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Today we are going to learn how to create three retro style labels using the program Adobe Illustrator. We will do this using simple vector forms with a vintage look. This kind of design has become a trend and has a wide range of uses. Are you ready? Let’s go!!

1. Create and prepare the new document

The first step is to create a new document in Illustrator (File > New) with the following parameters:

  • Dimensions: 800x600 pixels
  • Color mode: RGB
  • Resolution: 72 ppi

Activate the “Align new objects to pixel grid” option

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2. Create shapes for the labels

STEP 1

Let’s start by creating three basic geometric shapes: a triangle, a circle and a square. These are the shapes we will be using to make our lovely labels.

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STEP 2

Create a second stroke surrounding each geometric shape, make this stroke twice as thick as the first one and give it a white fill color.

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STEP 3

Generate a Move on these shapes, with a white fill color. This will be very useful and we will be moving other elements later on because this will result in great strength and depth for our finished labels. To Move elements, first select them and then go to Object > Stroke > Move.

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3. Create a ribbon for each label

STEP 1

Ribbons, or banners, will make your labels visually attractive and communicative. Make one for each label, later on we will fill them in with whatever text we want to make stand out.

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*Hint*

To give a rectangle an arched shape use the following tool: Effect > Warp.

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STEP 2

Now let’s create the ribbon ends. We will do this by adding a node to the vertical center of each ribbon extremity. Do this by using the > Add Anchor Point Tool.

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STEP 3

Use the > Direct Selection Tool to select the nodes and drag them towards the center of the ribbon to create this cool effect. Repeat the process with each extremity on your three ribbons.

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STEP 4

Carry out another Move but this time only on the area of each ribbon in which we want to add text.

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4. Create vintage elements

To create each of these elements we will be using two basic tools: the Pen Tool and the Pathfinder Tool. We will combine the two kinds of thicknesses we previously used for the stroke.

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Each part of the process for creating an element will be explained in detail so that it’s easier to learn. In this case we will explain how to create the diamond for the circle shaped label.

STEP 1

Start with a rectangular element on which we will add a node using the > Add Anchor Point Tool and drag downwards. Now give the element some shape starting from the nodes with the > Direct Selection Tool.

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STEP 2

Add straight lines to give the diamond some shape working with the two stroke thicknesses. Do this using the > Pen Tool.

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5. Add and integrate text

//The fonts used for this tutorial can be downloaded free from the

fontsquirrelwebsite. The fonts used are Arvo and Ostrich Sans//

STEP 1

Add text, adapt them to the ribbons or integrate them into the label’s composition.

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*Hint*

To create texts on different shapes, use the > Type On A Path tool. This is a very useful tool that we will need to adapt the text to the circle and square shaped labels which we will demonstrate in this tutorial.

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In this case, the text will be shaped on circular elements.

STEP 2

It is also useful to add decorative elements related to the style of the label. We will be doing this using the Pen Tool with the same stroke we have been using for the other elements. This will give your designs the added bonus of great personality and strength.

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*Note*

Seeing as we previously explained how to create the integrated element in the circle shaped label in detail, we will now explain the decorative element for the same label so as to avoid confusion.

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Create one vertical and two diagonal lines using the > Pen Tool. Now change the stroke’s profile so that it ends in a point.

6. Group and expand the elements

STEP 1

Once you have finished the label, group it by going to Object > Group (ctrl + G). Now expand it to convert the text and lines into stroke and change its appearance by going to Object > Expand (ctrl + Q).

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STEP 2

Select the expanded label and using the > Pathfinder tool, choose the Combine option.

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7. Create a vintage style background

STEP 1

To further integrate the design, use the rectangle tool to create a shape the same size as the Artboard, center it vertically and horizontally.

STEP 2

Give the fill a radial gradient. Do this by going to the > Gradient panel. You will see a black and white gradient, leave the opacity of the white at 0%.

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STEP 3

Without deselecting the gradient, give it a layer style using Window > Transparency, choose the Multiply option and decrease opacity to around 5 - 10%.

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STEP 4

Give the gradient an effect by going to Effect > Pixelate > Pointillize. Set the cell size to around 3.

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And we’re done! So here you have some very cool and attractive vintage style labels which can be used in a thousand ways. Don’t forget that you can use any colors you want giving each design a modern and personal touch.

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