Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop tutorial: Discover hidden depths in type illustration

Step 2 When you’re satisfied, trace the result in Illustrator. I work using the grid, with Snap to Grid (Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + “) enabled – this means you can ensure consistency in size and that everything is exact. What works on paper doesn’t always work on screen, so feel free to modify and improve. Note that I’ve fused the tops of the ‘d’ and ‘i’ and sort of twisted them together.

Step 3 Open your background photo in Photoshop. I’ve used a shot of a salt pan in Tunisia, which you can find on the Download Zone. Crop the canvas size to 420mm square at 300dpi, and name the photo layer ‘desert’. Paste the type as a vector Smart Object and name it ‘type_vector’. Position it in the centre of the image.

Step 4 Making sure the ‘type_vector’ layer is selected, create a new layer (Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + N). Ensure the Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask option is checked, and hit OK. Rename this new layer ‘shadows_main’.

Draw a path around an area in which you want to create shadow. Cmd/Ctrl + click on the path and then use a soft black brush to add the shadows, remembering to position them to match the light in the photo, which is coming from the top right. Apply this process to all of the type. Set the ‘shadows_main’ layer’s blending mode to Multiply.

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