Halftone is a very nice effect you can use to create pop art or grunge work. In this quick illustrator trick, I will show you how to create a nice vector halftone effect easily. You can also import gray scale photos and apply the halftone effect to your artwork. But for this tutorial, I will just show you how to create a simple halftone text effect.
1. Type your text using a thick font. In this case, I chose to use Rockwell Extra Bold. After that go to Object > Expand to expand the text.
2. Make sure you set the document color mode to CMYK. Go to File > Document Color Mode > CMYK to change it to CMYK. Apply a gradient from white to black. Make the black is pure black (C:0% M:0%, Y:%0,K:100%). Apply the black to white gradient on the text.
3. Now is the interesting part. Go to Effect > Pixelate > Color Halftone. Set the Max Radius to 5 and see the effect. The Max Radius determines the size of the halftone circles.
4. The artwork is still in bitmap form. We will need to convert it to vector. Select it and go to Object > Expand. Next go to Object > Live Trace > Make and set the following values for Live Trace. Live Trace will convert it to vector.
5. The traced artwork now contains black and white paths. We just need the text, so let’s proceed to delete the white background. Use Direct Selection Tool to select the white path and go to Select > Same > Fill Color. Press delete.
6. We are now left with the black path, you can now fill it with gradient and change it to any color your like. Below is what I have done. Hope you find this halftone tutorial useful.