Creating an Embedded Concrete Effect Using Layer Styles Only

Creating an Embedded Concrete Effect Using Layer Styles Only

It’s amazing what you can accomplish with layer styles. It’s a feature of Photoshop that is fun to play and experiment with. The short tutorial below is the result of some of my experimentation spending a few minutes with layer styles.

First up, you’ll need this texture pattern to follow along with the tutorial. Download it here. Double+click the .pat file to install it.

Here’s a look at what we’ll be creating.

Step 1 – Creating the Background

Create a new document. Mine is 558×600 72 dpi. On a new layer, fill with any color you choose. Then double+click the layer to open the layer styles window. Apply the following settings.

For the pattern, choose the grunge pattern from the download.

You should end up with something like this. Not bad for just a few layer styles, right?

Step 2 – Adding and styling the text.

Next, we need to add some text. Any text will do. In my example I used Impact for the font. I also tilted it a little bit to the left. Once you’ve entered your text, apply the following layer styles.

Your text should now look similar to mine.

Step 3 – Final Touches

For some final adjustments, I rasterized the text. Then I used a brush from the Free Dust Particles Brush Set as an eraser to remove some portions of the text.

Last, I used another brush from the set, and applied a single click on a new layer above all others. Then I copied the layer styles applied to the text by Ctrl+Clicking the layer and selecting “Copy Layer Style”, then Ctrl+Clicking the brush layer and selecting “Paste Layer Style”. I wanted to give the particles the same inset look of the text.

I hope this quick and simple tutorial has given you a bit of inspiration to experiment with layer styles to see what kind of effects you can create!

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Nathan Brown

Nathan Brown is a graphic designer who loves working with various media. He combines traditional art styles with a little experimentation and digital flare. Nathan's works have contained everything from ink and paint to leaves and a box of dirt. Everything is fare game when it comes to his approach to art. Nathan lives in Austin, Texas where he has been working as a designer for 10 years.


(+add yours)
  1. Patara

    Thank you Nathan

  2. Good Effect with ruff background. Looks like junk type effect can be used for jazz musical group.

  3. nice effect!

  4. Perfect Thanks!

  5. Daniel

    Hey! Nice work!

    What color do you start with at the text? Mine is not similar at all.

  6. Can’t you give me a TextTure background that you use in the tuts ?

  7. Sorry ! I see it already :X ! Thanks for the tuts !

  8. Carlos

    Thanks Guy.

  9. fck

    fuck tutorial. stupid author.

  10. Pedro Remedios


    How did you do that new layer with the dust brush? What tool did you use?

  11. Willow

    How did you make your decisions about colors? I would guess the color overlay was chosen to complement the natural yellow of the texture? Is that right? And how about the colors for the gradient?

    I realize that a lot of the decision comes from experience, but for someone working on gaining experience, what would you say is the underlying thought process that I could apply in the future. Thank you for the tutorial and the guidance.

    • Hi Willow, You’re absolutely right. I chose colors that I felt would compliment the design. It’s really a matter of playing around until you find what works and feels right. That’s often the best way to gain experience in knowing what works well.

  12. Excellent, extremely cool, well explained. In short, the usual– and it doesn’t get much better than that. Many thanks! : )

  13. bob

    My background does not appear as dark as yours. How can I achieve that effect. I applied the settings that you have suggested, yet my background comes out much lighter than the one depicted here. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Bob, You may have to make your own adjustments depending on the source files your using. For example, to make your background darker, apply a levels adjustment, or maybe use a soft black paint brush to darken some areas on a new layer with a blend mode set to “Overlay”.

      • bob


  14. Seth

    Very cool, I’ve been working with a construction company and this was the edge I was looking for. The only problem I had was downloading the texture pattern, is it compatible with a pc?

    • Seth

      Nevermind, I got it to work.

  15. sharry

    I follow your step by step, then for the pattern doesn’t work like your image… so the pattern fills up my big document size with repeat the patterns.

  16. Shara

    I can only add the first two effects [inner shadow and color overlay]. Neither the gradient nor pattern show up after that…I tried to add the gradient and pattern on a new layer, or on two separate layers, but to no avail. I fiddled with the opacity and all, but it simply isn’t working :( what version of CS are you using? Why can’t I add multiple effects on one layer? Thanks

  17. I rarely leave comments, but i did a few searching and wound up here Creating an Embedded Concrete Effect Using Layer Styles Only.
    And I actually do have a couple of questiokns for
    you if it’s allright. Could it be only me or does it look like some of thhe remarks come across like they are left
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  18. That is a very good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere.
    Simple but very accurate information… Appreciate your sharing this one.
    A must read article!

  19. I always knew that its done via shadow because that’s how we get engraved effect in CSS via code but I wasn’t able to figure out how to achieve it in photoshop. Thanks for sharing that, much appreciated

  20. .BigThans Brotha. :)

  21. Zech

    Couldn’t figure out how to put the .pat file into Photoshop.

  22. Heather

    Hi, I am unable to open the .pat file :/

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