GoMediaZine » Illustrator http://www.gomediazine.com Design insights & tutorials. Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:51:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Go Media owners Jeff Finley and Bill Beachy host the show and discuss the business of design and how to improve the quality of your work and life. Go Media no Go Media jeff@gomedia.us jeff@gomedia.us (Go Media) Go Media Real-world advice from working artists and designers. graphic design, artist, business, inspiration, go media, tutorials, advice, illustration, photoshop, illustrator, art GoMediaZine » Illustrator http://www.gomediazine.com/wp-content/images/powerpress/gomedia-podcast-300x300.png http://www.gomediazine.com/category/tutorials/illustrator/ Cleveland, Ohio Monthly Tutorial: Aged poster design with the Photocopy Noise Texture Pack http://www.gomediazine.com/tutorials/illustrator/introducing-the-photocopy-noise-texture-pack/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=introducing-the-photocopy-noise-texture-pack http://www.gomediazine.com/tutorials/illustrator/introducing-the-photocopy-noise-texture-pack/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:27:51 +0000 Simon H. http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=43223 Hello there! Simon from Studio Ace of Spade here. Long time no see. I'm here to introduce you today to a texture pack I've created, called the photocopy noise texture pack. I'm delighted to announce that it's finally on sale at the Arsenal! Continue Reading »

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Hello there!

Simon from Studio Ace of Spade here. Long time no see. I’m here to introduce you today to a texture pack I’ve created, called the photocopy noise texture pack. I’m delighted to announce that it’s finally on sale at the Arsenal!

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann

What is the pack about?

What’s so special about this texture pack? First of all, these are hand-made textures. They were made using an old photocopier that had a toner on its last leg. The result is a pack of six fantastic noise textures. The process was simple: I created a black document in Ai, and printed it as many times as I could before the toner gave up. Because it was almost ready to throw away, it wouldn’t print a perfectly black sheet. I got these black rectangles, speckled with white spots and stripes. Once scanned in, cleaned up, and inverted, these make up for perfect noise textures.

A closer look at the content

Some technical data: you get six textures, that are around 4760×6400 @ 600 dpi. Here are what they look like:

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Previews

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Previews

How can I use these?

I thought you’d never ask! In order to demonstrate the possibilities of the textures, I’ve put a quick little tutorial/demo together, using Jeff’s Awakened t-shirt design pack as the base. We’ll use both Ai and Ps for this. Here’s a preview of what we’ll be doing:

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo result

Basically, we’ll use these to age Jeff’s design, along with a few other tricks here and there. Here’s a 100% crop, to get a better sense of what these textures are able to do:

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo result, 100% crop

Note that if you haven’t purchased the Awakened t-shirt pack, or have no idea of what I’m talking about, you should go read and watch more info: over here.

Let’s get started

 Step 1: document setup

Jeff’s illustration is quite neat, and would look quite awesome on a print. So, let’s go ahead and create a new 24 inches wide by 18 inches tall Ps document @ 300 dpi.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Once you have that new document setup, fill its background with dark gray (#231f20), and setup guides for the center and margins. I might have gone a tad overboard with mine. My vertical guides are at the one, two, 11, 12, 13, 22, and 23 inch marks. My horizontal guides are at the one, two, eight, nine, 10, 16, and 17 inch marks.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Oh, and if you’ve read some of my other tutorials before, you’ll probably remember that I’m a stickler for proper layer naming and other Ps etiquette stuff. My background layer is named bg – #231f20, which gives me both its functionality and its color.

Step 2: importing the design

Let’s have a look at Jeff’s design:

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

As you can see, there are quite a few elements that compose it (feathers, purple circular element, red circles, white circle, blue geometrical element, silhouette, and off white stars). I could simply select everything, and copy and paste it in Ps. The only issue with doing that is that it won’t allow us to individually texture the elements. Since I want to do something refined and individualized, I won’t go that route. We’re going to copy and paste each element one by one. It’ll be a bit long, but worth it in the end.

Use the main image as a reference point to position your elements, and make sure that they’re always sized at 100%. Also, don’t forget to paste the elements as smart objects, so they retain their vector characteristics. It’ll be crucial for later.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Note: you may have to center or nudge elements manually.

The purple circular pattern.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

The red circles.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

The blue geometrical element.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

The white circles.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

The black silhouette.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

The stars.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Aligning the stars back in place (the top star is at the intersection of the top red circles).

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Nudging the wings back in place.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Here’s a view of how the design elements are placed compared to my initial guides. If you want your design or some of its elements to be bigger or smaller within the finished print, now is the time to adjust the sizes. For instance, I’ve decided to size my design so it reaches the smaller rectangles inside of my guides.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

And here’s a view of my layer stack so far.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Step 3: let’s roughen these vectors up

The next step will involve the use of Illustrator’s roughen filter (Effect > Distort and transform > Roughen). I learned about the effect through that 2011 Method and Craft article by Simon Walker. Basically, the effect distorts your paths and adds more or less subtle variations to them.

We’ll be applying the effect on all of the elements of the design, minus the wings. This is where retaining the smart object quality of the elements pasted in Ps comes handy. You simply have to double click on the layer thumbnails of the smart object in order to be brought back to Ai, and to be able to edit the vector element.

Let’s start with the purple circular pattern element. I’ve turned off the other elements of the design for better legibility, but you don’t have to.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Once you’ll double click on the layer thumbnail, Ai will open and you’ll be able to edit just that element.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Let’s select our element, and bring up the roughen filter (Effect > Distort and transform > Roughen). I suggest zooming in a little bit, in order to fully appreciate what the effect does to your paths. Oh, and tick that “Preview” box to see what’s happening.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Obviously, the default values are a bit extreme in terms of result. After a little bit of tinkering, the values I’ve settled on are the following:

  • Size: 0.1%, relative
  • Detail: 50/inch
  • Points: smooth

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Note that you can come up with your own values. These should be considered as a starting point for your own exploration. Also, you could decide to expand the various elements from strokes to paths, or to leave them as is. Once you’re happy with the filter’s values, validate them. The next step: save your work (CTRL/CMD+S), close the file in Ai, and head back to Ps for a little surprise…

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

The effect is applied! Isn’t that neat? Now, you’ll simply have to go through the same process for the other design elements (minus the wings, once again: the halftone effect they have is enough). I personally used the same values for the roughen filter for all the elements, as it gives consistency to the final piece, but you could spend the time to find the perfect values that works the best for each specific part of the design. Below, a few shots of the process, up close:

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Note the special values I’ve ended up using for the white circles: the effect wasn’t visible enough with the other ones I settled on earlier, so I upped the ante a bit. I did return to my previous values for the other elements though.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

And done with that part.

Step 4: textures!

Finally, we can play with textures here. The photocopy noise texture pack is made of black and white textures, which will somewhat dictate the workflow we’ll have with them. First, we need a bit of a refresher about blending modes. This wonderful article by PhotoBlogStop will give you every detail you ever wanted to know about them, including math (!), but we’ll focus on Screen:

Screen: Similar to the Lighten blend mode, but brighter and removes more of the dark pixels, and results in smoother transitions. Works somewhat like the Multiply blend mode, in that it multiplies the light pixels (instead of the dark pixels like the Multiply blend mode does). As an analogy, imagine the selected layer and each of the underlying layers as being 35mm slides, and each slide being placed in a separate projector (one slide for each projector), then all of the projectors are turned on and pointed at the same projector screen…this is the effect of the Screen blend mode. This is a great mode for making blacks disappear while keeping the whites, and for making glow effects.

The most interesting part of this quote is the emphasized sentence: “this is a great mode for making blacks disappear while keeping the whites, and for making glow effects.” It just happens that the noise effects in the textures from our pack ARE white speckles and stripes. So we simply have to put the textures on screen to retain just their noisy part, and the rest shows up as transparent. After that, if the effect is too strong, you simply play with the opacity slider of the texture layer. Let’s put this into practice by adding some noise to our background layer.

Go ahead and place photocopy-noise-textures-sbh-001.jpg in your design. It should be just above the background layer, and sized to cover the whole background.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Give it a quick sharpening (Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen), and simply change the layer’s blending mode to Screen. As you can see, the effect is quite strong.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

We’re simply going to lower the opacity of the layer to 25% for something a bit more subtle.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Also, I’ve given the background elements their own layer group.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

It’s time to start adding our subtle noise to the rest of the design. We could simply use the texture clipped over each element, and tinker with the opacity sliders to create some subtle overlays. But this would show the noise as white or light gray speckles over each design elements. Most of these being line art, we wouldn’t see much of an effect.

We’re going to use another trick from our bag, and paste the textures in layer masks. Remember that whatever part of a layer mask that’s white shows the art, and whatever part of it that’s black hides it. Armed with knowledge, we can deduce that pasting the textures as is will simply obliterate the designs. Nothing subtle here. What we can do however is to invert the textures once they’ve been pasted in the layer masks. From there, playing with levels to increase or decrease the intensity of the effect is child’s play.

The process to paste a texture in a layer mask is easy:

  1. Add a layer mask to the design element you’re interested in impacting (with the layer highlighted, go to Layer > Layer mask > Reveal all). Make sure to click the little chain link between the layer and the layer mask to make it disappear. This will allow you to move or resize the content of the layer mask without changing the design element itself
  2. Open your texture file, copy its content (CTRL/CMD+C)
  3. Go back to your design, and ALT/OPTION + CLICK your layer mask. This will allow you to get access to and edit the content of the layer mask itself, rather than your design
  4. Paste your texture (CTRL/CMD+V)
  5. Resize and edit the content of the layer mask at will
  6. Click back on the design element and admire the result of your work

Here are some images of the process with the wings. I’ve used photocopy-noise-textures-sbh-001.jpg again.

Layer mask added and unlinked.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Pasting the texture in the layer mask.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Resizing the texture to cover the whole canvas. You have access to the same transform controls that outside of the layer mask (CTRL/CMD+T or CTRL/CMD+SHIFT+T for proportional transformations).

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Inverting the texture (CTRL/CMD+I).

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Using the levels palette (CTRL/CMD+L) to increase the contrast.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Admiring the result.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Comparison with the layer mask turned off.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Some of impacted areas highlighted.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

As you can see, it’s quite a simple process, and the result with the photocopy noise texture pack are just the right amount of subtle.

Following a similar workflow, I worked my way through the other elements of the design, using textures #1 to #5 of the pack (#6 will used for the final finishing touch).

Below, some before and after pictures for each element:

Purple circular pattern, before

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Purple circular pattern, after (background turned off for better effect appreciation)

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Layer mask details

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Red circles, before

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Red circles, after

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Layer mask details

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

It can seem that the effect is too subtle. Here’s a 100% crop to convince you otherwise:

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Blue geometrical element, before

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Blue geometrical element, after

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Layer mask detail

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

White circles, before

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

White circles, after

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Layer mask detail

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Silhouette, before

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Silhouette, after

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Layer mask detail

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Stars, before

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Stars, after

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Layer mask detail. Note that I’ve used the same textures than for the silhouette. I’ve simply moved it to the top right a little bit.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

And here’s the full design after all that process:

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

We’re almost done. It’s time for the finishing touches.

Step 5: let’s wrap this up

Now that all of our design elements got their individual weathering treatment, it’s time to tie everything up together. In order to do so, we’ll first add a layer mask to the whole design layer group, and paste one of our textures in there. This will unite the elements together visually, by giving them a consistent weathering. I used photocopy-noise-textures-sbh-004.jpg for that (the one with the heavy striping).

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Once that’s done, we’ll add two more textures at the top of our layer stack. The aim is the same: to tie all the elements visually together, by impacting them all with the same element. First, let’s add photocopy-noise-textures-sbh-005.jpg to our design. Make sure it fills the whole canvas.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Let’s make it significantly darker, so its effect will be much more intense.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

After that, change its blending mode to Screen.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Since the effect was a tad overbearing, I lowered the opacity to 25%.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

We could stay there, but I’d like a effect similar to a vignette, that would detach the center piece from the background a bit. I’ll be using photocopy-noise-textures-sbh-006.jpg to accomplish this. Let’s place it into our document, in a way similar to the image below (it’s been rotated upside down, and scaled up so it covers the whole design). I’ve also given the two top textures their own Global textures layer group.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Once it’s in place, simply change the blending mode to Soft light, and lover the layer opacity to 25%. This gives a much softer result than Screen, and still let’s the background’s subtle noise show through.

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

And we’re done! You could take the time to mock this up on a poster mockup template if you wanted to:

The photocopy noise texture pack by The Shop / Simon Birky Hartmann - Product demo

Last words

I hope you liked going through this tutorial as much as I liked writing it. I also hope it convinced you to get the photocopy noise texture pack, as well as Jeff’s Awakened tee design pack if it isn’t already done. If you have any questions, feel free to tweet at me (@simonhartmann)! I’ll also be watching the comments in the next few days. Thanks again for reading, and until next time, cheers!

BUY THE PHOTOCOPY NOISE TEXTURE PACK

BUY THE AWAKENED TEE DESIGN PACK

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Tutorial: The Making Of An Editorial Illustration with These Are Things http://www.gomediazine.com/tutorials/tutorial-the-making-of-an-editorial-illustration-with-these-are-things/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tutorial-the-making-of-an-editorial-illustration-with-these-are-things http://www.gomediazine.com/tutorials/tutorial-the-making-of-an-editorial-illustration-with-these-are-things/#comments Tue, 28 Jan 2014 14:10:40 +0000 These Are Things http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=39959 Flip through your favorite newspaper or magazine and you’re bound to find a lot more than just words on a page. Alongside many articles, you’ll find art that helps to illuminate key concepts from the text. These pieces are called editorial illustrations. From tiny spot illustrations to multiple page spreads, these informative works of art are sprinkled throughout each issue. Political cartoons are a classic example of editorial illustrations, but today’s publications use the work of contemporary artists to visually interpret a wide range of topics. As editorial illustrators, our job is to create an engaging visual that both supports and explains the accompanying text copy. A successful piece carefully balances the art director’s vision with our own ideas, all while clearly communicating the article’s core idea to the reader. These projects an exercise in creative problem solving. From the super-quick turnaround to the varied subject matter, each assignment is a new visual puzzle for us to solve. Today, we’re going show you how we created an editorial illustration for Southwest Airlines’ in-flight magazine, Spirit. We’ll walk you through the entire illustration process, from our first client conversation to seeing our work in print. Continue Reading »

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A These Are Things Tutorial:

Flip through your favorite newspaper or magazine and you’re bound to find a lot more than just words on a page. Alongside many articles, you’ll find art that helps to illuminate key concepts from the text. These pieces are called editorial illustrations.

