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Design

How to Create a Fun Wiener Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator

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

In this tutorial you will learn how to create a wiener pattern brush and how to use it to create a nice text illustration. 

For starters you will learn how to create the main shapes using basic tools and effects, a simple blend, and some blending and vector shape building techniques. Moving on you will learn how to save two simple patterns and how to create your own pattern brush. Finally, you will learn how use your brush and how to add some subtle shading and highlights using several Drop Shadow effects and a bunch of tiny compound paths.

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 and height boxes, and 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 5 px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides > Grid and enter 5 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box. Try not to get discouraged by all that grid—it will make your work easier. And keep in mind that you can easily enable or disable it using the Control-" keyboard shortcut.

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.

new document setup grid

2. Create the Main Shapes

Step 1

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and focus on your Toolbar. Remove the color from the stroke, and then select the fill and set its color to R=57 G=181 B=74. Move to your artboard, create a 20 x 50 px shape, make sure that it stays selected, and then go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 10 px Radius and click OK.

main shapes

Step 2

Make sure that your green rectangle is still selected and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the resulting shape and simply make a copy in front using the Control-C > Control-F keyboard shortcut. Make sure that only this fresh copy is selected, and replace the existing fill color with R=180 G=43 B=0.

main shapes

Step 3

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 5 x 30 px shape, set the fill color at R=223 G=88 B=30 and place it as shown in the following image. Make sure that this new rectangle stays selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 2.5 px Radius, click OK, and then go to Object > Expand Appearance.

main shapes

Step 4

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 10 in that white box, and click OK. Now, select your brown and orange rounded rectangles (make sure that you do not select the green one) and then simply hit Alt-Control-B (or go to Object > Blend > Make) to create a new blend. In the end things should look like in the second image.

main shapes

Step 5

Disable the Snap to Grid (Shift-Control-') and then go to Edit > Preferences > General and make sure that the Keyboard Increment is set to 1 px.

Focus on the Layers panel, open the existing layer, select your green rounded rectangle and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 1 px up using the up arrow button from your keyboard. Reselect both copies made in this step, open the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder) and click the Minus Front button.

Make sure that the resulting shape stays selected, bring it to front (Shift-Control-]) and focus on the Appearance panel. Replace the existing fill color with a simple black (R=0 G=0 B=0), lower its Opacity to 30% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

main shapes

Step 6

Reselect your green rounded rectangle and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 3 px up using that same up arrow button from your keyboard. Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Make sure that the resulting shape stays selected, bring it to front (Shift-Control-]) and focus on the Appearance panel. Replace the existing fill color with a simple black, lower its Opacity to 20% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

main shapes

Step 7

Reselect your green rounded rectangle and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 5 px up using that same up arrow button from your keyboard. Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Make sure that the resulting shape stays selected, bring it to front (Shift-Control-]) and focus on the Appearance panel. Replace the existing fill color with a simple black, lower its Opacity to 10% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

main shapes

Step 8

Enable the Snap to Grid (Control-'). Reselect the three black shapes made in the last three steps and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check the Horizontal box and then simply click the Copy button. Make sure that your newly created shapes are selected and place them as shown in the third image.

main shapes

Step 9

Reselect your green rounded rectangle and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 1 px to the right using the right arrow button from your keyboard. Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Make sure that the resulting shape stays selected, bring it to front (Shift-Control-]) and focus on the Appearance panel. Replace the existing fill color with a simple white (R=255 G=255 B=255), lower its Opacity to 30% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

main shapes

Step 10

Disable the Snap to Grid (Control-'). Reselect your green rounded rectangle and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 4 px to the left using the left arrow button from your keyboard. Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Make sure that the resulting shape stays selected, bring it to front (Shift-Control-]) and focus on the Appearance panel. Replace the existing fill color with a simple black, lower its Opacity to 20% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

main shapes

Step 11

Reselect your green rounded rectangle and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 2 px to the left. Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Make sure that the resulting shape stays selected, bring it to front (Shift-Control-]) and focus on the Appearance panel. Replace the existing fill color with a simple white, lower its Opacity to 50% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

main shapes

Step 12

Reselect your green rounded rectangle and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 1 px to the left using the left arrow button from your keyboard. Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Make sure that the resulting shape stays selected, bring it to front (Shift-Control-]) and focus on the Appearance panel. Replace the existing fill color with a simple black, lower its Opacity to 40% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

main shapes

Step 13

Enable the Snap to Grid (Control-'). For the following steps you will need a grid every 1 px, so go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box.

