After oscillating between a bunch of different ideas, here are the two alternative blur filters that I have visible results for… At the top you see the result of me applying a light shadow effect 20 times over the text, and at the bottom you see me using CIGaussianBlur, which flattens the text the higher the blur setting. Both of these use Core Graphics, and both cause a noticeable lag when rendering (~3 seconds delay) and large CPU spike. This will probably be even worse when as the text sample gets longer. I’m not sure if I should proceed with these two options because of the performance issue. I’ll continue looking around for better ways tomorrow.