Creating an Environmentally Friendly Green Type Treatment


Final Image

First, let's take a look at the image we'll be creating. Below is the completed illustration to see what you'll be working toward. The original tutorial can be found at This tutorial has been modified with additional directions for beginning Illustrator students.

Final Image

Step 1 - create the text and turn the text to outlines

  1. Create a document that is 8.5 inches by 11 inches.
  2. Choose a typeface for the type treatment (I used Helvetica Bold) and type out what you want. your first and/or last name. You can also use some other test if you wish.
  3. Outline the text by going to Type > Create Outlines.
Step 1

Step 2 - Apply a Green Linear Gradient to the text

  1. With the text selected using the black arrow selection tool, create a Linear Gradient from the Gradient Panel to the right.
  2. Change the color of the first swatch on the Gradient Slider (left swatch) to a light green (I used these CMYK values: C=40, M=0, Y=100, and K=0).
  3. Change the second swatch on the Gradient Slider to a darker green (C=60 M=16 Y=100 K=0).
  4. Use the Gradient Tool (G) from the tools panel to adjust the gradient by clicking at the top of the type and dragging to the bottom of the type so the dark part is at the bottom.
Step 2

Step 3 - draw the leaves

  1. Start by drawing a leaf shape with the Pen Tool (P).
  2. Use Pen Tool (P), draw a line that starts at the tip of leaf and ends in the middle of the bottom part of the leaf.
  3. After selecting the line and the leaf shape, press the Divide button in the Pathfinder Panel, located on the bottom left side of the panel.
  4. Ungroup (Command+Shift+G) the objects so you have two separate shapes.
Step 3

Step 4 - apply a linear gradient to the leaf

  1. Select both shapes and create the same colored Linear Gradient as the Text.
  2. Select one shape side of the leaf and use the Gradient Tool (G) to click and drag at a 45 degree angle across the leaf half shape.
  3. Do this again for the other half of the leaf.
Step 4

Step 5 - create a leaf highlight

  1. With the Pen Tool (P) draw a highlight shape on the top leaf half.
  2. Change the highlight shape to a Radial Gradient.
  3. Change the left swatch to white and the right swatch to your green color (C=40 M=0 Y=100 K=0).
Step 5

Step 6 - create the leaf stem

  1. With the Pen Tool (P), create a stem shape.
  2. Send it behind the leaf shapes. In the layers window the stem should be under the leaf layer. This can be accomplished by selectin Object > Arrange > Send Backward from the drop down menus.
  3. Create a Linear Gradient, make the gradient the same colors as the leaf shapes, and adjust the gradient using the gradient tool so the darker green is at the top of the stem.
Step 6

Step 7 - Create the water droplets

  1. Create an oblong ellipse with the Ellipse Tool (L).
  2. Then create a Linear Gradient using the same colors as the leaf and text.
  3. Adjust the gradient so the dark side is on the bottom left.
  4. Create another ellipse on top of the previous ellipse and create a Radial Gradient with the same swatches as the highlight gradient.
  5. Adjust this gradient so the light part of the gradient is coming from the bottom left.
  6. Create two more smaller ellipses with Linear Gradients matching the highlight gradient.
  7. Once you are done, group all the ellipses, by selecting Object > Group
  8. Scale the droplets and place them on the leaf shapes by selecting them with the Black Arrow direct selection tool, and grabbing an anchor point to resize them.
  9. Copy the droplet by holding down Alt and dragging a copy.
Step 7

Step 8 - create the ladybug body

  1. Create an ellipse and fill it with a Linear Gradient.
  2. Make the first swatch in the gradient a red (C=0 M=100 Y=100 K=0) and the second an even darker red (C=0 M=100 Y=100 K=35).
  3. Adjust the gradient so the red color is at the bottom of the ellipse using the gradient tool
  4. Copy (Ctrl + C) the ellipse
  5. Paste it in Front (Ctrl + V). Select the ellipse and then select Object > Arrange > Bring Forward.
  6. Draw another bigger ellipse that overlaps the center of the original ellipse.
  7. Select the copied ellipse from the previous step that is directly under the larger overlapping ellipse.
  8. Open the pathfinder window by selecting Windows > Pathfinder from the drop down menus. Select the Intersect Shape Areas button in the Pathfinder Panel.
  9. Make the intersected shape a Linear Gradient with the first swatch white and the second swatch red.
  10. Adjust the gradient so the white is at the top of the shape.
Step 8

Step 9 - draw the ladybug spots

  1. Draw five more ellipses over the ladybug body shape.
  2. Select all of the shapes and group them together by selecting Object > Group from the drop down menus.
  3. Copy (Ctrl + C) the original body ellipse shape and Paste it in Front (Ctrl + F) and directly underneath the 5 grouped spots.
  4. With the copied body shape and the five ellipse selected, select the Intersect the shapes option from the pathfinder window.
  5. Change the dots to a Linear Gradient with the first swatch a really dark red and the second swatch a black red.
  6. Adjust the gradient using the gradient tool so the lightest red is at the bottom of the combined shapes.
  7. Copy (Ctrl + C) the top highlighted shape of the body and Paste it in Front (Ctrl + F).
  8. Copy (Ctrl + C) the dots and Paste it in Front (Ctrl + F).
  9. Select the copied highlight and one of the dots copy and Intersect them by selecting the Intersect button in the pathfinder window.
  10. Create a Linear Gradient with the first swatch at 60% black and the second at 90% black.
  11. Adjust the gradient so the lighter black is at the top of the shape.
Step 9

