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Create a text poster using Image Trace

  1. Illustrator User Guide
  2. Get to know Illustrator
    1. Introduction to Illustrator
      1. What's new in Illustrator
      2. Common questions
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    2. Workspace
      1. Workspace basics
      2. Learn faster with the Illustrator Discover panel
      3. Create documents
      4. Toolbar
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      7. Introduction to artboards
      8. Manage artboards
      9. Customize the workspace
      10. Properties panel
      11. Set preferences
      12. Touch Workspace
      13. Microsoft Surface Dial support in Illustrator
      14. Undo edits and manage design history
      15. Rotate view
      16. Rulers, grids, and guides
      17. Accessibility in Illustrator
      18. Safe Mode
      19. View artwork
      20. Use the Touch Bar with Illustrator
      21. Files and templates
    3. Tools in Illustrator
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      2. Select tools
        1. Selection
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        1. Gradient
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        3. Shape Builder
      5. Text tools
        1. Type
        2. Type on a Path
        3. Vertical Type
      6. Draw tools
        1. Pen
        2. Add Anchor Point
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        4. Anchor Point
        5. Curvature
        6. Line Segment
        7. Rectangle
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        9. Ellipse
        10. Polygon
        11. Star
        12. Paintbrush
        13. Blob Brush
        14. Pencil
        15. Shaper
        16. Slice
      7. Modify tools
        1. Rotate
        2. Reflect
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        4. Shear
        5. Width
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        11. Dimension
    4. Generative AI (not available in mainland China)
      1. Generate a vector graphic using a text prompt
      2. Recolor your artwork using a text prompt
    5. Quick actions
      1. Retro text
      2. Neon glow text
      3. Old school text
      4. Recolor
      5. Convert sketch to vector
  3. Illustrator on the web (beta)
    1. Illustrator on the web (beta) overview
    2. Illustrator on the web (beta) FAQ
    3. Troubleshooting issues FAQ
    4. Keyboard shortcuts for Illustrator on the web (beta)
    5. Create and combine shapes on the web
    6. Add and edit text on the web
    7. Apply colors and gradients on the web
    8. Draw and edit paths on the web
    9. Work with cloud documents on the web
    10. Invite collaborators to edit on the web
  4. Illustrator on the iPad
    1. Introduction to Illustrator on the iPad
      1. Illustrator on the iPad overview
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      3. System requirements | Illustrator on the iPad
      4. What you can or cannot do on Illustrator on the iPad
    2. Workspace
      1. Illustrator on the iPad workspace
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      3. Keyboard shortcuts for Illustrator on the iPad
      4. Manage your app settings
    3. Documents
      1. Work with documents in Illustrator on the iPad
      2. Import Photoshop and Fresco documents
    4. Select and arrange objects
      1. Create repeat objects
      2. Blend objects
    5. Drawing
      1. Draw and edit paths
      2. Draw and edit shapes
    6. Type
      1. Work with type and fonts
      2. Create text designs along a path
      3. Add your own fonts
    7. Work with images
      1. Vectorize raster images
    8. Color
      1. Apply colors and gradients
  5. Cloud documents
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      1. Work with Illustrator cloud documents
      2. Share and collaborate on Illustrator cloud documents
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      5. Illustrator cloud documents | Common questions
    2. Troubleshooting
      1. Troubleshoot create or save issues for Illustrator cloud documents
      2. Troubleshoot Illustrator cloud documents issues
  6. Add and edit content
    1. Drawing and dimensioning
      1. Drawing basics
      2. Edit paths
      3. Draw pixel-perfect art
      4. Draw with the Pen, Curvature, or Pencil tool
      5. Draw simple lines and shapes
      6. Draw rectangular and polar grids
      7. Draw and edit flares
      8. Image Trace
      9. Simplify a path
      10. Symbolism tools and symbol sets
      11. Adjust path segments
      12. Design a flower in 5 easy steps
      13. Create and edit a perspective grid
      14. Draw and modify objects on a perspective grid
      15. Use objects as symbols for repeat use
      16. Draw pixel-aligned paths for web workflows
      17. Measure and plot dimensions
    2. 3D objects and materials
