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  1. Design & Illustration
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Design

How to Create a Celebration Candles Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:LongLanguages:
This post is part of a series called 10 Years of Envato Tuts+!.
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Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In the following steps you will learn how to create a celebration candles text effect in Adobe Illustrator. 

For starters, you will learn how to set up a simple grid and how to create a subtly patterned background. Using a free font and the Appearance panel along with some basic blending and grouping techniques, you will learn how to create the main text shapes. You will learn how to make your work easier with target icons and how to organize your shapes inside the Layers panel. Finally, you will learn how to use some Warp effects and how to add subtle textures and shading.

For more inspiration on how to adjust or improve your final text effect, you can find plenty of resources at GraphicRiver.

1. How to 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 850 in the width and height boxes, and then click that More Settings button. Select RGB for the Color Mode, set the Raster Effects to Screen (72 ppi), and then click Create Document.

Enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). You will need a grid every 1 px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid, enter 1 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 can learn more about Illustrator's grid system in this short tutorial from Andrei Stefan: Understanding Adobe Illustrator's Grid System.

You should also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shapes. Don't forget to set the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Units. All these options will significantly increase your work speed.

setup grid

2. How to Create the Background and Add Text

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=155 G=173 B=202.

Move to your artboard, create an 860 px square, and make sure that it covers your entire artboard.

rectangle tool

Step 2

Open the fly-out menu from your Swatches panel (Window > Swatches) and go to Open Swatch Library > Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Textures. This will open a new panel with some built-in patterns.

Make sure that your blue square is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance), and add a new fill using the Add New Fill button. Select this new fill, apply the Mezzotint Irregular pattern, and then lower its Opacity to 30% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

pattern

Step 3

Focus on the Layers panel (Window > Layers), lock the existing layer, and then add a second layer using the Create New Layer button. Select it.

Pick the Type Tool (T) and open the Character panel (Window > Type > Character). Select the Coiny font and set the size to 170 px. Simply click on your artboard and add the "FIRST 10 DAYS" text. Place it in the center of your artboard and set the color to R=255 G=242 B=161.

type tool

Step 4

Make sure that your text is still selected, go to Type > Create Outlines, and then simply hit Shift-Control-G to Ungroup the resulting group.

create outlines

3. How to Stylize the Letter Shapes

Step 1

Let's focus on one of those letter shapes. Select it and go to the Appearance panel.

Select the existing fill, replace the color with the linear gradient shown below, and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 6 px Offset, click the OK button, and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Roughen. Enter the attributes shown in the following image, click that OK button, and then go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click that OK button.

inner glow

Step 2

Make sure that your stylized letter shape stays selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel.

Select the stroke and replace the color with the linear gradient shown below. Lower its Opacity to 70% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light, and then click that "Stroke" piece of text to open the Stroke fly-out panel. Increase the Weight to 4 px and check that Align Stroke to Outside button.

gradient stroke

Step 3

Make sure that your stylized letter shape stays selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a second stroke using the Add New Stroke button and select it.

Set the color to R=241 G=77 B=12 and the Weight to 5 px and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -2 px Offset, click that OK button, and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Roughen. Enter the attributes shown in the following image, click the OK button, and then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the attributes shown below and then click that OK button.

add new stroke

Step 4

Make sure that your stylized letter shape stays selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a third stroke and select it.

Set the color to R=252 G=138 B=6 and the Weight to 3 px and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -2 px Offset, click that OK button, and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Roughen. Enter the attributes shown in the following image, click the OK button, and then open the Stroke fly-out menu. Focus on the bottom, open the Profile drop-down menu, and select Width Profile 2.

stroke profile

Step 5

Make sure that your stylized letter shape stays selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a fourth stroke and select it.

Set the color to R=255 G=191 B=23 and the Weight to 1 px and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -2 px Offset, click that OK button, and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Roughen. Enter the attributes shown in the following image, click the OK button, and then open the Stroke fly-out menu. Open the Profile drop-down menu and select Width Profile 6.

stroke profile

Step 6

Focus on the Layers panel, open your top layer, and use those target icons to easily apply the Appearance attributes used for your first letter shapes for the rest of your shapes. Target icons are the little round icons displayed at the far right of each individual layer or shape. Hold the Alt button from your keyboard, click the target icon that stands for your stylized letter shapes, and then drag it into one of the target icons that stand for the other letter shapes. Use this same technique to stylize the rest of your shapes.

target icon

4. How to Create the Plastic Stands

Step 1

Focus on the bottom side of your first letter shapes. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 20 x 25 px shape, and place it as shown in the following image.

