Create a Quick and Easy Typographic Illustration in Illustrator

For this tutorial I chose a rooster. I had this random rooster image on my computer already. You can use whatever animal you like, or a completely different shape like a car or house for example.

We?ll need to create a silhouette of the image. I cover several different ways of creating silhouettes in this handy article over at Medialoot. You can use whatever method you feel most comfortable with. For this one, I simply traced the rooster with the Pen Tool in Illustrator.

The finished silhouette.

Add Type to the Image and Warp it

Now that we have our silhouette, we need to add some type. I chose a font called FFAD Matro. It?s a free download available here.

Layout the type with each word as a separate element. Place the type and size each word so that it sits close to the edge of the silhouette on either side.

To begin shaping the words, select the first word and click Object | Envelope Distort | Make with Mesh. Enter 1 for the rows and 2 for the columns. I?m entering 2 because my first word is very short with only two letters. Normally I would choose 4 or 6 for longer words.

Click okay, and choose the Direct Selection Tool (A) and begin warping the word to fit within the borders of the silhouette.

Now continue with all of the words until they all fit nicely within the border of the silhouette.

It doesn?t get much easier than that, does it?

Add Texture to Finish it up

To wrap it up, let?s add some texture. I had a vector texture on hand, and so do you if you?re a WeGraphic member. If you?re not, you can easily create your own vector texture by taking a black and white texture file importing it into Illustrator and running an image trace.

I also copied and pasted the silhouette, removed the fill and gave it a black stroke with a size of 5pt. I placed this copy above the texture so that the texture doesn?t go all the way to the edge.

You can even take it over to Photoshop and invert the color to white, and a photo background and you have an instant hipster style design that is sure to impress your friends! 🙂

I?d love to see your typographic illustrations! Feel free to share them using the comment fields below.

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