Here is a look at what we will be making:
I have this problem every time I go grocery shopping: whenever I go down the cereal isle it takes me forever to pick out a box to buy. I’m so wrapped up in looking at the box design, especially those super tasty display logos! The other day I was caught staring at the new box of Lucky Charms drooling, not over the thought of marshmallowy moons and clovers, but over the beautiful new logo. So I set out to make one of my own in Adobe Illustrator. In the process I came up with some quick and easy techniques that look great! I am pleased to share them with you here.
If a real cereal logo designer happens by here, please give us insights!
I am using a Mac, and in this tutorial I will add shortcut commands, such as (cmd-F) for Paste in Front. PC users just substitute (ctrl) for (cmd) in most cases.
Step 1: Grab the Font
First thing to do is get a font to use. One great place to get free or buy quality fonts is frommyfonts.com. The FREE font I grabbed for this tutorial is called Mail-Ray-Stuff
Step 2: Type the Name
Using your new font, type out the name of your product.
Then separate and modify each letter following these steps:
Step 3: Create a “Plaque” for the Word to Display on
Now we need to make a big outline for your letters following these steps:
Lock the original text for now, by selecting it and going Object > Lock > Lock Selection or (cmd-2).
Then follow these steps:
Step 4: Patch Up the Inside
Let’s get rid of the white in the middle of the letters by following these steps:
Once you expand it, it will come to the front. To send it back where it was, right-click > Arrange > Send Backward (cmd-left bracket)
Step 5: Add a Gradient to the “Plaque”
Give it a vertical linear gradient by following these steps:
Step 6: Add Another Text Outline
Building upward from our base layer, let’s add another text outline by following these steps:
Step 7: Color the Text Outline
Now let’s give your new text outline a light blue color by following these steps:
Step 8: Make the Text 3D!
One sweet effect in Illustrator CS3 is the Effect > 3D Tool. Let’s apply it to our text by following these steps:
Step 9: Color the 3D Letter Faces
Your 3D text might look pretty good the way it is, but I bet we can make the colors even nicer. To edit the colors we will need to break the 3D text into individual shapes. To do that follow these steps:
Step 10: Color the 3D Letter Blocks
There’s not quite enough shadow on what’s behind the letter faces, so let’s darken the block part of each letter:
Step 11: Create Highlights
The real magic in a good logo is in the details. We can really sharpen this one up by adding highlights to the letters. Here is a relatively quick and easy way to make them, but is our most complex set of steps thus far:
Step 12: Adjust the Highlights
Pretty close but not quite done! With the Direct Selection Tool (Y) select the points of any awkward highlights and adjust them to line up correctly.
Awesome! The main part of your logo is done, now let’s add more juicy text to describe your product
Step 13: Add Secondary Text
Well? What kind of cereal is it? Loops, Crisps, Nuggets, or what? Let’s go with PUFFS! Start it out just like the beginning:
Step 14: Give it a Puffy Stroke
This one needs a plaque to sit on as well, but we’ll make this one rounded and puffy looking:
Step 15: Color the Puffy Plaque
Alright this one needs a background gradient color too. Let’s give it the same color as the other plaque by following these (familiar) steps:
Step 16: Puff out the Top PUFFS Text
Now we can style the original PUFFS text. Let’s add a bit of roundness to it:
Step 17: Create Puffy Highlights
Before we get to coloring the text, let’s make the highlights. The technique here is similar to the other highlights, but we will go an extra few steps:
Step 18: Refine the Highlights
First of all Paste in Back (cmd-B) your copied PUFFS text and fill it with white. Now we can work on the highlights a bit more and get rid of the over-hanging top portion:
Step 19: Refine the Highlights More
Fill the new highlight shape to see what you have, but we will repeat this step to remove the over-hanging bottom portion of your highlights:
Step 20: Position PUFFS in the Logo
Lookin’ good yet? Let’s get PUFFS in the logo:
Step 21: Warp the Logo
When you are happy with the logo so far, select both words and go Object > Warp > Make with Warp and give it an Arc with about a 13% Bend, like the image below. Make sure to check Preview to see your changes.
Step 22: Finishing Touches
Your logo is done!
Go ahead and add some background elements if you like. I made some clouds and rays but I encourage you to come up with your own!
Thanks for following my tutorial! I hope you learned lots from this.