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  1. Design & Illustration
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Design

How to Create a Peeled Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In the following steps you will learn how to create a peeled text effect in Adobe Illustrator. For starters, you will learn how to create a flat background and how to add a simple piece of text. Taking full advantage of the Appearance panel, you will learn how to create your peeled text effect. Finally, you will learn how to speed up your work with graphic styles.

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 that Create Document button. Do not forget to set the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Units.

setup grid

2. How to Create the Background and Add the 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 white (R=255 G=255 B=255).

Create an 860 px square and make sure that it covers your entire artboard.

white square

Step 2

Pick the Type Tool (T) and open the Character panel (Window > Type > Character). Select the Impact font (or any bold font that you prefer), and set the size to 200 px and the tracking to 150 px.

Move to your artboard, click on it, and add your piece of text about as shown below. Make it black.

type tool

Step 3

Use the same tool and character attributes to create the first letter of your text. Make it blue and place it right above the black one.

Keep adding separate blue letters until you cover all your black text. Once you're done, go to the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and remove your black text.

blue letter

3. How to Create a Peeled Effect

Step 1

Select one of your letters, focus on the Swatches panel (Window > Swatches), and click that [None] swatch to remove the white fill. Move to the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance) and add a new fill using the Add New Fill button.

Select the new fill and use the linear gradient shown below (Window > Gradient).

linear gradient

Step 2

Make sure that your colored letter is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Select that fill and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click that OK button.

inner glow

Step 3

Make sure that your colored letter is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a second fill using that same Add New Fill button and drag it to the top of the panel, above the existing fill and stroke.

Select this new fill and lower its Opacity to 50%. Apply the linear gradient shown below and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Free Distort. Drag those points as shown below and then click that OK button. Keep in mind that the yellow zero from the Gradient image stands for Opacity percentage.

free distort

Step 4

Make sure that your colored letter is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Reselect that top fill and go to Effect > Warp > Arch. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click that OK button.

warp arch

Step 5

Make sure that your colored letter is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a third fill and drag it to the top of the panel.

Select this new fill, apply the linear gradient shown below and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Free Distort. Drag those points as shown below and then click that OK button.

grey gradient

Step 6

Make sure that your colored letter is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Reselect that top fill and go to Effect > Warp > Arch. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click that OK button.

warp arch

Step 7

Make sure that your colored letter is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Select the stroke and make it black (R=0 G=0 B=0). Lower its Opacity to 10%, set the Weight to 2 px, and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1 px Offset and then click that OK button.

stroke

4. How to Save and Use a Graphic Style

Step 1

Make sure that your colored letter is still, open the Graphic Styles panel (Window > Graphic Styles) and click that New Graphic Style button to save the attributes of your selected text as a graphic style. Select one of your blue letters and simply apply your graphic style from the Graphic Styles panel.

graphic styles

Step 2

Finally, you can always replace that purple gradient with a different one. Here are some possibilities.

blue gradient
green gradient
teal gradient
red gradient
pink gradient
orange gradient

In some cases, you might have to adjust some of the applied effects. One example would be the exclamation mark, where you will have to slightly lower the Bend from those Warp effects.

yellow gradient

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 product
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