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I recently posted a tutorial on the blob brush in Illustrator. Using this tool, you can create some nice hand written effects. First, open up Illustrator and grab the blob brush tool. Go into your brushes panel and create a new brush. I will note that this is much easier using a Wacom tablet, rather than a mouse, simply because it is more natural to write with a pen than a mouse.

When creating your new brush, set each setting to pen pressure, so that it flows more smoothly. Then, set the variations to the settings shown. The color choice doesn’t matter, because we won’t be using the fill for anything. I like to add variation for a more natural look. Write out whatever word or phrase that you wish, and when you are happy with it, select the word or phrase and copy it.

Then, open Photoshop and create a new document to the sizing of your choice. The default will set to the sizing of the item copied to your clipboard, so make sure to watch out for that. Hit paste and choose as paths to bring in your hand-made text as paths. Fill the background layer with black and make a new layer where your text will live. Then, select the brush tool and click the size and hardness found in the top toolbar. Set the hardness to 0 and the size to 3px. With the brush tool still selected, go over to the paths panel and choose the second icon from the left at the bottom, which is to stroke paths with your brush. This strokes the paths with a 3px soft brush.

Then go to the layers panel, and double-click the layer with your text on it and chose outer glow. Choose a nice red, and set the spread to around 17, and leave the size at 5. Set the blending mode to hard light. Then go to Inner Glow and choose an orange-yellow color and set the position to edge and the blending mode to hard light. This creates a natural neon color, and the best part is, the text is custom and hand written, using infinitely scalable vectors to start out with.

This would be a fantastic effect for a neon sign header for a jazz club web site, or a night club, or anything where handwritten text and neon would work well together.