A folded and cut papercraft or scrapbook style heading

The September 2008 issue of Wired Magazine had a nice new headline design created by Mario Hugo. The author of the Photoshop Roadmap blog decided to turn this effect into a very detailed Photoshop tutorial.

I decided to translate it into a very ordinary and lack-lustre GIMP tutorial – simply to do my bit to push the application I want to see more artists and designers using. Basic GIMP knowledge is assumed.

Here’s the finished product shown on Photoshop Roadmap blog site:

Installing the font

First things first, get the Disco Deck font from dafont.

You need to extract the *.TTF file for the font that you wish to use in that archive and put it in the directory


and then restart GIMP. It should now be an available font style.

Starting the image

Now create a blank new image, 600×200 pixels canvas size.

Run a BG->FG gradient over the image from top-right to bottom-left coloured black to white.

Type out the word CRAFT using the installed font. Make sure each letter is a separate layer. I used size 160 font – seems to be about right.

The letters are black because I was too lazy to change the colour. Just use Colours -> Invert menu item to change each layer to white and use the positioning tool to get the letters in the correct place.

Creating the folds

Create a new layer above the letter ‘C’ and fill it with a radial gradient by dragging right to left perfectly horizontally in the image.

Flip the new gradient layer horizontally using Layer -> Transform -> Flip horizontal and position it over the ‘C’ with the positioning tool (make sure you drag the gradient, not the other letters!) and change the layer mode to ‘hard light’. I turned off the visibility of the other layers by clicking on the eye icon so it was easier to see what I was doing.

Right-click on the letter ‘C’ layer and choose ‘Alpha to selection’ and then go to Select -> Invert menu item. Now make sure the radial gradient layer is highlighted and press delete.

Now invert the current selection again (so only the ‘C’ is selected) and use Filters -> Light and shadow -> Drop shadow command to add a shadow with zero X-offset and Y-offset. The blur should be 15px by default, which is fine.

Repeat the same process for each letter.

Make sure with letters ‘A’ and ‘R’ that you drag the radial gradient from top to bottom instead of right to left! Even with a right to left drag the effect is still interesting, so don’t be too concerned if yours ends up that way.

Clean up and colour

Now move each layer called ‘Drop Shadow #1’ and so on to just above the letter layer that the shadow belongs to. This will stop the shadows overlapping letters where they aren’t supposed to.

Finally, give the image some colour. Create a new layer on top of all other layers and fill it with an orange colour like #ffa200 and then set the layer mode to ‘Soft light’

My GIMP actually crashed at this point and I lost all the steps above, so I will stop there. But, to make it more like the Photoshop tutorial, you could use Colours -> Levels and play with the curves, as well as Colours -> Brightness-Contrast in order to get a bit darker and more paperlike image.

Scroll to Top