      1. About 3D effects in Illustrator
      2. Create 3D graphics
      3. Map artwork over 3D objects
      4. Create 3D Text
      5. Create 3D objects
    3. Color
      1. About color
      2. Select colors
      3. Use and create swatches
      4. Adjust colors
      5. Use the Adobe Color Themes panel
      6. Color groups (harmonies)
      7. Color Themes panel
      8. Recolor your artwork
    4. Painting
      1. About painting
      2. Paint with fills and strokes
      3. Live Paint groups
      4. Gradients
      5. Brushes
      6. Transparency and blending modes
      7. Apply stroke on an object
      8. Create and edit patterns
      9. Meshes
      10. Patterns
    5. Select and arrange objects
      1. Select objects
      2. Layers
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      4. Move, align, and distribute objects
      5. Stack objects    
      6. Lock, hide, and delete objects
      7. Copy and duplicate objects
      8. Rotate and reflect objects
      9. Intertwine objects
      10. Create realistic art mockups
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      1. Crop images
      2. Transform objects
      3. Combine objects
      4. Cut, divide, and trim objects
      5. Puppet Warp
      6. Scale, shear, and distort objects
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      8. Reshape using envelopes
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      10. Build new shapes with Shaper and Shape Builder tools
      11. Work with Live Corners
      12. Enhanced reshape workflows with touch support
      13. Edit clipping masks
      14. Live shapes
      15. Create shapes using the Shape Builder tool
      16. Global editing
    7. Type
      1. Add text and work with type objects
      2. Create bulleted and numbered lists
      3. Manage text area
      4. Fonts and typography
      5. Convert text within images into editable text
      6. Add basic formatting to text
      7. Add advanced formatting to text
      8. Import and export text
      9. Format paragraphs
      10. Special characters
      11. Create type on a path
      12. Character and paragraph styles
      13. Tabs
      14. Find missing fonts (Typekit workflow)
      15. Arabic and Hebrew type
      16. Fonts | FAQ and troubleshooting tips
      17. Create 3D text effect
      18. Creative typography designs
      19. Scale and rotate type
      20. Line and character spacing
      21. Hyphenation and line breaks
      22. Spelling and language dictionaries
      23. Format Asian characters
      24. Composers for Asian scripts
      25. Create text designs with blend objects
      26. Create a text poster using Image Trace
    8. Create special effects
      1. Work with effects
      2. Graphic styles
      3. Appearance attributes
      4. Create sketches and mosaics
      5. Drop shadows, glows, and feathering
      6. Summary of effects
    9. Web graphics
      1. Best practices for creating web graphics
      2. Graphs
      3. SVG
      4. Slices and image maps
  7. Import, export, and save
    1. Import
      1. Place multiple files
      2. Manage linked and embedded files
      3. Links information
      4. Unembed images
      5. Import artwork from Photoshop
      6. Import bitmap images
      7. Import Adobe PDF files
      8. Import EPS, DCS, and AutoCAD files
    2. Creative Cloud Libraries in Illustrator 
      1. Creative Cloud Libraries in Illustrator
    3. Save
      1. Save artwork
    4. Export
      1. Use Illustrator artwork in Photoshop
      2. Export artwork
      3. Collect assets and export in batches
      4. Package files
      5. Create Adobe PDF files
      6. Extract CSS | Illustrator CC
      7. Adobe PDF options
      8. Document info panel
  8. Printing
    1. Prepare for printing
      1. Set up documents for printing
      2. Change the page size and orientation
      3. Specify crop marks for trimming or aligning
      4. Get started with large canvas
    2. Printing
      1. Overprint
      2. Print with color management
      3. PostScript printing
      4. Print presets
      5. Printer's marks and bleeds
      6. Print and save transparent artwork
      7. Trapping
      8. Print color separations
      9. Print gradients, meshes, and color blends
      10. White Overprint
  9. Automate tasks
    1. Data merge using the Variables panel
    2. Automation with scripts
    3. Automation with actions
  10. Troubleshooting 
    1. Known issues
    2. Crash issues
    3. Recover files after crash
    4. File issues
    5. Supported file formats
    6. GPU device driver issues
    7. Wacom device issues
    8. DLL file issues
    9. Memory issues
    10. Preferences file issues
    11. Font issues
    12. Printer issues
    13. Share crash report with Adobe
    14. Improve Illustrator performance

Learn easy ways to convert your handmade text designs into a digital logo, a font, or more.

