Those of us who are passionate about editorial design and everything that has to do with the text, sometimes we need to divide the text, whether in columns, paragraphs, sentences, words … But what if I told you that in this tutorial we are going to ignore all that and go to work dividing a word in half? Do you think I’m crazy? What am I destroying a typography? This exercise is rather a proposal of creativity whose main purpose is to communicate, which for me is what prevails in any design product. And, if not, to tell David Carson (a superinteresting author about which I recommend you investigate if you are passionate about everything related to the text).
This magazine designer said: “Do not confuse legibility with communication, just because something is not readable does not mean that it does not communicate.” Under this premise, I think that I have justified more than enough the exercise that we are going to practice with this tutorial. We start?
One of the main parts of this project is the color palette, which I have carefully selected to give an effect that may remind a bit of the aesthetics of the comic, looking for a dynamic sensation with energetic colors, but being careful with the balance between they.
In this section, I will teach you to upload the color palette that I have used in your project. In addition, you will learn to save your own color palettes, so be very attentive to the steps.
The first step before getting to work would be to define our color palette. Honestly, it has been hard for me to master the colors. And it is not that I consider myself an expert, so throughout my projects I have used different tools such as or
Once the color palette has been chosen, we would start loading the chosen colors in our empty project, so we would have to open a new project. As in my case the image will be to share it on the internet, I have chosen one of the formats pre-established by Illustrator for web. The only thing I have taken into account is that it was a horizontal format and that the color mode was correctly in RGB.
With the new blank document, we look for the Samples panel. This step you can do at any time, but, as I have already chosen my color palette, I will take advantage to do it now.
Now, what I will do is eliminate the preset color palette to keep only the colors that I will use later. For this, in the Samples panel, I will select the extended menu and click on Select unused.
You will see that a white box appears around all the colors that we have not used in our design. In this case, since we have not done anything yet, you will see that all are selected except white and black (in the case of having a ready-made design, those used colors that are in our color samples would not be selected).
And now we only have to drag them to the trash to eliminate them from our color samples
This step is actually optional in any design project, but it is true that it helps, especially if more than one person works on the project, or you send the files to be printed, as this eliminates possible problems in terms of flows of work.
Right next to the bin of that panel you will see the icon of a kind of post folded around the corner, which is used to add a new color sample. Once you click on this button, a new panel will appear, which you must fill with the values that make up that color (you can choose to fill in the values of RGB, CMYK, Lab, hexadecimal …). I opted for hexadecimal, so in my case, in the option Type of color I selected RGB compatible with Web .
I will fill in the values in two characters until I complete the hexadecimal RGB code.
With this, we will be adding the new colors that we have previously selected.
Once we have all the colors loaded in the Samples panel, we can export them. To do this, we just have to click on the extended menu and select Save sample library as ASE or as AI, as we prefer. The ASE format corresponds to a specific file of the color libraries in Illustrator and the AI format is nothing more than an Illustrator file with the library loaded.
I have chosen the ASE format, which is specific for color palettes. When we select this option, we will only have to choose the name and where to save it.
If, on the contrary, you need to load a library, you will have to click on the icon in which some books appear and then click on the option “Other libraries …”. Next, we look for ours, and a new Samples panel will appear with the name that we have given to our library. If you want to try to install the library that I have created, you can download it from here .
Do you see that the one on the left has the name that I have given to this library? Well with this we would have everything ready to start with our design.
Cut the text
In this part, we will see how to cut the text to, at a later stage, extrude it and pass it to 3D, after which we can work the color of each of the faces.
We select the Text tool and write the word we want to cut later. You can use the font you want and write the text in both uppercase and lowercase. I have selected the free typeface, so my text should be yes or uppercase, since this font designed for headlines does not have lowercase letters.
We convert the source into a path and scale it to the size that most interests us. Do not forget to keep the Shift key pressed while you scale the text so that the font does not deform. To convert the font into a path, we select it, right click and click on Create contours. As an alternative, we select the source and press Shift + Ctrl + O.
With the Segment line tool, we draw a line that will divide our text into two parts.
We go to the Pathfinder panel. If you do not have it between the open panels, do not worry. Any of the panels of the program can be opened at any time. In this case, we can open the Pathfinder panel by clicking on the Window tab → Pathfinder, or by pressing Shift + Ctrl + F9.
