Creating an Environmentally Friendly Green Type Treatment

Professional web design tips.

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Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

With oil prices the way they are today, everybody is thinking Green. I have done many projects recently that require a Green style applied to the design. In the following Illustrator tutorial, I’ll teach you how to create a Green type treatment. It works great for logos and other design elements.

1. Create Your Text

Step 1

Create a New document that is 8.5 x 11 inches. Choose a typeface for the type treatment (I used “Ubuntu Bold”) and type out what you want. Next, Outline the text by going to Type > Create Outlines.

text to outline

Step 2

With the text selected, create a Linear Gradient from the Gradient panel. Change the color of the first swatch on the Gradient Slider (left swatch) to a light green (I used these CMYK values: C=40, M=0, Y=100, K=0). Change the second swatch on the Gradient Slider to a darker green (C=60 M=16 Y=100 K=0). Use the Gradient Tool (G) to adjust the gradient by clicking at the top of the type and dragging to the bottom of the type so the dark part is at the bottom.

add gradient to text

rotate gradient

2. Create a Leaf

Step 1

Now we’re going to create some leaves. Start by drawing a leaf shape with the Pen Tool (P). Again, with the Pen Tool (P), draw a line that starts at the tip of the leaf and ends in the middle of the bottom part of the leaf. After selecting the line and the leaf shape, press the Divide button in the Pathfinder panel, located on the bottom left side of the panel. Ungroup (Command-Shift-G) the objects so you have two separate shapes.

draw vector eaf
add the stem
divide the shape
finish leaf shape

Step 2

Select both shapes and create the same colored Linear Gradient as the text. Next, select one shape and use the Gradient Tool (G) to click and drag at a 45-degree angle across the leaf half shape. Do this again for the other half of the leaf.

add gradient to leaf

Step 3

With the Pen Tool (P), draw a highlight shape on the top leaf half. Change the highlight shape to a Radial Gradient. Change the left swatch to white and the right swatch to your green color (C=40 M=0 Y=100 K=0).

add highlight to leaf

Step 4

With the Pen Tool (P), create a stem shape and send it behind the leaf shapes. Create a Linear Gradient, make the gradient the same colors as the leaf shapes, and adjust the gradient so the darker green is at the top of the stem.

add gradient stem to leaf

3. Create a Waterdrop

Next come the water droplets. Create an oblong ellipse with the Ellipse Tool (L). Then create a Linear Gradient using the same colors as the leaf and text. Adjust the gradient so the dark side is on the bottom left.

Create another ellipse on top of the previous ellipse and create a Radial Gradient with the same swatches as the highlight gradient. Adjust this gradient so the light part of the gradient is coming from the bottom left.

Create two smaller ellipses with Linear Gradients matching the highlight gradient. Once you are done, group all the ellipses, scale them, and place them on the leaf shapes. You can easily copy the droplet by holding down Alt and dragging a copy.

create vector waterdrop

4. Create a Cute Ladybug

Step 1

The next couple of steps deal with creating the ladybug. Create an ellipse and fill it with a Linear Gradient. Make the first swatch in the gradient a red (C=0 M=100 Y=100 K=0) and the second an even darker red (C=0 M=100 Y=100 K=35). Adjust the gradient so the red color is at the bottom of the ellipse.

Copy (Command-C) the ellipse and Paste it in Front (Command-F). Draw a bigger ellipse that overlaps the center of the original ellipse. After selecting one of the original ellipses and the overlapping circle, press the Intersect Shape Areas button in the Pathfinder panel. Make the intersected shape a Linear Gradient with the first swatch white and the second swatch red. Adjust the gradient so the white is at the top of the shape.

create red gradient circle
add shine to gradient

Step 2

Draw five more ellipses over the ladybug body shape and group them together. Copy (Command-C) the original body ellipse shape and Paste it in Front (Command-F). With the copied body shape and the five ellipses selected, intersect the shapes.

Change the dots to a Linear Gradient with the first swatch a really dark red and the second swatch a black red. Adjust the gradient so the lightest red is at the bottom of the combined shapes. Next, Copy (Command-C) the top highlighted shape of the body and Paste it in Front (Command-F).

Copy (Command-C) the dots and Paste in Front (Command-F). Select the copied highlight and one of the copied dots and Intersect them. Create a Linear Gradient with the first swatch at 60% black and the second at 90% black. Adjust the gradient so the lighter black is at the top of the shape.

add dots and intersect
create ladybug pattern

Step 3

Create another ellipse for the ladybug’s head. Create a gradient the same as that of the top dots, and send the head behind the body shape. Draw an antenna shape with the Pen Tool (P) and place it behind the head. Copy (Command-C) the antenna and Paste it in Front (Command-F). Reflect the antenna by pressing the Flip Horizontal option from the pop-up menu of the Transform panel.

add head to ladybug
create vector ladybug

5. Position Your Elements

Step 1

Draw an ellipse roughly the size of the completed ladybug. Create a Radial Gradient so the inside swatch is black and the outside is white. Set the ellipse to Multiply from the Transparency panel and send it behind the ladybug to the bottom left, creating a drop shadow. After grouping the ladybug and drop shadow, place it on the leaf. Then scale and rotate the ladybug as needed.

create vector shadow
add ladybug to leaf

Step 2

After selecting the leaf and all the elements on it, place them over your text. I placed mine over the first letter of the word.

add leaf to text

Step 3

Copy (Command-C) the leaf and elements, except the ladybug, and Paste (Command-V). Flip the leaf horizontally and scale it down. When scaling, you don’t have to constrain the proportions—this helps the leaf look different from the others. Repeat this step a couple of times around the text.

add more leaves
decorate text with leaves

6. Add Detailing to Refine the Design

Step 1

For the other leaves, we are going to create an Art Brush. You can draw these elements with the Pen Tool (P), but you’ll find it easier and more consistent to use a brush.

