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Design

How to Create Gingerbread and Candy Inspired Graphic Styles in Adobe Illustrator

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:MediumLanguages:
This post is part of a series called Fairy Tale Week.
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How to Draw Feathers
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Follow the trail of breadcrumbs to creating some delicious and fun Graphic Styles inspired by the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale "Hansel and Gretel". In this tutorial we'll create a peppermint, chocolate, gingerbread, and bread graphic style fantastic for text effects and transforming objects. Check out Envato Market for a plethora of fantastic Graphic Styles to play with in your own work or to inspire you!

1. Peppermint Sweet

Step 1

The story goes that Hansel and Gretel came upon a gingerbread candy house and decided it would be a swell idea to eat it (sometimes out of hunger, sometimes out of boredom). Inside was a witch who used the house to lure children into her trap so she could fatten them up and eat them. In most versions of the story, the children trick the witch (often after Hansel has eaten a lot of candy) and get away.

Our first Graphic Style is based on a peppermint stick. Let's start with a simple stripe pattern. Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to draw a red rectangle and a white rectangle. Select both and Create a New Pattern in the Pattern Options panel. Set the Tile Type to Grid. Hit Done and you'll find your new pattern in the Swatches panel.

Create a simple stripe pattern

Step 2

Use the Type Tool (T) to write out a simple word in a cute script font. Check out Envato Market's font section for a variety of great options. Expand your text to an object (Object > Expand) and apply your new pattern to it as a fill.

apply your pattern to a text object

Step 3

Right-Click your text and go to Transform > Rotate. Make sure only Transform Pattern is selected under Options and rotate your pattern 45°. Hit OK

Rotate your newly applied pattern by 45 degrees

Step 4

In the Appearance panel, apply an Inner Glow (Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow) to the pattern fill with the following attributes:

  • Mode: Multiply
  • Color: Black
  • Opacity: 20%
  • Blur: 10 px
  • Edge
Apply an inner glow to the text effect

Step 5

In the Appearance panel, apply a second Inner Glow (Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow) to the pattern fill with the following attributes:

  • Mode: Multiply
  • Color: dark red
  • Opacity: 60%
  • Blur: 5 px
  • Edge
Apply an inner glow to the text effect

Step 6

Add a new white fill beneath the pattern fill in the Appearance panel. Offset (Effect > Path > Offset Path) the path by 10 px.

Offset the path for a white outline

Step 7

Add your new Graphic Style to the Graphic Styles panel, and apply it to other objects or text. Let's move on to our next Graphic Style!

Add your new Graphic Style to the Graphic Styles panel and apply it to other objects or text

2. Delicious Chocolate

Step 1

Our second candy-inspired text effect is chocolate! To start, we'll need to create another pattern. Draw a brown square with the Rectangle Tool. Using the Pen Tool (P), draw a right-angled triangle bisecting the brown square. Set this shape's fill color to dark brown. Draw a tan square in the center of these two shapes. Draw a slightly smaller light brown square in the center of the design.

Group (Control-G) these four objects together. Copy (Control-C) and Paste (Control-V) each chocolate piece three times and arrange them in a square. This is your basic chocolate bar. If you're not going to add a design to one of your chocolate pieces, you do not need to arrange four of them together.

Create your chocolate bar pieces

Step 2

If you'd like, draw a heart or letter or star in one of the chocolate pieces. Open the Pattern Options panel and Create a New Pattern. As with the red and white striped pattern, keep this pattern simple with a Grid Tile Type.

Create a simple chocolate pattern

Step 3

Write out a word with the Type Tool and apply the new pattern to this type once the object has been Expanded.

Write out a word with the Type Tool and apply the new pattern to this type once the object has been Expanded

Step 4

In the Appearance panel add a new fill beneath the pattern fill. Apply a Drop Shadow (Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow) to this new fill with the following attributes:

  • Mode: Normal
  • Opacity: 100%
  • X Offset: 0 px
  • Y Offset: 13 px
  • Blue: 0px
  • Color: Dark Brown
In the Appearance panel add a Drop Shadow Effect  Stylize  Drop Shadow to the pattern fill

Step 5

Add a brown fill between the drop shadow and pattern fills. Offset (Effect > Path > Offset Path) the path by 15 px.

Step 6

Add a new fill above the pattern fill and set the fill to a Radial Gradient in the Gradient panel going from light brown at 100% Opacity to 0% Opacity. In the Transparency panel, set the Blending Mode to Screen and the Opacity to 62%. Adjust the placement of the gradient with the Gradient Tool (G).

Add a radial gradient to the appearance panel

Step 7

Add your new Style to the Graphic Styles panel. Rotate or Scale the pattern fill as you see fit in order to create alternate versions of your chocolate pattern. Let's move on to the gingerbread text effect!

Add your new Style to the Graphic Styles panel

3. Yummy Gingerbread

Step 1

You can't have a set of styles inspired by Hansel and Gretel without including gingerbread, the material of the witch's candy encrusted house. As such, I've created a simple gingerbread Graphic Style that you can add all sorts of candy goodness to if you wish.