Step 10 - create the ladybugs head

  1. Create another ellipse for the ladybug's head.
  2. Create a gradient the same as the top dots gradient and
  3. Send the head behind the body shape by selecting Object > Arrange > Send Back.
  4. Draw an antenna shape with the Pen Tool (P) and place it behind the head by selecting it and selecting Object > Arrange > Send Back.
  5. Copy (Ctrl + C) the antenna and Paste it in Front (Ctrl + F).
  6. Reflect the antenna by pressing the Flip Horizontal option from the pop-up menu of the Transform Panel. Select Object > Transform > Reflect. Change the options to Flip Horizontal and then click on the Copy button so that a copy of the antenna is made.
Step 10

Step 11 - create the ladybug shadow

  1. Draw an ellipse roughly the size of the completed ladybug that does not have a stroke applied.
  2. Create a Radial Gradient so the inside swatch is black and the outside is white and apply it to the ellipse.
  3. Set the ellipse to Multiply from the Transparency Panel.
  4. send it behind the ladybug to the bottom left, creating a drop shadow.
  5. Select the ladybug and the drop shadow and group them by selecting Object > Group from the drop down menus.
  6. Place the ladybug on the leaf.
  7. Then scale and rotate the lady bug as needed.
  8. You can copy and paste the ladybug to make more than one ladybug on the leaf by selecting the ladybug, holding down the Alt key and dragging the copied ladybug to a new location.
Step 11

Step 12 - place the leaf on your text

  1. Select the leaf and all the elements on it, place them over your text.
  2. Below the objects are attached to the first letter.
Step 12

Step 13 - copy the leaf and place it on other letters

  1. Copy (Ctrl + C) the leaf and elements, except the lady bug, and Paste (Ctrl + V).
  2. Flip the leaf horizontally and scale down the leaf.
  3. When scaling you don't have to constrain the proportions, this helps the leaf look different from the other.
  4. Repeat this step a couple of times around the text.
Step 13

Step 14 - create some art brush accents on the letters

  1. For the other leaves we are going to create an Art Brush. You can draw these elements with the Pen Tool (P), but you'll find it more consistent and easier to use a brush.
  2. Draw an oblong ellipse.
  3. Then with the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the right anchor point in the ellipse.
  4. When you select an anchor point the Control Panel will default to the Anchor Point Options.
  5. Convert the anchor point to a Corner (the first button to the right on the Control Panel). Do this again for the left anchor point.
  6. Next, squish the ellipse down from the top to half its original size.
Step 14

Step 15 - turn the ellipse into an art brush

  1. Drag the oval into the Brush Panel and choose New Art Brush.
  2. In the Art Brush options change Colorization to Tints. This lets you change the color of the brush without creating a new brush.
  3. You don't need to change the colors of the brush strokes for this tutorial, but it is good practice.

    Step 15

Step 16 - use the new art brush to create the swirls

  1. With your new brush, make a swirl shape for a leaf blade.
  2. You might need to change the stroke of the brush if it looks to small or too big.
  3. When you get a stroke you like, go to Object > Expand.
  4. You will also want to clean up the unfilled stroke. An easy way to do this is to go Object > Path > Clean Up. Also, make sure all the check boxes are checked and press OK.
Step 16

Step 17 - turn the brush strokes into linear gradients

  1. Select the expanded brush shape and create a Linear Gradient with the same swatches as the original text gradient.
Step 17

Step 18 - create additional strokes of accent art brush strokes

  1. Place another art brush stroke.
  2. Object expand the stroke
  3. Appy a gradient to the stroke.
  4. Repeat the steps for creating the leaf blade around your text as mush as needed. Try to vary the shape and size of the blades.
Step 18

Step 19 - create and add water droplets

  1. Next we're going to add some more water droplets around the text.
  2. Simply Copy (Ctrl + C) the droplets on the leaf you already made and Paste (Command + V) them around the text.
  3. Be sure to vary their size and shape.
Step 19

Step 20 - create the dirt

Now it is time to work on the dirt at the bottom of the text.

  1. Double click on the Pencil Tool (N) in the Tools Panel to bring up the Pencil Tool Options.
  2. Change the Fidelity to 5 to get really smooth lines.
  3. Use you Pencil Tool (N) to draw a small circular shape. Press Alt before you let go to close the shape.
  4. Next, create a Radial Gradient with the interior swatch a brown color (C=35 M=60 Y=80 K=25) and the exterior swatch a dark brown color (C=50 M=70 Y=80 K=70) .
  5. Place the spot on the first letter of your word.
  6. Scale the dot down smaller than one of the droplets.
Step 20

Step 21 - create lots of dirt

Repeat step 20 and create lots of varying dirt clumps until you have a pile of dirt spots on you first letter.

Step 21

Step 22 - copy and paste the dirt pile to the other letters

Copy (Ctrl + C) and Paste (Ctrl + V) the dirt pile until you have covered the very bottom of all the letters.

Step 22

Step 23 - create a shadow behind the dirt

  1. Draw a Radial Gradient ellipse like you did for the ladybug drop shadow using white and gray as your gradient colors.
  2. Squish the ellipse to about half the size.
  3. Send the ellipse behind all the artwork Object > Arrange > Sned Back
  4. Set the Blend Mode to Multiply in the transparency panel.
  5. Place the shadow behind the dirt clumps.
Step 23

Step 24

Copy and paste this drop shadow under all the letters so that there is a slight shadow under the dirt.

Step 24

Step 25 - create the background

  1. For the background create a rectangle with the Rectangle Tool that is the size of you document.
  2. Give it a Radial Gradient, make the interior swatch white and the second swatch a light green (C=13 M=0 Y=38 K=0).
Step 25

Final Image - congratulations!

Now you have a nice Green type treatment!

Final Image