Drop Shadows. Ho-hum. But what about using white ones to make radiant text, or THX-like glows emanating from behind a panel? Like this:
Recently, I needed to design a logo and business card for a company whose name screamed out for radiance: “Luminosity”.
After choosing Valentina JF, a font designed by Jason Anthony Walcott and available at MyFonts.com, I went to work on making it glow. The trick was using three stacked text boxes with white drop shadows that use varying amounts of blur and opacity. I placed each text box on its own layer to make it easier to access them and to see how they affect each other:
The first drop shadow adds a little glow behind the text. Notice its 100% opacity and .05” blur.
The second drop shadow adds more glow and increases its spread. Notice its 80% opacity and .06” blur.
The third drop shadow increases the glow and its spread even further. Notice its 80% opacity and .07” blur.
The final result is lots of glow near the letters, decreasing as it fades with distance.
With the logo handled, I wanted to create a dramatic “glow from behind the movie theater screen” look. That required some experimentation, but in the end was achieved with just one red drop shadow and a .5 pt red frame:
That’s it: three drop shadows for glowing text and one drop shadow for a glowing rectangle.
Power User Tip: If you want to be able to easily edit the text after you create the glow effect, just use the Synchronized Text feature: Window> Shared Content. Then, when you change the text in any of the three text boxes, it will change in all three text boxes.
Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.