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Quick Tip: How to Create a Wax Seal with Adobe Illustrator

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Read Time: 5 min

In this tutorial we will learn how to create a voluminous seal print on the wax with the help of 3D modeling. You can use the achieved knowledge to designs prints of your own style. Let's get started!

Step 1

Create the wax shape. Take the Pen Tool (P) and create an arbitrary shape with a brown fill. Sealing wax stays liquid before it hardens, so make sure your shape has smooth outlines.

Step 2

Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a circle. Copy this circle and paste it in front. We will need this copy for further designing, for now make the under layer with it invisible in the Layers palette.

Step 3

Select the circle and the shape of sealing wax, now hit Minus Front in the Pathfinder palette.

Select the achieved shape, and go to Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel and set the parameters shown in the figure below. In order to adjust the illumination of the object, click on the More Options button in the dialog box. It is not necessarily to set exactly the same settings I use, play with them to understand how it works.

Step 4

Proceed to the circle that we made invisible in step 2. Turn on its visibility in the Layers palette.

Create another circle with a smaller diameter with the center coinciding with the center of the former circle. Turn on the Smart Guides mode (Command + U) and then the center of the red circle will be highlighted when the cursor approaching, take the Ellipse Tool (L) and holding down the Alt and Shift keys create a circle (filled with green color in the figure). Select red and green circles and click on Minus Front in the Pathfinder palette.

As you see, I'm filling the objects with different colors for educational purposes and for convenience, after all the transformations colors of the obtained figures should be replaced with a brown color.

Step 5

As a result of the actions described above we have made the shape of a ring, place the under layer with this shape below all the other layers. You can do this by moving it in the Layers palette or by pressing the key combination Shift + Command + Left Square Bracket. Now increase the diameter of this shape so that its outer outline could go beyond the outline of the hole in the Seal.

Keep the ring selected, go to Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel, with the settings shown in the figure below.

Step 6

Create another circle with a diameter larger than the hole in the ring and place it below all the objects.

Keep the circle selected, go to Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel, with the settings shown in the figure below.

This object should look flat. We are applying a 3D Effect so that the colors of sealing wax look the same, therefore the illumination settings are used here are the same as for the artwork. Gradient fill of this shape is achieved by adjusting the position of the source of light.

Step 7

Create another ring using the technique described in Step 4.

The figure below shows the Extrude & Bevel settings for this ring.

This ring represents the part of the seal print. In order to see the entire print on the paper, all of its elements should be of the same level. Height of the elements is assigned by the Extrude Depth, though in our case the object is located frontally and this parameter is of no importance. Level visibility is achieved by adjusting the Height parameter. It equals to 3 px, this value should be set for all objects of the seal print which we are going to deal with later.

Step 8

Create the text on the seal print. Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a circle on which the text will be located.

The text will consist of two parts - the upper and the lower. Therefore, we need two circles for designing. Copy the created circle and paste it in front. Take the Type on a Path Tool and, having clicked on the circle, start typing the text.

I chose the Adobe Garamond Pro font, 60 pixels in size. You certainly understand that the font size depends on the size of seal and is selected by eye.

Step 9

You can set the distance between the letters of the text by going to Type > Type on Path > Type on Path Options and setting the Spacing value.

To move text along the path, drag the center bracket along the path.

Step 10

Now create another part of the text. Select the second circle, drag the cursor to the lower part of the circle, click and enter the text.

To flip the direction of text along a path, drag the bracket across the path. Alternatively, choose Type > Type On a Path > Type On a Path Options, select Flip, and click OK. Set the required values in the dialog box.

Step 11

I believe that the text should be more austere, we can easily replace it at this step. Change the font to Arial Bold.

Convert the text into objects. Select both parts of the text and go to Type > Create Outlines. Alternatively, choose Object > Expand.

Step 12

Select the upper part of the text and go to Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel and set the parameters indicated in the figure below.

Perform the same operation with the lower part of the text, with the same parameters.

You can put your logo in the center of the seal.


The Wax Seal is a popular design element. We have just learned how to create it using Adobe Illustrator. The best thing about vector is that you can re-color it and scale it as many times and in as many variations as you like. Enjoy!

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