From tiny spot illustrations to multiple page spreads, these informative works of art are sprinkled throughout each issue. Political cartoons are a classic example of editorial illustrations, but today’s publications use the work of contemporary artists to visually interpret a wide range of topics.

As editorial illustrators, our job is to create an engaging visual that both supports and explains the accompanying text copy. A successful piece carefully balances the art director’s vision with our own ideas, all while clearly communicating the article’s core idea to the reader.

These projects an exercise in creative problem solving. From the super-quick turnaround to the varied subject matter, each assignment is a new visual puzzle for us to solve.

Today, we’re going show you how we created an editorial illustration for Southwest Airlines’ in-flight magazine, Spirit. We’ll walk you through the entire illustration process, from our first client conversation to seeing our work in print.

Ready? Let’s get started!

1. Discussion & Research

gomedia-1

Each editorial illustration is a collaboration between the client and the artist, so the first step of every project is to have a conference with the magazine’s art director.

First, we discuss the topic of the piece. We’ll be creating art to accompany an article about four business tips. We’re given a preliminary page layout along with rough copy to refer to during the design process.

Next, we talk about the creative direction of the piece. After conferencing with the art director, we’re given some specific guidelines. The piece will consist of four individual illustrations, each mirroring the tall, elongated shape of the four existing columns on the page. The art director also has a fun idea: to model each individual illustration after a classic motivational poster, like these. This information, along with the article itself, gives us a great starting point as we begin the process.

2. Initial Sketch

gomedia-2

It’s time to start drawing! Since the “motivational poster” concept for this piece is already set, our goal is to come up with one solid sketch to present to the client. For projects that are more open-ended, we’ll usually come up with 3-5 different concepts during the sketch phase.

Working with the actual page layout as our guide, we use a Cintiq 13HD pen display to start laying down rough ideas for each component of the illustration in Adobe Photoshop. Using a pen display allows us to work directly inside the page layout, ensuring that our sketches are drawn at the correct size and proportion. For a more budget-friendly option, simply print the page layout on paper and use it as a template with tracing paper.

After working through a number of ideas for each individual poster, we land on this sketch as our initial concept. Each poster visually depicts the concepts of teamwork, innovation, preparation, and fairness. The article talks about the benefits and disadvantages of each business concept, so each poster will show an example of the idea both working and not working.

3. Revised Sketch

gomedia-3

Before submitting the sketch to our client, we sit down and review our work. At this stage, our primary goal is to create a piece that is both visually and conceptually strong.

During our internal review, we notice that two of the four “poster” concepts involve hands. We like that the hands introduce a human element without showing a face. Incorporating hands into all four posters also creates continuity throughout the entire piece.

We revise the drawing to reflect our new and improved concept. Each poster now feels more similar in complexity and is visually easier to read. Once we’re happy with the sketch, we paint in a few layers of gray to explore the value structure of the piece and help the client envision the final piece.

4. Client Feedback & Revisions

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Next, we send our sketch off to the client for review. The feedback is positive. We’re on the right track! The magazine’s art director has a suggestion for the first poster. Instead of drawing pointing fingers, what if we create a network of intertwining handshakes to represent the benefits (and pitfalls) of teamwork? We love the idea, so we hit the drawing board to create a new sketch for the first poster before we move on to the linework stage.

5. Linework

gomedia-5

Once the revised sketch is approved, it’s time to turn our rough drawing into a finished illustration. Using the sketch as a guide, we begin to draw individual elements in Adobe Illustrator. Using many of the standard shape tools coupled with the Pathfinder palette and pen tool, we begin crafting geometric hands, lightbulbs, and other items.

Where our sketching process is fluid and loose, the linework stage is methodical and meticulous. It’s a balancing act of capturing the energy of the initial sketch while cleaning it up for it’s final form.

6. Color

gomedia-6

With the linework completed, we begin to add color. In this case, the client had a rough color palette to work with, so we jumped right in and started applying color. With other projects, choosing colors is up to us, so we’ll typically do a few exploratory color studies before deciding on a final color scheme.

You’ll notice that some of the design elements changed at this stage. When we start working with color, we almost always find a few things that can be improved upon from our first pass at the linework. In this case, we changed the positioning of the lightbulb hands, added some editing marks to the papers, and drew some fun trophies to go with the medals.

7. Texture

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After the color is finished and we’ve made our final tweaks to the design, we jump into Photoshop to add our signature texture treatment. This final step adds dimension, contrast, and interest to the flat vector artwork.

To bring our vector art in from Illustrator, we copy and paste major element groups into a new Photoshop document as Smart Objects. Next, we use various selection tools to isolate individual colors. Finally, we use a dissolve brush, multiplied layers, and our Cintiq pen display to paint in areas of shaded color.

Here’s a before and after view of our texture treatment. The effect is subtle, but goes a long way towards making the piece feel finished.

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8. Submit & Wait

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With the texture treatment complete, we export a high-resolution version from Photoshop and send it off to the magazine, where they’ll drop it into the page layout along with the final text copy.

Now comes the hard part: waiting! Editorial deadlines tend to be a few months in advance of the publication date, so it’ll be a while before we get to see our masterpiece in print. Eventually, when the day comes, we run to our favorite bookstore, crack open that new issue, and see our work right there on the page. There’s nothing quite like it!

Psst!

Editors note: If you haven’t yet, we highly suggest you watch their highly acclaimed talk from WMC Fest!

More These Are Things | Shop | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | These Are Things Instagram | Jen’s Instagram | Omar’s Instagram
On the GoMediaZine:
WMC Fest 4 Speaker Videos Release
An Interview with Jen Adrion & Omar Noory of These Are Things
Episode 9: Myths of Owning Your Own Design Firm plus an Interview with These Are Things

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Let’s make a horror movie poster with vector set 23 http://www.gomediazine.com/tutorials/lets-make-an-horror-movie-poster-with-vector-set-23/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=lets-make-an-horror-movie-poster-with-vector-set-23 http://www.gomediazine.com/tutorials/lets-make-an-horror-movie-poster-with-vector-set-23/#comments Thu, 31 Oct 2013 11:30:39 +0000 Simon H. http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=35159 Boo! Happy Halloween! With the release of our latest, horror-themed, vector set, we felt it was fitting to have an Halloween tutorial. So today, we’re going to work on re-creating this poster for Dracula’s daughter, a fictitious movie from five or six decades ago. The design above was a team effort between Steve Knerem, Jeff… Continue Reading »

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Boo!

Happy Halloween! With the release of our latest, horror-themed, vector set, we felt it was fitting to have an Halloween tutorial. So today, we’re going to work on re-creating this poster for Dracula’s daughter, a fictitious movie from five or six decades ago.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Base poster mockup

The design above was a team effort between Steve Knerem, Jeff Finley, and myself. As you can see, not all the details are historically accurate (actor names, type choices), there are some alignment issues, and a typo, but it’s a good base to start from.

We’ll be using Illustrator as our main tool throughout this tutorial. This will allow us to easily limit the number of colors of our final piece. This is for two reasons: we want to potentially screen print the piece, and it forces us to design more efficiently.

We’ll see how to recolor the vector elements from set 23 to match our color palette, how to place them around, how to manipulate the type to create the title elements, and more! Let’s get started, shall we?

Step zero: the layout

The first step would be to take a piece of paper and a pen, and to comp some layout options. This is also where we looked at the content of set 23, and decided which pieces to use. Steve is the one who came up with the concepts for the poster’s layout. He also fixed the poster size at 18″ by 24″. Here are a couple of the sketches he made:

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Layout sketch 01 Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Layout sketch 02 Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Layout sketch 03

As you can see, the diamond element, along with the witch’s head have been there from the start. The earlier versions of the composition were a bit busier, with a lot of elements in the bottom half of the frame. We decided to simplify things.

Since the process between Steve, Jeff, and myself was very organic, I’ll spare you the headaches of the back and forth between us. From now on, this will be written as if we started from scratch. Also, since there were so many people involved and that some of the steps haven’t been documented, we might end up with an end result slightly different from the mockup at the top.

Step one: document setup

The first step is straight forward: we need to create a new document in Illustrator. I created an 18″x24″ document, at 300 dpi and in CMYK.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Document setup

Useful goodie: here are the main colors we’ll be using.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Color palette

Step two: background elements

Main background color

After placing a series of guides (to find the middle, and get a sense of the bleed I’d like to keep), I’ve created a  new layer that I’ve named “bg elements.” I then used my rectangle tool (M) to create a centered 18″x24″ rectangle filled with a very dark gray (#121213).

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Guides and backrgound set-up

Background texture

The texture part is pretty easy: Steve created a vector texture pack as part of set 23.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Vector texture pack from set 23

I just grabbed the grunge texture in the pack, placed it in above the dark gray rectangle, sized it to fill the whole artboard, and colored it in RGB black (#000000). This way, it contrasts softly against the dark gray of our background rectangle.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Placing the background texture

The finishing touch for the texture is to hide the parts of it that extend beyond our artboard (when sized at 18″ wide, the texture is almost 26.2″ tall). We’re going to use a clipping mask for this. Just create another 18″x24″ rectangle above the texture group, center it, and remove any fill or stroke color. I’ve also renamed it to texture clipping mask. Then, select both the texture and the rectangle, right click, and select the Make clipping mask option. And you’ll have a clean looking background!

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Background texture clipping mask

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Background texture clipping mask result

Background burst

The purple burst is the focal element of the background. You’ll notice in our mockup above that the burst is grunged out by the texture. This means that we’ll have to place it between the bg and the Texture clipping group sub-layers.

In order to get a burst, we need to first create a circle. Mine is 16″ in diameter. It’s centered in the artboard, and filled in purple (#614a72).

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Background burst creation, base circle

Next, we’ll be using the Zig Zag filter to create the burst out of that circle. It’s in Effects > Distort and transform > Zig Zag. Make sure the Preview box is checked, and start tinkering with values until you get a satisfying burst. I’ve used  an absolute value of 2.5″ for the size, and 50 ridges per segment. I also chose smooth points versus corners, as it gives me a softer, more worn look.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Background burst creation, Zig Zag filter

As you can see, the burst is way too wide right now. A little bit of resizing from the center, and we’re good to go (hold SHIFT + ALT while dragging one of the corners of the bounding box inwards). You could also make your burst around 12″ wide right away.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Background burst creation, resizing

And our background is ready!

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Background burst result

Step three: assembling our main elements

Copying from the vector packs

Now that we have our background, it’s time to grab the elements we’ll be needing for the rest of the poster. I have the following:

You should note that you don’t have to use these elements for your poster design. It would be absolutely acceptable to grab some other vector elements, or to make your own, to follow along with this tutorial.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Assembling main elements

As you can see, there are some things we won’t need (the hands of the zombies, the scrolls and supporting elements of the “sexy” witch, etc). Let’s go ahead and delete these. Ungroup, use the direct selection tool if needed (A), select the parts we don’t need, and here’s the result:

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Editing elements: removing the useless extras

Preparing the portraits and the wolf ornament

I’m going to walk you through preparing the first portrait. The process will be the same for the three other ones. Let’s prepare the top left one.

You could ask, why are we modifying these? The purpose behind this modification is to have the four surrounding portraits toned down in terms of colors. This will let the center piece have much more visual impact.

First, we need a black circle we can put in the background. The head of the zombie is 2″ tall, so I made my circle 2.5″ in diameter.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Support circle

If we look at the finished product, the circle has a lighter (#232323) stroke. It also crops the portrait closer. The first thing I’ve done is to align the stroke of the circle to the inside, and to thicken it to 10 points. I’ve then resized the circle closer to the top of the head. So close in fact, that some of the hair goes over the edge of the circle.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the outline

Next, and in order to simplify the recoloring process, I’ve actually used the Pathfinder to merge the head together. We could keep it un-merged, but it would make the process even longer, to figure out all the paths and to select the right ones.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Merging the zombie head

After merging, ungroup the head, and start selecting the shapes to switch them either to black for the dark parts of the face (#000000), or to dark gray (#222222). It will take a few minutes, but it’s going to be worth it! As part of the recoloring process, I’ve also recreated the pupils in the eyes with two circles. This is because the original ones are half-circles, that get deformed during the merging process anyways. Once the coloring is done, it’s time to group the head back together.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Recoloring the head Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Recoloring the head Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Recoloring the head Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Grouping the head back together

Time to clip the head within the frame we created. Unlock the background stroked circle, and make a copy of it. Then proceed to paste it in front (CTRL/CMD + F) of the original circle. Then go to Object > Expand appearance. Ungroup the result. This will allow us to select and use the inner circle as a clipping mask for the portrait. Once you’ve applied the clipping mask, the portrait is almost done!

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Preparing the clipping mask Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Preparing the clipping mask Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Preparing the clipping mask Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Preparing the clipping mask Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Portrait with the clipping mask

We now need to use elements from the wolf ornament to pimp the portrait frame a little. Following a similar process to the zombie head itself, we’ll be ungrouping the ornament, eliminating the parts we don’t want, recolorizing it, and applying it to the top and side edges. After that, we’ll be applying a stroke to all of that, to help it standing from the grunge texture of the background. See the process in pictures in pictures below:

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the portrait - Adding the ornaments from the wolf piece

There’s one thing that didn’t work according to plan, and it was in the next to last step. When offsetting the path of the copy (Object > Path > Offset path), the black stroke around the ornate elements was just too much. So I used my direct selection tool to delete the extra elements around them, to make it visually lighter.

