How to Distress a Font in Illustrator

Post pobrano z: How to Distress a Font in Illustrator

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In the following steps, you’ll learn how to easily apply a distressed effect to any font in Adobe Illustrator.

What You’ll Learn in This Distressed Font Tutorial

  • How to create a new document in Illustrator
  • How to create a distressed pattern in Illustrator
  • How to apply a grunge or distressed effect to any font
  • How to create a grunge font in Illustrator

For more inspiration on how to adjust or improve your final text effect, you can find plenty of resources at GraphicRiver.

Follow along with us over on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:

What You’ll Need

You will need the following resource in order to create this effect:

1. How to Create a New Document

Hit Control-N to create a new document. Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, enter 850 in the width box and 600 in the height box, and then click that More Settings button. Select RGB for the Color Mode, set the Raster Effects to Screen (72 ppi), and then click Create Document.

new document

2. How to Create a Distressed Font Effect

Step 1

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and simply click inside your artboard to open the Rectangle window. Set the Width to 870 px and the Height to 620 px and then click OK to create your new shape. Remove the stroke color and change the fill color to black (R=0 G=0 B =0).

Make sure that this shape stays selected and focus on the control panel. Set the Alignment to Artboard and then click the Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons to move your shape to the center of the artboard.

rectangle

Step 2

Make sure that your rectangle stays selected and go to Effect > Sketch > Chalk & Charcoal. Enter the settings shown in the following image, and click OK.

chalk charcoal effect

Step 3

Make sure that your rectangle is still selected and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the settings shown in the following image, and then click OK.

film grain effect

Step 4

Make sure that your rectangle is still selected and go to Effect > Texture > Grain. Enter the settings shown in the following image, and then click OK.

grain effect

Step 5

Make sure that your rectangle is still selected and go to Effect > Distort > Glass. Enter the settings shown in the following image, and then click OK.

glass effect

Step 6

Make sure that your rectangle is still selected and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Click the Image Trace button from the control panel, and then open the Image Trace panel using that small button.

Drag the Threshold slider to 254 and then click the Advanced button. Set the Path to 100%, the Corners to 0%, and the Noise to 1 px. Uncheck the Snap Curves to Lines box and check the Ignore White box, and then click the Expand button from the control panel.

imge trace

Step 7

Turn your group of shapes into one compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make or Control-8) and change its color to R=207 G=181 B=94. We’ll use this compound path to create a pattern. Select it and simply drag it into the Swatches panel (Window > Swatches) to save it as a pattern.

save pattern

Step 8

Pick the Type Tool (T) and focus on the control panel. Select your BoldenVan font, set the font size to 150 px, and align the text to center. Simply click on your artboard and type in your text.

Make sure that it stays selected, and click that [None] swatch from the Swatches panel to remove the existing text color. This should make your text invisible, but don’t worry—we’ll fix it immediately.

Open the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance) and add a new fill using that same Add New Fill button from the bottom of the panel. Select the new fill and apply your pattern from the Swatches panel. This will be your distressed font effect.

distressed font

3. How to Create a Grunge Distressed Font Effect

Step 1

Now that your distressed font is complete, let’s see how you can take the effects to the next level and create a grunge distressed font. Select the Type Tool (T) and add a new piece of text using the same settings.

Make sure that it’s selected and go to Type > Create Outlines, and then Ungroup (Shift-Control-G) the resulting group of letter shapes.

type create outlines

Step 2

Select all these shapes and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the attributes shown below, click OK, and go to Effect > Sketch > Photocopy. Enter the settings shown in the following image, click OK, and go to Effect > Pixelate > Mezzotint. Select Fine Dots from the drop-down menu and click OK.

grunge distressed font

Step 3

Select one of your letter shapes and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Click the Image Trace button from the control panel, and then open the Image Trace panel.

Drag the Threshold slider to 250 and click the Advanced button. Set the Path to 100%, the Corners to 0%, and the Noise to 1 px. Uncheck the Snap Curves to Lines box and check the Ignore White box, and then click the Expand button from the control panel. Turn the resulting group of shapes into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make or Control-8).

Once you’re done, repeat the same technique for the rest of your letter shapes.

image trace

Step 4

Finally, you can color your text as you wish, or you can learn how to easily turn these letters shapes into a font using Fontself and FontForge.

Check out this wonderful tutorial from Mary Winkler to learn how to create your own grunge font using these vector letter shapes: How to Create a Font Using Fontself and FontForge

illustrator to

Congratulations! You’re Done!

Here is how your distressed font effects should look. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and can apply these techniques in your future projects. Don’t hesitate to share your final result in the comments section.

Feel free to adjust the final design and make it your own. You can find some great sources of inspiration at GraphicRiver, with interesting solutions to improve your final product.

distressed font

Popular Distressed Font Effects From Envato Elements

Envato Elements is an excellent resource for grunge and distressed font effects. Here’s a short list with some of the most popular grunge font assets that you can find.

Grunge Font Layer Styles (EPS)

Download this massive collection of styles and grunge patterns to make it even easier for you to create a grunge distressed font effect.

grunge font

Retro Gunge Graphic Styles (AI, EPS)

Or try these 15 vintage and retro graphic styles, which are perfect for adding a smooth aging effect to any type of text or object.

retro grunge font

Ghost Signs for Adobe Illustrator (AI)

With these carefully crafted Illustrator graphic styles, you can transform your ordinary text into an astounding text effect in an instant.

Ghost Signs

Distressed Textures (EPS, PNG)

Any of these 10 distressed textures can be easily turned into a pattern and applied to a text as you learned in the tutorial.

Distressed Textures

Vintage Grit Textures (AI, EPS, PNG)

Give your design an old-time vintage feel with these crisp and detailed grunge textures. With these carefully crafted textures, creating a grunge font effect can’t get any easier.

Vintage Grit Textures

Want to Learn More?

We have loads of tutorials on Tuts+, beginner to intermediate level, take a look!