A proper “bleed” ensures the ink extends to the very outside edges of a printed page, leaving no margin or whitespace around your artwork. And though there’s no way to set it up automatically, in this week’s Deke’s Techniques, Deke McClelland shows you how to precisely align your artwork to the bleed in Adobe Illustrator.
Last week, Deke showed you how to create your very own “grumpy bird” with Adobe Illustrator. This week, learn how to give our wingless friend a pastoral background filled with rolling hills of grass, rays of light, and a couple of flowers.
Follow along with Deke in this week’s free video and use the companion text below to help with each step.
Are you a fan of a particularly popular game featuring a group of agitated birds and noisy green pigs? Well, in this week’s installment of Deke’s Techniques, Deke McClelland shows you how to create your very own “grumpy bird” with Adobe Illustrator. Let’s get started.
Follow along with Deke in this week’s free video and use the companion text below to help with each step.
Get a jump on Valentine’s Day by building custom artwork for your valentine in Adobe Illustrator! Building on the last technique, this week’s installment of Deke’s Techniques shows how to create the very picture of a couple in love—in pictogram form, of course. Learn how to combine your finished ISOTYPE figures (based on the picture language of the same name designed by Otto and Marie Neurath in 1935) and have them join hands. Follow along with Deke in this week’s free video and use the companion text below to help with each step.
2. First, select the man’s left arm and use the Appearance panel to bend the arm outward, increasing the Vertical Scale, Move, and Angles values in the Transform Effect dialog.
3. Duplicate the white underarm stroke and adjust its Scale, Move, and Angle values.
4. Next, adjust the shoulder by modifying the Scale property, and move it slightly left with Transform Effect.
5. Use the Move command to move the two figures closer to each other.
6. Copy the fill (the head) to start creating the heart shape. Move it between the figures.
7. Create a duplicate of the red circle and move it to the right to complete the top half of the heart.
8. Click Add New Stroke and choose an arrowhead effect (resizing it with Scale and Distort & Transform) to start the bottom half of the heart.
9. Create additional strokes to fill the heart.
10. Expand the effect to make the artwork easier to work with.
11. Use the Pathfinder > Merge command to combine all the paths.
12. Finally, delete any remaining empty paths.
Tune in next week, when Deke takes up with a couple of other universal symbols and combines them into a series of Andy Warhol–like silkscreen treatments. Members of lynda.com can view the entire Deke’s Techniques collection here.
In this week’s installment of Deke’s Techniques, Deke McClelland shows you how to create a pictogram of the universal male symbol, originally created as part of Otto and Marie Neurath’s ISOTYPE, or International System of TYpographic Picture Education, collection. Learn how to create this pictogram with stroke effects applied to a single vertical path outline in Adobe Illustrator. Follow along with Deke in this week’s free video and use the companion text below to help with each step.
1. Create a new file for your artwork and use the Line tool to draw a vertical line segment.
2. Choose Window > Appearance to bring up the Appearance panel, which allows you to stack multiple fill and stroke effects on a single path.
3. Create the right leg first.
a. Click the Stroke option in the Appearance panel and change the Weight to 28 pt and the Cap to the middle Round Cap option. Be sure to click on Stroke inside the Appearance panel or Options bar to get to the Cap option.
b. Choose Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. This command allows you to create and alter the stroke independently of the path outline.
c. In the Transform Effect dialog box that opens, turn on the Preview check box to reveal your changes and change the Vertical Scale value to 70%. Select the bottom point in the reference point matrix. Make sure Scale Strokes & Effects are deselected. Be sure to change the Horizontal Move to 19 pt. This ensures you scale the virtual path that Illustrator is stroking here, but you do not scale the line weight itself. Click OK.
4. Duplicate the right leg to build the left.
a. Select the stroke in the Appearance panel and click the page icon at the bottom of the panel to duplicate the stroke.
b. Twist open the properties of the new stroke and click the Transform property to open the Transform Effect dialog box. Change the Horizontal Move value from +19 pt to –19 pt, turn on Preview, and click OK.
