Visual styles of the 1970s and ’80s often featured bold geometric shapes and vibrant hues. Pay homage to them by creating decorative text with strong shapes and sunny colors in Adobe InDesign.

Homer’s book “The Odyssey” features a 1970’s style cover with blue, green, and yellow geometric shapes.

Format your text in retro style

Type your own text or use our sample file. Then format it by changing the font, style, size, leading (space between lines of text), and other attributes in the Character and Appearance sections of the Properties panel.

Text “THE ODYSSEY” is written in a large, 97 point block-style blue font

Add some flair with additional effects

Select the text with the Selection tool. Then click fx in the Appearance section of the Properties panel to open the Effects menu, and select Transparency. Apply effects to change the appearance of any object on the page and to control its transparent or see-through quality.

You can apply various transparency effects like drop shadows and Bevel And Emboss. Experiment with different effects. Varying the color, blending mode, and other settings will produce different results.

Tip: Select Preview to see live changes.

Text effects such as transparency, drop shadow, and bevel and emboss may be added in the Properties panel, fx menu

We experimented with a couple of looks.

At first, we selected the Inner Shadow effect.

Next, we tried out a hard-edged shadow with a pop of color and liked the striking effect it created.

Top: Inner shadow is added to “THE ODYSSEY” text. Bottom: Inner shadow is removed and yellow drop shadow is added.

You can combine effects to create unique looks. We finished by adding a Gradient Feather effect. This produced an airy gradation that made our text color fade into its shadow.

A Gradient Feather effect is added, causing the semi-transparent text to fade into its shadow.

Add strong character to your display text by applying a dose of retro style.

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