Illustrator Tutorial: Retro Text Effect with Concentric Stripes

Hello everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics back with another video tutorial for Adobe Illustrator Today I'm going to show you how to create this concentric stripe effect, which is inspired by the artwork of Tyler Spangler

A subscriber got in touch to ask what I thought the best method would be to produce this stripy outline effect If Illustrator's Offset Path tool springs to mind you're correct! But stick around and I'll show you an additional trick to eliminate the tedious process of adding each stripe individually, so you'll be able to fill an entire poster with this retro stripe effect within seconds For the sake of this tutorial I'm just using a generic A4 document with pixel units of measurements, but you can create artwork to any specifications We first need a colour scheme for our stripes I'll be using this ready-made palette named Candy Shop from ColourLovers, but again any colour scheme will work, especially those with a retro vibe

Whatever colours we use need to be saved as Swatches My preferred technique is to screenshot the palette, paste it into Illustrator, then use the Eyedropper to sample each hue With the hue loaded, click the New icon in the Swatches panel to save the custom colour Repeat for all the colours in your desired palette Grab the Type tool and enter some wording for the centre of the effect

I'm using a nice heavy rounded version of a typeface from the Adobe Fonts library named Korolev Click the link in the description to Activate it Adjust the size and leading as necessary, then bring up the Align panel to centre it up Choose Align to Artboard under the Align To settings, then click the Horizontal and Vertical buttons Right click and select Convert to Outlines, or use the shortcut CMD+Shift+O (or CTRL+Shift+O on Windows)

We'll be using Illustrator's Offset Path command to build this stripy effect, but adding each new outline individually would take forever We can save time by incorporating the process into an Action Go to Window and bring up the Actions panel, if it isn't visible within your interface already Create a new Set with a suitable name, then create a new Action Illustrator will now record your every move, so you can then replay the steps automatically

Go to Object > Path > Offset path to add the first outline I'm using 10px, but you can use the Preview feature to find a suitable value for your artwork Because the offset path has been added to a collection of individual letters, it has created a series of separate outlines Click the Unite button in the Pathfinder panel to merge them into one Change the colour of the offset shape to the first of the custom swatches

If the stacking order is all wrong, right click and choose Arrange > Send to Back These extra couple of steps are only required for the very first offset path, but it won't hurt if they're applied as part of the Action steps to subsequent outlines Go to Object > Path > Offset Path again to add the next outline Use the same offset value, the choose the next swatch from your custom palette Add another offset path and choose the next swatch, and so on until you've used up all the hues from your colour scheme

Press the Stop icon in the Actions panel to stop recording the process Rather than continue manually creating each new outline, we can automatically apply those steps to create each coloured stripe in turn Click on the main Action, then click the Play icon to repeat those steps to add several more stripes to the effect Repeatedly clicking the Play icon will extend the concentric pattern Keep going until you reach beyond the edge of the artboard

To change the colour of the text in the centre, you will first need to Ungroup the object Click on some empty space to deselect, which might take some zooming out and panning to find the area around the artboard Hold the Shift key and click all the letters to select them all, then change the Fill colour To give them more definition, make a Copy, then choose Paste in Back under the Edit menu, or the CMD+B shortcut Nudge this duplicate down and right using the keyboard cursor keys, then change the fill to Black

Select the main letters again and give them a black stroke This simple text effect helps complement the retro theme An optional step could be to apply a stroke to everything, which gives more definition to the outline effect Finally to trim the effect down, draw a temporary shape with the Rectangle tool to match the edges of the artboard Press CMD+A to Select All, then click the Crop button in the Pathfinder panel

The final result is a colourful retro effect with concentric stripes There's no end to the variations you could produce with different quotes, graphics, and colour schemes The use of Illustrator's Offset Path tool might have been pretty obvious to seasoned Illustrator uses, but hopefully combining it with an Action was a useful tip that saved you lots of tedious steps If you enjoyed this tutorial or learnt any new tricks a thumbs up would be greatly appreciated Subscribe to stick around for more of my content, and head over to my Spoon Graphics website to download my free bundle of design resources

As always thank you very much for watching, and I'll see you in the next one

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