Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Making an official money-like type effect, part of Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Intermediate.
In this movie, I'll show you how to create the effect that's assigned to the text Golden Ticket. And it's a kind of official money like effect, as you can see here, with an offset shadow and this inset stroke that contains the yellow fill, along with these white highlights. So it's a combination of four fills and two strokes working together. Now it's very possible you don't have the font Nueva Standard installed on your machine. So I went ahead and converted this text to path outlines by going to the Type menu and choosing the Create Outlines command.
That converts the text to a group of static path outlines, but the effect I am about to show you is equally applicable to live text inside Illustrator. So let's see how it works. I'll go ahead and switch over to my document in progress and select the letters using the Black Arrow tool. Now you need to make sure your Appearance panel is up on screen and you'll see the word Group there along with Contents. If you are working on live text, you would see type on top in bold just like group and you would see characters below it. Either way you need to double-click in that lower item, so either Contents, in our case, or characters if you're working with live text.
And then you'll see a stroke and fill couple here. Assuming Stroke is already set to none, take the Fill and set it to none as well. Now you need to go up to this time that says Group: No Appearance. It'll say Type: No Appearance if you're working with live type. Double-click on it in order to switch back so that you're working on all of the letters at the same time, then you want to drop down to this icon here Add New Fill in the lower left corner of the Appearance panel and click on it. And by the way, both of these functions Add New Stroke and Add New Fill have keyboard shortcuts.
For Add New Fill its Ctrl+/ or Command+/. That's a forward slash. For Add New Stroke its Ctrl+Alt+/ or Command+ Option+/, but much of the time it's just as easy to click on the icons. Anyway we've got a fill. Now ironically, I need it to be white, so I am going to go ahead and change its color by clicking in the Color Swatch and selecting White from my swatches. The reason I say ironically, because it makes the text invisible except for those selection edges. Now we're going to add a stroke. So click on the work Stroke and just go ahead and dial in a line weight value of 2 points and that'll automatically make the text black.
And if you want to confirm that the text is a rich black, then go ahead and select the Rich black swatch. Now those strokes are little too thick and they're covering up the letters. So what do you want to do is grab the stroke and drag and drop it below the fill. Not below contents or characters or what have you. You don't want to go that low, but just above contents or characters. And this is one of the reasons we have to work this way. If we were working on the actual characters and this was editable text, then you can't move the fill and stroke around and you can't assign multiple fills and strokes and all that stuff.
All right, now I want to create a shadow and I am going to do that by duplicating this fill. So I'll select the fill and Alt+Drag or Option+ Drag it below the stroke, and then I'll click on the Fill swatch and change it to the shade of orange which called Gold shadows. And now I need to offset the fill, so it looks like a shadow and I'll do that by going up to the Effect menu choosing Distort & Transform, and choosing Transform. And by the way, it's very important that the fill is selected for this to work. All right, now I'll change both the move values to 1.5 per piece, like so, and I'll turn on the Preview check box, just so we can confirm that we've got a shadow going in the background.
Sure enough, we do. I could move this out of the way if you like, and then click OK. All right, now I am going to zoom in on the bottom of the L there, and you can see that the shadow is not big enough to accommodate the strokes text. It's specifically the stroke that's enlarging the text there. So we need to similarly enlarge the shadow. You could to that by adding a stroke, but that's not the most efficient way to work. I'll go ahead and twirl open Fill, so we can see its transformer effect. The best way to work is to apply another effect by going to the Effect menu choosing Path and choosing Offset Path, which will go ahead and add the effect of a kind of stroke.
Now I'll change the Offset value to 1 point and then I'll turn on the Preview check box. And the reason that works so beautifully is because since we have a 2-point stroke that set against the white fill, one point of that stroke is set in the fill and it's therefore covered up. So we're only seeing the outer point of the stroke and so adding an offset of just one point is the way to go. It's an exact match in fact. Then go ahead and click OK in order to apply that effect. All right, now let's add that inset stroke that really makes the text look official.
And I'll go ahead and zoom out a little bit, so I can take in more of my letters at a time. And I'll duplicate my existing stroke by clicking on it and then I'll Alt+Drag or Option+Drag it to the top of the stack and that makes a copy of it, and now I'll change the line weight to 1 point and we need to offset this stroke inward. By going up to the Effect menu--and notice Illustrator goes and repeats the last effect applied at the top of the menu. You've got the single shot command that will apply your last offset path setting of one point. We don't want that. Or you can change the setting by choosing the second command.
So I'll choose the second command and I want this offset value to -2 and then I'll turn on the Preview check box, so we can see what it does, and that creates a carving effect on the inside, which is perfect. Click OK in order to accept that effect. Now you may end up noticing some bevel joins. I'll go ahead and click on the word Stroke. That's going to be a function of the miter limit, but for some reason I keep getting different effects every time I try this out. And so there is a good example. We have got a bevel join there inside of the E and the N and the bottom portion of the E as well.
And to get rid of those bevels, you want to click on the word Stroke to bring up the Stroke panel, so that you can gain access to limit value and then you want to press Shift+Up arrow a few times in order to increase that value until you get spikes coming of the ends. Now the problem, while this looks great for the right side of the end, it's not so great for the left side. We've got this miter joint that's piercing through the bottom serif and that's got to be painful. So I am going to back off the limit value-- this is what I figured out for this text effect--to 40 times and that ends up making all the corners nice and spiky except for those inside the N.
You can fix those manually by drawing little spikes if you wanted to, but otherwise we'll just take it as we got it. So I am going to zoom out a little. I want to make those strokes thinner and I want to cover them up with yellow fill. So I'll just add a new fill by dropping down to the Add New Fill icon and I'll click on it, or you can press Ctrl+/ or Command+/ on a Mac, and then change the fill color to yellow. And we want that same offset that we applied to the strokes. So I'll twirl open that top stroke, click on Offset Path to make it active. Don't click on the words. Click to the right, because if you click on the words, you'll bring up the dialog box again.
We don't want that, so just click to the right to make it active. Then press the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac and drag that effect and drop it onto the yellow fill and you'll end up offsetting that fill as well. All right, we have just one more fill to apply, this time for the white highlights, and the best way to make it is to make sure the top fill is active then click on a little page icon at the bottom of the Appearance panel to duplicate it. Let's change the fill color to white. That ends up completely covering up the yellow fill, so click on the words Offset Path, and if you don't see them go ahead and twirl the fill open.
Click on those words that will bring up the Offset Path dialog box, let's turn on the Preview check box, and I came up with a value of -5.5 points like so. Then click OK. Now that ends up creating some very nice centered highlights. I want them offset to the right, so I'll click on that white fill to make it active. Then go up to the Effect menu, choose Distort & Transform and choose the Transform command. And for this text change the Horizontal value to 2 points and then turn on the Preview check box, and that goes ahead and scoots the highlights over to the right and click OK in order to accept that effect.
And that friends is how you create an official money style text effect by building up a series of fills and inset strokes here inside the Appearance panel.
- Creating layers, sublayers, and groups
- Lifting a color and creating a swatch
- Assigning colors to paths inside groups
- Adjusting the stacking order
- Using the Width tool to adjust line weight
- Masking a pattern inside a background
- Assigning and modifying a gradient fill
- Creating a radial gradient
- Drawing a linear spiral with the Polar Grid tool
- Adding a credible 3D cast shadow
- Contouring with the Blob Brush and Eraser
- Creating and painting an overlapping path
- Placing Photoshop images in Illustrator files
- Previewing and printing documents
- Optimizing documents for the web