How to create Transformers logo effect in Illustrator

Transformers perhaps is the highest box office and the most discussed blockbuster in this summer. It brought back a lot of childhood memories of many viewers but not me because I seldom watch cartoon back in kids day :-(. Last week I bought a HK magazine call MILK and the supplemental is featuring the Transformers too with a huge autobots and Transformers logo as cover. I found out the old school Transformers logo is fascinating which leads me to create this tutorial.

To start off the tutorial we need the Transformers typeface, so click here to grab it. Then, extract it and install into your font directory (Win: Start > Control Panel > Fonts). Then launch Adobe Illustrator. I’m using version CS2. Create a new file at any size you want.

Type out the text

Select the text tool, in the character drop down menu choose the Transformers typeface that we just installed. Type out the “Trans” and “Formers”. Then type “}” for the autobots logo and arrange it as shown below. Next, Ctrl-Shift-O to create outline of the text.

Create Offset Path

With all the outlined text selected, Ctrl-Shift-G to ungroup it. Then go to Object > Path > and select Offset Path. In the window there, choose offset 3pt, leave others as default and hit OK. A new offset path is created and now select all of the offset path and Add to Shape (Pathfinder palette), and expand it. Next arrange them to lowest level (Bring to Back). Color it black and lock it (Ctrl-2).

Create the wave-like effect.

Select the Line tool, and create a horizontal line across the text, exceeding the text’s width. Select the line, go to Filter > Distort > Zig Zag, a window pops up. Key in the option as shown below to create the wavy line. If satisfy with the result, click OK. Place it at the around 1/4 from top of the outlined text for both upper and lower.

Split the text to two stack.

Now select the orignal outlined text with both of the wavy lines that you just created, go the Pathfinder palette and click “Divide”. Notice the shape now is split into two.

Applying gradient.

Select the upper part of the split shape, the choose Gradient tool to color it from Cyan to white (Attn: The upper part of the autobots face need to Add to Shape to become one shape first, so do the below part). Next for the below part, use Red to white instead. Repeat this step for the bottom text “Formers”.

The end of tutorial

Tada! The Transformers logo effect in completed! Hope you like it and learn something in here. Thanks. šŸ˜€

Tutorial Working File (CS2 AI)
Click here to download.

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  • Sam Lu

    Great tutorial! I never knew about Pathfinder -> Divide till now.

  • glare

    nice LOGO you really good in photoshop. Simple steps and nice tutorial. Thanks šŸ™‚

  • Jacob

    good tutorial.

  • jayhan

    Thanks everyone. This encourage me to write more tutorials in the future.

    @ Sam Lu: Thanks for bookmarking my entries, is such a honor.

    @ Glare: Thanks for support!

    @ Jacob: U hv a cool site too šŸ˜€

  • jOE

    Hi jayhan… i followed every step of the tutorial but was having trouble dividing the text with the wavy line šŸ™ … you think its probably because i’m using CS4??

  • admin

    Hi jOE, you need to “create outline” the text first before hitting “Divide” at the pathfinder palette.

  • jOE

    Hi jayhan… thanks for your prompt reply… . i want to thank you for taking the time to answer my question… I’ve learned a lot from your other tutorials… they’re awsome… thanks for sharing your valuable knowledge with newbies like myself. I did as you told me, but still no success šŸ™ I created my text… then “created an outline”.. i ungrouped it… created the line with the wave effect… and selected everything… and went to pathfinder and when i hit divide i got a pop up window that said i needed to group everything before i could “divide”.. so i did… and after i grouped everything and hit divide… it divided the text visually… except when i went to select the upper portion of the text… it actually selects either the entire text or an entire letter… although the text “looks” divided… its actually not… so i can’t apply the gradient effect to the upper or lower portions individually… its weird!!

  • Cesar Puertas

    Hello. I just published a typeface based on the Transformers logo:

    I hope you all enjoy it šŸ™‚

    Cesar Puertas