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Create Creepy, Branch Based Typography

Create Creepy, Branch Based Typography

Learn how to create some creepy typography created out of winter branches:

Final Image

As always, this is the final image that we’ll be creating:

Step 1

Create a new document (800X600px).

Drag out a radial gradient ranging from f8f8f8 to e0e0e0 on your background layer:

Step 2

Paste in your bark texture:

Now apply a hue/saturation adjustment layer. Be sure to apply a clipping mask (layer>create clipping mask), so that your adjustment layer only effects your underlying bark layer.

Now return to your bark texture layer. Reduce it’s opacity to 30%, and change it’s blend mode to ‘overlay’.

Step 3

Now download the abstract lights brush set from the resources for this tutorial.

Create a new layer called ‘brush marks 1′.

Apply several of the brush marks (using a black paintbrush). Then change this layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’ and reduce it’s opacity to 80%.

Step 4

Now apply a couple more layers, applying more black brush marks, and then some white ones. The idea is just to layer up your background effect:

Step 5

Now apply some text in the center of your canvas. The text can say whatever you want, but in this case I’ve just typed out the letters ‘PSD’. The font is not important, but it’s easier if you use a legible, bold font:

Step 6

Now cut out and paste in your branches from the branch photos in the resources for this tutorial. Keep these images on separate layers, so that you can easily paste them onto subsequent layers:

Step 7

Paste your tree photo into the bottom left of your canvas, positioning it against the bottom of your P letter.

Now we want to make our tree more stylized to fit with our overall composition. Apply a color overlay blending option to your tree layer, and then apply a hue/saturation adjustment layer (being sure to apply a clipping mask to it).

Color Overlay Blending Option Setting:

Blend Mode: Normal
Color: 000000
Opacity: 65%

Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer Settings:

Hue: 0
Saturation: -100
Lightness: 0

Step 8

Now we want to start morphing our branch images to fit to our letters. To do this we’re going to use the puppet warp tool. Position the branch roughly over your letter, and then go to edit>puppet warp. Warp the branch to fit around part of your letter:

Step 9

This is how your composition looks once you’ve warped several branches to cover all your letters. With each branch layer, be sure to apply the same color overlay blending option and hue/saturation adjustment layer as your original branch layer.

Here is the composition with the original type layer hidden:

Step 10

Now create a new layer called ‘brush marks over letters’. Select your abstract marks brush again, and apply your brushes over your letters, applying a subtle frayed edge effect:

Step 11

A quick tip when applying your brushes is to rotate your brush marks where necessary. Brush sets may not always be at the correct angle to follow the contours of your layers, so you can easily alter the angle of your brushes to fit. Simply open up your brushes panel, and change the angle option (see below):

Step 12

Now create a new layer called ‘highlights’.

Drag out several white to transparent radial gradients over the tops of your letters.

Then change this layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’ and reduce it’s opacity to 40%.

Step 13

Now paste in your crow photo from the resources for this tutorial.

Position it on top of one of your letters, and then apply a color overlay blending option:

Color Overlay Blending Option Settings:

Blend Mode: Normal
Color: 000000
Opacity: 65%.

Step 14

Now apply a final levels adjustment layer in order to add extra contrast to your composition.

Levels Adjustment Layer Settings:

0 / 1.08 / 247

And We’re Done!

You can view the final outcome below. I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and would love to hear your feedback on the techniques and outcome.

Download Source File for this Tutorial

About the Author:

Tom is the founder of PSDFAN. He loves writing tutorials, learning more about design and interacting with the community. On a more interesting note he can also play guitar hero drunk with his teeth.

Leave a comment


  1. Fazreen says:

    Thanks for the step by step tutorial..Will try this for sure..

  2. Really great, I can’t wait to try it.

  3. adm dhiman says:

    nice work dear . i m really appreciate

  4. satpal says:

    nyc one

  5. nice tutorial….
    i still learn abot typo…

    I hope can make like this


  6. Raj Mehta says:

    Nice tut just publishing this post via Linetoweb


  7. Robert Oates says:

    Awesome tutorial, Really like the finished piece.
    Looking forward to giving it a go. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Nathan says:

    A very interesting tutorial. Many thanks.

  9. armitss says:

    The idea is very creepy and I love it, its so new. It remind me of Tim Burton movies. Good job

  10. Pintoo says:

    Right now I’m trying this only & now at step 7 & everything going well till now & just because of the way explained,its step-by-step. Thanks for this !!

    • Tom says:

      Thanks Pintoo, I’m glad you’re finding the tutorial easy to follow. I’d love if you’d post your final outcome here for everyone to see :) .

  11. Sam Logan says:

    Thanks for another great tutorial Tom, it was really easy to follow and I love the finished effect!

  12. eL says:

    sorry but mine looks naff and to be honest yours does’nt look that much better. ……just sayin

  13. Marina says:

    Love it! Thanks a lot :)

  14. Brombama says:

    Thank you for the idea; this is my realisation:

  15. wow, this is great. I will use this for my website. Thanks a lot! Great idea,very creapy :)

  16. Nikki says:

    Hey, I am a little confused by how you copy and pasted the branches in. Am I missing something?

    • Tom Ross says:

      Hi Nikki. You open up the branch photos from the resources section for this tutorial as a new document in Photoshop. Then use a tool like the lasso tool or pen tool to extract them from their background. Then paste them back into your original document. I hope this helps :) .

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