This tutorial will teach you how to recreate the lightning effect used in the recent Sky logo version. While you can see this type treatment on posters around the UK I first discovered the beautiful glossy typography in their ads on TV. I loved it instantly so I decided to write a tutorial on how to create this type effect in Photoshop. A little knowledge of the program is required, though I believe you should be able to follow the step by step instructions whatever your degree of expertise.
You will learn tricks about selections, blending modes and colour overlays. If there’s any questions please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll do my best to address the issue. I hope you enjoy it.
1. Document Setup
As always we’re gonna start by creating a new document. Make it 1440px by 900px large and fill the background with black.
2. Insert the Text
Next we will enter the text. Choose a word you like, I went with “skyline”. The font I used is called “Diavlo” which can be downloaded for free here. If you wish you can use a different font, just make sure it’s a bold one and make it relatively big and centred. Use the screenshot below as reference. Don’t worry about the colour, it’s not important.
Next we’re gonna add the following Layer Style to the text. Notice that the Fill Opacity is set to 0 so that the colour of the type is obsolete. Next add a White Inner Glow to the type layer.
3. Prepare Inner Highlights
After you’ve added the layer style your text should look similar to mine. Next step is preparation for the inner highlights. First you have to select the pixels of the text. In order to that you simply hold cmd (ctrl on Win) and click on the layer in the layers palette. Then go to Select > Modify > Contract and choose 5px. Hit OK.
4. Add Highlights to the Text
Now that we have the new selection contracted by 5px we will create a new layer on top of all other layers. Call it “highlights” and fill the selection with black (Shift + F5). Now you can deselect by hitting cmd (ctrl) +D.
Finally set the opacity to 0 and add Bevel and Emboss to the layer using the settings shown below.
5. Colour me up
Finally it’s time to add some colour to the design. Create a new layer on top, set the Blending Mode to Soft Light and the reduce its Opacity to 50%. Then choose a large circular brush with 0% hardness (shortcut for the brush is simply B). Paint over the text with all kinds of different colours until you’re happy with the flow. The second image shows you how my colour layer looks like in normal blending mode with 100% opacity. Use it as a guide.
Since the colour is still pretty weak we’re gonna duplicate the layer. Easiest way is to hit cmd (ctrl) + J. Change the opacity to 40%. If you wish you can paint over some areas with different colours if you wish to make any amends. Play with it until you’re happy.
6. Add more Depth to the Text
At this stage I realised that the text still looked too flat for my taste and I decided to give it some more depth. To do so all I did was duplicate the “highlights” layer. I also duplicated the text layer and changed its layer style as shown below. It’s these subtle changes that add to the overall feel of the text effect. I could have told you at the beginning to duplicate the layers, but I wanted to give you a better insight into the process. You might like the effect as it was before, it all comes down to personal preferences.
If you followed the steps carefully (and if I didn’t make a mistake) then your image should look similar to this one.
7. Final Tweak: Playing with Patterns
Last but not least we’re gonna overlay a line pattern. I made it easy for you. Here’s the png that you can download: . Open it in Photoshop and go to Edit > Define Pattern. Call the pattern “diagonal lines” in the dialogue box. Now go back to your tutorial file. Create a new layer on top off all others. Set the Blending Mode to Soft Light and the Opacity to 80%. Fill the new layer with the “diagonal lines” pattern. Change the opacity setting of the layer to your liking.
Hit cmd (ctrl) + T to enter the transform mode and select Warp Mode. Using your mouse drag some anchor points around to distort the pattern slightly. You can use the image below as reference. Once you’re happy with it simply hit Enter.
8. That’s it folks
So there we go. You’ve now learned how to easily create this shiny lightning text effect in Photoshop.