Illustrator Text Effects
Sometimes what seems to be a super complex Illustrator text effect can actually be quickly made using nothing but AI's default application tools. Although the effect you'll learn to make today is made using a destructive process (meaning that you can't edit the text after the effect is made) it's so easy to make that you can replicate it as many times you want for other texts you may want to use in no time. To make this Stepped Text Effect we will be using nothing but the default Illustrator tools and it will work with any font you want.
Open Illustrator and make a new file at any size you want. In this case i will make mine at 1800 x 1200 px.
With the Type Tool (T) type your text. In this case, i will be using the Bahnschrift font at 300 pt but you can use any font you want.
With the text selected go to Type > Create Outlines.
Select the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a rectangle covering the whole text as shown.
With the rectangle selected, go to Object > Path > Split Into Grid. Set the Columns to 1, the Rows to 3 and click OK.
Note: you can set any row number you want, but always leave the column set to 1.
Select all objects, go to Window > Pathfinder and click on the "Divide" icon.
Go to Object > Ungroup.
Delete all the unwanted parts.
Select all the first row elements and go to Object > Group.
Now select the second row elements and again go to Object > Group.
Select the third row elements and one more time go to Object > Group.
Select the first and third rows and go to Effect > 3D > Rotate. Set the Position to "Isometric Top" and click OK.
Now select the second row and go to Effect > 3D > Rotate. Set the Position to "Isometric Left" and click OK.
Now simply arrange the 3 rows to match your text as shown using the keyboard arrows.
Once you have your text perfectly aligned, you can easily change the colors as you normally do in Illustrator. Select the middle row and go to Window > Color.
Lastly, set a darker (or lighter) color for the middle row to enhance the stepped effect.