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How to make re-usable graffiti in Photoshop tutorial

I originally wrote this graffiti tutorial a decade ago. While the style still looks good, the usability sucks. Total update time, let’s make the graffiti on the text layer using all layer styles. The advantage to this is 2-fold. First we can reuse the layer style and secondly, we can change the text and the style will remain on it as we edit. (Non-destructive baby!)

Step 1

Start with an appropriate font and type the word, grafitti


Here I used Tags Extreme. Download it here | Download the layer style for this tutorial

Step 2

Create a new custom gradient similar to this.


Step 3

Open the Layer styles, by clicking the little “fx”at the bottom the layer panel. Choose Gradient Overlay on the left and open our gradient and set it to 90, tweak the scale if needed.


This gives us the gradient color onto the type


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Step 4

Give it a small gray stroke by using the settings shown in the stroke option, size is 4

grafitti3 grafitti4

Step 5

Because we are actually giving this a triple stroke, we need to be clever. Lets use the outer glow as a secondary stroke. )I do this all the time) Choose outer glow. Blend mode in normal and black. The magic happens with the spread and size. Make sure you turn on anti aliased, or it will look blocky.


Double stroke in action!


Step 6

We now need to create the 3rd stroke which is really a hard edges drop shadow, Opacity is al 100 and once again, the magic happens with spread and size. Set the distance to suit your Image. Tip: You can drag directly on your document to set the distance and angle.


Cha! The graffiti is looking good!


Step 7

Because it’s applied as a layer style on a text layer, I can change the text to say whatever I like.

grafitti9 grafitti10

Step 8

Its really easy to add this graffiti to photographs. All you really need to do is change the blending mode to Overlay.



I hope you enjoyed this updated tutorial (I actually completely re-did it). I have recently updated all the tutorials at PhotoshopCAFE because I now know quicker and better ways of doing things as well as taking advantage of the newer features in Photoshop.

Why don’t you Download the layer style for this tutorial

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