Illustrator vector tutorial: Pizza text effect

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In this new tutorial you will learn how to create a delicious pizza text effect in Adobe Illustrator.

If you love creating text effects and want to learn more, then this tutorial is for you. Learn how to create a simple pizza text effect starting from a font that we will distort and use multiple appearances to obtain the specific pizza crust look. We will continue with the ingredients and after we draw then, it’s time to be creative and arrange them on the pizza text. We will complete the text design with highlights and by the end of this tutorial, you will have the knowledge to create other text effects in future projects. Let’s start!

Tutorial Details
Program: Adobe Illustrator CS6 – CC 2017
Estimated Completion Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Difficulty: Beginner-Intermediate

Step 1
Launch Illustrator and open a new document. Type a name for your file and set up the dimensions then select Pixels as Units and RGB as Color Mode. Next, go to Edit > Preferences > General and set the Keyboard Increment to 0.5 px and while there, also go to Units. These settings will help you throughout the drawing process.

Step 2
Grab the Type Tool (T) and write “PIZZA” on your artboard using the Amity Jack Font, size of 190 pt. Choose a value of 25-50 for Set the tracking for the selected characters in order to obtain more space between the letters.
https://www.dafont.com/amity-jack.font

Step 3
Keep the piece of text selected and go to Type > Create Outlines followed by Object > Ungroup. This will expand the text and you will get the individual letters. Now, take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and use it to select only the inner shape of the letter “P” and “A” and then press the Delete key on your keyboard.
While all the letters stay selected, go to Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8).

Step 4
Keep the newly obtained pizza compound path selected and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Roughen. Apply the settings shown and hit OK; then go to Object > Expand Appearance to expand the effect applied and get the new text with irregular edges.

Step 5
While the pizza compound path stays selected, go to Object > Compound Path > Release followed by Ungroup (Shift-Control-G) and you will get the individual letters. Color them with beige R=255, G=209, B=122 and also apply a 1 pt Stroke using a slightly darker shade. Press the Align Stroke to Outside option in the Stroke panel.

Step 6
While all the letters stay selected, go to the Appearance panel and press Add New Fill at the bottom. This will add a new Fill attribute at the top and you can change the fill color to a darker beige. Keep this Fill attribute selected, go to Effect > Path > Offset Path and apply an Offset of -5 px. Hit OK and this will create the appearance of a smaller fill inside each letter.

Step 7
With all the letters still selected, press Add New Fill again in order to add a third fill at the top. Color it with R=215, G=91, B=28; then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path and apply an Offset of -8 px. This will create the appearance of another smaller fill inside each letter.

Step 8
Press Add New Fill again to add a fourth Fill attribute at the top of the Appearance panel. Color it with yellow; then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path and apply an Offset of -12 px. This will be the smallest fill inside the letters as the cheese. Next, go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow and apply the settings shown to add soft shading inside the edges.

Step 9
We are done with the pizza effect for the moment and we will continue with the ingredients on top of it. The first one is the pepperoni which is made of a circle colored with dark red, a smaller circle colored with dark pink and a bunch of small circles colored with pink arranged randomly in the middle.

Step 10
We will continue with the mushroom. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw the shape of the mushroom like in the image below and color it with pale gray. Next, draw two droplet-like shapes filled with gray followed by two similar but smaller shapes inside, filled with a darker gray.

Step 11
To add highlights, draw an oval shape at the top of the mushroom and another one on the stem. Color them with R=245, G=231, B=223.
To create a shadow, select the shape of the mushroom and then Copy and Paste in Back (Control-B). Change the color of the copy to brown and move it a little downwards and to the right. Set the Blending Mode to Multiply and reduce the Opacity to 50%.

Step 12
We will continue with the slice of pepper. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a wavy shape like in the image below. Once done, draw another similar bur smaller shape inside. Keep both shapes selected and press Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel. You will obtain the shape of the pepper and you can color it with orange R=247, G= 147, B=30.

Step 13
As you did in the previous step, create another slice shape but smaller. Color it with light orange R=253, G=202, B=27.
To create the shadow, select the first pepper shape and then Copy and Paste in Back (Control-B). Change the color of the copy to brown and move it a little downwards and to the right. Set the Blending Mode to Multiply and reduce the Opacity to 50%.

Step 14
Next, we will create the basil leaf. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a basic leaf shape and color it with green R=112, G=171, B=87. Still using the Pen Tool (P) or the Line Segment Tool (\) draw a straight path through the middle of the leaf.
Now, select the leaf shape and Copy and Paste in Front (Control-F) to make a copy of it. Keep this copy selected along with the path and press Divide in the Pathfinder panel followed by Ungroup (Shift-Control-G). You will get the two halves but only keep the one at the bottom; color it with green R=0, G=146, B=69 and reduce the Opacity to 30%.
To create the shadow, select the leaf shape and then Copy and Paste in Back (Control-B). Change the color to brown and move it a little downwards and to the right. Set the Blending Mode to Multiply and reduce the Opacity to 50%.

Step 15
The last ingredient to put on the pizza is the tomato. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw the shape of the tomato slice like in the image below. Color it with a darker red. Make a copy of this shape, scale it down a little and change the fill color to a pale red.
Continue to draw another shape inside colored with R=255, G=160, B=123 and then draw a similar but slightly smaller shape on top of it colored with R=142, G=33, B=22.

Step 16
Let’s create the seeds. Draw a small oval shape followed by a similar but smaller shape inside. As a highlight, draw a tiny shape in the upper right side. Group (Control-G) the three shapes that make up the seed and make copies to obtain more seeds. Arrange them like in the image below to complete the tomato slice.

Step 17
All the ingredients are ready and you can now start to arrange them on the pizza letters but first, make sure to Group (Control-G) each one of them.
Be creative and start to arrange a few ingredients on the letters as the first layer of ingredients. Make more copies and continue to cover the letters.

Step 18
Add as many ingredients as you want and once you are happy with the way the text design looks, arrange the basil leaves on top to finalize it.

Step 19
Focus on one of the letters and use the Pen Tool (P) or the Pencil Tool (N) to draw a few short paths in the areas where you have a little empty space between the ingredients. Give them a 2 pt Stroke using R=255, G=248, B=178 and also select the Width Profile 1 in the Stroke panel. Reduce the Opacity to 75%. Send all these paths behind the ingredients in the Layers panel and they will be highlights on the cheese.
Do the same thing for the rest of the letters and apply the same settings.

Step 20
Now, let’s add some highlights on the pizza crust. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw short paths following the edges of each letter, as many as you want. Give them a 1 pt Stroke using R=255, G=248, B=178 and the Width Profile 1 in the Stroke panel.

Step 21
The final thing to create is the shadow under the letters. Select all the letters and then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Apply the settings shown and hit OK.
Awesome work!
Here is the final image of the pizza text effect. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that you learned new things today.

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