How to Create a Tasty Bagel Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator
this tutorial and learn how to create a bagel text effect in Adobe
We will start with the text and make a few
adjustments to get the individual letters. After that, you will learn
to create the bagel texture and add shading and highlights to make
this text effect as realistic as possible.
Next, we will create and
save the Poppy Seeds Scatter Brush and use it to add the seeds on the
letters and around the letters in the background. This sounds fun, so
Launch Illustrator and
go to File
> New to
open a blank document. Type a name for your file, set up the
dimensions, and then select Pixels as Units and RGB as Color
Make sure that Align
New Objects to Pixel Grid is
go to Edit
> Preferences > General and
set the Keyboard
Increment to 1
px and, while there, go to Units to
make sure they are set as in the following image. I usually work with
these settings, and they will help you throughout the drawing process.
to Prepare the Text
the Type Tool (T) and write “BAGEL” on your artboard using the
font Pleasantly Plump, size of 140 pt (1).
use the Selection Tool (V) to select the piece of text and drag the
bounding box upwards in order to make the text a little taller (2).
the text stays selected, choose Expand and Ungroup from the Object
menu to get the individual letter shapes. Select only the letters “B”
and “A”, go to Object > Compound Path > Release, and after
that, delete the three small ellipses that make up the holes.
to Create the Bagel Texture
the letters with a light shade of brown and then add a New Fill in
the Appearance panel above the first. Use a warm shade of brown for
the second Fill; then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path and
apply an Offset of -10 px.
the letters selected, and also keep the second Fill attribute selected
in the Appearance panel, and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner
Glow. Apply the settings shown on the left side for the letters “B”
and “A”, and apply the settings shown on the right side for the
letters “G”, “E”, and “L”.
the letters selected and also the second Fill attribute selected, go to Effect
> Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply a Radius of 3 px.
With the letters still selected, add a New Fill at the top of the Appearance panel and use the color indicated. Go to Effect >
Texture > Texturizer and apply the settings shown; then set the Blending Mode to Overlay and reduce the Opacity to 30%.
add some highlights on the edges. Take the Pen Tool (P) and draw two
or three paths on each letter, following the edges. Give them a 3 pt
light yellow Stroke and choose the Width Profile 2 in the Stroke
panel. When you are done, apply a 1.5 px Gaussian Blur for all of
to Create the Holes
the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw two small shapes of about 16 x 14
px on the letter “B” and one shape on the letter “A” as the
holes. Select white as the fill color and a 6 pt Stroke using pale
yellow. Also, press the Align Stroke to Outside option in the Stroke
panel. Next, go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply a Radius of 4 px for all of them.
Now, select the existing Stroke attribute
and choose Duplicate Item from the fly-out menu of the Appearance panel. As a result, you will get a second Fill attribute at
the top. Keep the same settings and just reduce the Stroke Weight from 6 pt to 3 pt.
to Mask the Letters
the shape of the letter “B” along with the two holes and then Copy and Paste in Place (Shift-Control-V) in order to get copies of
them. After that, remove all existing appearances for the copies
(stroke-none, fill-none). Just for visual reasons, in the image below
I gave them a simple stroke, but you don’t have to.
the copy of the letter “B” and the copies of the holes are
selected, go to Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8) in
order to get a new “B” shape.
the same thing for the letter “A”. For the letters “G”, “E”, and “L”, just make a copy of the original letters in front of
everything, and don’t forget to remove the existing appearances.
take the Selection Tool (V) and drag a selection over the letter “B”
in order to select everything including the copy from the previous
step that should be in front, and set to stroke-none and fill-none. Go
to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Control-7).
the same thing for the other letters, and you will get clean edges.
to Add Shading and Highlights to the Letters
the Pen Tool (P) to draw a few shapes on each letter as shown in the
following image. Fill them with brown and then apply a 4 px Gaussian
Blur. Reduce the Opacity to 35%. This will create the appearance of
browned crusts on our bagel letters.
add some shine, first take the Pen Tool (P) and draw two or three
short curved paths on each letter, mainly on the upper right side.
