This is a text with a link.

How to create Vintage Labels in Adobe Illustrator

Create and prepare the new document

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

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

Activate the “Align new objects to pixel grid” option


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'll be using to make our lovely labels.


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.


Step 3

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


Create a ribbon for each label

Step 1

Ribbons, or banners, will make your labels visually attractive and engaging. Make one for each label; later on we'll fill them in with a text to make them stand out.


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


Step 2

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


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 end of your three ribbons.


Step 4

Make another Move but this time only on the area of each ribbon where we want to add text.


Create vintage elements

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


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'll explain how to create the diamond for the circle shaped label.

Step 1

Start with a rectangular element onto which we'll 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.


Step 2

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


Add and integrate text

The fonts I have used in this tutorial can be found in the Attachments section. The fonts are Arvo and Ostrich Sans.

Step 1

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


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


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

Step 2

It's also useful to add decorative elements that match the style of the label. We'll be doing this using the Pen Tool with the same stroke as we used for the other objects. This will give your designs the added bonus of great personality and strength.


*Note: Seeing as we previously explained how to create the integrated elements in the circle shaped label in detail, we'll now explain the decorative elements for the same label so as to avoid confusion.


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

Group and expand the elements

Step 1

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


Step 2

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


Create a vintage style background

Step 1

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'll see a black and white gradient, leave the opacity of the white at 0%.


Step 3

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


Step 4

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


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


What’s your opinion of this tutorial?

María Vázquez Reina
María Vázquez Reina
María Vázquez ReinaTeacher

Freelance Illustrator and designer working for Freepik

To learn more, visit


At home or wherever you find inspiration.

At your own pace
At your own pace

No time limits or pressure. Adapt the courses to your own timetable.

Meet the community
Meet the community

Share your projects and learn from our online community.

Certified courses
Receive your diploma

When you finish a course you'll be able to download your certificate.