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How to Create a Fall Text Effect in Illustrator

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Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to make a leaf brush in Illustrator and how to create a fall text effect.

For starters, you will learn how to create four different leaf designs from the group up. Then, you will learn how to turn them into leaf brushes.

Taking full advantage of the Appearance panel, you will learn how to use your leaf brushes to create a fall text effect, while keeping the text fully editable.

If you're looking for more fall fonts, you can always try Envato Elements, the place where you can find a massive collection of autumn fonts. This fall calligraphy font is just one of many examples. Feel free to use it on your projects, promotions, advertisements, social media, and even printed designs!

fall calligraphy fontfall calligraphy fontfall calligraphy font

What You'll Learn in This Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

  • How to make a leaf brush in Illustrator
  • How to create a fall text effect

Follow along with us over on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:

What You'll Need

You will need the following font in order to complete this fall design:

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 box and 500 in the height box, and then click that More Settings button. Select RGB for the Color Mode, set the Raster Effects to High (300 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, and 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. Now that your document is set up, let's start by learning how to make a leaf brush in Illustrator.

set up new documentset up new documentset up new document

2. How to Create the First Leaf Design

Step 1

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and focus on your Toolbar. Remove the color from the stroke and then select the fill and set its color to R=175 G=172 B=42.

Move to your artboard and click and drag or simply click on it to create a 24 x 54 px shape—the grid and the Snap to Grid should make it easier.

Switch to the Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C), and just click the two anchor points highlighted in the second image.

leaf design ellipseleaf design ellipseleaf design ellipse

Step 2

Make sure that your shape is still selected and go to Effect > Warp > Shell Lower. Enter the settings shown in the following image, click OK, and then go to Object > Expand Appearance.

leaf design warp effectleaf design warp effectleaf design warp effect

Step 3

With your shape still selected, press Control-C and Control-F to add a copy in front. Deselect this copy and change the fill color from your Toolbar to R=150 G=148 B=43.

Grab the Rectangle Tool (M) from your Toolbar and use it to create a shape that covers the right half of your leaf shape.

Switch to the Move Tool (V), hold down the Shift key to select this rectangle along with the copy of your leaf shape, go to the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder), and click the Intersect button.

leaf design halfleaf design halfleaf design half

Step 4

Make sure that you have nothing selected, press Shift-X to swap the fill and stroke color settings from your Toolbar, and then change the stroke color to R=122 G=121 B=15.

Using the Pen Tool (P) or the Line Segment Tool (\), create a 62 px vertical path, as shown in the following image. Keep in mind that you can hold down the Shift key as you create this path to easily make it a perfect vertical line.

Keep it selected and focus on the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance). Click the Stroke button, which will open the Stroke fly-out panel. Increase the Weight to 2 px, select Width Profile 4 from the Profile drop-down menu, and don't forget to check the Round Cap button.

leaf design strokeleaf design strokeleaf design stroke

Step 5

Reselect the Pen Tool (P) and let's add some horizontal paths.

Start with an 8 px path and place it as shown below. Lower the stroke Weight to 1 px and select Width Profile 1 for this new path.

Using the same appearance settings, add another three paths, as shown in the following image.

leaf design horizontal pathleaf design horizontal pathleaf design horizontal path

Step 6

Using the Move Tool (V), select all your horizontal paths and go to Object > Path > Add Anchor Points.

Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and focus on the top horizontal path. Select that middle anchor point and drag it 4 px down. Keep in mind that you can hold down the Shift key as you drag this point to constrain the movement.

Move to the next two paths, hold down the Shift key to easily select both middle points, and drag them 7 px down. Move to the final path, select that middle point, and drag it 5 px down.

Reselect the Move Tool (V) and use it to reselect the four paths edited in this step, and then go to Effect > Warp > Arc. Enter the settings shown in the following image and click OK.

add anchor pointsadd anchor pointsadd anchor points

Step 7

Select all the shapes that make up this leaf design and press Control-G to Group them, and then go to Effect > Warp > Flag.

Enter the settings shown in the following image and then click OK.

fall leaf designfall leaf designfall leaf design

3. How to Create the Second Leaf Design

Step 1

Focus on your Toolbar to remove the stroke color and set the fill color to R=239 G=128 B=32.

Grab the Ellipse Tool (L) and use it to create a 44 x 58 px shape, and then switch to the Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C).

First, click the top anchor point and then click and drag the bottom anchor point. Drag those handles 5 px to the left, as shown in the second image.

leaf design orangeleaf design orangeleaf design orange

Step 2

Grab the Move Tool (V) to select this entire orange shape and add a copy in front (Control-C and Control-F). Deselect the copy and change the fill color from your Toolbar to R=209 G=88 B=24.

Grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and use it to create a shape that covers the right half of your orange shape.

Reselect the Move Tool (V), select this rectangle along with the copy of your orange shape, and click the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel.

orange leaf design halforange leaf design halforange leaf design half

Step 3

Make sure that you have nothing selected, press Shift-X to swap the fill and stroke color settings from your Toolbar, and then change the stroke color to R=181 G=77 B=23.

