Month of Sundays: B

Thanks for following along with the Month of Sundays Drop Cap Project! For our second round:

Drop Cap-B

Drop Cap Displays2

Creating the Letter

Today’s drop cap is a little more complex and may require a more intermediate skill level in Illustrator. But the process is fun and rewarding, and you’re welcome to jump into this slightly longer tutorial!

Requirements:

  • Adobe Illustrator (CS4+) and the Sunday Best Complete Family
  • Intermediate knowledge of Illustrator
  • Sunday Best Ornaments and Frames (this came with Sunday Best as an Illustrator file)
  1. Create a new document in Adobe Illustrator.
  2. Using the type tool, create your letter. Choose a color and make the font Sunday Best Fancy No Frills.
  3. In the layer palette, duplicate the letter twice in place. (File > Copy; File > Paste in Front) You should now have three identical layers with the same letter.
  4. Each layer is as follows, from bottom to top:
      • Sunday Best Fancy Shadow Simple – Stylistic Set 1
      • Sunday Best Fancy No Frills
      • Sunday Best Fancy EngravedB-2
  5. For the frame: Select the rectangle tool, and starting in the middle of your drop cap, draw a square around it so that it is centered. With this simple frame selected, go to Object > Path > Offset Path and enter -2 pt. Offset this second frame again -6 pt. Now you have three square paths framing your drop cap.B-3
  6. First we’ll deal with the outer frame (Frame 1) – the largest one. In your layers palette, move this on top of both of the other frames. Open up the Sunday Best Ornaments and Frames Illustrator file that came with Sunday Best. On the very far right, you’ll see several pattern brushes. I chose this one:B-1Copy this shape with the brush applied and paste it into your drop cap Illustrator file. Now the brush will appear in your brushes palette. Apply this brush to Frame 1. You can change the color of the brush by changing the color of the stroke of your outer frame, and you can adjust the size of the brush by changing the stroke size. I made my stroke size 2 pt. If you double-click on the brush in the brush palette, you can change settings further.B-4
  7. Next, we’ll deal with the middle frame (Frame 2), the one just slightly smaller in size. Apply a fill to it and round the corners by going to Effect > Stylize > Round Corners.B-5
  8. For the last frame (Frame 3), apply both a fill and stroke of slightly contrasting color.
  9. Next, draw two lines to match the width of Frame 3, one on top and one on bottom. Choose a generic stroke and stroke weight. I made mine black and 1 pt for now. With these two lines, go to Object > Blend > Make… and enter a number that will line up with the woodcut-style lines in the drop cap.B-6 When you are satisfied with your blend, click OK. Now, go to Object > Expand, and select only “Object.” Now your blend is a series of lines to which you can apply effects.
  10. Now, with the brush or pencil tool, draw two somewhat random lines on either side of the letter, loosely framing the letterform. Select these two lines and your series of horizontal lines. In the pathfinder, choose “Outline.”B-8 Next, choose all of the trimmed lines on either side of the letter, apply a stroke, and delete the rest. You can adjust these lines with the direct select tool until you are satisfied.B-9
  11. Next, we’ll create a small art brush to apply to these lines in order to create a woodcut effect. To do this, select the circle tool and click anywhere on your artboard. I made mine 1pt x 1pt, and I filled it in with a color light enough to show up against Frame 3. To make this a brush, select the tiny circle and drag it into your brushes palette. Choose “Art Brush” and adjust your settings, then click OK.B-7
  12. Finally, select your randomized woodcut lines and apply your new art brush. Adjust stroke settings until you are satisfied. I used 2 pt. Great job!

Tips:

  • Use the OpenType palette (Window > Type > OpenType) to enable Stylistic Sets/Alternates.

OpenType SA

  • Another way to do this is to use the Glyphs palette (Window > Type > Glyphs).

Thanks for following along! If you want, you can download the drop cap as a high-resolution PNG file. Sunday Best will be on sale on Etsy for a limited time! Enter coupon code SUNDAYBEST65 at checkout until August 1, 2014 to purchase Sunday Best for 65% off.

You can also check out Sunday Best on Creative Market, $25 until May 1, 2014.

All placeholder text is taken from the King James Version of the Bible and represents my personal beliefs. Lorem ipsum, while the industry standard, does not. This downloadable drop cap is covered under the Ornaments of Grace Basic EULA.
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