How to Create an Isometric Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator

Hello 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

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