08 Now we can go in and change some of the stroke widths. This is to mimic the lighter pressure used on certain strokes of the letters – particularly the joining strokes. To do this, select the path you want and then choose the Scissors tool. Simply click directly on the path at the point where you want it to break apart, and you can change each letter into any number of separate paths.
09 Once you have broken up the letter, you can start changing the stroke widths of the different parts. Try to keep to a set of two or three widths though, to keep coherence between your letters. You can either lower the point size or select a similar brush for these strokes but, again, keep it uniform between the letters. Here I have chosen the same brush that I used for the flourishes, but at 1pt.
10 When you have edited all of the necessary stroke widths, choose the Direct Selection tool, and edit the paths and curves – you can also move some if you need to. This is to allow for the wider angled strokes, and will help finalise the layout and positioning. Now select all the stroked paths and go to Object>Expand Appearance to expand them into vector shapes.
11 The next step is to smooth off all the joins at the parts where you have changed the stroke widths. To do this, use the Pathfinder menu. Zoom in on the area you want to edit, and draw a shape over the top of the section, making the outside edge precisely how you want it. I have used pink here to stand out, but keep it the same colour as the letter. Highlight all of the shapes you want, and hit Unite.
12 Once you have filled in the gaps, trim off the excess lumps of each curve to make it perfectly smooth. To do this, draw the curve again how you want it, but rather than filling the positive space of the letter, fill the negative space around the edge. Again, I’ve just used pink to stand out – you should keep it the same colour. Next, highlight the shapes again and click Minus Front.
13 This step is optional. I have chosen to use some simple ornamented caps for this piece, but you might not want these in your design. I have used a series of horizontal lines and shaded the inner part of the caps, by drawing two identical horizontal lines – one above the other. Next use the Blend tool (Object>Blend>Make) and go to Object>Blend>Blend Options to edit the amount of lines. Lastly, copy the paths from the inside of the caps and use them as a clipping mask.
14 Again, this step is optional. For some added interest to your lettering, try introducing a pin-line shadow. The easiest and quickest way is to select everything (minus any decoration), click Unite and then duplicate the selection. Place this underneath the lettering and remove the fill, but add a thin stroke of a colour or black. Then place it slightly below and to the right of the original lettering. You might need to delete some lines on the very thin strokes.
15 You’re now ready to add the final elements. My piece is a standalone typographic image, so I added a border around the edge to frame it, and then some extra flourishes extending right up to the border. At this stage you can experiment and add to it as you wish, or you can import the vector title into your layouts if the piece is to be used in a spread alongside other content.