Following a similar process, you can prepare the three other portraits. Or, you could dig into your layers, figure out where the zombie head clipping group is, and just swap the head out for the other portraits, so you don’t have to recreate the circle and the other elements each time. This is done by simply dragging the layers in the appropriate order and within the right groups via the layer palette.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the other portraits Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the other portraits Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the other portraits Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the other portraits Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the other portraits

In order to avoid having to recreate the frame around the head, I simply flipped it using the Transform menu available when right-clicking (Transform > Reflect). Below are a few shots of going through the remaining two portraits, as well as the wolf ornament.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the other portraits Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the other portraits Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the other portraits Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the other portraits Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the other portraits Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the other portraits Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the other portraits Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Placing the portraits Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Placing the portraits Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the wolf ornament Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the wolf ornament Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the wolf ornament Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the wolf ornament Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the wolf ornament Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the wolf ornament Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the wolf ornament

Phew, that took its sweet time. Time to get the center diamond shape prepared.

The diamond

To create the “petals”, we’ll be using two overlapping circles and a bit of Pathfinder magic. We’ll then proceed to trace the diamond shape, using our smart guides (View > Smart guides) to align its top and bottom edges with the top and bottom of the top and bottom “petal”, and its side extremities to the center of the horizontal petal line, and to the edge of the diagonal petal. I promise this makes sense in the images below (you’ll be able to see my values for size, stroke thickness, etc., in them too).

After some trickery with strokes and expanded appearances, we can recreate the same type of effect as in the original piece. It has a green outer stroke (#60806b), which also seems to merge with the petals, an inner black stroke, and an orange center (#cb7856).

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Constructing the diamond

Adding texture to the diamond

The orange part of the diamond features the hand-drawn snake skin texture that’s available in the vector texture pack. We’ll simply add this texture at the top of the diamond itself, and use a copy of the diamond path as a clipping mask. In terms of scaling the texture, it’s your call. Remember that the diamond shape will be our big, central element in the poster. So if we just size the texture to cover the diamond, it’ll be very big once blown up to its appropriate final size. I’d suggest making a collage of a couple of duplicates of the texture for a better effect. You should also consider making a couple of duplicates, then reverse the source texture to finish the texturing. This will make it look less uniform.

Because the diamond has a stroke aligned on the inside, we’ll need to expand the copy, merge it to subtract the black outline from the orange diamond, ungroup the result, and delete the black outline before being able to use it as a clipping mask. Look at the image sequence below for the step by step actions I’ve taken.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding texture to the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding texture to the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding texture to the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding texture to the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding texture to the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding texture to the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding texture to the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding texture to the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding texture to the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding texture to the diamond Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding texture to the diamond

Colorizing and including the witch in the diamond

The process to colorize the witch is very similar to the one used for the portraits: merging, ungrouping, selecting the shapes, changing the colors, etc. My goal is to keep the color palette to a minimum overall, so I’ve only introduced one more color, a dark green for the skin’s shadows (#44594a). I’m reusing the snake skin’s bright orange for her pupils and teeth. The lighter parts of her collar are that dark gray used for the portraits. I’ve also left the crystal ball as is, as I want to keep its transparency effects intact.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Preparing the witch portrait

After making sure that my witch is placed above the diamond’s layer, I just placed it on top, and decided to size it to obtain a similar crop to our original piece. The hands will be cropped by the lower edges of the diamond, and the head of the witch will come pretty close to the top edges. The cool thing is that you can move the hands apart if needed to fill the frame better, which I’ve done. After placing the witch, I just made a quick copy of the snake skin texture clipping mask to clip the witch, and it’s good for the final touches: the bats and birds. These were simply placed, duplicated and mirrored, and centered. I then colored them black for a higher contrast against that orange background.

After that assembling, I just created a copy of the diamond, witch, birds, and bats, and placed it in its own layer atop of everything else in the poster frame.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding the witch portrait Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Adding the witch portrait

Phew, we’re done with the bulk of this tutorial here. Now, onto the type!

Step four: type elements

There’s not too much type on this poster. Each actor portrait features the name and role. There’s a two part sub-header above the diamond. Finally, the main title is at the bottom of the diamond. The typefaces that have been used are Hitchcock, Cooper Black Std, and Coop from House Industries.

The actor name and role are very straight forward. Two different sizes of text in a lighter gray (18 and 24 points, in #323232), and done.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Portrait type Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Portrait type

The sub-headers (“What is she hiding?” and “What is her secret?”) are also quite easy. They’re written using the Hitchcock typeface. The trick with these is to use the Flag mode in the Warp filter (Effect > Warp > Flag). We’re also going to use filler characters (I’m using the underscore, but whatever works, as they’re going to be deleted) to fine tune the curve we’re giving the text.

There’s also a “shadow” effect with it. I’ve obtained it by simply duplicating my text group, and offsetting the lower group by eight arrow taps down, and eight arrow taps to the right.

The process is identical for the second sub-header, except that it’s aligned to the right, and that the text offsetting is also reversed to the left. See the image sequence below for the various values I’ve used.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Sub-headers

The big piece is the main title. It features complex layering, and a full shape outline.

There are three layers: orange, black, and green. The key to the effect is to offset the black layer less than the green one to get the uniform look. In order to obtain the full shape outline, we’re going to merge a copy of all the layers, place it in the back, and either add a stroke to it or use the offset path function. I personally prefer offset path, so that’s what I’ll show you. It’s all written in Coop Bold, and we’re using the Flag filter again (but at 15% this time). The top line is sized at 200 points, the bottom at 250 points. The line height is at 225 points.

Along the way, I also realized that beefing up some of the shapes by adding a stroke to give them more weight and smooth the overall visual balance helped. The black layer of text, the green layer of text, as well as the full shape outline all went through that treatment. In some cases, some of the letter shapes needed to be fixed once they were expanded.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Main title Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Result!

And now that that’s done, we can say it’s over!

Bonus! Step five: fake folds

To finish things off, we can add a fake folds vector element on top of everything. A long time ago, I scanned in that folded/scratched paper texture. After placing it in Ai, I live-traced it and got the following vector element:

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Folds

You just have to place that element in a new layer above your poster, drop its opacity to 50%, and you’ve got yourself fake folds!

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Folds

And because we’re in a good mood, you can even download these fake folds for your own use, in both personal and commercial projects. And while you’re at it, you should sign up on our email list to hear about all the rest of the good stuff we release on the Arsenal.

And finally, don’t forget to mock your final art up, and to show it off in the Go Media Flickr pool.

Let's make an horror movie poster with vector set 23 - Final mocked up

Well, that’s it for this tutorial. Don’t forget to check out vector set 23 on the Arsenal, and until next time, cheers!

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How to Design an Iconic and Memorable Band Logo http://www.gomediazine.com/tutorials/how-to-design-occult-looking-band-logo/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-design-occult-looking-band-logo http://www.gomediazine.com/tutorials/how-to-design-occult-looking-band-logo/#comments Wed, 11 Sep 2013 13:00:12 +0000 Jeff Finley http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=29890 My new (pop punk) band Campfire Conspiracy was gearing up to play our first show and I had two weeks to finally come up with a logo and get it stenciled or painted onto our bass drum. We had a demo coming out in only one week and we still didn’t have a logo. I’d been… Continue Reading »

The post How to Design an Iconic and Memorable Band Logo appeared first on GoMediaZine.

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My new (pop punk) band Campfire Conspiracy was gearing up to play our first show and I had two weeks to finally come up with a logo and get it stenciled or painted onto our bass drum. We had a demo coming out in only one week and we still didn’t have a logo. I’d been putting it off, but now was the time. I needed to have something before we finally went live.

Side note: Check out my other tutorial on designing custom die-cut stickers.

What followed was actually a very interesting logo design process that started from absolute scratch. I had zero idea of what I wanted our logo to look like. Should it be a campfire with some grunginess to it to show that we’re a punk band? I didn’t have an answer. I thought about it for weeks, but nothing inspired me so I went to Twitter and Facebook.

But first, here is the final logo I ended up with.

campfireconspiracy_logo

Process Documentary

If you don’t want to read the post, you can always watch this awesome video made by my friend Keith at Jakprints.

Step 0: Research (Ask Facebook)

facebook feedback

I got a reply from a fellow designer Jason Carne who suggested something minimal and occult. I was immediately drawn to this idea and when he sent me an example, I knew this was it. He even drew up a quick sketch of a campfire with a book and a tent and said, “something like this.” Hell yeah.

jason carne sketch

Original sketch by Jason Carne inspired the idea for the Campfire Conspiracy Logo

Ok, I was inspired. I knew I wanted something minimal and occult; but bands with logos like that tend to be metal, right? We were pop punk, how do I communicate that?

I didn’t know much about occult symbolism, hieroglyphics, sigils, alchemy, runes or anything. I went Googling and came up with all kinds of cool stuff. I started making a Pinterest board to archive my inspirations. I searched Pinterest and found even more cool images. I even looked at books referencing occult symbolism, conspiracies, the Illuminati, the Freemasons, etc.

occult symbols

I realized I was deep in the rabbit hole once I got to Aleister Crowley, sacred geometry, and mysticism. I even received messages from people on Facebook telling me to be careful with what I research, I might disturb something in the ether! Ok enough research, time to make something cool!

occult symbols and logos

Step 1: Sketching

I had boards and boards of inspiration and I knew enough to just start drawing. I spent a few hours at a coffee shop sketching and sketching. Drawing symbol after symbol until my hands were too cramped up to go any further.

I stared at my sketches and nothing was sticking out. I was paralyzed with doubt and fear about how this symbol might be perceived. Was it clear enough? Was it too obscure? Or not obscure enough? Are people going to think we’re devil worshipers? Haha. (My Mom even expressed concern for me).

campfire conspiracy sketches

Since I couldn’t decide, I went to social media again. I posted my sketches to get some feedback, and boy did I get it. Designers and non-designers alike were offering their two cents. They tried to tell me which one they preferred and it was clear that a few different sketches were standing out. I understood what was getting a reaction out of people and this is where I decided to take the next step and go into the computer and work on cleaner vector versions.

Step 2: Refinement

I took the basic concept and worked on multiple permutations from overly detailed to extremely minimal. How much could I get away with? If I took away too many elements, did it still communicate Campfire Conspiracy clearly? Do I even need to be literal at all? I wasn’t sure. I couldn’t decide for myself. I had such a good response from posting my sketches online so I decide to post my refinements online as well. This time I made it easier for people to tell me which ones they preferred by labeling each one.

original vector concepts for the campfire conspiracy logo

Designers’ Tip: Creating this logo was not technically hard from an execution standpoint. It’s all just one uniform stroke weight with basic circles, lines, and squares with nice alignment and symmetry. I never used the pen tool once. However, I did make sure my angles were geometrically sound.  Meaning sums of 30, 60, 90, etc. Or all evenly divisible by 360. The fire was created using the Zig Zag effect under “Distort & Transform.” 

I posted this to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Dribbble. And after a day of feedback I tallied up the results. Over 130 votes in all and there were a few clear winners. People preferred the symbol inside a shape – whether it was a square, diamond, or circle, it didn’t seem to matter. Curiously, the more detailed it was, the more people liked it. Which went against my intuition for a logo – it felt more like a badge at that point. But still, it was very simple and iconic and not overly illustrious.

Step 3: More Refinement

So I took the clear winners from that round and posted ONE final round. I gathered the top five concepts and put them up online and people were more than happy to provide their opinion. Each of these concepts were very similar, but there emerged one clear winner. The logo with the circle around it was definitely the most popular one. And I agreed.

top five campfire conspiracy logos

The Final Logo and Beyond

I went back into Illustrator knowing exactly what I needed to do. This was an amazing feeling knowing that I was working on the right logo and wasn’t guessing. Sure, putting your logo design out there for fan feedback isn’t always the best idea but I think it worked here. I was curious along with my audience. I loved having them give a hand in the process.

I made a few refinements to the symmetry and balance of the logo and voila, I was done. I added a roughen filter to give it a slightly grungy look which fit with our band. It’s so subtle you barely notice it.

Campfire Conspiracy logo

The final logo with some additional decoration

Concerns

I had some doubts about the logo being too metal or dark when we play catchy pop punk songs like early Blink-182. I asked Adam Garcia, the designer who worked on the alternative hip hop artist Astronautalis (both are appearing at WMC Fest 2013) - who happened to develop some occult looking symbolism for him. He said it doesn’t matter if it crosses or bends genre stereotypes. People are too stuck into “this is what hip hop is supposed to look like” – you know, with graffiti, bling letters, or this and that. Just do whatever the fuck you want he said. That’s some advice I can get behind!

So I didn’t worry about it anymore after that. In fact, as long as I stood away from making it too black and white and made sure to use some color, I think it would steer clear from an obvious metal perception. The truth is, nobody cares about my band anyway, so does it even matter? Just do whatever the fuck* you want.

Expletives are for emphasis. Seriously, I mean it.

campfire conspiracy stickers

a set of four stickers

The Logo Makes its Live Debut!

Once the logo was designed, I literally had two days before our first show and needed to replace the bass drum head that still had the old band’s logo on it. We spray painted it black and when it dried I got some acrylic paint and a brush and went to town. I thought it would be a piece of cake painting the symbol onto the drum head. It was harder than I thought it would be!

Campfire Conspiracy bass drum

The Campfire Conspiracy logo makes it’s live debut! That’s me on the drums.

I took a black marker after the white paint dried and touched up the sloppy edges. In the end it came out slightly imperfect, but that was ok. To me it still felt authentic and true to the cult-like idea of the logo. If a regular person (not a trained artist) was recreating this logo, it would never be perfect.

