Type tutorials for Illustrator

Create jewel-encrusted gold 3D type

As Polish illustrator Karol Gadzala jokingly puts it: “We live in hard times, so we have to learn how to fake our gold and diamonds”. In this tutorial, he reveals how to add bling to typography, while retaining a sense of fun. The ‘off-axis front’ perspective, vector look and repeated elements give it a style that draws on 16-bit computer games.

Create melted chocolate type

Here Radim Malinic shows you how to create the semblance of words spelt out in melted chocolate. You’ll be encouraged to speed up at times, while at other times you’ll need to linger over tiny details to create that ultra-realistic look, fit for any advertising campaign or logo.

Create 3D type with paint drips

One great way to make your type stand out is to add the appearance of your graphic being made from a shiny liquid such as paint, with the shape of its drips and the appearance of liquid highlights adding to the 3D effect.

Here Logan Brinkley from Welsh digital design agency Carbon Studio shows how to apply such techniques to a type-based illustration with an inverted triangular shape. Why? Because triangles are cool.

Create vintage type styles

In this tutorial, Melbourne-based type artist Bobby Haiqalsyah details how he creates vintage-style pieces through the interesting use of original reference materials, a methodical approach and judicious use of Illustrator’s Blend and Offset Path functions.

Create Art Deco type art

This tutorial’s featured artwork began life when Adam Pointer was commissioned by design agency Zip (zipdesign.co.uk) to produce a piece promoting the Sunday night event at the now-defunct London West End club, The End.

Adam recently reworked the original, and here he takes us through how he created and assembled the different elements to bring an art deco feel to type illustration.

Pattern tutorials for Illustrator

Create quirky repeating patterns

In this tutorial, Imakethings (known to his mum as Andrew Groves) shows you how to make a repeat pattern based on map-like imagery. He uses simple shapes and icons to illustrate geographical features from a bird’s-eye point of view similar to those used in OS maps.  

Design damask patterns for wallpaper and homewares

Use semi-symmetrical graphics to create beautiful designs.

Use Illustrator's Live Trace to create a vector pattern illustration

In this tutorial, designer Johann Chan looks at what it takes to create an editorial illustration based around the theme of international Internet commerce.

Johann reveals his approach to depicting certain subject matters, then use a range of techniques to create the final illustration.

Bold pattern design

In this masterclass, London-based David Popov will take you through the process he used when creating his ‘Round the World’ series of graphic artworks.

Master Illustrator's Pattern tool

In this tutorial, illustrator Alex Mathers introduces the work process behind many of his vector landscapes, and details how, by using Illustrator CS6’s updated Pattern tool, he adds further depth and ease to the illustration.