How to Create a Spirit Day-Inspired Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In the following steps, you will learn how to create a Spirit Day inspired text effect in Adobe Illustrator. 

For starters, you will learn how to create a purple background and how to add some white text. Taking full advantage of the Appearance panel, you will learn how to create your purple text effect. You will learn how to make your work easier by using target icons and how to add a subtle texture for the final touches.

For more inspiration on how to adjust or improve your final text effect, you can find plenty of resources at GraphicRiver.

1. How to Create the Background and the Text

Step 1

Hit Control-N to create a new document. Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, enter 850 in the width box and 615 in the height box, and then click that More Settings button. Select RGB for the Color Mode, set the Raster Effects to Screen (72 ppi), and then click that Create Document button.

new document

Step 2

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and focus on your Toolbar. Remove the color from the stroke, and then select the fill and set its color to R=62 G=18 B=81. Simply click on your artboard to open the Rectangle window. Set the width to 860 px and the height to 625 px and then click that OK button. Select your newly made shape and make sure that it covers your entire artboard.

purple background

Step 3

Pick the Type Tool (T) and open the Character panel (Window > Type > Character). Select the Coiny font and set the size to 150 px. Simply click on your artboard, add the “PURPLE” piece of text, and make it white. Using the same attributes, add the “GO” piece of text and place it as shown in the second image.

type tool

2. How to Create the Text Effect

Step 1

Make sure that your “PURPLE” piece of text stays selected. First, go to the Swatches panel (Window > Swatches) and simply remove that white from your text color.

Next, move to the Appearance panel and click that Add New Fill button. Select the new fill and set its color to R=228 G=179 B=224.

add new fill

Step 2

Make sure that your “PURPLE” piece of text stays selected and add a second fill using that same Add New Fill button. Select this new fill and drag it below the existing one.

Apply the linear gradient shown below and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click that OK button.

transform

Step 3

Make sure that your “PURPLE” piece of text stays selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel.

Be sure that the bottom fill is still selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click that OK button.

drop shadow

Step 4

Make sure that your “PURPLE” piece of text stays selected and add a third fill. Select this new fill and drag it below the other two.

Set the color to R=62 G=18 B=81 and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the attributes shown in the following image, click that OK button, and then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the attributes shown below and then click OK.

add new fill

Step 5

Make sure that your “PURPLE” piece of text stays selected and add a fourth fill. Select this new fill and drag it below the other three.

Set the color to R=62 G=18 B=81 and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the attributes shown in the following image, click that OK button, and then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the attributes shown below and then click OK.

add new fill

Step 6

Make sure that your “PURPLE” piece of text stays selected and add a fifth fill. Select this new fill and drag it above the other four.

Apply the linear gradient shown below and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click that OK button. Be sure that you’re checking the bottom middle reference point.

transform

Step 7

Make sure that your “PURPLE” piece of text stays selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel.

Reselect that top fill and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click that OK button.

inner glow

Step 8

Focus on the Layers panel, open your layer, and use those target icons to quickly apply the Appearance attributes used for your “PURPLE” piece of text to the other piece of text. Target icons are the little round icons displayed at the far right of each individual layer or shape.

Hold the Alt button from your keyboard, click the target icon that stands for your “PURPLE” piece of text, and then drag it onto the target icon that stands for that “GO” piece of text. In the end, things should look like in the second image.

target icon

3. How to Add a Subtle Texture and a Rainbow

Step 1

Select the background shape, make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F), and bring it to front (Shift-Control-]). Select this new shape and focus on the Appearance panel.

Select the fill, lower its Opacity to 30%, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light, and then replace the color with the radial gradient shown below. Keep in mind that the yellow zero from the Gradient image stands for Opacity percentage, and use the Gradient Tool (G) to squeeze your gradient as shown in the following image.

radial gradient

Step 2

Make sure that the rectangle made in the previous step is still selected, and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a second fill and select it.

Set the color to black (R=0 G=0 B=0), lower its Opacity to 10%, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light, and then go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click that OK button.

film grain

Step 3

Finally, you can add a bit of color in your final design using this short tutorial: How to Create a Rainbow Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator. You will learn how to create a pretty simple pattern brush and how to adjust it using the Width Tool (Shift-W).

pattern brush

Congratulations! You’re Done!

Here is how it should look. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and can apply these techniques in your future projects. Don’t hesitate to share your final result in the comments section.

Feel free to adjust the final design and make it your own. You can find some great sources of inspiration at GraphicRiver, with interesting solutions to improve your design.

final product