DIY Music Video

Shirts and Hoodies!

The fine folks at Jakprints demonstrated their one color silk screen t-shirts by printing this logo onto some shirts and hoodies. Here are some pics!

Buy Hoodie

cc_hoodie

cc_shirt1

cc_shirt2

Sticker Time!

I sent the designs off to Sticker Robot and was hoping I could get some custom die cut stickers made. I didn’t want just one sticker on a sheet, I wanted four. In a diamond shape! So I set up my design file with how I wanted my stickers arranged. They ended up giving me feedback on my bleeds and after a few adjustments I got the spacing worked out just right. That’s how cool these Sticker Robot people are, I didn’t know how to set up my file and they were willing to help me out to make my dream come true. Awesome.

Buy this sticker $0.50 each!

IMG_5937 (Large)

cc_sticker1

cc_sticker2

Stenciling!

I sent off the design to Jeff Nemecek at Purebuttons/Standout Stickers and he used a robotic laser cutter to make a couple stencils for us. Now the trick to making a stencil work from your logo is putting in the “bridges.” It’s kind of hard to explain, but this tutorial on Abduzeedo does it so much better.

cc_stencil_drb

cc_stencil_in-use

cc_stencil_on-cardboard

Wrap up

A cult symbol should be intentionally easy to create but hard to forget. Something people could easily draw themselves to communicate that they were part of the cult. While our band certainly doesn’t have a cult following (yet!) it was extremely fun to experiment with something like this and equally cool printing up some band merch. I learned a lot about occult symbolism, storytelling, and not giving a fuck. I think this project was a success. I hope you can learn from it!

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Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Part II http://www.gomediazine.com/tutorials/create-a-rockabilly-poster-with-vector-set-22-part-ii/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=create-a-rockabilly-poster-with-vector-set-22-part-ii http://www.gomediazine.com/tutorials/create-a-rockabilly-poster-with-vector-set-22-part-ii/#comments Mon, 05 Aug 2013 13:00:52 +0000 Simon H. http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=27651 A bit of background information Hello all! Simon, the Arsenal manager here. Today, I finally have time to release the 2nd part of the vector set 22 inspired poster tutorial Steve Knerem poster a while back. <Fair warning> the post is fairly long (6000+ words), but I deemed it necessary to take the time to… Continue Reading »

The post Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Part II appeared first on GoMediaZine.

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A bit of background information

Hello all! Simon, the Arsenal manager here. Today, I finally have time to release the 2nd part of the vector set 22 inspired poster tutorial Steve Knerem poster a while back.

<Fair warning> the post is fairly long (6000+ words), but I deemed it necessary to take the time to meticulously explain the process I went through to re-design this poster. For instance, I took the time to detail my research and mood-board steps, which are often overlooked in tutorials. I also detailed as much as possible my “trial and error” style approach to choosing typefaces, and to constructing typeface arrangements. If you are a seasoned veteran, these extra steps will definitely seem boring, if not frustrating. Just skip them!</fair warning>

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Poster preview

For those of you that haven’t been following, we released our 22nd vector set a few weeks ago. Steve Knerem, the artist behind the set’s content, decided to create a rockabilly themed poster to demonstrate the set’s potential. He then proceeded to write a tutorial about it. We said that we would expand a bit on Steve’s tutorial to bring his design to the next level, and to make it a tad more truthful to the rockabilly vibe.

What are we going to do?

First, we’ll be doing some research. There’s plenty to be learned from gig posters of the 1950s and 1960s, in terms of typefaces, composition, color palettes, etc. Our goal will be to identify some design elements and patterns from that era, and to improve Steve’s design based on them with the tools we have available now in the second decade of the XXIst century.

Second, we’ll see how we will recreate the patterns we’re seeing in our research to improve Steve’s original composition, while respecting his original concept. I’m anticipating mostly type work at this stage.

Finally, Steve’s original goal was to work towards a screen printed poster, hence his limited color palette and work primarily in Illustrator. I’m going to show you some of the techniques I use to texture and weather artwork, to make our clean and digital vector art look a tad more analog, and just like if you had pulled the poster out of your parents or grand parents’ attic after all these years. Sounds fun? Then let’s do this!

Research, research, research

Well, the easiest way to search for something these days is to google it. So I went ahead and researched using the following keywords:

Follow the links to see the results I encountered. I was hunting in the first couple links of the web search, as well as in the image search results.

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Part II - Reference research

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Part II - Reference research

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Part II - Reference research

There are already a few things that jump right to my face just by looking at these:

  • The vibe difference between the 3 styles (rockabilly, 50s, and 60s) is pretty strong
  • The rockabilly posters draw a lot on the Kustom culture
  • The crazy gig posters with a bunch of colors and eerie designs started more in the 60s. This probably comes from psychedelic rock starting to be mainstream,  printing techniques improving, and full color printing becoming cheaper
  • Condensed, bold or extra bold sans-serif are among the most readable typefaces
  • And Steve’s poster is even showing up in the search!

A look up-close

Let’s start with the rockabilly search. I ended up also exploring some of the links the web search turned up. There’s a pinterest board in particular called Rockabilly, Greaser, Pin Up, Posters & Art that was pretty rad. Just look at these:

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Part II - Reference research - Rockabilly  Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Part II - Reference research - Rockabilly

While the Go Johnny go poster is cool, I prefer the Gene Vincent/Eddie Cochran one. This was a rather cheap poster to design and print: I count only 2 colors (black and red), and there’s no custom illustration. The eye gets attracted by the typeface relationships and color variations. One of the ways to add a few graphical elements is to use that star symbol. I see you coming already by saying that there are some other, way cooler looking other pieces on that page. There’s that Coney Island rockabilly festival poster, that Viva Las Vegas poster, and these 2 Social Distortion pieces. Well that’s the whole problem: a lot of the Rockabilly art that we see nowadays is contemporary art with a flair that’s inspired by the culture behind that music, the Kustom culture, etc. And the faithfulness of their emulation of the original design codes of the gig poster artists of the 1950s and 1960s varies greatly. That being said, looking at the typefaces they use, we can still see the affinity for either the hand painted sign type vibe, or the whole Sailor Jerry/tattoo vibe, or the condensed, cheaply printed, sans-serifs I was talking about earlier. Steve’s art matches the Sailor Jerry tattoo vibe pretty well, so that’s definitely a direction we can explore.

Go Media's Arsenal vector set 22 sample - Pinups Go Media's Arsenal vector set 22 sample - Tattoo Go Media's Arsenal vector set 22 sample - Tattoo

A look at the 1950s posters

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Part II - Reference research - 1950s Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Part II - Reference research - 1950s Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Part II - Reference research - 1950s Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Part II - Reference research - 1950s Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Part II - Reference research - 1950s Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Part II - Reference research - 1950s Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Part II - Reference research - 1950s Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Part II - Reference research - 1950s

These have a bit more color, and feature performers portrait. The “vintage diner” style of type seems to come from there. Looks at the BB King or T-Bone Walker type treatments. There are frames and not-quite-accurately-square color rectangles used as supports for content blocks, among other little design elements that immediately make us associate these posters with that era (stars, horizontal dividers, etc.). More to keep in mind.

1960s posters

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Part II - Reference research - 1960s  Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Part II - Reference research - 1960s  Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Part II - Reference research - 1960s  Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Part II - Reference research - 1960s  Jimi-hendrix-Miles-Davis-1971-Isle-of-Wight-LP-Promo-Poster-Type-Ad  beatles_tickets_poster

And here are the 60s! Enter the psychedelic scene… There’s also that cut paper look. These are getting away from the style we’re trying to emulate for sure.

Let’s recap

So, it looks like we’re trying to find a happy medium between the boxing style posters of the 1950s and the modern interpretation of the Rockabilly/Kustom/Sailor Jerry approach. We’ll pay a special attention to type, and might modify or add to the borders already put in place by Steve in his original art. Finally, we might give some hierarchy to thew type with some box elements or dividers. And let’s go!

First: the type elements

Here are the type pieces from Steve’s design:

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Original art detail

The title features a type midway between western and country. That’s the good part. The main issue I have with it are these pre-made grunge scratches on it.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Original art detail

The band names features some solid options (The Blue Storm, Hail Hail Hellstorm, maybe Jack is coughing), and some less solid ones (Home Grown Heroes, The Billies, Sound of Thunder, Young Turtles, 1950s Alive).

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Original art detail

The gig information space is written in that condensed slab serif. I like it, but maybe we can find a more fitting one. And here are type pieces from our references:

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – References details

I think it’s time to start looking at our typeface collection, at the Lost Type Co-op, and at Dafont.com. Working at Go Media as its perks, as they’ve accumulated a solid type library over the years. But since it’s not the case for everybody, let’s see what we can find before digging into the secret vault here.

The Lost Type Co-op

Lost Type has quite a few candidates: Mission Gothic, Dude, Mission Script, Sullivan, Bemio, Arvil Sans, Oil Can, Outage, Aldine Expanded, Duke, Onramp, and Tightrope. The cool thing is that you can get a personal license (and sometimes even a commercial one!) for these typefaces for free. But you should totally give a few $$$, as these are so amazing.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Typefaces options Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Typefaces options Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Typefaces options Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Typefaces options Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Typefaces options Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Typefaces options Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Typefaces options Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Typefaces options Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Typefaces options Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Typefaces options Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Typefaces options Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Typefaces options

(Images via Lost Type Co-op and its various contributors - © all rights reserved)

Dafont

Let’s be honest, Dafont is a place listing cool typefaces but also some very lame ones. That’s why I’m very wary of using that site anymore. But maybe just for today we can find some good surprises. Remember, not all of these are free! Most of these, in fact, are free for personal use only. You’ll need to get in touch with the font creator if you want to use them on a commercial basis. The two categories I focused my searches on are western and retro fonts. And I have quite a list there too. Anderson Four Feather Falls, Anti Hero, Laredo Trail, Pointedly Mad, Regulators, Alpenkreuzer, ARB-218 Big & BluntARB-66 Neon JUN-37, Franklin M54HFF Sultan of Swat, NPS Signage 1945, Phat Phreddy, Super Retro M54, and Tattoo Ink.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Typefaces options Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Typefaces options Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Typefaces options Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Typefaces options Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Typefaces options Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Typefaces options Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Typefaces options Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Typefaces options Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Typefaces options Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Typefaces options Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Typefaces options Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Typefaces options Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Typefaces options  Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Typefaces options

(Images via Dafont.com - © all rights reserved)

But aren’t we supposed to design something at some point?

Agreed! But at the same time, all that research process is necessary to make sure that you’re producing relevant concepts. A rockabilly poster wouldn’t look rockabilly with the Matrix typeface on it.

There, it starts

So, now that you have downloaded and installed all the typefaces, that you tracked down the file you created when following the first part of the tutorial, and created a mood board with all your references, let’s do this. I wrote earlier that I only wanted to improve on what Steve did. So the pinup, the car, the guitar, and the microphone are going to stay. They form the core of Steve’s composition, and while they’re not really looking like a vintage multi-act gig poster, I think their impact is undeniable. First step: track down your Ai file from the first tutorial, and save a copy with a name clearly labeling the fact that you’re going to alter your design. For example: if my first file was named gma-vector-set-22-rockabilly-poster-tutorial-c1r1.ai (Go Media’s Arsenal – Vector set 22 rockabilly poster tutorial – Concept 01, revision 01), my new file will be named something like: gma-vector-set-22-rockabilly-poster-tutorial-c1r2.ai. You get the idea.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – File naming

Now might also be a good time to clean out and to organize these layers, groups, etc. This will make your life so much easier in the long run, I promise.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Layer clean up

I mean, check this out: isn’t the sight on the right a bit more pleasant?

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Layer clean up

Also, since we’re going to move elements around, I can tell that having them properly labelled is super helpful to keep track of them. Also, I’d like to point our something in my newly organized file: I have created 3 layers: art, color palette, and type experimentation. Art could end up getting some sub-layers (which allows to add hierarchy without having to group elements together). Color palette is a layer that just features 5 squares, one of each of the colors we’re using. It’s super useful to quickly switch an element or series of elements to the same color, since even when the layer is locked you can still use the eye dropper on its elements.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Color palette layer Type experimentation is obviously where the fun is going to happen. Let’s tackle the title first, shall we?

The rockabilly throwdown

Let’s start by pointing out the typefaces we’re going to try from that bigger list of contenders we’ve assembled. I typically start by typing the text I’m trying to format in uppercase, lowercase, and in a mix of both to see what character combinations look like. I’ll also add the typeface name in there for you to follow. And make sure you’re on the right layer and that it’s unlocked.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Title type options

Once that’s done, we can start eliminating a bunch of these. It’s pretty clear to me that we should keep that western vibe in the title. Think about the Coney Island Rockabilly Festival poster vs. the Destination Unknown poster. The tattoo type looks great, but the sailor/pirate vibe is too strong and gets us away from the rockabilly feel in my opinion. Let’s weed out whatever doesn’t fit this declaration of intent.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Title type options refined

We still have too long of a list, but it’s better. Other than the obvious western typefaces, I’ve also kept Bemio (both regular and italic), because it has the retro vibe we’re after, and a very dynamic quality. Combining these two (italic for “the” and “throwdown,” regular for “rockabilly”) would be swell. Phat Phreddy has also that distinct retro feel, but it doesn’t seem to sit well with that restrained list. Phat Phreddy is then out. Anti Hero is sweet, but it has a “raw” hand drawn vibe that doesn’t match Steve’s clean and detailed hand drawn vector pinup. Out. Tightrope looks sweet, but feels like too much. Out. Regulators seems a bit plain. Out. Aldine is a tad too expanded, but I’ll leave it in to try. Pointedly Mad seems perfect (think of the Coney Island poster again). Dude is simply too much. Laredo Train seems a tad bland, like Regulators. Out. Anderson Four Feather Falls seems like a solid candidate too. This leaves us to the final four (well, five, but I’ll combine both Bemio styles together).

