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4.1 How to Use Type and Fonts in Illustrator

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use Illustrator's Type Tool and how to choose the font color, style, size, weight, and spacing. You’ll learn the differences between point type and area type boxes. You’ll also learn how to use Adobe’s Typekit system to find exciting new typefaces for your projects. See how to add and change fonts in Illustrator, and much more.

Useful Resources

  • Fonts on Envato Elements

4.1 How to Use Type and Fonts in Illustrator

Hi there. In this video we are going to look at how to create type boxes, how to work with fonts and how to download good looking fonts from something called Typekit. Let’s jump in and get started. All right, to get started go to File, go to Open. And in your Exercise Files, there's one called postcard.ai. Open him up, and this is him. All I've done is put an image in the background that I got from Unsplash. It's from Hector Martinez. Very cool image. What we're gonna do is look at type. So, type and text and fonts, all of that stuff. So over here in your toolbar, grab the capital T, the Type tool. And there is two kinds of text boxes you can create. If you just click once, it's called a point type box. All it means is that, When I type, it just keeps on going forever. Okay, so it's really good for, say, you're doing some text for this logo or a heading, okay, just a nice simple text box, just click once. What I'll do is with it selected, I'm gonna select it white, so you get the idea. Okay, the other kind of text box is, let's grab our black arrow. Click on the background so we've got nothing selected. Grab the Type tool and this is better for body copy, it's called an area type box. You click, hold, and drag. It just means it's got a boundary, okay. So that the line comes along and breaks and comes along to the other side. Again, back to the black arrow means it's all selected, make it white. So depending on what kind of text box you need. You can draw a point type box and type on further or drag out a box, get a specific width that breaks. You can see here if I start typing, okay, you'll see it breaks on to the next line. Now, what is all the stuff that's in here? It's just something called Lorem Ipsum. It's just there are actual Latin words that are all mixed up into a random order so that you as a designer can design the look and feel of, say this postcard without having to use actual text. For me as a designer, often I don't have the text yet. Say a copyright is writing it. And also, I'm getting kind of like visual concepts signed off by the client. And we don't want to use actual text because often the client can come back with like grammar and text amends. When really you're after more a style feedback, not text amends. You can leave it in there for the design, but obviously it gets switched out for the end. So we'll work on this body copy down the bottom here, we're gonna kind of put it somewhere over here. And we're gonna look at two kinds of text, so two kinds of text boxes and two kinds of text. When I mean text I mean fonts. Okay, this is defaulting to the last font that I used. It's probably for you gonna be Myriad. Okay, Myriad is like the default font for Illustrator. I've got lots of Myriad. Myriad Pro is probably going to be what it's gonna be, or Minion. It's probably Minion, actually. Minion Pro. Cool, so let's look at the fonts that are built into your computer versus the ones we can download from something called Typekit. So first up with my black arrow with this text box selected, I'm not gonna cover over here on Properties tab. We're not gonna cover everything like font sizing, okay? Easy, there's the line spacing, okay? So they call it leading in here. Okay, but it's just the spacing between the lines. There's the spacing between the characters, so spacing between words, spacing between characters, paragraph, left and right align. I'm not gonna cover all of this because it's pretty basic word processing. The one thing I will show you is see these little dots? So there's the character kind of panel right here and there's these little dots. What could be in here? More options, so you get a bit more detailed stuff. I can make it all capitals, there's subscript, baseline shift, all sorts of other stuff in here. Again, I'm not gonna cover it all cuz it's pretty easy to experiment with. Same with paragraph, we've got left, right justification. Click on this, there's a bunch of other stuff in there. Okay, but I'll let you explore those ones. What I'm gonna do for this, I'm gonna drop down my Character panel and you'll see in here and these are all the ones that are built into my computer, okay. I've got quite a few on my one but I go through, find one that you like. And one thing that can be quite useful, especially if you've got a lot of fonts on your machine like me, like man, I just wanna find a say a serif font or a sans serif. So a serif font is like this one at the top here, it's got the little serifs, okay, the little extra hanging pieces that are off the edges here. So say I want a good serif font. It's gonna cut it down. See this little filter? It drops it down to everything that's on my computer that's a serif font. You can kinda get a sample of the look of a serif font. Okay, so that's uber cool, it's really handy just to go through and kind of cut down the fonts. So I want script fonts. Okay, you can see there is all the script fonts that I have installed on my machine. Some terrible ones, like Brush Script to some nicer ones like Lust Script. You're probably not gonna have all of these but just know that the filter can be really handy. I'm gonna go back to serif fonts and, actually, I'm going to turn it off. Go to All Classes and in here, I'm gonna type in the one that I want. It's the one I already practice with, Goudy Old