Text Effects a.k.a. Start the Drop Shadow Party!

Text Effects a.k.a. Start the Drop Shadow Party!
December 8, 2015 PicMonkey

Picture this: a beautiful, perfectly edited photo. It’s a stunning shot of a young couple on a mountaintop, with text that that says “Bieber tomorrow.” Or is it “Beaver tragedies”? Or maybe “Bathtime tar pits.” Turns out, it’s important for text to be readable, especially when you want your engagement photo to clearly say “Better together!”

That’s why we made three text effects. Each is built not only for readability, but for style. Try them for yourself in the Text tab, and read on to learn more.

Drop Shadow

Say hello to PicMonkey's new drop shadow effect.

You asked for it. You got it. The world’s most reliable (and popular!) readability tool comes to PicMonkey as the first of the three new text effects. The reason drop shadows make text so readable is pretty simple: contrast. Any solid color text can lose its contrast (and thus definition) on top of a dynamic image. A dark shadow creates contrast against light text, and vice versa.


Check out PicMonkey's new text effects!

Let your image shine through your text with Knockout, the effect that turns drop shadow into just shadow by making text transparent. Transparent text is a hugely popular graphic design trend (as we detailed in our text mask tutorial), and the Knockout effect is by far the quickest way to achieve this look.

Inner Shadow


Not to state the obvious, but Inner Shadow brings the shadow inside your text. This ends up being super useful if you want your text to look like it’s been stamped into the background, like your very own fancy schmancy letterpress text effect.

Each text effect is loaded with five separate customization options:

  1. Color (d’uh).
  2. Distance from the text, which determines the drama of your shadow.
  3. Angle of the shadow (which we found to be surprisingly important. A little gets you fun and poppy-outty, and a lot gets you horror movie titles).
  4. Fade, to adjust the transparency of your effect.
  5. Intensity.
  6. A blur slider for when you wanna go cloudy instead of crisp.

You can find them in the Text tab. Just pick your font, add your text, and check out the Text palette’s Effects tab.

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This article was written by PicMonkey Staff, a multicellular organism of hive-minded sub-parts who just wanna get you the ideas and information you crave, so you can make good pictures and take over the world.