Deke’s Techniques 305: Simulating Hand-Lettering with Art Brushes

In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques episode, Deke uses a savvy Illustrator-Photoshop combo to create a hand-lettered, distressed effect to increase the realism of last week’s Chinese seal project

As you’ll see in the video, step one is to grab the paths and their itinerant effects from Illustrator:

Select the paths in Illustrator and paste them into Photoshop as a smart object.


...then, paste them into Photoshop as a smart object. Notice that the rounded corner effect has fallen off in the process:

The rounded corners effect has fallen away during import to Photoshop.


So a return to Illustrator is in order, initiated by opening the smart object in Photoshop and then having Illustrator remind the corners to round. While he’s here, Deke uses an Illustrator art brush to give the letters their more embellished effect. 

Re-round the corners and add an art brush stroke in Illustrator


Closing the smart object returns Deke to Photoshop, where he can apply the background texture effect, the subject one of two member-exclusive videos this week: 

Texture is then applied in Photoshop

There’s also another exclusive movie this week in which Deke turns this whole project into a black-on-red color scheme. You can enjoy this and the entire library of over 300 Deke’s Techniques episode at, and if you’re not a member, you can get a free week’s trial subscription by signing up at

Next entry:Deke’s Techniques 308: Auto-hiding Iconic Panels in Photoshop

Previous entry:Deke’s Techniques 304: Create Your Own Chinese Seal (or Chop)


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