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Title type options, final four

It’s now time to create title treatments based on these typefaces. I used Steve’s as a base, as his was solid. I just didn’t like the typeface he chose. The other thing I’ve kept in mind is the treatment of “rockabilly” on the Coney Island poster. All of the work happens on the type exploration layer, and outside of the main canvas. I’ve also locked my art layer, just in case. I typed each word individually, and moved them around as needed. I’ve also used the effects arc lower and/or arc upper quite a few times (Effects > Warp > Arc upper/Arc lower – use a negative value for arc lower). The stars are just simple 5 point stars, straight out of the shape tool (radius 1: 25px, radius 2: 50px).

Don’t hesitate to heavily rely on your alignment palette to go faster, and to fine tune the overall feel by nudging the words and elements little bit by little bit. Finally, to make sure that my star groups would be well spaced all the time, I made a proficient use of blends (Object > Blend > Make and Object > Blend > Options). You can read more about the blend tool on Vector Tuts+ and on Bittbox.

The results

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Title type options, Bemio Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Title type options, Anderson four feather falls Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Title type options, Aldine expanded Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Title type options, Pointedly mad

Letting a little bit of time pass between these iteration and the moment of having to choose which one I will go ahead with is helpful. I realized along the design process that the Pointedly mad typeface is the one used on the Coney island festival poster. While I don’t want to recreate what the designer of that poster did, I’m currently more attracted by the iterations made with that typeface. There’s also one made with Anderson Four Feather Falls that could be a contender.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Title type options, final three

I’m going to tinker a tad more these 3:

  1. For the Pointedly mad option (left), I’ll make sure to visually center the stars, and that the spacing is consistent all around
  2. For the Anderson Four Feather Fall options (top and bottom right), I’ll make sure to
    • Mimic the layout of the Pointedly mad option (add a divider, change were the stars are, etc.)
    • Add a divider to the current layouts

Bemio alone wasn’t rockabilly enough. Mix it in with either Pointedly or Anderson, and you have a way stronger result. Aldine looks super rad, but it doesn’t nail the vibe right on the head. It’s somewhat there, but there’s a better option available.

Ah also, I’m going to quickly create a new layer and archive the unused type experiments there. I’m just selecting the type combos I don’t want, and cutting them (CTRL/CMD + X) and pasting them in front on the newly created layer (CTRL/CMD + F). Like that, they’ll stay at the same visual spot, but not on the same layer. Once that’s done, just lock and hide the layer.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Unused type options Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Unused type options

After playing a bit, I’m once again in front of quite a few variations on the same theme. My goal is to choose the final one out of the group (minus the final alignment adjustments and other touch ups). If I were to be designing this poster for a client, I’d have to be much more careful about how much I’m spending on just that text piece, in order not to blow the budget. Let’s have a look at the options I came up with.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Final title option 01 Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Final title option 02 Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Final title option 03 Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Final title option 04 Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Final title option 05 Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Final title option 06

While the choice is difficult, a winner seems to emerge. First, it looks like option based on a type combo have more impact. Exit for options 2, 4, and 5. The lines are way too thick in option 3. This leaves us with options 1 and 6. I wrote earlier that I didn’t want to recreate my Coney island poster reference, but it looks like my preference goes to the Pointedly mad/Bemio based option. Four feather just looks too complex with all the carved out shapes, and more “western” than rockabilly to me.

After a little bit of clean up (alignments, centering, expanding the typefaces to object, etc.), I have my final title element!

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Final title

And here’s a comparison with the concept I quickly jotted down:

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Final title - Comparison with concept

The concept is on top, the final at the bottom. You see that the spacing isn’t the same, the dividers are thicker and extend further, etc.

Time to remove the old title, and to put the new one in place:

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Title integration

Steve’s title (visible above my art board) used 2 colors (our green and our yellow), as well as outlines and shadows to stand out. Time to get some of that magic working.

Steve used a black shadow behind “rockabilly”, and multiple outlines on “throwdown.” Let’s see what a similar treatment would give. But before that, the first thing you want to do is to create a sub-layer on your Art layer, and to call it title. Then cut and paste your title object in front in that “title” sub-layer. It’ll make the editing much easier, as it will separate the title from the rest of the art. To create the sub-layer, just select your art layer, and click on the new sub-layer button. Label it properly, and place that title in there. We’ll that process of separating elements as we go through the edits, and we’ll have a wonderful layer structure at the end.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Title integration Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Title integration

Let’s start by doing the black shadow.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Title integration

Let’s have a look at the layer palette to understand how I created the effect (once again, please label your layers and groups!). I have 2 instances of “rockabilly” there, a yellow one and a black one. I simply copied (CTRL/CMD+C) and pasted in front (CTRL/CMD+F) to get my copy of it. I renamed the bottom one, switch its color to our black, and manually offset it with my arrow keys (6 taps down and 6 taps to the right to be exact).  I’m pretty happy with how it makes rockabilly stand out. Next up, the treatment of “throwdown.”

First, we want to switch the word to green. Then, if we look at Steve’s original treatment, there’s a red outline, then a white outline to be able to overlay “throwdown” over “rockabilly” and neutralize what would be a clashing color combo (the green of “throwdown,” the red outline, and the yellow and black of “rockabilly”). I’m not overlaying the words on each other, but for the sake of sticking to Steve’s layout, I’ll redo both outlines.

Let’s paste a copy of “throwdown” in front of itself. Switch the bottom copy to the red of the background, and relabel the layer properly. Then, let’s offset the path to accomplish the outline (Object > Path > Offset path). I used 0.1 inch as the value, and left my joins on “miter” to keep their sharp edges.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Title integration

Then, by using the pathfinder (the unite function, first option of the top row), I made sure to just keep the outlines of the letters. This simplifies a bit the paths the computer has to calculate.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Title integration

I followed the same process to get my white outline.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Title integration

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Title integration

And here’s our result, compared to Steve’s treatment:

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Title integration

Let’s be honest, it’s not great. We loose a lot of the dynamism of Steve’s angled words. And his multiple outlines were motivated by overlapping words, which we don’t have here. So I decided to experiment in a different direction. I selected my top, yellow copy of “rockabilly,” and applied a 4 point black stroke, aligned to the outside of the shape. This gives a lot more punch to the word.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Title integration

Since I liked the effect a lot, I went ahead and removed the outlines and switched back “throwdown” to yellow. I then gave it the same treatment.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Title integration

The result is nice, but slightly overpowering the rest of the title’s elements. Time to unify everything.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Title integration

Four points of stroke on the stars and on “the” was too much. Same of a 6 by 6 arrow taps offset. And the offset on my horizontal dividers was too much too.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Title integrationAfter tinkering, my final values are as follows: the offset on “the” and the star group is of 4 by 4 arrow taps. I have them configured to be of 0.1″ in Ai’s preferences. The stroke thickness I used on both is of 3 points. I nudged the stars a bit for a better visual alignment, and grouped my elements together for a cleaner layer hierarchy.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Title integration

And finally, I’ve decided to switch “throwdown” back to green instead of yellow. It’s closer to Steve’s original title treatment, and puts “rockabilly” forward.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Title integration

Taa-daa, we have our title in place. The reason why I’ve spent so much time detailing the process for the title is that it’ll be the foundation for the treatment of the rest of the text elements. We’re going to use similar values for offseting what will be offset, similar stroke values, and so on.

The date, time and place

These elements are secondary to the title in the original design.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Date and place

I’m going to make my version close to the original design, I’ll just be using Pointedly mad for the typeface instead. I might also change the layout of the words a tad.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Date and place

The layout and typefaces are very similar. I chose to make the date more preeminent than the town. I’ve also used resized stars taken from the title to space “USA”, it’s a cool little detail. In terms of sizes, I started with “August” written at 72 points, and “28″ written at 144 points. The other sizes come from there. As you can see, I also gave the date and place their dedicated sub-layer. Time to place the date block in the poster.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Date and place

And here it is. This updated version takes a bit less room, which I don’t mind. Note the object organized in their sub layer, which you can lock (at least for now).

Featuring…

Time to tackle one of the most important piece of the puzzle, the band list.

I’m going to tap in the typeface list we got on Dafont and Lost Type, as most of these have the vintage qualities we’re looking for, and will probably fit better than the ones Steve used.

Here’s a side by side view of the current version of the list, and of my work-in-progress list. I just copied, pasted in front, and slide on the side the original one. I’ve also created the band list specific sub-layer.

Step one, the “Featuring” title. Like I wrote above, I’m going to take my cues from the main title type element. I used Pointedly mad, and went through the same duplication, outline adding, and offseting processes to get the type element. I then quickly unlocked my title sub-layer to steal one of the dividers over, and just switched its color to green rather than yellow. I resized it using my direct selection tool (A) to fit the width of our band list, and taa-daaa.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Band list

Time to tackle the band names themselves. I first started by switching the old list to gray, like that I can write the new version above and use the former as a guide.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Band list

Here’s my first complete draft. I’ve used Pointedly mad for Home Grown Heroes, Mission Script (Lost Type) for The Billies, Anti Hero for Jack is coughing, ARB-66 Neon JUN-37 for the Blue Storm, Bemio Italic (with a custom line height value)  for Hail Hail Hellstorm, Alpenkreuzer (center aligned, with a custom line height value, as well as a slightly bigger second line) for Sounds of Thunder, Aldine Expanded (with a custom line height value) for Young Turtles, and Sullivan Fill for 1950s Alive. Now, it’s time to remove the old list for good, and to clean up the alignments.

I know for a fact that this list is going to be aligned on the right edge of my poster. So I’m going to cleanly align to the right all of the band names that are on the right side of the list, make sure that the vertical distribution is a bit better, and manually place the names on the left of the list to make a visually compelling band name group. Finally, I’ll make sure that the divider under “Featuring” extends a bit more than all the way to the left of the list (cf. how the dividers of the title block extend).

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Band list

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Band list

Here’s my almost complete take on the band list. I’ve moved the name around a bit more, but as you can see, there’s still a weird gap at the bottom right. It looks like I’m going to have to add a band name to visually balance stuff out.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Band list

Let’s call them the Hot Rods. I’ll use that Oil Can typeface (Lost Type). I sized “Rods” bigger, centered the text, and used a custom line height value to make sure it looks not too spaced out.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Band list

Once you’re happy with the placement, it’s time to switch the text to outlines (make sure there are no spelling mistakes!), and to switch our brand new lineup for the evening with the old one.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Band list

And it’s pretty clear that we’re having a problem here. Not only is the list too close to the border on the right, but it’s also obliterating the guitar and the microphone on the left. One remedy: let’s take the size of the band names down a notch. I still want to keep the “Featuring” title and divider to the size they’re at right now, to match the main title better.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Band list

And voilà, we have a better fitting band list! There’s a little bit of room won at the bottom of the list, which is where I’ll be sticking the “Gates open at 9pm” information. To stay consistent with the original design, I wrote it in Pointedly mad. My type is sized at 42 points, with the kerning set on “optical” (like most of the text blocks throughout this poster). I also switched the “AM” mention to superscript on the character panel’s options. Time to also remove the old “gates open at (…),” and to move forward.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Band listA check-in point

Where are we at?

With this super long tutorial, it seemed a good idea to take a quick step back, and to see what else we are going to finalize. We’re so close to the end I can feel it, but there are still a few details here and there.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Band list

  1. Finalize and touch up the look and feel of the “tickets” text block
  2. Check if downsizing the pinup just a bit to give more breathing room to the title is a good idea
  3. Maybe move the “Gates open at 9AM” mention back where it originally was?
  4. Potential background simplification
  5. Potential borders touch-ups

Now that the road map is set, let’s go for the final stretch.

Tickets and other miscellaneous information

The main change I want to make happen here is the typeface. I haven’t used a slab serif at all in the design so far, and I think it feels a bit out of place. I might use Sullivan or Bemio from Lost Type to have a certain sense of unity. Sullivan appeals more to me at this stage, but we’ll see as I go.

Here’s my first draft. The type is Sullivan Fill, set in 24 points. The line height is set at 24 points as well. “Tickets” is set at 60 points.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Tickets and misc.Just to make sure, I made an alternate version in Bemio. You can see the Sullivan version in light gray underneath. Given the somewhat condensed nature of Sullivan, I think it’s a better fit given the space I have available. Bemio looks clean and good, but it would take so much more room.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Tickets and misc.So Sullivan it is. It’s also time to align my copy to the right, since these text blocks will be aligned in the same fashion than the bands list. I also did some minor adjustments to the pricing block. Let’s put this in place in the poster, and remember to switch the “Tickets” title to our yellow.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Tickets and misc.Well, just placing the new type above the old one made me realize than my potential layout correction for the pricing section will look too weird. Time to revert that.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Tickets and misc.Much better, isn’t it? Let’s align everything the way it’s supposed to be (location information on the bands list, the ticketing information on the “Ticket” word), and delete the old type.

I also made a minor alignment alteration for the ticketing information, as it seems to fit the contour of the car better than way.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Tickets and misc.I decided to also move the gate information back down. The colors are switched over. The ticket and miscellaneous information block is done!

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Tickets and misc.The pinup’s size

Next on our list is the pinup’s size issue. In its current state, I believe her head is a tad close to the title. That’s the only thing I want to act on: the width of the stroke around it, the colors, the placement of the halftones, all of these are good.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Pinup size

First, we need to select all of the pinups layers: the line art, the colors, and the outline. Thankfully for ourselves, we already grouped all of the elements together at the beginning. We can see that we included one of the halftone elements (bottom left, under the shoe) with the group.

