How to Make a Dispersion Effect in Illustator

How to Make a Dispersion Effect in Illustator

Illustrator Vector Effects

In Illustrator, there are many different ways to achieve a certain effect, and that holds true for making Dispersion Effects. Also known as "Fragmentation", this effect can be achieved using different type-and-tool combinations, but it's super easy to make when you follow a certain workflow. Today, I'll show you how easily you can make this effect on text, or indeed any type of graphic you want, while keeping all in a vector format for you to be able to edit it later.​

Step 1

Open Illustrator an make a new file at any size you want. In this case i will make mine at 800 x 600 px.

Step 2

Select the Type Tool (T) and type your text using any font you want. In this case, and for demostration purposes only i will simply type the letter "M" with the Ministry font at 500 pt for you to better see how this effect works.

Step 3

Go to Type > Create Outlines.

Step 4

With the Direct Selection Tool (A) select the 2 left anchor points of the letter and drag it to the left as shown.

Step 5

Reposition the design at the center of the Artboard.

Step 6

Select the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a rectangle covering the whole design.

Step 7

In the Tools Panel, select the Gradient Fill.

Step 8

Go to Window > Gradient. Click the Black slider and set the Location to 50%.

Step 9

Go to Effect > Pixelate > Mezzotint. In the Mezzotint window select the Medium Dots effect and click OK.

Step 10

Go to Object > Expand Appearance.

Step 11

In the top toolbar click on the Image Trace button and from the dropdown menu select the "Default" value.

Step 12

Go to Window > Image Trace. Apply the following values and click "Trace".

Step 13

In the top toolbar click the "Expand" button.

Step 14

With the traced gradient selected, go to Object > Compound Path > Make.

Step 15

Lastly, go to Select > All and then to Object > Clipping Mask > Make.


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