How to Create an 80’s Inspired Stranger Things Photoshop Text Effect

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What is the Stranger Things Font?

The Benguiat font is used in title card of Stranger Things, a Netflix-original sci-fi series. The font is reminiscent of 1980’s thrillers and mysteries, particularly that of Stephen King. The text’s formatting and neon effect have made it an iconic aspect of the show. Below we have listed a 10-step guide on making your own Stranger Things typeface using Photoshop.

Despite Stranger Things‘ Golden Globe nominations, fans are feeling snubbed by its lack of wins. However, to show our support, we’re posting this Stranger Things font tutorial, especially for Friday the 13th. Get ready to play Dungeons & Dragons with your best buds, all while fighting some freaky monsters from the great beyond (spoiler alert)! In these steps, we’ll transform the text into a Stranger Things-inspired text effect in Adobe Photoshop.

Tutorial Details: Create a Stranger Things Inspired Text Effect in 10 Steps!

  • Program: Adobe Photoshop
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Topics Covered: Layer Styles, Typography, Inspiration
  • Estimated Completion Time: 15 Minutes

Final Image: Stranger Things Inspired Text Effect

Text Effect Inspired by Stranger Things

Step 1

Create a New Document and use the Horizontal Type Tool to write out a few words in the Benguiat typeface, or a similarly retro font. Rasterize your text and rearrange your letters of the first word so the first and last letters are larger and the top line is aligned by the top edge. Place the second word beneath the first, making sure it’s close to it, but with ample space between the two. You’ll have to Separate each letter section onto layers in order to move or resize them as you see fit. Merge Layers when you’re satisfied with your type.

Starting Text

Step 2

Use the Magic Wand Tool to select your text (make sure Anti-Alias is selected but Contiguous isn’t). Go to Select > Modify > Expand it by 3 – 5 pixels (or something similar to the outline below). Create a New Layer. Fill the selection with red using the Paint Bucket Tool. Select your original text again and delete the selection from your newly filled layer so you only have red outlines left.

Use the Rectangle Tool to draw rectangles on top of the text and on either side of the text. Set the fill to null and the stroke to red and 3 pts in the Properties panel.

Red outlined text on black background

Step 3

Double-Click your working layer (With your text on it) and apply an Outer Glow with the following attributes:

Blend Mode: Hard Light
Opacity: 51%
Color: Red
Technique: Softer
Size: 7%
Range: 50

Layer style settings in Photoshop

Step 4

Add a Gradient Overlay that goes from dark red to red and to dark red again with the following attributes:

Blend Mode: Multiply
Opacity: 100%
Style: Linear
Angle: 

Adding a gradient overlay

Add an identical Gradient Overlay to this one above the first.

Step 5

Add a third Gradient Overlay that goes from dark red to red and to dark red again with the following attributes:

Blend Mode: Color Burn
Opacity: 100%
Style: Linear
Angle: 

Adding a third gradient overlay

Step 6

Add a fourth Gradient Overlay above the others that goes from dark red to light red to red to light red and back to dark red again with the following attributes:

Blend Mode: Screen
Opacity: 73%
Style: Linear
Angle: 

Adding a fourth gradient overlay

Step 7

Add an Inner Glow with the following attributes:

Blend Mode: Overlay
Opacity: 60%
Color: Red
Technique: Softer
Source: Edge
Size: 7%
Range: 50

Adding inner glow

Step 8

Finally hit Bevel & Emboss and Contour. Apply the following attributes:

Style: Inner Bevel
Technique: Smooth
Depth: 100%
Direction: Up
Size: 7 px
Soften: 0 px
Angle: 90°
Altitude30°
Highlight Mode: Screen
Opacity: 50%
Shadow Mode: Multiply
Opacity: 50%

Bevel and Emboss settings

Hit OK.

Step 9

Copy and Paste your text layer. Clear the Layer Styles from your copied layer. Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply a Gaussian Blur with a Radius of approximately 7.8 pixels. Hit OK and Duplicate this layer.

Gaussian Blur

Step 10

Copy the Layer Style from your text onto your rectangle layers. Repeat the Gaussian blur on copies of the rectangle layers too.

Preview of the current status

Conclusion: Stranger Things Inspired Text Effect

Fantastic work! You can save your Layer Style to easily and quickly transform any text or object into this retro, spooky style inspired by Netflix’s Stranger Things!

Finished product - Stranger Things Text Effect Tutorial for Photoshop

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