Fonts Don’t Float


If you look at the layout above very closely, you will see that the fonts and paints follow the texture of the paper. Have you ever looked at a layout with a great textured paper and on top of that is a font that looks like itโ€™s floating? It doesnโ€™t take on the paper texture at all. Suzy is going to teach us the greatest trick to fix that!! I have used blending modes on layers before, but could never really get them to look the way I wanted, until Suzy shared this trick.


I am SO excited to be contributing tutorials to The Daily Digi. Back in February, I shared a text trick as part of my designer spotlight. Steph asked if I’d write up the tutorial with screen shots this month and I am happy to oblige.

When you write on paper in real life, the pen follows the surface of the paper you’re writing on — all the bumps and fun textures add life to the text. And we all know that pens don’t always flow smoothly — except in digi-land. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ve noticed that sometimes in digital layouts, the journaling looks a bit fake, almost like it’s not quite part of the page, because the texture of the paper beneath isn’t part of the writing like it would be in real life. So I learned this little trick to add some “reality” to my journaling and I’m going to show you how to do it too. You can use this on papers, journal blocks, tags — any paper/element that has some texture. (Note: The step-by-step instructions are for PS users. Blending Options aren’t available in PSE, but I share a tip at the bottom for how PSE users can try to mimic this effect.)
Let’s get started!

1. Place your text layer above the layer you want to “write” on. (In this example, I’m using a bold basic font and a super-crinkled kraft background from my Krafty Stash #2 to illustrate the technique.)

2. Click on the fx icon (bottom of the layers palette) and choose Blending Options.

We’ll be manipulating arrows in the “Blend If” section of the box that pops up. The black arrow focuses on the dark shades of the layer beneath and the white arrow focuses on the lighter shades.

3. Slide the black arrow under “Underlying Layer” towards the right until the text starts to disappear.
4. Hold down ALT and slide the left half of the black slider back to the left so some of the text reappears.
5. Slide the right arrow under “Underlying Layer” towards the left until the text starts to disappear.
6. Hold down ALT and slide the right half of the black slider back to the right so some of the text reappears.
7. Adjust the arrows until you reach the desired effect. Click OK.
sqs_textblendtrick_ss8 I love using this when my text is on a folded tag or heavily textured paper, so that my text becomes more life-like โ€” as if a pen was actually rubbing across a surface. Try it with paint strokes too!

Here’s an example of the technique in action. I used it on everything in this layout — the paint splatters, the journaling, the title, the stamped alpha, the sun burst.


For PSE users: Unfortunately, Blending Options are not an option in PSE. However, you can mimic this technique with a couple of tricks. You can try changing the color of your text and play with the blending modes. You can also use a grunge brush at varying opacities to erase parts of the text.

Thanks for letting me share this fun technique with you. I’d love to see what you do with it, so feel free to link us up to a layout in the comments OR upload to our Flickr Group with the tag: FontsDontFloat. ๐Ÿ™‚


Suzy is a 28-year-old SAHM to a super rambunctious 2-year-old and wife my sweetheart for 4 years. We live in the middle-of-nowhere, which I absolutely love. My background is in biology but I now find myself on the opposite end of the spectrum designing digital scrapbooking supplies and I am LOVING the journey. ๐Ÿ™‚