This post contains affiliate links as explained in my Disclosure Policy.

Adobe Illustrator is a great tool for typography. Learn how to create cool text effects with Illustrator such as image text, wave, reflection and 3D. Quick and easy to apply, give it a try!

View this video and follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Cool Text Effects with Illustrator

Effect 1 – Image Text

1. Open a blank document.

2. File → Place → choose a background image you want to fill your text with.Place background image in Illustrator

3. Select the Ellipse tool from the left-hand toolbar → draw an oval shape over the centre of the image (whatever colour you choose).use ellipse tool

4. Select the layers panel in the right-hand column. Create a new layer.create new layer

5. Select the text tool from the left toolbar.

select text tool

6. Place your cursor on the oval and type your text – use a thick font like Cooper Black. Choose a different colour so you can see your text.

type your text on top of the shape

7. Click on your text so it’s outlined with a box. Go to Type → Create Outlines (or Ctrl+shift+O or right-click).

create outlines

8. Drag your mouse around the entire document to select everything.

select all

9. Go to Windows → Pathfinder.

select pathfinder

10. In the shape modes, select ‘Minus Front.’ Click outside of your image to clear the markings.

select minus front

End result:


Effect 2 – Wave Text

1. Type your text (pick a thick font).


2. Select the text → Effect → Warp → Wave.

Warp text wave

3. Adjust the blend percentage to get your preferred effect (between 35-40% is good). Tick the preview box so you can monitor your changes.

adjust the bend percentage

4. Press Ctrl+T to bring up the character box.

5. Press the leading arrows to reduce the space between the two words.

wave rider decrease height

6. Press the tracking arrow to adjust the space between letters.

decrease width space of text

7. Add a colour or pattern swatch. Select the colour box → Swatch Libraries Menu → Patterns → Decorative → Decorative Classic.

select decorative pattern swatch

8. Choose a pattern like ‘Waves Smooth Color.’

decorative classic pattern swatch selection

9. You can add other effects to your text too: Effect → Stylize → Drop Shadow.

create a drop shadow

End result:

wave rider text

Effect 3 – Reflection Text

1. Open a blank document → select the text tool from the left tool bar → type your text.

Type text

2. Go to Type → Create Outlines (or Ctrl+shift+O or right-click).

3. Select the arrow tool in the top left corner of the tool bar. Click on the text, hold down the alt key and drag your mouse to create a copy underneath (otherwise, copy and past text via Edit or right-clicking).

press alt and drag down

4. Go to Object → Transform → Reflect → change to horizontal axis → tick the preview box and move your copied text to align with the original text above.

Reflect text horizontal

5. In the left-hand tool bar, click on the black foreground → select the gradient box underneath.

gradient tool

6. Make sure Linear is selected. Change from 0 to 90 degrees. Adjust the opacity and play around with the black and white tabs to create a faded reflection effect.

apply gradient effects

End result:

text reflection result

Effect 4 – 3D Text

1. Add your text and change fill colour from black to another shade.

type text in colour

2. Effect → 3D → Extrude & Bevel.

add 3D Extrude & Bevel effect

3. Select the preview button so you can see the results as you adjust.

4. Adjust the extrude depth to around 650 pt.

5. Make sure the surface is ‘Plastic Shading’ → Ok.

Adjust extrude and bevel depth

6. For more contrast, select your text and pick a darker stroke colour.

End result:

3D text result

please like, comment, share and follow

Leave a Comment