I’m going to move the pinup on her own sub-layer, and un-group everything there, for better control. It’s just a game of cutting and pasting in front.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Pinup size

Once the pinup is in its own layer and the elements are un-grouped, we can have a better understanding of what needs to move and what can stay as is. I also managed to track down the halftone element as hidden in the outline group. I just slid it, out of there, on the main art layer for the time being.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Pinup size

What we want to do now is to select all of the pinup’s element, and to slowly size her down to leave something like half an inch of extra space. And sizing the pinup down by holding the SHIFT key and from the center top handle allows us to size the element down proportionally, while keeping it in a very similar spot. This avoids me to have to replace the pinup manually afterwards.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Pinup sizeWhen checking in closely, it also looks like the outline is sensibly similar to the other outlines in place (see around the car, the guitar, and the microphone). So we don’t even need to worry about adjusting it.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Pinup sizeLast little thing about the pinup: I used the same pathfinder technique than when creating the first version of the title’s outlines to clean up the shapes composing the pinup. The white shapes, once united, becomes a clean silhouette shape, rather than a shape made of multiple shapes.  Grouping the inner shapes of the same color also helps to clean things up.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Pinup size Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Pinup size Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Pinup size Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Pinup size

If you feel like it, and while you’re at it, why not applying the same cleanup process to the car, guitar, and microphone?

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Pinup size

Background cleanup and simplification

Steve’s background (shown here without any of the type or main illustrative elements) features a star burst, flames, and the borders. First, I’d like to clean up and organize my layers further. Then, it looks like we have to simplify this background, as we’ve added a color (the burst’s light red) to our original color palette, and this will explode the budget of the hypothetical project. Finally, I think we can touch up the borders to make them visually centered.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Background

Removal of the background burst

Select the burst shape, and hit delete on your keyboard. Done. Time to bust out the “That was easy” button.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – BackgroundRemoving the flames

We have a problem, and it’s the flames. They are also in the light red, and don’t fit there anyways since we removed the burst. Let’s remove them as well.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – BackgroundMore cleanup and organization

Now that the extra elements have been removed, we can organize our leftover visual ornaments into a sub-layer as well. I choose to create one for the borders, one for the halftones, and one for the pinstripes.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – BackgroundBorder fixes

The borders aren’t fuller centered, and it seems that some of the spacing could be enhanced as well (see my highlights below). I’m going to use my direct selection tool (A) and the alignment palette to make sure the yellow and white borders are horizontally centered, and to make the bottom gap between the white and yellow borders identical to the one side gap between.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – BackgroundWhile I was at it, I’ve also made sure to center and align the top yellow pinstripe and the wings.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – BackgroundTaa-daa, we have a fixed background!

Last overall touch ups

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Last stretchI’m pretty happy with the changes so far. Last but not least, the background still seems empty, or missing something. This is because we removed the burst and the flames. Elements like the halftones were arranged around these, and they left gaps.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Last stretchInstead of putting the burst back in place, I’m going to use the halftones already in the design, as well as some new ones, to “fill” the gaps. The trick for the new arrangement to fit is to keep a maximum dote size consistent with the dot sizes already in the design. Unless you start the halftones placement from scratch. Finally, some halftones elements  can be found through your symbol panel.

The button I’ve highlighted in red will give you access to an option menu. From there, navigate to Open symbol library > Dot pattern vector pack.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Last stretch Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Last stretch

I created a new sub-layer named “New halftones,” colored the old ones in gray (to keep them visible as a non-intrusive reference), and started placing my new ones.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Last stretchSymbols are super easy to place: just drag and drop them from the palette into your design. Here’s my first draft after tinkering a bit with placement and sizes. You can see which ones of the pack elements I’ve used in the layer palette. It’s time to turn the old ones off, and to switch the new ones to white.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Last stretch

Since these are symbols, we’ll have to expand them before we can change their color to white. Let’s do so by selecting them all, and going to Object > Expand.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Last stretch

And here are our white halftones.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Last stretch

I don’t think I’ve accomplished the consistency I’m looking for. The one I’m happy (in terms of scale particularly) with is the little one in the back of the pinup. Let’s see if we can reuse it to fill the other gaps.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Last stretch

I’m happier with this second attempt. I basically used Dot Pattern Vector Pack 12 multiple times, after grouping it. In order to not break the scale consistency, I only sized it up very cautiously (check the bottom left corner, under the left shoe). It’s time to shuffle our layers a wee bit to make sure that the halftone at the bottom left covers the void left were we hid the back of the car. I just created a “Halftones #2″ sub-layer, and placed it above the car layer. I then proceeded to cut and paste in front the halftone that’s behind the shoe in that sub-layer.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Last stretchOnce that’s done, I moved my “borders” layer up, in order to have the border above the halftone. Time to delete the halftone that’s outside the limits of the borders. Just use your direct selection tool to select the part you don’t want, and hit delete on your keyboard to remove them.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Last stretch Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Last stretch Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Last stretch

It seemed clear that the gap between the yellow and white borders needed to be cleaned up as well, both from the halftone and from the outline of the pinup. To do so, I created two red rectangles that I placed high enough in my layer structure to be above the girl and the halftone, but not over the borders. I also made sure to size them properly to not go over the edge of the artboard, and gave them their own sub layer.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Last stretch Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Last stretch Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Last stretch

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Last stretchA bit more layer clean up, and we’re done! Delete the unused halftones, delete Steve’s old halftones, get the type explorations and color palette layers hidden and tucked underneath everything, and taa-daa, you’ve got yourselves a cleaner Rockabilly Throwdown poster.

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Last stretch

What’s next?

The next step will be to take this design in Ps to add texture to it. Imagine yourself in your parents’ or grandparents’ attic, and finding it after all these years. We’ll manipulate paper textures, aging Ps actions, noise, stains, fake folds, etc.

Until it’s written, cheers!

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Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Part I http://www.gomediazine.com/tutorials/create-an-iconic-rockabilly-poster-with-vector-set-22-part-i/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=create-an-iconic-rockabilly-poster-with-vector-set-22-part-i http://www.gomediazine.com/tutorials/create-an-iconic-rockabilly-poster-with-vector-set-22-part-i/#comments Wed, 22 May 2013 14:10:22 +0000 Steve Knerem http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=26569 The very talented Steve Knerem is the guest artist behind a majority of the content of our vector set 22. In this tutorial, he shows us how to assemble a rad rockabilly poster using various elements of the set, a bit like what Jeff did for us when we released Set 18. Continue Reading »

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Hello all,

The very talented Steve Knerem is the guest artist behind a majority of the content of our vector set 22.  In this tutorial, he shows us how to assemble a rad rockabilly poster using various elements of the set, a bit like what Jeff did for us when we released Set 18

In the first part of the tutorial, Steve will be walking you through his process to design the poster, from concept to final piece. In a couple of weeks, we’ll publish the 2nd part, which will infuse the composition with an even stronger rockabilly/1950s feel, by doing some additional research in terms of typefaces by digging at the source: 1950′s/1960′s era gig posters (as well as more contemporary material too). Finally, a few weeks after that, we’ll publish a wrap-up piece that will provide additional tips and tricks to give a vintage finish to the poster, like if you had found it in your parent’s/grandparent’s attic after all these years.

But no more rambling, let’s let Steve have the microphone!

— Simon, Go Media’s Arsenal Manager

Hey Guys,

Thanks for reading my article on how I built this Rockabilly poster using the Arsenal’s Vector Set 22.

In this set you are going to notice that it’s all revolved around icons from vintage 1950’s U.S.A: hot rods, babes, tattoos and everything in between. As you search through the set notice I threw in a mix of styles from my hand drawn look to straight vector art (done in Illustrator). Have fun with the pack and add it to your own arsenal of goodies!

Let’s have a quick look at the set’s content

Go Media's Arsenal - Vector set 22 - Cars

Go Media's Arsenal - Vector set 22 - Rockabilly icons

Go Media's Arsenal - Vector set 22 - Pinstripes

Go Media's Arsenal - Vector set 22 - Pinups

Go Media's Arsenal - Vector set 22 - Skulls and wings

Go Media's Arsenal - Vector set 22 - Tattos

Go Media's Arsenal - Vector set 22 - The 50s

So let’s get started!

My thoughts to create this poster are keep it simple within the realms of design and content, yet pack a punch with enthusiasm and detail. When I think of design, I definitely try not to throw in the kitchen sink, but be selective and make sure I have for this project a title focus and an image focus. In addition to that, make sure your eye flows either top to bottom, in the “Z” pattern or in what I think is helpful is a circle pattern. These are the elements the the brain locks into and make the poster reads well, creates good flow and is a successful piece.

Choosing the Color Palette

I need to think about colors. When I thought about my color palette typical Rockabilly/50’s colors seem to be red, black, white, tan and a cool color. This isn’t etched in stone but what seems to be the norm. I know I want to go with a vintage look as it were designed back in this era.

I did some searching and remembered one of my favorite websites when I need some inspiration or knowledge. This is what popped up after doing a search for “vintage rockabilly colors.”

Create an Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Color palette research

Thinking through the composition

Ok I have my color palette, now for design. I am setting up this design for a 16×20 4-5 color screen printed poster for a fictitious event in my home town Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A. I worked- up a few quick ideas and am going to call this “The Rockabilly Throwdown Fest.” Imagine a huge fest with all your favorite bands, hairdos, pinups and vintage styles for one day, sounds awesome!

Create an Iconic Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 – Poster sketch

I’ll first set up a ½” bleed area around the poster. This guarantees me that anything within these borders will be printed, and I don’t have to worry about it getting cut off. You could probably set up a ¼” in bleed as well.

Looking at Typefaces

I’m going to then move on to the title “The Rockabilly Throwdown Fest” and search for a font. There is an endless supply of possibilities but let’s go with something that feels like it belongs.

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Typeface choices

Quick note: if I were to choose a font that seemed like it could go with a black death metal fest, it wouldn’t have the right feel. Do your research.

Down to the Nitty-Gritty

Next let’s piece this together.

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Typeface layout

Choosing the Centerpiece

My initial thought is to utilize one of the pin ups as the main character… Maybe the devil girl.

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Layout progress

A Layout Change

Ok, so an interesting turn of design events is taking place. I was originally thinking of placing an image in the center, but because of the title design I am thinking of something else…Let’s see where it goes.

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Layout direction change

Let’s Change the Centerpiece, and Let’s Add Some Supporting Design Elements

I like this pose better, and I think she goes better with the design. I know I want some sort of starburst in the background to create a sense of depth so I grab the star tool and set it to 75 points.

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Central character change

I want to trim the bottom and left side so I take the pen tool and make three points in at “L” shape. Make sure the color is selected in the stroke color box. Note the purple color “L” at the bottom left of the artboard.

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Starburst editing

While the “L” shape is selected, I also select the starburst then I go to the pathfinder panel and select the divide button all with my black arrow tool. Both images will look united, but then click on the part that looks cut away with your white arrow tool and delete it. The starburst might spill over the document parameters, so you will have to select those parts and delete. From here select the starburst with your black arrow tool and choose a fill color in the color box. Most likely you will see areas fill in the where your dividing “L” line was.

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Starburst editing

 

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Starburst editing
Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Starburst editing

These are a few extra steps, but this makes the object complete. Click off on a blank area and select the parts that are spilling over and the parts that filled in with your white arrow tool and delete them. Click off on a blank area, then click on the starburst one more time and select unite in the pathfinder panel. I like to do this just to give it a final merge of the object. Now you are all set. Now we can play with different colors of the starburst and create some background texture/depth.

Remember the arrow patterns I drew once I noticed the design took a different direction? Well, I want to keep this design going and incorporate all things related to the fest. So let’s grab a guitar, a microphone, and an old car. I also swapped out the pinstripes at the bottom for some military looking wings. Also, don’t forget to switch the starburst’s color to a red slightly brighter than the background. The yellow was too strong, and overpowered the character.

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Bringing additional elements in

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Bringing additional elements in

Adding More Supporting Elements

I have in mind flames also, pretty iconic piece for this scene. But something a little different… like this, from the pinstripes pack.

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Pinstripe

I know I don’t want to use the whole image, only half. So, I have to cut it in half.

Here’s how I did it:

Select your lasso tool, and draw around the part you DO want to keep.

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Pinstripe editing

Cut it and paste it back (CTRL/CMD + X, then CMD/CTRL + V or F). Select the image and select unite from the pathfinder panel. This is so there are no open points and you can select it and change the color any time. Let’s place it on the poster in a few open spots:

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Pinstripe placement

Quick note: the one placed left of the pinup had its color changed to the same red as the background. Since it’s overlayed on the starburst that’s lighter, it gives it that sweet punch through effect. One more thing to play with!

Time to Add More Copy!

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Copy placement

Quick note: work around the canvas and DO NOT focus in one area for a long period of time. You have to work around the canvas/design and give most areas enough attention. Say I completed this bottom left part completely and came back to it in two days. Well some of those fresh thoughts will be gone and you need to think through the design once again. If you work around the canvas little by little you can give most of it attention and develop those first thoughts.

Alright, back to the game. Keep developing the text, make parts pop, and make the fonts of the bands specific. If you look at any poster the bands will have their own text font.

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Copy formatting

Time to Make Sense Out of the Mess of Items at the Bottom Left

When coloring for a spot color project such as this poster or a tee shirt, you’re limited to one color choice usually. This is where you need to be selective/creative and think this through.

All I did here is create color shapes and place them behind the character and objects.

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Colorizing elements

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Colorizing elements

Here is another technique that is good to use especially with my hand drawn pieces. If you know my style or if this is the first time seeing it..it’s pretty detailed… Yes? So here is a time saver. Make a copy of the outlined image and place it behind the original piece. Lock the top original piece. Select the car with your white arrow tool. Select merge  from the pathfinder panel then add a fill color to the color box then unite it using the pathfinder.

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Colorizing elements

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Colorizing elements

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Colorizing elements

Change color and we just saved 10 minutes of using the pen tool.

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Colorizing elements

 

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Colorizing elements

Do the same with the microphone and the guitar and now we can take this to the next step.

