Hey, in this Awesome Photoshop tutorial, i’m gonna show you how to create a Typographic poster of your favorite song. You’ll get the lyrics from a lyrics site and get a typographic layout of these words using Wordle java applet at http://www.wordle.net. Then i’ll show you how to export the result as a PDF document. And finally we’ll add some color and shadow effects in Photoshop. This one will sure be fun.

Here is the Final Image
Before we start lets see the final image we’ll create through out this tutorial. You can download the layered PSD document here.

Before You Start | Tutorial Details:
Software Used: Adobe Photoshop
Tutorial Time:
Difficulty Level: ★★★
Files to Download:

No files needed

Let’s Visit Wordle
If you’re using Windows, you might need a Pdf Printer, a software that writes the printed pages into pdf files. If you don’t have a PDF option in your printers list, you better download and setup a PDF Printer software like Free PDF Printer before you start. OK. Let’s start by visiting http://www.wordle.net. Wordle is a cool application created by Jonathan Feinberg, which generates "word clouds" from text that you provide. It let’s you tweak the clouds with different fonts, layouts and color schemes. It also gives you some advanced options that let you specify the color and size of each word in the cloud. Wordle is a Java application so you may need to download
Java for your browser.

Get the Lyrics
If you’re at this step now, i’m sure you have a song in your mind, if not, now you should pick one of your favorite songs and get it’s lyrics. There are many sites where you can get the lyrics from. My song is Across The Universe by The Beatles and i get the lyrics from here. OK. Copy the lyrics to clipboard and go back to Wordle. Now you have several options. You can click the Create link and paste the lyrics there and hit GO to create some random word clouds and hit Randomize or tweak the options located under the menu items of Wordle. Or you can click the Advanced link and go one step further. Here as you can see in the example, you should list the words and each word needs to be followed by a colon and a number which indicates it’s size. So you need to modify the lyrics if you’re using the advanced options of Wordle. You can have a look at my example below and make a similar one or you can copy and paste mine. After pasting the text just hit GO. If you have an error, i guess it’s because you have too many lines.

Words are flying out like:5
endless rain:11
into a paper cup:6
They slither:16
while they pass:8
They slip away:10
Pools of sorrow:9
waves of joy:7
are drifting thorough my open mind:9
Possessing and caressing me:6
Jai guru deva om:11
Nothing’s gonna change my world:8
Images of broken light which:9
dance before me like a million eyes:11
That call me on and on across the universe:10
Thoughts meander like a:8
restless wind inside a letter box:13
they tumble blindly as:20
they make their way:18
Nothing’s gonna change my world:14
Words are flying out like:5
endless rain into a paper cup:6
They slither while they pass:8
They slip away:10

Create the Cloud
You can see that the words are randomly organized. Now we need to make some adjustments. First go to Font menu and select Steelfish. Go to Layout and select Rounder Edges, this will leave the corners empty and select Vertical. Then go to Color menu and select WB. If you’re not happy with your word cloud, then you can go to Layout and choose Re-layout with current settings

Cloud to PDF
OK. Now we have our cloud of words, but what are we gonna do with it? There is no save option in Wordle, but luckily there is a Print one. If you’re using MacOS click the Print button on the Wordle interface and in the Print dialog, choose Save as PDF under PDF menu and save your word cloud as a PDF file. If you’re using Windows you might need an extra software which let’s you print into PDF files. To make sure if you need one or not, just click the Print button and search for something contains PDF in the Printer List. If there is none then download and setup Free PDF Printer. Click Print on Wordle, choose Bullzip PDF Printer from the list, hit OK. Name your file "Cloud01.pdf", uncheck Open the Document After Creation and hit Save

Back to Wordle
We’ll need another word cloud. Click the Advanced link again. The first cloud has lines rather than single words. In the second one we’ll use shorter lines or single words. So edit the lyrics and break it into more lines and set their size. You can have a look at my example just below and use it. Hit the GO button to see the result.

paper cup:6
open mind:9
my world:8

The Second Cloud
Set font to Scheherazade, Under the Layout menu choose Straighter Edges and choose Half Half and Set Color to WB. If you’re not happy with your word cloud then you can go to Layout and choose Re-layout with current settings. Then Print the result into a PDF file and name the file Cloud02.pdf

