Next I worked out a rough typeface I was going to use, we are not using a real font here but rather, creating a path then stroking it with the brush we created. Below I’ve shown the path I would make if I wanted to make a P, an F and a C; the red lines being the first path and the green; the second path. From this you should be able to work out roughly how to create any letters. At the moment don’t actually do this in Illustrator but maybe sketch out the kind of letters you want. I’ll show more details on how I created the letters in RETRO. The main points here were to make most letters 1 major gridline in width and half a major gridline between the letters. Note that on the F, it extends 1 minor gridline below, this is to acount for the extra width from the brush on letters like the C. If this doesn’t make too much sense at the moment; don’t worry I’ll go through a full example in the following steps.
First I made a new layer, the plan was to have two layers as I needed two paths for some of the letters. This meant that I could export it to Photoshop as two layers also. We will create all of the first layer (red) then afterwards create the second (green). Hit P to select the pen tool, the pen tool in Illustrator works in the same way as in Photoshop. We don’t want any bezier curves so click once at each point and don’t drag the mouse. Draw this shape in your document; starting from the lower left point. We have to start at the right end or else the colors wont match up when we add layer 2.
Hit V then click on the path and a bounding box should appear. In the main toolbar make sure we have no stroke or fill then just click on our brush in the brushes panel and it should look like the image below. If for example our brush was the wrong size we could click the small button to the left of new brush and change the size but since we set it at 20% already we should be fine.
Now for quick bit of maths; go edit>preferences>guides & grid and take note of the ‘gridline every:’ number, now divide this number by 4, mine was at 72px so I got 18. This number is because we are going to round the corners and want the radius to be equal to two of the minor gridlines; the reason for this is obvious if you look at the examples of the letters I used but if you were to use different letters you could make it more or less rounded. Okay to round the corners, with the leter still selected, go effect>stylize (illustrator)>round corners and set it to the value you calculated.