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Tools & Tips

Quick Tip: Create a Slick Golden Text Effect with Adobe Illustrator

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In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a slick golden text effect. Although it's a pretty short tutorial, the sixteen steps cover many techniques and effects that can be used for other projects. The Pen Tool steps may be a bit challenging, but with patience and some basic knowledge you will succeed.


Step 1

Create a 700 by 400px, RGB document. First, enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Next, you'll need a grid every 1px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides > Grid, enter 1 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box. You can also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shapes. Do not forget to replace the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Unit > General. Al these options will significantly increase your work speed.


Step 2

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create seven, 25 by 1px shapes. Place them as shown below and fill them with the four colors shown in the following image. The Snap to Grid should ease your work for the arrangement part.


Step 3

Select the shapes created in the previous step and go to the Brushes (Window > Brushes). Open the fly-out menu and click on New Brush. A new window should open. Check the Pattern Brush button and click OK. The Pattern Brush Options window will open. Enter "Golden Brush" in the Name box, make sure that the Scale slider is set at 100% and click OK. Return to the Brushes panel and you will find your new pattern brush. Now, return to your artboard and delete the existing shapes. You won't need them anymore.


Step 4

Next, you need a new Calligraphic Brush. Again, open the fly-out menu of the Brushes panel and click on New Brush. This time, check the Calligraphic Brush button and click OK. The Calligraphic Brush Options window will open. Enter "7pt. Round" in the Name box, make sure that the Roundness is set at 100%, drag the Diameter slider at 7pt and click OK. Return to the Brushes panel and you will find your new calligraphic brush.


Step 5

Now, let's add the text. Use the Jellyka Saint-Andrew's Queen font or any other font that you like. Your final effect will look nicer if you choose a calligraphic font. Pick the Type Tool (T), click on your artboard and add your green text (84 161 63). Go to the Character panel (Window > Type > Character), set the size at 150pt, the leading at 120 and the tracking at 100. Go to the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and lock this text.


Step 6

Disable the Snap to Grid and enable the Smart Guides (View > Smart Guides). Now, let's move to the difficult part. The next three steps might be a bit challenging especially if you're a beginner. First, go to the Appearance panel, set the fill color at none then select the stroke and click on the Golden Brush from the Brushes panel. Pick the Pen Tool (P) and draw a path along the first letter from your text. You don't need to make an exact trace of your text. Just use it as a reference. Pay some extra attention to the ending of your paths. Always bend them and bring the ending point above the existing path. The Smart Guide will come in handy for this thing. Play with this, but make sure that you always have a smooth, rounded path.


Step 7

Continue with the Pen Tool and draw some new paths above the green text. In some cases you will only need a path to draw several letters or an entire word. Just use your imagination. Be careful, not to make the text undecipherable. Also, always remember to bend the ending of your paths.


Step 8

Go on with the Pen Tool (P) and draw the remaining text. In the it's important for you to have a set of smooth and nicely rounded paths.


Step 9

Disable the Smart Guides. Go to the Layers panel, unlock your green text and delete it. Select all the paths that make up your text and group them (Control + G). Select this group and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Lock the original group then focus on the group copy.

Select the paths inside this group and replace the pattern brush with the calligraphic brush created in the fourth step (7pt. Round). Set its color at R=125 G=203 B=236 and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the resulting paths and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder). Again, select the resulting paths and go to Object > Compound Path > Make.

Select the resulting path and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Go to the Layers panel, locate this fresh copy and make it invisible. You'll need it later.


Step 10

Go to Edit > Preferences > General and enter 1 in the Keyboard Increment box. Select the blue, visible path created in the previous step and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -2pt Offset and click OK. Select the resulting path and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select this copy and hit the down arrow and the right arrow once (to move it 1px down and to the right). Reselect the two paths created in this step and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting group of shapes and go to Object > Compound Path > Make. Fill the resulting path with R=252 G=205 B=10 and change its blending mode to Color Burn.


Step 11

Reselect the blue, visible path and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. This time, enter a -1pt Offset and click OK. Select the resulting path and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select this copy and hit the down arrow and the right arrow once. Reselect the two paths created in this step and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting group of shapes and go to Object > Compound Path > Make. Fill the resulting path with white and change its blending mode to Overlay.


Step 12

Reselect the blue, visible path and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select this copy and hit the up arrow and the left arrow once. Reselect this copy along with the original, blue path and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting group of shapes and go to Object > Compound Path > Make. Fill the resulting path with R=96 G=57 B=19.


Step 13

Go to the Layers panel, find the invisible blue shape and make it visible. Replace the blue with black. Send this path to back (Shift + Control + Left Square Bracket), move it 3px down and to the right then lower its opacity to 8%.


Step 14

Return to the Layers panel, unlock the group, select it and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 15

Finally, let's add a simple background. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a shape the size of your artboard. First, fill it with white then go to the Appearance panel and click on the Add New Fill button from the bottom of the Appearance pane. Obviously, this will add a second fill for your shape. Select it, lower its opacity to 80% and fill it with the radial gradient shown below.


Step 16

For this final step you will need a nice, built-in pattern. Go to the Swatches panel, open the fly-out menu and go to Open Swatch Library > Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Textures. This will open a new window with a nice set of built-in pattern. Reselect the shape created in the previous step and add a third fill. Select it, lower its opacity to 25%, change the blending mode to Multiply and use the "USGS 19 Land Inundation" pattern.


Conclusion

Now your work is done. Here is how it should look. Experiment with different colors and letters to see what you can come up with. I hope you enjoyed this tut.

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