Creating an Attractive Stylish Forum Signature

By Rashad Nsouli | Photoshop CS3 | Beginner

This tutorial is going to teach you how to create a stylish forum signature with various attractive elements. We will go through the process of retouching the background image using Blending Modes, adding typographical and pixel decorations using fonts and the Pencil Tool and finally typing in your text or nickname on the signature and making it stand out through Layer Styles. Your final result is going to look quite similar to example below:

Sample Signature
(Photography by Dejan Sokolovski - used with permission)

Our tutorial is divided into the following sections:

  1. Setting up the Background.
  2. Adding Decoration.
  3. Adding Typography.

Setting up the Background

Start off by opening the BMW 335 image in Photoshop. Press Ctrl+A on the keyboard to select your canvas, press Ctrl+C to copy the entire image, and then close the image's window. Open a brand new file by going through File>New, and change the width to 400px, the height to 100px and the resolution to 72px/inch.

New Document Parameters

We are now going to scale down the image's size to capture to most appealing position inside our canvas. Maximize your window by clicking on the maximize button on the top right corner of your window, this will help us see the remaining parts of the image which are outside the canvas. Press Ctrl+T to enter Free Transform mode and scale the image down as required to get the results shown in the screenshot below.

Free Transform

Now its time to add some effects to the background, we are going to do this by duplicating the same layer several times while applying different blending modes to each one. Go to Layer>Duplicate Layer then from your Layers Panel, Select the duplicated layer, give it an Overlay blending mode and change the Opacity to 40%.

Duplicate the selected layer again by going through Layer>Duplicate Layer and give it an Color Dodge blending mode with an Opacity of 20%.

Color Dodge Blending Mode

Repeat the previous step once more and give the duplicated layer a Linear Dodge blending mode with an Opacity of 25%.

Linear Dodge Blending Mode

Finally, instead of duplicating the layer, Create a New Layer by clicking on the create a new layer button in the Layers Panel. Press X on the keyboard to reset your colors to their default black and white values and hit Ctrl+Backspace to Fill the layer with your Background Color, which is white. Give the white layer a Soft Light blending mode and an opacity of 20%.

Soft Light Blending Mode

That's it for adding effects to the background image, your signature should now look like this:

Signature with retouched background

Adding Decoration

To decorate the signature and spice up its looks with eye candy, we are going to scatter some decorative fonts around with different colors and blending some of them with the background to acquire unique color blends. We are mainly going to use the font Mutlu Ornamental (Free download from this link), you might want to download it and have it installed in your fonts directory before proceeding.

Start off by choosing #29362F as your Foreground color and using the Horizontal Type Tool with font size set to 75pt, type the letter X (In capital letters) with Smooth Anti Alising.

Different Letters of Mutlu

Press Ctrl+T to Free Transform the X and position it as shown in the screenshot below.

Inputing Letter X

Change your Foreground Color to #FFFFFF. Using the Horizontal Type Tool with the size set 72pt, type the letter y (In small letters) with the same settings as the previous letter. Give this layer an Overlay blending mode from the Layers Panel and hit Ctrl+T to Free Transform it as shown in the screenshot below.

Inputing Letter y

Using the same exact method as the letter y, type the letter N (In capital letters) with the exact same setting and blending modes. Afterwards, hit Ctrl+T to Free Transform it as shown in the screenshot below.

Inputing Letter N

Finally, change your Foreground Color back #29362F, type out the letter Q (In capital letters) and apply the same previous settings while making sure you change the letter's size to 100 pt and apply a Screen Blending Mode. Position the letter using Free Transform as shown below.

Inputing Letter Q

Now we're going to add some pixel decorations around the signature. Create a New Layer from the Layers Panel, grab your Pencil Tool and Right Click anywhere on your canvas. The brush selection window will open, select the Hard Round 1 Pixel brush.

Brush Window

Using the colors #29362F and #FFFFFF drawing one pixel dots as shapes all over the canvas the same way shown in the screenshot below:

Pixel Decoration

For the final element of decoration, we're going to add a horizontal line of pixels in a shape that reassembles the car's wheel rubber pattern. Set your Foreground Color to #FFFFFF, create a New Layer from the Layers Panel to draw the pixels on. Grab the Pencil Tool again, and draw the pixel pattern you see below in the same position. Once your done, give the layer an Overlay Blending Mode.

Pixel Pattern

We are going to wrap up the decoration by adding a border to the signature. Set you Foreground Color to #29362F and create a New Layer from the Layers Panel. Press Ctrl+A to select your entire canvas and then go through Edit>Stroke and create an Inside 1px stroke.


Your all set now and your signature is stylishly decorated, here is how our signature looks so far

Signature with Completed Decoration

Adding Typography

This section is going to go through the simple processes of adding your nickname to the signature, I used the font Base 02 in my example, you can download it from here. Set your Foreground Color to #FFFFFF and as previously, select the Horizontal Type Tool and type OMAN3D anywhere on the canvas. Go through Layer>Layer Style>Outer Glow and apply the following Outer Glow options.

Outer Glow

Using the Move Tool , move the text onto the left side as shown in the screenshot below.

Signature with Typography

Your stylish signature is now complete. You can optionally add more typography around the canvas such as japanese characters to make the signature look attractive and you can also write a catchy phrase underneath your nickname in pixel fonts as I have done in the example below

Final Result

This concludes our tutorial, you can check my source PSD here. I advise you to experiment with this signature by applying your own touch of style to it, and make sure you show off your work in the Graphics Showcase forum. I hope that you've learnt something new from my tutorial, feel free to email me at if you have any comments or questions or alternatively post in the Oman3D Forum to get instant feedback.

- End of Tutorial