How to make a forum signature tutorial! (Updated 9/26/2021)

Started by Inverse Effect, Aug 08, 2011, 11:47:49 PM

How to make a forum signature tutorial! (Updated 9/26/2021) (Read 21,445 times)

Inverse Effect

Inverse Effect

Hiya, It's Inverse Effect! here! And because I'm such an awesome guy I'm going to be giving away free advice to you all! What kind of Advice you say? Well... a tutorial about the steps needed to make an awesome looking forum signature!. The overall design is going to be somewhat simple. Thus it only took me about eight or so minutes to figure out the steps needed to recreate it for others.

(Original guide created on Aug 08, 2011)
First Version uploaded

(Updated 4/23/2015)
Given how the original links and pictures were removed due to being on imageshack, i've re-wrote the tutorial and added new pictures. Clean the guide up a little too. Had been a while since i last checked to make sure everything is working. Guide was made with Photoshop CS5.1 originally.

(Updated 8/17/2016)
Simple clean up on the Grammar and spelling. reworded some areas and made other minor adjustments.

(Updated 9/01/2018)
Made some small and minor changes to clear details up. Updated the title, Nothing major. Checked to make sure everything worked(Images, Links and so forth)

(Update 9/1/2018)
Cleaned up minor areas

(Update 9/26/2021)
Added another Signature Guide with different methods and blending, Adjusted the Beginning part of the guide. updated and changed wording. Checked to make sure all existing links are working and also updated links. Added a ZIP File below for the Alien Signature guide. Added creation date, and other small wording adjustments to the overall guide. Generally cleaned everything up and improved the wording throughout.


Now, with that introduction out of the way, let us begin on the actual steps for making a signature. Since this is an active community, i'll try to make this as easy as possible for people to read and understand. The tool i'll be using will be Photoshop CS 5.1. But feel free to use other software of your choice, just bare in mind the terminology and results may differ. The signature i'm about to guide you through doesn't require any special plugins or software. All the signature will require is a font or two, a downloaded picture and a photoshop brush or so. Everything is created within the program. And that's all we will need!

There's going to be two signatures we'll be making, The primary and original Elf Princess one. Which is the more in-depth guide, followed by a Bonus Alien themed one that applies different techniques to make (See Below the Elf one if you want to do that one first) But before we begin making the Elf Princess Signature, we'll need to download a few things first. Which in itself will be part of the guide. Don't be scared! There's only four external items which we need, two Brush sets, a Picture and a font. Everything else we will need just requires a bit of time messing around on the picture editing software. We won't be needing 20 or so different layers, when a simple overlay or two will work. On average you should be having around 5-10 layers on a modest signature and possibly more on more detailed ones

But alrighty then! this is what we intend to make!

*NOTICE! Install directory may vary depending on your OS*

Example! Assets get installed into their appropriate folder located in.
C:\Program Files\Adobe Photoshop CS5.1 (64 Bit)\Presets

And Fonts get installed into.

And Gradients get installed into.
C:\Program Files\Adobe Photoshop CS5.1 (64 Bit)\Presets\Gradients

You get the idea.

Photoshop or the program you are using will need to be restarted in order for the new assets to load into the program. However a restart is not needed for downloaded fonts as far as im aware.

Also, remember depending on your computer and program used the directory may be different. But basically brushes go into the brushes folder and fonts goes into the windows/fonts folder, Patterns go into the Patterns folder and so forth. And always keep an Art Asset folder separate on you desktop (my preference) so you can find all your stuff.

So for starts on making the signature itself (below)

Download this before even starting anything!

The Brush set below is also required(Or any glitter brush of your preference)

Then grab this picture(Or any picture of your choice if you dont want to use the suggested one, i just happen to like this character)

And finally, this font is required, or again any font of your choice.

