Designing Glossy (Web 2.0) Badges

This is a relatively basic Photoshop tutorial, but you should have basic knowledge of Photoshop and its tools to follow through to the end.

We’ll be learning how to design these glossy “Web 2.0” badges in Photoshop. We’ll start off making the shape then styling it using layer styles and additional separate glossy layers.

result image

1. Set up a New Document

Start by creating a new document in Photoshop; for this tutorial I’m going to be using a 400 x 400 document. After you’ve created a new document, design a nice background for your canvas; I used a light blue gradient and some simple white scan lines.

gradient background with scanlines

2. Making the Shape

Now let’s make the shape of the badge – in your Photoshop Tools Menu, find and get the Polygon Tool (U).

polygonal tool icon

Be sure that your settings are set up correctly near the top of Photoshop:

tool options

Click the drop down arrow that is highlighted in the above image and use these settings:

shape options

Now you’re pretty much set to create the shape, although you might want to change some of the settings so that it will be more suited to your tastes. Create a new layer (layer > new > layer) then drag your shape onto the canvas. The color I’ve used for my shape is #4fb2ea.

You should have a badge something like this one:

shape created

Well, that’s how to make the basic shape, now move onto the next step to make it look a little nicer 😉

3. Slight Effect (Layer Styles)

In your layers palette, you’ll want to right-click your badge layer and go into the Blending Options. Click and apply the following layer styles/settings:

  1. Outer Glow
  2. Inner Glow
  3. Gradient Overlay

You should now have something like this:

after layer styles

Looking a fair bit better now. Next thing to do is add some gloss and highlights!

4. Highlights

Create a new layer then select the badge pixels by holding ctrl and clicking the layer thumbnail (in the layer’s palette).

star selected

Contract your newly-made selection by about 2 pixels by going to select > modify > contract and using an input that you think fits.

selection contracted

Again in a new layer, fill your selection with white (#ffffff), press the down and left arrow keys once each, finally press the delete key on your keyboard then you should be left with something like this:

Next, change the layer mode for this layer to Overlay and lower the opacity if you think necessary. I lowered mine to around 70%.

Make the selection around the badge layer again and contract the selection again by 2 pixels (or whatever amount you used before), on another new layer make a White to Transparent gradient from the top left to the middle area like so:

transparent white gradient

Find and get out the Polygonal Lasso Tool and use it to make a diagonal selection from the bottom left to the top right somewhere, then delete your selection like shown below:

deleted section

Change the layer mode for this layer to either Soft Light or Overlay, and lower the opacity to around 30-70%. Now you should have a nice result like this:

layer mode changes

5. Finalizing

Looking much nicer now! Finally, you may want to add some text onto your badge, such as ‘Beta’ as the joke goes 😉

I simply added the word “Web 2.0” onto my badge, using a simple font such as Arial. If you use white as your text color, you may want to add a blue drop shadow to your text layer.

added text

Complete + PSD

Thanks very much for reading this tutorial! I hope you enjoyed it.


30 thoughts on “Designing Glossy (Web 2.0) Badges

  1. roraz says:

    i get confused around the part where it says:

    On a new layer fill this selection with white #FFFFFF. Then press the down and left arrow keys once each. Press delete.

    when i do that, theres nothing on the layer – and I can’t do the rest of the tutorial??

  2. Eli says:

    roraz: be sure you have the selection tool out..

  3. Steven says:

    Pretty Nice, But I think you should maybe use the seal tool, alot lot better.

  4. Abraham says:

    Cool… thanks. I was able to follow it exactly…
    hats up for u…!

  5. just someone says:

    Dude – the outer glow settings screen dump just goes to a pic of the finnished star…

  6. Nissim says:

    How did you make those scan lines in the back?

  7. joker says:

    What settings did you use for Outer Glow?

  8. yet another responder says:

    How do you make those scan lines?!?! I’ve seen them all over the web. but I have NO idea how to make them.

  9. Disco says:

    step 3 the outer glow link goes to the wrong image

  10. prismatico says:

    Thanks an excellent tutorial!!

  11. Laura says:

    how do you make those scan lines? I can’t get them.
    thanx for all, I’ve been trying several and they are just great and easy to follow.

  12. Adrian says:

    WOW awesome technique, thanks!

  13. url redirect says:

    Nice blog, I really like how you have the colors, and the outlook is great as well. Many people do not do this good of blogs, very good indeed, article is very mind capturing I really like it. Keep up the great work let me know when you have more done.

  14. sleepig says:

    Nice design! Please show me how to create those scan lines. Thanks..

  15. David says:

    If you download the PSD, you’ll be able to see the “missing” settings for the Outer Glow style.

  16. Barna says:

    I am a new user in photoshop.That’s why many options i can’t know.If you please inform me from which site i can start, it is too much pleasure for me.I also face a problem in my pc. It is when i select the photoshop gradient in any layer then it shows gradient progress. what’s problem is there?Please inform me. Otherwise i can’t use photoshop gradient which is too much needed.

    How can i select the light blue gradient and some white scan lines in gradient.

    I waiting for ur response and oblige me thereby.Thanks

  17. ThOmas says:

    I think the gloss & crystal design it’s so cool, i don’t speak too much English but your tutorials are amazing and make me love all buttons and designs to make my web with those glossy shapes!!!

  18. paramjeet kaur says:

    your shapes are exilant.pleas sent more
    tutorial on my email ID.

  19. Vista Themes says:

    Awsome result .

  20. Girls Games says:

    Thank you so much, I wıll use this at my site.

  21. Blogerko says:

    Amazing, thank you for this tutorial, it is really nice

  22. akash says:

    very impressive……..i love ur work thnx pal!!

  23. Inspiks says:

    Excellent Tutorial!!!….I had a rush job at work today, your tutorial was very easy to follow and I completed my project on time!!….THANKS!!

  24. web design says:

    looking cool, thanks and for PSD file.

  25. wii_128 says:

    How do you do a white to transparent gradient?

  26. Eli says:


    To make a white transparent gradient, get the gradient tool then go into the preset gradients, theres one that will use the foreground color to transparent, if you know what I mean.

  27. media says:

    Useful. Thanks an great tutorial !

  28. M says:

    I would recommend using Shape Layers over a straight fill to keep things as scalable and flexible as possible. To achieve the highlight effect just use an Inner Shadow turned to White with a Normal or Overlay Blend.

  29. kamal says:

    Nice sources for web 2.0

  30. I see this is a somewhat dated tutorial, but nevertheless it is extremely well written and easy to follow.

    Thanx you very much for writing this!

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