Illustrator Tutorial: Retro Text Effect with Concentric Stripes

Illustrator Tutorial: Retro Text Effect with Concentric Stripes


Hello
everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics back with another video tutorial for Adobe
Illustrator. Today I’m going to show you how to create
this concentric stripe effect, which is inspired by the artwork of Tyler Spangler. A subscriber got in touch to ask what I thought
the best method would be to produce this stripy outline effect. If Illustrator’s Offset Path tool springs
to mind you’re correct! But stick around and I’ll show you an additional trick to eliminate
the tedious process of adding each stripe individually, so you’ll be able to fill an
entire poster with this retro stripe effect within seconds. For the sake of this tutorial I’m just using a
generic A4 document with pixel units of measurements, but you can create artwork to any specifications. We first need a colour scheme for our stripes.
I’ll be using this ready-made palette named Candy Shop from ColourLovers, but again any
colour scheme will work, especially those with a retro vibe. Whatever colours we use need to be saved as
Swatches. My preferred technique is to screenshot the palette, paste it into Illustrator, then
use the Eyedropper to sample each hue. With the hue loaded, click the New icon in
the Swatches panel to save the custom colour. Repeat for all the colours in your desired
palette. Grab the Type tool and enter some wording
for the centre of the effect. I’m using a nice heavy rounded version of a typeface from
the Adobe Fonts library named Korolev. Click the link in the description to Activate it. Adjust the size and leading as necessary,
then bring up the Align panel to centre it up. Choose Align to Artboard under the Align
To settings, then click the Horizontal and Vertical buttons. Right click and select Convert to Outlines,
or use the shortcut CMD+Shift+O (or CTRL+Shift+O on Windows). We’ll be using Illustrator’s Offset Path command
to build this stripy effect, but adding each new outline individually would take forever.
We can save time by incorporating the process into an Action. Go to Window and bring up the Actions panel,
if it isn’t visible within your interface already. Create a new Set with a suitable name, then
create a new Action. Illustrator will now record your every move,
so you can then replay the steps automatically. Go to Object>Path>Offset path to add the
first outline. I’m using 10px, but you can use the Preview feature to find a suitable
value for your artwork. Because the offset path has been added to
a collection of individual letters, it has created a series of separate outlines. Click
the Unite button in the Pathfinder panel to merge them into one. Change the colour of the offset shape to the
first of the custom swatches. If the stacking order is all wrong, right
click and choose Arrange>Send to Back. These extra couple of steps are only required
for the very first offset path, but it won’t hurt if they’re applied as part of the Action
steps to subsequent outlines. Go to Object>Path>Offset Path again to
add the next outline. Use the same offset value, the choose the next swatch from your
custom palette. Add another offset path and choose the next
swatch, and so on until you’ve used up all the hues
from your colour scheme. Press the Stop icon in the Actions panel to
stop recording the process. Rather than continue manually creating each new outline, we can
automatically apply those steps to create each coloured stripe in turn. Click on the main Action, then click the Play
icon to repeat those steps to add several more stripes to the effect. Repeatedly clicking the Play icon will extend
the concentric pattern. Keep going until you reach beyond the edge of the artboard. To change the colour of the text in the centre,
you will first need to Ungroup the object. Click on some empty space to deselect, which
might take some zooming out and panning to find the area around the artboard. Hold the Shift key and click all the letters
to select them all, then change the Fill colour. To give them more definition, make a Copy,
then choose Paste in Back under the Edit menu, or the CMD+B shortcut. Nudge this duplicate down and right using
the keyboard cursor keys, then change the fill to Black. Select the main letters again and give them
a black stroke. This simple text effect helps complement the retro theme. An optional step could be to apply a stroke
to everything, which gives more definition to the outline effect. Finally to trim the effect down, draw a temporary
shape with the Rectangle tool to match the edges of the artboard. Press CMD+A to Select All, then click the
Crop button in the Pathfinder panel. The final result is a colourful retro effect
with concentric stripes. There’s no end to the variations you could produce with different
quotes, graphics, and colour schemes. The use of Illustrator’s Offset Path tool
might have been pretty obvious to seasoned Illustrator uses, but hopefully combining
it with an Action was a useful tip that saved you lots of tedious steps. If you enjoyed this tutorial or learnt any
new tricks a thumbs up would be greatly appreciated. Subscribe to stick around for more of my content,
and head over to my Spoon Graphics website to download my free bundle of design resources. As always thank you very much for watching,
and I’ll see you in the next one.

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