There's a reason people started using rarefied neon tubes to make their signage glow in the early 1900's: the distinctive glow of a neon sign is eye-catching and evocative, associated equally with Vegas Strip bling and 50's diner comfort.

Glowing text can give your images any aesthetic from retro to futuristic

How do you create this vintage glow effect for text on an image or video? Kapwing's Studio has text effects that can help you achieve this neon glow look and feel. The glowing text can be written in any font, color, or style and overlaid on top of a lager multimedia design.

You don't need a real vintage neon sign to add the same flair to your own pictures or videos, though. It's simple to add glowing text to any content online, using any font, colors, styles, and even animations that you want. Here's how to create custom glowing text for any purpose:

  1. Create a text box in the Kapwing Studio
  2. Add & adjust your glow effect
  3. Add background photos, videos, or GIFs
  4. Export & download

Step 1: Create a text box in the Kapwing Studio

To get started, head over to Kapwing.com and click "Start Editing." Now you'll be in the Kapwing Studio, where you can make your custom text and add a glow effect, plus any background imagery, videos, or animations you want.

When you're in the Studio, you don't need to upload anything before you make your text box – just click "Text" in the upper toolbar and a blank canvas will be generated automatically. Now, enter the text you want to use and customize its font, color, style, size, angle, outline, and even animation using the text editing options on the right-hand side of the Studio window. To make your text glow as much as possible, I recommend making it white to begin with, or a very light tint of the color you want to use for your text.

Step 2: Add & adjust your glow effect

To add a glow effect to your text, select the text layer and click "Effects" in the upper right corner.

Here, add a drop shadow to your text and adjust its properties as follows:

  • Move distance and rotation all the way to the left
  • Move blur right in the middle.

If you want your glow to be more or less pronounced, you can adjust the blur slider – in my experience, somewhere between halfway and two-thirds to the right is the perfect range for a glow effect.

If you want your colors to pop a little bit more, you can change your text color from white to a light tint. Here's what different versions of glowing text look like on a neutral background:

Step 3: Add background photos, videos, or GIFs

If you want to save just your glowing text as a transparent PNG to use anywhere, change your canvas's background color to "transparent" and hit the red Export button to process your PNG!

But if you want to add your text to a photo, video, or GIF while you're working in the Studio, just click the Upload button in the upper toolbar. Here, you can add any media from your device to the Studio, or you can paste the link to a video, GIF, or photo you found online to upload it directly to the canvas. If you want to find the right background right there in the Studio, choose "Images" in the top toolbar and search the web for any picture or GIF that you want to use.

To make a glowing text animation, you can add a "flicker" animation the text layer. This makes your text look more like a neon sign. You can also roll or pop the text layer with the glow affect in.

Step 4: Export & download

When your glowing text project looks just right, hit the red Export button in the upper left corner of the Studio and give Kapwing some time to process your content – for still images, it should only take a second or so. Once it's finished processing, just click "Download" on the right side of the screen and your glowing text project will be saved directly to your device.

Have fun experimenting with your glowing text, along with all of Kapwing's text customization options for photos, videos, and GIFs. These glowing text effects can make for eye-catching flyers, posters, invitations, social media banners, Instagram stories, and more.

Flickering Glowing Text Animation
Flickering Glowing Text Animation

For more text tutorials, templates, and tips, subscribe to Kapwing App on YouTube or follow us on Twitter @KapwingApp. In the meantime, check out these related articles on multimedia text editing:

How to Add a Content Warning to Any Video Online
How to Make Animated Quotes
Make a Plot Diagram Template Online
Free Online Mood Board Creator