Overlapping Shaded Text Effect in Illustrator

For this tutorial, we will use “Pricedown” Free Font by “Typodermic”.

1 - In Illustrator, create a “New Document”.

2 - Select the “Type Tool” (T), choose your font (we used “Pricedown”) and type your text.

3 - Right-click on top of your text and choose “Create Outlines”. Then, right-click on top again and choose “Ungroup”.

4 - Select your Text and center it by clicking on the “Align Horizontal and Vertical Center” buttons on the Top Menu. Make sure that “Align to Artboard” is selected.

5 - If some of the letters end up together and you can’t “Ungroup” again, go to Object > Compound Path > Release. The inner parts or “holes” of some letters may seem to disappear but they just became the same color as your text. To fix it, select both paths and in the “Pathfinder Panel” select “Minus Front” (Subtract) to make the “holes” in your letters again. Do this individually for each letter.

6 - Go to Object > Path > Offset Path and apply the following values: Offset: 1.5 mm, Joins: Round, Miter Limit: 4, click “OK”. Change the “Fill” color of the resulting path to White.

7 - With your selection still on, apply another “Offset Path” but this time change the values to: Offset: 2 mm, Joins: Round, Miter Limit: 5, click “OK”. Change the “Fill” color of the resulting path to Black.

8 - Using your “Shift” key, select all your letters without the external paths and change their “Fill” color to a “Dark Grey”.

9 - Select each letter together with its external paths, right-click on top of it and select “Group”. Repeat for each letter.

10 - Move your letters around and change some of their depth by right-clicking on the one or ones you wish to move and chore Arrange > Bring to Front (or “Send to Back”).

11 - Select all your text, go to the “Appearance Panel”, click on the “Effects Menu” button at the bottom and choose Stylize > Drop Shadow and apply the following values: Mode: Multiply, Opacity: 75%, X and Y Offset: 5 mm and Blur: 7 mm. Use Black as “Color”.

12 - You can change the color of any part of your text.