Photoshop Brushes: 6 Steps to Enhance Typography
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. Select the right brush
  2. Use brushes to add texture
  3. Add depth with brush strokes
  4. Enhance letter forms
  5. Apply color and blending modes
  6. Finalize and export your design

When it comes to graphic design, Adobe Photoshop is a go-to tool for many. Its versatility allows users to create stunning visuals, and one of the most powerful ways to do this is through typography. But did you know that you can enhance your typography design with the use of brushes? This post will guide you on how to use brush in Photoshop for typography design, a game-changing skill that will take your designs to the next level.

Select the Right Brush

The first step in enhancing typography in Photoshop with brushes is selecting the right brush. The brush you choose can have a huge impact on your design, so it's important to make the right choice.

Understanding Brush Types

Photoshop offers a wide range of brush types, each with its own unique properties. For instance, there are hard round brushes, soft round brushes, and specialty brushes like splatter brushes. Hard round brushes create solid, well-defined lines, while soft round brushes create lines with softer edges. Specialty brushes, like splatter brushes, can add interesting textures and effects to your typography.

  • Hard Round Brushes: Best for clean, solid lines.
  • Soft Round Brushes: Ideal for a more diffused look.
  • Splatter Brushes: Perfect for adding interesting textures.

Choosing the Right Size

Along with selecting the type of brush, it's also important to choose the right brush size. A brush that's too large may overshadow your text, while a brush that's too small may not stand out enough. A good rule of thumb is to choose a brush size that complements the size of your text.

Setting the Brush Opacity

Finally, don't forget to set the brush opacity. This determines how transparent or opaque your brush strokes will be. Lower opacity settings can create a subtle, watercolor-like effect, while higher settings will produce bolder, more solid lines.

Now that you have the basics of brush selection down, it's time to get creative and start adding texture to your typography. But more on that in the next section. Stay tuned!

Use Brushes to Add Texture

The magic of using brushes in Photoshop lies in their ability to add texture. This is where your typography starts to come alive, gaining depth and character. But how do you go about it? Let's break it down.

Creating a New Layer

Before you begin, create a new layer above your text. This allows you to apply brush strokes without directly altering the text itself. This way, you can experiment with different textures and effects without risking your original design.

Applying Brush Strokes

Now, it's time to let your brush work its magic. Select your desired brush and start applying strokes to the new layer. Remember, there's no "right" way to do this—it's all about letting your creativity flow. The goal is to create a texture that enhances your typography, not overpower it.

  • Light Strokes: For a subtle texture, use light strokes with a brush at a lower opacity.
  • Heavy Strokes: For a more pronounced texture, opt for heavy strokes with a brush at a higher opacity.

Experimenting with Different Brushes

Don't be afraid to experiment with different brushes. Each brush can create a unique texture, so try a few until you find one that best suits your design. Whether you're going for a grungy, vintage look or a sleek, modern aesthetic, there's a brush out there that can help you achieve it.

By this point, your typography should be looking pretty snazzy. But we're not done yet! Next, we'll look at how to add depth with brush strokes—a technique that can really make your design pop. So keep reading!

Add Depth with Brush Strokes

Adding depth to your typography design is like adding flavor to a meal—it takes it from good to great. With the right brush strokes, you can give your text a three-dimensional feel. Curious about how to achieve this? Let's dive in.

Adding Shadows with Brushes

Shadows are a powerful tool to add depth. Create a new layer under your text and use a brush with lower opacity to apply strokes, creating a shadow effect. This simple step can instantly give your design a 3D appearance. Remember, the key here is to be subtle—the shadow should enhance your design, not distract from it.

Using Brush Strokes for Highlights

Just like shadows, highlights can significantly contribute to the depth of your design. They illuminate the parts of your text that light naturally hits, making it look more realistic. To add highlights, create a new layer above your text and use a lighter color to make brush strokes. Try to visualize where the light source is and apply the highlights accordingly.

