Lets take a look at creating some simple 3D text in Illustrator. The 3D text to be created is inspired by the minimal look produced for Russian posters (click to see examples), but with a 3D twist.

With a document created, I selected the Type Tool and clicked on the document and typed in: URBAN. The text was then selected with the Type Tool and the font: Russian was used which I had downloaded from dafont. The text was given the size of 160px and was changed to blue – not the final colour, but will help us see the 3D effect better than the default black colour.

To create the 3D effect, the text was selected with the Selection Tool (press the V key), and then I went to Effect > 3D >Extrude & Bevel. I chose the settings shown in the screenshot below.

Using the settings displayed above the text should now look like this:

Next, the text was broken up into its different parts, so the colours could be changed. This was achieved by selecting the text with the Selection Tool and choosing Object > Expand Appearance.  By default, the parts that make up each character will be grouped and all the characters will be grouped together too, so there are lots of groups. We could ungroup them by going to Object > Ungroup to make the necessary changes and then group them again – but that is too much work for what is required. The Direct Selection Tool (highlighted in red below) is a quick way of selecting objects within a group, so thats the method I chose – but remember to deselect the artwork before trying to use the Direct Selection Tool with selected grouped objects. 

Using the Direct Selection Tool I selected parts of the text and changed the colours in the Color panel.

With all the part coloured as required, I decided to add a thicker outer line to the text –  to learn about this technique take a look at my other blog post called: A thick outer line.  This is what it looks like so far…

To finish it off I created a simplified background with text.


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