Type Fundamentals Welcome to the Type Fundamentals tutorial .  This tutorial was designed to teach you how to use type and a few of it’s basic features in Illustrator. If you need help with it, or find it confusing, don’t hesitate to e-mail me, the information is at the bottom of the page. Note:

This tutorial requires Illustrator 8.0 and above.

Don’t have time to read this tutorial now? Click here to download the .pdf version of this tutorial. (Adobe Acrobat Reader required)


1 Type in Illustrator is created the same way as it is in almost any other graphic program out there. If you can create type in Photoshop, than this will be very easy for you. Click on the Type Tool () in the toolbar, click once on-screen and you begin typing immediately.
Using the Character palette (right) you can change your font, font size, kerning, leading, tracking, scaling, and font style. Experiment with this palette in your type creations.

If you want to quickly kern your text, place your cursor between two letters and press down/up while holding down the Alt key.

2 You can begin editing your type from the Type pull-down in the main menu, or through the Character palette.

You can assign colors by selecting the type with the Selection Tool () and choosing a color from the Color palette. You can choose your colors by either adjusting the sliders or clicking directly on the color bar. 3 You can quickly add color and outlines to your text with the Color and Stroke palettes;

4 If you want to apply different colors to each letter you’ll have to make your text a graphic. Select the type and press Ctrl + Shift + O . This turns each letter into a separate path. You can now click on individual letters and apply different color on them, If you want to be able to move all the letters as a whole again, just select them and press Ctrl + G to group them together.
5 You can unite your text though the Pathfinder palette. You can access the Pathfinder palette by choosing Window>Show Pathfinder from the main menu. Select the text and click the Unite button () in the Pathfinder palette.

Once you’ve united it you can apply gradients and other effects to it, as show to the left.

Discussion If you have any questions, or there are any steps that I can further elaborate on, don’t hesitate to e-mail me using the information below.


You can create your own gradients through the Gradient palette and apply them to your text. You can also add a couple of Illustrator’s built-in filters. I chose the Twirl filter from the Filter>Distort drop-down in the main menu.

I’ve also added a bit more stroke to add contrast to the text.

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