Buttons, buttons, buttons! You see these little fellas nearly everywhere you look on the web — on menus, contact forms and product pages (just to name a few). Since buttons are an integral part of the user experience, I’m going to show you how to create your own sleek button in Photoshop. It’s a fairly simple process, taking no more than 15-20 minutes.

Let’s get started and add some awesomeness to your UI.

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Open up Photoshop — Ctrl+N to bring up the new canvas window. The width and height are entirely up to you, but make sure the resolution is at least 72 DPI and the color mode is RGB 8 bit.

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We are going to quickly prepare the background — fill the current background with a gray color.

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Then, add the Noise effect (Filter > Noise > Add Noise…).

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Most buttons have rounded corners but in this case, I want it to be a square shape. Create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + N), set the Foreground Color to orange, and use the Rectangle Tool (U) to create a new shape. Make sure to choose Shape Layers on the top menu.

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With the basic shape drawn, we are going to add Layer Styles. Whenever you want to add styling to a layer, simply double-click the layer (or right-click the layer > Blending options), and the Layer Style window will appear.

The first style we’re adding is a Drop Shadow.

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Don’t close your Layer Style palette yet! The next style to add is an Inner Shadow, this will add a shine to the top of the button giving it a 3D look.

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Moving along, select an Inner Glow to help add volume. This might seem like a subtle addition, but believe me these are the small details that count.

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Apply the Gradient Overlay effect and set the blending mode to Overlay. You might need to click the Reverse check box next to the gradient, to make sure the upper part of the button is bright, and the lower is darker.

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The final effect is Stroke.

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We want to really emphasize the 3D effect of the button. We’re going to do this by creating a new shape that’s white, placing it on top so it covers half of our orange button.

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Now, create a Clipping Mask on the white shape (right-click the layer > Create Clipping Mask).

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Next, highlight the white shape layer and add a Layer Mask — click the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the layers palette.

Use the Gradient tool (G) to cover the white shape with the Foreground to Transparent Gradient.

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Change the Blending mode for the white shape to Overlay. Now, we have a sleek effect for the button.

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Our button has to say something, right? I’ve picked a classic font like Helvetica Neue.

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It’s easy to center the text on the button:

  1. First, select the Text layer. Hover your mouse over the orange shape, hold Command and click. You’ll see selection lines appear around the orange button.
  2. On the top bar, click Align Vertical Center and Align Horizontal Center.
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Give the text a Drop Shadow effect just like below:

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Yay, we’ve created a button! Hopefully this tutorial helped add another nice button to your web designs.

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Have any questions about creating a website button?