The Design Center Main Lobby . . / . . Type . . / . . Technique . . / . . The Glow

ID we say “putting the old glow back into your life?”

Perhaps not. Type treatment this month gives us glowing results. There are dozens of ways to do this, and a new seminar appearing in the Photoshop Tips & Tricks area of the web site answers a reader’s question about how to do the “X-Files” look for typography.
We’ve been working on our new Type area called “Font Diner,” so we’ve been building lots of neon and glowing type.
Last year we gave a complete step-by-step on creating NEON lettering, so we won’t go into it here. But glowing type shares many of the same techniques except this time we’ll glow to the outside of the letterforms rather than the inside.

These techniques are easily done in Alien Skin’s new “Eye Candy” (previously called “The Black Box”) with a single click. However we wanted to show you how easy it is to do it unassisted.

In your favorite painting program, simply make a copy of your existing type, and set a Gaussian Blur of about 2 to 3 pixels. Now play with color combinations filling both the original type and the glow.

As you can see above, there are many variations... outlining, and blurring the outline... filling with a color, or filling with white.
Additionally, you can contract the selection, and then colorize the fill to create “inlines” like the red/white lettering above.
A word of caution. Unless you have a good tie-in to editorial material or other images, be very careful. Glows can become very rude very quickly. (As seen in the examples at left: #1 Cool, #2 Circus, #3 Rude, #4 Southwestern.)
Remember too, that not any font will do as nicely as a relatively thick, even-serifed or sans serif font... like our Cooper Black example here.
The above “D” is taken from the 3-G “CapTiles” CD, with no modifications except removing the background. However, in our “NEON” piece we used Silver Graphics’ “Recycler” type face (On the Great American Font Works” CD.) and apply these techniques to achieve the exact same effect.
Have fun, and when you’re finished with your next masterpiece... send us a copy!
  1. Original Type
  2. Duplicate Original
  3. Blur (Foreground color)
  4. Bring Original on top
  5. Colorize each

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