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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Vector
Design

Create a Mustard Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

You will learn how to setup a simple grid and how to create your mustard bottle using a bunch of linear gradients, some meshes, simple blending techniques and several effects. 

Next, you will learn how to save a simple, scatter brush. Moving to the mustard text, you will learn how to use your scatter brush along with a built-in calligraphic brush, how to create compound paths, how to make a simple blend and how to take full advantage of the Appearance panel. 

Finally, you will learn how to create a textured background using the Appearance panel, a build in pattern and some raster effects along with basic blending techniques.

1. Create a New Document and Set Up a Grid

Hit Control-N to create a new document. Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, enter 600 in the width box and 550 in the height box then click on the Advanced button. Select RGB, Screen (72ppi) and make sure that the Align New Objects to Pixel Grid box is unchecked before you click OK

Enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). For starters you will need a grid every 5px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides > Grid, enter 5 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box. You should also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shapes. Do not forget to set the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Units > General. All these options will significantly increase your work speed.

Mustard Text

2. Create the Bottom Side of the Mustard Bottle

Step 1

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and focus on your Toolbar. Remove the color from the stroke then select the fill and set its color at R=243 G=191 B=59. Move to your Artboard and simply create a 65 x 125px rectangle, the Snap to Grid should ease your work. Switch to the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 65 x 20px shape and place it exactly as shown in the second image. Once again, the Snap to Grid feature will ease your work.

Mustard Text

Step 2

Reselect both shapes made so far, open the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder) and click the Unite button. Make sure that the resulting shape stays selected, open the Gradient panel (Window > Gradient) and simply click on the gradient thumbnail to add the default black to white linear gradient. 

Keep focusing on the Gradient panel, set the Angle at 0 degrees then move to the gradient sliders. Select the left gradient slider and set the color at R=255 G=211 B=109 then select the right gradient slider and set the color at R=255 G=193 B=77. Focus on the gradient bar and simply click on it to add a new gradient slider. Make sure that this new slider is selected, set its color at R=255 G=186 B=37, focus on the Location box (from the Gradient panel) and set it at 10%. Keep in mind that the white numbers from the Gradient images stand for Location percentage, add three new sliders for your gradient then use the color and Location attributes shown in the following image. 

Finally, you need to save this linear gradient. Return to the Gradient panel, click on that gradient thumbnail and simply drag it inside the Swatches panel (Window > Swatches).

Mustard Text

Step 3

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid) then go to Edit > Preferences > General and make sure that the Keyboard Increment is set at 1px

Make sure that your shape is selected and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 1px up and 1px to the left using the up arrow and the left arrow buttons from your keyboard. 

Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting shape and focus on the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance). Set the fill color at black (R=0 G=0 B=0) then simply click on that "Opacity" piece of text to open the Transparency fly-out panel. Set the Blending Mode at Soft Light and lower the Opacity to 10%.

Mustard Text

Step 4

Make sure that the shape filled with the linear gradient is still selected and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 2px up and 2px to the left. 

Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower its Opacity to 10% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

Mustard Text

Step 5

Make sure that the shape filled with the linear gradient is still selected and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 3px up and 3px to the left. 

Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower its Opacity to 10% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

Mustard Text

Step 6

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Make sure that the shape filled with the linear gradient is still selected and make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F). Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 15 x 145px shape and place it as shown in the second image. 

Select this new rectangle along with the copy made in the beginning of the step and click the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the following image, lower its Opacity to 15% and change the Blending Mode to Overlay. The yellow zero from the Gradient image stands for Opacity percentage. This means that you need to select that gradient slider, focus on the Opacity box (from the Gradient panel) and set it at 0%.

Mustard Text

Step 7

Make sure that the shape filled with the yellow, linear gradient is still selected and make a new copy in front (Control-C > Control-F). Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 10 x 145px shape and place it as shown in the second image. 

Select this new rectangle along with the copy made in the beginning of the step and click the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the following image, lower its Opacity to 10% and change the Blending Mode to Overlay. Don't forget that the yellow zero from the Gradient image stands for Opacity percentage.

