Aurora Logo Photoshop
Tutorial

14/11/14

When I updated my website I destroyed my old blog as it was a mess. I have since had lots of requests for the old aurora logo tutorial I did back in 2011. Using the Way Back Machine I managed to find an old copy of the blog. Below is the new and improved version of the tutorial which uses smart objects and layer masks. This tutorial is of medium difficulty, newbs will struggle.

Finished aurora logo

Step 1

Create a new A4 document at 300dpi RGB colour.

New document in photoshop

Step 2

Draw a rectangle using the rectangle tool. I made mine 1500px x 630px

Creating a rectangle

Step 3

Transform the rectangle ('command' or 'ctrl' + 't'). Right click in the transformed area which should bring a dialogue box up, select ‘Warp’. You should see in the preset box some options, select ‘flag’ for the shape and give it a bend of 20%.

Transforming the rectangle

Step 4

In the layers palette right click on your rectangle and select 'Convert to Smart Object'.

Converting to smart object

Step 5

Double click on your newly created smart object in the layers palette. You should get a new photoshop window open up with the shape inside of it.

Opening the object in a new window

Step 6

Next go to your layers pallet right click on the flag layer and select 'blending options' go down to 'gradient overlay' and click on the coloured bar. Set each colour stop at 25% intervals. If you want to use the same colours as I have then use these hex codes: fef8cc, ef9950, f34e52, c91452, 492449. Angle 90 degrees. Cross off this window at the top and press 'Save'. You will now see that on our original page the rectangle has had this gradient applied to it.

Creating the gradient overlay

Step 7

Go to 'Filter' – 'Filter Gallery' - 'Texture' – 'Texturizer' then input these settings: Texture: Canvas, Scaling: 100%, Relief: 4, Light: Left.

Adding the texturizer

Step 8

Next go to 'Filter' – 'Blur' – 'Motion Blur' and input the following settings: Angle: -90, Distance: 130.

Adding motion blur

Step 9

Later on in the tutorial we are going to need this shape at this state. Right click on your smart object in the layers palette and select 'New Object via Copy'. Then hide the layer and forget about it for a bit.

Creating a new smart object via copy

Step 10

Select the original smart object and the click on 'Add layer mask' at the bottom of the layers palette.

Add layer mask

Step 11

In the layers palette left click on the smart object to make sure it’s not the layer mask that is primarily selected. Then hold down the 'command' or 'ctrl' key and left click it again. You should see marching ants appear around your Aurora.

Selecting the aurora

Step 12

This step is fiddly so read carefully. In the layers palette left click on the smart objects layer mask so that it is now the primary selection. On your keyboard press 'command' or 'ctrl' + 'i'. This will invert the selection of the marquee tool so that we are working outside of the original shape.

Using the the brush tool make sure you have it set to black and then start painting out the bottom part of the Aurora so that it is has a sharp edge. You fill find you can only paint in a certain area and that’s because of the marquee selection.

Inverting the selection

Step 13

Remember the duplicate smart object we made? We need to bring that back into play. Unhide it and move it to the top of your layers palette. Turn off the smart filters that were used so that it returns back to a crisp wave.

Turning off smart filters

Step 14

Right click on your smart object in the layers palette and select 'blending options' in blending options go to 'Color Overlay' and set it to black.

Adding a colour overlay

Step 15

Open up the smart object by double clicking on the icon in the palette layer. Select the 'Direct Selection Tool', you should points appear around the shape. Select the two top points (hold down 'shift') and then bring them down the page so that the shape shrinks in height. After doing that save and exit out of the smart object. Back on the design page you should see that the black shape has shrunk in height.

Editing with direct selection tool

Editing with direct selection tool

Editing with direct selection tool

Step 16

Now give the layer a guassian blur by going up to 'filter' - 'blur' - 'guassian blur' set it to 6.

Add Gaussian Blur

Step 17

Send the layer behind the Aurora. Transform the object by pressing 'command' or 'ctrl' + 't' and then select warp. Pull the points of the warp box down and around until you make a nice shadowed area. You may have to play with this a bit to get the desired effect. Once happy set the layers opacity to 50%.

Warping

Warping

Warping

Step 18

Now we want to create the text for the logo, I used the font 'Air Conditioner'. Do all of the text in capitals then align centrally with the Aurora.

Creating the aurora text

Step 19

To make the text look more dynamic, lets give it a glossy effect. Go to the layer, select 'blending options' 'gradient overlay' and then do the following: Left hand colour stop:1d1d1b location 0%. Middle colour stop: 464646 location 50%. Middle colour stop 2: 706f6f location 50%. Right hand colour stop: b2b2b2 location 100%. Angle 90 degrees.

Adding a gradient overlay on the aurora text

Step 20

To create the colourful Aurora around the text, you need to duplicate the layer and then give it a gradient overlay the same as the Aurora shape: fef8cc, ef9950, f34e52, c91452, 492449. Angle 90 degrees.

Next you will need to go to 'Filter' – 'Liquify' it will ask if you want to rasterize the text or convert it to a smart object, go for a smart object. Using the liquify brush, draw upward strokes at the top half of the text and then once finished press ok.

Rasterizing the layer

Adding a liquify filter

Step 21

Layer the liquified text so that it is behind the black text. Now go to 'Filter' – 'Blur' – 'Motion Blur' and input these settings, Angle: -90, Distance: 130.

Adding motion blur

Step 22

Duplicate the blurred text twice more and set the top layers blend mode to 'overlay'.

The finished logo in photoshop

Conclusion

If this tutorial has made any sense you should have a logo similar to this. Hopefully you have found it useful and will be able to use some of these new techniques you have learned to produce some kool logos and effects for your own projects. Any questions or bits you are stuck on then please post in the comments below.

About the author

Greg Lewis (Brighton)

Graphic and Web Designer. I like things that look nice but also work well. I'm also very interested in food and sports but mainly dogs.

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