Make 3d Signs

One of the most important principles of signage (the craft of creating signs) is that if you want to sell, you have to attract and hold the viewers’ attention long enough to convey your message. And to do this, you will want to have graphics, text and images that pop out the second the viewer sees them. There are few better ways to do this than with 3D text. In this article, Photoshop will be used, but the principles will apply in other graphics programs such as PaintShop Pro or GIMP.


1. Open Photoshop. Create the background and other aspects of the sign you want to make, importing any images you need, but do not create the text. Save this file as “Sign.”

2. Create a new document by selecting “File” and then “New.” In the dialog that opens, you should make the pixel height and width of the document whatever you need for the text you will be adding to your “Sign” sign document. For the background select “Transparent,” name the file “Sign Text,” and click “OK.”

3. Select the “Text” tool. Then go to the “Text” options at top at choose the font you want, select the size of the font and the color. Now type in your text, making sure to proofread carefully. Use the “Move” function to center the text on the canvas after you have typed it. Select “Layers” in the menu and click “Rasterize Text.”

4. Go to the “Layers” panel and click on the “FX” button to bring up the “Blending Options.” Rather than clicking on a specific option, just select “Blending Options” from the top. In the dialog that opens, select the “Bevel and Emboss” tab. Now give the text a slight bevel and emboss effect, adjust the “Size” to about 30-40, and the “Softness” to about 3-5. Then select the “Drop Shadow” tab and accept the default settings. You now have your 3D text-layer effect. Click “OK” and save your document.

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5. Select the layer in the “Layers” panel and right-click it. Select “Duplicate”, and in the dialog that opens, make the “Main” document the destination document. Now go back to the “Main” document and you will see that the 3D text layer is now the top layer in your document. Use the “Move” tool to place it where you want it, and save your work.