Mustard Text

Step 8

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 5 x 110px shape, fill it with the linear gradient shown below and place it as shown in the following image. Make sure that this new rectangle stays selected, change its Blending Mode to Soft Light and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 3px Radius and click OK.

Mustard Text

3. Create the Top Side of the Mustard Bottle

Step 1

Focus on the top side of the existing shapes. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 65 x 10px shape, set the fill color at R=250 G=202 B=80 and place it as shown in the first image. 

Focus on the top side of this new rectangle and switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select the left anchor point and drag it 10px to the right then select the right anchor point and drag it 10px to the left. This should turn your yellow rectangle into a simple trapezoid as shown in the second image. 

Make sure that it stays selected and go to Effect > Warp > Bulge. Enter the properties shown in the following image, click OK and go to Effect > Warp > Arc Lower. Enter the attributes shown in the following image, click OK then go to Object > Expand Appearance.

Mustard Text

Step 2

Focus on the Layers panel, open your layer and simply lock all the shapes made so far, except the top, yellow shape. You're about to turn this last shape into a mesh and locking the rest of the shapes will make it easier for you to select the mesh points. 

Select your yellow shape and make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F). Return to the Layers panel and simply turn off the visibility for this fresh copy, you'll need it later.

Mustard Text

Step 3

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Pick the Mesh Tool (U), select the remaining, visible, yellow shape, focus on the top side and simply click on the spot pointed by the blue circle in the first image. This will turn your yellow shape into a simple mesh. 

Make sure that it stays selected, contiue with the Mesh Tool (U) and add three, new mesh points as shown in the second image. Using the Direct Selection Tool (A), select those mesh points and replace the existing color with the ones shown in the following image.

Mustard Text

Step 4

Focus on the Layers panel and turn on the visibility for that invisible yellow shape. Select it and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). 

Select the top copy and move it 1px up. Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white (R=255 G=255 B=255), lower its Opacity to 25% and change the Blending Mode to Overlay.

Mustard Text

Step 5

Reselect your yellow shape, lower its Opacity to 80%, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and replace the flat color used for the fill with the linear gradient shown in the following image. Remember that the yellow zero from the Gradient image stands for Opacity percentage.

Mustard Text

Step 6

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Focus on the top side of the existing shapes. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 35px square, set the fill color at R=250 G=202 B=80 and place it as shown in the first image. Focus on the top side of this new shape and switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select the left anchor point and drag it 15px to the right then select the right anchor point and drag it 15px to the left. Again, this will turn your yellow square into a simple trapezoid as shown in the second image. 

Make sure that it is selected and make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F). Focus on the Layers panel and simply turn off the visibility for this new copy.

Mustard Text

Step 7

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Pick the Mesh Tool (U), select your visible trapezoid and tun it into a simple mesh as shown in the first image. 

Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the mesh points that make up your new mesh and replace the existing color with the ones shown in the following image.

Mustard Text

Step 8

Focus on the Layers panel and turn on the visibility for that invisible yellow trapezoid. Select it, lower the Opacity to 40%, change its Blending Mode to Soft Light and replace the flat color used for the fill with the linear gradient shown in the following image. Don't forget that the yellow zero from the Gradient image stands for Opacity percentage, while the white number stands for Location percentage.

Mustard Text

Step 9

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 45 x 20px shape, set the fill color at R=243 G=191 B=59 and place it as shown in the first image. 

Focus on the top side of this new shape and switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select both anchor points, move to the control panel, focus on the Corners section and simply enter 3px in that white box. Make sure that your yellow shape is still selected and go to Effect > Warp > Bulge. Enter the properties shown in the following image, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance.

Mustard Text

Step 10

Make sure that your yellow shape is still selected and replace the flat color used for the fill with your saved linear gradient from the Swatches panel. Set its Angle at 0 degrees.

Mustard Text

Step 11

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect the shape edited in the previous step and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 1px down. 

Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white, lower its Opacity to 25% and change the Blending Mode to Overlay.

Mustard Text

Step 12

Reselect the shape highlighted in the following image, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill using the Add New Fill button (pointed by the blue circle). Select this new fill, lower its Opacity to 50%, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and use the linear gradient shown in the following image.

