Creating a Bevel and Emboss look in Illustrator is easy, and since there is no Bevel and Emboss effect, this is how you create one.
Start with a rectangle and pull the Corner Widgets in slightly to round the corners.
Add some type. Using a bold, block, condensed typeface will work better. This typeface is called Refrigerator Deluxe Bold.
Outline the type under Type>Create Outlines. Make the outlined type a Compound Path under Object>Compound Path>Make. Fill the type with white. A compound path will treat all the letters as one object, this is not the same as grouping the type.
Select the outlined type, choose Effect>Blur>Gaussian Blur and apply a 15 px blur to the type. Click OK.
This is what the 15px blur looks like. Select the type and open the Appearance Panel under the Window Menu.
You will see the White Fill with the Blur effect applied. Click on Add Fill button at the bottom of the Panel to add another fill on the type. Fill the type with 50% gray.
The gray fill will be applied on top of the white fill just as the order in the Appearance Panel shows. If the 50% gray in under the white, click and drag the gray fill in the Appearance Panel ABOVE the white fill.
With the 50% gray fill selected, choose Effect> Distort & Transform> Transform. Apply a 3mm offset to the vertical and horizontal fields. This will shift the 50% gray fill to the right and down off the white fill. Click OK.
Apply a 15px Gaussian Blur blur to the gray fill just like the white fill a few steps back. Click OK.
Select the type and apply a third fill to the type in the Appearance Panel by clicking on the Add Fill button. Fill the type with a color.
This is what the Appearance Panel looks like with 3 fills applied to one Compound Object. Each fill has attributes applied which can be individually edited.
With the blue fill selected, choose Effect> Distort & Transform> Transform. Apply a 1.5 mm offset (half the amount we applied to the 50% gray fill) to the vertical and horizontal fields. This will shift the blue fill to the right and down in between the white and 50% gray fill. Click OK.
Apply a very slight Gaussian Blur to the blue type to make the edges not so sharp.
Click on the Opacity link under the Blue Fill and choose a blending mode of Multiply. This will let the blue overlay over the white and 50% gray enhancing the bevel look.
This is what the Multiply blending mode looks like applied to the blue type.
Open the Graphic Style Panel under the Window Menu and drag the type into the open window. This will save the style (all the fills, blurs and offsets) of the type so we can reuse this effect without having to recreate every aspect of it.
Select the license plate rectangle and choose Object>Path>Offset Path. Choose an offset of -8 mm to get a path inside the original shape. Click OK.
Add a 10pt stroke to the inner offset path. Choose Object> Expand and click OK. This will turn the path into a shape. Fill the path with white.
With the offset path selected, click on the new saves Graphic Style in the Graphic Styles panel to add the same bevel effect that you created for the type.
Create 4 rounded rectangles for the holes, fill them with white. Select all 4 holes and choose Object>Compound Path>Make.
Duplicate the oval holes, apply a black stroke and no fill to the holes.
Apply a Gaussian Blur effect to the stroke to blur the edges. Copy the set of blurred holes.
Click on the set of white holes and click on the Draw Inside Mode at the bottom of the tool bar.
Paste the set of blurred outlined holes into the existing holes. Use the arrow keys on your key board to move the blurred set to the right and down to create a slip shadow effect. Click on the Draw Normal Mode at the bottom of the tool bar when done.