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Colorizing elements

Adding a Tad More Depth, and Other Refinements

I also wanted more dimension that just the starburst in the background. So I took the flames from the pinstripe pack pack and made this into a solid image by repeating the steps we just did for the car. You just got a free vector! Take a look under the pinup at the light red flames, cool feature and more interesting things going on.

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Adding the flames in the background

Time to add some finesse to the border. You can taper the edges by expanding the stroke of the frame, then deleting the top point of the square edge.

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Border refinements

I also added a stroke to each image. You have to add the stroke to a solid image that is underneath all of your layers. For the car we have two layers. One is the black outlines and one is the green color. Add the stroke to the green color. Make sense? Notice I changed the black lines to red… Looking cool!

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Pinup lines color change

Well I’m liking what I see, title reads well, colors look cool, feels like a Rockabilly poster.

Last Touches

Last thing I like to do is add a touch of my own flair. In this case I’ll grab some dot patterns from the symbol box.

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Dot patterns

I’ll just throw a few down and figure out what I like.

Next I’ll expand it because I don’t want to use the whole pattern just parts. So click on Object > Expand.

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Dot patterns

I’ll then take the lasso tool and cut out random parts that I want to use.

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Dot patterns

Cut then paste it then unite with the pathfinder using your black arrow tool.

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Dot patterns

I like to place these splatters behind the white stroke and make it the color of the stroke, in this case it’s white. So now we have a cool 16″x20″ – 5 color promo poster!

Create a Rockabilly Poster With Vector Set 22 - Final piece

Let me know if you have any questions, go crazy with these vectors and send me your designs: put them in the Go Media Flickr Pool, and/or in the comments! One thing to add is that I illustrated a mix of hand drawn and vector/Illustrator images. This adds a really nice feel of that hand drawn look yet utilizing the strengths of Illustrator.

Enjoy guys!

— Steve Knerem

Note: find Steve online at: 

 

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Sakai Vector Portrait http://www.gomediazine.com/tutorials/sakai-vector-portrait/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=sakai-vector-portrait http://www.gomediazine.com/tutorials/sakai-vector-portrait/#comments Mon, 06 May 2013 13:00:28 +0000 William Beachy http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=24865 Hey Go Media faithful! Man, it feels like it's been years since I've posted anything in the Zine. These days all my writing has been focused on my upcoming book Drawn to Business, Designed for Success. I think everyone is going to love the content. It's all the nitty-gritty details about how we run our design firm, but I digress. This blog post is about a piece of art I created for last year's WMC Fest. I had this crazy idea of illustrating a portrait of my friend Heather Sakai. I wanted to try and include all of her passions in one single image, from her Japanese heritage to her love of Hello Kitty. I thought it would make a fun subject for a tutorial. Though, I've been doing so much writing for my book, that I really didn't want to write a tutorial. Instead, I thought it might be fun and interesting if I just showed you my process in a series of images. So, without further ado, here is my (nearly) wordless vector illustration tutorial. Continue Reading »

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Hey Go Media faithful! Man, it feels like it’s been years since I’ve posted anything in the Zine. These days all my writing has been focused on my upcoming book Drawn to Business, Designed for Success. I think everyone is going to love the content. It’s all the nitty-gritty details about how we run our design firm, but I digress. This blog post is about a piece of art I created for last year’s WMC Fest. I had this crazy idea of illustrating a portrait of my friend Heather Sakai. I wanted to try and include all of her passions in one single image, from her Japanese heritage to her love of Hello Kitty. I thought it would make a fun subject for a tutorial. Though, I’ve been doing so much writing for my book, that I really didn’t want to write a tutorial. Instead, I thought it might be fun and interesting if I just showed you my process in a series of images. So, without further ado, here is my (nearly) wordless vector illustration tutorial.

sakai_inspiration
A few sources of inspiration for this design.

sakai_Left_Hand
sakai_Right_Hand
sakai_Body
sakai_Body2
sakai_face-02
sakai_face-03
sakai_face_1-02
sakai_face_2-03
sakai_sword-03
sakai_dragon001
sakai_dragon002

sakai_dragon004
sakai_assembling
You’ll notice that it looks like the dragon’s body is snaking back and forth. To create this appearance, I simply copied the body, pasted it and flipped it horizontally.

sakai_sword
sakai_rice_bowl
sakai_coffee
sakai_mp3
sakai_assembling_2
sakai_vector_pack_19
I grabbed the wings and tail from Vector Pack 19.

sakai_crest
The Sakai family crest provided to me by Heather.

sakai_assembling_3
sakai_assembling_FNL

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Creating an Architectural Illustration Using Reference Photography http://www.gomediazine.com/tutorials/creating-an-architectural-illustration-using-reference-photography/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=creating-an-architectural-illustration-using-reference-photography http://www.gomediazine.com/tutorials/creating-an-architectural-illustration-using-reference-photography/#comments Mon, 13 Aug 2012 14:00:18 +0000 Pete Maric http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=20073 Note from the editor: This post was written by Pete Maric. Pete designed Go Media’s beautiful studio in Cleveland, Ohio. What else do you want to know? Well, he’s also worked with three of the top 50 retail design firms in the United States. He has had the pleasure of working for brands such as… Continue Reading »

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Note from the editor: This post was written by Pete Maric. Pete designed Go Media’s beautiful studio in Cleveland, Ohio. What else do you want to know? Well, he’s also worked with three of the top 50 retail design firms in the United States. He has had the pleasure of working for brands such as Adidas, Nintendo, Everlast, and Dick’s Sporting Goods, among others. His work has been featured in local, national, and international publications including The Adobe Illustrator CS3 and CS5 WOW books, Photoshop User Magazine, Cleveland Magazine, House Trends, and Architecture in Perspective. He also teaches 3D modeling and animation at Tri-C Community College and plays guitar.

Website: www.petemaric.com // 3D animation demo reels: www.vimeo.com/petemaric

Let’s get started!

As always, it’s a pleasure working with Go Media! I was excited to create his illustration for their headquarters exterior renovations, and my main goal was to make it look as good as possible.

In this tutorial I’ll walk you through the process for manipulating photographs, compositing 3D elements using Cinema 4D, establishing perspective grids, and using elements of the existing photo to create an accurate illustration.

Creating an Architectural Illustration Using Reference Photography - Step 1

Creating an Architectural Illustration Using Reference Photography - Step 2

Step 1: Fix the Photograph

Drag guides next to the building walls, double click the background layer. Edit > Transform > Skew. Drag the corners of the image using the skew function until the walls are lined up with the vertical guides. Flatten image. Use the crop tool to resize the canvas, dragging the handles past the edge of the image to the desired aspect ration/composition. Save image.

Creating an Architectural Illustration Using Reference Photography - Step 3

Step 2: Create 3D Elements

In Cinema 4D, create a new material and import the corrected photo inside the color channel, uncheck ‘specular’. Create a background object and place the new material on the background. Now the photo should be visible in the perspective viewport. If the photo looks disproportionate, too long or too narrow, you’ll have to match up the output size of your file with the aspect ratio of the photograph. To do this, open the render settings and background material so you have both windows open next to one another. In the material editor, color tab, the resolution size is right under the imported photo. Type these numbers into the render settings output width and height.

Creating an Architectural Illustration Using Reference Photography - Step 4

Step 3: Create the Bike Racks

To create the Go Go Go bike rack, start with a spline text object and type in the letter ‘G’ using Frutinger font. In the front view trace the center of the ‘G’ with a Bezier spline. Next create a profile with a circle spline, then drop the Bezier and profile splines into a sweep nurbs object. Change the ‘G’ text spine to an ‘O’ and repeat the same process. Group the ‘G’ and ‘O’ into a null object, then duplicate using a Mograph cloner to create three ‘Go’ bike racks.

Creating an Architectural Illustration Using Reference Photography - Step 5

Step 4: Compositing

To composite the bike rack into background, add a floor plane and use the grid in Cinema 4D as a guide to match the floor plane and ‘Go Go Go’ bike rack to the perspective of the photo.  Add the background material onto the floor plane and use a frontal projection. Right click on the floor plane > Cinema 4D tags > Compositing Tag. Inside the compositing tag, check ‘Compositing Background’ so the floor plane is not visible in the final render. Add a camera, right click the camera > Cinema 4D Tags > Protection Tag.

Creating an Architectural Illustration Using Reference Photography - Step 6

Step 5: Light the 3D scene.

Create two omni lights; one for the main light source with hard shadows turned on and the second as a fill light without shadows, and position them into place. Use the photograph to determine where the light source is coming from, this is where the main light source should be placed (top right of photo). In Photoshop, pick the color of the light (sky) using the eyedropper tool and enter the RGB values for both of the omni lights colors in Cinema 4D. Additionally, use a sky object with an HDRI material for reflections on the bike rack.

Step 6: Render the Cinema 4D Scene

Open the render settings, make sure the output size matches the resolution of the photo. Click effects to add a Cel Renderer effect. Check ‘Outline’ with edge color set to black and background color set to white. Specify a save path and render the line drawing.

Next, create a multi-pass render. In the render settings, check ‘multi-pass’, then ‘add image layers’ with the multi-pass button. Turn on Global Illumination and Ambient Occlusion via the effects tab. Check Save > Multi-Pass Image > Check ‘Multi-layer File’ > specify a save path, name your file > hit render.

Creating an Architectural Illustration Using Reference Photography - Step 7

Step 7: Establish the Perspective Grid

Since the perspectives in photographs are usually not 100% accurate, it is important to establish a perspective grid to work off of prior to creating the final line drawing.

In Photoshop, create two new layers; one layer filled with white and opacity set to 50% and a new layer for a rough perspective grid. On the perspective grid layer, choose a red color and start laying out the perspective grid using the line tool. First establish the horizon line which should be at approximately 5’-6” above the ground (5’-6” is the average person’s eye level). If there are not any people in the photograph, you can use other elements to approximate this height such as doors (6’-8” average height) to get as close as possible to 5’-6”.

The next step is to find the vanishing points, where the perspective lines converge. In this illustration, based on a 2-point perspective, one vanishing point would be on the left side (as shown in the illustration below) and other point on the right, way off of the canvas and not visible in this illustration.

Once the horizon line and vanishing points are established, draw in some general perspective lines for important architectural elements such as building lines and top and bottom of windows. Continue to block in the new elements like signage and awning.

Creating an Architectural Illustration Using Reference Photography - Step 8

Step 8: Create a Final Line Drawing

Open the cel render created in Cinema 4D > Select All (Command A) > Copy (Command C) > Paste (Command V) into the illustration file. To create the rest of the line drawing, use 4 different line weights all on separate layers; 3pt, 2pt, 1pt, and an additional 1pt w/ 50% opacity. Start by drawing with the heaviest line (3pt) on the bottom of the building and bottom of sidewalk. The 2 pt line can be used for the building outline, 1pt line for interior details like windows and doors, and thin line for corbels/crown, garage door, and background trees.

When creating the line drawing, we can take a little bit of creative liberty from the existing site conditions. For instance, in the existing photograph, the telephone pole by the corner of the building is slanted and blocking the new awning. Let’s straighten this so it’s completely vertical and move it over to the right a few inches so it does not block the new awning. Additionally, we can slim down the foreground telephone pole and move the street names down so they are visible in the illustration.

Remember, we are trying to create an idealized representation of this building. If a few elements need to be shifted around for the sake of clarity, feel free to exercise your creative license. Just make sure to run these changes by your client and get their approval prior to proceeding to the final rendering.

Creating an Architectural Illustration Using Reference Photography - Step 9

Step 9: Establish a Color Scheme

Use the eyedropper tool in Photoshop to select a brick color from the existing photograph. Launch the website www.kuler.adobe.com, input the brick color’s RGB values to create a custom scheme, then play around until you come up with a good looking color palette.

For this illustration, I started with the color of the existing brick, played around with Adobe Kuler, then experimented with different sky gradients in Photoshop until I came up with a scheme that worked for this building.

Creating an Architectural Illustration Using Reference Photography - Step 10

Step 11: Set Selections

Before adding color to the illustration, set selections for important architectural elements. Use the pen tool to draw a path around the building > Command + click the path in the path palette to activate the selection >  Select > Save Selection > name the selection ‘building’ > Hit OK. This will create a new channel in the channels palette. Repeat this process for the windows, go bike rack, and foreground telephone pole.

Creating an Architectural Illustration Using Reference Photography - Step 11

Step 12: Render the Illustration

Start the rendering by creating a custom gradient using the blue color from the color scheme with a yellowy/orange color. Create a new layer, set it to multiply blend mode, and drag the gradient from top to bottom to create the basic color for the sky. When rendering, starting with the sky color is a good idea because this sets the mood for the entire illustration. Next, add a layer mask to the gradient > command/click the ‘building’ selection in the channels palette > paint away the building, but let some of the color on top and bottom bleed into the building.

Next, create additional layers for the sidewalk and street, set blending mode to multiply, pick colors from the existing photo, paint in street and sidewalk.

Creating an Architectural Illustration Using Reference Photography - Step 12

Step 13: Render the Windows

Window Color: Duplicate the sky gradient layer > Layer > Layer Mask > Delete, and rename the layer to ‘windows’. Create a new layer mask in the layers palette > Command/Click the windows selection in the channels palette > Select > Inverse > use a large brush and paint away everything, leaving just the color for the windows. Duplicate the windows layer and reduce the opacity to around 50%.

Window Reflections: Open a photograph of a cityscape to be used for the window reflections > Select all (Command A) > Copy (Command V). Jump over to the illustration file > Command/Click the ‘windows’ channel > Edit > Paste Special > Paste Into. This will paste the photo into the window selection. Click the window layer > Edit > Transform > Skew > manipulate the pasted photo until it somewhat matches the perspective of the illustration. Add a 4pt gaussion blur to the photo and reduce the opacity to around 40%.

Window Light Rays: Create a new layer > use the pen tool to draw some light rays > fill with an off white/yellow color > add a layer mask > mask out all areas leaving the light rays only in the windows.

