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15+ Illustrator Tutorials on Retro Text Effects and Vintage Lettering

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If you're looking to improve your skills in Illustrator, specifically learn to create retro text effects, beautiful vintage lettering, and work with classic type, then we have the collection of Illustrator tutorials you're looking for. Learn to draw fluid, retro lettering, compose vintage designs with classic fonts, and transform your typography into a design that defies time. Build your vintage design skills with this collection of tutorials that will give your Illustrator vector text effects a custom retro feel.

Bump Up Your Retro Vector Text Effect and Custom Vintage Lettering Skills

Learn to Create a Variety of Script Lettering

In this Illustrator tutorial from Jesse Hora learn how to create custom vintage lettering. Start by drawing your own type and then use the Pen Tool to create each looping arch of your text based drawing. There are multiple vintage script lettering styles in this tutorial.

This retro typography is created by hand, learn to make your own vintage lettering text effects, and draw embellishments to connect the various styles.


How to Create a Trendy Retro Type Treatment

Learn how to use illustrator to create a retro type treatment in vector. Rype walks us through each detailed step to create this funky text effect in this tutorial aimed at Intermediate Illustrator users.

Compose this retro typography using the stylized font Museo. Connect the ends to form ligatures, add vector style, and coloring using gradients, blends, and apply scatter brushes. This retro text Illustrator effect is relatively easy to create and the techniques can be applied in other illustrative text work you compose.


How to Create Ornate, Vintage Lettering

Learn how to use Illustrator and a dab of 3DS Max to create beautiful vintage vector lettering. Go Media's Jeff Finley shows you how to vector the custom lettering sketch in Illustrator, add a little 3D, and finish the vintage text effect in vector. This is an excellent blend of apps and hand drawn construction that lends a classic vintage lettering result.


How To Create Detailed Gothic Linework Typography

Learn how Chris Spooner uses Illustrator to create a gothic vintage type effect. This involves using a vintage font Cloister Black, which has a gothic feel. Then embellishing it with strokes, sharp angled shading, and vintage ornaments. The retro text effect pulls together a vintage font and design elements nicely. It has a classic feel with a modern touch.


Getting Carried Away with Balloon Lettering

Jesse Hora shows us how to take hand drawn balloon text, experiment with shading through drawings, and then vector the results into a vintage lettering composition. Using this process you can discover new styles of vintage text effects that you can then put together in Illustrator. This tutorial is aimed at beginners, but well worth exploring for any level of illustrator.


Illustrator Type Technique Using Shapes

In this Illustrator text effect tutorial learn how Veerle draws custom letters using simple shapes, lines, strokes, and Pathfinder tools. She explores how to create your own vintage text creation using round shapes, adding ligatures, kerning as with vintage font creation, and more. This retro text effect would work great for creating vintage style logos or vector lettering effects for your design work.


Learn to Create a Variety of Beveled Lettering

In this Illustrator tutorial Jesse Hora shows us how to take three different approaches to creating vintage beveled lettering and integrate them into a single retro design composition.

Learn how to use Illustrator and it's 3D tools to transform a vintage font into a beveled style, as well as beveled script constructions, and a classic block style beveled lettering. Take your vintage vector text to the next level with the techniques found in this retro text effect tutorial.


Quick Tutorial: Create a Reusable Retro Type Treatment

In this tutorial learn how to use Illustrator to create retro text effect that can be saved as a graphic style for use with future projects. After creating this graphic style in Illustrator you can select text and easily transform the font into a vintage style in seconds. This text effect is versatile, easy to produce, and Rype walks you through each step of it's construction in this easy to follow tutorial.


Create a Glowing Neon Sign using the Appearance Palette – Screencast

In this Illustrator text effect tutorial, learn how Jared MacPherson creates a glowing neon sign reminiscent of exciting lettering treatments that light up Vegas. This vintage lettering effect can be applied in retro designs, such as old store signs, glowing vintage casino or motel branding, and more. The workflow makes use of Illustrator type effects that use the Appearance panel liberally for maximum speed and flexibility.

The video version is linked to below and here is the Glowing Neon Sign written version.


Create a Variety of 3D Lettering Effects for Poster Design

In this illustrator text effect tutorial Jesse Hora shows you how to create a variety of 3D, vintage lettering effects. This retro text effect tutorial is aimed at beginners. It follows a vintage lettering process that starts as hand drawn text and moves into vector shape building in Illustrator.

Rather than using 3D tools, the dimensional look is achieved by following angled projection lines. Some vector texture helps give it the final vintage look.


Create a Stunning Retro Futuristic Typography

Learn how to create a Retro-futuristic typography design that is composed of a lettering drawn in Illustrator. This retro text effect has an angular retro font design. Discover how to draw such stylized retro text and then give it a 3D look. The final retro text is taken from Illustrator and brought into Photoshop for final styling and composition.


How To Create a Cool Chrome Text Effect in Illustrator

Chris Spooner shows us how to take a vintage font (Goudy Text) and transform it into a chrome retro text effect. This Illustrator text effect tutorial is easy to follow for beginners. Learn how to transform the vintage type into custom lettering and then use cut gradient shapes to color the chrome effect. The final vintage lettering illustration is composed and textured in Photoshop.


Quick Tip: How to Create a Retro Style Textured Logo

Learn how to create a retro vector seal logo in Adobe Illustrator with Ryan Quintal. Learn to stylize a vintage font and transform text, graphics, and shapes into a powerful retro logo design. This retro text effect is taken from Illustrator, where it is created, and then textured for the final vintage look in Photoshop.


Create a Chalkboard Type Treatment

Learn how Rype makes retro text effects in Illustrator CS5. This one uses Illustrator's Grain Effect, Bristle Brush, and Brushes to create a chalk on chalkboard vintage text effect. Learn to apply the style to vintage fonts to create your own throwback to grade school in this vector text effect. No need to give the teacher an apple, but Rype would always appreciate a comment on the tutorial.


Vintage Badge in Illustrator and Photoshop

Abduzeedo shows us how to use mostly Illustrator and a smidgen of Photoshop to create a vintage badge graphic. It's composed of vintage fonts, which are well composed inside retro vector shapes. After experimenting with various typefaces a well composed vintage badge was finalized.


Playing with Stationery Art Brushes and the Live Paint Bucket

Sharon Milne shows us how to create a retro text effect in Illustrator using basic vector tools, Art Brushes, and the Live Paint Bucket, among other tools. This vintage typography piece has a retro color scheme and the vector noise pattern applied to the final design gives it a nostalgic custom design. Learn to bend and warp objects into custom vintage lettering in this Illustrator CS5 tutorial aimed at beginners.


Vintage Freebie Collections and Premium Retro Packs

Following are additional resources for vintage graphic aficionados. If you need some retro design elements for your next project, then follow the links below to well crafted vector graphics.

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