Stroke these paths with the Black Blend Art Brush 100×3 (info below).
Keep the Stroke Weight at 1 pt and use the color indicated. When you
are done, apply a 1.2 px Gaussian Blur to all of them.
have an entire tutorial dedicated to Blend Brushes and how useful
they are: How to Create a Set of Multi-Use, Blend Brushes. You can find more information about the Black Blend Art Brush
100×3 used here, how to create it, and how to save it in your Brushes
panel. I use these Blend Brushes all the time in my drawings, and you
should definitely have them in your library, always ready to use.
to Create the Poppy Seeds Scatter Brush
the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw a 21 x 31 px ellipse filled with gray
(1). Copy and Paste in Front (Control-F) this ellipse and change the
fill color to black and, after that, draw a small ellipse in the
center filled with white (2).
Now, select the black and white ellipse
and go to Object > Blend > Blend Options. Choose 10 Specified
Steps, and then go back to Object > Blend > Make
(Alt-Control-B). Set the resulting blend group to Blending Mode
all the shapes that make up the poppy seed and drag them into the Brushes panel. Choose New Scatter Brush and hit OK. In the Scatter
Brush Options window, just type a name for your brush and leave the
settings as they are for the moment.
to Use the Poppy Seeds Scatter Brush
the Pencil Tool (N) and draw a random spiral path on each letter, as shown in the following image. Stroke these paths with the Poppy Seeds
Scatter Brush and reduce the Stroke Weight to 0.75 pt. Open the Stroke Options window from the Appearance panel and play with the Size, Spacing, Scatter, and Rotation settings in order to get a
are the settings that I’ve used. Also, change the Rotation relative
you are happy with your poppy seeds, select all the paths and choose Expand Appearance from the Object menu. Now, focus on the letter “A”
for example and double click on the group of poppy seeds to enter the Isolation Mode.
At this point you will be able to select the poppy
seeds individually and delete the ones that fall over the edge of the
letter (1). Once the area around the letter is clean, you can press
the Back one level arrow until you exit Isolation Mode (2).
the same thing for the rest of the groups of poppy seeds on the other
letters, and you can see the final result in the image below (3).
all the groups of poppy seeds and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop
Shadow. Apply the settings shown and hit OK.
you want to add more poppy seeds in some areas for a more realistic
look, use the Pencil Tool (N) or the Pen Tool (P) to draw one or two
extra paths on each letter as shown in the following image. Stroke these
paths with the Poppy Seeds Scatter Brush and reduce the Stroke Weight
to 0.75 pt again.
After that, open the Stroke Options window and play
mainly with the Scatter settings because the poppy seeds should be
closer to the path this time.
are the settings that I’ve used:
is a before (1) and after (2) image. Now we have more poppy seeds on
the bagel letters.
to Create the Shadow
In this step, you need the shapes that you used to mask the letters
earlier in the tutorial, so select those shapes and Copy and Paste in
Place (Shift-Control-V) in order to get copies of them. Move these
copies of the letters in a new layer behind the text effect. Now, go
to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow and apply this effect four
are the settings for the four Drop Shadow effects in order:
to Add Extra Poppy Seeds
can add extra poppy seeds around the letters, but this is optional and
part of the background. Use the Pencil Tool (N) to draw a random path
over the letters as shown in the following image, and move it to a new
layer behind the shadows. Stroke it with the Poppy Seeds Scatter
Brush, reduce the Stroke Weight to 0.75 pt, and change the brush
settings as you did before.
you are happy with the result, select this path and choose Expand
Appearance from the Object menu. Now, enter Isolation Mode and
clean up some of the areas where there are too many poppy seeds
overlapping or you just don’t like where they sit. Exit Isolation
Mode when you are done.
final thing is to select the group of poppy seeds in the background
and apply a Drop Shadow effect.
is the final image of the bagel text effect. I hope this tutorial was
fun, and if you decide to recreate this text effect, don’t forget to
share an image with us. I would love to see it.