Create a Summer Time Hand Lettering Text Effect in Photoshop


Today, I’ll show you how you can quickly create this type effect in Photoshop. This technique can work with any arrangement of type (it doesn’t have to be hand lettering). Let’s get started!

Speed Art Video

The Tutorial

Step 1: Scan your document into Photoshop

The first step is to get your document into Photoshop. I recommend scanning—you’ll get cleaner results. I did not have access to a scanner at the time of creating this, so I took a photo of my work and uploaded it that way.


Step 2: Clean up the Document

Since this was a photo, the image is a little dark. In order to get the most out of our effect, we need to make sure we have high contrast (the white paper should be a true white). There are several ways to accomplish this in Photoshop, but I’ve found it very effective to use the Camera Raw Filter.

Enhance Photo

Step 3: Layout the Text

Now, it’s time to work on the layout. As you can see, I’ve straightened the text, replaced the letter ‘S’ in summer, and even added a smiley face to the sun. 

Layout Lettering

Step 4: Create the Background

I knew that I wanted to use a blurred background for my text effect, but I did not have an image that would work. In this case, it was really easy to paint a crude beach scene that I would later blur. Using a Wacom tablet, I started to paint in various colors for the beach and water

Draw Beach

Next, I added the sky and some clouds.

Add Sky

The final step was to add a Field Blur Filter to the entire scene. The result was an image that looked like an out-of-focus photo.

Add Blur

Step 5: Extracting the Text

At this point, we could add our text to the background scene, change the Blending Mode and call it done. However, I know that I want to give our text a drop shadow to help separate it from the background. Unfortunately, our text doesn’t have a transparent background. To accomplish this, we first need to merge all text layers together, then invert. The result should be white text on a black background.

Invert Lettering

Next, we can go to the Channels panel and Cmd/Ctrl + Click the RGB thumbnail. This will create a selection from only the white text.


If we create a new layer using our Layers Panel, we can fill the selection with white. Now we have our text on a new layer with a transparent background.

New Layer

Go ahead and move this layer to our scene with the beach image.

Add Text to New Layer

Step 6: Finishing Touches

Since the white text is a little hard to read against the light beach background, we can add a Drop Shadow to give it more separation. And, you’re done. Here is the final image:


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