How to create a neon effect

Neon designs are everywhere. People love the glowing effect of neon lights on posters, flyers, store signs, websites, etc. Neon lights are the ultimate glow in the dark appliance.

So you might want to add a neon effect to your text or to a shape or image you’ve created in Photoshop. It’s very easy!

Adobe (the makers of Photoshop) have published a nice short tutorial on their website which shows how to add a neon effect to a triangle shape. I will give you my own tips.

How to add a neon effect in Photoshop?

It’s pretty easy to achieve a neon effect in Photoshop. You simply select what you want to modify. This can be text or a shape, a PNG or a vector image. Then, in the effects section, you play with the inner glow and the outer glow. See for instance how I applied the technique to these 2 words.

That’s before applying any effect.

neon effect before

Now I apply an OUTER GLOW, fusion mode “normal” at 50% opacity, 100px for the size.

neon effect green outerglow

Then I apply an INNER GLOW, fusion mode “MULTIPLY”, opacity 100%, size 20px

neon effect inner glow

I can also add a subtle 3D vibe by applying a BEVEL & EMBOSS effect to the design. Here’s the final result.

neon effect bevel

You can of course select other colors, depending on your tastes. Here’s an alternative output with warmer shades.


There are plenty of detailed tutorials on Youtube. Here’s one of them.

Where can I find neon PSD templates ?

If you’re not that creative and don’t want to craft your own neon effects, you can download ready-made neon templates on various websites.

I would advise FreePik, which is very affordable and includes a large selection of neon PSD templates for all purposes.

neon psd effect freepik

It’s very easy to customize a PSD template. You simply have to click on the smart object layer, change the content and close the layer (X button). The effects set up by the designer will be applied automatically. It’s a kind of magic!

What are the best fonts for neon designs?

Almost any font can be used for glowing neon designs. It all depends on the vibe you want to give to your creation. The example above was created with Poppins Black (which is available as a Google Font).

But I could have used another font. See for instance how it looks like with Barbatrick, a font available on Dafont.

fast moving neon effect glow

You can also use hollow fonts to just have a neon outline, which will look closer to the classic neon tubes on the high street.

POTRA font neon effect

This example was designed with the Potra font, also available on Dafont (please note that the outer glow is here set at 100% opacity).

Can I create a neon effect with an online tool?

Most online design tools (Canva, Crello, Kapwing) now offer neon templates which you can just drag & drop and customize. Anyone can apply neon effects with these tools. As you can see on the screenshot below neon fonts are among the most popular options on Canva. It takes 2 seconds to create the image I’ve pasted just under the screenshot.

neon fonts canva
love you neon design canva

So what are you waiting for? Start creating your neon designs and share them with your family & friends. Have fun!

Glow In The Darkness