In a slightly belated fashion, I am pleased to announce the winner of the "I'm a Better Graphic Designer Than Debbie Grossman" contest. It is Kristin MacBride, of Texas! She won both because her design was the best of all the entries, and because she explained how to do it in a simple, easy-to-follow fashion.
Check out her instructions, after the jump.
The clipping mask feature in Photoshop is a great tool that allows you to use the transparent pixels in one layer to "mask", or hide, the contents of the layer above it. One of my favorite applications of this feature is to create the effect of text that is filled with a photograph. Here I am going to show you how to make your text stand out by using a clipping mask, a blending mode, and layer styles.
1. Start by duplicating your background image. Name it "background copy". This will form the base of the fill image for your letters.
Place the image on top of the "background copy" layer. Stretch the image while holding down the shift key (to constrain the proportions) and position the it so that it fills the entire canvas. Hit "Enter" or "Return" to place the image. Name this layer "texture image".
3. Change the blending mode of the "texture image" layer to "Screen". You'll find a selection of blending modes in the drop down menu of your Layers palette. Reduce the opacity of the "texture image" layer to 50%.
4. With the "texture image" layer still selected, Shift+Click the "background copy" layer to select them both. Under the Layers menu choose "Merge Layers". You should now have one layer called "texture image"
5. Choose the Text tool and click once anywhere on your canvas. Type "electric fiction". Change the font to Arial Black or a similar typeface. Change the size of the typeface to 22 pt. Center the text on the lower half of the page near the band's feet.
6. To create your Clipping Mask you first need to drag the text layer below the "texture image" layer. Select the "texture image" layer. Under the Layer menu choose "Create Clipping Mask". You should now have what appears to be letters filled with a translucent texture image. It looks cool, but unfortunately it doesn't stand out enough on the page. You'll fix that in the next steps.
7. Double click on the text layer in the layers palette. This should open the layer styles menu. Select "Stroke". I chose a pale yellow for the stroke color and changed the stroke size to 2 px. You can choose what you like.
8. Choose "Inner Shadow" and adjust the settings if necessary.
This doesn't look simple but it actually is. Like Debbie said in the original post, you should play with the other options to determine what works best for your particular project. You can achieve a multitude of effects with blending modes and layer styles, so have fun with it.