Create Stylized Text

In this Illustrator tutorial, I'll show you how to create a stylized type treatment with a free font, gradients, blends, and some scatter brushes.

Final Image Preview

Below is the final type treatment image to show you what we're working towards.


Step 1

Before we get started in Illustrator, choose a font style you want to use. The font in this tutorial is Museo Font. If you do not have it then you can download it and install it on your system. Follow the directions below:

  1. Go to
  2. Find a font you would like to use that is free.
  3. Download the font to you computer.
  4. Double click the download icon to install the font and the window below will appear that shows the font name and appearance, similar to the one below:=. In this example I used a font called Museo. You may use any font that you would like for this project, just make sure that it is a thick or fat font so that latter on when you fill the text with a gradient it will show the detail of the gradient fill.

    picture 2

  5. Click on the Install Font button and the font will be installed in the Font Book folder. Now all applications will be able to use it.
    picture 3

Step 2 - Create the document (movie)

  1. Create a new Letter sized document by selecting File > New

Step 3 - Draw a rectangle (movie)

  1. Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to create a rectangle that is the exact size of your document.
Step 2

Step 4 - Create a gradient inside the rectangle (movie)

  1. Fill the rectangle with a Radial Gradient from the Gradient Panel.
  2. Change the first swatch on the Gradient slider to a violet color and change the second swatch to a dark violet color.
Step 3

Step 5 - Use the pen tool to draw a line (movie)

  1. With the Pen Tool draw a curvy line that stretches across your document window.
  2. Change the stroke to 5 pt
  3. change the color to white (so you can see it against the background, but we will be changing it soon).

Step 6 - duplicate the lines (movie)

  1. Select the line with the Selection Tool (V) while holding down Alt, and drag out a copy to the right and down so the copied line is still inside the background.

Step 7 - expand the lines (movie)

  1. Select both lines
  2. Create a blend by going to Object > Blend > Make.
  3. Go to Object > Blend > Blend Options, to bring up the Blend Options dialog.
  4. Change the Spacing to Specified Steps from the drop-down menu and change the option to 15.
  5. With the blend selected, go to Object > Expand to separate the blend.
  6. With the lines still selected, expand again, to outline the stokes.

Step 8 - create a line gradient (movie)

  1. Use the black arrow selection tool and click on the lines to select them
  2. Open the Gradient window by selecting Window > Gradient
  3. Choose shades similar to the rectangle to create your line gradient by clicking on the stops of the gradient and then choosing a color for that stop.


Step 9 - apply the line gradient (movie)

  1. Change the first swatch to a lighter violet than before
  2. Fill the outlined line with the same Radial Gradient that you used for the background
  3. Select the lines and the background,
  4. Use the Gradient Tool (G) to adjust the gradient
  5. Click in the middle of the rectangle and drag to the top of the rectangle. This will match up the transitions on the gradients.

Step 10 - create an ellipse

  1. Create a ellipse with the Ellipse Tool (L) that is 10 px by 10 px.
  2. Fill it will a violet color.
Step 10

Step 11 - create an object offset

  1. With the ellipse selected, go to Object > Path > Offset, to bring up the Offset Path dialog.
  2. In the dialog, change the Offset to -4 px. Change the offset ellipse to a light orange.
Step 11

Step 12 - change the ellipse opacity (movie)

  1. Select the bigger ellipse and
  2. Change the opacity to 0 from the Transparency Panel
  3. Select both ellipses and create a blend by going to Object > Blend > Make.
Step 12

Step 13 - create a scatter brush with the ellipse (movie)

  1. Before you start making a brush in this step, save a copy of the blend for later use.
  2. Select the new blend and drag it into the Brush Panel.
  3. When the New Brush dialog opens, select New Scatter Brush from the dialog.
  4. When the Scatter Brush Options dialog opens you are going to need to change a couple of settings.
  5. First change all the drop-down menus to Random except the Rotation.
  6. Change the first field for the Size to 20 and the second field to 100.
  7. For the Spacing, change the first to 15 and the second to 115.
  8. For the Scatter, change the first to -220 and the second to 175.
Step 13

Step 14 - use the new scatter brush (movie)

  1. With the Brush Tool (B), draw a wavy brush stroke in the middle of your background, creating a scatter of your blend.

Step 15 - change the brush blend mode (movie)

  1. With the brush stroke selected, change the Blend Mode to Overlay from the Transparency Panel
  2. Give it an Opacity of 25.

