Illustrator Fundamentals: Create a 1960s-inspired Headline

Dateline: July 13, 2006
Version: Adobe Illustrator CS2

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Get in a 60s groove with a retro headline using Illustrator. You can fit any design into a 60s theme using the techniques in this tutorial that combine text and illustration. Begin with an image and a message that work well together. Also, select a font that delivers the feel of your design. For our 60s-inspired look, we chose the font Mojo. Watch the curvature of your text to make sure the words remain legible in the layout and select a color which reflects the initial image, to lend more realism to the design.
Download retrofish.zip and extract the retrofish.eps file. Launch Illustrator, open retrofish.eps and press F7 to show the Layers palette. Click the Edit Column next to the Fins layer to lock it. Select the Fish layer.
Choose Window > Color (F6). Change the Fill to None and the Stroke to White. Choose Window > Stroke (F10). Change the Weight to 6 points. Using the Pen tool (P), draw two curvy lines similar to those shown. Use anchor points to create the curve in the lines. After each line press Command and click the page to deselect.
Using the Selection tool (V), click the top line. Choose Select > Same > Stroke Color. Choose Object > Path > Outline Stroke. Choose Select > All (Command + A).

Choose Window > Pathfinder (Shift + F9). Press Option and click the Subtract from Shape Area button (below, left) while holding down Option (Alt on PCs). Choose Object > Ungroup (Command + Shift + G). Choose Select > Deselect (Command + Shift + A).
Choose Window > Type > Character (Command + T). In the resulting Character palette (below, left), select a bold, retro-looking typeface like Mojo to reinforce the 60s theme. Using the Type tool (T), click on the document and type “FEELING.” Press Command and click the page to exit the text box. Repeat to create two more separate type boxes: “LIKE A FISH,” and “OUT OF WATER?”
Using the Selection tool (V), press Shift and click all the type boxes. Choose Object > Arrange > Send to Back (Command + Shift + [ ). Choose Select > Deselect (Command + Shift + A).

Press Shift and click the top fish shape and “FEELING.” Choose Object > Envelope Distort > Make with Top Object (Command + Option + C).
Repeat to fit the other two type boxes into the fish shapes as shown at left.
Choose Select > All (Command + A). Choose Object > Envelope Distort > Edit Contents (Command + Shift + V).

In the Color palette, change the Fill to C:0; M:76; Y:100; K:0 (below, left). Choose Select > Deselect (Command + Shift + A).
The final effect is shown at left (click to enlarge).

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