5. Now it’s time to create the body.
a. Select the first stroke in the Appearance panel, click the page icon to duplicate it, and change its stroke to 66 pt.
b. Click the word Stroke to bring up the Stroke panel and change the Cap to Butt Cap to remove the rounded edges from the path.
c. Click Transform to bring up the Transform Effect dialog box and change the Vertical Scale to 40%, the Horizontal Move to 0, and the Vertical Move to 54. Select the top middle point in the reference point matrix and click OK.
6. Create a rounded negative space between the legs with a white stroke.
a. Select one of the leg strokes in the Appearance panel. Option+drag (Mac) or Alt+drag (Windows) it to the top of the stack to duplicate the stroke.
b. Click on the swatch of your new stroke to bring up the Swatches panel and select white.
c. Reduce the stroke to 10 pt.
d. Click Transform to open the Transform Effects dialog box. Click the center point in the reference point matrix to scale the stroke from its center. Change Vertical Scale to 20%, Horizontal Move to 0, and Vertical Move to 54. Click OK.
7. Now to add the arms.
a. Select one of the 28 pt strokes. Option+drag (Mac) or Alt+drag (Windows) it to the top of the stack to duplicate the stroke.
b. Change the weight of the new stroke to 24 pt.
c. Open the Transform Effects dialog box and reset the reference point to the center. Change Vertical Scale to 26%, Horizontal Move to 55 pt, and Vertical Move to –18. Click OK.
d. Duplicate the new arm by clicking its stroke in the Appearance panel and clicking the page icon.
e. Click the Transform property of the newest stroke and change the Horizontal Move value in the Transform Effect dialog box from +55 to –55. Click OK.
8. Create the shoulders.
a. Duplicate one of the arm strokes by selecting it and clicking the page icon in the Appearance panel again.
b. Click the new stroke’s Transform property. This time, change the Rotate Angle to 90 degrees. That rotates the stroke so it’s perpendicular to the path outline.
c. In the Transform Effect dialog box box still, set the Vertical Scale to 28%, the Horizontal Move to 0, and Vertical Move to –56. Click OK to commit your changes.
9. Create negative white space underneath the arms to simulate rounded joints.
a. Select the 24 pt stroke that represents the right arm. Option+drag (Mac) or Alt+drag (Windows) it to the top of the stack to duplicate the stroke.
b. Click on the stroke’s color swatch and change it to white.
c. Change the line weight of the stroke to 10 pt.
d. Click the stroke’s Transform property and change the Vertical Scale to 24%, the Horizontal Move to 38 pt, and the Vertical Move to –16 pt. Click OK.
e. Copy the right underarm stroke to the left by clicking the stroke in the Appearance panel and clicking the page icon to duplicate it.
f. Click the left underarm’s Transform property to open the Transform Effect dialog box. Change the Horizontal Move value from 38 pt to –38 pt and click OK.
10. Now draw the missing head.
a. Move the fill from the bottom of the Appearance panel to the top of the stack.
b. Change the fill color to black by clicking on the swatch and selecting black from the Swatches panel. Note you are not actually going to see anything change immediately because you’re trying to fill an open straight path outline.
c. Click on the fill to make it active and choose Effect > Convert to Shape.
d. Choose Ellipse as the shape in the Shape Options dialog box. Select Absolute from the Options and dial in Width and Height values of 52 pt each. Click OK.
e. The fill needs to be moved upward on the canvas. Choose the fill from the Appearance panel and choose Effect > Distort and Transform > Transform. When the Transform Effect dialog box opens, type in a Vertical Move value of –122 pt. Click OK.
Side note: Positive horizontal values move things to the right; negative values move them to the left. Positive vertical values move things down; negative vertical values move them up. It is a little counterintuitive, but that’s the way it works inside Illustrator.
