In this tutorial, you will learn how to make a 3D isometric text in Illustrator.
For starters, you will learn how to create the isometric letters using the 3D Extrude & Bevel effect. Next, you will learn how to quickly select a bunch of shapes with similar attributes and how to turn them into compound paths.
Finally, you'll learn how to stylize and organize your isometric letters, how to create a simple background, and how to add a subtle shadow to your isometric text in Illustrator.
If you don't have the time to learn how to make text isometric in Illustrator, you can always try Envato Elements, where you can find plenty of 3D isometric Illustrator assets. A good example is this isometric text in Illustrator. The pack comes with the entire alphabet, which means that all you have to do is to put together the isometric letters and build your own text.
What You'll Learn in This Illustrator Tutorial
- How to make text isometric in Illustrator
- How to stylize isometric letters
Follow along with this tutorial over on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:
Want to learn more about text effects in Illustrator? You can try our free course on making an awesome isometric text effect in Illustrator. Learn at your own pace with Dan White as you go through the techniques that will take you to the final isometric text in Illustrator.
What You Will Need
You will need the following resource to create your own 3D isometric text in Illustrator:
- Silkscreen font
1. How to Create a New Document & Add the Text
Hit Control-N to create a new document. Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, enter 850 in the width box and 600 in the height box and then click that Advanced button. Select RGB for the Color Mode, set the Raster Effects to Screen (72 ppi), and then click that Create Document button.
Go to Edit > Preferences > Units, and make sure that the three units of measurement are all set to pixels.
Pick the Type Tool (T) and focus on the Character panel (Window > Type > Character). Select the Silkscreen Expanded font and set the Size to 200 px.
Move to your artboard and click on it. Add your piece of text and set its color to R=251 G=137 B=100.
2. How to Make Text Isometric in Illustrator
Make sure that your text is still selected and go to Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel. Click the More Options button, enter all the attributes shown below, and then click that OK button. In the end, things should look like in the following image.
With your isometric letters still selected, simply go to Object > Expand Appearance. Make sure that the resulting group of shapes stays selected and hit the Shift-Control-G keyboard shortcut three times to get rid of all those groups and subgroups.
Move to the Layers panel (Window > Layers), expand the existing layer, and you should have a bunch of shapes, as shown in the following image.
3. Color & Organize the Top and Bottom Sides of Your Isometric Letters
Pick the Selection Tool (V) and select all the shapes that make up the top side of your isometric letters. Simply go to Object > Compound Path > Make or use the Control-8 keyboard shortcut to turn your selected shapes into one compound path.
Make sure that your compound path stays selected, bring it to the front using the Shift-Control-] keyboard shortcut, and then focus on the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance). First, replace the existing Fill color with R=255 G=200 B=0 and then select the Stroke. Set its color to R=46 G=58 B=58 and then click that "Stroke" piece of text to open the Stroke fly-out panel. Increase the Weight to 4 px, and don't forget to check that Round Join button.
Focus on the Layers panel, open the existing layer, and the compound path made in the previous step should lie at the top. Simply rename it "Top" and then uncheck that eye icon to make it invisible for now.
Now, you need to select all the shapes that make up the base of your 3D text. Using the Selection Tool (V), select only one of those shapes and go to Select > Same > Appearance. This will basically select all the shapes with similar Appearance attributes from your document. Once you have all those shapes selected, turn them into a new compound path (Control-8). Make sure that this new compound path stays selected, replace the existing Fill color with black (R=0 G=0 B=0), and send it to the back using the Shift-Control-[ keyboard shortcut.
Return to the Layers panel and scroll to the bottom of the panel to get to the compound path made in this step. Rename it "Base" and then lock it to be sure that you won't select or move it by accident.
Feel free to skip this step as the following moves will not change the look of your final design. Only follow it if you like to have your Layers panel clean and well organized.
Basically, you need to remove all the lateral sides of your 3D text that would end up hidden once you turn back on the visibility for that "Top" compound path. Move from one letter to another, select the undesired shapes, and simply remove them using the Delete key. In the end, things should look like in the fifth image.
4. Color & Organize the Lateral Sides of Your Isometric Letters
Select one of those light brown shapes and go to Select > Same > Fill Color to select the rest of the shapes with a similar Fill color. Make sure that all these shapes remain selected and focus on the Appearance panel.
Replace the existing Fill color with R=0 G=173 B=236 and then select the Stroke. Set its color to R=46 G=58 B=58 and then open that Stroke fly-out panel. Increase the Weight to 4 px and don't forget to check that Round Join button.
Select one of the remaining brown shapes and go again to Select > Same > Fill Color. Make sure that all these shapes remain selected and return to the Appearance panel.
Replace the existing Fill color with R=252 G=130 B=119 and then select the Stroke. Set its color to R=46 G=58 B=58 and then open that Stroke fly-out panel. Increase the Weight to 4 px and don't forget to check that Round Join button.
5. Add a Background and a Simple Shadow
Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create an 850 x 600 px shape, make sure that it covers your entire artboard, and set the Fill color to R=0 G=173 B=236.
Go to the Layers panel and unlock that "Base" compound path. Select it and move to the Appearance panel.
Change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 2 px Offset and set the Joins to Round. Click that OK button and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Drag the Move-Horizontal slider to 0.2 px, enter 100 in that Copies box, click OK, and your design is complete.
Congratulations! You're Done!
Here is how it should look. I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and can apply these techniques if you choose to create your own 3D isometric text in Illustrator.
Feel free to adjust the final isometric letters and make the design your own.
Popular Isometric Assets From Envato Elements
Envato Elements is an excellent resource for 3D isometric Illustrator and Photoshop assets. Here's a short list of some of the most popular assets that you can find.
3D Isometric Text Photoshop Action (ATN, PDF)
Using this Photoshop action, you can create isometric text in Photoshop with a simple click. Just select the text that you want to transform, play the action, and you will get your isometric text in Photoshop.
Isometric Alphabet Tiles (PNG)
Using these isometric alphabet tiles, you can create fun designs with minimum effort. These could be perfect for greeting cards, posters, and more. Try them out in your next project!
Besides text effects, at Envato Elements you can find a large collection of isometric illustrations. This isometric text illustration is just one example.
Using this isometric iPhone mockup, you can showcase your app design and give it a realistic look. Just open the smart object to place your design on the screen.
Isometric Map With Logistics Icons (AI, EPS, JPG, PDF, PNG, PSD, SVG)
Isometric icons are another asset that can be really useful when you are trying to make your design stand out. Using this isometric map with logistics icons, you can easily create a powerful infographic.
Want to Learn More?
We have loads of tutorials on Envato Tuts+, from beginner to intermediate level. Take a look!
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- IllustrationPlaying With Isometric Projection in Inkscape to Make a Minecraft SceneAaron Nieze
- Tools & TipsQuick Tip: How to Draw Isometric Circles in Adobe IllustratorDiego Barrionuevo
- IsometricHow to Create Isometric Gambling Assets in Adobe IllustratorYulia Sokolova
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