Fill it with a random purple and then go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 2 px Radius, click the OK button, and then go to Effect > Warp > Arc Lower. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click that OK button.

awrc lower

Step 2

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 6 x 20 px shape, and place it as shown in the following image.

Fill it with black and then go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 1 px Radius, click the OK button, and then go to Effect > Warp > Arc Upper. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click that OK button.

arc upper

Step 3

Make sure that your black and purple shapes are still selected and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the resulting shapes, open the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder), and click the Minus Front button.

pathfinder

Step 4

Make sure that your purple shape is still selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the fill, replace the color with the linear gradient shown below, and then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click that OK button.

drop shadow

Step 5

Make sure that your tiny shape is still selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 2 px Radius, click the OK button, and then go to Effect > Warp > Arc Lower. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click that OK button. Once you're done, send this shape to back using the Shift-Control-[ keyboard shortcut.

rounded corners

Step 6

Multiply your tiny shape (Control-C > Control-V) and spread the copies about as shown in the following image. Don't forget to send them to back (Shift-Control-[)

multiply

5. How to Add Shading and a Bunch of Colored Dots

Step 1

Select your first letter shape along with the tiny one and Group them (Control-G).

group

Step 2

Make sure that your new group is still selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the attributes shown in the left window (in the following image), click that OK button, and then apply the other two Drop Shadow effects shown below.

drop shadow

Step 3

Move to the rest of your shapes and Group them as you did with the first two. Again, use those target icons in the Layers panel to easily transfer the Drop Shadow effects from one group to another.

target icon

Step 4

Focus on the Layers panel, lock your second layer, and add a third one. Select it.

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a bunch of 5 px circles, spread them as shown in the following image, and fill them with the six colors shown below.

circles

Step 5

Multiply your colored circles and spread them as shown in the following image.

multiply circles

Step 6

Select all your colored circles and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Roughen. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click that OK button.

roughen

6. How to Create the Flames

Step 1

Focus on the Layers panel, lock your third layer, and add a fourth one. Select it and then focus on the top side of your first letter shape.

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 16 x 45 px shape, fill it with the linear gradient shown below, and place it as shown in the first image. Focus on the top side of this squeezed circle, pick the Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C), and simply click that anchor point.

create new layer

Step 2

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 10 x 34 px shape, fill it with the linear gradient shown below, and place it as shown in the first image. Make sure that this new shape stays selected, pick the Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C), and click the top anchor point.

anchor point tool

Step 3

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 6 x 22 px shape, fill it with the linear gradient shown below, and place it as shown in the first image. Make sure that this new shape stays selected, pick the Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C), and click the top anchor point.

anchor point tool

Step 4

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 2 x 32 px shape, fill it with the linear gradient shown below, and place it as shown in the first image. Make sure that this new shape stays selected and pick the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select the top anchor points and go to Object > Path > Average (Alt-Control-J). Check the Both box and then click that OK button.

average both

Step 5

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 12 x 22 px shape, fill it with R=255 G=247 B=209, and place it as shown in the first image. Lower its Opacity to 40% and change the Blending Mode to Overlay.

Using the same tool, create a 6 x 2 px shape and fill it with the linear gradient shown below. Place it as shown in the second image and send it to back (Shift-Control-[).

circles

Step 6

Select all the shapes that make up your flame and Group them (Control-G). Multiply this group (Control-C > Control-V) and spread the copies as shown in the following image.

flame group

Step 7

Select your first flame group and go to Effect > Warp > Flag. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click that OK button. Select the rest of the groups and apply the same Warp-Flag effect, but play with the Bend attribute.

warp flag

Step 8

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a bunch of 40 px circles. Fill these new shapes with R=255 G=247 B=209 and place them as shown in the following image.

pale circles

Step 9

Make sure that your set of 40 px circles stays selected, send it to back (Shift-Control-[), and then focus on the Appearance panel. Lower the Opacity to 25% and change the Blending Mode to Overlay, and then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 10 px Radius and then click that OK button.

gaussian blur

7. How to Add Shading and a Subtle Texture

Step 1

Create a new 860 px square, make sure that it covers your entire artboard, and fill it with the radial gradient shown below. Keep in mind that the yellow zero from the Gradient image (Window > Gradient) stands for Opacity percentage. Focus on the Appearance panel and select the existing fill. Lower its Opacity to 70% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

radial gradient

Step 2

Make sure that your newest shape is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel, and add a second fill. Select it and set the color to black, lower its Opacity to 15% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light, and then go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the attributes shown in the following image, click that OK button, and you're done.

film grain

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.

Feel free to adjust the final design and make it your own. You can find some great sources of inspiration at GraphicRiver, with interesting solutions to improve your design.

final result
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