With the Pathfinder panel open, we select both the text and the line segment and click on the Split option.
Now, we must ungroup the parts that make up the word. To do this, press Ctrl + Shift + G or right click → Ungroup.
We select all the pieces that make up the bottom part by holding down the Control key and clicking on them. When we have them all selected, press Ctrl + G to group them. Next, we repeat this with the top pieces.
Now, we select all the elements and paint them with the orange color of our initial palette (in case you want to use the same colors as me). You will see that, if you select everything, you will be painted orange even the letters counter (the inside part). This is not an impediment, since, by selecting and deleting them one by one, we will not have any more problems.
We select the bottom part and move it a little to our liking.
And with all this we could start working on the extrusion of our text to give it the 3D effect.
Next, we will apply the 3D effect to start modeling our text. Afterwards, we will only have to paint the different parts that make it up.
We select all the parts of our text and click on Effect → 3D → Extrusion and bevelling …
We configure the different parameters of the X, Y and Z axes to adapt them to our taste, since it is something that will depend to a great extent on the cut you have made, as well as on the word. In addition, you can change the depth of the extrusion as you see fit.
Once it is to our liking, we press OK and we give it for ready.
You will see your text in 3D, but you will not be able to paint any of the layers. This is because the element only has a 3D effect and the parts, in reality, are no more than a preview. To work with each of the pieces separately, you just have to expand the appearance.
This is done by clicking on the tab Object → Expand appearance.
Now we are selecting the pieces that make up the sides. In some cases, for reasons related to the illuminations of the pieces, it could happen that the text has been divided into more pieces than we expected. To solve this, we will only have to select them one by one by holding down the Shift key and clicking on the Unify option in the Pathfinder panel.
We will repeat this with all the pieces that need it.
Now we select all the pieces that make up the sides and paint the red tone. A simple way to select all these pieces is, having selected only one of them, go to the tab Select → Same → Fill color. But, in order for all of them to be selected, we will have to ungroup all the elements in loose pieces again, something that you will have to assess if it is worth it or not. In my case, since I’m not going to change the design more, I think it’s not a problem.
If you do not do well with this method, do not worry. You just have to select the parts one by one and change the color to the reddish tone of our palette. We can also adjust the distance between the pieces, but we must not forget to group them using Ctrl + G.
With all the selected pieces, we activate the stroke color in the color palette and we put the black border.
With this, it may seem that the effect is finished, but, if we approach, we can see that the corners overlap the strokes and we have a strange effect that reduces quality to our work.
We can correct this by simply working with the stroke options. I have rounded the ends of the strokes and, with that, I have obtained a very good result. You can do this from the Stroke panel (which you can open from the Window tab, in case you do not have it open).
If you see the panel as shown in the image and it only allows you to configure the thickness of the stroke, do not worry. You just have to open the extended menu and click on Show options.
We can now configure our stroke so that it has rounded ends. To do this, we go to the Remate option and click on the Rounded End button.
We would almost have the finished text. We would only have to put a background of color and a shadow to give that extra to our work. You could also adjust the thickness of the text stroke to your liking.
Well, in this last step we will work the shadow of our design in a very simple way. In addition, we will give you a background color on which to stand out, so be prepared for the last thing that we have left.
Before starting, we group all the pieces if we did not have them previously grouped. Now, we make a rectangle the size of our work table and assign the lighter blue color of the two.
Place the bottom layer as the last of the layers, either by dragging it directly in the Layers panel until it is placed at the bottom, or by right clicking → Organize → Send back. Then, from the Layers panel, we block the background layer so that it does not bother us while we are working.
We make a copy of the design of our text by selecting it and dragging it while keeping the Alt key pressed.
With the copy still selected, we select the darker blue as the fill color and deactivate the stroke.
We send the shadow to the bottom, just above the blue layer of the background, and our design would be ready. It would only be to adjust the shadow to our liking.
And that’s it!
Well, I hope you liked this tutorial. You already know that, if you have any questions, you can use the tutorial forum. I also hope that you upload your final result to the projects tab so that I and the rest of the Tutpad community can see your work. Thank you and see you soon 🙂