In this new Tutorial part of the Creative Series – Typography, we’ll learn how to create a Zombie Style custom Typo in Illustrator to use on a T-Shirt or Poster using the Blob Brush and Live Paint Tool.
Open up Illustrator, create a new document, 1000x500px. Before creating the Zombie Style Typo, select the Text Tool (T), select a typo you like, I used a font called “Code Pro” and write the word you want, change the Opacity of this text to 20%.
Expand those letters, Object – Expand and lock this text layer, we’ll use those letters for support to create the Zombie Style Typo Outlines.
Create a new layer on top of the text layer, select the Blob Brush (Shift+B), double click on the Blob Brush icon in the toolbar to open its options, change the Size to 2pt, I’m using a Pen Tablet, so I changed the option to Pressure and Variation to 2pt and click OK.
Use the Blob Brush to create the main outlines around the letters, make sure to leave no empty spaces between the lines.
Step 2 – Zombie Style Typo Outline Part 2
Now we create the main outlines around the letters, let’s add a few details with bones and flesh on those letters, first select the Eraser Tool (Shift+E) and erase a few part of the outline to add the details easily.
Select the Blob Brush (Shift+B) again and create the details, I created some flesh wounds and bones, take your time to create some nice details, when you’re done you can delete or hide the locked text layer.
Step 3 – Coloring with the Live Paint Bucket Tool
When you’re happy with the outlines and details you’ve created, select all the outlines with the Selection Tool (V).
Next we’ll color inside those outlines using the Live Paint Bucket Tool, select your main color, I used the colors from the Swatches of the Week #5 and picked the green for the main color #CBDD4B. With your outlines selected, select the Live Paint Bucket Tool (K) and paint inside the letters.
Next paint inside the flesh wounds and bones with two other colors, I used a purple color in the flesh wounds, #BF6FA1 and a light grey color in the bones, #EDEDED.
Step 4 – Shadow
Let’s add a little shadow behind this Zombie Style Typo, duplicate the Live Paint layer, Expand this duplicated layer, Object – Expand.
Change the color of this duplicated layer to black, #1E1E1E and use the Unite option in the Pathfinder panel, Window – Pathfinder.
Move those duplicated shapes 5px down and 5px right, change the Opacity to 15% and place this layer behind the original shapes layer.
Step 5 – Highlights
In this step we’ll add 2 styles of highlights on our letters. duplicate the original colored Zombie Style letters, hide the original letters and shadow layers. Select all the duplicated letters, Expand them, Object – Expand. Select the Direct Selection Tool (A) and select the main color in one of the letter, go to Select – Same – Fill Color, this will select all the shapes with the main color, Invert the selection, Select – Inverse and press your delete key.
Now we only have the shapes with the main color, duplicate those shapes, change the color of the duplicated shapes to black.
Simplify those duplicated black shapes, Object – Path – Simplify with a 50% Curve Precision.
Use the Direct Selection Tool (A), to select the shapes from the first letters and use the Minus Front option in the Pathfinder panel.
Duplicate the original colored Zombie Style letters again, hide all the other layers. Select all the duplicated letters, Expand them, Object – Expand. Select the Direct Selection Tool (A) and select the main color in one of the letter, go to Select – Same – Fill Color, this will select all the shapes with the main color, Invert the selection, Select – Inverse and press your delete key.
Let’s modify those shapes, go to Object – Path – Offset Path with a -15px Offset. Revert the selection, Select – Inverse and press delete.
Unhide the other layers, change color of the shapes we just modified, I used a light green color, #E8F680.
Change the Opacity of those shapes to 25%.
To finish this text effect, I added a background on a new layer using the Rectangle Tool (M) and place this layer behind the other layers.
Here’s an other color version of this Zombie Style Typo.
That’s it for this Tutorial. You can create a lot of different text effects and typo using those techniques. Feel free to read the other articles part of the Creative Series – Typography if you want to learn more about Typography. Download the Source Files or leave a comment if you need help.