Design Challenge Day 5: Neon Text Effect in Photoshop

Neon Text Effect Tutorial

I love neon signs, so this was a no-brainer for me - I wanted to be able to create this effect! I checked out this tutorial from Dansky, in which he walked step-by-step through how to create a cool neon sign.

The Process

This project mainly involved using blending options and opacity. The selected font, Lovelo Inline, was a solid choice to illustrate this effect. (I tried it with a serif font as an experiment and unsurprisingly, it didn't look right.)

In addition to several text layers, two of which were converted to smart objects, there were three background image layers: a grunge texture, a brick wall, and a grainy texture. The brick wall was a nice touch, as it really brings out the neon effect in a way a simple, solid black background doesn't. The grainy layer ended up on the cutting room floor.

The Presentation

It would have been nice to have links to download resources, similarly to yesterday's TastyTuts tutorial. And while it was charming to see Dansky try things out, adjust, and change his mind - the same way I do when I'm working - it also felt like the tutorial could have been tightened up a touch had the steps been nailed down before recording. However, it also helped show how changing various options impacted the results of the effect. Overall, I liked the style and pacing of this tutorial and I'll for sure check out additional tutorials by Dansky.


Working with the various layers seemed like overkill to me until I saw the finished product. This was a good experience to see how different objects, layers, and images can combine to create a more complex and polished final graphic.

It's only Day 5 of my self-imposed challenge and I'm having so much fun. Adding a learning component to my already full days has given me something new to look forward to each day and already introduced several new tricks and shortcuts for the apps I use every day. Stay tuned for five more tutorials next week!