Two-Tone Type – Using the Gradient Tool

with 29 Comments

Barb BrookbankAt times I like to do something a bit fancy with my journaling, but still keep it subtle.

I want my journaling to be clear and simple, but I also want some “pizzazz!” Merriam-Webster defines pizzazz as: the quality of being exciting or attractive: as glamor or vitality.

I don’t know that this is glamorous, but I love it when things match my page. Matching the colors of my journaling to the colors in my layout does the trick for me! In this tutorial Iā€™m going to show you how to do that with the Gradient tool.

For Adobe Photoshop Version click here.

Step One: Prepare and Simplify the Type

  • Create the journaling that you want to use on your layout.
  • Press Ctrl J (Mac: Cmd J) to Duplicate it.
  • In the Layers panel, click on the Visibility icon of the original type layer to hide it. This is to save your original type in case you want to change it later.
  • In the Layers panel, click on the duplicate type layer to activate it.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Simplify > Layer. Once you simplify type, it is no longer editable.

Step Two: Choose Two Colors

  • Click on the Foreground Color Chip to open the Color Picker.
  • When you move your cursor over the document, it will turn into the Eyedropper tool. Click on the color you want and click OK.
  • Click on the Background Color Chip and repeat the above steps.
  • I’m using black and orange.

Step Three: Apply the Gradient

  • In the Layers panel, Ctrl click (Mac: Cmd click) on the thumbnail of the simplified type layer to select the words.
  • Get the Gradient tool.

  • In the Options Bar, click on the down facing arrow to open the Gradient Picker. Choose Foreground to Background. It’s the first icon in the top left corner of the Picker. If you do not see Foreground to Background, open the flyout menu, choose Reset Gradients and click OK.
  • In the Options Bar, click on the Linear Gradient icon.

  • On your scrapbook page, position your cursor at the top of the selected text and click and drag a line to the bottom.
  • Press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) to Deselect.

Credits:
Digi Scrap Tutorial: Two-Tone Type, Using the Gradient Tool by Barb Brookbank
Layout: “Desiderata” by Barb Brookbank
Kit: ArtPlay Palette Family by Anna Aspnes, previously available to Premier Members March 2012
Font: Myriad Pro, Written on His Hands
Poem: Desiderata by Max Ehrmann
Software: Photoshop Elements 10

Download a PDF version of this “Two-Tone Type – Using the Gradient Tool” tutorial.

Windows: Right click on the link and choose “Save Target As” or a similar command.
Mac: Click on the link to download the file.

Step One: Prepare and Rasterize the Type

  • Create the journaling that you want to use on your layout.
  • Press Ctrl J (Mac: Cmd J) to Duplicate it.
  • In the Layers panel, click on the Visibility icon of the original type layer to hide it. This is to save your original type in case you want to change it later.
  • In the Layers panel, click on the duplicate type layer to activate it.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Rasterize > Type. Once you rasterize type, it is no longer editable.

Step Two: Choose Two Colors

  • Click on the Foreground Color Chip to open the Color Picker.
  • When you move your cursor over the document, it will turn into the Eyedropper tool. Click on the color you want and click OK.
  • Click on the Background Color Chip and repeat.
  • I’m using black and orange.

Step Three: Apply the Gradient

  • In the Layers panel, Ctrl click (Mac: Cmd click) on the thumbnail of the rasterized type layer to select the words.
  • Get the Gradient tool.
  • In the Options Bar, click on the down facing arrow to open the Gradient Picker. Choose Foreground to Background. It’s the first icon in the top left corner of the Picker. If you do not see Foreground to Background, open the flyout menu, choose Reset Gradients and click OK.
  • In the Options Bar, click on the Linear Gradient icon.
  • On your scrapbook page, position your cursor at the top of the selected text and click and drag a line to the bottom.
  • Press Ctrl D (Mac: Cmd D) to Deselect.

Credits:
Digi Scrap Tutorial: Two-Tone Type, Using the Gradient Tool by Barb Brookbank
Layout: “Desiderata” by Barb Brookbank
Kit: ArtPlay Palette Family by Anna Aspnes, previously available to Premier Members March 2012
Font: Myriad Pro, Written on His Hands
Poem: Desiderata by Max Ehrmann
Software: Photoshop CS5

Download a PDF version of this “Two-Tone Type – Using the Gradient Tool” tutorial.

