by Julya Buhain . February 4th, 2014
For this week’s Tutorial Tuesday, we’ve prepped up a Valentine’s Day themed typography graphic for our readers!
Open up a new file in Illustrator. A legal sized blank document. I then entered my text. I used the type faces Edwardian Script and Comforta for this work. After arranging it, I didn’t like the weird white space in the gaps. So I added some accents and lines using the line segment tool and drew some shapes. Make sure your Smart Guides are on, this makes the whole typography process easier. I prefer the way typography looks when there’s an imaginary rectangle drawn over the pieces so I try not to go past certain points. I ended up with this:
Time to create swatches. I created two gradients. (Window > Gradients or CTRL/CMD + F9). I chose a bright magenta (CMYK : 0,90,0,0) fading to white, set to radial gradient. I made the same gradient again, but this time set it to linear. I also made another linear gradient fading between a dark purple to the magenta. When working with illustrator, I find, it’s easier to first plan out your colors/swatches/gradients in this stages. This makes application faster and easier.
I then created a new layer, I drew a rectangle around the piece and filled it with the magenta-to-white radial gradient. I sent the rectangle to the back of the work.
I started to apply gradients to the piece. To apply the gradients to text. Use the direct selection tool to click the text. Right click and hit the option, “Create Outlines”. Select (Or select+shift) all the text you want to change the color of and apply the gradients. I did a fake drop-shadow effect by duplicating (hold alt) the words, positioning it behind (CTRL+[) and changing the fill to the brighter gradient.
This is what I ended up with after switching around the colors.
I am always worried about legibility when it comes to typographic works. I decided to edit it a little bit more in Photoshop. So I exported it as a PNG and opened it up in the other program. There were a lot of gradients and I decided it needed a dirtier look.
I needed to give it a sort of grainy texture. I created a new layer and filled with it FILTER > Render > Clouds. Afterwards, I went to: FILTER > Sketch > Reticulation and played around with the settings until I had a grainy texture. I set it to Lighten and lowered the opacity to 25%. I also used the eraser tool to get rid of the parts that were covering the text too much.
The white was starting to get too sharp for me, so I filled it with a dark blue layer (#213672) and set to exclusion. I lowered the opacity to 70% and the fill to 25%. This gave it a warm tone.
I grabbed the Brush Tool, picked out an obnoxiously bright yellow (#fff712) and dabbled it on the areas that I wanted to accent and highlight. After, I went to Filter > Gaussian Blur and set it to Soft Light.
It was still looking a little too plain. So I made a new layer. Selected the Paint bucket tool (G) and changed the Fill to Pattern. In the area where I could select the pattern, I used the grided pattern! It was white on black. I wanted white lines so, I inverted the colors (CMD/CTRL+I). I filled the layer and set it to: Vivid Light.
Like it? Love it? We hope this tutorial has helped you in some way! Whether you liked it, loved it or thought you could have done it better – let us know in the comments. If you’ve made anything using this tutorial, let us know in the comments!
Julya leads the double life of being a graphic designer and a writer. Some of her favourite things in the world are nicely kerned typefaces, bubble tea and nerd humor. She holds the world record for watching the film Inception more times than necessary.
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