3D Isometric Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator

CREATE THIS COOL TEXT EFFECT FOR YOUR NEXT PROJECT! | Learn to use the Pen Tool and Smart Guides and texture to create this isometric style text effect in Adobe Illustrator

In this Adobe Illustrator tutorial, we’ll build a simple text effect and use the Pen Tool to create inner and outer edges for our letters and then use a series of colors, gradients, and blend modes to make flat text appear to transform into fully 3-dimensional isometric typography that looks awesome in almost any color! You’ll learn about the power of Smart Guides, Masking, Vector Grain Effects, Gradients, Brushing, Blend Modes, and much more!

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Site Exclusive Tutorial Recording Notes:

Disclaimer: these are the actual notes I used to record this video and are written in a language you may or may not understand. Hopefully, you find them useful or cool.

  1. New document, 2560×1440
  2. Fill with a rectangle shape filled with gradient running #a1dadf to #00b2b2
  3. Duplicate that rectangle and fill with a black–white–black gradient running tip-to-bottom and add Texture>Grain 25 Intensity, 0 Contrast, Stippled
  4. Set that layer to Multiply blend mode and 35% opacity
  5. Add text “ZED” with font League Spartan Bold at a size of 850pt and set the tracking to 100
  6. Convert text to outlines and align to center
  7. Fill this piece of text with #f2ce1a
  8. Duplicate the letter(s), hold down Shift, use the Move tool, and nudge down & to the right 3x
  9. Fill this duplicated shape with some random PINK color
  10. Make sure Smart Guides are turned on and grab the Pen Tool
  11. Draw all the 3D sides that will be needed (Do this for “E”, but show how I did this for the letter “D” as well (Use Pathfinder’s Divide to create all the needed shapes)
  12. Use the dark red #991b1e for the bottoms and use the lighter red #f1584a for the sides
  13. Use a gradient on curves and angles
  14. With the PINK letter(s) in place still, trace the inside 3D edges
  15. Set fill of bottom sides to #a68238 and set side pieces to #e5ad37
  16. Select the bottom PINK letter shape and get rid of that
  17. Duplicate the original shape layer(s) for the letter and drag it above all the other layers
  18. Swap fill and stroke and set stroke to 10pt, inside aligned, and #f1584a
  19. Duplicate that stroke shape and set stroke to 5pt with color #ffdd99
  20. Select the stroke we just adjusted and go Object>Path>Offset Path and set this to -10px
  21. This will duplicate the stroke automatically, just go in and ungroup these two paths
  22. Adjust all the 3D insides and resize the paths with the Direct Selection tool as needed to re-align with this new border edge
  23. Select the original colored letter and fill with white and add an Inner Glow, black, 100% opacity, 65pt blur
  24. Go Effect>Texture>Grain and set Grain to Stippled, 15 Intensity, 0 Contrast
  25. Set this shape to Multiply and 35% opacity
  26. Select all the side pieces and fill each shape with a black to white gradient (the white side should be nearest the top stroke part of the artwork)
  27. Select all these shapes and set to Multiply and set to 35% opacity
  28. Grab the mop bristle brush and the Brush tool. Set the fill to black and start painting (this brush will automatically pick up the Grain, Multiply, and 35% opacity)
  29. Use this brush and hand “paint” in grain near the bottom edges of the outer 3D sides to give a nice organic grain look
  30. Select all these painted paths and Group them and then copy the outer 3D sides and use those shapes as a mask to contain this new layer group of painted grain
  31. Select the original letter shape and the outer 3d side shapes and copy and paste them in place
  32. Set all the fills to white and use Pathfinder to merge these shape into one
  33. Move this new shape to the top of the layer stack
  34. Set fill to a black to white gradient at 60º angle and apply the grain trick to this shape to give an overall grain wash for our shape