How to Make a Cartoon Style Cereal Box Logo in Adobe Illustrator CS3 October 29, 2010 Here is a look at what we will be making:

I have this problem every time I go grocery shopping: whenever I go down the cereal isle it takes me forever to pick out a box to buy. I’m so wrapped up in looking at the box design, especially those super tasty display logos! The other day I was caught staring at the new box of Lucky Charms drooling, not over the thought of marshmallowy moons and clovers, but over the beautiful new logo. So I set out to make one of my own in Adobe Illustrator. In the process I came up with some quick and easy techniques that look great! I am pleased to share them with you here. If a real cereal logo designer happens by here, please give us insights! I am using a Mac, and in this tutorial I will add shortcut commands, such as (cmd-F) for Paste in Front. PC users just substitute (ctrl) for (cmd) in most cases.

Step 1: Grab the Font

First thing to do is get a font to use. One great place to get free or buy quality fonts is from The FREE font I grabbed for this tutorial is called Mail-Ray-Stuff

Step 2: Type the Name
Using your new font, type out the name of your product.

Then separate and modify each letter following these steps: 1. 2. 3. 4. Select the text In the Menu, go Type > Create Outlines. Right-click the text and select Ungroup (cmd-G). Using the Selection T ool(V) rotate, nudge and reposition each letter just slightly, to make the text look more active.

give it a big stroke. 3. any color. . Copy it. 2. and Paste Behind (cmd-B). Using the Stroke Palette. Select the letters and group them up again by right-clicking > Group or (cmd-G). and aligned to the center.Step 3: Create a “Plaque” for the Word to Display on Now we need to make a big outline for your letters following these steps: 1.

5.Lock the original text for now. Select the outlined text Go Object > Expand Right-click the text and select Ungroup (cmd + shift + G) In the Pathfinder Palette choose Add to Shape Area Click Expand . 4. 2. 3. by selecting it and going Object > Lock > Lock Selection or (cmd-2). Then follow these steps: 1.

3. Select them and the outline shape and choose again Add to Shape Area from the Pathfinder Palette. 4. Click Expand.Step 4: Patch Up the Inside Let’s get rid of the white in the middle of the letters by following these steps: 1. Draw shapes to fill in the open areas. 2. . Group them (cmd-G).

2. it will come to the front. right-click > o Arrange > Send Backward (cmd-left bracket) Step 5: Add a Gradient to the “Plaque” Give it a vertical linear gradient by following these steps: 1. and enter a light blue color 3. 4. Make sure nothing is selected (click on an empty area of the stage). to perfect your gradient.Once you expand it. Double-click the fill color icon in the T ools Palette. #29ABE2. . T send it back where it was. 7. 5. Using the Gradient T ool(G) drag from the plaque top to bottom. and drag the light blue swatch from the Swatches Palette onto the left side of the gradient. Select the plaque (can I just call it that now? mkthx). Activate the Gradient Palette. Drag the color from the T ools Palette into the color Swatches Palette so we have it for later. adding a darker blue #0071BC to the Swatches Palette. Repeat. and the dark blue onto the right. 6.

Using the Stroke Palette. to preserve it for later. Copy it and Paste Behind again (cmd-B) 3. Aligned to outside is fine.Step 6: Add Another Text Outline Building upward from our base layer. Go Object > Lock > Lock Selection (cmd-2) on the original black text again. let’s add another text outline by following these steps: 1. so you can see it (I used red). give it a stroke of any color besides black. Go Object > Unlock all (cmd-option-2) to select the original text 2. . 4.

Right click > Ungroup (cmd-shift-G) 3. In the Pathfinder Palette. Select the outlined text and go Object > Expand Appearance. choose Add to Shape Area. . checking fill and stroke in the dialogue. Click Expand 5. Fill it with a light blue #88DBF2 (drag this color into your Swatches Palette to save it).Step 7: Color the Text Outline Now let’s give your new text outline a light blue color by following these steps: 1. 2. 4. like we did for the plaque.

. I chose red. Choose options similar to the following. feel free to play around here. Let’s apply it to our text by following these steps: 1. and fill it with any color for now.Step 8: Make the Text 3D! One sweet effect in Illustrator CS3 is the Effect > 3D T ool. Go Effect > 3D > Extrude and Bevel 3. making sure to check Preview to see what you’re doing. Unlock the original text Object > Unlock All (cmd-option-2) to select it. 2.

Right click > Ungroup (cmd-shift-G). but I bet we can make the colors even nicer. so select all the letters again and right click > Ungroup once more. T edit the colors we will need to break the 3D text into individual shapes. That will separate each letter block. Now select all the letter faces and group them.Step 9: Color the 3D Letter Faces Your 3D text might look pretty good the way it is. 3. Select the 3D text and go Object > Expand Appearance 2. T do o o that follow these steps: 1. and give them a vertical linear gradient color bright red #FF0000 on top to dark red #7A0009 on bottom . We want to get at just the face of each letter though. 4.

Zoom in and make sure you get them all. Group them (cmd-G) 3. Fill them 3D with a darker red #44000A . so let’s darken the block part of each letter: 1. 4. 2.Step 10: Color the 3D Letter Blocks There’s not quite enough shadow on what’s behind the letter faces. Grouping them will cause them to move in front of the letter faces. so right click > Send Backward (cmd-left bracket) to place them back where they were. Select all the pieces of the letters besides the faces. there might be some that are hard to see.