Okay so? what have we learned so far? Fonts, Brushes and downloaded artwork is needed for any signature more or less, and we've learned where to install them at

Step 1

Start a new document at the size of 568(Length) x 148(Height) Pixels (Optimal Size on AVP Galaxy) and pick a white background. (This will be your base) Then click the unlock button on the layer to allow us to edit it later down the line, then make a fresh new layer above that one. Rename the layers to Layer 1 and Layer 2. Then select the rectangular marquee tool (The dotted square line tool) and select it over Layer 2

Go onto image and then Stroke. Select Black as the color and the width 2 and have it centered, for this will be our border. Rename Layer 2 to Black line. Always keep the layer called black line on the very top of all the other layers. (Keep all your layers named if possible, helps keep track)

Okay, now select Layer 1 and pick a color, such as peach or a brown/orange or red/Blue etc and paint two different shades of the color, one dark and one light on the top and the lower of layer 1

Then you need to blend both colors. So go into filter and Gaussian Blur and turn it all the way up until both colors are mixed or shaded into one another.

Step 2

Now, lets make a new layer on top of layer 1 and paint it completely pink. Have the color somewhere between red and pink, but not too bright nor dark, then select layer type and make it hard light, this should change the color somewhat. After that make yet another layer (Layer 3) and also set it as hard light, for this will be the layer we apply the dreamy brushes to (Actual results will vary given the original brush is no longer available) Make sure the brush is set to white for the color else it won't get the effect we need.

If done correctly you should have something that looks similar to this.(If not, don't worry, you should be making some basic progress)

Now make Layer 4 and get any basic brush, select it black and paint layer 4 black, then make it soft light. We should have a darker looking signature without destroying the colors and make it less bright. Then make another layer above Layer 4 and add some glitter, via the brush. Make sure the color is white for layer 5 The result so far should be something that looks similar to this.

Step 3

Time to add the glow! which is very simply to apply, we'll apply it to both the glitter and the dreamy brushes. This way, we'll have a nice glow to the signature. Personal preference is on how much glow you want to add. To add glow, right click the layer which you want to apply it to and go into blending options, select outer glow or inner glow and mess around with it until you get a good result. Play around with the opacity and whatnot. Then add the Elf lady into the signature, I personally would use a PNG render or format when adding images to signatures as you don't need to remove any of the backgrounds.

After we've added the Elf Lady, or any picture of your choice if you don't want to use the image that i suggested. Make sure you place it above Layer Five. Then select the Elf Lady layer and Rasterize it. Rasterizing a Photoshop layer converts a vector layer to pixels. Vector layers create graphics using lines and curves so they maintain their clarity when you enlarge them, but this format leaves them unsuitable for artistic effects that use pixels. I personally always Rasterize.

Select the elf Lady Layer and duplicate it select the duplicated layer and go into filter and again select gaussian blur, but don't make it too strong. Make sure the same layer is selected and then select Soft light for it. This will soften the picture up.

Finally whip out the font we just downloaded in Photoshop by selecting the font button (The Big T) and place it onto the signature and type Deedlit, or any word or name of your choice. Also edit this in the exact same way you did for the picture, or the dreamy fantasy brushes. By applying blurs, duplicating it and applying filters or glows. Take my advice, if you're ever going to edit any picture, render or text, always duplicate it and then add the filter or effect to the duplicated image. Always make it so that any text isn't hidden by any background. Else you won't be able to read it. Apply shadowing to it or whatnot so you can see it stand out. After you've done all that and are happy with the result merge all layers save it and you're all done

Yes, this might be different from the original picture, it was pretty much made using the same methods. The techniques that i explained should be available on most photo editing software. I know different programs can yield different results at times. if not then you can often replicate it by some other means. But look what we made! just by blending a few layers with hard and soft light. Adding a glow, and by using a downloaded brushes and a render, we made something nice.See! making signatures isn't hard. But utilizing the options your software has and being creative is all you need!

------------------------------BONUS ALIEN SIGNATURE!------------------------------------------------------------


Here we're going to make a second signature, that requires two images to be blended on below a .PNG Image, and then a gradient added and a .PNG Logo too! This kind of require is useful on top of the first signature we made prior.

Step 1

Load up your photoshop software and create a new image at (568(Length) x 148(Height) Pixels) Then Highlight the entire Layer, and make sure you get those moving Black/white lines on it.

