Creating Badges: Part 2

November 13, 2005

Due to popular demand I’ve decided to write some kind of follow up tutorial to the “Creating Badges” tutorial. In the second part you will learn how to turn your basic shape into a glossy, three dimensional badge.

This tutorial starts from the assumption that you know how to create a badge like shape in Photoshop — this is discussed in the first part. So after creating the basic shape open the “layer style” window of the respective layer and assign a decent drop shadow as well as a linear gradient. You may choose similar values as shown in the screenshot below.

layer style window

Now your basic shape should already look more badge like — but there are still some more steps to be performed. First of all we will create the subtle reflexion: Load the shape’s selection by “Cmd” respectively “Ctrl” clicking the respective layer in the layer palette. Afterwards contract the selection by one pixel — this can be achieved via “Select — Modify — Contract”. Create a new layer and fill the selection (6).

steps six to nine

In a next step set the layer’s blending mode to “Overlay” and reduce its opacity to about 40% (7). Now select the elliptical marquee tool from the tools palette, select the lower part and press the delete button (8). In order to get a similar result than shown in step 9, switch to the quick mask mode and draw a gradient, similar to the one show in the screenshot below. Now switch back to the standard mode and press the delete button.

steps six to nine

Now our badge already looks quite okay, but it’s still some kind of flat. Of course we could use Photoshop’s bevel and emboss effect… but I prefer another technique: Once again load the selection of the basic shape, contract it by one pixel, create a new layer, fill the layer, set its opacity to 40% and its blending mode to “Overlay” (10). Now load the selection of the newly created layer, move it down one pixel (11) and press the delete button (12).

steps ten to thirteen

Now we create the bottom bevel the same way — but instead of “white” use “black” as fill color and reduce the layers opacity to about 20%. Congratulations you’ve just finished your glossy, three dimensional badge (13).


Clear and well explained. This is great stuff.. especially since I need it for an assignment today.

Reinier -

Simply brilliant! Thank you.

Steve Williams

Perfection! Thanx a bunch!!!


Nice followup. Easy to follow also. Thanks.


Well done, nice tutorial. My badge looks very eatable now. However I never came across a Layer Style named „Overflow“ — refer to step 10. Have you got a special Photoshop edition or am I missing the point?


Well this was actually a mistake — it’s not “layer style” but “blending mode”. I’ve already corrected it. Thanks for the hint,


Oh, very nice job, thanks a lot ! :-)


I apprantly can’t find the Overflow blending mode… It’s not there when I open the blending options. Could someone please point out where this overflow style is?


Well, obviously I kinda mixed up Photoshop and CSS settings. Of course the respective option isn’t “Overflow”, but “Overlay”. Sorry guys.



Olivier Lanctôt

Dude, you rock, this is awesome. :)


Excellent step-by-step tutorial!


Hi Wolfgang, very nice tutorial. Thank you very much!


Well this should come in handy. Slightly different from my method, but I think I like yours better. Hmm..

Zachary Jones

Awesome tutorial… so simple… yet so very cool. thanks for sharing


Good tut, thanks for that mate :)

Joshua Illichmann

Exactly tutorial. However, I am fairly new to PhotoShop and would greatly appreciate it if some of the steps where further explain (e.g. how to apply the gradiet, what is the optical marquee tool etc.). Without understanding those steps and a few more, I am stuck with only a solid colored polygon. Thanks in advance.


Looks absolutely great, thanks so much for this great tutorial.


tnx on this… good stuff… now copy — paste and archive somewhere… :)


Gorgeous tutorial…this is beautiful. I feel much dumber posting mine now :(


Thanks for the follow-up. As if the 1st part wasn’t good enough. You should do this more often… ;) I’m sure the tips in this post will be useful for other stuff as well. Thanks.


Thanx for your good tutorial… Awesome work!


One more thing… Can you share us how to add the “sunk” words on it.


any thoughts on making a vector version, probably in illustrator?


Very nice tutorial, Wolfgang! This will improve my bagdes — with your technique they simply look better…

Julian Schrader

Nice of you to come back with round 2. Thanx.


This was really cool — just tried it out.

Sean Hayford O'Leary

Hi Wolfgang, Excellent tutorial! I always like to see how the “real designers” create their stuff… Very instructive and inspiring! Even more than the visual appearance, I love the way the badges disappear after a few days. Guess you have done that using some php coding or something? Would be great if you can make a third part about doing this. But hey, who am I to ask? ;-)


Your a cool guy!

Reginald B. Goodridge, Jr.

Awesome! Thank you so much for posting this.


So money. You knew you couldn’t get away with tutorial number one :) Thanks for sharing! The world’s gonna be a better place now. Well, at least it will “pop” a little more and look more three-dimensional.


Thanks! :)


Great Tutorial.. very clear and very easy to fallow. Thanks a bunch mate :D


Schöne Anleitung :-) … auch wenn diese Badges inzwischen leider zu oft genutzt werden um noch “cool” zu wirken ;)


I’m very, very impressed. Very helpful and nice explained. During this step-by-step tutorial I used light blue (156, 180, 215) and blue (13, 80, 178) as colors and in step (13) I used 100% opacity instead of 20%. Also I put white stroke on the top layer and it looks great. Thanks again.


awesome tutorial, happened upon your site from css beauty and glad i did. i’ve been looking for something that explains this effect for some time now =)


Sehr schönes Tutorial THUMBSUP


Hey! You’re giving away my secrets! Actually, I should write up a tutorial on how to do this in Fireworks, since that’s what I used and what many others use for web graphics as well.

Patrick Haney

Awesome tutorial straight, simple and sooo cool and effective I love U dude ;)


very nice and well explained


This is golden, and even if patches are used a lot meanwhile — these stand out!


Thnaks for this, it’s exactly what I’ve been looking for!

Phil Thompson

Wonderful, Nice and easy to follow ! :) -----


You say to create the top and bottom bevels the same way, but I think with one you want to nudge UP before deleting and the other nudge DOWN.


Great tutorial. Really like the site.


Ok, the first tutorial was kinda useful, but if you follow the steps of the first tutorial, then this one here was easy to made up at your own,


Commenting is not available in this channel entry.