Retro Striped Text Effect Illustrator Tutorial (+ FREE Textures!)

Hello everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics back with another video tutorial for Adobe Illustrator Today we're going to create a striped text effect with a retro 70s vibe

We'll create the effect by layering up a series of strokes and fills with Illustrator's Appearance panel, which preserves the live text so you don't lose the ability to edit the wording Once the artwork is complete, I'll then show you how you can achieve an old t-shirt look with the help of my free washed and worn textures To create your retro text effect first set up a new document in Adobe Illustrator It helps to lay out a series of temporary coloured shapes to act as the colour palette You can find some great colour schemes by Googling for images of 70s brands, or via sites such as ColourLovers

com Draw a little square somewhere on the artboard, then clear out the default black stroke Replace the Fill with the first colour from your palette In my case it's a light beige of F1EDBF Switch back to the Move tool, then hold the ALT key while dragging the shape to make a copy

Repeatedly press the CMD (or CTRL key on Windows) and D shortcut to Transform Again to create a series of blocks to contain as many colours as you need Select each shape in turn and double click the Fill block in the toolbar to edit its colour I'm using a grey-brown of 594C51, An orange of FAB564 A pinky red of F9525A And a pale bluey-green of 82C9C1 Use the Type tool to lay out your text on the artboard I'm using one of my favourite brush scripts named NoSeven, which I'll link in the description in case you fancy picking it up for yourself

This effect can work with any font style though, AND since we'll preserving the live text, you can even edit the font later One of the best features of the NoSeven font is it comes bundled with loads of additional characters You can select each letter and choose the best alternate glyph that suits your type layout, which gives you loads of configuration options from just a single font, to give you a unique result every time Go to Object > Transform > Shear, then change the Angle to 90 degrees

Enter 5 degrees in the Shear Angle box to give the text a subtle rise effect, which always works well with script fonts This step could be skipped if you're using a sans-serif To create the stripy text effect, first make sure you have the Appearance panel visible from under the Window menu This is where all the magic will happen Clear the default black fill from the toolbar, then click the Add New Fill icon in the Appearance panel

Activate the eyedropper tool, then Shift+Click the first colour block from your palette to apply it as the fill Select the Stroke in the Appearance panel, then apply the brown colour Bump up the stroke weight to 10pt, which can be done directly in the Appearance panel too Currently the outline of each letter overlaps the next, so click and drag the stroke underneath the Fill, just like you would with layers in Photoshop With the Stroke selected, click the FX icon at the bottom of the Appearance panel and choose Transform

Enter 1px in both the Horizontal and Vertical Move settings, then turn on Preview before increasing the number of Copies You'll be able to visually determine how large you want the shadow effect to be I went with 10 Click the Add New Stroke button, then change the colour to the next swatch from the palette Drag this to the bottom, underneath the previous stroke

Add the Transform effect from the FX menu and enter 1px horizontally and vertically again This time add 20 copies so it extends beyond the previous colour by further 10 copies Add a new stroke for the next colour Drag it to the bottom and add the Transform effect, this time with 30 copies You can continue this simple process to add as many stripes to the effect as you like

In order to apply the striping within the text face, we'll use a clever technique with the Gradient tool Swap the beige fill for a regular black to white gradient in the Gradient panel Begin altering the gradient handles to flow from green to beige, using the eyedropper to sample the relevant hues from the colour scheme In the centre of the gradient, click to add extra points and sample the other colours from the palette Make two swatches for each colour

Currently the gradient is flowing the wrong way Change it to 90 degrees to flip it around Don't forget it you sheared the text you also need to add that extra 5 degrees so the gradient runs parallel to the text Select the second green gradient handle and alter the location to where you want the green stripe to end I chose 40%

Select the first red swatch that's next to it We want to butt it up right next to the green handle to form a sharp line The trouble is, if you choose 40% Illustrator renders it with a jaggy line Increase the location by tiny increments until the line is smoothed out, I ended up with 402

Position the next red gradient handle a little further along, at say 45%, then the orange colour after it at 452% so it's butted up next to it, but without resulting in a jagged line Set the next handle to 50%, followed by 502%, then leave the last handle all the way to the right This clever gradient trick generates a stripy appearance inside the text face

The best part is you can also edit the text and the effect with be preserved To finish off the artwork, delete those temporary colour palette shapes with the exception of one, which you can scale to fit the artboard to act as a background A retro text effect like this would look good with some distressed textures from my Free Washed and Worn texture pack to make it look like an old t-shirt Follow the link in the description to download it from Spoon Graphics Select the text element, then in the Transparency panel, choose Make Mask

Click the white mask thumbnail to activate it, then go to File > Place Choose one of the texture images Position the texture over the artwork to see the colours are being erased as if the ink has cracked and worn away after years of wear and tear Click back on the artwork thumbnail in the Transparency panel to exit out of mask mode, back to the regular editing mode The final result is a cool 70s inspired text effect with an array of retro style stripes

We pretty much managed to produce the entire effect using just the Illustrator Appearance panel, by layering up those stroke colours with the help of the Transform settings A similar trick with the Gradient panel also means the effect can be created without having to first Outline the type, so you can still edit the wording or change the font If you enjoyed this tutorial or found the tips and tricks useful, a thumbs up to help spread the word would be really appreciated Subscribe to stick around for more of my video tutorials, and join my mailing list over at Spoon Graphics to get your hands on more of my free design resources As always thank you very much for watching, and I'll see you in the next one!

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