This is a Photoshop Tut Right?
Now fire up Photoshop and open the "Cloud02.pdf" file. Go to Image > Image Rotation > (Image > Rotate Canvas >) and rotate the image 180 or 90 degrees, because MacOS and Windows PDF writers generates differently oriented pdf files. Get the Magic Wand Tool, Set Tolerance to 50 and uncheck Contiguous. Click on the white pixels and all the whites will become selected. Now create a new layer and name it "Cloud02" and fill the selection with 55% gray and deselect. We need some space around the canvas so go to Image > Canvas Size, check Relative and set Width and Height to 300 pixels and hit OK. Go to "Layer 1" and fill it with Black

Darken the Edges
Apply a Gradient Overlay Layer Style to the "Cloud02" layer using these settings: Blend Mode => Multiply, Opacity => 75%, Gradient => Black,White, => Reverse => Checked, Style => Radial, Align with Layer => Unchecked and Scale => 90%
. This will darken the far edges.

Color with Flares
Create a new layer and name it "Flare02". Fill the layer with Black. Go to Filter > Render > Lens Flare. We’ll create three lens flares on the layer, each using these settings: Brightness => 120%, Lens Type => 50-300mm Zoom. Hit Command+Alt+F to bring up the Lens Flare dialog, change the Flare Position and apply. Repeat that once more. Then hit Command+U to bring up the Hue/Saturation dialog and set Hue to -135, Lightness to 10. Alt-click the line between "Flare02" and "Cloud02" layers to mask the flare.

The First Cloud of Words
Open the "Cloud01.pdf" file in Photoshop. Rotate the image 180 or 90 degrees by going to Image > Image Rotation. Get the Magic Wand Tool and select the white pixels. Create a new layer and name it "Cloud01", fill the layer with any color and deselect. Now go to Layer > Duplicate Layer and set Destination Document to "Cloud02", that is the document we’re working on

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What People Said About This Post:
  1. Ayaan

    amazing EG as always


  2. Love it, thank you for letting us know about this application as well, and I’m loving the use of subtle lens flares :) I just wanted to let you know that I out of all the design websites on the internet, this is the only one I found where I have loved every single tutorial and found it be unique and informative – You use different techniques to the standard, cut, copy, paste, transform and blur, and even seasoned users can learn a thing or five from you.

    My favorite is definitely the reflective orb, but I appreciate all the tiny details you put into every piece and you are firmly at the top of my subscription list. :)

  3. Brian Algeria style

    hey eren how are u men
    i just want to ask u about pdf when i instal it and creat the could1 and 2
    where i found it to open it in photoshop coz when i open the printer i cant found it im on windows7 EREN see u on flickr coz im in thanks .

    • Eren Göksel

      Hey Brian,
      first instlall Free PDF Printer. Then click print in Wordle, choose PDF Printer as if it is an actual printer and print.
      It will create the pdf file, open it in Photoshop.

  4. I love this, my typo teacher would be proud of that result, if i ever this for an assignment.

  5. Alfred

    Great tutorial! You may want to take a look at Tagxedo, similar to Wordle but can use shapes! http://www.tagxedo.com

  6. MT

    I’m stucked with the “six lens flares”. How do I move them to different places on the layer, because they just go on top of each others?

    • Eren Göksel

      Hey MT,
      when you open the Lens Flare dialog, you’ll see a preview window named Flare Center. Just click anywhere on it to change the place.
      since you can place one flare at a time, you should apply two more flare filters.

  7. MT

    Yeah, I just realized that myself. :D Thanks anyway. Great tutorial.

  8. angelica

    very cool!! really nice effect THANKS!

  9. Rue

    Thank you, very cool way of using the different tools! A lot of cool things I can use from this.. Nice Nice Nice!

  10. Ella

    Superb =D
    Love the result darling- Shring this ;)

  11. Carmela Anzelmo

    Fantastic effect! Thanks!

  12. Great tut!
    I have tried something similar to this, using wordle and song lyrics too. Look: http://goo.gl/TS0B

  13. Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing us.

  14. Super awesome tutorial!

    Now i have a new poster on my room, thanks to this, i love it!

  15. Shax

    seriously.. i’m inspired by your creations..
    lovely.. & amazing =]


  16. excelente trabajo!
    me pone muy contento tambien tener la revista que tiene esa tapa!

  17. nine05

    Very very very nice one. Your awesome…..:)

  18. sb158

    Tried this today, it was fun! Thanks for explaining the Wordle thing. I’ve played with it before but never knew about the advanced stuff! Good to know.

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