Unlimited PS Actions, graphics, videos & courses! Unlimited asset downloads! From $16.50/m
Advertisement
  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Text Effects

How to Create Typeface Characters

by
Difficulty:IntermediateLength:ShortLanguages:
This post is part of a series called Easy Character Design.
Create an Adorable Hedgehog with Basic Tools in Inkscape

I started a character design project that merges typefaces into unique monsters, cute animals, and various other font inspired character creations. The method is simple, I take different sections of the characters of a specific font and I put them together, giving birth to different kinds of creatures.

The interesting thing about Typefaces is that each font gives a different aspects to the characters. That is the essence of Typefaces - Faces with Type. Learn the basics of how to create these fun characters!

Final Image Preview

Want access to the full Vector Source files and downloadable copies of every tutorial, including this one? Join Vector Plus for just 9$ a month.

Tutorial Details

  • Program: Adobe Illustrator CS3
  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Estimated Completion Time: 1 Hour

Below is the final image we will be working towards.

finalfinalfinal

Step 1

First of all open Adobe Illustrator and create a new document (Command + N) at 600px by 600px.

111

Step 2

In this example we are using Helvetica Neue Bold, but you can try it with any type you like.

2

Step 3

Select the Type Tool (T), type down the whole type case (all the upper and lower case plus its numbers and signs), go to Type > Create outlines (Command + Shift + O) and then select the elements you are going to work with to create a typographical creature.

3a3a3a
3b3b3b

Step 4

In this occasion we are going to select the "a," "i," "?" "0," and ">" characters.

444

Step 5

Once you've got the type forms you are going to work with select the lower case "a." Then copy (Command + C) it, paste in front (Command + F) and use the Reflect Tool (O) to flip your second "a" on by its vertical axis at 90 degrees.

5a5a5a
5b5b5b

Step 6

Move it to the left until you get the form you can see in the image below.

666

Step 7

Now select both figures, click Add to shape area in the Pathfinder tab and then hit Expand.

7a7a7a
7b7b7b

Step 8

Select your new figure and right-click on it, then hit Release Compound Path in order to delete the low section of your figure. Paint the upper section with white. This is going to be the body of our character.

8a8a8a
8b8b8b
8c8c8c

Step 9

Now leave aside the body of our character and get ready to build its mouth and teeth. Take the ">" character and use the Rotate Tool (R) to flip it 90 degrees.

9a9a9a
9b9b9b

Step 10

Select the ">" character, then hit Shift + Alt and move it to your right in order to make a copy of the element, and constrain the horizontal movement.

101010

Step 11

Using duplicate (Command + D), create six more ">" characters in order to have seven of them in total. Arrange them as you can see in the example below.

111111

Step 12

Now select the seven signs, click Add to Shape Area in the Pathfinder tab and then hit Expand.

12a12a12a
12b12b12b

Step 13

As soon as you are done, copy (Command + C), then paste in front (Command + F) the new figure. Use the Reflect Tool (O) in order to flip the new copy of the figure on its Horizontal axis.

13a13a13a
13b13b13b

Step 14

Arrange them as you see in the example image below to get the teeth of the character.

141414

Step 15

Finally select the "i," right-click and hit Release Compound Path. Delete the dot of the "i" and rotate the body of the letterform 90 degrees.

15a15a15a
15b15b15b
15c15c15c
15d15d15d

Step 16

Now stretch and copy (Command + C) it, paste front (Command + F), and arrange the upper and lower lip.

16a16a16a
16b16b16b

Step 17

Select Teeth and Lips and click on Add to Shape Area in the Pathfinder tab and then hit Expand. Now you have a beautiful mouth!

17a17a17a
17b17b17b
17c17c17c
17d17d17d

Step 18

Move the mouth (white fill) over the body and distribute the elements as in the example below.

181818

Step 19

Make a copy of the body (Command + C), paste front (Command + F) and go to Object > Arrange > Bring to Front (Command + Shift + Right Bracket key).

19a19a19a
19b19b19b
19c19c19c

Step 20

Now hold Shift and select both the body and teeth, then Right-click and select Make Clipping Mask. Then go to the Pathfinder Tab and click Crop.

20a20a20a
20b20b20b

Step 21

Select the "0," Right-click over the selected element and select Release Compound Path.

212121

Step 22

Move the inner section of the "0" aside and duplicate the item. Then arrange both figures as the Eyes of our creature.

22a22a22a
22b22b22b
22c22c22c
22d22d22d

Step 23

Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select the lower half section of the "0," then hit delete on your Keyboard. When you are done selecting both ends of the new figure apply Join (Command + J) and you have a foot.

23a23a23a
23b23b23b
23c23c23c

Step 24

Select the foot and use Shift + Alt to move it to your right in order to make a copy of the element. Arrange both feet as in the example below.

24a24a24a
24b24b24b
24c24c24c
24d24d24d
24e24e24e

Step 25

Take the question mark "?" and make two copies of it.

252525

Step 26

Select the three elements and Right-click to Release Compound Path.

262626

Step 27

Delete the two question mark dots and arrange the rest of the elements through Rotations (R) and Reflections (O) until you arrive at the image below.

27a27a27a
27b27b27b

Step 28

After that take another question mark and make two copies of it. Select the three elements and Right-click, then choose Release Compound Path.

28a28a28a
28b28b28b

Step 29

Delete two question mark dots and arrange the rest of the elements through Rotations (R) and Reflections (O) until you arrive at the sample image below.

29a29a29a
29b29b29b

Step 30

Now you've got the tentacles of our Type Creature. Arrange them in the body.

303030

Step 31

Once you are done, select all tentacles and Right-click over the selection to Group.

313131

Step 32

Copy (Command + C), paste in front (Command + F), and use the Reflection Tool (O) to flip the copy on its Vertical Axe at 90 degrees.

32a32a32a
32b32b32b
32c32c32c
32d32d32d

Step 33

Arrange them as shown below.

333333

Step 34

Finally take de dot of the question mark, make a 45 degree Rotation (R) and use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select the top point of the square. Now stretch it as you can see in the figure. You are ready to enjoy your Type based monster!

34a34a34a
34b34b34b
34c34c34c
34d34d34d
34e34e34e

Conclusion

For the final image below, I added a simple background effect. Go ahead and create your own. You can also take this into Photoshop now and add some texture. For some inspiration visit Typefaces and have fun! You can learn more about the typefaces project in my interview on Vectortuts+.

finalfinalfinal

Subscribe to the Vectortuts+ RSS Feed to stay up to date with the latest vector tutorials and articles.

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.