Simple Glossy Navigation Buttons

In this tutorial I’m going to be showing you an easy way to make some pretty simple, but nice and glossy navigation buttons, just like the ones below!

result image

1. New Document/Canvas

First of all let’s create a new document in Photoshop. For this tutorial I’m using a very small size of 400 x 100 pixels, with all of the default settings.

2. Create Button Shape

Create your button shape by using the Rounded Rectangle Shape Tool, then apply a gradient inside of your shape/selection. The colors I used here were #6c7c84 and #5a676d.
gradient filled selection

3. Applying Layer Styles/Effects

Alright, let’s add some details to the button. Start by right-clicking the button layer in the layer’s palette and going into Blending Options. Click and apply the following settings:

  1. Drop Shadow
  2. Inner Shadow
  3. Inner Glow
  4. Gradient Overlay

And now you should have a button like this:
after applying layer styles

Looking alright so far?

4. Add Shine/Highlight

Create a new layer (Layer > New > Layer…) then select your main button layer’s pixels by holding ctrl and clicking the layer’s thumbnail. O your new layer draw a White to Transparent gradient from the top of the button to the bottom.
Cut your newly-made gradient in half by using the selection tool.
gradient cut in half
Change the layer mode for your shine layer to Soft Light and lower the opacity to around 25-40%.
layer mode and opacity change

5. Finishing Touches

Again, create a new layer, now select the main button layer’s pixels, again. Contract the selection by 1 pixel (Select > Modify > Contract) and fill the selection with white. Contract the selection by another 1 pixel then press delete.
Using a large, soft brush, erase away the bottom half of your inner stroke. Change the layer mode for this layer to either Overlay or Soft Light, and lower the opacity to around 80-100%, if necessary.
layer mode change
Using these same methods, make an inner stroke for the bottom half of the button, maybe even use a dark color instead of white.

bottom highlight line

6. Add Text

Now you just need to add some text to your buttons, which you should normally do when making these buttons for your website (using HTML and CSS). For my text I’ve used used Tahoma, 12pt, bold. I also finished by adding a simple Drop Shadow layer style to the text.
result image

Thanks for reading this tutorial, I hope you enjoyed it! If you would like to learn how to make these buttons into HTML/CSS, you can check out a few of the below websites:

  1. HTMLDog
  2. W3Schools
  3. HTML CSS Tutorials



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