Make It in a Minute: 3D Lettering in Illustrator
Click on the image to watch the one-minute video.
STEP BY STEP
Step 1. Double-click on the Pencil tool to open the Pencil Tool Options settings. Set Fidelity to Smooth. Click on OK. Draw a letter using a single stroke, or path. (Or use our custom alphabet to create your lettering.)
Step 2. Choose the Ellipse tool and shift-drag to draw a circle.
Step 3. With the circle still selected, click on the Gradient icon below the Fill color in the Tools panel. Set Stroke to None.
Step 4. Open the Gradient panel (Window > Gradient). Double-click on the first Gradient slider. Click on the Swatches icon and choose a color. Double-click on the second Gradient slider and choose a different color.
Step 5. Use the Selection tool to select the circle. Then option-drag (alt-drag) to duplicate the circle.
Step 6. Choose the Blend tool and click on each circle.
Step 7. Double-click on the Blend tool, select Specified Steps from the Spacing drop-down menu, and set the desired number of steps.
Step 8. Use the Selection tool to select both your letter and the blend; then go to Object > Blend > Replace Spine to create the 3D effect. (If you want to change the direction of your blend, select Reverse Spine.)