Create a Quick and Easy Typographic Illustration in Illustrator

Create a Quick and Easy Typographic Illustration in Illustrator

Creating a hand drawn look in Illustrator is easier than you think. So easy in fact, that you can create an entire design that looks completely hand drawn in a matter of minutes. I’ll show you how below in this easy to follow tutorial.

Create a Silhouette Image

For this tutorial I chose a rooster. I had this random rooster image on my computer already. You can use whatever animal you like, or a completely different shape like a car or house for example.

We’ll need to create a silhouette of the image. I cover several different ways of creating silhouettes in this handy article over at Medialoot. You can use whatever method you feel most comfortable with. For this one, I simply traced the rooster with the Pen Tool in Illustrator.

The finished silhouette.

Add Type to the Image and Warp it

Now that we have our silhouette, we need to add some type. I chose a font called FFAD Matro. It’s a free download available here.

Layout the type with each word as a separate element. Place the type and size each word so that it sits close to the edge of the silhouette on either side.

To begin shaping the words, select the first word and click Object | Envelope Distort | Make with Mesh. Enter 1 for the rows and 2 for the columns. I’m entering 2 because my first word is very short with only two letters. Normally I would choose 4 or 6 for longer words.

Click okay, and choose the Direct Selection Tool (A) and begin warping the word to fit within the borders of the silhouette.

Now continue with all of the words until they all fit nicely within the border of the silhouette.

It doesn’t get much easier than that, does it?

Add Texture to Finish it up

To wrap it up, let’s add some texture. I had a vector texture on hand, and so do you if you’re a WeGraphic member. If you’re not, you can easily create your own vector texture by taking a black and white texture file importing it into Illustrator and running an image trace.

I also copied and pasted the silhouette, removed the fill and gave it a black stroke with a size of 5pt. I placed this copy above the texture so that the texture doesn’t go all the way to the edge.

You can even take it over to Photoshop and invert the color to white, and a photo background and you have an instant hipster style design that is sure to impress your friends! :-)

I’d love to see your typographic illustrations! Feel free to share them using the comment fields below.

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Nathan Brown

Nathan Brown is a graphic designer who loves working with various media. He combines traditional art styles with a little experimentation and digital flare. Nathan's works have contained everything from ink and paint to leaves and a box of dirt. Everything is fare game when it comes to his approach to art. Nathan lives in Austin, Texas where he has been working as a designer for 10 years.


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  1. Very creative tutorial! Thanks for it. Mine will be a frog :)

  2. Really good tutorial. Very clearly laid out instructions. I have been meaning to improve my illustrator skills (mainly used photoshop). Thanks for the idea, I will definitely be doing something with this soon.

  3. nice tutorial dude! this typographic tutorial is what i’m looking for. thanks for provide it! cheers!

  4. Daniel

    Thank you for this. Had a little trouble at first but in the end it didn’t look so bad :)

  5. It’s a helpful instruction. Illustrator is a amazing tool for typographic. Thanks for sharing

  6. I am glad to see your eye catching illustrator text effects. Your all text effect collection is very useful to newbie designers. I like new design for text effects. It helped me to increase my designing knowledge. Thanks to share this tutorial.

  7. Yeah…Thats the post I was looking for.

  8. It’s a helpful instruction. Illustrator is a amazing tool for typographic. It helped me to increase my designing knowledge. Thanks to share this tutorial.

  9. Yeah…Thats the post I was looking for.

  10. Nice Post………………

  11. Very creative tutorial! Thanks for it.

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