I love all the different ways we can use Photoshop and Elements to create interesting styles for our type when creating new digital scrapbooking layouts.  Whether it’s simple gold text, a set of drop shadows or something more complex, the different ways you can change the type to suit your layout is endless.  This effect is one of my favorites.  Called the Letter Press effect, it simulates an old style of printing where the letters are actually pressed into the paper – hence a letter press type.  This style got wide spread recognition when Adobe used it for all of the icons for their Creative Suite line.  It’s really simple to do – so simple I created a short video to show you how:

In a nutshell – create a new document in Photoshop at the resolution and size you need and fill the background with a deep blue color.  Go to the type tool and create your word or saying, making sure to use a bold, blocky face with the color set to #404040 .  I used Myriad Pro Bold for the font and I think that’s the same font Adobe used for the icons.  Now apply layer styles to the type:

  • Inner Shadow at 90% opacity, settings of distance 5, choke 0, size 13
  • Here’s the magic one – use the drop shadow to create a highlight – set color to white instead of black, blending mode to normal, 35% opacity, setting of distance 3, spread 0, size 2
  • Gradient overlay – change blend mode to overlay, gradient of black to white, opacity 15% (or until it look good visually)

Now these settings are not available to you if you use Elements – but we won’t forget you!  Below is a link to download this as a layer style so you can install it in Adobe Photoshop Elements and use this to create the effect for your layouts – you just can’t play around with the settings. (Follow this link if  you need help installing a layer style in Elements)

So what do you think?  Leave a comment if you like this style or have a style you want us to cover in another tutorial.  We’re always ready to take requests!

Stan White at Scrappers Workshop

Download Letterpress type style by Scrappers Workshop

Share The Story

About the author

Stan brings to the site a long career in the photo industry from working as a professional photographer to 13 years with Kodak to his present position asDirector or Marketing with Advanced Photographic Solutions color lab.Having spent all his adult life in the photo industry, Stan discovered the wild world of digiscrap through wife Jenn (better known as ScrapKitty Design). Even 12 years of teaching Photoshop and digital imaging to photographers didn't prepare him for the wild and wooly world of digi-crops, so he sticks to teaching classes and writing about photography and PS/PSE on their blog www.scrappersworkshop.com/blog. Stan and Jenn are transplanted Yankees in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, and would not live in lake effect snow again if you paid them.


  1. Robin Rakes says:

    I LOVE this! I am trying to make a “watermark” or “brand”, & this would be awesome with it. BTW- any tuts on creating a watermark? There are tons on a basic brush, but I really want one in color. Thanks Yall!!!!

  2. Franca says:

    Hi have enjoyed your tutorial.

    I would like to know if I can open up a image and do the same thing but instead of press in the letter can I make the letter come out. e.g. I would like to use a granite image and have a logo coming out from it.

    Please advise

    Kind regards


  3. Franca says:

    Hi Stan

    Loved the tutorial. I would like to know if I can open up a image, say granite texture and make the logo stand out or pressed in not sure if this would look good. I have a image and its a grey’sh colour and would like to make the logo stand out in say a burgundy colour or something that would go with it. I’m experimenting at the moment.

    please advise


    • Jenn says:

      Franca, you didn’t say what program you were using, PS or PSE, but I suggest playing with the Emboss styles. In PSE they are under Bevel and Emboss in the Effects panel, in PS you’d want to click on the little fx at the bottom of the Layers panel then choose Bevel and Emboss. Then you can apply a bevel to your text and play with the settings until you get the look you want. Let me know if that’s not what you had in mind, and which program you’re using and I’ll have more ideas for you! – Jenn

  4. yasin says:

    Thanks for tutorial.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *