It’s time to share your nostalgic text design with the rest of the world! Or at least within our private community… for starters.

Here’s how; join our private Facebook group to share your artwork. It’s a fantastic place to share, learn, and improve your Photoshop skills.

Ready to up your Photoshop skills even further? If so, discover all my premium Photoshop tutorials and or my free Photoshop tutorials.

Did you know I have over 20 more Photoshop text effect tutorials? Yep, and they can all be seen via this playlist! Oh, and check this out… 17 free Photoshop alternatives!

Like this article? If so, please share!

A 30-year photography pro with a desire to help you achieve your creative vision! Facebook | Youtube

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.