Deke begins with a dark background covered with intricate, scaled, hypotrochoid patterns based on last week’s Spirograph technique:
Next, he adds some scalloping to the edges of the black background circle using the Distort & Transform effect called Zig Zag. By setting the points to Smooth, the default sharp corners of the Zig Zag effect become gentle waves:
By duplicating the effect and turning it 9 degrees, Deke creates a second set of scalloped edges that will come in handy for the next step.
After moving the two scallop shapes to the top layer, deleting their fills, and applying a 4-point white stroke and a 6-point black stroke to each, the result is this intertwined braid around the edges of the Great Seal of Deke:
In order to make the braid a continuous shape (as opposed to looking like two intertwined lines), Deke moves the Transform effect up above the Stroke effects in the Appearance panel. Then to give his emblem a more American-currency hue, he changes the white stroke color to a pale green.
He also applies that pale money-green fill to the 5 character and gives it a shadow by creating a copy of the fill and using Transform to move the shadow down and to the right:
Deke then adds another Stroke effect to beef up the shadow, applies a thin stroke above the green fill, and uses the Offset Path effect set to a negative value (-3) to really sell the currency effect:
Finally, the filigree lines created with the Spirograph pattern are given the same pale green color. In the video, you’ll see the quick tips Deke uses to select all those paths and make sure no pale green lines extend beyond the emblem. The result is this currency-like seal:
Next week, Deke begins his Halloween techniques weeks!
Suggested courses to watch next:
• Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals
• Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals
• Illustrator Insider Training: Drawing without the Pen Tool