Windows: Right click on the link and choose “Save Target As” or a similar command.
Mac: Click on the link to download the file.

29 Responses

  1. Mungo
    | Reply

    This makes a very classy look, thank you for the tip

  2. Janet Hays
    | Reply

    Great tip – thanks so much!!

  3. DonnaK
    | Reply

    Wow. I really love this and don’t believe I have ever seen it done. Love it! Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. pj
    | Reply

    I never thought of doing whole paragraphs like this, it’s going on my next page!! thank you,

  5. Lori
    | Reply

    Stunning! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  6. Peggy
    | Reply

    Looks beautiful! Thanks for the great tip. I always enjoy your pages and tips.

  7. Kim
    | Reply

    I really like this idea. Looks awesome

  8. Ami Pilon
    | Reply

    Wow, what a simple and stunning action to use on your page.

  9. Nannette Dalton
    | Reply

    What a fun and easy to do tip. Just the right amount of pizzazz!

  10. Shirl
    | Reply

    Thanks for the fun refresher with an extra kick. I never throught to use it for entire paragraphs either, just titles, wordart. etc. I will definitely try this one out real soon. Filled with pizazz. šŸ™‚

  11. Pris Toth
    | Reply

    Easy – creates very interesting, attractive effect. Thank you!

  12. Lisa
    | Reply

    Great tip – never thought to apply a gradient to the text! Thank you!

  13. Sherry
    | Reply

    Hi,
    Great tutorial.
    Question: Is it just my system or is the PSE PDF version missing the last two pages?
    thanx~sherry

    • Barb Brookbank
      | Reply

      Hi Sherry! I am looking into this! sorry for the inconvenience!

  14. Linda Shoop
    | Reply

    Help…I think this is something I will want to use, but I have been trying to follow the instructions, and I end up with the gradient background and not the words. I even had my husband try it too and we both end up with the same thing. Any ideas on what I may be doing wrong? Thanks.

    • Barb Brookbank
      | Reply

      Hi Linda! did you first Ctrl click (Mac: Cmd click) on the thumbnail of the simplified type layer to select the words? You should see the ‘marching ants’ around the type which shows that it is selected. Try that and let me know if it works for you!

      • Linda Shoop
        | Reply

        Thanks – It worked. I was clicking on the words, rather than the thumbnail. I appreciate the help. Look forward to playing with it on a layout this weekend.

        • Barb
          | Reply

          You’re very welcome! glad we figured it out!

  15. Shirley Nagel
    | Reply

    I’m having a little trouble with this….when I control click on the thumbnail…the marching ants are in all of the text not around it…is this right? then when I go to draw the line it just diappears and I when I hit deselect the color just goes back to black. I love how this looks and I want to use it! I have PSE 9 on my computer ….thanks, shirley

    • Barb Brookbank
      | Reply

      Hi Shirley! Yes, the marching ants select each letter – not just a box around the rasterized type.

      Do you have the Foreground Color Chip set to black? Is the Background Color Chip set to a different color? I’m using orange as my background color.

      • shirley nagel
        | Reply

        thanks I got it…I didn’t have enough lines of type…but I do know and it worked. Thank you very much…love this technique and how it looks….shirley

        • Barb
          | Reply

          Yay! glad you figured it out!

  16. Geri
    | Reply

    Love that you used the gradient in two directions: top to bottom on the paragraphs and side to side on the title.

  17. Diane
    | Reply

    This is so cool (if I could do it)!!! I tried it half a dozen times and just can’t get it. Read all the comments and nothings applies. What could I be doing wrong? Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Barb Brookbank
      | Reply

      Hi Diane! can you tell me a bit more? how far did you get?

      • diane_
        | Reply

        Hi Barb,

        I went through all the steps including clicking on the text, which had the marching ants, and dragging down the gradient, but nothing happened. I did simplify the text and did choose the right gradients.

      • Diane
        | Reply

        Hi Barb,

        I asked a question about this technique (couldn’t do it) You answered back with a question which I answered, but I have not seen a reply from you since then. Am I looking in the right place?

        thanks, Diane

        • Barb
          | Reply

          Hi Diane – sorry! I sent you an e-mail and asked which version of Photoshop you were using – it seems to have gone missing . . . but if you could tell me, that would help.

        • Barb
          | Reply

          Hi Diane – After you have selected the gradients you want, check the Options Bar, is the Mode set to Normal and the Opacity at 100%?

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