How to use type as Illustrator brush tutorial

How to use text / type as source for Illustrator brushes in CC 2018 2017 2015 CS6 CS5 etc tutorial.

Type as brush in Illustrator

How to use type as Illustrator brush tutorial
  1. Select the type tool in Illustrator for the brushes

  2. Set font

  3. Set size and set color for the type as well as other settings before typing ABCDE etc

  4. Object menu and expand

  5. Save the type brush via the Illustrator brushes panel

  6. Apply the new stroke in 100s of ways with lines and paths etc

videoVideo tutorial on the subject by (youtube)


Use as scatter : scatterYes, letters can be saved as a scatter in Adobe AI. The scatter strokes can be modified in many ways to include different spacing and different sizing etc The color option does not work though. You can use them in different directions as well


Buy $4.50 16,000 Strokes from and they can be used in countless ways in AI AI gallery


Use as artistic : spiralYou can use characters with AI strokes in art / artistic format + pattern strokes. The key thing here is that you need to expand the characters and then place them into the art / artistic or pattern option for the tools.


You can use the art strokes with all kinds of characters but if you expand them, you must remember to set the font etc because they cannot be changed at a later time so if you have Verdana and you want Times New Roman in the stroke then it is too late - an undo or delete is in order. Select some characters - preferably a nice long single line but it doesn't need to be a single line. Set font etc. Expand the characters. Drag to the brushes panel. Set the scale proportionately. Set colorization. Set width for the stroke. Click OK. Apply to a path


Create frames : frameThey are great for creating a quick character based frame around any path such as a rectangle or circle etc though you get the best result then you need to tweak things a little - you can never get the ABCDEFG etc to match exactly without a little tweaking of the the settings in the panel


You can modify the size as well as spacing. A useful setting though is to set the rotation relative to the path


Live effects for source: liveYou can add live effects to the type and then drag them into the panel and define them with the spacing and scattering etc. Not all live effects can be used but effects such as free transform can be applied via the effect menu. You cannot use blurs etc.


It should be noted that the artwork is expanded during this process as when you come to drag the design out to the artboard, the artwork no longer has the effect.


Live effects applied to type afterwards : afterYou can manipulate the stroke and the applied design after the application. Go to the appearance panel and then select the stroke and then go to the live effects menu and select something like transform or free transform etc






Add to type : surroundedYou can select characters and apply the strokes and nothing will happen. You can, of course, expand the letters and then apply the stroke - but there is a workaround and that is below


The easiest way to apply AI strokes to characters and to keep it live is to use the appearance panel and select the character option and then add a new stroke (or multiple strokes) and apply the strokes to that. The appearance panel means you can repeat this multiple times to make a very complex or very basic design and you can also combine it with effects such as blurs.


You can still modify the settings of the stroke so the spacing, scattering, size etc can still be changed as can the letters so if you write 'XYZ' then it can be changed to '123' very quickly with the stroke still attached as well as any stroke settings and fills etc


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