Style Italic. I'm gonna probably close in the leading a little bit. And get rid of that crazy thing I did there. And put a little full stop at the end of my fake text and that's gonna be my body copy. At the top here, we're gonna look at fonts that aren't from your computer, how to download them from something called Typekit. First, we're gonna put some text. It's gonna be all caps. Your, I'm gonna put a Return in, digital partner. Very generic postcard, not sure who we're sending this to. But this M company that we've made, or whatever letter you've made it. I'm pretending it's a digital agency, does seem sort of creative work anyway. I'm gonna pick a nice big font, okay, and yeah, there we go. So I wanna find a font that's not on my machine. So what we can use is something called Typekit. Now Typekit is a service that Adobe provide but it's not paid but it's complimentary if you have a Creative Cloud license. So I'm signed into my Creative Cloud license to use this software. And as part of it, they give me access to this thing called Typekit. So select your type with the black arrow, drop down the font, and there it is there, Add Fonts from Typekit. It's gonna load up our web browser, it might make you sign in. You can see there, I'm signed in, my smiley face there. And Typekit are just fonts that Adobe allow us to download. They're pretty amazing, there's some really cool examples along the top here to kind of get the creative juices flowing. I wanna know what this is. And you can say get all of these fonts so it downloads. I'm gonna ignore that and scroll down cuz this is the bit that's gonna help me kind of find my fonts. So the first thing we can do is, let's put it on All Libraries. Along the top here I think it starts with true sample text, but you can type in because we know we're gonna be using the words your, I'm gonna use caps, digital. Sometimes you pick a font and it's not til you actually start using it in your characters before you realize, man, that doesn't look so cool. So you can see here this, I don't probably like as a font anyway but you can see that it's really weird spacing in the word your in capitals. Same with that one, and I'll lower the size preview so I can see a little bit better. And actually I might go from this grid pattern to this straight line so you can start to see all the fonts before you download them. Okay, you can use them commercially as long as you've got an up to date Creative Cloud license. The other cool thing to do with these fonts is this classifications over here. Instead of just searching through millions of free fonts online, you can go actually I want to show you the slab serifs. So a slab serif is considered the same sort of serif as we describe earlier, it has these little feet but has really quite thick feet. I didn't even click slab serif, [LAUGH] it's the one I wanted. Okay, so you can see these kind of like university style big slabby serifs on them. Hand drawn fonts. You can choose whether they've considered say you pick a serif font, and you want, actually it's gonna be for body copy so you pick a paragraph recommendation. So it's more of like a easygoing font, easy to read. Where a heading font can get a little bit more exciting, Gastromond. There are lots of other options in here, let's say that I want a thin font because I just decided I want a really thin font so I can fit lots of kind of title ticks. You can see, cuts it all down, super useful. There's different weights, whether they're full caps or no caps, okay, there's lots of things you can work around. I'm gonna turn all these off and I've actually got a font that I've already tried to pick. So I'm going to go to the top, and search. This one's called League Gothic, there it is there. I liked it, a good one while I was making up this example for you guys. So once you've found a font, you can have a look and say, yeah, there's some different weights, and there's an italic version. It's by Tyler Fink, from the League of Moveable Type, like they fight crime. What we can do is we're gonna click on this one that says sync all, and this is the beauty of Typekit. Kick back, Mac or PC, relax. You get a big tick. Somehow [LAUGH] I'm up to 337. That's the thing over here I'm looking for, it says you've added four fonts magically to your computer. It's that easy, don't know how I have more than 100. But anyway, ignore that, let's jump back into Illustrator. And in here now, without doing anything else, don't need to close it down, I can type in League. You can see that's the font that I want. There's there, gonna pick a lot bigger size. And I'm gonna play around with the letter spacing, but that's how to get and use Typekit fonts. Little underwhelmed with my font section now, looked good in my little preview. There we go. All right, so you can skip along now. I'm just gonna do some tidying up. Gonna grab the edge here to kind of resize the text box. Probably what I want to do is interacting with the back, I picked an image that had a nice dark background but I'm gonna do a bit more, I'm gonna grab the Rectangle tool. I'm gonna zoom out a little bit. I'm gonna draw a rectangle that covers half of it. I've got my smart guides on so it should tell me where half is. Pretty good. And go to fill up black, and this opacity here. See the opacity? I'm gonna lower it down. And then I'm going to select it with my black arrow and say arrange to the back to put it behind the text. And you can kind of see what I'm doing there. I'm trying to use it as an element, a design element, but mainly just to darken up the background so we can see my type better. All right, that's how to create text boxes and use Typekit fonts using Adobe Illustrator. Let's move on to the next video where we start looking at some effects like liquify and distort. All right, I'll see you over there.

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