Karan Singh’s latest piece of type art was created for Obsolete, the most recent chapter of work by the Depthcore collective ( According to Karan, the piece, entitled 2012, is a reference to the end of a major cycle in the Mayan calendar next year.

Here Karan focuses on the steps he followed in creating the digit ‘1’ for the piece. The tutorial will give you an appreciation of the versatility and potential of custom brushes, which you can use to achieve effects ranging from shadows and light to textures. You will also learn how to manipulate strokes using Illustrator’s Width tool and create depth with the Blend tool.

This is the second in our series of three tutorials based around artwork from Obsolete. The final instalment will appear in our next issue.

Time to complete

2 hours


Adobe Illustrator

Project files

Files for this tutorial are downloadable from here.

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