In today’s Adobe Illustrator tutorial we’re going to create a vibrant piece of vector artwork featuring three dimensional type from an isometric viewpoint. This isometric type effect is commonly combined with bright colours to produce a fun design style. Adobe Illustrator is the perfect tool to create such an effect; the 3D Extrude & Bevel tool easily generates an accurate isometric layout, then the artwork can then be broken down into individual vector shapes for easy customisation with colourful fills and detailed patterns.

How To Create an Isometric Type Effect in Adobe Illustrator

The isometric type artwork we’ll be creating in this tutorial features a faux-3D effect generated by the Extrude & Bevel function, which we can then customise by breaking apart all the faces into individual shapes that can then be recoloured to produce vibrant artwork. The addition of a shadow helps ground the text to further simulate the three dimensional appearance, while additional patterns help enhance this flat illustration style.

Create a new document in Adobe Illustrator and set out your type. Any font can be used, but a simple sans-serif, or even making a ‘pixel-font’ effect by manually placed squares on a grid provides the best result.

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14 Comments

  1. As usual, a great tutorial! Mine turned out great. I just have one question: When setting up for the shadow layer, why include “Change the fill to black to match the stroke, then go to Object > Expand to outline the stroke.
    Click the Unite Pathfinder button to merge the stroke shape with the main text shape to create one single outline.” ?

    While I didn’t have time to test this without this step, (I wanted to follow by the letter :) ), I’m curious why it (esp. “Expand to outline the stroke”) is included as I do not see it’s function and your steps are usually as efficient as possible. Wouldn’t the shape of the letters work without this?

    • I’ve just tested this myself and that step does seem to be obsolete. The reason I added it in the first place must be just out of habit, I assumed the blend wouldn’t work with a stroke applied, but it does! Thinking about it now there’s no reason why it wouldn’t work.

  2. Really fun and useful tutorial as always. I made a graphic style for the pattern sections, which made creating each one a lot quicker. You just have to drag the graphic style from the pane onto the relevant shape. Thanks Chris!

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