Text, Gradients and Stroke in Illustrator

    ●  Create some Text your can Use in your Work, Outline it, add a Gradient Fill and Stroke.

    ● Maybe for your Tagline, "Call-to-Action" or Promotional Copy on your current project - Available Now! - Buy Today! - Sale - Win - Free - Offer Expires - Hurry - Best Value - Free Shipping - Reply Today - Click Here.

Learn About:

Create OutlinesText ToolStrokeWarp Effects

  •   This tutorial is an entry level tutorial often used in the CD Cover, Make a Scene, Comic Book Cover and We Can Be Heros! Projects.

Other People's Work:

Here are examples of work inspired by this tutorial.

blend-text-example justify text example

Step #1: Open Your Project in Illustrator ~

Open YOUR CURRENT PROJECT in Illustrator

… if it's the CD Cover, open it …

Click to view the project database

Click to view the project database


… if you're working on the
Movie Poster Project,
open that …


Comic Book Project

Click to view the project database


… (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.

Step #2: Type Something ~

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

… draw a box and type something you can USE IN YOUR PROJECT!

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

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

Or the Movie Poster Project, you could try to Terrorize or Horrify your customers!

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: https://www.netatlantic.com/blog/2012/04/20-effective-call-to-action-cta-phrases/

Step #3: Set your Font Type and Size ~

After you draw a box …

… and type some text you can use in your project …

… then go to http://www.dafont.com/ and search for a font that fits your project theme:

  •   For instance, if you want a text or font that looks Old, search for that at dafont.com.


  •   If you want something that looks like Money, search for that. Get it?

Step #4: Direct Selection Tool ~

Get the Selection Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (v) …

… go to: Type > Create Outlines



… or hit the keyboard shortcut:

shift key+ +



… but however you do it, be sure to ALWAYS create outlines of your text.


Step #5: Gradient Text ~

Now click the Gradient icon or hit the keyboard shortcut: Cmd(⌘)+F9 and select Linear.

Set both sides of the gradient colors by clicking on the sliders.

Adjust the angle of your gradient here (if necessary).

… try different colors, settings and other options. Experiment! Try different stuff!

Step #6: Stroke the Text ~

Now, with the text selected …

… click on the Stroke color in the top menu bar and select a color.

Step #7: Stroke Weight ~

Raise the stroke size to 4 or 6 pixels (or bigger):

Step #8: Align the Stroke ~

Now, click the word Stroke on the menu bar …

… and click "Align Stroke to Outside".

Step #9: Warp ~

Then go to: Effect > Warp > Arc


… and modify the settings to your liking.

Step #10: Drop Shadow ~

Then go to: Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow

… and apply Drop Shadow to the text.

If you're working on the Heros! Project ~

… go to: File > Save for Web … and change the document format to png-24

… then insert your image into your PowerPoint and add some animation to it!

Last Step: Save and Attach ~

Otherwise, save your work as - FIRST_NAME_LAST_NAME_PROJECT_NAME.ai

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: http://horror.about.com/od/horrortoppicklists/a/50besttaglines.htm