Mustard Text

Step 13

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). For this step you will need a grid every 1px, so go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a bunch of black rectangles as shown in the following image. Make sure that all these new shape are selected and simply hit Control-8 (or go to Object > Compound Path > Make) to turn them into a Compound Path.

Mustard Text

Step 14

Reselect the shape with two fills and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1px offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape along with the black compound path and click the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. 

Make sure that the resulting group of black shapes is selected and turn it into a new Compound Path (Control-8). Select this fresh compound path, make sure that the fill color is set at black, lower its Opacity to 30% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

Mustard Text

Step 15

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Make sure that your compound path is still selected and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 1px down. 

Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Turn the resulting group of shapes into a new Compound Path (Control-8).

Mustard Text

Step 16

Make sure that your main compound path is still selected and make two, new copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 1px up. 

Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Turn the resulting group of shapes into a new Compound Path (Control-8).

Mustard Text

Step 17

Disable the Grid (View > Hide Grid) then focus on the Layers panel and unlock all those locked shapes. 

Select all the shapes made so far and simply hit Control-G to Group them. Move to the Layers panel, double click on your new group and simply rename it "bottle".

Mustard Text

4. Save a Scatter Brush and Create the Text Shape

Step 1

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and simply click inside your artboard to open the Ellipse window. Enter "5" in the Width and Height boxes then click OK to create your 5px circle. Set its color at black, make sure that it stays selected, open the Brushes panel (Window > Brushes) and click the New Brush button. Check the Scatter Brush box and click OK to open the Scatter Brush Options window. Enter "mustardBrush" in the Name box, enter all the properties shown in the following image then click the OK button. Once you can see the new scatter brush inside your Brushes panel you can remove that black circle from your artboard.

Mustard Text

Step 2

Pick the Type Tool (T), simply click inside your artboard and add your text. Use the "Brush Script Std Medium" font (or any cursive, calligraphic font). Using the Pen Tool (P) or the Paintbrush Tool (B) (if you happen to own a tablet) draw some smooth paths along your piece of text. Try to use the text in the back as a rough reference. Use the "5pt. Round" calligraphic brush for these new paths and set its color at black.

Mustard Text

Step 3

Focus on the Layers panel and remove that piece of text. Reselect the paths that make up your text, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second stroke using the Add New Stroke button (pointed by the blue circle in the following image). Select this new stroke and simply add the "mustardBrush" scatter brush.

Mustard Text

Step 4

Reselect the paths that make up your text and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Make sure that the resulting group is selected and simply hit Shift-Control-G four times to Ungroup all those groups and subgroups. 

Focus on the Layers panel and you will find a bunch of new shape. Among these shapes you should find a lot of square with no color set for the fill or the stroke. Select on of these shapes and simply go to Select > Same > Appearance to select the rest of the shape with similar Appearance attributes. Now that you have all these squares selected, simply hit the Delete button from your keyboard to get rid of them.

Mustard Text

Step 5

Keep focusing on the shapes that make up your text. Using that same Select > Same > Appearance option, select all those black shapes, click the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel then turn the resulting shapes into a simple Compound Path (Control-8). 

Move to the Layers panel, double-click on this new compound path and simply rename it "text".

Mustard Text

5. Add Colored Highlights for Your Text Shape

Step 1

Make sure that your "text" compound path is selected and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy nad move it 1px up. 

Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Turn the resulting group of shapes into a new Compound Path (Control-8) and set its color at R=223 G=154 B=0.

Mustard Text

Step 2

Make sure that your "text" compound path is selected and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy nad move it 2px up. 

Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Turn the resulting group of shapes into a new Compound Path (Control-8) and set its color at R=243 G=174 B=0.

Mustard Text

Step 3

Make sure that your "text" compound path is selected and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy nad move it 1px down. 

Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Turn the resulting group of shapes into a new Compound Path (Control-8) and set its color at R=255 G=193 B=77.

Mustard Text

Step 4

Make sure that your "text" compound path is selected and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1px Offset, select Round from the Joins drop-down menu and click OK.

Mustard Text

Step 5

Make sure that the compound path made in the previous step is still selected and make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F). Select this fresh copy and move it 1px down. 

