Advertisement
  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Text Effects
Design

How to Create a Retro Long Shadow Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator

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

In the following steps, you will learn how to create a retro long shadow text effect in Adobe Illustrator. 

For starters, you will learn how to create some text. Taking full advantage of the Appearance panel and using a neat Transform effect, you will learn how to add the long shadow effect without expanding your text. Some basic blending techniques and a simple Gaussian Blur effect will be the final touches for your text effect.

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 the Text

Step 1

Hit Control-N to create a new document. Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, enter 850 in the width box and 610 in the height box, 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. Don't forget to set the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Units.

setup grid

Step 2

Pick the Type Tool (T) and open the Character panel (Window > Type > Character). Select the Insaniburger font and set the size to 200 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 last 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.

letter

2. How to Add the Long Shadow Effect

Step 1

Select one of your letters, focus on the Swatches panel (Window > Swatches), and click that [None] swatch to remove the blue text color.

Move to the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance) and add a new fill using the Add New Fill button. Select that new fill and set the color to R=255 G=245 B=225.

fill none

Step 2

Make sure that your "S" is still selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Add a second fill and select it. Drag it to the bottom of the panel, set the color to R=0 G=146 B=69, and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Drag both Move sliders to 0.5 px, enter 700 in that Copies box, and then click OK.

long shadow

Step 3

Make sure that your "S" is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a third fill and select it.

Drag it between the existing two fills and set the color to black. Lower its Opacity to 10% and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -10 px Offset, click OK, and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Drag both Move sliders to 15 px, click OK, and then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 5 px Radius and then click OK.

add new fill

Step 4

Focus on the Layers panel, open your layer, and use those target icons to easily apply the Appearance attributes used for your first letter to the rest of your letters. 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 "S", and then drag it onto the target icon that stands for your "T". Select your "T", focus on the Appearance panel, and replace the green used for that bottom fill with R=255 G=154 B=9.

target icon

Step 5

Move to the "O" and apply the same Appearance attributes, but replace the green with R=244 G=54 B=44.

Select that "P" and apply the same Appearance attributes, but replace the green with R=7 G=132 B=170.

red blue

3. How to Create a Background and Add More Text

Step 1

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a shape that covers your entire artboard. Fill it with R=42 G=27 B=67 and send it to back (Shift-Control-[).

background

Step 2

Pick the Type Tool (T) and focus on the Character panel. Make sure that the Insaniburger font is still selected and set the size to 50 px.

Add the "DON'T" piece of text and place it as shown in the following image. Again, remove the text color and focus on the Appearance panel. Add a fill using that Add New Fill button, select it, and set the color to R=255 G=245 B=225.

type tool

Step 3

Make sure that your "DON'T" piece of text stays selected, focus on the Appearance panel, and add a second fill. Select the bottom fill, set its color to R=255 G=80 B=145, and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click that OK button.

add new fill

Step 4

Make sure that your "DON'T" piece of text is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a third fill and select it.

Drag it between the existing two fills and set the color to black. Lower its Opacity to 10% and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -2 px Offset, click that OK button, and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Drag both Move sliders to 5 px, click that OK button, and then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 3 px Radius and then click that OK button.

gaussian blur

Step 5

Pick the Type Tool (T) and add the "BELIEVING" piece of text. Set the text color to R=255 G=245 B=225 and place it as shown in the following image. Make sure that this new piece of text is selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the attributes shown below and then click that OK button.

drop shadow

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. Don't hesitate to share your final result in the comments section.

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
Advertisement
Advertisement
Looking for something to help kick start your next project?
Envato Market has a range of items for sale to help get you started.