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Type Tips for Photographers

Lesson 5 of 8

Using Gradients with Type

Matt Kloskowski

Type Tips for Photographers

Matt Kloskowski

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Lesson Info

5. Using Gradients with Type


  Class Trailer
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1 Class Introduction Duration:06:27
2 Type Basics Duration:08:09
3 Use Opposing Colors Duration:06:34
5 Using Gradients with Type Duration:10:16
6 Solid Color Bars Duration:16:20
7 Photo Book Cover Duration:10:13
8 Gallery Prints Duration:12:42

Lesson Info

Using Gradients with Type

The next one we have is probably the technique after this one that I'll go to the most, because it's the most versatile. We can do anything we want with it. Let's go grab this photo here. Hide my text. I want to put some text onto this one, and if I just go and I turn on, you see here I had a type layer MACRO. If I just type something on there. I mean, it's not bad. We could put that somewhere, but it just gets a little chaotic. Especially, depending on the background when you have bright and dark things inside of there. What I do, I just call it the gradient technique. We use a gradient over the photo in an opposing color to bring attention to the text. Let's go to the Photo Layer and we'll add a new layer right above it. Press G for your Gradient tool, and then once you grab your Gradient tool, up in the top left corner here, you're gonna see a few different gradients, we're just gonna use the very first one for now. It's a linear gradient. The way it works is, it generally, if you c...

lick with the Gradient tool, it's gonna take your foreground and your background color and it's gonna gradiate the too of them together. So instead, I'll set my foreground to black and I'll go into the Gradient picker, and I'll choose Foreground to Transparent. What that does, is that now gradiates from black to transparent. And then, I'll start to bring down the opacity. The first thing to abandon with all of this stuff, is that you're never gonna have to touch the photo. Just kinda keep in mind, you're generally gonna have to do something to the photo, you're not gonna be able to keep the photo the way it is if you wanna get text. There are times where everything works out great, right. If I just had a smaller word, and I just wanted to put it right down there. That'll work out fine, but not every photo is like that. In fact, I'd say more times than not it doesn't work out that well. Especially gets a little bit harder if we come in here and I want to type in more text, because now as I move this around, I'm not really able to find a place to put it. But, that little gradient trick, again just kinda gives us a dark background for. It's almost like a little bit of an upper vignette on the photo itself, just kinda takes some of the heat off of what's behind the photo here. Gradient trick number two, would be. And by the way guys, you can do that anywhere. So, I did it from the top, you can obviously go over here, take your Gradient tool, do it from the bottom, as you're gonna see in a second here, you can do it from the left or from the right too. You can do this from many direction in the photo. The next thing that I'll do, let's grab a wedding photo. This is a good example. I want to use a little bit more text. I wanna write a nice message, whatever it happens to be, maybe their wedding date and their names. Let's use black. We're obviously gonna use a much smaller font. Let's go with Nautica, what was that nice, there we go, let's go with Nautica. I'll just type in, oh side tip, when you use a script font, very very rarely do you use all caps. I can almost guarantee you, 99% of the time, it's not gonna look good. If you don't believe me, say her name was Amanda, if you don't believe me, that's the mess that it looks like as all caps. So, when you use your other fonts, you'll get away with all caps plenty of times, but when it comes to script, generally not gonna work. Alright, so let's go over here. Type in Amanda and Jim, it's hard to type when you can't see it, Saturday, June 20th, 2018, a day of happiness. I should write cards, shouldn't I? (student in audience laughs) Seriously, i think I missed my calling. And I hit the Enter key a couple of times between there. You could do paragraph type, you don't have to just type in one line. I just hit the Enter key a couple of times. What I'll do here, is I'll hit the paragraph justification there and let's go ahead and center that. We put it over here. Now, could I do black? I could try it. I don't like the sound of the way black would look for that, but we're really not any better. I can see it a little better, but to me it's still obscured by the photo that's behind it. The same technique here. Let's go back over to white, 'cause I like white better. There we go. The same technique here is, we'll try white. Add a new layer. I always put it below the type and then we're gonna grab our Gradient tool and we're just gonna use the opposite color. Just go over here and take black, just bring it in. It's a nice way if you have to put a lot of text onto the photo, especially something like this, tell a little bit of a story with it. It's a really good technique for that. And you can keep, you know, undo and drag, and undo. Here's actually what I do most of the time, is once I drag it out, rather than undo and redrag and undo and redrag, if you go into Free Transform, right down here, you'll see I can spread that out. I can do something like that with it. After lookin' at it, I might go the opposite way. I might go and take my Type tool and go black, and then go back over here to my Gradient. I already created the gradient, little Photoshop tip for ya, is you ever want to reverse a color, so in this case I have black, I wanna make it white, just press Command or Control I. And that reverses. I for invert. I actually kinda like the white here, a little bit better. You can always reduce the opacity a little bit of your text. And then, don't forget you are on a layer here, so if whatever gradient that you start to bring over, if it starts to encroach on the photo like it looks good for the most part, you've got your Layer Mask, you've got your Eraser tool, which ever way you're more comfortable with erasing. If you know Layer Masking, go ahead and do it the non-destructive way. I'm actually partial to just grabbing the Eraser tool, E for Eraser. And I go over here and I can just kinda erase. The only part I don't want it to encroach over on onto his head there. I can just go over there and kind of erase it away from part of those places. If you're familiar with Layer Masking, by all means, you can do it the non-destructive way too. That's a nice way to help get a larger amount of text to fit in using the gradient technique there. Sometimes I'll go the opposite. I'll add a layer, come in from the other side, and this is another one of those times where I'll grab a color from the photo. So, rather than using black or white, sometimes I can just use my eye dropper to sample a color from the photo and bring that in too. Nothing says it's gotta be black and white. You can use something from the photo or an opposing color if you want to as well. I saw you using the Transform tool to adjust the size of your fonts. Is there any benefit to doing that over adjusting the font size or is it really just a workflow preference? Good question. So, using the Transform tool to resize the font versus actually going to the font size? It's actually the same thing. If I go in here, make this so you can see it and I won't break my rule. I will not use, there we go. If you look at the font size now, what's it say, 36? If I press Command or Control T, you see it just changed the font size there. I kinda use both of 'em at the same time. If I have my Type tool selected and I'm already doin' it then I'll usually just go ahead and use the little scrubby slider that's right up here, just hold your cursor over and scrub back and forth. If I don't have the Type tool selected, I think I tend to just click on the Layer and hit Command or Control T.

Class Description

If you’re creating a watermark, advertisement or social media graphic, adding text can be a powerful way to communicate your message. However, if it’s not well-done or you’re using the font, you can ruin your beautiful photo. In this class, Matt Kloskowski will show you a variety of tips and tricks for adding text to photographs in order to achieve an image that’s professional, effective and easy to read.

Adobe Photoshop CC 2018



Yeah! I was so excited to find another class by Matt Kloskowski at Creative Live! Matt is an amazing teacher who comes up with all kinds of ideas. He is clear, concise and easy to follow. He has a wealth of knowledge that he loves to share and his enthusiasm and love for his students comes through in his teaching. I have his Lightroom Course and am so happy and pleased with it because I have learned so much!!! I highly recommend this class of Matt's and hope you will love his classes as much as I do!

Audrey Agin

Good Teacher. Gives good practical ideas to add Fonts to your photo project & is not distracting. Thank you.

Cheryl Tarr

I loved this class. Matt provides a very clear explanation of different techniques to add text to photos. Short and sweet!