Neon signs are composed of narrow curvilinear tubes illuminated by exciting electrons of inert gas, striking a phosphorescent layer inside the tube. These lighted tubes create bright light with reduced glare, and a narrow aura of light reflected off the surface of the sign. To attract the glowing light effect of neon lights in Adobe Illustrator, you will need to create a dark background layer and change the duplicate layers of your art line.
- Open Adobe Illustrator and click “New” in “File” to create a new Illustrator document.
- Draw a black rectangle on the drawing surface with the “Rectangle” tool on the toolbar. Change the color of the rectangle using the “Stroke” and “Fill” samples at the bottom of the toolbar. The black rectangle creates a dark background, so you can easily see the neon sign design.
- Select the “Create a new layer” button on the “Layers” panel to create a new layer asset and attract your neon sign using the “Pen” tool on the toolbar. Use only lines to mimic the neon tubes and choose bright colors for your sign using the “Stroke” sample on the toolbar. Make sure that the sample “fill” is empty, with a red diagonal line crossing.
- Select the “Type” tool from the toolbox if your sign has the text and choose an appropriate font for the flag, such as “Arial Rounded.” Select “create outlines” in the menu “Type” and adjust your color “Stroke” and remove the color “fill,” as you have the art of the line of the sign.
- Click the down arrow in the upper right corner of the “Layers” screen and click “Duplicate Layer.” Then click on the down arrow in the “Layers” panel again, and then click on “Duplicate Layer.” You now have three layers precisely the same.
- Put the first layer of neon and switch off the other two layers of the double sign. Select the lines and change the “weight” in the “Stroke” panel to “9 pt.” The line thickness will vary. Ensure the “Cap” rounded and “join” options are selected in the “Stroke” panel.
- Click on “Blur” under the “Effects” menu and select “Gaussian Blur.” Change the blur to “6.0 px” and press the “OK” button. The line becomes blurred, imitating the glow of neon.
- Move your first sign layer with thick fuzzy lines in the “Layers” panel. Select and switch to the first double layer. Lighten the colors of the art of the signing line by selecting the art of the line, double-clicking on the sample “Stroke” on the toolbar, select the “S” button and moving the selection in the vertical bar halfway white. Press “OK” and set the “weight” in the “Stroke” panel to “4 pt.” Ensure the “Cap” rounded and “join” options are selected in the “Stroke” panel.
- Move your first duplicate sign layer into the Layers panel. Select and switch to the duplicate second layer. Change the color of the line art of this white layer’s sign in the “Stroke” sample on the toolbar and click “OK.” Set the “Weight” in the “Stroke” panel to “1.5 pt” and ensure “Cap” rounded and “Join” options are selected in the “Stroke” panel.
- Toggle over all the layers in the “Layers” panel and display the drawing of Illustrator neon sign. Set the blur and stroke weight by selecting the items and double-clicking on the “Gaussian Blur” attributes “Stroke” and in the “Appearance” panel.