Photoshop Gradient Typography Tutorial

graphicxtras > Adobe Photoshop tutorials > Photoshop gradients tutorials

By Andrew Buckle, Updated : 2021

How to use Photoshop gradients with type / text in many different ways for the most amazing gradient typography effects. Type / text in Photoshop can be used with Photoshop gradients in a number of ways.

** Youtube video tutorial on how to use type with gradients in Photoshop to create the most amazing Photoshop gradient typography effects **

gradient typography

1. Filling type with gradients via shape conversion

Select the type tool and create some type on the current document. Go to the type menu and convert to shape command. Select the rectangle tool or another shape tool and then go to the fill option at the top of the application and select the gradient option and select a gradient, the type is now filled with a gradient.

typography filled with gradient

You can change the color of the gradient at any point as well as gradient style such as linear or reflected

2. Adding a fill layer based on type

Create some type and go the select menu and load selection and use the channel of type transparency. Go to the layer menu and then select new fill layer and gradient and then select a gradient for the fill and press OK. You can move the fill layer independent of the type. If you change the type, the gradient will not be updated and you will have to recreate the fill layer.

typography filled with gradient layer

3. Add a gradient overlay to type

You can select the type and then go to the layer menu and layer styles and select the gradient overlay. You can then select the gradient preset to use as well as opacity and blending mode and gradient style and angle and scale for the gradient. The great thing about this technique is that is live, you can always update the type to change the words and sentences etc and the gradient will update accordingly.

typography gradient overlay style applied

You can also click the small plus button next to the gradient overlay and add another overlay and then use that with blending modes and perhaps a different origin / style etc and you can create a more unique gradient design for your type. At any point, you can go to the styles panel and store this gradient design as a new style and then re-apply it at a later time


You can also use the stroke feature and select gradient there and use a variety of styles such as linear and radial for the stroke along with an unique style of shape burst which is great for creating a variety of edges to a stroke.

4. Selections and type

Never been a fan of the mask type tool but you can use selections. Create some normal type as a layer and then go to the select menu and load selection and use the channel 'type transparency' and you will now have a selection around your design, you still can't use it with a gradient. Go to the layer menu and rasterize and select type and then you can go to the gradient tool and apply type to the selection.

transparency and gradient fill

Another approach would be to go to layer menu and flatten image and then use the selection with the gradient tool. Yul can then fill the type with the current gradient.

5. Use gradient with type mask in Photoshop

Select the generated type and then go to the layer menu and layer mask and reveal all. You will now see a thumbnail for the mask appear next to the type entry in the layers panel.

gradient mask and type in Photoshop

Go to the panel and select. Go to the gradient tool and then apply the current preset to the type but instead of adding color to the type, the type will be become more or less transparent depending on the gray scales of the gradient applied in the mask. This is live so you can change the gradient at any point. You can then combine multiple type objects in numerous ways without the need for blending modes etc

6. Gradient map adjustment and type

Select the type and then flatten the image via the layer menu and then add a Gaussian blur or perhaps another blur such as box blur to the image and then go to the image menu and adjustments and gradient map and select a multi-stop gradient (not a two stop or one stop gradient) to create an unusual colorful gradient type design.

gradient map type

You can vary the gradient preset. You can also re-apply the blurring and gradient map multiple times to create even more unusual gradient modified type (perhaps creation an action for this via the actions panel). You can also fade the result of the gradient map via the edit menu and combine with blending modes. You can also use multiple type layers and then apply different maps to each and use the blending modes in the layers panel.

gradient map type and multiple applies