Create A Gold Hot Stamp Effect On A Passport

In this tutorial, we will focus on creating a passport, as found in a secret agent’s tool kit. By introducing highlights and some lighting effects, we can turn bland looking text and emblems into those similar to that of hot stamping.

Final Result:


Step 1:

Open and import an image of a leather texture which would work as the passport’s cover.

Image ID: 2572296 © Georgios Kollidas 123RF.com


Step 2:

Refine its edges to make them rounded.


Step 3:

Ctrl + click on the cover’s thumbnail and fill it with a color of your choice.


Step 4:

Then, go to Edit > Fade Fill, and select Color at the drop down box. This will change the blend mode of filled color to ‘Color’.


Step 5:

Add some emboss effect to the cover.


Step 6:

Next, select a pale yellow color and type out text similar to as below.


Step 7:

Apply the following layer styles to the text.


Step 8:

Since hot stamping creates a very faint deboss effect, we are going to add in some highlights to the edge of the text. At this point, we have to decide which direction will the light source be from in order to be able to place the highlights correctly. Imagine a torch or a table lamp shining from above, roughly from the location as shown.


Step 9:

Make a selection of the text.


Step 10:

Invert the selection.


Step 11:

Nudge the selection 1px left, and 2 px down.


Step 12:

Then, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves, and apply settings similar to as below. Clip this adjustment layer to the text layer (Alt + click between the layers), so that it only affects the text.


Step 13:

Next up, we are going to create a coat of arms, or the emblem of this country. I’ve extracted different elements from various EPS files, and imported into my workspace. All of these elements require some adjustments before we can use them.

Image ID: 1230795 © Jake Hellbach 123RF.com

Image ID: 6114955 © drillinginthedark 123RF.com

Image ID: 2670270 © Kwok Chi Chan 123RF.com

Image ID: 5578160 © drillinginthedark 123RF.com


Step 14:

Let’s start off with this angel statue.


Step 15:

Go to Image > Adjustments > Threshold and apply these settings.


Step 16:

Erase its original wings.


Step 17:

Fill the new wing with black and place it at the back of the statue. Merge them, and drag the blending slider to remove the whites. Create a new layer, select the angel layer and merge them together in order to flatten them.


Step 18:

Moving on to the horse.


Step 19:

Desaturate it.


Step 20:

Remove the grays and whites by dragging the blending slider in Blending Options.


Step 21:

The same goes for the banner. Desaturate, remove the whites and flatten the layer.




Step 22:

The last element would be the crucifix.


Step 23:

Transform the crucifix to straighten its angle a little. Drag out the guides lines to aid you in your judgment.


Step 24:

Erase the sides.


Step 25:

We now have all the elements ready. Be sure that they don’t have any white filled within them, or the effects applied over the next few steps would not work.


Step 26:

Duplicate the angel and horse layers. Transform and arrange these elements as you see fit. I came up with something like this.


Step 27:

Erase the end bits of the scroll as we’re going to place some text there. We can now merge all of the elements together into one single layer, ‘Emblem’.


Step 28:

Reveal the text and the cover.


Step 29:

Copy the layer style from the text layer and apply it on ‘Emblem’.


Transform it to the size that you want.


Step 31:

Create text similar to as below (again, paste the same layer style).


Step 32:

Warp the text.


Step 33:

We should have something like this now.


Step 34:

With the ‘Cover’ layer selected, erase the rounded edges.


Step 35:

Add in another texture below the passport. It will work as a table.

Image ID: 5339362 © spaxia 123RF.com


Step 36:

Prepare an image of an envelope.

Image ID: 6908881 © PaylessImages 123RF.com


Step 37:

Remove unwanted elements with the Patch Tool.


Step 38:

Place it above the table, and adjust its brightness/contrast.



Step 39:

Add in a stamp mark on the envelope.

Image ID: 825799 © Ints Vikmanis 123RF.com



Step 40:

And a prop newspaper.

Image ID: 4760911 © ragsac 123RF.com


Step 41:

We can add in an image of 2 people shaking hands.

Image ID: 6328487 © Denis Raev 123RF.com

a) Import the image.

b) Select an area 5px beyond each side of the photograph.

c) Create a new layer and fill it with white. Move the layer beneath the photograph layer.

d) Desaturate it a little.

e) Adjust contrast.

f) Place it above the newspaper, but below the passport.


Step 42:

We’re going to make use of the ‘WANTED’ space of the newspaper clipping by inserting a figure or a face.

Image ID: 6128786 © Claude Belanger 123RF.com

a) Place it within the frame of the ‘WANTED’ column.

b) Add in some noise.

c) Match the contrast of the face with that of the newspaper, first with neutrals in Selective Color.

d) And then with blacks.

e) Finally, change its color to match the newspaper. I sampled the color of the column, brushed the image with the selected color, and faded it off as ‘Color’ blend mode.

f) The result.


Step 43:

Next, add in a gun. Apply some drop shadow to it.

Image ID: 4321232 © Keith Garvelink 123RF.com


Adjust the contrast of the gun.


Step 45:

Enable drop shadow on the passport as well.


Step 46:

Duplicate all the layers and merge them into one, as we’re going to apply some lighting effects to it.


Step 47:

Go to Filter > Render > Lighting Effects and apply settings similar to as below.


Step 48:

This is what we’ll get.


Step 49:

The finishing touches include adding more shine to the gold hot stamping on the passport. Create a new layer and drag a radial gradient.


Step 50:

Change its blend mode to Screen.


Step 51:

Next, get the selection of the text and the emblem (from the unmerged layer earlier) and go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection.


Since the shine layer is on top, be sure to carry out more masking to eradicate excessive shine.


Step 53:

Just give it a little more contrast and adjust the color balance, and we’re done!


Step 54:

We can always improvise by further tweaking the image to attain a different look and feel. Here’s my alternate version.


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