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Deke's Techniques is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.
Hey gang! This is Deke McClelland. Welcome to Deke's Techniques! This week I am going to show you how to create custom type style variations inside of Illustrator. So as many of you know, there is more styles out there than bold and italic. For example, take these three fonts here. Castellar at the top has a carved style. Algerian in the middle has a shadow style and then Imprint at the bottom has a carved style that it calls a shadow style. So the names for these things are a little bit liquid, but you don't need a custom font to pull this off.
You can create those types of styles using any font inside of Illustrator. So we are going to start with the classic 1910 font Hobo, and we are going to give it both a carved and shadow styles you see here. Now some people might look at this and say this is why design programs give you too much latitude, because you are not supposed to do this kind of stuff with Hobo. And you know what I call people like that? Wet blankets! Here, let me show you exactly how it works. All right, here is the final version of that classic carving and shadow effect, applied to both the central text as well as the stars.
I am going to start things off and the seal that we created last week. And if you're working on with me you should know that this central text here is set in the font Hobo, which a lot of folks think is a kind of 70s font, it's actually designed by Morris Fuller Benton in 1910. But that doesn't mean it's necessarily installed on your system. If it's not, go ahead and switch to some other font. All right, we'll start by creating the shadow effect and you do that by going up to the Window menu and choosing the Appearance command, which brings up the Appearance panel.
Notice that we are not seeing any fills or strokes at this point and that's because the characters as opposed to the entire text object are active. So what I want you to do is go up to the Control panel, click on that first white swatch right there and switch it to None, so that we get rid of the fill. Now we want to add some fill and stroke attributes, not to the characters but to the type. So go ahead and select the word Type there. And then drop down to this icon, the second icon in, which reads Add New Fill, and go ahead and click on it to add both a fill and a stroke as you can see.
We are not going to need a stroke for this effect, so it's okay that it's set to None. I want you to click on the down pointing arrowhead next to Fill and switch it to White in order to restore that white fill. Now let's create a copy of this fill by dropping down to the little page icon and clicking on it, and then I am going to click on that rearmost fill there to make it active. All right, now I am going to change the color of this fill to black and then with that fill selected I'll go up to the Effect menu, choose Distort & Transform and choose the Transform command. Now we are not going to be able to see what we are doing here because we're moving a black object against a black background, but just take it from me right now that we want to increase the Horizontal value to 1 point and increase the Vertical value to 1 point as well.
Works very nicely at least where this artwork is concerned, then I'll click OK in order to accept that change. Now let's make a copy of this fill by dropping down to little page icon once again at the bottom of the Appearance panel, clicking on it, then select this bottommost fill and change its color back to white, and then twirl the Fill open so that you can see the Transform effect, and go ahead and click on it in order to select it. What you're going to need to do normally is just fool around with your Horizontal and Vertical values at this point. I came up with a Horizontal value of 3.5 and I changed the Vertical value to 2.8 and ended up achieving this offset shadow effect right there, and even though it's white it is a reverse shadow.
Now I'll go ahead and click OK in order to accept that effect, and now I want this black boundary between the letters and the white shadow to be a little thicker, so I'm going to click on that black fill right there. Might as well twirl it open so I can see its Transform effect, but we're going to be applying an Offset effect, by going up to the Effect menu choosing Path and then choosing Offset Path. And we want the Offset value to be 1 point, you want to Joins set to Miter, turn on the Preview check box to see that black boundary thicken up, then go ahead and click OK.
Now to create the carving inside of the letters and I am going to do that by clicking on this black fill to make it active, and then I am going to press the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac and drag it to the top of the stack. And because I have Alt or Option down, that goes ahead and makes a copy of that black fill. I'll go ahead and twirl it open so I can see its effects. And I am going to start things off by clicking on Offset Path so I can change this setting to a negative value. I am going to take it down to negative three points and turn on the Preview check box. And we end up with this thinner version of the fill, as you can see here.
Then click OK, and click on the word Transform associated with that topmost black fill. And I am going to change the first Move value, the Horizontal Move value to negative one and then I'll change the Vertical value to zero, turn on the Preview check box so that you can see that goes ahead and scoots that black fill inside the letters. Then click OK. Now let's make a copy of this black fill by clicking on it to make it active and then clicking on the little page icon at the bottom of the Appearance panel, and I'm going to twirl these guys closed just to eliminate as much confusion as possible.
We want to change this Fill color to white this time around, so the topmost fill should be white. Our existing Offset Path value is just line, so go ahead and click on the word Transform to bring up the Transform Effect dialog box. And I am going to change the Horizontal value to 2 and I'll change the Vertical value to -1, and I figured all these values out through trial and error. And then I'll go ahead and turn on the Preview check box and you can see that scoots the white fill over, so just the left side of the black fill remains visible. And then I'll click OK to accept that effect.
And now let's take a look at the stars, and I used a slightly different approach for them. So I'll go ahead and click on one of the stars with the black arrow, Shift+Click on the other so both are selected, then I'll press Ctrl+H or Command+H on a Mac in order to hide those selection edges. Currently we have one black fill, I'll go ahead and select it to make it active and then I'll click on the little page icon at the bottom of the panel in order to create a new fill. And I am going to change the color of this Fill to white, and then with that Fill selected, I'll go up to the Effect menu, choose Distort & Transform and choose Transform once again.
And then I went ahead and reduced both the Horizontal and Vertical values to 80% and I'll turn on the Preview check box and you can see that that scales each star with respect to its independent center point. Now I'll click OK in order to apply that effect, I'll click on the white fill to make it active and I'll create a copy of it by clicking on the little page icon at the bottom of the panel. I'll change the color of the Fill to black and then I'll click on the word Transform in order to revisit the Transform effect dialog box, and I'll increase both the Horizontal and Vertical Move values to one point apiece.
Then turn on the Preview check box and you can see that that goes ahead and scoots that smaller black fill. Now I'll click OK. Now at this point the stars are looking a little too sharp, and you can see that my small black fill is going outside the boundaries of the stars just a little bit. That's going to end up not being a problem here, because I am going to round off the corners of this star using a stroke. So I'll go ahead and select my Stroke at the top of the stack here and change it from None to black, and I'll increase the Line Weight value to 2 points, and I'll click on the word Stroke and I'll switch the Corner setting from Miter which is the default to Round Join, and we'll end up achieving this effect.
The only problem is the stroke shouldn't be at the top of the stack, it should be at the bottom, so I'll go ahead and drag it to the bottom of list, here inside the Appearance panel. We need to create a couple of copies of this stroke to serve as our shadows. So I'll click on the stroke to make it active, then I'll click on the little page icon to duplicate it. And I'll change the line weight for this bottommost stroke to 4 points, and I'll change the color of the stroke from black to white. Then I am going to make a copy of this black stroke by clicking on it, and then I'll Alt or Option drag it to the bottom of the stack like so, to make a copy.
And then select the stroke to make it active, let's change the Line Weight value to 3 points this time around. And then with that black stroke selected I'll go up to the Effect menu, choose Distort & Transform and choose the Transform command. And the values I came up with this time around were a Move Horizontal value of 2 and a Move Vertical value of 1.5. Then turn on the Preview check box in order to see that shadow emerge on screen. Next click OK in order to accept that effect. Now I'll press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac in order to center my zoom, and that folks is how you create classic carved letters as well as ornamental shadows, here inside Adobe Illustrator.
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