Watch a quick video tutorial and get started

Watch this 56 seconds video to learn how to create a poster using Illustrator. 

Create your poster now. Click Get Started to launch Adobe Illustrator

This article covers the design journey of a promotional poster using Image Trace and Text on Path features of Illustrator. 

Reading time: 7-8 minutes
Skill-level: Beginner to Intermediate

Ensure to read these before you start creating your artwork.
Hero image

Digitize your handwriting in 4 easy steps

Step 1: Sketch the text and import into Illustrator

Start with creating the text on a piece of paper. We have created a numbered text using the brush pen.

Then, click a picture of your text or scan your text and import the picture file in Illustrator.

Import hand painted text

Step 2: Trace the image using Image Trace

After the file is imported, do the following to apply Image Trace options:

  • Choose Window > Image Trace. In the Image Trace dialog, do the following:
  • Choose Mode as Black and White.
  • Play around with the threshold value using the slider and pick the one that works the best for your image.
  • Select the Preview check box to view the changes in real-time.
  • Select the Ignore white check box in Advanced Options to remove the white background areas of the image.
Image trace

Step 3: Expand the traced image

After you complete the image tracing, you can edit the image. To do this, expand the image using the Expand button in Image Trace options in Control panel.

Expand image

Step 4: Ungroup, combine, and rearrange objects

Ungroup objects

Ungroup the letters

Right-click the image and choose Ungroup to ungroup the expanded object.

Combine objects

Path finder

Combine the stray points of each individual letter using the Unite shape mode in Pathfinder
(Windows Pathfinder).

Rearrange objects


Rearrange the letters and then place on the background, like the way it's shown in the image above. Change the color to white.

Create more text for the poster

After the traced image is placed on the background, let's add more text to the poster along a circular path.

Step 1: Create a circle

ellipse tool

Long press the Rectangle tool and select Ellipse or press L. To create a perfect circle, press the Shift key and then draw the circle.

Step 2: Create a path 

Type on path

Long press the Type tool and select Type on a Path Tool.

Step 3: Create text along the path

Add your text

Click on the ellipse anywhere and write the text for your poster.

Step 4: Add the text along the selected path

  • Select the path type object. A bracket appears at the beginning of the type, at the end, and at the midpoint.
  • To move text along the path, drag the center bracket along the path. 
  • Flip the brackets to write on the other side of the path.

Similarly, you can create multiple circles and add text along the paths. 

Edit the path

Final artwork


Alternate methods

In this article, we explained how you can edit your image by customizing the Image Trace options. Alternatively, you can also trace an image based on the variety of predefined templates (presets) and then fine-tune the traced image according to your requirement. As there is no one-size-fits-all, you need to play around with various presets to find the one that works the best for your image. 

To use a preset to trace the image, do one of the following:

  • Choose Object > Image Trace > Make or Make and Expand. The image will be traced based on the default tracing options.
  • In the Control panel, click the Image Trace drop-down list and choose a preset.
  • In the Properties panel, click the Image Trace button and choose a preset.

 Tip: If you want to edit the image using the available tracing options, you need to use the Image Trace dialog that appears from the Windows > Image Trace menu. In this dialog, you can play around with various options and check the results in real-time.

Image trace presets



High Fidelity Photo

Creates photorealistic artwork of high fidelity.

Low Fidelity Photo

Creates simplified photorealistic artwork.

3 Colors

Creates artwork with 3 basic colors.

6 Colors

Creates artwork with 6 colors.

16 Colors

Creates artwork with 16 colors.

Shades of Gray

Traces the artwork to shades of gray.

Black and White Logo

Simplifies the image to black-and-white artwork.

Sketched Art

Creates the image resembling to the sketched art.


Creates an artwork with the solid shape of  black.

Line Art

Simplifies the image to black outlines.

Technical Drawing

Traces the artwork based on the line width or stroke.

More resources

What's next?

Take a step forward and create your own font, logo, posters, and more. While you onboard your creative journey, don't forget to share your masterpieces with us. 

Create logos, icons, sketches, typographyhandlettering, and other vector art with Adobe Illustrator.

Have a question or an idea?

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The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online

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The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online