Welcome spring, or just holler at the season that you may or may not be experiencing, with this colorful text design. In this tutorial we'll use rectangles to create a blocky, spring-themed typographic design. Live Corners join in on the fun to make those lovely rounded curves. Open up Adobe Illustrator CC and let's get creating!
1. Setting Up Your Document
Open a New Document in Adobe Illustrator CC. Give your file a name and set the dimensions to 800 px by 800 px or another square dimension.
Use the Rectangular Grid Tool to draw a square grid that's the same size as your Artboard, with 5 Horizontal Dividers and 5 Vertical Dividers. We'll use this to keep each letter around the same size.
The final preparation for our design is to plan out the color palette. These are the colors I'll be using for each of my letters:
- Lime Green:
2. Forming Your Letters
Let's start with the color pink and the letter "H".
- Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to draw a vertical, narrow rectangle that takes up one-third (or slightly more) of the first rectangular grid cell.
- Copy (Control-C) and Paste (Control-V) the rectangle and place the copy on the other side of the grid cell.
- Paste a third instance of the rectangle and Rotate it 90° to complete your letter.
- Draw two matching thin rectangles on either side of the letter's vertical edge. Set all of your objects' Blend Modes to Multiply in the Transparency panel.
Moving on to the next grid cell and the letter "E".
- Paste the rectangle from the "H" and change the fill color to orange.
- Paste and Rotate a second instance of the rectangle, placing it at the top of the vertical rectangle.
- Repeat for the bottom edge of the "E".
- Draw a shorter rectangle for the final part of the letter and set all four objects' Blend Modes to Multiply.
Next up is the letter "Y", drawn in the next cell of the rectangular grid.
- Draw a vertical rectangle. I Copied and Pasted the vertical rectangle from the previous letter and set the color to yellow.
- Draw a thicker horizontal rectangle with the Rectangle Tool. This one takes up the top half of the grid cell.
- Select the bottom two anchor points with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and pull the Live Corners inward.
- Now that you've rounded out the bottom edge of the top rectangle, your letter "Y" is complete! Set both objects' Blend Modes to Multiply.
In the next grid cell, we'll draw our lime green "S".
- Draw a lime green rectangle that takes up 2/3 of the grid cell, or so.
- Copy and Paste this rectangle and place it along the bottom edge of the cell, overlapping the first rectangle drawn. Set both objects' Blend Modes to Multiply in the Transparency panel.
- Select the rightmost anchor points of the bottom rectangle with the Direct Selection Tool and pull the Live Corners of those anchor points inward, to the left. Repeat on the top rectangle with the leftmost anchor points.
- You should now have two rectangles whose left and right edges are rounded respectively and have formed a lovely "S".
Next up is the green letter "P".
- Move over to the next grid cell and draw a vertical green rectangle on the left side of the cell.
- Draw a thick horizontal rectangle overlapping the vertical one and set the Blend Mode to Multiply in the Transparency panel.
- Select the rightmost anchor points of the horizontal rectangle with the Direct Selection Tool, and pull the Live Corners to the left in order to round out the right side of the shape, completing our "P".
Moving right along, we meet our teal "R".
- Copy and Paste the "P" made previously and set the fill color to teal.
- Using the Pen Tool (P), start on the lower left and draw a diagonal line to the center of the letter.
- Continue with a matching diagonal line drawn to the lower right (note how it aligns with the curved edge of the letter).
- Close the shape at the origin point and you'll be left with a triangle that overlaps the bottom of the letter.
- Set all objects' Blend Modes to Multiply in the Transparency panel to complete your "R".
Here's quite an easy one: our blue letter "I"!
- Draw a horizontal rectangle.
- Copy and Paste the first rectangle so you have an equals sign in your grid cell, with each rectangle hitting the top and bottom edge.
- Finally, Paste and Rotate a third rectangle 90° to form the stem of the "I". Adjust its width as you see fit. Set the objects' Blend Modes to Multiply in the Transparency panel.
Next up is the letter "N", our penultimate letter!
- Move on to the next grid cell and draw a vertical purple rectangle.
- Repeat with a rectangle on the other side of the grid.
- Copy, Paste, and Rotate a third rectangle 45°. Set the objects' Blend Modes to Multiply in the Transparency panel.
- Use the Pen Tool to draw triangles in either diagonal corner of the "N".
- Unite the small triangles to the diagonal rectangle in the Pathfinder panel.
Finally, we're on to the cute and curvy fuchsia letter "G".
- Draw a fuchsia rectangle that takes up half, or so, of the grid cell.
- Copy, Paste, and Rotate the rectangle 90°.
- Select the leftmost anchor points of the vertical rectangle and pull the Live Corners to the right. Repeat with the bottom edge of the horizontal rectangle.
- Your letter "G" is now complete. Set the objects' Blend Modes to Multiply in the Transparency panel.
Congrats, You're Done!
Delete the rectangular grid and arrange your letters as you see fit. Make sure each letter's components have been Grouped (Control-G) together prior to rearranging them. What other words can you make with this design style? Share your result in the comment section below.