Experimenting with Direction and Size

When adding depth to your typography, consider the direction and size of your brush strokes. Varying these aspects can create a sense of movement, making your design more dynamic. Plus, it adds to the realism of your 3D effect. So, don't be afraid to play around with direction and size—remember, it's all about making your typography pop!

By now, you've added texture and depth to your typography using brushes in Photoshop. Up next, we're going to take a look at how to enhance your letter forms. So, keep going—you're doing great!

Enhance Letter Forms

Now let's discuss how you can enhance your letter forms using brushes in Photoshop. This is where your design starts to come alive, becoming more than just text on a screen. Ready? Let's dive in!

Use Brushes for Detailing

Brushes are not just for painting—they're also perfect for detailing. Select a brush with a finer tip, and use it to add details to your letters. This could be anything from small dots to thin lines or even intricate patterns. The trick is to keep it consistent across all letters to maintain harmony in your design.

Brush Adjustments for Unique Effects

Did you know you can adjust the brush settings to create unique effects? You can change the size, shape, and even the scattering of the brush strokes. This is a great way to add some personality to your letter forms. For instance, a brush with a high scattering setting can create a spray-paint effect, making your text look edgy and modern.

Eraser Tool for Fine-Tuning

Don't forget the eraser tool—it's your best friend when it comes to refining your letter forms. Use a softer brush on the eraser tool to gently remove any excess brush strokes. This will help you keep your letters crisp and clean, ensuring your typography remains legible.

Well done! You've now learned how to enhance your letter forms using brushes in Photoshop. But we're not done yet. Up next, we'll explore how to apply color and blending modes to further enhance your typography design. Ready to keep going? Let's move on!

Apply Color and Blending Modes

With your letter forms enhanced, it's time to add some color and apply blending modes. This step will bring vibrancy and depth to your typography design. So, let's get started!

Choosing the Right Color

Color can make or break your design. Start by choosing a primary color that complements your overall design theme. Then, consider adding a secondary color for contrast. Remember to use the eyedropper tool for precise color picking—accuracy matters here!

Applying Blending Modes

Blending modes are like secret sauce—they can dramatically transform the look and feel of your design. They control how the colors of your brush strokes blend with the colors beneath them. Try different modes like Multiply, Overlay, or Screen to see which one suits your design best. Remember, experimentation is key here!

Gradient for Depth

Want to add depth to your typography? Use gradients! A gradient applies a smooth transition between two or more colors. It can give your text a 3D effect, making it pop out from the background. Just remember to use colors that complement each other for a refined look.

Awesome! You've now learned how to apply color and blending modes in Photoshop for typography design. But wait, there's more to learn. Up next, we'll talk about how to finalize and export your design. Ready for the final step? Let's go!

Finalize and Export Your Design

Well done! You've made it to the final step. Now let's wrap up your typography design and get it ready for the world to see.

Checking the Final Design

Before you export, take a moment to review your design. Is the color scheme working well? Do the brush strokes add the desired texture and depth? Are the letter forms enhanced as you wanted? If you answered yes to all these questions, then congratulations, you're ready to move on to the next step!

Using Save As

Photoshop offers several options to export your design. The simplest way is using the "Save As" option. Here, you can choose the format that suits your needs. JPEG and PNG are popular choices for web use, but if you want to maintain the highest quality, consider saving it as a TIFF or PSD file.

Optimizing for Web

If your design is intended for web use, you should optimize it to maintain quality while reducing file size. Use the "Save for Web" option and select the appropriate settings. Photoshop even provides a preview to check how your design will look after compression. Handy, right?

And there you have it! You've successfully learned how to use brush in Photoshop for typography design. From selecting the right brush, adding texture and depth with brush strokes, enhancing letter forms, applying color and blending modes, to finalizing and exporting your design. Now it's your turn to create typography magic with Photoshop brushes. Happy designing!

If you're looking to further improve your typography skills in Photoshop, don't miss the workshop 'Creating Dynamic Type in Photoshop' by Nevan Doyle. This workshop will provide you with techniques and tips on how to create visually striking typography, taking your designs to the next level.