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 3 x 26 px, white shape, place it as shown in the first image and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 1.5 px Radius, click OK and then go to Object > Expand Appearance. Make sure that the resulting shape stays selected, lower its Opacity to 30% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

main shapes

Step 14

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create two 6 x 4 px black shapes and place them as shown in the following image. Make sure that both shapes remain selected and move to the Appearance panel. Simply lower the Opacity to 20% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

main shapes

3. Create the Wiener Ends

Step 1

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 10 x 5 px shape, place it as shown in the first image and set the fill color to R=41 G=171 B=226. Focus on the bottom side of this blue rectangle and switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select the left anchor point, drag it 5 px to the right and then grab the Delete Anchor Point Tool (‑). Simply click on the right anchor point to remove it and this should turn your blue rectangle into a triangle as shown in the second image.

wiener ends

Step 2

Make sure that your blue shape is still selected and go to Effect > Warp > Bulge. Enter the properties shown in the following image, click OK and then go to Effect > Warp > Arc Upper. Enter the attributes shown below, click OK and then go to Object > Expand Appearance.

wiener ends

Step 3

Disable the Snap to Grid (Control-'). Make sure that your blue shape is selected and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 1 px 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 50% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

wiener ends

Step 4

Make sure that your blue shape is selected and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 2 px 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 white, lower its Opacity to 50% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

wiener ends

Step 5

Make sure that your blue shape is selected and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 1 px to the right. 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 30% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

wiener ends

Step 6

Make sure that your blue shape is selected and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 1 px up. 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 30% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

wiener ends

Step 7

Reselect your blue shape and simply replace the existing fill color with R=180 G=43 B=0.

wiener ends

Step 8

Enable the Snap to Grid (Control-'). Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 6 x 2 px blue shape and place it as shown in the first image. Make sure that this new shape is selected and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Move to the Layers panel, select the bottom copy, and move it 1 px down. Reselect both copies and simply click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white, lower its Opacity to 50% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

wiener ends

Step 9

Reselect your blue shape, replace the existing fill color with a simple black, and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

wiener ends

Step 10

Select all the shapes highlighted in the first image and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check the Horizontal box and then simply click the Copy button. Make sure that your newly created shapes are selected and place them as shown in the second image.

wiener ends

4. Create Your Wiener Pattern Brush

Step 1

Reselect your blend and go to Object > Expand.

wiener pattern brush

Step 2

Return to gridline every 5 px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 5 in the Gridline every box. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 30 x 20 px shape, set the fill color at R=0 G=104 B=55, and place it as shown in the first image. Reselect this rectangle along with the rest of the shapes made so far and duplicate them (Control-C > Control-F). Drag these copies to the right and place them as shown in the second image.

wiener pattern brush

Step 3

Focus on your left set of shapes and pick the Shape Builder Tool (Shift-M). Holding the Shift button from your keyboard, simply drag a selection along your green rectangle roughly as shown in the first image, but make sure that you don't go over the edge. Now, select that green rectangle and get rid of it using the Delete button from your keyboard. In the end things should look like in the third image.

wiener pattern brush

Step 4

Keep focusing on your left set of shapes. Select all these shapes and use the Shift-Control-G keyboard shortcut to Ungroup them. Now, select the shapes that make up the bottom end of the wiener and Group them (Control-G). Then select the shapes that make up the top end of the wiener and do the same thing.

