March 1, 2012 / InDesign / Spring 2012

How do they do that? Embellish with embroidery

Written by Don Leonard

Create text and graphics in InDesign that have that fuzzy look like the embroidered letters you see on a letter jacket.

1. Type a letter or word and make it the size it will appear on the page. This is necessary since the settings for effects you apply later will depend on the size you make the type now.

2. Copy and paste this text box elsewhere on your page for later use.

3. Apply a 4-pt. stroke in the color of your choice to the first text box. Set the fill to None. The stroke size will vary depending on how large or small you make your text.

4. Apply a Bevel and Emboss effect using these settings: Style: Pillow Emboss; Size: 0p4 (depends on text size); Technique: Chisel Soft; Direction: Up; Depth: 100%.

Fuzzy 1

5. Change the Shadow color to match your text color.

6. Use the second text box for the next steps. Set the Stroke to 0 pt and set the Fill to the same color used as the stroke on your first text block.

Fuzzy 2

7. Apply the effect Basic Feather. Set the Corners to Sharp and Noise to 100%. In this example, the Feather Width is set to 2p2 but should be adjusted depending on your text size.

8. Apply the effect Outer Glow using these settings: Mode: Screen, and change the color to match your text color; Opacity: 100%; Technique: Softer; Noise: 0%; Size: 0p10; Spread to 11%. Size and Spread will vary depending on your text size.

9. Apply the Bevel and Emboss effect using these settings: Style: Pillow Emboss; Size: 0p4 (depends on text size); Technique: Chisel Soft; Direction: Up; Depth: 100%; Shadow: Set to Multiply and change the color to match your text color.

10. Now for a tricky part. You need to create a grid with very small, close lines. The easiest way is to use the Step and Repeat command. The grid in this example is a series of 0.5-pt lines spaced 0p2 picas apart. Make your grid the same size as your text box. It is OK if your lines are longer than the text, it won’t matter in the final product.

Fuzzy 3

11. Group the grid lines using the Selection tool to draw a marquee around all the lines so you select them all at once. Right-click on the selected lines, or press Ctrl-G (Win) or Cmd-G (Mac) to Group the selected lines. Change the color of the Stroke for the lines to Paper.

12. Now move the two text blocks so they are centered over the grid you created and stack them in this order from top to bottom: Text with stroke, text with fill, grid.

fuzzy 4

Don Leonard

Don Leonard supported the first yearbooks created using desktop publishing software in the early 1990s. He trains yearbook sales representatives and customers online, desktop publishing and photo-editing programs. Don also is involved in video and audio production, creating video tutorials for Walsworth's programs and Enhancements.