In this tutorial you’ll learn to create a really grungy and cool eroded text graphic style all within the Adobe Illustrator Appearance Palette. Since everything is based within the Appearance Palette you edit the text live, click through different fonts to find the best candidate, and can drop the completed graphic into your Graphic Styles Palette and quickly use the effect on any of your designs. VIDEO INCLUDED BELOW…
- Software: Adobe Illustrator CS5
- Difficulty: Intermediate
- Topics: Appearance Palette, Graphic Styles, Inner Glow, Grain Effect
- Estimated Completion Time: 15 minutes
- Project Files: eroded_type_work.ai (Downloaded 165 times)
Create a new Illustrator document sized at 1160px wide by 700px high, color mode set to RGB, and Raster Effects set to Screen (72 ppi).
Add some text to your new document that is sized to fill most of the available artboard area. Try to pick a font that has some character and one that has nice width variations in the letters (wide to narrow, narrow to wide).
Clear the default fill color of the text and then head over to the Appearance Palette and add a new White (R 255, G 255, B 255) fill to the type. Please note that you won’t actually see anything on your art board as of now but trust me it’s there.
Now let’s add a little texture (and color) to our type. Head up to the top menu and add a new Inner Glow effect to the White fill. Effect > Style > Inner Glow. Set the Inner Glow options to Mode: Normal, Color: Black (R 0, G 0, B 0), Opacity: 100, Blur: 23.5 px, and select the Edge option.
Time to make it grainy… Head back up to the Effect menu and add Grain texture to the White fill. Effect > Texture > Grain. Set the Grain options to Intensity: 63, Contrast: 24, Grain Type: Stippled.
We’re still developing the base of the erosion so we need to blur what we have so far so that it’s not so harsh later on. Head back to the Effect menu again and select Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the Gaussian Blur radius to 6.0 pixels.
Now to finish off the first text fill layer head back over to the Appearance Palette, click the Opacity of the White fill and set the Opacity Mode to Multiply.
While still in the Appearance Palette, select the entire White fill layer by clicking the “Fill” line (see image below). With the White fill layer selected, click the small palette option menu at the top right of the Appearance Palette and select Duplicate Item. This will create a duplicate of the White fill we have been working on first the last few steps.
Now we need to adjust our new (second) fill layer to get the desired result. Within the Appearance Palette, click the Grain effect and adjust the Grain Intensity setting to 75.
While still in the Appearance Palette, click the Gaussian Blur effect and adjust the Radius to 1.0 pixels.
Now to give your text a more unkept look, select the entire type object in the Appearance Object by clicking the “Type” line at the very top of the palette (see image below). With the entire type object selected head back to the Effect menu one last time and select Effect > Distort & Transform > Roughen. While in the Roughen settings, first select the Absolute option, second select the Smooth Points option, then set the Size and Detail settings to 1 px and 1 /in.
Here’s what your final text should look like and how the Appearance Palette ended up.
Since we completed the entire tutorial in the Appearance Palette the text is still live and editable so feel free to try different fonts to see what looks best. You can also drag-and-drop the text into your Graphic Styles Palette to quickly use it on multiple items within your design.