Write out a word in a cute, rounded font with the Type ToolExpand your text object. In the Appearance panel, fill this object with brown. Offset the path by 5 px.

Offset your object path in the appearance panel

Step 2

Add a Drop Shadow effect to your fill with the following attributes:

  • Mode: Normal
  • Opacity: 100%
  • X Offset: 0 px
  • Y Offset: 12 px
  • Blue: 0px
  • Color: Brown
Add a drop shadow effect to the fill in the appearance panel

Step 3

Add a new fill above your first fill in the Appearance panel. Set the fill color to a lighter brown. Offset this fill by 3.659 px, or enough so that there's less than 2 pixels of the other fill's offset showing. Feel free to experiment with your offset effect.

Add a new fill and offset it

Step 4

Add a new fill and apply a Grain effect (Effect > Texture > Grain) with the following attributes:

  • Intensity: 18
  • Contract: 47
  • Grain Type: Regular
Add grain texture to a new fill

Step 5

Add another new fill on top of the last one. This time apply a Craquelure effect (Effect > Texture > Craquelure) with the following attributes:

  • Crack Spacing: 34
  • Crack Depth: 1
  • Crack Brightness: 9

Set the fill's Blending Mode to Multiply and its Opacity to 62%.

Add another new fill on of the last one This time apply a Craquelure effect

Step 6

Add a new fill to the Appearance panel. Set this fill to a Radial Gradient of light tan at 100% to 0% Opacity. Adjust its shape and placement with the Gradient Tool. Set the Blending Mode to Screen and the Opacity to 62%.

Add a gradient fill to the appearance panel

Step 7

In the Appearance panel, set the Stroke color to White and the Weight to 5 pt with Caps and Corners Rounded. We're going to apply a Zig Zag (Effect > Distort & Transform > Zig Zag)OffsetInner Glow, and Drop Shadow effect with the following attributes and in the following order:

Zig Zag

  • Size: 3 px
  • Absolute
  • Ridges per Segment: 8
  • Points: Smooth

Offset Path

  • Offset: -20 px
  • Joins: Round
  • Miter limit: 10

Inner Glow

  • Mode: Multiply
  • Color: Brown
  • Blur: 2 px
  • Edge

Drop Shadow

  • Mode: Multiply
  • Opacity: 80%
  • X Offset: 1 px
  • Y Offset: 1 px
  • Blur: 2 px
  • Color: Medium Brown
Creating the icing effect

Step 8

Save your Graphic Style in the Graphic Styles panel. Consider creating alternate versions where you have multicolored icing or colorful gumdrops added (maybe as a scatter brush). We have one more Graphic Style to go. Let's get to it!

Apply your new graphic style to simple vector objects or text

4. Fresh Bread

Step 1

Hansel and Gretel used breadcrumbs to leave a trail to find their way out of the forest in the story. We're going to create a bread-inspired style as our final text effect.

The bread Graphic Style is very similar to the cookie style. Start with the cookie style and delete the stroke and gradient fill from the Appearance panel. Adjust your fill colors so they're light browns and tans like bread!

Start with the cookie style and edit it

Step 2

Add a new fill color of light tan. Apply a Grain texture with the following attributes:

  • Intensity: 18
  • Contract: 47
  • Grain Type: Regular

Set its Opacity to Multiply 37%.

Add a new grain effect

Step 3

Let's create a quick pattern. Use the drawing tool of your choice, like the Pencil Tool (N), to draw abstract shapes in brown. Scatter them about. Create a simple pattern in the Pattern Options panel. Feel free to add additional wiggly shapes so the pattern is seamless. Save your pattern and apply it as a new fill in the Appearance panel.

Create a simple bread texture pattern

Step 4

Add a new Radial Gradient fill to the Appearance panel. Set the gradient's colors to brown with the center color at 100% Opacity and the outer color at 0% Opacity. Apply a Grain effect to the gradient with the following attributes:

  • Intensity: 18
  • Contract: 47
  • Grain Type: Regular

Set its Opacity to Screen 62%.

Add a grainy gradient fill to the style

Step 5

Let's add some breadcrumbs! As with the pattern, or even using the pattern pieces, draw brown and tan shapes scattered about. In the Brushes panel, create a new Scatter Brush with the following or similar attributes:

  • Size: Fixed 100%
  • Spacing: Random 150% 315%
  • Scatter: Random -459% 165%
  • Rotation: Random -180% 180%
  • Rotation relative to: Path
Create a scatter brush for breadcrumbs

Step 6

Using this new brush and variations on it, apply it as multiple stroke instances in your Appearance panel above and below the fills. This gives you a plethora of breadcrumbs above and below your bread object.

Add bread crumbs above and below your fills

Step 7

Save your new Graphic Style to the Graphic Styles panel and apply it to various objects and type to create fun messages in breadcrumbs!

the final bread effect

Happily Ever After!

All's well that ends well, and you've ended quite well with four new Graphic Styles! Share your results or expand upon these themes and ideas with colorful candy styles in the comment section below! Check out more Graphic Styles, fonts, and vector assets at Envato Market.

Final graphic styles
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