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Andrei Marius On February - 10 - 2011

Hi there. In the next tutorial I will show you how to crate a nice patterned text effect. First, using a simple rectangle and an expanded text, you will create three simple compound paths. Next, you will learn to create a nice pattern then I will show you how to use it along with some classic effects.

Difficulty: Intermediate
Estimated Completion Time: 1 hour
Number of Steps: 16


This is what you’ll be creating:

preview

Step 01

Create a 700 by 300px document. Pick the Rectangle Tool(M), create a shape the size of your Artboard and fill it with R=209 G=211 B=212.

Step 02

Pick the Type Tool(T), click on your Artboard and add your text. Use the Chaparral Pro font with a size of 140pt then go to Object > Expand. Select the resulting group of shapes and go to Object > Compound Path > Make. This will transform the selected group in a single compound path. Fill it with none, add a 5pt stroke (R=147 G=149 B=152) then go to Object > Expand.

Step 03

Select the group of shapes made in the previous step and go to Object > Compound Path > Make. Again, you will get a single compound path. Double click on it (in the Layers panel) and name it “Stroke”. Make a copy of this shape (Ctrl + C > Ctrl + F) then make the original shape invisible. Select the copy and the rectangle made in the first step then click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. You should get the group of shapes shown in final image.

Step 04

Let’s focus on the group made in the previous step. First, select the letter shapes and go to Object > Compound Path > Make. Fill the resulting path with R=230 G=231 B=232 and name it “Text”. Next, select the rest of the shapes left in the group and go again to Object > Compound Path > Make. Name the resulting path “Background”. Turn on the visibility for the original Stroke shape. Now, you should have three paths in your Layers panel: Text, Stroke and Background.

Step 05

Turn on the Grid (View > Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Next, you’ll need a grid every 10px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid, enter 10 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box. Pick the Rectangle Tool(M) and create a 10 by 10px shape. Make a copy of this rectangle and move it 10 to the left then duplicate these two squares. Select both copies and move the 10px down. Now, you should have four square forming a larger square. Let’s add some color. Select the top left and the bottom right squares. Fill them with R=209 G=211 B=212 and add a 0.5, aligned to inside stroke (R=230 G=231 B=232). Select the the other two squares, fill them with R=241 G=242 B=242 and add a 0.5, white, aligned to inside stroke. Select all four squares and drag them in the Swatches panel to turn them into pattern. Now, that the pattern is created you can delete the squares.

Step 06

Disable the Grid and the Snap to Grid. Select “Background” and replace the existing fill color with the pattern created in the previous step. Select “Stroke”, fill it with the linear gradient shown in the second image then go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the data shown below and click OK.

Step 07

Select “Text” and replace the existing fill color with the saved pattern. Open the fly-out menu of the Appearance panel and click on Add New Fill. This will add a second fill for the selected shape. Select it and use the linear gradient shown in the image below. Make sure that the second fill is still selected then lower its opacity to 20% and change the blending mode to Multiply.

Step 08

Duplicate “Stroke” and “Text”. Select these copies, click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel then go to Object > Compound Path > Make. Fill the resulting path with none and add a 3pt, black, aligned to outside stroke.

Step 09

Focus on the shape made in the previous step. Select it then select the stroke from the Appearance panel. Lower its opacity to 10%, change the blending mode to Multiply, then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 10px radius and click OK. Now, you need to mask this stroke. Make a copy of “Stroke”. Fill it with black and move it in the top of the Layers panel. Open the Transparency panel. Reselect the black shape along with the blurred one. Open the fly-out menu of the Transparency panel, click on Make Opacity Mask then uncheck the Clip box.

Step 10

Make a copy of “Text” and “Background”. Select these copies, and go to Object > Compound Path > Make. First, fill it with black. Select this fill (from the Appearance panel). Lower its opacity to 12%, change the blending mode to Multiply then go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the data shown in the second image then click OK. Add a second fill for this shape. Use the radial gradient shown in the third image and lower its opacity to 25%.

Your work so far

Step 11

Go to Edit > Preference > General and enter 1 in the Keyboard Increment box. Make two copies of “Text” (Ctrl+C > Ctrl+F > Ctrl+F). Select the top copy then hit the down arrow and the right arrow once (to move it 1px down and to the right). Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder. Fill the resulting shapes with white.

Step 12

Go to Edit > Preference > General and enter 0,5 in the Keyboard Increment box. Make another two copies of “Text” (Ctrl+C > Ctrl+F > Ctrl+F). Select the top copy then hit the down arrow and the right arrow once (to move it 0,5px down and to the right). Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder. Fill the resulting shapes with R=167 G=169 B=172.

Step 13

Again, make two copies of “Text” (Ctrl+C > Ctrl+F > Ctrl+F). Select the top copy and hit the down arrow once. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shapes with R=241 G=242 B=242.

Step 14

One more time, make two copies of “Text”. Select the top coy and hit the up arrow once. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shapes with R=128 G=130 B=133.

Step 15

Go to Edit > Preference > General and enter 3 in the Keyboard Increment box. One last time, make two copies of “Text”. Select the top copy then hit the up arrow and the left arrow once. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shapes with black and lower their opacity to 10%.

Step 16

Pick the Rectangle Tool(M) and create a shape the size of your Artboard. Finally, fill it with the radial gradient show below. Lower its opacity to 5%, change the blending mode to Multiply and you’re done.

Final

Now your work is done. Here is how it should look like.

Categories: Text Effects

6 Responses

  1. Bobby says:

    Is this tut made for an older version of illustrator? I’m on cs5. I can’t get past step 3 without problems. My text doesn’t expand the right way. help plz. ty.

    • Marius says:

      It’s made in Illustrator CS5.
      You don’t need to expand anything in step 3. You just need to transform the shapes resulted from the previous step into a compound path (Control + 8 ) then follow the rest of the guidance from the text.
      Let me know if I misunderstood your message.

  2. This was a fun and easy tutorial! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Caroline says:

    Hi, there, and thanks for the tutorial– I really like the way it’s laid out so clearly. I’m a novice, and not all done with it yet, but I have a question. In step 2 we are asked to colour the 5pt stroke with: (R=247 G=149 B=152)– no matter how I try, this turns out to a pink colour, not a gray as shown. When I changed the R value to 147 (instead of 247) it’s okay, so I figured this was a typo…. is that right? Thanks again for posting.

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