Illustrator Tutorial: Using Plant Textures to Create a Gritty Text Tee

Illustrator Tutorial: Using Plant Textures to Create a Gritty Text Tee

Hey Friends,

I’m going to show you a simple way to use my Plant textures for a text tee design. The purpose is to show you how I use addition and subtraction methods to make text a little gritty in Illustrator.

Want to Follow Along? First:

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Ok, Let’s Go!

To start I’m going to use my hashtag #CROMfitness. This is my personal fitness plan I came up with and have fun with. And if you have to ask “Who is CROM?” I’m gonna hang my head in shame, just google it.

I’ll open Illustrator and type out the text in Impact. I know, real creative, but we’re going for simplicity. Open the Plants pack. I’m choosing a texture that has a lot of breaks or speckles in the texture.

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The texture I’m using is obviously rectangle so I’m going to cut out certain areas with the LASSO TOOL.

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You will want to select the image you cut out, pull up the PATHFINDER box and UNITE the cut out area. I’ll do this for 5 more cutouts and there we have 6 new textures.

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Next, I’m going to take one of the newly made textures and make another one with even smaller specs.

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Next step is to EXPAND your text and place the texture over the certain letter.

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This part has been my own formula, the best way I’ve found to extract the texture from the expanded text.

-Grab a letter with the WHITE ARROW tool.

-Hold Shift +grab the texture with the BLACK ARROW tool.

-Select the MINUS FRONT tab from the PATHFINDER box with the WHITE ARROW tool and there you have the beginning of the grungy look. This is the SUBTRACTION technique.

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Repeat these steps with the rest of your letters.

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Next, I’m going to add a stroke to the hashtag by using the Offset Path.

Select the hashtag then choose OBJECT – PATH- OFFSET PATH. This will provide essentially a black stroke around the outside of the object/hashtag.

With your WHITE ARROW tool grab the outer edge of the black stroke and make the fill white and create a black stroke.

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Here is the additional part that I have used for many of my drawings. This is just a simple splatter effect. I’m going to grab a different Plant texture and cut out different areas with LASSO tool like I did with the texture before.

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From here, I’ll start building the various spots where I want this splatter look. I’ll experiment with the look and feel of the different areas until I get the solution I want.

Just a tip, this is not mandatory but you can take your WHITE ARROW tool, select the letter and splatter, select the UNITE tab in the PATHFINDER box. This will keep everything together. So there you have my super simple ADDITION technique. With the subtractions and additions you get a roughed up text that doesn’t look so boring.

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Ok let’s mock up our tee using the World’s Best Mockup tees from Go Media, which you can buy in packs on the Arsenal, or individually on

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Make an EPS file of the image and bring it into Photoshop. Drop it onto the file and adjust the size and color. We now have a great visual for the CROMfitness.

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Thanks for reading through this short tutorial. I find that the most simple effects/techniques provide the coolest results that make people say “How did he do that?”

Make sure you pick up these textures and make something nobody has ever seen before so they are asking you “How did you do that?”

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