Here was my inspiration:
I wanted to combine patterns, gradients, and text. I created these patterns using TeaCup PatternMaker.
1. Create some type. I chose Impact because it's heavy enough that there will be plenty of room for the patterns to show through.
2. Change the color of the type to something other than black. (This is because the default color for Patterns is black, and if your text also has a black fill, you won't be able to see your patterns.)
3. Outline the type (Shift + Ctrl/Cmd + O)
4. Ungroup the type (Shift + Cmd/Ctrl + O). This breaks the type block into separate lines of type.
5. In order to access the individual letters, you'll need to release the compound path holding each line of letters together. (Object > Path > Release Compound Path)
6. If you have letters with open spaces such as A, P, R, etc), you'll need to go back and fix those individually. Select the main portion of the letter body, and then the hole that should be knocked out. Then, using the pathfinder panel, put the hole back in. (Object > Pathfinder > Exclude Overlap). Be sure to just do this one letter at a time. Otherwise, your letters that you think are separate (and visually look separate) will begin to act as a single unit.
7. Now you're ready to add patterns. Select a letter, and then give it a pattern using the PatternMaker Panel.
8. Continue filling each of your letters with patterns. For the top line, I gave each letter a separate pattern. For the bottom line, I selected EASTER and made it into a compound path. Then I gave filled it with a pattern. By converting EASTER into a compound path first, the pattern will fill the entire word.
8. Then I changed the angle of the gradient and added a black stroke on the type to make it pop off the background a little more. And maybe add a drop shadow if you're so inclined.
9. Once you've got all your type patterned, add some Effects to the graphic (not the frame). Open the Effects panel. I used Bevel and Emboss for my effects.
10. Something interesting to note is that you can modify the pattern at will, and if you keep the same pattern type (in this case, "Dots"), the graphic effects stay intact. I changed the color of the dots to Blue, added a white stroke, and adjusted the dots size. And yet, the dots are still beveled. Cool!
11. But if you change the pattern type, the pattern loses it's effects and you'll need to put them back on again. See how I changed the pattern to "Lines" and now it is no longer beveled?
12. If you prefer a more refined look, you can also create interesting patterned text using a monochromatic approach.
Now, add some starbursts and go egg hunting. Happy Easter!
If you enjoyed this article on patterns, be sure to check out some of my other articles using PatternMaker.