And then go onto Edit and then stroke Width 3 px or 2 px and Location inside and have it white. Do the same again. Edit > Stroke. But this time have the Location Center and have it black! Create a new later under that one, and rename the stoke border to Border for future reference.

And have the Border Layer be on top and above Layer 2. Next Grab The Two Pictures Included

In the Alien Zip(Provided in Link above) And merge them like as shown, adjust the image sizes as needed. Then Place the Scanline PNG image above both layers and then adjust Gamma,Brightness to your preference to the point where you can see the scanlines and that the images behind aren't too dark.

Then ideally on the picture of Ripley, You want to erase softly and remove what you need to so it blends into
the other picture seamlessly.

Then, if you're happy with that. Proceed merge both layers into one. And then Click the new combined Layer of both images and go onto Gradient overlay within layer Style and then blend mode > Soft Light. And then pick an approximate style gradient color adjust on your own preference. You can also apply a Color overlay onto the same layer and have the blend mode set to overlay within the layer style tab.

Then finally place the Aliens Logo PNG anywhere you want. Above the Two Merged Layers. Then Click that layer and apply a drop shadow effect to the "Aliens Logo PNG" and other effects you want, you can apply an outer glow too.

And after we save the image as .JPEG. You've just created a second Signature!


*Other useful information and tips*

  • Always use custom brushes for the results you need. Want lighting bolts? just download a decent lighting bolt brush and apply a glow to it to give it a proper effect. Want a rusty grunge look? just download a grunge brush and change it's color to rusted orange. And so forth. I usually search and downloaded the needed brushes depending on what i need at the time.

    • Patterns can also be downloaded the same way as brushes and be used on layers for more depth and such. Such as scanlines or patterns, stars, rocks etc.

    • If you need a stock background to work off, just google stock background images as a base for your signature and go off that!

      Try to keep an art asset folder on your desktop and store all of your assets, like renders, brushes, and images and stock images etc on there for easy access

    When you need inspiration, try listening to music, i find that's when i can often get the most creative in my time.

Hope all of this helps And feel free to ask questions too. I made this guide with the purpose of helping people who are unsure or confused on how to make basic signatures. As I've seen too many guides posted elsewhere on the internet that are just confusing, out of date, or don't give enough actual explanation on how to do these functions while posting barely any pictures to help you. But do remember if you want a signature making on AVPGALAXY.NET. Then  please use the request topic that is pinned. This is mealy a guide to help others get started on a few basic techniques

** Useful Links and software**

So was my first photo editing software i used. And it's great! very easy to use! and it a great tool for beginners without it being too complex. It does lack a lot of the features that say, Photoshop has, But i'd recommend it if you're starting out as it was my first tool.

I can't say much about gimp, over than people do generally recommend it. Give it a shot!

Then lastly there's Photoshop Elements, i found it to be a simpler version of Photoshop. But you'll have to pay for it. Great program though!

Or just download/Buy the program of your preference.

*Websites that let you download custom brushes and other useful stuff*


thnx for this :)



Those who can't afford Photoshop but have used it and are familiar with how it works can use the browser based Pixlr Editor. It's surprisingly good, though I wouldn't start any big projects with it. :)

Inverse Effect

Neat. Photoshop can be quite expensive actually.

Inverse Effect

Updated the entire guide.

Corporal Hicks

Thank you kindly for keeping the guide up to date. Much appreciated.

Inverse Effect

Inverse Effect

Small update, PMed you about it, that i updated it to make sure guide still works as intended. That is to provide a basic guide to help people make a forum signature. Felt like i need to check this every 1-2 years to make sure it does work. Guide itself remains as it is, images etc links not working let me know! Will update and fix accordingly! I know my grammar might not be perfect, but i hope this guide works!

Inverse Effect

So i did kinda a big update to the original post. Improved basically everything, i kept the original wording and description guide for the first signature intact, as i didn't want to mess with that. But i cleaned up most of the grammar and wording of everything else, checked links and provided new links. Added a second Signature for people make. And just improved the original post :)

AvPGalaxy: About | Contact | Cookie Policy | Manage Cookie Settings | Privacy Policy | Legal Info
Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Patreon RSS Feed
Contact: General Queries | Submit News