How To Bevel In Illustrator

The bevel effect is one of the many editing tools that Illustrator provides its users. This adds a 3D to graphics or texts by making their edges appear sloped. It is easy to create shading and shadows that make your illustration appear more life-like. So, how do you bevel in Illustrator?

There are two ways to add bevel in Illustrator: using the 3D effect or using the appearance panel. Using the 3D effect method is an easier option. However, using tools from the appearance panel provides you with more options to edit your illustration later. 

Continue reading to learn more about each method!

Creating Bevel Using The 3D Effect

To create a bevel on editable text or graphics in Illustrator using the 3D effect, follow these steps:

1. Select the entire text after you are done typing it out.

2. Go to ‘Effect’, and select ‘Extrude and Bevel’ under the ‘3D’ option’s list. 

3. Next, in the dialogue box, choose the ‘front for position’ setting.

4. Following this, set the necessary bevel height by clicking the ‘classic bevel’ button.

5. To see your illustration with the bevel applied, select the “preview” option.

This approach is simple, but it’s not the best. This is because various portions of your artwork may be created that cannot be changed afterward, affecting the overall quality of your illustration.

We will now detail the alternative method of adding bevel in Illustrator.

You can use this video guide as you read the steps listed below:

Using The Appearance Panel To Create Bevel

To apply bevel using this method, follow these steps:

1. Start by adding text to your canvas using the ‘type tool’ while choosing the preferred font. Make your lettering bold if you want a more pronounced bevel effect.

2. To access the appearance panel, pick ‘window’ and then ‘appearance.’

3. To make your text the default color of black, choose ‘add new fill’ in the appearance panel’s bottom left corner.

4. Choose the ‘fill’ option and access the overhead menu. Here, select ‘effect,’ ‘blur,’ and ‘gaussian blur’ from the options list, then adjust the radius to 3 pixels.

5. After that, click “duplicate selected item” while selecting the fill layer. You will see that the shadow layer for your finished illustration will appear when the text grows lighter.

6. Next, set the blending mode to ‘multiply’ and the fill-in dark grey color to the duplicated layer.

7. Next, choose the first fill layer and click ‘effect,’ ‘distort and transform,’ and ‘transform’ to change both move values to negative.

8. Finally, click “add new fill” while selecting the top fill layer. If you want to see how your illustration looks with the bevel, keep altering the background colors.

Sorting out the fill layers and differentiating between the shadow and highlight layers could be tricky. However, by just clicking the effect to make changes, you may alter the bevel whenever you like. 


Bevels may improve the appearance of your graphics, whether you are a beginner or a professional. Although Illustrator has two options for adding bevels to text or images, using the appearance panel is preferable.