Last week I wrote about how to create great header graphics for linkbait pieces. Now I would like to go a bit deeper into that and explain how I create graphical text, text that is an image, that stands out and screams to be noticed.
Like the last tutorial mentioned, it is important for your article to have an image associated with the content of the article. When you go on Digg and see a link to a story without an image or photo what do you do? Well, I tend to not click on that story and move on down the line. The same holds true, to some degree, to linkbait pieces and the inclusion of catching header graphics.
For this I want to focus on making the text into a graphic in Photoshop and giving it some sort of simple, easy to do treatment or styling so that it can standout a bit more. We are going to use a few Layer styles and a simple technique to give the letters a bit of depth.
Create a layer that has the text you are going to be using on it. I like to use a large, bold faced font like Arial Bold or Impact. It is also important to think about color and contrast at this point. I created a dark gray background and put the text in white on top.
Create a slight Outer Glow and Stroke on the text layer and. If you are using light colored text on top of a darker background outer glow is the best choice, however if the background is lighter than the text use a Drop Shadow to make it stand out. To create the outer glow and stroke effect got to the Layers drop down menu and the Layer Styles sub menu and select each effect.
With the text layer selected make a selection of the letter forms by using Open Apple or Control and clicking on the layer thumbnail in the layer palette window. This will make a selection of the text. Now go to the Select drop down menu then go to Modify/Contract and enter a value of 1 or 2.
With the selection still active, create a new layer above the text layer. Using the Gradient tool, select a gradient that uses a black to white, color, or just black to clear. Starting from either the top or bottom of the letters create a gradient that you like.
This is one way to add an extra little push to your graphical text when creating linkbait header graphics. The steps are easy to do and require a bit of extra time, but the advantage of having someone stay on your content or intrigued to go further is paramount.
I hope that you can use this simple technique in your next graphic! If you have an idea or something you would like to see covered please let us know (blog [at] 10e20.com). Thanks!
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