Vector Tutorials

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Andrei Marius On April - 16 - 2010

Hi there. In this tutorial I will show you how to create a simple folded paper text effect. Also, to improve the look of the final result, I will show you how to create some ink blobs and stains from some simple ellipses and brushes.

Difficulty: Intermediate
Estimated Completion Time: 45 minutes
Number of Steps: 11

This is what you’ll be creating:


Step 01

First, create a 700by300px document. Start with the background. Select the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 700x300px shape and fill it with the radial gradient shown in the image below. Lock this shape.

Step 02

Seelct the Type Tool(T) and add your text. Use the Impact font then follow all the other properties shown in the Character pallete (image #1). Select this new text and go to Object > Expand. Fill the resulting shapes with white and place them in the middle of your artboard.

Step 03

Next, you need to cut some small shapes from these letters. Pick the Pen Tool(P) and create some paths like image #1. Select them along with the letters then click on the Divide button from the Pathfinder pallete. Create a new layer, name it “LETTER SHAPES” and move the shapes filled with white (from image #2) inside. Create another layer, name it “FOLDED SHAPES” and move the shapes filled with gray inside. Use the Reflect Tool(O) to move all the folded shapes as shown in image #3.

Step 04

Add these Warp effects for each shape from the “FOLDED SHAPES” layer then go to Object > Expand Appearance.

Step 05

Fill the resulting shapes with the gradients shown in the image below.

Step 06

Duplicate the “FOLDED SHAPES” layer then add these Drop Shadow effects for each shape from the duplicate of “FOLDED SHAPES”.

Step 07

Select the shapes from the duplicate of “FOLDED SHAPES” then go to Object > Expand Appearance. Delete all the shapes from the resulting group, except the “< Image >” shapes. Select them all and group them (Ctrl + G) as shown in image #2. Duplicate the “LETTER SHAPES” layer. Select this new layer and go to Compoused Path > Make. Name the resulting shape “Letters” and move it above the < Image > group. Next, select “Letters” along with the group the go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make. Name the resulting group “SHADOWS” and move it between “LETTER SHAPES” and “FOLDED SHAPES”. Later you can lower the opacity of this group 70% or any percentage you want.

Step 08

Let’s continue with the letter shapes. Make sure that all these shape are filled with white then add a 1pt aligned to inside stroke (R=253 G=253 B=253). Next, add a new fill for each of these shapes then use the liner gradients shown below image #5. Finally add the drop shadow effect shown next to image #9.

Step 09

Select the Ellipse Tool(L) and create a squeezed shapes like the one shown in image #1. Fill it with R=0 G=113 B=188, change it’s blending mode to Multiply then add the Zig Zag, the Roughen and the Inner Glow effects shown in the next images.

Step 10

Reselect the Ellipse Tool(L) and create some random ellipses like in image #1. Fill them all with R=0 G=113 B=188, change the blending mode to Multiply, add the Inner Glow then group all these shapes (Ctrl + G). Select this group and add the Roughen effect shown in the next picture.

Step 11

Finally, open the Brushes pallete. Click on the drop down menu of this pallete and go to Open Brush Library > Artistic > Artistic_Ink. Select the Brush Tool(B) then use the “Fountain Pen” brush to create your text. Select these new paths then go to Object > Expand Appearance. Next, select the resulting shapes and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder pallete. Fill the resulting shapes with R=0 G=113 B=188, change the blending mode to Multiply then add an Inner Glow like the one used in the previous step.


Now your text effect is done. Here is how it should look like.

Categories: Text Effects

32 Responses

  1. Richie says:

    This is cool. You’ve made me fall in love with Illustrator again. This is so useful. Thanks 🙂

  2. Kawsar Ali says:

    Amazing. Really love it. Great job. Your techniques are so unique

  3. keletso says:

    Thanks for the great tutorial, im loving illustrator.
    This will be great for practicing and i’ll try it now

  4. Oktay says:

    Great, very useful tutorial. Thanks!

  5. PsdDude says:

    It looks pretty cool 🙂 ! Nice work !

  6. Great tutorial! Well done, bro!

  7. Becky says:

    If only I saw this before I created those posters.
    This would have helped me so much.
    thanks either way

  8. S. says:

    Does anybody try to create the entire alphabet I’ve some difficulties to do some letters in a coherent way… thks

  9. shiv says:

    just great . i love this illustrator very beautiful i m new to this thanks

  10. Nader says:


  11. Splendid tutorial, well done Marius!

  12. Great tutorial. Simply awesome. Marius, hope you don’t mind if i share this tutorial in my blog. Thanks for sharing this wonderful vector tutorial. 🙂

  13. fasal salam says:

    Great tutorial! Well done

  14. eRiCA says:

    Marvelous tutorial!

  15. What a creative use of Illustrator. Really I found here a unique style. Thanks for your creative job

  16. James says:

    Fantastic.. Now lets do it again.

  17. Cool!!!!!!! Thanks for tutorial.

  18. Michele says:

    HI everybody! this is a great tutorial! I am a novice with Illustrator. I’m trying to follow the tutorial, but after doing expand, I can not add strokes with the pen tool. the selection around the text disappears, when I try to put the first stroke with the pen tool. can anyone help me? Thankssssss.

    • Hi,
      It’s normal to lose the selection when you add a new path.
      Just continue and create the rest of the paths then select all those fresh paths along with the text shapes.
      Let me know if it worked or if you have other questions.

      • Michele says:

        thanks a lot for the reply. his explanation worked out great! now there’s another problem. (I think, for my abilities, there will be a problem at every step:)) to the second point of step 3,

        (Create a new layer, name it “LETTER SHAPES” and move the shapes filled with white (from image # 2) inside. Create another layer, name it “Folded SHAPES” and move the shapes filled with gray inside. Use the Reflect Tool (O) to move to the folded shapes as shown in image # 3.)

        I can not “bend the parts of the text” because the Reflect tool, rotate the text. 😐

  19. Hi Michele,
    I assume that the entire text bends because you select all the shapes. Take it step by step. Use the Direct Selection Tool(A)(if the shape is part of a group) or the Selection Tool(V). Most likely you have some groups in your Layers panel. If you try to select a shape that’s part of a group using the Selection Tool(V) you will end up with the entire group selected. Use the Direct Selection Tool(A) to avoid this problem or simple get rid of that group. Select the from the Layers panel and simple hit Shift + Control + G.
    Let me know if if it worked.

  20. shyamal says:

    greeeeeeeeeeate tutorial. awsom

  21. GraphicLady says:

    Great tutorial, but I’m stock on the 2nd part of 1…I don’t know how to separate the white color. Can someone please guide me though. PLEASE! Graphicladyc@sbcglobal.net

  22. mtosh says:

    crazy tut. i really like this

  23. junnubabu says:

    it’s very coll……………..

  24. Mariz says:

    great job….

  25. Really easy to follow tutorial – just copied it step by step and I got the desirable effects!

  26. Teknopedia says:

    Awsome! I love this unique style 🙂

  27. Oliver Lily says:

    Awesome techniques. I applied in my project. Thanks for showing the great job

  28. Sumon says:

    Awesome vector tutorial post in your website.It’s hepls me a lot.Thanks to shearing this.

  29. psdeen says:

    Thanks for sharing your work

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