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As my regular readers already know, I love glowing shiny things. I created Transfuchsian’s premium light brushes years ago and keep finding new uses for them. In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to create a glowing text effect by applying custom light effect brushes to some type and overlaying light effects to create an abstract glowing text effect.

To start, if you haven’t already purchased and downloaded my custom brushes, please click the button below to get the full set.

Light Effect Brushes

After we are done with the text effect, I will be using one of the light effects from my pre-made set, which can be purchased by clicking the button below.

Light Effect Set

Let’s get started.

Step 1: Open a new document (for this tutorial, my artboard is set at 854 x 660). Draw out a rectangle for the background and set the color to 85% C, M, Y and K.

How to create an abstract glowing text effect

Step 2: Lay out the text you want to use. The font used for this tutorial is called Spin Cycle OT and can be downloaded from FontSquirrel – Click Here. If you have more than one word in your layout, make sure you group all of your text together.

How to create an abstract glowing text effect

Step 3: Go ahead and expand your text (Type > Create Outlines) and open up the brush set called “CommetBrushes” from your Transfuchsian Premium Light Brush set. To open the brushes go to the Brush palette (F5 if it isn’t already open) then click on the menu icon in the upper right of the brush panel, go to Open Brush Library > Other Library… then go to where you saved the files and open the brushes.

How to create an abstract glowing text effect

Step 4: For the first layer, we are going to apply the darker turquoise brush (LightBrush11). Set the fill to no color and apply the brush to your text. Depending on the size of your artboard, you may need to lower the stroke weight. For this example I set the stroke to 0.5 pt for the main text and 0.25 for the smaller text. Set the Transparency to Color Dodge.

How to create an abstract glowing text effect

Step 5: Make a copy of this layer. Change the brush to the lighter blue (LightBrush5). Keep the Transparency set to Color Dodge.

How to create an abstract glowing text effect

Step 6: With this layer still selected, we are going to apply a warp effect to it. Go to Effect > Warp > Fish. You may need to play around with the settings, because the effect will depend on the layout of your text. Just make sure you are setting the bend to a negative percent for this layer.

How to create an abstract glowing text effect

Step 7: Make a copy of this layer. We are going to make two adjustments to this layer. First, we are going to change the direction of the brush. To do this, make a copy of the brush (click and drag to the new brush icon) then double click on the brush to bring up its properties. Where it shows the arrows under “Direction” click the arrow that makes it go in the opposite direction.

How to create an abstract glowing text effect

Step 8: With the same layer still selected, pull up the Appearance panel (Shift + F6). Through this panel you can access the Warp that should still be applied to the text. Click the link that says “Warp: Fish” and change the percentage to a positive number.

How to create an abstract glowing text effect

Step 9: Make a copy of this layer. Leave the warp the same, but change the brush stroke to the original direction.

How to create an abstract glowing text effect

Step 10: I want to add some more sparkle here, so I am going to pull up my Light Effect Set and grab one of my pre-made sparkles. I chose the long colorful one.

How to create an abstract glowing text effect

Step 11: I created a new layer underneath all of my text layers and pasted the sparkle in. With the sparkle selected, I am going to change all the colors to a light blue #6EC9ED and lower the opacity to around 50%.

How to create an abstract glowing text effect

Step 12: I made another copy of the sparkle and flipped it around to fit over the bottom text.

How to create an abstract glowing text effect

Step 13: Finally, I am going to select a few of the blends from the sparkle effect and change the color to pure white, increase the Opacity to 100% and set to Color dodge.

How to create an abstract glowing text effect

Step 14: Select a couple of the large blends and set the color back to pure white without changing any of the Transparency settings.

How to create an abstract glowing text effect

Keep playing around until you are happy with the design.

How to create an abstract glowing text effect

Don’t forget, if you decide you want it to be a different color, you are only a few clicks away from a completely different color set up. Just change the brushes.

How to create an abstract glowing text effect

How to create an abstract glowing text effect

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