Create a Frozen Text Effect in Photoshop
The Frozen Effect
Working with Photoshop text can be fun and very rewarding in certain visual messages or advertisements. Understanding the Photoshop program was one obstacle that took a little longer to learn for me. I found unless you give yourself small achievable projects like this one, what you learn doesn’t stay with you. This step-by-step procedure will explain how easy it is to create an icy text effect in Photoshop.
I have Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud, but I did this effect in an older version of Adobe Photoshop CS5. I believe you can do all these effects in even older versions of Photoshop as well.
Create a new document 8.5” x 11” or as needed, 300 dpi. Go to File>New>choose the size, go to Image>Image rotation>90 degrees.
The background color needs to be darker, (Black or Grey is best) than the text, which should be white or a light color. Choose a color from the pallet; click the Paint bucket from the left-hand panel and click onto the artboard. I like blue for a frozen effect but any color will do.
Have you played with the different effects available in Photoshop?
Choose a light color like white or baby blue, then click on the text button from the left menu. Click on the artboard and begin to type the text desired, i.e. “Frozen” or “Winter.”
Any font will work and can be as big or small as needed. Choose the desired font first or after the word is typed, by holding down the mouse button and dragging across the word to highlight it and change the font and/or size as desired.
Click on Filter>Filter Gallery>Texture>Craquelure to give the text a broken appearance.
Go to Image>Image Rotation>90 degree CW (clockwise). Click on Filter>Stylize>Wind. The wind direction is both right and left so to get the ice cycles to drip down you want the wind from the right. A text box will tell you that you have to rasterize the text image. Click okay.
The wind will give an appearance of ice cycles. Click it a number of times or Command+F until you are happy with the ice cycles.
Go to Image>Rotate>90 degree CCW (counter clockwise).
Click on FX at the bottom of the Layers panel; FX>Inner Glow, choose the color, white works. Select glow size and glow brightness and color needed.
Go to FX at the bottom of the Layers panel again; FX>Bevel and Emboss. Select Structure depth about 150% to 200%, direction UP, Size 32 pixels, and pull soften up to 4 pixels. For Shading, click onto the shadow rectangle and change the color from black to dark blue.
For fun, on a separate layer, I painted several snowflakes in various sizes and opacities by sliding the flow percentage slider for the brush, at the top bar.
You can find these snowflake brushes free at Brusheezy. Once you choose your free snowflake brushes and download them. Go to the brushes file in Applications>Adobe Photoshop CC>Presets>Brushes, then drag and drop your new brush file there.
Save as Photoshop file PSD or JPEG. If you leave it as PSD you can still edit the text later. JPEG flattens the image and won’t allow for any further editing.
Start another one the same way. Go through the steps 1 through 5 to make the ice cycles. And turn the page back around counterclockwise.
Go to FX>Outer Glow. Change the color to a teal blue.
Then go to FX>Color Overlay and choose the teal blue again.
Click Command+J to make a copy of that layer.
Go to FX>Bevel and Emboss, under the structure technique click Chisel Soft. Change depth to 60%.
Go to FX>Gradient, in Blend Mode change it to Overlay.
From here you want to add a pattern. If you only have a few patterns go to Adobe Photoshop>Presets>Patterns, then you can choose among any of the patterns there.
Go to FX>Pattern Overlay and choose a pattern. Size it up if needed. I set mine at 650%. Leave the blend mode on Normal. Set the opacity to 80%.
For this layer go to blend mode at the top of the layer panel and click Overlay.
For my background, I added an FX>Gradient Overlay and chose a light blue to dark blue gradient from the selections.
The icy technique can be used for different types of messages, for example, cold products, scary events, or other messages. Creating this text was fun and a great way to use it would be for sending a message to all that cold weather is just around the corner. The icy text is a type of warning for most that it is time to get prepared for the harsh winter months ahead. An advertisement of a broken down car on the side of the road and underneath it states “Frozen” is just one thought. The wind technique could be used in a different way not just to create ice but also to create motion. The wind motion on one side would be seen as fast-moving or get it before it is gone type of signage. If the wind stylize was used for a background it would appear as crosshatching and could be a nice texture if used properly.