Using 3D effects in lettering
During the 90s – in the heyday of 3D effects you saw just about any lettering had 3D effects (embossing, bevels etc). It was great then because it was new and showed that you had the latest software.
But it never did too much for communicating message. Why was that?
When you put strong bevels on text or other 3D effects you loose contrast. And the impact of your poster or design depends on the contract and how the text is readable.
By keeping a high contrast text/art ratio your message comes across much better and you COMMUNICATE to the viewer.
In practical terms:
1. Use drop shadows but keep them moderate (a few points drop shadow is nice, but 10 point shadow for a 20 point text is disturbing), don’t go over 10% or 15% of the text size.
2. Keep the bevels to a minimum. You can bevel text, but keep it extremely minimal. Try putting a stroke and beveling that a little instead, you’ll keep a better contrast.
3. When you choose your color for the font, watch the color harmony (I’ll post more on this later). Stick to colors that offer nice harmony but good contrast.