Burned Lettering in Photoshop title

Create Burned Lettering in Wood in Photoshop

In an earlier post I gave you a set of scanned in wood textures. This week we can do a burned lettering effect to give it a more aged rustic effect!



Let’s Go!

get your wood texture


First get an image of some wood textures. You can grab my free wood resources here. Open your wood image up into Photoshop.



add in some text to get down

Next we need to add text on top of the wood. Select your Type Tool (T). You can used any font for this. I am using Carton font for this. You can get it for free on LostType.com. Put it in a brown color. Any brown will do.


outline and select your lettering

Now that we have the basic layout set up it’s time to get right into your burned lettering! Let’s start with the outer singed effect. Go into your Layers Panel and make a selection around your text (Ctrl/Command + Left Click) by clicking on the Text preview square. This will create your marching ants selection.


select your paint tool

Next we go into Select -> Modify -> Expand. And expand your selection how you see fit. For my image I’ve expanded 10 pixels. This will create the outline to be offset. Create a new layer in the layers panel. Fill your selection with a dark gray using the Paint Bucket Tool (G).


add in your blur effect

Deselect (CTRL/Command +D) your layer. Now with the outer burned layer selected go into Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur and soften up the outer area. I am using a 1 radius.


Add in diffuse effect

Once the blur is in place  it’s time to create a rougher “singed” effect by going into Filter -> Stylize -> Diffuse. In yourMode select Darken Only. This will give it a rough look. Bring the Opacity of the outer burned layer down to about 25%.


make your blending set to multiply

Now that we created a subtle outer burn effect now let’s look at creating a burned effect in the lettering. Select your Lettering Layer and change your blending mode to Multiply. This will darken up the lettering look and bring back some of the wood texture.


create your inner glow

Just to give a little bit more depth of the lettering go into your Layer -> Layer Styles -> Inner Glow. Make sure the blend mode is on Multiply. Adjust your values of the glow until you are happy with it.


it's not complete until you add some distress

As you can see the lettering has some effect but it’s not quite the burned lettering roughness that it could be. This can be done by Adding a Vector Mask to your letter layer. Select your Brush Tool (B). Use some grunge brushes to give it a distressed look. There are many free brush sets out on the internet. Make sure the color of the brush is black. This will remove parts of the lettering without destroying the original layer.


give those edges some scorched look

Lastly add a layer and use your Brush Tool (B) to give your burned effect more of a scorched feel. I used a dark gray. For the brush selection I used a bigger size of the brushes I used to roughen the lettering. Once you have your scorched layer bring the Opacity down to about 30% or so.

And you are done!

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