Using the Pen Tool (P) or the Line Segment Tool (\), create a 62 px vertical path, as shown in the following image.

Keep it selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Open the Stroke fly-out panel, increase the Weight to 2 px, select Width Profile 4, and don't forget to check the Round Cap button.

orange leaf design lineorange leaf design lineorange leaf design line

Step 4

Reselect the Pen Tool (P) and let's add some horizontal paths.

Start with a 16 px path and place it as shown below. Lower the stroke Weight to 1 px and change the Profile to Width Profile 1. Using the same appearance settings, add another two paths, as shown in the following image.

Once you're done, select all three paths, and go to Object > Path > Add Anchor Points.

Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A), hold down the Shift key to select those middle anchor points from the top and bottom paths, and drag them 3 px down. Move to the middle path, select that middle point, and drag it 5 px down.

orange leaf design linesorange leaf design linesorange leaf design lines

Step 5

Select all the shapes that make up this second leaf design and press Control-G to Group them, and then go to Effect > Warp > Flag.

Enter the settings shown in the following image and then click OK.

orange leaf design warporange leaf design warporange leaf design warp

4. How to Create the Third Leaf Design

Step 1

Focus on your Toolbar to remove the stroke color and set the fill color to R=252 G=209 B=53.

Grab the Ellipse Tool (L) and use it to create a 20 x 40 px shape, and then grab the Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C).

Click the top anchor point and then switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select this point and drag it 18 px up.

yellow leaf designyellow leaf designyellow leaf design

Step 2

Grab the Move Tool (V) to select this entire yellow shape and add a copy in front (Control-C and Control-F). Deselect the copy and change the fill color from your Toolbar to R=241 G=176 B=22.

Grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and use it to create a shape that covers the right half of your yellow shape.

Reselect the Move Tool (V), select this rectangle along with the copy of your orange shape, and click the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel.

yellow leaf design halfyellow leaf design halfyellow leaf design half

Step 3

Press Shift-X to swap the fill and stroke color settings from your Toolbar, and then change the stroke color to R=219 G=96 B=42.

Using the Pen Tool (P) or the Line Segment Tool (\), create a 62 px vertical path, as shown in the following image.

Keep it selected and go to the Appearance panel. Open the Stroke fly-out panel, increase the Weight to 2 px, select Width Profile 4, and don't forget to check the Round Cap button.

yellow leaf design lineyellow leaf design lineyellow leaf design line

Step 4

Select all the shapes that make up this third leaf design to Group them (Control-G), and then go to Effect > Warp > Arc.

Enter the settings shown in the following image and then click OK.

yellow leaf design warpyellow leaf design warpyellow leaf design warp

5. How to Create the Fourth Leaf Design

Step 1

Focus on your Toolbar to remove the stroke color and set the fill color to R=200 G=60 B=37.

Grab the Ellipse Tool (L) and use it to create a 16 x 48 px shape, and then switch to the Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C).

First, click the bottom anchor point and then click and drag the top anchor point. Hold down the Alt key to drag each handle separately, as shown in the second image.

red leaf designred leaf designred leaf design

Step 2

Deselect your shape, press Shift-X to swap the fill and stroke color settings from your Toolbar, and then change the stroke color to R=137 G=47 B=59.

Using the Pen Tool (P) or the Line Segment Tool (\), create a 38 px vertical path, as shown in the following image.

Keep it selected and go to the Appearance panel to set the Weight to 1 px and select Width Profile 4.

red leaf design linered leaf design linered leaf design line

Step 3

Select the vertical path along with the red shape to Group them (Control-G), and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform.

Most importantly, make sure that you check the middle-bottom reference point (highlighted), move both Scale sliders to 80%, set the Angle to 55 degrees and enter 2 Copies, and then click OK to apply the effect.

red leaf design transformred leaf design transformred leaf design transform

Step 4

Make sure that your group is still selected and press Control-C > Control-F to add a copy in front.

With this copy selected, return to the Appearance panel, click the existing Transform effect to open it, change the Angle to -55 degrees and click OK.

red leaf design multiplyred leaf design multiplyred leaf design multiply

Step 5

Reselect both groups and go to Object > Expand Appearance, and then press Shift-Control-G three times to Ungroup all the resulting shapes.

Select the five darker shapes and press the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel, and then select the other five red shapes and do the same thing.

red leaf design unitered leaf design unitered leaf design unite

Step 6

Make sure that your red shape is still selected and add a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F).

Switch to the Rectangle Tool (M) and use it to create a shape that covers the right half of your red shape.

Select this rectangle along with the copy of your red shape, and click the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Press Control-[ to send this shape backward, behind that thin shape, as shown in the third image.

red leaf design halfred leaf design halfred leaf design half

Step 7

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 2 x 15 px shape, fill it with R=137 G=59 B=47 and place it as shown in the first image.

With this shape selected, switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A), focus on the control panel, and set the Corner Radius to 1 px.

Once you're done, select all the shapes that make up this leaf design and Group them (Control-G).

red leaf design groupred leaf design groupred leaf design group

6. How to Make a Leaf Brush in Illustrator

Step 1

Select your first leaf design, go to the Brushes panel (Window > Brushes), and click the New Brush button. Check the Scatter Brush box and click OK to open the Scatter Brush Options window.

