Retro Text Effect

Illustrator Tutorial

Today I’ll show you how to create an easy retro text effect in Illustrator.

Step 1: Type the word.

This effect basically works with any font, but a sans-serif works better. The font I used is Blackcurrant Squash (by Rian Hughes).

  • Give the text a stroke and no fill.
  • Make the color white.

Step 2: Building the effect.

  1. Go to the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance):
    • Add 4 new strokes
    • Move the fill to the middle
    • Give the top stroke a white color and set the weight to 10 pt.
  2. Second Stroke:
    • Weight 10 pt. and color 20 or 30% grey.
    • Add an effect: Transform: Move horizontal and vertical: 1px. / copies: 50.
  3. Make the fill visible and the color is white.
  4. Third Stroke:
    • Give it a 10 pt. weight and a different color.
    • Apply the Transform effect but this time set the copies to 70.undefined
  5. Last Stroke:
    • Color for this stroke is black. This will be the shadow.
    • Apply the Transform effect but this time set the copies to 120.
    • Set the opacity to around 25%. undefined
  6. Add a new fill:
    • Place the new fill above the white fill
    • Give it a pattern fill with strokes.
    • Set the opacity to around 12-15%. undefined


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