A little back, I made a post with a design that I had made "Off-cam" and figured it would be cool to make a tutorial over it and show how relatively simple it is to make something look like it has complexity.
So without further ado, lets get going!
This technique can be used on all shapes that are one flat color, circles are great but I wanted to mix it up by using a hexagon. Feel free to change it if you would like.
Using Raleway Black font, I put down the text I wanted and used the curvature pen tool to make a wave-line to divide the hexagon for the two separate texts.
After drawing the line, I went into the pathfinder tab on the right tool bar, and divided the hexagon by the shape. Once doing this, the 2 different shapes will be grouped together so just right click and select the ungroup option until they are separate.
As shown on the picture provided, highlight both the part of text and one half of the shapes we made in the previous step. With them selected, go into the object window, selecting envelope distort and making it with the top object. If done correctly, you will see that the text has taken shape of whatever your design was, some will fill the shape perfectly while others will not have distinguishing characteristics of it.
Do this for both parts of text, or for as many texts/shapes you have
I changed the color and I like it a ton the way it is, we can leave it as is or continue - Which we will continue for sake of the tutorial.
To begin with this step, we need to scale the text down really small. This is done by highlighting on part and going into object, transform and selecting scale. I am sure you can do both texts together, but I did mine separately to keep them in the middle of the text I wanted. The important parts while in that window is scaling it to 10% of the normal size, and copying the layer.
If the smaller version is in front of the big text, make sure to put it in the back. (Right click>Arrange>Send to Back)
Do this for both halves of the text. You should have 2 big texts, and 2 copies that are 90% smaller behind it.
Now for my most used tool, highlight both the small and large version of the text, go into the object window and make a blend for them. (I inverted the colors for a gradient blend, just double-click on smaller text to change the color if desired.)
Do this for both halves again
Once the blend is made, go back to the blend tab and select Blend Options... and move the category to steps and add as many as you'd like for the design.
With where we left the last step, it probably looks quite un-flattering. Let's change that.
As one of my last touches, I expanded the whole design so I can edit everything and not affect the rest (As we are working with a blend) Make sure you are positive with everything else before this, expanding will remove our ability to change the text easily. I then put the top-most layer into isolation mode and added a stroke, double click on the top text and you should be entered into the isolation.
Along with making this tutorial, I actually just recently discovered this completely and its made some really cool designs for me. However, it can sometimes be tricky to look good if the effects/colors just do not look too good together, which I feel happened here but hopefully I fixed it to give you guys a fair fight for learning this technique.
Here are two designs of using this technique along with other things, one from the tutorial guide and one I made as extra.