It isn't enough just to collect fancy fonts, I actually want to use them
January 6, 2015 12:20 AM   Subscribe

Most of the books and tutorials on digital typography I've encountered are focused on readability, pairing fonts correctly, etc.. Where are the books and tutorials on making excessively ornamented type designs, in Illustrator?

I love the look of old-fashioned typography: Victorian advertisements, vintage sign painting, circus posters and the like. I've figured out how to use various warps and type on a path, though the type in an envelope eludes me. But how does one add all the filigrees and flourishes (when they aren't part of the typeface), gradient fills and borders and shadows? And swashes and ribbons and frames, oh my. What about modifying letterforms? Basically, how do I put it all together?
posted by Soliloquy to Media & Arts (1 answer total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
In Illustrator, once you convert type to paths (Type > Create Outlines), you can do all of the detailed editing you describe. All of those filigrees and flourishes are either hand-drawn in (using the pen tool to place and edit paths), or sourced from specialty fonts that are nothing but swashes and decorative bits.

Things like gradient fills, borders and outlines are pretty much Illustrator 101 steps. Have you done these to non-type objects, like boxes? If so, it's the same process with type. But, you need to convert the type to paths in order to be able to fully work with the forms.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:19 AM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

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