Tutorial | Comic Book Explosion for Digital Scrapbookers

Boom! Pow! Ouch. I *heart* comic book explosions! Is there a better way to make your mouth an action word? Nope. No other way.

Would you like to know how to build a comic book explosion title for your digital scrapbook page like the one seen here? Of course you do – BAM! Check out the steps below for both Adobe Photoshop & Photoshop Element’s Users. Click on the images to increase their size.

 Step One | Type Word. Use a Suitable Font.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of high-quality, comic-book fonts. For my example, I’m using display font Zoinks. Enlarge the size of the text to fill a good amount of space in your layout. Take a peek at my character settings below. The “TT” seen in the screenshot means my words are typed in ALL CAPS.

 Step Two | Add a Black Stoke

You know how to do that, right? Open the Layer’s Style menu, or the Effects panel, and apply a stroke. Make it black. I used a size of 18 pixels. Also note the “position” of my stroke. It’s “inside” the text. Set yours to the same IF you’re using Adobe Photoshop.

 Step Three | Add a Strong Drop Shadow

Not all drop shadows are the same. Digital scrapbooker usually build shadows with a fair amount of distance AND size to imply a tapered shadow. But for our explosive text, we’ll keep to the comic book tradition. So here’s what you need to do:

  1. First, choose black as the shadow color.
  2. Change the blend mode to Normal. In my example, I used Multiply but Normal will generate a much stronger shadow.
  3. Increase the Distance. My own is set to 32 pixels.
  4. Reduce the Size. My own is set to 0 pixels. Click OK to apply.

Boom! Now you’ve created the perfect comic book explosion title.

More | Ways to Improve Your Explosion

  • Add a Gradient Overlay Layer Style.
  • Rasterize, or Simplfy the layer, and apply Filter > Pixelate > Color Halftone.

About this Tutorial


In celebration of the crash landing of the heroic Comic Book templates for digital scrapbookers; I’ll share cool “comic book” related posts all week. You can read more about the comic book templates here.