Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Designing a Logo & Saving and Printing - Illustrator Tutorial 15 ( Last Class )

Designing a Logo

Designing a logo is a common task in Adobe Illustrator. In this final project, we will sum up what we have learnt so far in Illustrator to create your own custom logo. I will show you the process in drawing a logo and hopefully you have more confidence after this tutorial.

Drawing the Honey Farm Logo

First scan the sketch of your logo and save it as a jpeg.
Next, we need import it to Illustrator. Go File>Place and select your picture. Make sure Template is checked to place it as a template. When you open your Layers Palette. You will see that it is locked and the colors are faded out. This makes it perfect for tracing.
We will start with the bee’s body. Draw an oval shape. Edit the points using the Direct Selection Tool to form the body of the bee.
Next, draw a cirlce shapes for the head. Edit the points to make it slightly pointed.
To draw the antennae, I use an oval and draw a thick line using Pen Tool connecting to it.
Next, draw 2 ovals and rotate it to form the wings. Select the bigger wing and press Ctrl/Command+C to copy. Press Ctrl/Command+F to paste infront. Now, hold Shift and select the small wing. Open up your Pathfinder (Window>Pathfinder) and hold Alt/Option as you select Subtract from shape area.
The overlapping part of the wing will be subtracted.
We will move on to create the body stripes. Draw 2 rectangles with the height of the stripe thickness.
Select both rectangles and go Effect>Warp>Arc. Set Bend to 23% to bend the rectangle. Go Object>Expand Appearance to expand the effect.
Rotate the stripes and place it over the bee. Copy the the bee’s body by pressing Ctrl/Command+C. Then paste it infront by pressing Ctrl/Command+F. Select the body’s copy and stripes and right click to select Make Clipping Mask. This will hide the extruding areas.
Select the Polygon Tool and hold Shift as your drag a polygon on the canvas. Hold Alt/Option and drag the first polygon to make another copy of it. Do this until you have 3 copies of it.
Select all 3 polygons and swap it to black fill. Then group it by pressing Ctrl/Command+G.
We will now crop away the overlapping areas of the polygons. Select the bee’s body and go Object>Path>Offset Path and set the Offset value to 10pt. Send the new path to the top by pressing Ctrl+Shift+] / Command+Shift+].
Select both the offset path and polygons and open up your Pathfinder (Window>Pathfinder). Hold Alt/Option as you select Subtract from shape area.

Final Touch ups

Finally, we will add in the text for our final logo. Notice I have increased the strokes for the bee’s body to make sure that the line doesn’t fade out when printing. Also zoom out to see whether it still looks clear and sharp when it is small. Print out a copy at different sizes to see how it will look in letterheads and continue tweaking until you are satisfied.

Cleaning up the Logo

Once I am happy with my logo, I will start cleaning up my logo. Save a copy of your logo so that you still have the original copy to work with if you need to make any adjustments. Now select your text and outline it by pressing Ctrl+Shift+O / Command+Shift+O to convert it to paths. This will prevent missing fonts on other computers.
Next, select the bee stripes and go Pathfinder and select Trim to trim away the edges.
Select the paths of your bee that are made contains line strokes and go Object>Expand and click OK. We will need to expand it to maintain the same stroke thickness or else the proportions get distorted when we rescale the logo.
After we expanded the bee, hold Shift and select the bee stripes. Go Pathfinder and hold Alt/Option as your select Add to shape area. This will combine the bee shapes together.
Finally, we will add in the colors for the logo and we are logo is done.
honey farm logo

Saving & Printing

We will also cover about EPS file which is the universal format for saving vector graphics.

Savings Files Using Crop Area

When you try to export your file to a JPG, sometimes you may notice white areas around the image. This is due to the hidden images under the mask (see example below). Illustrator exports the bounding box of all the objects in the artboard regardless of whether it is masked away. To solve this problem, you will need to define a crop area to tell Illustrator this is the area to export rather than exporting the whole graphic.

Defining Crop Area

Draw a rectangle to define the area your want to export. Select it and go Object>Crop Area>Make.
The crop marks will appear.
Go File>Export. Select JPEG as file type and click Save. The JPEG Options will appear. Depending whether you are saving for website graphics or printing, you may need to change the settings.

For Website/Screen:

Quality: 6-8
Resolution Depth: Screen

For Printing:

Quality: 12
Resolution Depth: High

Saving As EPS File

I have introduced you the Illustrator file .AI format in the first lesson. However, this file can only be read by Illustrator. There is also another universal format which Designers normally save for printing and exporting artwork to Indesign and QuarkXPress. This is the EPS file. Go File>Save As and select EPS for file type. When you save the EPS Options will pop up. Saving at default normally will work. However you may need to save to a lower version if someone else got problems opening your file.
Version: Choose Illustrator 8.0 if you want it to make sure that all programs are compatible. However, transparency objects will be flattened.
Preview: Embeds a quick preview for seeing your artwork when importing to other softwares
Transparency Preset: Set it to High Resolution if you are printing and the artwork contains transparency
Embed Fonts: Check this if you want to embed the fonts in the EPS so that the font will be available when someone else opens it.
This is the last lesson of my 15days Illustrator CS3-CS6 Course. Keep visiting Programmer vs Hacker to get awesome high quality tutorials of Adobe Illustrator.

Written by

is one of the Team Member of Programmer vs Hacker. He has written many articles on this website and is a patner of this website.


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