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I see this kind of effect quite often, and wondered how it's usually created:

enter image description here

Is it as simple as choosing a "fun" irregular font, and then applying different artwork/patterns to each letter, or is there a different process going on?

Thanks!

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There's no such thing as "the usual way". One can for ex. let a fun text generator web site generate a bunch of differently decorated texts and clip some good parts of them. One example: https://cooltext.com/Logo-Design-Fun. Or he can draw everything from scratch and insert possibly some available clipart shapes to get richer decoration.

Filling letter shapes with plane filling patterns isn't the way to get this. The letters have fill colors or gradients and in addition there are some patterns which go along the forms of the letters. Plane fill patterns wouldn't respect the forms of the letters.

I would try this in Illustrator:

  • find a good fun style font. If you like, you can also distort the letters which are of regular font. For it only outline the writing at first. (=convert them to closed curves which can each have own stroke and fill color)
  • type the text, convert the letters one by one to outlines. If you like distort regular letters in this phase.
  • find good stroke and fill colors or gradients letter by letter
  • prepare some pattern and scatter brushes by dragging some decorative shapes to the brushes collection
  • draw with the pen manually or clip from the duplicates of the letter outlines curves which are inside the letters and apply pattern brushes to them to get fill patterns which go along the letter shapes
  • Expand the brushed patterns and color them individually
  • draw or place more decorative shapes if needed. Use fill patterns, standard decorative shapes, decorative shape fonts, clip art or your own shapes.

A technical example with no artistical ideas:

enter image description here

There's one quite ordinary letter and a star in the left. The next is the letter after outlining and distorting it manually with the path editing tools

Gradient fill and red stroke are inserted. A black curve and a line segment are drawn to make the interior pattern.

The star is used as a scatter brush and applied to the interior parts

The scattering is edited manually, an underlying extra image can be seen through the holes of the B. It's actually made with standard Illustrator's decorative fill pattern.

Using a scatter or pattern brush is optional. The filling shapes can as well be inserted one by one manually. Using a brush is only a way to get them more easily placed to go along a certain curve.

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