Add Some Depth to Your Flat Text- Illustrator Tutorials

Add Some Depth to Your Flat Text

From this Illustrator tutorial you will learn how to add shadow to your text.
Step 1

Adding the Text

Create a new document. Pick the Text tool and add your own text. You can use any font you like. Here, I have used Sign Painter (House Script) font. The size of the font I have used is 100 points So that I can shrink it for using in web. If you have chosen a script font then it is useful to bring tracking so that the fonts will flow together. Open the layer palette by going to Window > Layers. Click the arrow on the left side of ‘Layer 1’. Make sure that you see the text.


Add Some Depth to Your Flat Text


Step 2

Creating Outlines

There are two ways for creating the outlines. The first and the simplest way you can use is to right click on the text and hit on ‘Create Outlines’. In the menu bar you can find this command under Type > Create Outlines. User can also use the command CMD/CTRL+Shift+O in the menu.


Add Some Depth to Your Flat Text


Add Some Depth to Your Flat Text 



Step 3

Tilting the Text (Optional)

There is no italic style for the font I have used. So, to give the text a tilt to give it a feel of motion go to the menu bar and take Object > Transform > Shear.
When you select Shear an option window will open. I have used the following settings for this tutorial.
• Shear Angle: 15° Degrees
• Axis: Horizontal

Step 4

Changing the Fill and Adding a Stroke
First of all, you have to open the Control bar. Go to the Window > Control in the menu bar and open it. Get the Selection Tool or press ‘V’ on the keyboard and select the type. You can see two boxes, one black and the other white with a red slash, at the top left of the Control bar. The black box represents text fill colour and the white box is for stroke colour. Here, I changed the fill and stroke colour to 30% grey and changed the stroke weight to 4 pt. This option is present at the right side of the stroke colour.


Add Some Depth to Your Flat Text


Step 5

Copying and Nudging the Text

In this step, we are going to provide the text a makeshift drop shadow. First you have to select the text. Then copy the text using CMD/CTRL+C or you can go to the menu and Edit > Copy to paste on the canvas. While pasting take care that you are pasting the image in front. For this, use the command CMD/CTRL+F or go to the menu bar and find Edit > Paste in Front. After pasting the text, nudge it using the arrow key up and to the left twice (hit left twice, then up twice). Now your text will have a three-dimensional look.


Add Some Depth to Your Flat Text


Step 6

Time to Add Colour
By the top layer is still selected you have to copy and paste in front of the last layer. After pasting the text in its place, change the colour and the stroke. Also, change the stroke weight to 2 pt.


Step 7

Adding the Gradient Layer

Once more we have to copy the active layer and paste it front of the previous layer. After pasting the text, go to the Gradient tool window under the menu bar Window > Gradient.In the default mode, the gradient colours make a gradient from black to white. Unfortunately, you cannot find the transparent feature in Illustrator CS3 but it is present in Illustrator CS4.Once you choose the gradient, set t at ‘Linear’ and change the angle -90° degrees. This will provide a gradient that is black at the bottom and white on top. Once you set the gradient, open the Transparency window by going to Window > Transparency. Now change the Blend Mode to ‘Multiply’ and the opacity to 50%. If you are using the script font, you may face some problems. We can fix it in the next step.


Add Some Depth to Your Flat Text



Step 8 Pathfinder

You can make interesting effects using the pathfinder tool. The first thing o do is open the pathfinder window by going to Window > Pathfinder (CMD/CTRL+Shift+F9). Select the gradient layer and choose the top left icon. If you place the mouse it will say ‘add to shape area’. Click on this option and all the letters will become a single element. Then move on to the transparent window and change Blend Mode to ‘Multiply’ and Opacity to 60%. Now you will get a smooth transitional effect on the text. Leave that pathfinder window open. You will need it again.


Add Some Depth to Your Flat Text



Step 9 Finding Shade (Part 1)

Select the Gradient layer. Copy and paste it in front once more. Lock all the other layers except the recent one so that you don’t edit them by accident. After that copy the top layer and paste it again in front. After pasting the layer nudge, it up and left once. Using the selection tool drag and select both the layers and change the colour of Fill to black. Now right click on the mouse and choose ‘Ungroup’.


Add Some Depth to Your Flat Text



Step 10 Finding Shade (Part 2)

The best way is to change one letter at a time. Here, I have selected the letter G and it is separated from other letters. So, if I need to select both the layers, I will use ‘Subtract from Shape Area’ function in pathfinder. Thus, all the other letters will be deleted. Since, in this tutorial, I have used the script font all the letters except G are one element. If you have used a font where there is a separation between letters then you need to do as mentioned above. Select both layers of the letter by dragging. Then move on to the pathfinder and click on ‘Subtract from Shape Area’. After this you will get small silver letters which don’t overlap (see the image above). Repeat the same action on other letters too. Once completed go back to the Transparency window. Choose all the silver letters and group them (CMD/CTRL-g). Then change blend mode to ‘Multiply’ and the opacity to 50%.


Add Some Depth to Your Flat Text



Final Stage

If you have done everything as instructed in the tutorial then you will end up with an image as shown above. This tutorial is suited for beginners and intermediates.


Add Some Depth to Your Flat Text


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