In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to create a dripping text effect the quick and easy way. I am going to show you how to use the warp tool to distort our letters for a sticky, messy design. Let’s get started.
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Step 1: Start by creating a new document and typing out your message. The effect works best with a fairly thick font. The font I am using in this example is called “Archivo Black” and can be found on Font Squirrel
Step 2: Expand your type (Type > Create Outlines). Make a copy of your text layer. Working with the top layer, use the pen or pencil tool to draw some lines cutting through the top portions of your letters.
Step 3: Select all of the lines and your text and through the Pathfinder, click on “Divide”. Ungroup the letter bits (Ctrl + Shift + G).
Step 4: Delete the bottom parts of each letter. I changed the fill color of the top parts to a light gray so you can see what we did. The black portions of the letters are the original layer.
Step 5: Still working with the top “drips”, select the Warp tool. By default, it should be hidden in the menu behind the “Width” tool. If you click and hold, you will see the Warp tool. You can also press Shift + R to select the tool.
Step 6: Once you have found the warp tool, double click it to bring up the settings. My artboard is set up at 625 x 550, so 20pt for the dimensions is the size I want for the brush. I am also using a drawing tablet, so I set it to use Pen Pressure. If you don’t have a tablet, you will want to set the intensity fairly low (around 10-20%).
Step 7: As you work, you may need to adjust the settings depending on the width of your letters. In a top to bottom motion, start by running the warp tool through your top drips. You can see each time you click and drag down, it warps the object. Keep running the tool over parts of your object to make the “drips” longer.
Step 8: Do the same for the other top drips on your letters.
Step 9: Go back to your original letters and do the same to them.
Step 10: Next I change the warp brush size to 10 pt and I am going to connect some of the drips. Make sure you have only the letter you are warping selected, otherwise the warp tool will alter any letter it touches.
Step 11: Selectively extended the drips throughout your lettering.
Step 12: Unlock the top drips and do the same.
Step 13: Using your drawing tool of choice, draw out some lines in a lighter color to add some highlight to the drips. Nothing special here, I used the Brush tool with the basic 2pt Oval brush. I lightened up the main letters so you can see the placement. We are going to color the letters soon.
Step 14: Optional: To extend the top drips from your main letters a little bit select the main shapes and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. I set the offset to 1 pt and the Joins to round.
Step 15: Now to color the letters. You can choose whatever color you want. The coloring will affect what the drips are. If you make everything black and gray, you have dripping oil. Make them green and you have slime, etc. For this example, I am going with a bright green and blue. The main letters are #5AC4BE and the tops are #C8DC65
Step 16: You can also add some more depth by applying a gradient to the main letters. The bottom portion of the gradient is the same #5AC4BE and the darker part of the gradient is #4DA9A4
Step 17: I did the same thing to the top of the letters, only I made the top of the gradient lighter (just slightly).
Step 18: You could also make the background the same color as the main color of your top drip gradient:
You can use this effect for a number of different things. Here are some examples:
Dripping blood text effect
Background – #3A1212, Main Gradient: #9E1C20 to #690E07, top drip gradient: #C1312F to #9E1C20
Slime text effect
Background – #E6EAB0, Main Gradient: #C8DC65 to #90CA6B, top drip gradient: #D3DF56 to #A9D269
Chocolate Sauce text effect
Background – #F4EFD4, Main Gradient: #E8DAB3 to #D1BB82, top drip gradient: #563E12 to #825F25
You can also load the finished effect into Photoshop and add some texture like what is shown in the featured image of this tutorial.
Step 1: After I was happy with the drippy text, I added in my sub-header, which is a font called “Againts”, which I purchased at Creative Market. Click here for link.
The color of this text is #F26B6C. I started to get an 80’s vibe from the colors, so I decided to go with it.
Step 2: Save your file in whatever format you want and open it up in Photoshop (or any program you want). I am going to use one of my Dirty Cardboard overlays to add some texture to the design. You can purchase these textures by clicking on the button below:
Step 3: Go to File > Place and pick one of the textures. I am going with #7 for this design. Re-size the image to fit over your art and hit Enter.
Step 4: Right click on the layer and click on “Rasterize Layer”. Hold down Ctrl and click on the layer thumbnail of the texture layer so that it selects the contents of the layer.
Step 5: Change your foreground color to #58c2be and go to Edit > Fill > Foreground Color. Change the Transparency mode of this layer to Multiply and lower the Opacity to around 20%.
Hope you enjoyed!