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Illustrator Tip #25: How to Create a Halftone Effect

halftone

Halftone is a very nice effect you can use to create pop art or grunge work. In this quick illustrator trick, I will show you how to create a nice vector halftone effect easily. You can also import gray scale photos and apply the halftone effect to your artwork. But for this tutorial, I will just show you how to create a simple halftone text effect.

1. Type your text using a thick font. In this case, I chose to use Rockwell Extra Bold. After that go to Object > Expand to expand the text.

2. Make sure you set the document color mode to CMYK. Go to File > Document Color Mode > CMYK to change it to CMYK. Apply a gradient from white to black. Make the black is pure black (C:0% M:0%, Y:%0,K:100%). Apply the black to white gradient on the text.

3. Now is the interesting part. Go to Effect > Pixelate > Color Halftone. Set the Max Radius to 5 and see the effect. The Max Radius determines the size of the halftone circles. So try with different Max Radius to experiment with the effect.halftone

4. The artwork is still in bitmap form. We will need to convert it to vector. Select it and go to Object > Expand. Next go to Object > Live Trace > Make and set the following values for Live Trace. Live Trace will convert it to vector.

halftone

5. The traced artwork now contains black and white paths. We just need the text, so let’s proceed to delete the white background. Use Direct Selection Tool to select the white path and go to Select > Same > Fill Color. Press delete.

halftone

6. We are now left with the black path, you can now fill it with gradient and change it to any color your like. Below is what I have done. Hope you find this halftone tutorial useful.

halftone

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About The Author: Tony Soh

Hi. I'm the founder of Vector Diary. Illustrator is my passion and I have written numerous tutorials on illustrator helping people learn illustrator. My most popular tutorial on learn illustrator has been a hit. It makes learning illustrator so easy and has benefited more than 20,000 people worldwide. Also, I've revealed some of my secret techniques in the premium tutorials. So don't forget to check it out!

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  1. Gravtar for Masoud Kalaki
    Masoud Kalaki April 10th

    Hi Tony

    After apply Effect < Pixelate Expand command, because the command is off! I think your mean is Expand Appearance command instead of Expand.
    And also after Live Trace we should use Object > Expand, that doesn’t written in this tutorial

  2. Gravtar for Masoud Kalaki
    Masoud Kalaki April 10th

    After apply Effect < Pixelate Expand command, because the command is off! I think your mean is Expand Appearance command instead of Expand.
    And also after Live Trace we should use Object > Expand, that doesn’t written in this tutorial

  3. Gravtar for Masoud Kalaki
    Masoud Kalaki April 10th

    we can not use Object > Expand command, because the command instead of Expand.

  4. Gravtar for Ela
    Ela April 22nd

    Dude I am a newbie and my result doesn’t seem to look like yours at all. Please tell me what size of font are you using and how to aplly the damn gradient filter vertically:)
    Cheers!

  5. Gravtar for sri
    sri April 25th

    hiiiiiiiiiiiiii tony good morning
    i want learn illustrator full flezed

  6. Gravtar for Austin
    Austin June 29th

    also, your last step isn’t needed if you just check the box “ignore white” in the live trace dialogue box. ;)

  7. Gravtar for Brian Hargrove
    Brian Hargrove July 6th

    This was great and helpfull

  8. Gravtar for reem
    reem April 28th

    hi tony plz i need to learn about storyboard , i want to learn how to do it in ill..thank u so much

  9. Gravtar for Brutalizer
    Brutalizer April 30th

    wE can not use Object > Expand command, because the command instead of Expand.

  10. Gravtar for ako ay na amazed kay sir tony
    ako ay na amazed kay sir tony October 1st

    to anyone who didnt follow it correctly
    here do this….
    press “T” for command text
    then type your desired word or what so ever…
    then after typing…click the mouse out of the word that you type then select it again…then ctrl+shift+o (creating outlines) you can find it on type tool bar or just right click the word then you will see it…then just click the ctrl+8 to balance the gradient…now after putting the gradient to make it a half tone like sir tony did…go to effect>pixelate>colorhalf tone….then so on..so you guys can now follow the step six for finishing..^^,

  11. Gravtar for ako ay na amazed kay sir tony
    ako ay na amazed kay sir tony October 1st

    4.7644 cm W
    1.7448 cm h

    that is the size of my own work…cause i try it also in a big sized…and it shows up different

  12. Gravtar for jason
    jason April 10th

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful article. Thank you for supplying these details.

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About Vector Diary

Vector Diary is a popular blog offering great illustrator tutorials and tips. It was created by Tony Soh, a graphic designer, who has great passion in illustration. Tony has written one of the most popular tutorial to learn illustrator and has helped more than 20,000 people. On top of that, his tutorials and tips has helped designers improve their illustration skills and have received great feedback. So join Vector Diary and start learning today!

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