Bling Text in Pixelmator

I recently had a client that wanted a Sex and the City-esque logo. I fired up Pixelmator and set out to make some swarovski goodness happen on screen!

I got a head start on this project by checking out this Japanese language tutorial on WP Extreme.

  1. Start by creating base text, making a duplicate and converting the duplicate to pixels and hiding both layers.
    I personally do this, because I find that a gagillion years down the line, I will not remember exactly what font and font settings I used and I may want to know!
    • To duplicate a layer you can either right-click on it, or you can hold down the option key and drag the layer in the palette, or on the canvas.
  2. Duplicate that base layer – not the text layer – the first layer that was turned into pixels.
    • Now take a moment to think about out the layers that you’re going to add to the project.
      The layer names don’t matter as long as you know what’s going on with each layer. For me, these were:
      • glow,
      • shadow,
      • outline,
      • bevel,
      • diamonds,
      • texture (blank), and
      • sparkles (blank)
    • So: duplicate the base layer five times and add two blank layers for “texture” and “sparkles”.
Glow! The bottom visible layer

Glow Layer Instructions

  1. Apply a white fill (option+command+F) to the text. 
    Select preserve transparency if the whole layer changes color.
  2. From the effects browser, navigate to Stylize > Fog and drag it to the layer.
    • 7% radius and 100% intensity.
Shadow! The next visible layer (from the bottom)

Shadow Layer Instructions

I put the shadow layer on top of the glow layer because the white over it tends to take away from the intensity of the shadow, even if you use blending options.  Anyways…

  1. Leave this text black and add a 2px blur to the layer.
    Select preserve transparency if the whole layer changes color.
  2. From the effects browser, navigate to Stylize > Fog and drag it to the layer.
    • 7% radius and 100% intensity.

Outline Layer Instructions

  1. Command + click the layer thumbnail.
  2. Edit > Refine Selection (opt+cmd+R
    • Size 2px (feather and smooth should be 0)
  3. Edit > Fill Selection (opt+cmd+F) the layer with your outline color.
    • I used white.

Bevel Layer Instructions

  1. Select the layer and apply a metallic looking black and white gradient as the fill.
    • Styles > Fill >Gradient
  2. Move the layer a few pixels offset for both the x and y-axis.
  3. Duplicate the layer and fill the top layer with a blue metallic gradient.
    • Layer Blending Mode > Color Dodge

Diamond Layer Instructions

This layer was primarily used as a clipping path for the actual “Diamond”/ texture layers.

Texture Layers

  1. On your first texture layer, select Generator > Chess from the Effect Browser and drag it to the layer.
    • Width 4.6px and Sharpness 20%.  Primary Color Black. Secondary Color White.
  2. Apply Color Adjustment > Curves from the Effect Browser.
    • *See Picture: The goal is to make the layer more white.
  3. Duplicate the layer and apply Blur > Gaussian Blur (.8px) from the Effect Browser.
    • Layer Blending Mode > Multiply.
  4. Create Clipping Mask (right-click on them in the layers palette) on both of these Layers.
  5. Create a 7X7 white ellipse with a black stroke and convert to pixels.
  6. Drag Tile > Affline over from the Effects Browser
    • Angle 45, Scale 75%, Stretch 100%, Skew 0.
Tile > Affline
  1. Repeat the process of applying the curves adjustment, duplicate and create a clipping mask of these two new layers.
    • Blend Mode > Multiply and Opacity 70% on the blurred layer.

Clouds – OMG! A Bonus Layer

  1. Make a new layer and add the “Clouds” effect.
    • Add a 70px Gaussian Blur.

What else can we do with that clouds layer?

  1. Color Adjustments > Curves
  2. Halftone > Dot
  3. Make this layer a clipping mask as well
    • Blend Mode > Multiply and Opacity 70%
  4. Duplicate this layer and apply a Color Adjustment > Colorize Effect
    • I made this blue with a 25% saturation:: 0% Lightness
    • Blending mode > Overlay :: Opacity 40%
  1. Stylize > Noise: 20% Monochromatic
  2. Stylize > Pixelate 20px
  3. Make this layer a clipping mask
    • Blending Mode > Color
Colorize/Noise Layer

Color Layer Intructions

  1. Add one more layer.  Fill with a top color (I used blue).  Add 100% noise.  Make this a clipping mask.  
    • Blending mode > Overlay :: Opacity 67%.

Rinse and…

Repeat the texture and cloud layers as needed to get your desired results and feel free to experiment with color, opacity and blending modes of those layers to achieve different looks.

Sparkle Layer – The Very Top!

I did two layers of sparkles.  One that is clipped and one that overflows the text.

Sparkle Layer 1 Instructions

  1. Drag Star Shine from the effects browser onto your sparkle layer and play with the options to get a small to medium sized star.  
  2. Apply an Affine Tile to the layer.
    • You’ll want to move things around to get a pattern that fits your text and you preferences.  
  3. Select your diamond layer.  
  4. Choose Edit >Load Selection and add a mask to this layer.

Sparkle Layer 2 Instructions

  1. Repeat Steps One (1) and Two (2) for your second layer of sparkles.  
  2. Command + click on your text layer.  
    • Select Edit > Refine Selection, and
    • Adjust the size to about 40px and add a mask to the layer.

The image that sparked this tutorial.

This article was originally sent to subscribers to my weekly email, Technobalance. I also include information and discount codes for upcoming Boss Level Biz events and freebies there as well, so sign up below if you’re interested in that sort of thing!

TTFN & Stay Safe!


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About RJ

I am a digital consultant. I help small to medium business owners improve their digital presence, processes and workflows.

My laptop is not actually my conjoined twin, even if my kids think so. When I am not working, I am kept busy by my tribe.


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