wiener pattern brush

Step 5

Move to the right set of shapes and pick again that same Shape Builder Tool (Shift-M). Holding the Shift button from your keyboard, simply drag a selection along the top side roughly as shown in the first image. Again, make sure that your selection does not go over the edge of that green rectangle. Move to the bottom side of this set of shapes and repeat the technique. In the end things should look like in the third image.

wiener pattern brush

Step 6

Keep focusing on your right set of shapes. Select all your green shapes and get rid of them. In the end things should look like in the second image. Select all these shapes, Group them (Control-G) and place them as shown in the third image.

wiener pattern brush

Step 7

Reselect all the shapes made so far and go to Object > Transform > Rotate. Set the Angle at -90 degrees and then click the OK button.

wiener pattern brush

Step 8

Select the group that makes up the left end of the wiener (highlighted in the following image) and simply drag it inside the Swatches panel (Window > Swatches) to save it as a simple pattern. Double-click on this new pattern, rename it "startTile", and then make sure that you hit that Cancel button.

wiener pattern brush

Step 9

Select the group that makes up the right end of the wiener (highlighted in the following image) and turn it into a pattern. Double-click on this new pattern, rename it "startTile", and then make sure that you hit that Cancel button.

wiener pattern brush

Step 10

Select the group that makes up the body of the wiener (highlighted in the following image) and click the New Brush button from the Brushes panel (Window > Brushes). Check the Pattern Brush box and then click the OK button to open the Pattern Brush Options window.

Name it "Wiener Brush", enter the attributes shown below and then move to the Tile boxes. Open the Start Tile drop down window and add the "startTile" pattern from that list, and then open the End Tile drop down window and add the "endTile" pattern. Finally, click OK and you should find your new pattern brush inside the Brushes panel.

wiener pattern brush

5. Create the Wiener Text

Step 1

Disable the Grid (Control-') and the Snap to Grid (Shift-Control-'). Pick the Type Tool (T), click on your artboard, and add your grey (R=178 G=178 B=178) piece of text. Make sure that it stays selected and open the Character panel.

Use the Freestyle Script font and set the size at 200 pt. Move to the Layers panel and lock this piece of text to make sure that you won't accidentally select/move it. Using the Pen Tool (P) (or the Brush Tool (B)), draw some smooth paths as shown below, trying to use the text that lies in the back as a rough reference. Add a subtle black stroke for these paths.

wiener text

Step 2

Focus on your Layers panel and get rid of that piece of text. Select the paths and replace that subtle black stroke with your "Wiener Brush" pattern brush.

Make sure that all these paths remain selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the top left window (in the following image), click OK and then add the other four Drop Shadow effects shown below.

wiener text

Step 3

Enable the Grid (Control-') and Snap to Grid (Shift-Control-'). Switch to gridline every 1 px, so go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box.

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 1 px circle, a 2 px circle and a 3 px circle, make them all black, and place them as shown in the first image. Select all these tiny circles and simply hit Control-8 to turn them into a compound path. Make sure that your compound path stays selected, lower its Opacity to 40%, and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

wiener text

Step 4

Multiply your black compound path (Control-C > Control-F) and spread the copies roughly as shown in the following image.

wiener text

Step 5

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 1 px circle, a 2 px circle and a 3 px circle, make them all white, and place them as shown in the first image. Select all these tiny circles and turn them into a new compound path (Control-8). Make sure that it stays selected, lower its Opacity to 40%, and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

wiener text

Step 6

Multiply your white compound path (Control-C > Control-F) and spread the copies roughly as shown in the following image.

wiener text

6. Add Some Mustard

Step 1

Finally, you can add some mustard using the scatter brush and the techniques mentioned in this detailed tutorial (step 4.1 to 6.7—skip the part with the blend).

add mustard

Step 2

Follow the same tutorial if you wish to learn how to create this neat mustard container, or simply take it from the source file.

add mustard

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.

final product
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