common object example


3D Text with Symbols in Illustrator

    ●  Learn 3D.

Learn About:


  •   This tutorial is part of the We Can Be Heroes! and Comic Book Cover Projects.

Other People's Work:

Here are examples of work inspired by this tutorial.

splat1 splatsplat splat splat splat

Step #1: Open your Project in Illustrator ~

Open YOUR PROJECT in Illustrator …

… if you're working on the Comic Book Project, open that…

… (Remember: all these tutorials are intended to be
applied to YOUR PROJECT) …

… whatever project you're working on, create a New Layer, and lock lock your other layers.

new layer

 If you absolutely don't have an Illustrator project, open a new Print Document.

Step #2: Symbols ~

Open Symbols or go to: Window > Symbols


… click Symbol Libraries Menu

… choose Grime Vector Pack

… and drag one onto the artboard.

Step #3: Break the Link ~

With the Symbol on the Artboard selected, go up to the Control panel and click the Break Link button.

break link

Step #4: Swatches ~

Click the Swatches icon or go to: Window > Swatches

… and choose a bright color for the shape.

Step #5: Drag Another Symbol onto the Artboard ~

Drag another Grime Vector Pack onto the artboard, break the link, and choose a different color for it.


Step #6: Change Perspective of the Symbol ~

Select one of the shapes and go to: Effect > 3D > Rotate, hit Preview, and rotate the cube.

Also, set the Perspective to give it an exaggerated look that adds more interest.

Step #7: Apply a similar Rotation to the Second Symbol ~

Click on the other symbol and go to: Effect > Apply Rotate to apply the same effect to the other.

Step #8: Drop Shadow ~

With the splats selected, go to: Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow

… and adjust the drop shadow to your own needs.

Step #9: Text ~

Get the Type Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (t) …

type tool

… draw a box and type something you can use:

If you're working on a the Comic Book Project, you could use a Title. <

If you're working on your Cereal Box Project, or your Package Redesign Project, type the name of your product.

Whatever you're working on type something you can use in your work!

If you really can't think of anything to type, try writing a Call to Action! like these:

Step #10: Download and Install an Appropriate Font ~

Download An Interesting Font you could use in your work.

  •   Go to: and download a font that fits your theme.
  •   Look for big Bold fonts appropriate to your project.

Step #11: Create Outlines ~

Convert the text to outlines by Right-Clicking or going to: Type > Create Outlines.


Step #12: 3D ~

Then go to: Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel. Grab the cube and position the text in 3D. Also set the Perspective and the Extrude Depth until you get something you like.

Next, click the More Options button to reveal the lighting controls.

Grab the light handle on the sphere and adjust to your liking.

Position everything to your liking and click OK.


Step #13: Color your Letters ~

Get the Direct Selection Tool direct selection tool by hitting the keyboard shortcut letter (a) and click one of the letters …

… and change the colors of each letter if you like.

Step #14: Rotate the Letters ~

Then get the Rotate Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (r) rotate tool

… and rotate each letter slightly the same way.

Rotate each letter slightly varying the rotation.


Step #15: More Drop Shadows ~

Select the text and add more Drop Shadow to that by going to: Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow again an see if that works…

Last Step: Save and Attach ~

Save your work as -]

Attach it!

  •   ALWAYS save your projects using the following naming convention:

  •   DO NOT name your project any other way - Improperly named projects will not receive credit and you will be sad.

  •   NEVER leave your work on the desktop or depend on a flash drive - instead, save your work in a folder you can find later - preferably on a virtual drive where it can be backed up.

Other Resources: