Retro Dirty Text Tutorial

Resources, etc for this tutorial:

Font: Florence Sans (available free from

Colours used:

  • Green: #77CE70
  • Red: #F05864
  • Orange: #F7C54C

Background Paper Image: stock.xchng


Retro Dirty Text

Open a new document (mine was 800 x 800, 72px resolution)

Create a new set by clicking on the folder at the bottom of the layers palette.

Create a new layer for each letter, set the anti-aliasing method to sharp or none. Rasterize the layers as you go.

Arrange the text as required using the move tool.


Now you have to decide what colours you want to use for which parts of each letter or group of letters.

Duplicate the layer for each letter you want to work on. Move the duplicated layers outside of the group.

Delete the parts of the letters you don’t require and merge the resulting layers.

Select the shape by ctrl + click on the layer and fill with the colour of your choice.


Make sure you neaten the shapes as you go if you have to.

For the background, use an image or texture of old paper.  Mine was from stock.xchng

Open the image, select all and copy and paste into your text document just above the background layer.  Move or resize the layer as required.

Add a new layer above one of your text shapes and apply some brushstrokes: Faux Finish brush set, Plastic Wrap Light 40 and 90, with foreground colour set to black.

Ctrl + click on the shape layer to select the text, Select > Inverse, make the brushstroke layer active and hit delete.

Repeat the above steps for each of your text shape layers.

Turn off the visibility of all layers except the brushstroke layers, then merge visible. Reduce the opacity to around 50%.

Now merge all your text shapes and the brushstroke layer together.

Right-click on the layer and select Blending Options.  Select Drop Shadow and leave all settings at default. Click OK.

Go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast and set the brightness at +19.

Cut your image as required, and that’s it!

Finished Project

Finished Project

More tutorials by cazcastalla:  Retro DesignPop Out Text

One Response to “Retro Dirty Text Tutorial”

  1. Lilly Moua Says:


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