Tutorial: Create a simple glossy text effect in Illustrator

Hey there fellow designers! Are you looking for a quick and easy way to jazz up that logo you just finished, but aren’t sure what you can really do to help it? Look no further! The following tutorial will allow you to add a subtle but classy gloss effect to any text (or object!) in just a few simple steps. Please note that this tutorial assumes you know the basics of Adobe Illustrator, but if you have any questions, feel free to comment and I will be more than happy to help you out!

Step 1: Create Your Text

Since it is now 2016, I thought it would be appropriate to start with a generic “Happy New Year!” Once you have the text, go ahead and change the font to something more desirable. Once you’ve found your perfect font, head on over to your swatches panel and pick your favorite color.

Create some text!
Create some text!
Change the font to something nicer.
Change the font to something nicer.
Use your swatches panel to pick a font color.
Use your swatches panel to pick a font color.

Step 2: Convert Text to Object (Expand/Outline)

With the text you want to expand selected, head up to your Object menu and select Expand. This will allow you to apply new effects to your letters that might not otherwise be available to standard text. You can tell whether any letters in your file are editable text or expanded text by clicking on them. If you see an underline with the letters, the text can be edited. Expanded text will have points and lines around the outside of each letter.

Expand your text to apply new effects.
Expand your text to apply new effects.
Object and Fill should be selected before you click Okay.
Object and Fill should be selected before you click Okay.

QUICK TIP: Because expanding your text will convert it to outlines, you will no longer be able to change the font without retyping the words again. As a general rule, I always duplicate my text layer before I expand it, just to save myself some time. You can duplicate a layer by either copying and pasting (CTRL/CMD + C and then CTRL/CMD + V), or by holding down your ALT key and clicking and dragging the graphic you want to duplicate to another part of the screen.

Step 3: Create Some Gloss

First, duplicate your newly expanded text by either copying and pasting (CTRL/CMD + C and then CTRL/CMD + V), or by holding down your ALT key and clicking and dragging the graphic. Next, draw yourself an ellipse, in white. Rotate the ellipse slightly and change the opacity to 25%. Move the ellipse so that it crosses over the letters. Bring the duplicate letter layer to the front by clicking and dragging it above the ellipse in your Layers panel, or by pressing CTRL/CMD + SHIFT + ]. Select the duplicate letter set and the ellipse, and drag them off the artboard so you can see the white ellipse easier.

Duplicate your letter layer.
Duplicate your letter layer.
Create an ellipse.
Create an ellipse.
Change the ellipse's opacity to 25%.
Change the ellipse’s opacity to 25%.
Bring the letter layer to the front.
Bring the letter layer to the front.

Step 4: Make an Opacity Mask

With the ellipse and the duplicate letter layer selected, create an Opacity Mask via your Transparency panel. Drag the resulting graphic so that it aligns over top of your original letter layer. Once it is aligned properly, select the original letter layer and add a gradient and a stroke. This will add a finishing touch to your text.

Create an opacity mask via your transparency panel.
Create an opacity mask via your transparency panel.
The resulting opacity mask should look like this.
The resulting opacity mask should look like this.
Align your two layers.
Align your two layers.
Add a gradient to your original text for added shine.
Add a gradient to your original text for added shine.
Add a stroke to the original letters layer.
Add a stroke to the original letters layer.

Step 5: Show It Off!

That’s it, you’re done!

The finished product!
The finished product!

Interested in seeing more tutorials? Find me on Twitter @Cinderhawk, on Facebook at Cinderhawk Creative, or comment with your requests!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s