Draw an oblong ellipse. Then, with the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the right anchor point in the ellipse. When you select an anchor point, the Control panel will default to the Anchor Point Options. Convert the anchor point to a corner (the first button to the right on the Control panel). Do this again for the left anchor point. Next, squish the ellipse down from the top to half its original size.

create ink vector brush

Step 2

Drag the oval into the Brushes panel and choose New Art Brush. In the Art Brush options, change Colorization to Tints. This lets you change the color of the brush without creating a new brush. You don’t need to change the colors of the brush strokes for this tutorial, but it is good practice.

create new brush
new art brush
brush settings

Step 3

With your new brush, make a swirl shape for a leaf blade. You might need to change the stroke of the brush if it looks too small or too big. When you get a stroke you like, go to Object > Expand. You will also want to clean up the unfilled stroke. An easy way to do this is to go to Object > Path > Clean Up. Make sure all the boxes are checked, and press OK.

draw a curve

Step 4

Select the expanded brush shape and create a Linear Gradient with the same swatches as the original text gradient.

add gradient to curve

Step 5

Repeat the steps for creating the leaf blade around your text. Try to vary the shape and size of the blades.

decorate the text with nature

Step 6

Next, we’re going to add some more water droplets around the text. Simply Copy (Command-C) the droplets on the leaf you already made and Paste (Command-V) them around the text. Also, be sure to vary their size and shape.

add droplets to text

Step 7

Now it’s time to work on the dirt at the bottom of the text. Double-click on the Pencil Tool (N) in the Tools panel to bring up the Pencil Tool Options. Change the Fidelity to 5 to get really smooth lines.

Use your Pencil Tool (N) to draw a small circular shape. Press Alt before you let go to close the shape. Next, create a Radial Gradient with the interior swatch a brown color (C=35 M=60 Y=80 K=25) and the exterior swatch a dark brown color (C=50 M=70 Y=80 K=70). Place the spot on the first letter of your word. Scale the dot down smaller than one of the droplets.

change pencil tool options
create soil
add soil to text

Step 8

Repeat this till you have a pile of dirt spots on your first letter.

add soil around text

Step 9

Copy (Command-C) and Paste the dirt pile until you have covered the very bottom of all the letters.

place soli under text

Step 10

Draw a Radial Gradient ellipse, as you did for the ladybug drop shadow. Squish the ellipse to about half the size. Send the ellipse behind all the artwork and set it to Multiply.

create radial shadow
put shadow under letter

Step 11

Repeat this drop shadow under all the letters.

add shadow under text

Step 12

For the background, create a rectangle with the Rectangle Tool (M) that is the size of your document. Give it a Radial Gradient, and make the interior swatch white and the second swatch a light green (C=13 M=0 Y=38 K=0).

add gradient background

Vector Text Effects

Save time by using these ready-to-use vector text effects:

Doodles Effect

If you want to quickly create some vector doodles, this effect will be perfect for you. Just type your text and choose one of 16 styles to magically give it a hand-drawn effect.

Doodles Text Effect

Knitted Text Effect

This set contains 20 graphic styles that you can use to make your text look knitted. All you need is one click! Afterwards, you can easily customize the effect with the Appearance panel.

Knitted Text Effects Graphic Styles

Vector Watercolor Effect

You can make your text look like realistic watercolor art by using this effect. It’s highly customizable—you can adjust the roughness of the shape, the amount of watercolor, and the position and size of the texture. Choose from 15 textures and 55 paint splashes!

Vector Watercolor Effect

Steampunk Text Effect

Steampunk never goes out of fashion! Add some Victorian style mixed with bolts and cogs to your text with these five highly detailed text effects.

Steam Punk Text Styles Brushes and Backgrounds

Vector Ink Text Effect

Create an effect of hand-drawn typography by using this set of 30 graphic styles and over 40 decorative brushes and patterns. This ink-drawing effect is very eye-catching, yet clean and minimalistic!

Fineliner Type Decorators Tool Kit

Congratulations, You’re Now Done!

Now you have a nice green type treatment!

create nature text effect

If you want, you can learn how to create Photoshop text effects here:

  • Text Effects
    How to Create a Medieval Metallic Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop
    Jan Stverak
  • Text Effects
    Quick Tip: Create a Glass Text Effect in Photoshop Using Layer Styles
    Jan Stverak
  • Text Effects
    How to Create a Flame Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

  • Text Effects
    Quick Tip: How to Create a Metallic Text Effect Using Layer Styles in Photoshop
    Enrique Eliçabe

  • Text Effects
    How to Create an Elegant, Ornate 3D Photoshop Text Effect
    Enrique Eliçabe

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