Radim Malinic shares a shortcut for creating eye-popping headline typography without the need for 3D software or plugins
- Software Photoshop and Illustrator CS3 or later
- Time needed 3 hours
- Use different blending options
- Edit anchor points
- Master Smart Vector Objects
- Create Photoshop patterns
As a designer and illustrator, I always tend to look for inspiration far away from my regular field of printed work. Recently, in an exploration of London’s West End, I’ve been looking into unusual combinations of 17th century architectural elements with art deco neon advertising – which formed the basis of my latest solo gallery show. In this tutorial, I’ll explore old design values even further and shape them into a different and unusual aesthetic – a design that might resemble a futuristic posh biscuit tin, for example, with a fitting sci-fi style packaging design.
In this walkthrough, I’ll explain how you can build up complex vector patterns from just one basic shape, and how to turn a simple serif font into a headline with extra dimension. All this will be done using the most basic features that have been included in Photoshop and Illustrator for more than a decade. We’ll explore Photoshop’s Layer Blending tools along with the Selective Color adjustment layers, as well as vector shape build-ups in Illustrator via the Offset Path options and custom strokes. Once you’ve mastered the techniques covered here, you can experiment with using them in different ways in your work.
01 Starting in Illustrator, we will work with an abstract title placed in an A4 canvas. I selected Serif Gothic Std to create my main headline, but you can use any serif font you like. Draw and multiply a swoosh shape, and build up the outline of a crest, positioned below the headline.
02 Add a 6pt stroke to each word using the Round Cap and Round Joints settings. This will bold up the type beyond the regular Black version. Copy and paste the type on a new layer and select Outline Stroke (Object>Path>Outline Stroke). Next, select Outline Path to turn all the lines into objects, and choose the Unite filter from the Pathfinder panel.
03 Next, we’ll create two sets of inner paths to help us with adding dimension in later steps. Select each word, and one by one go to Object> Path>Offset Path. Work with two different distances: -0.5mm and -1mm. Afterwards, apply stroke weights of 0.5pt and 1.5pt respectively and tick the Dashed Line option. Change Dash to 100, and Gap to 5.
04 Sometimes the automatic offset process will pick up on imperfections in your anchor points and a smooth curve will gain a few unwanted bumpy points. Click the – key to start removing any rogue points, or alternatively adjust with the Direct Selection tool.
05 After perfecting your type, repeat the same process with the ornate crest placed below the headline, before placing each object into Photoshop. Help yourself by colour-coding the same groups of strokes and objects with different colours. These groups can be picked up by Select>Same>Appearance.