This is a really simple tutorial on how to create some really effective 3d text with a blur for a great finished look.

STEP 1: (Creating a background)

  1. Draw a square using your square tool (the dimensions above are 420px x 420px).
  2. Give it a gradient of 90% black to white (using the linear option)
  3. Play around with the opacity of your square to get the perfect ambient lighting
  4. If you are using CS4 you can use its new gradient editor to get a better look, otherwise you can use the paint bucket in one of the corners in CS3.

  1. Using your text tool, create some white text.
  2. Add a drop shadow to it by clicking Effect>Stylize>Drop Shadow...
  3. Choose the Multiply option in the drop down menu.
  4. Use an opacity of about 55%.
  5. In the offset boxes use an offset of 3.7pt (both X & Y - use your discretion according to your text size).

STEP 3: (Applying 3d)

  1. Select your text and click Effect>3D>Extrude & Bevel... then use the following values:
  2. X axis rotation: 2 degrees.
  3. Perspective: 146 degrees.
  4. Extrude Depth: about 20 degrees.
  5. In the 'More Options' drop-down use the following values:
  6. Light Intensity: 100%
  7. Ambient Light: 46%
  8. Highlight Intensity: 100%
  9. Highlight Size: 100%
  10. Blend Steps: 50
  11. Shading Colour: Black
  12. Add 6 more light spots (see above screen-grab for positioning).
  13. Done!
STEP 4: (Blur)

  1. Draw a perfect circle with the 'Circle Tool'
  2. Give it a black-white gradient (see above).
  3. Re-size the circle to an oval so that the edges are almost touching the text.
  4. Make sure the oval is on top of the text before adding an opacity mask.
  5. Select the text and the oval then (on the transparency panel) click on the 'Make Opacity Mask' option then add a blur by clicking Effect>Blur>Gaussian Blur with a blur amount of 4.5 pixels.


Align your blurred text with your normal text and that's it! You can add colours of your choice or even overlay other designs on the background using the same blur method as the text blur,

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Follow these steps to make your very own web/interface buttons, it's a great way to get a site look thats is clean and up to date.

  1. Draw a circle using your circle tool.
  2. Duplicate your circle. (copy, paste)
  3. Using your pen tool, draw a curved line, cutting your circle into two pieces. (this will be for creating the glossy effect)
  4. Use the 'DIVIDE' button in the 'PATHFINDER' panel to cut the circle in two and delete the bottom piece. (this will be the glossy effect)

  1. Select your cut shape.
  2. Duplicate it. (copy, paste)
  3. Fill the first one black and fill the second using a black to white gradient.
  4. Click on the dropdown menu in the top right corner of the transparency panel and select 'Make Opacity Mask'.
  5. Then tick the 'Invert Mask' box on the transparency panel.
Now you have your glossy button. Try dragging it on top of a darker object to see its transparency, you will notice that it's black, so click on the object and click on the white swatch in the 'Swatches' panel.


Place your glossy object ontop of your first drawn circle and you're done! All we have to do is choose a colour. Use a brighter colour to show its on and a more dull colour to show its off. you can also use gradients (eg: light blue to cyan).
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Every designer has their own process when it comes to creating a logo, this method is really easy and time efficient.

STEP1: Asking the right questions
I'ts very important to get as much useful information out of your client as possible, so make sure to ask questions that will help you graphically. Keep it simple! You don't need to know their monthly turnover.

The only questions that ever need to be asked:
1 What is the nature of the clients business?
2 What colours do they prefer? (always nice to have a pantone booklet around)
3 What style or theme did they have in mind? (eg: contemporary, playful etc...)
4 Also ask if they had any specific ideas, clients love the fact that they had some say in the making of their logo.

STEP 2: Research
Before starting a logo its always a good idea to browse through a search engine or two (flickr, google etc.), just to see whats out there and this will usually spark some great ideas!

STEP 3: Sketch, sketch & sketch some more

The best way to keep your logo nice and organic looking is to sketch it first. Draw absolutely anything that comes to mind, you can filter through them later!

STEP 4: Choose

Now choose from your sketch pad, its always nice to choose at least 3 to work with digitally. Scan and trace your chosen ideas.

STEP 5: Play with elements

Once you've finished tracing your sketched artwork, try moving, rotating or perhaps overlapping elements until you have something you think you can start adding colour to.

STEP 6: Typeface

Now that you have a general concept and a logo you are happy with, it's time to add some typography!

It's now time to see how the logo could work with some text. Experiment with a variety of layouts and typefaces to see what would work best, perhaps let your client have his/her input into what typeface they think works best. Above you can see just some, of many, different typefaces I've tried, the typeface I chose here is Myriad, which works for it's forward, clean, legible, fresh nature - one that reflects the business model as a whole.


Now that we have a typeface and logo concept for our client, it's now time to choose the colors for the logo. Above you can see a few of the many that I tried. In the end I chose red and black.

STEP 8: Final logo

That's it, were done! One more thing, when presenting your final logo, always show it on a white background as well as a black background, to show it's versatility.

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Graphic design tutorials made easy.


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