11. Now you need to convert the strokes to path outlines.
a. Return to the Layers panel.
b. Option+drag (Mac) or Alt+drag (Windows) your man layer to the top of the stack to duplicate it.
c. Double-click the new layer to open the Layer Options dialog box. Change the Name to paths and select a new color for your outlines. Click OK.
d. Choose Object > Expand Appearance.
e. Choose Path > Outline Stroke to convert all the strokes to filled path outlines.
f. Then merge all these path outlines according to their colors. Choose Window > Pathfinder to open the Pathfinder panel and click the Merge icon.
g. Choose Object > Ungroup to ungroup the white paths that are nested inside the black ones.
h. Press V to switch to the Selection or black arrow tool, click off the path outlines to deselect them all, and then click one of the white outlines that represents a void space. Go to the Options bar and click the arrow next to the far right Select Similar Objects icon. Choose Fill Color from the popup menu to select all the paths with white fills. Press Backspace (Windows) or Delete (Mac) to remove them.
i. Now you can rotate, size, or manipulate the figure however you want, as he’s now a single merged path outline.
For members of lynda.com, Deke has another exclusive movie this week called Building a universal woman with strokes, in which he shows you how to create the female companion for your figure. Plus, stay tuned for next week’s tutorial, when Deke shares a special Valentine’s themed project in Illustrator.
The entire pattern begins with a simple, unassuming line segment:
The wave pattern is created by applying the Zig Zag effect, setting the absolute size to 4 points and the number of ridges per segment to 1.
Next, Deke creates the second strand of the twist by using a Transform effect that reflects the now wavy segment over the y-axis:
Deke completes the straight portion of the pattern by copying one link of the twist and attaching it to the end. He then duplicates those same two segments and rotates them to begin building the corner component of the pattern.
To make the looping design in the corner, Deke starts with a carefully measured Arc segment:
After rotating the arc into place, Deke lines the segment up and attaches it to the existing pattern using the Join tool. In the Join dialog box, you can tell Illustrator to create a smooth point at the join site.
The link shape is then duplicated, truncated, and rotated to become the basis for the next part of the corner loop. Again these end points are joined to the existing path:
To create the very outer turn of the corner, Deke uses a modified ellipse. By measuring the distance he wants to cover ahead of time, Deke can tell Illustrator precisely the dimensions he needs for the ellipse:
Once the ellipse is clipped in half, maneuvered into place, and joined up, the corner loop design is complete:
Deke also uses a similar measure, draw, cut, and rotate procedure to make the end segment. The result: three perfectly aligned components ready to serve inside the Illustrator Pattern brush feature. (I temporarily changed their stroke colors so you can see where each begins and ends.)
To see how these pieces are put to work, Deke has a member-exclusive movie this week called Assembling a seamless pattern brush, in which he shows you how to set your pattern pieces up for use in a Pattern brush.
Deke will be back next week with another free technique.
In order to keep the original type intact, Deke begins by making a copy of the type layer to work on. After converting that copy to outlines, he also makes a copy of the outlines layer to work on. This way, the original type isn’t destroyed in the design process. Safety observed, Deke then removes the black fill and adds a 4-point white stroke, setting the stroke to align to the outside of the letters.
After converting the stroke to outlined fills, the type is ready for 3D extrusion. From the Effects menu, choose 3D>Extrude & Bevel, and set the Z value to 0 degrees, and the X and Y values to 4 degrees.
The next step involves some careful expansion, selection, grouping, and the creation of a compound path to prepare the edges of the letters for a white fill and the extruded edges for a red fill. And by careful, I mean follow Deke’s instructions carefully here and you won’t go wrong. Cavalierly ignore certain aspects of the instruction in this section, as I may have done, and you may go astray—as I may have done.
After some housekeeping in the Layers panel (using the Reverse Order command to put the letters g-o-o-d in the right order), it’s time to do a little straightening of the letters themselves. The application of the 3D effect tends to misalign the letters and their edges a bit, so switching to the Outline mode (Command/Ctrl+Y) allows you to drag the paths back into alignment.
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!