Name this leaf brush 'Green', set all four variables to Random, and enter the settings shown in the following image. Once you're done, click OK and your new leaf brush will show up inside the Brushes panel.

leaf brush greenleaf brush greenleaf brush green

Step 2

Move to your second leaf design and repeat the technique to save it as a leaf brush. Save the group as a scatter brush, name it 'Orange', enter all the settings shown below, and click OK.

leaf brush orangeleaf brush orangeleaf brush orange

Step 3

Move to your next leaf design and repeat the technique to save it as a leaf brush. Save the group as a scatter brush, name it 'Yellow', enter all the settings shown below, and click OK.

leaf brush yellowleaf brush yellowleaf brush yellow

Step 4

Move to your final leaf design and repeat the technique to save it as a leaf brush. Save the group as a scatter brush, name it 'Red', enter all the settings shown below, and click OK.

Now that you have all four scatter brushes, feel free to delete all four leaf designs from your artboard.

red leaf design redred leaf design redred leaf design red

7. How to Make the Leaf Text Effect

Step 1

Let's start with the background. Grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and use it to create a shape that covers your entire artboard.

Fill it with the radial gradient shown below and use the Gradient Tool (G) from your Toolbar to squeeze the gradient roughly as shown below.

fall design backgroundfall design backgroundfall design background

Step 2

Pick the Type Tool (T) and open the Character panel (Window > Type > Character).

Select the Etna font, set the size to 250 px and the tracking to 100, and then simply click on your artboard to type in "FALL".

fall textfall textfall text

Step 3

Make sure that your text remains selected as we move on, focus on the Swatches panel (Window > Swatches), and click the [None] swatch to get rid of the existing text color.

Move to the Appearance panel and click the Add New Fill button to add a new fill for your text. Select it and set the color to R=144 G=49 B=62, and then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the settings shown in the following image and click OK.

add new fill drop shadowadd new fill drop shadowadd new fill drop shadow

Step 4

Make sure that your text is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel.

Select the stroke, set the color to R=241 G=176 B=22 , and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Roughen. Enter the settings shown below and then return to the Appearance panel to increase the stroke Weight to 2 px and select Width Profile 2.

stroke roughenstroke roughenstroke roughen

Step 5

Using the Add New Stroke button from the bottom of the Appearance panel, add a second stroke to your text and select it.

Set the color to R=92 G=91 B=11, and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Roughen. Enter the settings shown below and then return to the Appearance panel to set the stroke Weight to 1 px and select Width Profile 2.

add new strokeadd new strokeadd new stroke

Step 6

Add a new stroke for your text and select it. Simply apply your 'Red' leaf brush from the Brushes panel and then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow.

Enter the settings shown below and click OK to apply the effect.

stroke red brushstroke red brushstroke red brush

Step 7

Add a new stroke for your text and select it. Again, apply your 'Orange' leaf brush from the Brushes panel and then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow.

Enter the settings shown below and click OK to apply the effect.

stroke orange brushstroke orange brushstroke orange brush

Step 8

Add another stroke for your text and select it. Apply your 'Yellow' leaf brush from the Brushes panel and then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow.

Enter the settings shown below, click OK to apply the effect, and this will be your fall lettering design.

stroke yellow brushstroke yellow brushstroke yellow brush

Step 9

Add one final stroke to your text and select it. Apply your 'Green' leaf brush from the Brushes panel and then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow.

Enter the settings shown below and click OK to apply the effect.

stroke green brushstroke green brushstroke green brush

Congratulations! You're Done!

Here is how your fall lettering should look. I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and can apply these techniques in other fall designs. Feel free to try this design on some other cute fall fonts. You can find some interesting autumn fonts at Envato Elements.

fall text effectfall text effectfall text effect

Popular Fall Fonts From Envato Elements

Envato Elements is an excellent resource for cute fall fonts. Here's a short list of some of the most popular fall fonts that you can find.

Thanks Autumn: Fall Calligraphy Font

This fall calligraphy font can be used to create neat and cozy fall designs.

fall calligraphy fontfall calligraphy fontfall calligraphy font

Autumn Fairy: Cursive Fall Font

This cursive fall font would be perfect for headings, logos, business cards, printed designs, wedding invitations, cards, packaging, and your website or social media branding.

cursive fall fontcursive fall fontcursive fall font

Samberia Modern Script Font

This fall font alphabet can be used to create fun and playful fall lettering. Combine it with your leaf brush collection and the final fall design will be mesmerizing.

cute fall fontscute fall fontscute fall fonts

Autumn Sunset: Handwritten Font Duo

Now that you know how to create your own fall text effect, you can experiment with different fall fonts. This fall font alphabet could be the perfect start.

fall font alphabetfall font alphabetfall font alphabet

Cursive Fall Font

Try this cursive fall font to give your design a sleek and elegant feel with just a few clicks.

fall letteringfall letteringfall lettering

Want to Learn More?

We have loads of tutorials on Envato Tuts+, from beginner to intermediate level. Take a look!

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