How to Create an Isometric Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator

August 28, 2019 posted by

everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics back with another video tutorial for Adobe
Illustrator. Today’s guide is actually a topic I covered
in as a written tutorial last year on my Spoon Graphics website, but I figured it was a worthwhile
effect to cover in a step by step video. What we’ll be producing is an isometric type
effect in Adobe Illustrator, which features three-dimensional type combined with vibrant
colours to produce a fun vector art style. Adobe Illustrator is the perfect tool to create
such an effect; the 3D Extrude & Bevel tool easily generates an accurate isometric layout,
then the artwork can then be broken down into individual vector shapes for easy customisation
with colourful fills and detailed patterns. Before we get started, if you want to help
the channel, click the link in the description to check out Envato Elements… So to create your isometric type effect, create
a new document in Adobe Illustrator. It doesn’t matter what size it is since vector
art is scalable, but make sure the Color Mode is set to RGB, otherwise the 3D shading won’t
work. I like to go straight to the View menu and
choose Hide Artboards to give myself a large area to work with. Begin by laying out your wording using the
Type tool. I’m just using Helvetica Bold, but you could
try this effect out with a pixel font for a cool blocky 3D cube text look. Scale up the text to fill your screen, holding
ALT and Shift to scale it centrally and keep it scaling proportionally. The Shift key might not be necessary depending
how you have your Preferences set up. I’m an old school user who can’t deal with
the recent update that enabled proportional scaling by default. Give your text a mid-grey fill. This is so the shading effects applied next
will show up, otherwise everything will be black. Go to Effect>3D>Extrude and Bevel. Turn on the Preview checkbox so you can see
the effect live. There’s a range of presets for Isometric views,
choose Isometric Top from the menu. OK all the other default settings. Permanently apply this effect by going to
Object>Expand Appearance. This converts the effect into a series of
individual text face shapes. Right click on the text and choose Ungroup
from the menu. Ungroup again to break apart all the pieces
that form each letter. All the pieces can now be individually selected,
which will allow us to customise them with new colour fills, but first we need a bright
colour palette. I’ve picked out a fun palette named Frankly
Lisa from ColourLovers. I find it easiest to take a screenshot, then
paste it into my Illustrator document and move it into some empty space. To add a colourful background to the artwork
we’ll draw a shape with the Rectangle tool. To sample the colour from the palette, choose
the Eyedropper, then shift-click over the Yellow in the screenshot. Draw out the rectangle shape so it covers
the text effect. To place it underneath, right click and choose
Arrange>Send To Back. To avoid accidentally selecting this shape
later, go to Object>Lock>Selection. Choose the Move tool again and make a selection
of all the front text faces by holding the shift key while clicking each one. Switch to the eyedropper to sample a new colour
from the palette. Any letters that have a rounded area will
be made up of multiple segments where it has been extruded into a 3D effect. Shift and click all the segments of a particular
section, then click the Unite button in the Pathfinder panel to merge them into one. Continue adding colour to the faces of the
3D text, choosing a different colour for all the faces in a particular direction. Once all the artwork has been colourised,
draw a selection across the entire text, then apply a black stroke. In the Stroke panel, increase the stroke weight
to around 2pt. To fix the glitch where the strokes intersect,
click the Round corner option. The long shadow effect is a popular feature
of colourful vector art like this. Select all the front text faces, then go to
Edit>Copy and Edit>Paste in Front. Replace the fill colour with black and remove
the stroke. Right click on the elements and choose Group,
then Copy and Paste in Front a duplicate of these black letters. Hold the Shift key while nudging with the
left cursor key to move the copy off to one side. Shift and click the other black text to add
both to the selection, then go to Object>Blend>Make. Head straight back to Object>Blend>Blend
Options and change the setting to Specified Steps. Increase the value to create a smooth transition
between them. Go to Object>Expand to permanently apply
this blend effect, then use the Unite button in the Pathfinder panel to merge the hundreds
of shapes into one outline. Use the CMD (or CTRL on Windows) and [ shortcut
for Send Backward to position this black shadow below the text, but above the yellow background. Use the other bracket key to bring it forward
if you go too far. Move the shadow vertically so it sits at the
base of the 3D text. In the Transparency panel, set the Opacity
to around 10%. As a finishing touch, let’s make a pattern
fill to add some visual interest to one of the text faces. Zoom in and use the Ellipse tool to draw a
small circle. Go to Object>Pattern>Make. Change the Tile Type option to Brick by Row
to create offset rows of dots, like a halftone effect. Increase the Width and Height figures to space
them out. Click Done in the top toolbar to save the
pattern as a new swatch. You can delete that temporary circle shape. Select one of the purple text shapes and use
the Copy and Paste in Front shortcuts CMD+C and CMD+F. Change the fill to the new pattern
swatch. Since it’s a duplicate that is overlaid over
the coloured shape below, you can still see the purple between the black dots. Copy and paste every other shape of the same
colour and apply the new pattern fill to the duplicate. This has to be done on an individual basis,
otherwise copy and pasting multiple shapes at once will disrupt the stacking order. The final result is a colourful isometric
type effect that can be used to as a base for editorial designs or just fun art pieces. Illustrator’s Extrude and Bevel tool easily
created the 3D Isometric view, then the vector functionality makes it easy to select and
customise each individual text face. If you enjoyed this video or learnt any new
tips, a Like would really help spread the word and share the video with others. Subscribe to the channel to stick around for
more of my content, and head over to my Spoon Graphics website to download all my free design
resources. Thank you very much for watching, and I’ll
see you in the next one.


10 Replies to “How to Create an Isometric Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator”

  1. VBHarts says:

    Great one ! Your Tips always help ! thanks Spoon Graphics 🙂

  2. Cole Stoughton says:

    Dang Chris another solid tutorial! Was just thinking about isometric scenes and shapes and then your video popped up on my feed hahah

  3. Jony Ikbal says:

    Thanks Spoon Graphics

  4. Mostafa Abo_alhamed says:

    Good spoon graphics

  5. JOSH says:

    Thank you! You're awesome as always!

  6. Daphne Delacruz says:

    Great video

  7. Kegi45 says:


  8. Benjamin Eastwood says:

    For the drop shadow blend you don't need to do specified steps with a high volume. Turn the shape (any colour but black) into a compound path then choose smooth blend plus unite.

  9. Dale Taylor says:

    Another cracking tutorial Chris

  10. Wallace Viegas says:

    Monstro, com simplicidade fez algo muito bom!

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