How To Create an Editable Vintage Text Effect in Illustrator CC

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how create a killer vintage text effect in Adobe Illustrator CS 6. Usually, text effects in Illustrator are not very dynamic and to copy an appearance from one letter to another becomes kind of a redundant job. However, in this tutorial, I will show you how to make use of the Appearance panel in Illustrator to preserve your created effect, which can later be applied to all types of typography.

The effect I’m going to create in Adobe Illustrator is in fact created by IndieGround and available for download on GraphicRiver as a PhotoShop. You can check that out here. The final result would look something like this:

1Firstly, create a new A4 sized and use pixels for measurement, that is what I’m using.

Draw a rectangle and fill it in with the color #F2D5C1


Now using any typeface, write any letter of your choice. I’m using Nexa Bold for this tutorial.


Now select the appearance panel. You can open that from the Window Menu in the top bar.
And add a white stroke of 2pt to the selected letter.


We will now make use of the multiple stroke feature of the appearance panel to enhance the effect. Choose the add new stroke from the Appearance panel and add a 4pt strong stroke to the shape. Change the color to #54151D



Now select the stroke added and transform it using the effects button next to add new fill button in the appearance panel.


Choose 1px horizontal and vertical movement and make 20 copies to get the 3d effect. You can use the preview button to see the final result.


Now add a new fill in between the two strokes and change its color to #D7303E


To get the striped pattern in the fill area of the letter, we need to first create the pattern and add it to the swatches. To create the pattern, first create an square of size 200px. Then, create a rectangle of width 2px and height greater than 300px. Rotate the rectangular line at an angle of 45 degrees clockwise and align it to the left top of the square you had created. You can press COMMAND + U to open smart guides for accurate alignment.


Now make a copy of that thin rectangular line and align to the right bottom of the square box. We would then use the blend tool to make line across the square to get our pattern.


Select the two lines and goto object -> Blend -> Blend Options and select the Specified Steps option. Choose an odd number to get the pattern right.


Then from the same menu select the Make Blend option to make the pattern. Expand the blend from the Object menu and move the created shape to the back by right clicking on the object or pressing COMMAND + {

Now using the Path Finder tool, select the square the square and the patten and choose crop. You should get something like this:


Drag this to your Swatches panel. To use it on the letter fill. Now select the letter and open its appearance panel to add another fill above the previous one with the pattern you just made.


Now select the pattern fill and add a negative offset of -5px from the Effects menu.


The only thing left now, is the extended shadow of the letter. Add that by creating a new fill of black and placing it right at the bottom. Change its opacity to 20%. And then add a transform to the fill with 1px horizontal and vertical movement and 40 copies.


Now just add 2px offset to align the shadow perfectly.


And with this the effect is complete. Here’s the final letter:


You can save the appearance by using the graphic styles menu as shown in the image below:19

Good luck!


Written by Ali Zohaib

Currently studying Computer Science at LUMS. I am an avid designer, part-time blogger and technology enthusiast.

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