20+ Amazing CSS3 Text Effect Tutorials and Experiments

• 7 minutes READ

OK, so you’ve designed that nice web page of yours, picked the right backgrounds and colors for it to set the adequate tone and atmosphere for your visitors or clients, decided on the appropriate icon sets to make the browsing even more accessible, exciting and interesting, but how about the text? You still haven’t thought about it? If not, don’t despair, because we’re here to help!

There is always Photoshop you can create some nice fonts and insert text with, but there is also CSS3 – a very nice style sheet language that can make the browsing experience and thus your website design aspect even better!

CSS stands for cascading style sheets and is a great way you can improve the accessibility of the content, provide an enhanced flexibility and control over web elements such as fonts, text and colors. Moreover, there is no need to use flash elements or javascript codes.

You can create some pretty nice text effects and many more nice stuff with CSS3. Here are 20+ amazing CSS3 text effects tutorials and experiments you can look through and use in your web design. Hope to have inspired you some more today… Good Luck in your creative quest for inspiration!

CSS3 Text Effect Tutorials and Experiments

Fun With CSS Text-Shadow

The artist boasts of using almost one hundred shadows to make the lettering look so bold and weighty. Of course, it is not a lightweight solution, and it can crash in old browsers; however, it is an unusual experiment that one day may become a viable method. The more so, you still avoid using images, so that it is quite nifty and promising.

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Create a Cool Anaglyphic Text Effect with CSS

The effect is quite trendy, especially in the era of 3D movies. Iggy tries to mimic anaglyph stereoscopic text effect by manipulating with transparency of overlay property and beautiful color scheme. He also avoids repeated markup and provides clean and neat code structure along with a detailed tutorial.

Create Beautiful CSS3 Typography

Matt Ward explains some general concepts and techniques that are usually applied in order to transform a simple and boring content flow into an engaging, visually appealing and properly formatted layout. The developer has skillfully manipulated with typography and its styles. CSS3 plays here a vital role, providing all the necessary instruments.

The Neon Lights Text Effect

The Neon Lights Text Effect has an urban vibe and nighttime mood, so that if you have a project with such type of atmosphere this effect will help to finish off the design. Alfonse Surigao leverages several layers of text-shadow, blur-radius and light green tone to achieve the desired result. What’s more, the article also includes two alternative methods to make the title look outstanding.

Create a Vibrant Digital Poster Design with CSS3

Beauty of a project lies in a vibrant bokeh effect and skillfully imitated vector artwork. The artist pays attention to both background and typography, adding to the latter more visual weight. The tutorial is broken into several main parts, covering HTML markup, CSS styling and even sketching the concept in Illustrator.

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CSS 3 Transform Experiment

Eric Hansel takes an advantage of CSS3 possibilities to enhance regular title with some flavor and give the copy s beautiful unbalanced look. Unfortunately, the trick goes badly with tablet and cell phones as well as old browser versions especially Internet Explorer 8 and lower. 

CSS3 Background-Clip & @Font-Face

The author conducts some experiments with CSS3 thereby resulting in creating this massive, eye-catching and impressive typography design that can serve as a splendid online poster. The technique works only in browsers that support Webkit such as Chrome or Safari. The markup is quite clean, and styling is tidy so that you can quickly grasp the idea without thorough explanations.

CSS3 Trans­forms & @font-face Experiment

Alex Giron has created an online version of the poster that is a symbiosis of conventional print media design and markup and styling languages. He utilizes both traditional and new features of CSS3, exploits font-face potential to carefully mix and match various styles of fonts and improves the final result with some nifty 3D effects. He also presents a quick overview of a technique with code snippets to clarify the idea. The trick is supported by the majority of browsers, of course, except for IE.

Free Overlapped CSS Menu Using CSS Sprites

Sprites and CSS 3 are a quite powerful combination that is able to impress viewers. Deepu Balan creates a regular streamlined menu with the help of this tandem. He offers several color options to make the navigation look original and juicy. The solution works well in Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. Download HTML, CSS, and PSD files to make necessary adjustments.

iPhone “slide to unlock” Text in WebKit/CSS3

iPhone “slide to unlock” Text in WebKit/CSS3 is a skeuomorphic-inspired design in our collection that is a professionally faked by Chris Coyer. He plays with gradients and some other CSS 3 properties such as animations and background positions. As bonus, the solution is reinforced by jQuery script that lets smoothly unlock the screen. Although the button is an image, yet the key point lies in a mechanism.

Create a Letterpress Effect with CSS Text-Shadow

This is a small tutorial with a brief overview of the basic technique broken into three main parts. The artist has successfully imitated a popular print method that adds a subtle sense of depth and sophistication to the design. Everything is constructed with the help of CSS3. You can easily alter the text without destroying aesthetics. The trick is supported by Safari and Firefox.

CSS textured text

This is a pure CSS-driven solution that works in all popular browsers even in IE 6 thanks to a fallback based on PNG version. The skillfully crafted gradient effect makes the title look interesting and offbeat. The article unleashes the technique and lets you download the source to dive deeply into code and main structure.

CSS3 Text Masking Effect

CSS3 Text Masking Effect is a simple yet effective way to prettify a heading and engage users. The method gently demands interaction. Deriving benefits from common yet powerful text-shadow property, the author is managed to add playfulness to the boring copy. There is also an improved version that comprises generation of a radial spotlight, instead of static and weighty PNG variant.

CSS Gradient Text Effect

CSS Gradient Text Effect is another solution by WebDesignerWall that utilizes gradient property to the fullest extent. This metallic shine effect that is inherent to iOS UI designs is super lightweight and fast. It was tested on the majority of browsers, including IE6 (the latter needs a little PNG hack) It saves bandwidths and is easy to customize through HTML and CSS files. Note, you should carefully change patterns/textures or gradient since the canvas should have the exact size of the title.


LETTERING.JS is a small yet professional and feature-rich jQuery plugin that will treat and control content like never before. It transforms central heading into an attention-grabbing element or typographical masterpieces. It lets you bring into life various ideas. The official website has a short tutorial, documentation, some helpful examples to get started and even a gallery for inspiration.

Neon Text Effect With jQuery & CSS

Although this is not a neon effect enriched with light that looks highly realistic and vibrant like example number five; however, Martin Angelov demonstrates another way of achieving solid and bright typeface with an urban feel. The tutorial uncovers realization of an idea step by step, starting with prototyping in Photoshop and ending with writing a code snippet with a use of XHTML, CSS and jQuery to make it suitable for numerous online projects.

CSS Poster: Three Laws of Robotics

Kevin Potts teaches you how to craft a real illustration employing standard instruments of a web developer. The poster implies manipulations with geometric shapes, typography, background and other essential things. Font-face, box-shadow, transformations, RGBa and others took part in this madness. Since this is only an experiment, it was tested in Firefox 3.6+. Nevertheless, you can always add WebKit properties and make it suited to Chrome and Safari.


Get rid of PNGs or Gifs and open up enormous potential of CSS3. The listed above tutorials, articles, and code snippets are aimed to push you forward in this direction thereby offering lightweight, fast and innovative solutions for improving and enriching typography. Although they primarily focus on typography treatment, however, there are tricks and techniques that can be easily applied and adapted to other elements of composition. So that you can use some original findings to break new ground and enhance user experience.

Andrian Valeanu

Designmodo Founder.

Posts by Andrian Valeanu
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