Glossy Text Effect Step-by-Step Tutorial + Video {Photoshop}

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Creating glossy text effects with Photoshop is easy once you know all the steps. Below, you’ll find step-by-step instructions for creating a glossy text effect.

Keep in mind that the steps below are geared more towards advanced users of Photoshop. If you’re a Photoshop beginner, I’d recommend the Youtube video above.

In this Photoshop tutorial, you’ll learn how to style your text with a gradient + a stroke + drop-shadow, select all the letters in one click, make your text reflective, and how to create a realistic lens flare.

If you’re ready, 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

new document

As always, you’ll need to create a new document for this project. For the settings, I’m using 1920 for the width and 1080 for the height. Let’s set the resolution to 300ppi.

For the canvas color, I’m using the following hexadecimal number representing the color being applied; #333333.

Step 2: Add Your Text + Align

add some text

Let’s add our text. Grab your Text tool (T) and type out in lower case “glossy.” Oh, and the font I’m using is a free one called Oswald Bold.

The font size is 125, and the color doesn’t matter since we will add a gradient color in the next step. Before we move on, let’s align the text to the center of the canvas.

In the Layers panel, hold down your Shift key and click on the background layer.

Next, select your Move Tool (V). In the tool options, you’ll locate the different options for aligning your text. Locate the icons labeled;

Step 3: Style Your Text

style the text with the layer styles option

In this step, you’ll learn how to style your text with a Drop Shadow and Gradient Overlay. Go to the Photoshop Layers panel and double-click the text layer. This will open up the Layer Style panel.

From here, you have a lot of different options for styling your text. Here are the various settings I used for each style effect;


First, let’s create a drop-shadow by clicking on the label with the same name. This reveals all the different settings for customizing your shadow. Here are the settings I’m using;

Gradient Overlay

Adding a Gradient Overlay will override the solid color you selected previously. Explaining the method for setting up your gradient colors is easier done by watching the video tutorial above.

If you already know how to set up the colors and would like to use the same colors I’m using, here they are;

Step 4: Create a Gradient Stroke

create a gradient stroke

Although the Layer Style panel has an option for adding a Stroke, it’s not possible to apply a gradient color to that stroke. Fear not! You can still create a gradient colored stroke. It just takes a few more steps.

The first thing you have to do is double click on the text layer thumbnail (the icon with the letter “T”) while holding down your Command or Ctrl key. This will select each individual layer!

Here are the remaining steps;

Step 5: Create The Shiny Text Effect

create a reflective or shiny text

Now it’s time to create a reflection on your text to make it look shiny. Let’s first start off with duplicating the text layer with Command or Ctrl + J. Also, delete the Layer Styles attached to it (click, drag, and drop the effects to the trashcan).

With your Text tool (T) selected, change the font color to white. Next, duplicate the Gradient Stroke layer. Hold down your Command or Ctrl key and click on both the Gradient Strok copy layer plus the text copy layer. This will select both layers.

Right-click on either layer and select Rasterize Layer Style. Then, right-click again and choose Merge Layers. Rename this layer as “Glossy Reflection.”

The next step requires cutting out part of this layer to create the illusion of a reflection. Here’s how;

Step 6: Apply a Realistic Lens Flare

add a lens flare

The last thing I’d like to do is add a realistic Lens Flare to add to the design’s reflectivity.

Step 1 is creating a new layer for the flare; Shift + Command or Ctrl + N. Name the layer accordingly.

Now, set the foreground color to black and then go to; Edit > Fill, “Foreground.”

We’ll use the Filter Gallery for creating the lens flare; Filter > Render > Lens Flare.

Choose from one of the four Lens Types. Personally, I’m using the first one; 50-300mm Zoom. To alter the position of the flare, click on it and move it into place. Once you’re happy with the location, click OK.

So far, you have a lens flare, but you can’t see the rest of the design! To fix this, let’s change the Blending Mode from Normal to Screen.

If you find the flare to be too intense, drop the Opacity down. I’ve set mine to around 50. Lastly, if you find the flare isn’t where you want it, I’d recommend resizing it with the Free Transform tool (Command or Ctrl + T).

reposition the lens flare

Practice Makes Perfect

Creating glossy text with Photoshop is easier than other software like GIMP. Although it will take time and practice until you’re comfortable using these techniques.

So, that means it’s time to practice what you’ve learned! When you’re happy with your design, I’d love to see your finished glossy text.

If you’d like to share it, get feedback, or ask questions, I invite you to join our private Facebook group.

Looking for more Photoshop text effect tutorials? Check out this playlist that includes over 20 text effects you can create today!

Like this article? If so, please share!

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

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