• A Simple Method for Embossing Brushes in Photoshop

    For several weeks, we've been bringing you our series of fresh approaches to using brushes like Katie Pertiet's beautiful Ledger Journalers. We've shown how versatile digital brushes and stamps can be when you apply simple techniques and effects.

    In this week's tip, we'll show you how to change up the look of a Ledger Journaler by digitally "embossing" it using the tools available in the full version of Photoshop. It's easier than ever to get this effect which causes the paper to look raised in the shape of the brush. You can still fill in the boxes using the Type tool, but instead of printed lines, the lines will have the appearance of being part of the paper.
    Here's how:

    • The brushes at Designer Digitals are delivered as both PNG images and ABR brush files for loading into Photoshop or PSE. To follow along with this tip, open a PNG word art image. For the sample, I am using Katie Pertiet's Ledger Journaler sets.
    • Also open a piece of digital cardstock in Photoshop. For the sample I am using a piece of paper from Katie Pertietís Farmhouse Christmas set.
    • Get the Move tool and drag the brush on top of the cardstock. Reduce the "Fill" of the brush layer to 0. Youíll find the Fill slider just above the Layers panel. It is set to 100 by default, but you can type in 0 or drag the slider all the way to the left. This causes the stamp image to disappear, but don't be alarmed. This step is the key to getting the look right.
    • Now you'll use Layer Styles to create the embossed effect. Target the brush image in the Layers panel. Double click the layer outside of the layer title to activate the Layer Styles dialog. (Note: If you click the layer name, it creates a box to allow you to rename the layer. Click outside of this box to bring up the Layer Styles dialog box.)
    • When the Styles box populates, tick "Bevel and Emboss" then select the Bevel and Emboss tab. For the sample, the following settings worked. This gives you a starting point, but remember that you can change these settings to your liking:


    - Under Style, choose Emboss.
    - Technique: Smooth
    - Depth: 80
    - Direction: Up
    - Size and Soften: 3 px.
    - Under Shading, choose angle: 90 with Altitude set to 30.
    - For Gloss Contour, choose the first one in the set which is a diagonal line with white/grey.
    - Under Highlight mode, choose Screen in White at 50% opacity.
    - Under Shadow mode, choose Multiply in Black at 50% opacity.
    - Make sure Preview is ticked on the right side of the Styles dialog box so that you can see your choices appearing on your working document. Check to make sure you are satisfied with the look of the embossing. Tweak the settings to achieve the look you want and click OK to close the Styles box.

    Using this quick tip, you can give your brush sets a whole new look and feel. It's a great way to change up the design of your journaling from time to time.