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Design

How to Create a Spain-Inspired Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator

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

In the following steps, you will learn how to create a Spain-inspired text effect in Adobe Illustrator. 

For starters, you will learn how to set up a simple grid and how to create the background using simple rectangles. Using the Type Tool and the Character panel, you will learn how to add text and how to easily adjust it. Taking full advantage of the Appearance panel, you will learn how to create your fully editable text effect. Finally, you will learn how to add some shading and a subtle texture.

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

Enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). You will need a grid every 5 px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid, and enter 5 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

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=255 G=196 B=0.

Move to your artboard and simply create an 860 px square. The Grid and the Snap to Grid feature should make this easier.

yellow rectangle

Step 2

Return to your Toolbar and replace the existing fill color with R=198 G=11 B=30. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create two 860 x 170 px shapes and place them as shown in the following image.

red rectangles

3. How to Create and Adjust the Text

Step 1

Pick the Type Tool (T) and open the Character panel (Window > Type > Character). Select the ChuckFive Roman font and set the size to 150 px. Simply click on your artboard and add the white "¡Buena" text. Select only that flipped exclamation mark from your text and change the existing font to the Impact font.

Using the same tool and fonts, add the "Vida!" text.

type tool

Step 2

Select the exclamation mark from your top piece of text and focus on the Character panel. Open the fly-out menu from your Character panel and go to Show Options if you can't see all the attributes shown in the following image. Set the tracking to 150 and change the baseline shift to 15 px.

Move to your bottom piece of text and select that exclamation mark along with the final character. Return to the Character panel and set the tracking to 150.

tracking

4. How to Create the Text Effect

Step 1

Select your text and simply get rid of that white color.

Move to the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance) and click that Add New Fill button to add a new fill to your selections. Select this fill and apply the linear gradient shown in the following image.

add new fill

Step 2

Make sure that your pieces of text are still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel.

Select the existing fill and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 10 px Offset and then click that OK button.

offset path

Step 3

Make sure that your pieces of text are still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a second fill using that same Add New Fill button, select it and drag it below that other fill.

Apply the linear gradient shown in the following image, and keep in mind that the blue number from the Gradient image stands for Location percentage. With this new fill still selected, go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 10 px Offset, click that OK button, and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter all the attributes shown in the following image and then click OK.

transform

Step 4

Make sure that your pieces of text are still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Select the bottom fill and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click OK.

inner glow

Step 5

Make sure that your pieces of text are still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Select the top fill and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click OK.

drop shadow

Step 6

Make sure that your pieces of text are still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a third fill, set the color to R=127 G=0 B=0, and drag it below those other fills.

With this new fill still selected, go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 10 px Offset, click that OK button, and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter all the attributes shown in the following image, click OK, and then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the attributes shown below and then click OK.

drop shadow

Step 7

Make sure that your pieces of text are still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a fourth fill and drag it above those other fills. Apply the linear gradient shown below and then go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click OK.

white fill

Step 8

Make sure that your pieces of text are still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Select that top fill 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 go again to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the attributes from that second window and then click OK.

drop shadow

Step 9

Make sure that your pieces of text are still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a fifth fill and drag it above those other fills.

Apply the linear gradient shown below, lower its Opacity to 70% and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -6 px Offset and then click OK. Keep in mind that the yellow number from the Gradient image stands for Opacity percentage.

opacity

Step 10

Make sure that your pieces of text are still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel.

Select the stroke and set the color to R=238 G=242 B=243, increase the Weight to 2 px and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1 px Offset, click OK, and then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click OK.

stroke

5. How to Add Shading and a Subtle Texture

Step 1

Select your yellow square, make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F), and bring it to front (Shift-Control-]). Make sure that this copy remains selected and focus on the Appearance panel.

Select the fill, change its Blending Mode to Soft Light, and replace the existing color with the radial gradient shown below. Remember that the yellow zero from the Gradient image stands for Opacity percentage, and use the Gradient Tool (G) to stretch your gradient as shown below.

radial gradient

Step 2

Make sure that the square added in the previous step is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel, and add a second fill. Make it black (R=0 G=0 B=0), lower its Opacity to 20%, and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light. Then go to Effect > Sketch > Note Paper. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click that OK button.

note paper

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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