Here is a relatively quick and easy way to make them. but is our most complex set of steps thus far: 1. 3. Select your highlights and fill them with our bright red #FF0000. Copy the letter faces (only) and Paste in Front (cmd-F). Aack! where did my text go? Don’t worry. . then Expand. Nudge the copied faces to the right a few (2) taps.Step 11: Create Highlights The real magic in a good logo is in the details. 5. 2. It’s still on your clipboard so just Paste Behind (cmd-B). Select both sets of letter faces and in the Pathfinder Palette choose Subtract from Shape Area. 4. We can really sharpen this one up by adding highlights to the letters.


.Step 12: Adjust the Highlights Pretty close but not quite done! With the Direct Selection T ool (Y) select the points of any awkward highlights and adjust them to line up correctly.

but we’ll make this one rounded and puffy looking: 1. Right-click > Ungroup (cmd-G). Rotate. Copy and Paste Behind (cmd-B). 4. go Type > Create Outlines. Group the letters up again. nudge and reposition each letter. .Awesome! The main part of your logo is done. Type the word “Puffs” using the same font. Step 14: Give it a Puffy Stroke This one needs a plaque to sit on as well. now let’s add more juicy text to describe your product Step 13: Add Secondary Text Well? What kind of cereal is it? Loops. 3. 2. Lock the PUFFS text on top (cmd-2). Crisps. or what? Let’s go with PUFFS! Start it out just like the beginning: 1. Nuggets.

Choose the eyedropper tool (I) and click the other plaque to copy its gradient colors. Align the stroke to the outside and make it big enough to fill the inside. Step 15: Color the Puffy Plaque Alright this one needs a background gradient color too. 2. Step 16: Puff out the Top PUFFS Text Now we can style the original PUFFS text. 2. 3. like we did for the first plaque. . Go Object > Expand Appearance. Give it a big stroke. Use the Gradient T ool (G) to adjust the gradient to your liking. and in the Pathfinder Palette choose Add to Shape Area. any color for now. Object > Unlock All (cmd-option-2). Let’s give it the same color as the other plaque by following these (familiar) steps: 1.on top (cmd-2). then Expand. Unlock the text. Let’s add a bit of roundness to it: 1. right click > Ungroup.

Select both PUFFS shapes and in the Pathfinder Palette select Subtract from Shape area. aligned to the outside. Copy your new PUFFS shape and Paste in Front (cmd-F). Use the Direct Selection T ool to delete any little straggling pieces. Caution: when you nudge the word over it may overlap the letter to its right.2. Give it a 1pt. with rounded corners 3. Nudge it to the right one or two taps. The technique here is similar to the other highlights. right click > Ungroup. 2. . Then do our familiar step: Object > Expand Appearance. and in the Pathfinder Palette choose Add to Shape Area. Step 17: Create Puffy Highlights Before we get to coloring the text. let’s make the highlights. then Expand. 4. 3. stroke. but we will go an extra few steps: 1. then Expand. Use the Direct Selection T ool (Y) to adjust the shape on top so it doesn’t overlap. 5.


Copy the PUFFS text and Paste in Front (cmd-F). 2.Step 18: Refine the Highlights First of all Paste in Back (cmd-B) your copied PUFFS text and fill it with white. Now we can work on the highlights a bit more and get rid of the over-hanging top portion: 1. then Expand. Select the text and the highlights and in the Pathfinder Palette choose Intersect Shape Areas. Nudge the highlights over to the right one tap. then Right-Click > Arrange > Bring to Front (cmd-shift-right bracket). . 3. Nudge the text down one tap 4.

Step 19: Refine the Highlights More Fill the new highlight shape to see what you have. but we will repeat this step to remove the over-hanging bottom portion of your highlights: 1. 2. then bring it to the front. 4. 3. Nudge the text up one tap this time. Select the text and the highlights and in the Pathfinder Palette choose Intersect Shape Areas. Copy the PUFFS text again and Paste in Front (cmd-F). then Expand. Now you can color your finished bevel effect with the light blue #88DBF2. .

and about 5pt. select both words and go Object > Warp > Make with Warp and give it an Arc with about a 13% Bend. Make sure to check Preview to see your changes. like the image below. 2. Step 21: Warp the Logo When you are happy with the logo so far. Position PUFFS the way you like under your logo.Step 20: Position PUFFS in the Logo Lookin’ good yet? Let’s get PUFFS in the logo: 1. aligned to the outside. . Select the blue plaque behind PUFFS and give it a white stroke.

I made some clouds and rays but I encourage you to come up with your own! .Step 22: Finishing Touches Your logo is done! Go ahead and add some background elements if you like.

I’d sure appreciate a link back though! The text and images in this tutorial itself are copyright of and may not be distributed.Thanks for following my tutorial! I hope you learned lots from this.alandesigns. How did you like this tutorial? Was it easy to follow? T ough to follow? Did I screw anything up? Your feedback is gold! The effects and techniques demonstrated in this tutorial can be used however you like. .

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