Reselect this copy along with the original compound path and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Turn the resulting group of shapes into a new Compound Path (Control-8) and set its color at R=255 G=216 B=69.

Mustard Text

Step 6

Make sure that your "text" compound path is selected and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -2px Offset, select Round from the Joins drop-down menu and click OK.

Mustard Text

Step 7

Make sure that the compound path made in the previous step is still selected and make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F). Select this fresh copy and move it 1px down. 

Reselect this copy along with the original compound path and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Turn the resulting group of shapes into a new Compound Path (Control-8) and set its color at R=255 G=213 B=107.

Mustard Text

6. Add Color, Shading and a Subtle Texture for Your Text Shape

Step 1

Make sure that your "text" compound path is selected and make a copy in back (Control-C > Control-B). Focus on the Layers panel, select this new compound path, set the fill color at R=243 G=174 B=0 and lower its Opacity to 15%

Make sure that the compound path made in this step is stays selected and go to Object > Transform > Move. Enter "30" in the Vertical box then simply click the Copy button. Select the resulting compound path, focus on the Appearance panel and lower its Opacity to 0%.

Mustard Text

Step 2

Focus on your Toolbar and simply click on the Blend Tool to open the Blend Options window. Select Specified Steps from the Spacing drop-down menu, enter 30 in that white box then click the OK button. Reselect the two compound paths made in the previous step and simply hit Alt-Control-B (or go to Object > Blend > Make) to create a new blend.

Mustard Text

Step 3

Make sure that your "text" compound path is selected, focus on the Appearance panel and simply replace the black used for the fill with R=145 G=186 B=39.

Mustard Text

Step 4

Make sure that your "text" compound path is selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill using that same Add New Fill button. 

Select the new fill, set the color at black, lower its Opacity to 3%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -2px Offset, click OK and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.

Mustard Text

Step 5

Make sure that your "text" compound path is selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a third fill using that same Add New Fill button. Select this new fill, add the linear gradient shown in the following image, change its Blending Mode to Soft Light and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -3px Offset and click OK.

Mustard Text

Step 6

Make sure that your "text" compound path is selected, focus on the Appearance panel and select the stroke. Set the color at R=213 G=144 B=0, lower its Opacity to 20%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply then simply click on the "Stroke" piece of text to open the Stroke fly-out panel. Set the Weight at 2px then check the Round Join and the Align Stroke to Inside buttons.

Mustard Text

Step 7

Make sure that your "text" compound path is selected, focus on the Appearance panel, select the entire path (simply click on the "Compound Path" piece of text from the top of the Appearance panel) and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the top, left window (in the following image), click OK then add the other four Drop Shadow effects shown in the following image.

Mustard Text

7. Create a Textured Background and Add the Mustard Bottle

Step 1

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and simply click inside your artboard to open the Rectangle window. Enter "610" in the Width box and "560" in the Height box then click the OK button to create your 610 x 560px rectangle. Set the fill color at R=255 G=251 B=239, make sure that this it stays selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill using that same Add New Fill button. Select this new fill, set the color at black, lower its Opacity to 5%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Sketch > Note Paper. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.

Mustard Text

Step 2

Make sure that the rectangle that makes up your background stays selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a third fill. You will need a built-in pattern for this new fill, so go to the Swatches panel, open the fly-out menu and go to Open Swatch Library > Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Textures. A new window with a set of built-in patterns should open. Make sure that the third fill is still selected, add the "Diamond" pattern, lower its Opacity to 5%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the properties shown below and click OK. Return to the Appearance panel and add a fourth fill for your shape. Select it, lower the Opacity to 20% and add the radial gradient shown in the following image. Remember that the yellow zero from the Gradient image stands for Opacity percentage and use the Gradient Tool (G) to stretch your gradient as shown in the following image.

Mustard Text

Step 3

Reselect your "bottle" group, bring it to front (Shift-Control- ] ), place it as shown in the following image and simply add the five Drop Shadow effects (Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow) shown below.

Mustard Text

Congratulations! You're Done!

Here is how it should look. I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and can apply these techniques in your future projects.

Mustard Text
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