How to Blend Text in Adobe Illustrator for iPad
** Please note, this post may include affiliate links. When you click the affiliate link, I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you. I only recommend products, or services, that I use myself in my regular creative practice. Thank you for reading!
Hey everyone… Welcome back!
Adobe has added so many new features to Illustrator for iPad since I created my “Beginner Guide to Adobe Illustrator for iPad,” class on Skillshare that I wanted to create some supplementary tutorials to go through some of those additions.
In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how you can blend text using the Object > Blend tool in Adobe Illustrator for iPad. It isn’t as straightforward as you might think; there are some steps you need to take to prepare your text before it will work and I will walk you through all of them.
Let’s get started!
Step 1: Create Your Text
We’re going to start out by creating a line of text. I’m going to start with a single line, make all the adjustments I need to make, then duplicate the final text line so we can create the blend. It prevents you from having to do double the work.
I like to use a nice, heavy weight font for this but you can use any font you would like. (I’m using a font called, “Anton” here)
I’m also going to duplicate this line of text and turn off one of the layers; I’ll be using that later but we’ll just tuck it aside for right now.
An important note… blending in Adobe Illustrator for iPad only works on paths or groups of paths. As you can see here, we have a text layer (you can tell because it shows the actual word you typed and not “path” or “group”) So, we need to convert this…
Step 2: Create an Outline from Your Text
The first thing I want to do is create an outline from my text. This is going to turn my text from a text layer in to a group of compound paths.
You will get something that looks like this when you’re done…
If you open up the group, you will see several sublayers of compound paths beneath it.
Step 3: Release the Compound Paths
This might sound counterintuitive but, at this point you want to release the compound paths. When you do, you’re going to notice that anywhere you have a cut out (for example, in my e and o in hello), the space will fill in with a new shape. Mine looks like this (a note… I also changed the fill of mine from black to red)…
Step 4: Use the Shape Builder Tool to Remove the Cutouts
So, now we need to remove those excess shapes, wherever they exist but keep the paths in place. We’ll do that using the Shape Builder Tool.
With the layer selected, go to Shape Builder and select, “Exclude Overlaps.”
Your layers will look exactly the same but you will see the cutouts, “disappear.” Now that we have a group of paths, and our letters look the way we want them, we are all set to create the blend!
Step 5: Duplicate Your Text and Change the Fill Color
Since we have made all the needed adjustments to our original line of text, we are all set to create the duplicate text that we will blend with this one.
With your layer selected tap the plus icon in the contextual menu just below your selection. (next to the trashcan) This will give you a duplicate of your group.
Change the fill to whatever color you would like, I’m changing mine to a light blue.
Step 6: Drag the Duplicate in to Place
I’m going to drag my duplicate layer straight down to the bottom of my canvas. If you hold your finger on the touch shortcut, it will constrain proportions and keep it in line with the other, if that’s your goal.
Step 7: Select Both Layers and Go to the Repeat Menu
With both layers selected (either by dragging across them or selecting them directly in the layers panel) go to the Repeat Menu at the bottom and choose “Blend.”
This will automatically create a blend between your top line and bottom line. You should end up with something that looks like this…
If you open the “Blend” layer, you will see your two original groups of paths. At any point, before you finalize your blend by expanding it (we’ll do that later in the tutorial), you can change the fill color of your layers by selecting them.
At this point, you are also given additional tools to make further adjustments to your blend. Let’s take a look at them…
Step 8: Adjust the Blend to Your Liking
There are several ways to adjust your blend, the first being to use the handle in the middle of the blend layer (the one with the two nodes on either end)
Drag either one around to place the group it’s tied to wherever you want.
You can also size your overall shape up, and down, using the handles on the four corners…
You can change the number of steps between your two groups by dragging the double arrow on the side up and down…
You can also make changes to your blend by going in to the Properties menu in the toolbar. You can:
- Change the type of blend and choose between Smooth, Steps and Distance
- Change the number of steps (up to 1,000) for a smoother transition between the two groups
- Change the direction of the blend by reversing the colors
Let’s take a look…
Step 9: Add the Duplicated Text Layer (Optional)
Remember that duplicated layer of text that we turned off in the beginning? Here’s where we will use it, however this is a completely optional step. If you want to further define your letters, at the top of your blended shape, you can add that duplicated layer above your top group.
I typically do this in a lighter or darker color than the one it’s sitting on top of, or in a completely different color all together, like I did below.
Adding this layer also allows you to add texture using clipping masks. If you would like to see a quick way of adding texture in Adobe Illustrator for iPad, check out my YouTube tutorial below. The video covers using AI files as texture, however the same concept applies for adding any sort of image as well.
Alright, we’re in the home stretch…
Step 10: Expand the Blend
When you’ve adjusted the blend to your liking and don’t plan on making any additional changes, you will want to expand your blend. Once you do this, keep in mind, you won’t be able to make adjustments, so be sure you are definitely all set before taking this step.
First, select your blend layer and go to the Object menu on the toolbar:
Once you do this, you will see it change from “Blend,” to “Group” in the Layers panel and there will be a number of layers under the group.
From here, if you wanted to, you could play around with colors in the various layers, add further definition to the bottom of the shape using the pen tool and darker fills, whatever you would like.
That’s it! We’ve Created a Blend with Text!
It may seem like a lot of steps (more than the desktop version) but, once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty simple to create a blend from text. I should note, when creating blends of shapes you create, it’s a lot easier as you are automatically working with paths or groups of paths so you don’t need to convert anything.
If you have any questions about the tutorial above, please don’t hesitate to let me know. If you would like to check out my full class on Illustrator for iPad find it here>> “Beginner’s Guide to Adobe Illustrator for iPad,” out on Skillshare. If you aren’t already signed up for Skillshare, you will receive one month, at no cost to you, to explore all of the amazing classes Skillshare has to offer.**
You can also find a number of tutorials I have created for Adobe Illustrator for iPad, out on my YouTube Channel. Find my channel here.
Thank you for stopping by and happy creating!
** Please note, this post my include affiliate links. When you click the affiliate link, I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you. I only recommend products, or services, that I use myself in my regular creative practice. Thank you for reading!