Since I’ve been working with Adobe Illustrator for about two years now, I’ve learned some pretty cool tricks along the way. The trick I’m about to show you is one that I learned last year. I had to design a personal manifesto and wanted to convey my transparency as an individual by using text as a window to image.
My concept revolved around utilizing type as a window that allowed the viewer to see an image—but only through this type. I know what you’re all thinking. You’re going to tell me that you already know how to use a clipping mask. This is not about clipping masks.
This trick is so cool, that I am actually going to teach you how to do it assuming that you already know how to make a clipping mask (Command + Shift + 7 / My most used key command).
The cool trick is: removing counters from letterforms.
For those who do not know: A counter is the area of a letter’s anatomy that is entirely or partially enclosed by a letter form or a symbol (the counter-space/the hole of). Examples: A, B, D, O, P, Q, R, a, b, d, e, g, o, p, and q.
To remove a counter from a letter, you simply select the type, and go to Type > Create Outlines. This will allow you to manipulate the letters using individual anchor points.
After the type has been converted to outlines, use the regular selection tool to double click on an anchor point that makes up the counter you wish to delete, and hit delete.
Boom. Your counter is gone.
As a side note: You can only add an image underneath the words with a clipping mask if you do each letter individually. Yay! Cool tricks!