Step 16 - draw more brush strokes(movie 1) (MOVIE 2)

  1. Draw four to five more brush strokes,
  2. then change all of them to Overlay.
  3. Change the opacity on the stroke, but vary the percentage as well as the stroke weights.Step 16

Step 17- scale the brush and paint (movie)

  1. Select the blend copy that you saved from Step 13
  2. Scale it to 52 px by 52 px.Step 17
  3. Set the copied shape to Overlay and it place over your brush strokes.Step 18
  4. Copy (Command + C) the blend ellipse and Paste (Command + V) a couple more times.
  5. Scale the copies separately to get varying sizes
  6. Place them in different spots over the brush strokes.Step 19

Step 20 - CREATE THE TEXT (movie)

  1. Create the text for the project using your first and/or last name.
  2. Type out some copy and change the font to the font you want to use. Make sure it is a fat or thick font so that the gradient will look great in later steps.
  3. Change the Tracking to -100 from the Character Panel.
  4. Outline the text by going to Type > Create Outlines.

Step 21 - break apart the text (movie)

  1. Select the text on the artboard using the Selection tool to make it active.
  2. With the outlines selected go Object > Ungroup (Command + Shift + G).

Step 22 - modify the anchor points of the text (movie)

  1. In this step we're going to modify the text. If you typed something different, the basic idea of connecting the letters will be the same.
  2. With the Direct Selection Tool (A), press Shift and select the top right line on the V.
  3. Drag the line until it's overlapping the E. You might need to modify individual anchor point as well. In the example below, I dragged the top right anchor point to the right to close up the gap.
Step 22

Step 23 - Group the Text back together (movie)

  1. Continue doing this to the other horizontal elements of the outline text until all the text is connected.
  2. Group the text back together

Step 24 - fill the text with a linear gradient (movie)

  1. Fill the text with a Linear Gradient.
  2. Add another swatch to the Linear Gradient by clicking right below the Gradient Slider in the Gradient Panel to give you a three swatch gradient.
  3. Change the first swatch to white, the second swatch to a light blue-green color, and the last swatch to a dark blue-green color.
  4. Use the Gradient Tool to adjust the gradient
  5. Place the text in the middle of your document over all the other artwork.

Step 25 - create the elipse (movie)

  1. For this next step, we're going to create another brush.
  2. Draw a 14 px by 14px ellipse.
  3. With the Direct Selection Tool, select the right anchor point and drag it to the right - doubling its length.
  4. With the point still selected, set the Control Panel defaults to the Anchor Options.
  5. To the left of the Control Panel, press the Corner button, converting the anchor point to a corner.
Step 26

Step 27 - create the art brush (movie)

  1. Fill the shape with black, drag the shape into the Brush Panel
  2. Choose New Art Brush from the New Brush dialog.
  3. When the Art Brush dialog appears, change the Colorization Method to Tints at the bottom of the dialog.
Step 27

Step 28 - create the brush stroke with the art brush (movie)

  1. Select the Brush tool.
  2. Create a brush stroke to the bottom left of the first letter in your name. It is a good idea to change the stroke color to a lighter color than black so you can see it.
  3. Add two more strokes above the previous one.
  4. Fill the outlined brush stroke with a Linear Gradient.
  5. Make the first swatch a blue and the second swatch a dark blue.
  6. Select the text and bring it to the front by going to Object > Arrange > Bring to Front.Step 29

Step 30 - expand the brush strokes (movie)

  1. Expand the brush strokes by going to Object > Expand Appearance.
  2. Next, it's a good idea to clean up the leftover paths by going to Object > Path > Clean Up.
Step 30Step 31

Step 32 - create more art brush strokes (movie)

  1. Copy (Command + C) and Paste (Command + V) both shapes numerous times around the text.
  2. On some of the copies, change the swatches on the Linear Gradient to a pink color and a dark pink color.
  3. Adjust the gradient so the darkest part of the gradient is closet to the text.
  4. When you place the copies around the text make sure to rotate and flip the shapes. All done!
Step 32

Adjust layers (movie)

You may need to adjust the layers of your objects.

  1. You can do this by opening up the layers window and moving layers above or below other layers.
  2. You can also select


You may need to select the lines and rotate or resize them to fit your design.


Customize your design to reflect your personal style.

Final Image

Below is the final type treatment image again.

final designfinal

The original tutorial can be found at