Glossy Vector Web 2.0 Logo Text in 5 Easy Steps

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I've found a ton of Photoshop tutorials on how to do this, but you would be surprised at how simple and easy it is to get a “glossy” text effect in vector using Illustrator. Don't get out of your seat, because this won't take long at all.

Vector Glossy Logo Text Tutorial: Illustrator

1. Outline your text

The first step is to outline your text to make it a into an actual shape. This is assuming that you already have your logo text and font picked out. To outline, make sure you have the text selected, and go to Type>Create Outlines.

Outline your text

Here is the text outlined.

Text that has been outlined

2. Offset your path

Offset Path in Illustrator takes the current path, duplicates it, and makes it however many pixels you choose bigger or smaller in every direction. It isn't quite the same as simply scaling up/down. It makes a path inside or outside of the current path using a specified distance between the paths. The reason we will be using offset path is because, well . . . it's just plain easy to do. Yes, you could just make another shape below and add a stroke, but that is altering the font a bit, and most of the time, you probably don't want to do it that way. Instead, with your outlined text shapes selected, go to Edit>Path>Offset Path.

Offsetting path

Now you are given some options for the Offset Path. Here you have precise control over the path being created inside of your outlined text. Enter a negative value in order to make the offset “inside” the original.

Offset path options

Click OK and there Illustrator does all the work for you. Zoomed in view of the -2px offset path:

Example of offset path

3. Fill your new path with white

Your new offset path should still be selected after you clicked OK, so now is the perfect time to make your fill. I used white, generally the universal “glossy” color.

New path filled with white

4. Make your cut

With the rectangle tool, make a white rectangle that covers the part of the reflection you would like to remain visible.

Cutting the top half of the text

Now, this is why I used a “white” rectangle. with the square still selected, go to Select>Same>Fill Color, and you will have selected everything you need for the cut. Otherwise, you will need to select all of the shapes with the white arrow.

Fill color

Before making your cut, make sure you have all of the correct paths selected:

Making the cut

Hit the “Crop” button in the Pathfinder window to get rid of all the paths that are outside of the rectangle. (Window>Pathfinder)

Crop button

Our new reflection shape has now been made

Reflection shape has been made

5. Adjust the opacity

You probably want to adjust the opacity a bit to get the look you are after.
Vector Glossy Logo Text Tutorial: Illustrator
Vector Glossy Logo Text Tutorial: Illustrator

Related Tutorials:

If you would like to learn how to make the reflection itself “fade” out with a transparency gradient, read this post on making an Opacity Mask in Illustrator.

Here is a post on how to make a Fading Logo Reflection in Illustrator.