Illustrator Quick Tip: 3D Type in Perspective

Illustrator Quick Tip: 3D Type in Perspective

The perspective grid in Illustrator is a powerful tool, but when you throw in a little type and 3D beveling you can create some very appealing typography for posters, book covers or whatever you choose. This quick tip will walk you through placing type on the perspective grid and applying a 3D effect.

First up, lets activate the perspective grid in Illustrator by clicking the Perspective Grid Tool (Shift+P).

The grid will appear over your document.

You’ll also notice the small icon above the grid. This icon controls which side of the grid you are working on. Click the sides of the cube to choose the different angles in the grid to place objects.

Using the Type Tool (T) click your document and enter some text.

Using the Perspective Selection Tool (Shift+V), select and drag the text onto the grid. The text will conform to which ever side is selected on the cube. In this case, it is the left side.

The text remains editable, but you will have to double click it to open it in isolation mode in order to do so. Lets go ahead and do that to change the color. I’ve changed mine to orange.

Press ESC to exit isolation mode. You can also turn the grid off by clicking the X next to the cube icon, or select (View | Perspective Grid | Hide Grid).

Now lets apply a 3D effect to the text. Click (Effect | 3D | Extrude & Bevel). Inside the 3D effect dialogue box, place a check in the box next to preview so that you can see your changes take place. I used the following settings for my text. Yours may vary depending on which side of the grid you placed your text.

Here is my final result. One really cool aspect of this technique is that the text remains fully editable.

By experimenting with the perspective grid and 3D effects in Illustrator, you can achieve some really impressive effects.

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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.


(+add yours)
  1. Wade Hiner

    Great stuff as always Nathan.

  2. xander

    good stuff – might want to spellcheck your Bio though: “everything is fare game” you want ‘fair’ not ‘fare’. Employers and fans do notice this stuff.

  3. Kwaku Jonah

    I have been searching for this in days. Thanks Nathan Brown

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