While Photoshop has "Photo" in the name, it's also a good program for general graphic design.
A good portion of this work is, as the title suggests, Text and Shapes. Initially, these elements can be rather dull, however there's a very quick way to spice things up.
Blending Options. These can be mixed and matched as well as tweaked by a rather large number of variables. This video shows a very quick overview.
Of course, one shouldn't limit it to these basic options. Unless you really play with the initial values, it's going to look like everybody else that does the same 'just check' technique.
In the example below, I use Outer Glow (with a high 'Spread' value), Drop Shadow (with zero 'Distance' and a high 'Spread') as well as Stroke to do the bottom text in one layer.