Photoshop - Wax Seal

A very pleasing effect that can be achieved in a number of ways. For example, you could use Alpha Channels and Lighting Effects for the "raised" parts, but here we'll keep it simple and just use a couple of Layer Styles - Drop Shadow and Bevel and Emboss.
Don't think you have to use our settings exactly - experiment and see what works for you.

1. Begin with a new canvas 300 px. square. Bring up the rulers (Ctrl +R) and make sure the measurements are in pixels by double clicking on either of the rulers and making sure the Units & Measurements palette which appears is showing pixels.

Drag in a couple of guides at exactly 150 px. to give a centre point of the seal.

At this stage you can "lose" the rulers by pressing Ctrl + R again. Choose the Elliptical Marquee Tool Elliptical Marquee Tool, position the cross-hairs exactly where the guides intersect in the middle of the canvas and, with alt + Shift pressed down, drag out a perfect circle. Leave some space around the edge of the circle as shown.

Get rid of the guides (VIEW...Clear Guides).

2. Select a nice deep red color (we've used R: 133 G: 10 B: 54) and fill the shape by pressing alt + Backspace. Deselect.

3. Create a new layer and call it Outer. Select a hard-edged brush of around 40 px. (you can quickly decrease/increase a brush size by using the
[ and ] keys). "Paint" an outer edge to the seal - in the example to the right we've changed to color of the base to a pink just to show what you should be doing. Don't you do that, keep yours that deep red.

Don't be too careful here, we're aiming for a splodgy wax effect. As you get into it, you could maybe include wax drips etc.)

4. Now with the Outer layer still being the one you're working with, click on the Layer Styles button Layer Styles at the bottom of the Layers palette and choose Bevel and Emboss. Make sure the "Style" is Emboss, the "Direction" is Up and tweak the "Size" a bit. Apart from that, it's over to you - you'll get a real-time preview of your adjustments.

5. Click on the Drop Shadow pane at the left side of the box above and add a bit of drop shadow and we should have something like that to the right.

Now bring the rulers back up and drag in a couple of guides just as before at 150 px.

Select the Elliptical Marquee Tool and (remember?) with alt + Shift pressed down, drag a selection from the cross-point of the guides to around the midway point of the "Outer" as in the image below, left.

With these marching ants going, go to SELECT...Modify...Border...8px. to give a double set of ants as below, right.

6. Create a new layer and fill this selection with your dark red color. Then, using Layer Effects, add a bit of Bevel and Emboss (we've just made sure that we've selected "Style" as Emboss "Direction" as Down - in the final example at the bottom - and kept the other settings, but it's entirely up to you).

Almost there. Select the Text Tool and put a character in. Using the Text Tool does a couple of things. Firstly, it's automatically creates a new layer and secondly as Text is a vector shape, this layer will not "behave" as a normal Photoshop bitmap layer. To convert, or raster, it go to LAYER...Rasterize...Type.

Ctrl + click on this text layer to bring up marching ants around the character and fill with the dark red color. Then play with the Layer Styles - a bit of Bevel and Emboss and maybe Drop Shadow - it's all yours. Choose any font that appeals - we used Old English.

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