You may have seen this style of lettering floating around instagram and created in Procreate on an iPad. In this week’s tutorial, I share how to create the same effect, but in Illustrator. By using Illustrator, everything can be infinitely rescaleable since it’s vector-based. We’ll utilize some features you may not be aware of that you can use for future work, too. This is a slightly advanced tutorial, so the pace is a bit quicker. If you’re new to Illustrator, allow some extra time (or check out some beginner tutorials first). Read on to create colorful gradient lettering in Adobe Illustrator!

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create colorful gradient lettering in adobe illustrator

Create Colorful Gradient Lettering in Adobe Illustrator

Mentioned in this tutorial:

tuesday tips

Here’s your written recap of what we did to create colorful gradient lettering in Adobe Illustrator!

  • Use the blob brush tool to create your hand lettering. For extra precision, use the Astropad app if you’re on a mac or a wacom tablet on a pc!
  • Apply a gradient to your lettering. Access some of Illustrator’s default gradients in your swatches palette. Toggle down the extra options in the upper right > open swatch library > gradients > color combinations. Choose a gradient and adjust as desired using the gradient palette options.
  • Copy your lettering, then lock it. Paste the copy on top of the existing lettering and apply a flat color. Everywhere you’d like to add shadows/depth, draw in vector shapes.
  • Once your shadow ‘shapes’ are complete, group them together and convert them into a compound path. With your shapes selected, select the flat lettering copy and hit the ‘intersect’ icon in your pathfinder palette.
  • Create your shadow gradient, going from 0% black to 100% black. Apply and adjust the shadow gradient in each of your shapes. Adjust the blend mode for your shapes as desired (multiply and overlay are my favorites).
  • Unlock your initial gradient lettering and group with your shadow shapes.
  • Done!

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Every Tuesday's content creator and founder. I help creatives build and improve their digital skills to open new opportunities.
Latest comments
  • Yay! Illustrator tutorial! Thanks for this ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I LOVE the look of this! I’m gonna try to follow the tutorial, thanks!

  • Nice tut and good colors too ๐Ÿ™‚

  • This was sooo helpful! Such a simple technique to make such a complex and 3 dimension shape! Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I am so thankful for your tutorial!


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