Vintage Text Effect in Illustrator

For this Tutorial, you will use the free font “Retropus” from Fontbundles.net (https://fontbundles.net/free-fonts/graphics/the-retropus-font), a black and white vector “Burst” to use as “background” and the image reference of the color palette you would like to use…

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

2 - Go to View > Rulers > Show Rulers (Command/Control + R) to enable them and make sure that “Smart Guides” are enabled too (Command/Control + U).

3 - Open the “Burst” vector and bring it onto the document. Resize it if needed to fit the entire document. Select one of the corners and drag it while holding the “Shift” key to do it.

4 - Center it using the “Horizontal and Vertical Align Center” options on your in the “Align Panel” and make sure that “Align to Artboard” is selected. If some portions of the vector are placed outside the “Canvas” just drag the handles to the proper position.

5 - Now, with the vector still selected, head to Effect > Warp > Twist. Check the “Horizontal” box and use a 50% Bend. Click “OK”.

6 - Select the “Rectangle Tool” (M), then click and drag your cursor diagonally across the entire document, to create a “Rectangle”.

7 - Bring in the “Color Palette” reference image (Place) and use the “Eyedropper Tool” (I) to click on a shade to make it the “Foreground” color. Then, in the “Swatches Panel”, click on the small menu on the Top-Right corner and choose “New Swatch” to save it. Repeat with the rest of the shades and delete the reference image once you are done.

8 - Choose one of the colors to “Fill” the “Rectangle”. Click on the small arrow on the left side of the “Layer 1” Thumbnail to show its contents and drag the “Rectangle” down so it is placed under the “Burst”. Change the “Blending Mode” of the “Burst” to “Soft Light” in the ”Transparency Panel”.

9 - Lock your Layer by clicking on the left side of its Thumbnail and bring out the small padlock. Then, click on the small “Create New Layer” button at the bottom to create a “New Layer”.

10 - Select the “Type Tool” (T), choose your Font and type your text (we used “Retropus”). Size it to fit almost the entire Document. You can use the font “Alternates” by selectin the individual letters and choosing the one you prefer. You can also fix the “Vertical Scale” (or any other detail of the text using the “Character Panel”). In this case we increased it to 130% for the first letter.

11 - Center the text using the “Horizontal and Vertical Align Center” options on your in the “Align Panel” and make sure that “Align to Artboard” is selected

12 - Head to the “Appearance Panel” and change the “Fill” to one of the colors you created.

13 - With the Text still selected, in the “Appearance Panel” click “Add New Fill” at the bottom of the panel, click on the “Fill” icon for the new fill and then on the “Library” button at the bottom of the “Swatches Panel”. Go to Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Lines and choose one of the patterns as fill. Change the “Blending Mode” of the to “Overlay” and the “Opacity” to 50% in the ”Transparency Panel”.

14 - Click on one of the small buttons on the Bottom-left to “Add New Stroke”, use 1 px for “Weight”, with a “Rounded Cap and Corner” and use White for color. This “Stroke” should be on top of the “Fill” layers in the “Appearance Panel”.

15 - “Add New Stroke”. Make sure you are working on the “bottom” one and change the “Fill” to another color from the palette. Use 6 px for “Weight”, “Round Cap” and “Round Join” for “Corner”. With it still selected click on the “Illustrator Effects” Menu at the bottom of the Panel and navigate to Distort & Transform > Transform… Apply a “Horizontal Move” of 1 mm and a and “Vertical Move” of 0.9 mm”. Click “OK”. We decided to change the Stroke “Corner” to a “Bevel Join” in the “Stroke Panel”.

16 - Add another “Fill”, make sure it sits under the previous ones and change the Fill color to a darker shade from the palette. Click on the “Effects” button, navigate to Path > Offset Path, and enter a 3 mm “Offset”, set the “Joins” to “Bevel”. Also, apply a “Transform Effect” with a “Horizontal and Vertical Move” of 1 mm. Click “OK”.

17 - We decided to increase the “Weight” of the White “Stroke” to 2 pt.

18 - Create yet another “Fill”, make sure it at the bottom and change the Fill to the same color you used on the second “Stroke”. Again, apply an Offset Path with a 3 mm “Offset”, set the “Joins” to “Bevel” and a “Transform Effect” with a “Horizontal Move” of 1.3 mm and a and “Vertical Move” of 3 mm”. Click “OK”.

19 - Add another “Fill”, make sure it sits under the previous ones and use the Fill color from the very first one (before the “Lines Pattern”). Apply a “Transform Effect” with a “Horizontal Move” of 1.5 mm and a and “Vertical Move” of 5 mm”. Click “OK”.

20 - Create another “Stroke” under the very first “Fill” (the one that sits under the “Lines Pattern” Fill). Use the same color you used for the “Rectangle” and a 6 px “Weight”, “Round Cap” and “Bevel Join” for “Corner”. With it still selected click on the “Illustrator Effects” Menu at the bottom of the Panel and navigate to Distort & Transform > Transform… Apply a “Horizontal and Vertical Move” of 1.5 mm. Click “OK”.

21 - Check it out!

by @lornacane

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Great tutorial!! :clap: Are saving them as graphic styles for further use?

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Thanks!
Yes, is a good idea to create a “Style Library” for future works :wink:

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Or to sell them :money_mouth_face:

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Yes, that too :blush:

The idea is nice, but I think you would have a better result if you went through the Pathfinder menu, and selected the Unite option before you did all of the rest of the effects on the text. The overlapped portions of the text look odd if you leave each glyph as an individual item.
The lettering style is an early 20th century poster script that would have been painted with a brush so you wouldn’t have had “separate” letters.

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Hello, and thanks for your input. You are right, I might have used the “Unite” option in pathfinder. But I wanted to leave the text editable and in case I decided to change the font, word, etc. I don’t mind the overlapped text, but it’s definitely a personal preference. You can always change the “Tracking” and/or use another font. :grinning: