Take ordinary text and bring it to life using the text formatting options found in Adobe Illustrator CC, including Typekit fonts, character and paragraph formatting, the Eyedropper tool, and the Touch Type tool.

Add a headline

Select the Type tool in the Tools panel and click anywhere on the artboard. Choose 36 from the font size menu in the Character section of the Properties panel to make the text easier to see. 

The selected placeholder text appears as point type, which is great for creating headlines. Point type is a horizontal or vertical line of text that begins where you click and expands as you enter characters.


Type your text, then press ESC to exit the Type tool and to automatically select the type object. Press Shift and drag a corner on the type object to make the text bigger.

To resize the type object without resizing the text, double-click the widget on the right side of the text box. This converts the text from point type to area type. Drag a corner of the type object to flow the text within. Leave it selected.


Change the font

Next, you'll change the color and font of your headline.


Click the Fill Color box in the Appearance section of the Properties panel (Window > Properties) and choose a color.

Click the Font family pull-down menu in the Character section of the Properties panel, and choose an existing font, or you can add new fonts using the Adobe Typekit Library. Click Add Fonts from Typekit to launch the Typekit website in your browser.

You can choose from thousands of high-quality fonts in the Typekit Library. If you want to follow along with the same font used here, type Raleway in the search field and click Raleway in the list that appears. Click the Sync All button on the next page. The fonts will be added to your computer to use in your projects.

Note: Some fonts are only available with a paid Creative Cloud membership. See Getting started with Typekit and Creative Cloud for details.


Back in Illustrator, choose Raleway from the Font family menu and Medium from the Font style menu in the Character section of the Properties panel.

Play with text formatting

Try adjusting the spacing between the lines of text by adjusting the Leading value in the Character section of the Properties panel. Click More Options in the Character section of the Properties panel to see more formatting options, and click the All Caps icon.

Align the text to the center of the type object by clicking the Align Center icon in the Paragraph section of the Properties panel.


With the Selection tool selected, drag a corner to flow the text to look like the following figure, and then drag the text box into place.

Double-click directly on the text to switch to the Type tool. Drag across part of the text and click the Fill Color Box in the Properties panel to select another color.


Add some body text

With the Type tool selected, drag to create an area filled with selected placeholder text. Adding text this way is useful for inserting paragraphs of text.

To apply the same formatting as the headline, select the Eyedropper tool and click in the headline text.


Experiment in the Properties panel by changing the font style and font size, changing the Leading value to Auto (default), and clicking More Options to turn off the All Caps option.

Type your text.


Note: If all of the text doesn’t fit in the text area, you’ll see a red plus sign (+) on the side of the text box. With the Selection tool selected, drag a corner to expand the text box until the plus sign disappears.


Add special characters

If you need to add special characters to your text, like a copyright symbol or bullet points, you can do so easily using the Glyphs panel (Type > Glyphs) or menu commands.

With the Type tool selected, click in the text where you want to insert a special character, like an em dash. Choose Type > Insert Special Character > Hyphens And Dashes > Em Dash.


Add a headline

You can also use the Touch Type tool to adjust the appearance of text. With the Touch Type tool, you can select a character on the artboard and apply character formatting such as kerning, baseline shift, and more by dragging.

Click and hold the Type tool to select the Touch Type tool. Click a character in the text to show formatting options. Drag a corner to resize the character. The Touch Type tool is applying text formatting, like you did in the Properties panel previously—only on the text.


Click other characters and drag from within to move them. Experiment by resizing and rotating characters in different ways.

Prepare for output

To save the poster for print, choose File > Save As. Select Adobe PDF and click Save.

In the Adobe PDF Preset menu, choose either the High Quality Print or Press Quality preset based on your print provider’s recommendations.

Nice job! Don’t stop now — keep exploring different types of text formatting and practice your skills to create beautiful text.


Contributor: Brian Wood

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