Illustrator is a very powerful tool when it comes to working with text. Here are two quick methods for applying some nice effects to type.

Blend Two Text Objects Together

If you want to create a transition of color and characters, you can blend two text objects together. Start by putting down some text in your document using the Type tool (T). Each piece of text is separate. Here’s a very simple example.


Select both text objects, then choose Object > Blend > Make. (The shortcut is Ctrl+Alt+B on the PC and Cmd+Alt+B on the Mac). You’ll see something along the lines of this:


You can adjust the blend by going back to the Object menu, and choosing Blend > Blend Options. Check the preview box so you can see how your blend changes. Here I’ve changed the number of specified steps to 4.


The good thing about this technique is that both pieces of text are still editable and you can also move your start and end text wherever you want and Illustrator will fill in the gaps for you.

Rotate A Single Character And Apply A Type Graphic Style

If you want to rotate one letter or number, you can use the Rotate Character option in the Character palette. If the Character palette isn’t open in Illustrator, choose Window > Type > Character or hit Ctrl+T (PC) or Cmd+T (Mac) to open it.

Add some text to your document and then select a single character that you want to rotate. On the Character Palette, choose a rotation angle. Note: If you don’t see the Character Rotation field, click on the Palette Menu on the top-right, and choose Show Options.


You can rotate individual characters or you can select a full block of text and rotate it. When you’re working with individual characters you might find that the rotated letter pushes the surrounding letters too far apart, like this:


To get rid of that extra space, you can change the Kerning between the characters. Click between two characters that you want to change the space between. Here, I’ve clicked between the first T and the A. Then to reduce the amount of space between them, enter a minus value in the Kerning field.


Repeat the Kerning on the other side of the letter A.

To finish this off, I added a graphic style to make it look like the letters are really being rotated. Open up the Graphic Styles palette. On the palette menu, choose Open Graphic Style Library > Text Effects.


Make sure your text is still selected, then click once on “Jiggle” in the Type Effects palette.


You should now have a nice style applied to your original text.


Jennifer Farley is a designer, illustrator and design instructor based in Ireland. She writes about design and illustration on her blog at Laughing Lion Design.

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  • TomBradshaw

    These are pretty cool, I’m a big fan of Illustrator and never used effects like this before. Thanks Jennifer! Keep them coming!


    I like the second one but I am not sure about the first one …it doesn’t look very good when done to text.


    The transition of characters I mean…the transition of colours work well

  • Clippingimages

    I am confused about the first one … But the second one is interesting. :)

  • Anonymous

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