Creating an Architectural Illustration Using Reference Photography - Step 13

Step 14: Render the Brick

For the building, we’ll use as much of the existing photograph as possible. Duplicate the background photograph > add a watercolor filter (Filter > Artistic > Watercolor) > and drag the layer to the top of the layer stack. Add a layer mask > activate the building selection > Inverse the selection > paint away everything except the brick. Activate the window selection > mask out the window area to reveal the rendered windows from the previous step.

Creating an Architectural Illustration Using Reference Photography - Step 14

Step 15: Create a Brick Pattern

On the duplicated background layer, select a portion of brick using the Polygonal Lasso Tool. Create a new file at 11×17 inches, drag the brick selection in to the new file. Use the skew transform tool and align the top and bottom so they are horizontal, not slanted. Duplicate this layer to create a consistent brick pattern.

Next, create a new layer and draw grout lines using the line tool in Photoshop.

Creating an Architectural Illustration Using Reference Photography - Step 15

Step 16: Fix the Inconsistent Brick Pattern

Flatten the new brick and grout pattern > Select All (Command A) > Copy (Command C) > jump over to the illustration document and paste the brick for the front of the building. Use Edit > Transform > Skew to match the new brick pattern to the perspective of the illustration > mask away the areas for the windows, doors, telephone pole, and signage. Repeat this process for the corner of the building and left side.

Find a brick pattern on www.cgtextures.com and use this texture to render the building on the far right side.

Creating an Architectural Illustration Using Reference Photography - Step 16

Step 17: Add Background Trees

Duplicate the original brick layer (the one with the watercolor filter applied) > Mask out everything except the background trees, cars, and grass > set the layer to ‘Multiply’ blend mode > Reduce opacity to 90%. Fix any blotchy grass areas with the clone stamp tool. Duplicate this layer > flip horizontal > move to right side of illustration > mask out unwanted areas to create the right side tree.

Tip: Keeping all of the elements of the illustration on separate layers will give you complete control over the final look of the finished piece.

Creating an Architectural Illustration Using Reference Photography - Step 17

Step 18: Render the Go Bike Rack

Open the multi-pass file that was rendered from Cinema 4D. Double click the ‘diffuse’ layer > drag all layers into a group > name the group ‘Go Bike Rack Render’ > drag the entire group into the illustration file. Mask out each multi-pass layer individually and place the group into position.

Creating an Architectural Illustration Using Reference Photography - Step 18

Step 19: Render the Telephone Poles & Signage

For the telephone poles, use the background photo with a watercolor filter applied, mask out each telephone pole individually and keep all poles on separate layers. For the ‘Lorain’ & ‘W.45 St’ signs, use the text tool in Photoshop and skew each word into position.

For the ‘Go Media’ main sign, use the original reference image and cut/paste the sign into the illustration. Use Edit > Transform > Skew to match the perspective of the illustration.

To create the front awning, add a new layer, set it’s blending mode to multiply and paint in the black part of the awning. Copy/paste the Go Media logo mark from Adobe Illustrator into Photoshop. Use Edit > Transform > Skew to match the perspective of the illustration. Create the address in Photoshop using the text tool.

Creating an Architectural Illustration Using Reference Photography - Step 19

Step 20: Add People and Cars to Populate the Illustration

Turn on the perspective grid that was drawn prior to creating the final line drawing. Open your people and cars stock files > add watercolor filter to each file > place into illustration. Tip: Make sure that the eyes of every person are lined up with the horizon line.

For this illustration, stock files were used from www.realworldimagery.com and www.doschdesign.com.

Creating an Architectural Illustration Using Reference Photography - Step 20

Step 21: Add Shadows

Turn off all layers except the final line drawing and entourage (people & car). Create a new layer and manually paint in the shadows using a hard brush and a cool grey color. Set the shadow layers blend mode to multiply. In this illustration, the light source would be coming from the upper right.

Creating an Architectural Illustration Using Reference Photography - Step 21

Step 22: Final Touches

Street Reflections: Duplicate the original photograph > flip vertical > move down so the building is reflected in the street > add a gaussian blur > mask out everything except the building > reduce the opacity to 18%.

Birds: Use a custom brush > turn on scattering in the brush palette > choose a blue color from the sky > turn layer to multiply > paint in a group of birds.

Highlights: Create a new layer > use the line tool with a 1pt line > paint highlights on the right side of all architectural geometry.

Light Bursts: Create a new layer > set blending mode to overlay > pick a yellow color > paint with a soft brush over the front of the building > reduce the opacity to 60%. Create a new layer set to overlay and paint with an orange color on both right and left sides of the illustration.

Border: Fill a new layer with a dark blue color set to multiply blend mode > mask out the center of the layer.

Texture: Drop a watercolor paper texture on top of the entire illustration and turn the blend mode to multiply.

Creating an Architectural Illustration Using Reference Photography - Step 22

Step 23: Revisions

One thing that you should always anticipate when doing illustration work are client requested revisions. This is a very important thing to keep in mind when setting up your working files. Although assigning each line weight and all aspects of the rendering to it’s own separate layer may be a little bit more time-consuming up front, it pays off when you have to go back and revise your files. Tips: Keep everything on a separate layer, organize your layers into groups, and name all layers.

A few of the revisions to this illustration were to replace the side brick with a painted grey color, change Go bike rack to a brushed metal finish, and add clouds and a hot spot in the sky behind the building.

Change brick to grey: First turn off the new brick pattern in Photoshop to reveal the existing grey brick color. Next, use the clone stamp tool to touch up any wires, unwanted poles, and grass/weeds growing on the bottom of the building.

Change bike rack to a brushed metal finish: Open the Cinema 4D file and replace the Go bike rack yellow material with a stainless steel found in the content browser. Re-render the multi-pass file and replace the existing yellow color in the illustration with the new stainless steel.

Creating an Architectural Illustration Using Reference Photography - Step 23

Step 24: The final illustration!

Creating an Architectural Illustration Using Reference Photography - Step 24

Pour yourself a coffee warmer, you’re done!

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Thick Line Art: Creating Iconic Vector Art http://www.gomediazine.com/tutorials/thick-line-art-creating-iconic-vector-art/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=thick-line-art-creating-iconic-vector-art http://www.gomediazine.com/tutorials/thick-line-art-creating-iconic-vector-art/#comments Mon, 23 Jul 2012 14:00:22 +0000 Jeff Finley http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=19609 I recently posted a new illustration on Dribbble called “Revivalist” and it got quite a lot of likes. I thought I’d write a tutorial about how I created it. So let’s do this! Introduction One of our clients Disciple Clothing needed a “logo” and business card designed for a ministry they are a part of.… Continue Reading »

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I recently posted a new illustration on Dribbble called “Revivalist” and it got quite a lot of likes. I thought I’d write a tutorial about how I created it. So let’s do this!

Introduction

One of our clients Disciple Clothing needed a “logo” and business card designed for a ministry they are a part of. The Ashish Mubarak Ministries to be exact. They sent me their current business card along with the illustration they are using as their “logo.”

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Wow! That’s technically an illustration and not a logo. As an illustration, it’s gnarly 90s gold and obviously in need of an update. Lauren Kusant from Disciple recognized this and asked me to simplify this into a logo, modernize it and add the word “Revivalist” to it. But in my professional opinion, if I reduced this entire scene into a a logo (what is and what isn’t a logo), it would ultimately lose all the different messages its trying to communicate. There’s a lot going on here!

Sidenote: If you’re interested, I suggest reading the article A Logo is Not a Brand.

You can’t fit a flaming sword, a bible, mother Earth, a dove, a scroll, and some stalks of wheat in what is traditionally called a logo. Sure you could take ALL of those elements and identify its core message and communicate that single message with a single mark. Sometimes when I do this, the client often feels that it’s too simple and too far removed from their vision. It loses some sort of wow factor. Now, a logo is meant to be a placeholder for a brand. A simple icon or wordmark that represents the brand that can be resized and repurposed for any application you can think of. It should be easy to spot, easy to recognize and easy to reproduce. Sometimes, clients will incorrectly ask for a logo, when what they really mean is “a cool looking graphic design that represents them.”

I once had a client ask for five different “logos” for their apparel line. What!? After talking more with them, they really wanted five different t-shirt designs. Specifically, five different typographic t-shirt designs. In other words, cool ways of writing their name mixed with other graphics.

So how was I going to tackle this project?  I felt the best solution would be to maintain the integrity of the elements but simplify the illustration entirely into more basic shapes and iconic forms. I decided to go with a thick line art style. It won’t be a “logo” per-say, but it will still be a simple and iconic design that can be used on a variety of applications to represent the ministry. So without further ado, let’s get into the design process!

TIP: For this style, stick with ONE line weight for a uniform look. We aren’t going for “realistic” here. Don’t over-illustrate. Simplify and keep things spaced evenly.

Step One: The Sword

Since we’re aiming for iconic and simple, always start with basic shapes and add detail from there. If you start going crazy with the pen tool, you’ll have a harder time making things “perfect”. You’ll see what I mean later. For the sword, I started with a box and used my pen tool to add a point. Then I used my Direct Selection Tool (white arrow) to select the three points at the tip of the sword. To make sure they are evenly spaced and my midpoint is exactly in the middle, I used the align tool “Horizontal Distribute Left.” Make sure “align to selection” is checked and not “align to artboard.” Otherwise you’ll spread out your points all across your artboard and you don’t want that.

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To make the tip, I wanted a perfect 45 degree angle. Why? Because I feel it’s more iconic when angles are in good harmony with each other. Angles like 45, 90, 60, 30 are all good angles to use. To get the 45 degree angle, I held shift when creating my line. I lined it up with the left point and then selected and repositioned the “tip” to match. There might be a more exact way of doing this, but this way gets me close. I also drew another vertical line down the center of the sword and aligned it with the rest.

02_swordtip

To create the handle, I did a lot of the same techniques as above. I started with a basic rectangle, created a midpoint, and moved it upwards slightly. I used a 15 degree reference line instead this time. How did I get it exactly 15 degrees? I started with a horizontal line, then used the Transform palette to rotate it exactly 15 degrees. Get used to this tool because it comes in handy!

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I gave the handle guard a white fill in addition to the black stroke so I could position it on top of the blade and cover up parts I don’t want people to see. To create the rest of the handle I did more of the same. For the pommel (bottom tip of the handle) I made a rectangle and used Warp > Bulge to get it a slightly bulbous shape.

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Step Two: The Book

For the book, in this case The Bible, I kept things simple by illustrating only the essential elements. The page, stuff on the page, and the dimension or thickness of the book. I started with one half first and then mirrored it.

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I’ll create temporary vanishing point guidelines to make sure I get my perspective angles correct. You can fake this of course but I wanted to make sure. And one technique that’s very common is designing one half first and then mirroring it so each side is symmetrical. Then center it up perfectly with the sword using the align tool.

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Step Three: The Fire

Truth be told, this took me many attempts to get right. I had to imply the sword was on fire without over illustrating it. The fire had to look like fire and not a leaf or some other decorative doodad. And it had to be symmetrical, but I didn’t want to have the same flame on both left and right sides. The challenge was to make it FEEL symmetrical without actually being exactly the same on both sides.

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I started with a flame on the left side. I made sure the bottom part of the flame followed the contour of the book below it. To communicate a flame instead of a leaf, you need to have a few tendrils. You don’t need a lot, but if you have just one (like a candle flame) it doesn’t look like a flame. Unless of course a candle is underneath it. But I didn’t want any more than three tendrils or points to keep it simple.

Once I got one I liked, I mirrored it for the right side. I used my pen tool and adjusted points around until I had something different but still similar. I kept the bottom part the same which helps create the illusion of symmetry. I only adjusted the top two points. Once I was satisfied with my flanking flames, I put in the smaller whisps on top of the sword and behind. These don’t need a lot of tendrils because there are other flames around it that communicate “this is fire”. Without the more complex flames to the left and right, you can’t be sure whether it’s fire, wind, or some other decorative swoosh.

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Step Four: The Banner

I purposely left room at the top for the banner. This is where the text “revivalist” is going to go. I started by using the font Modula Sans as a base. Since I want everything to have a consistent line weight I’ll need to create new lines from scratch. Before I did that, I roughly set things up how I wanted it using the Warp > Arc Lower tool and distorting the text into position. Once it’s close, I lower the opacity of my reference and start drawing lines as simply as possible. It doesn’t have to match up exactly with my reference and it’s ok to adjust later. For the A, I actually used an upside-down V.

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I positioned the banner on top of the sword and made sure it was perfectly centered. I also added the back “flaps”.

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Step Five: The Wheat Stalks

I knew I wanted the wheat stalks to circle the design in some way. Instead of trying to draw a curve by hand, I started with a circle as reference and added a single point at the top of my stalk and then deleted other parts of the circle until I was left with the part I needed. To create the head of the wheat stalk, I took two overlapping circles and used the Intersect tool in my pathfinder palette. That gave me a perfect shape. I rotated it 30 degrees and mirrored it so I would have a symmetrical shape to work with. I then duplicated this shape vertically by holding Alt+Shift while I dragged it down some. After that I pressed Ctrl+D five times to repeat the last action and duplicate the shape. I added one more of those shapes on top. For the sprout-like things coming out the sides, it’s just a simple path that was duplicated and mirrored on both sides. Easy.

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I moved the head into position on the stem and then individually rotated the shapes along the curve slightly. Just to make it look like it was bending along with the stem. When I was satisfied with the position, I copied it, rotated it, and positioned a second wheat stalk to the left of it. And finally I grouped the two of those together and mirrored it on the other side while making sure my wheat stalks were perfectly aligned to the center of the design.

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Step Six: The Dove

Since I am not a pro at drawing a dove, I wanted to make sure I was close! So I grabbed a reference image from iStockphoto. It’s more of an illustration, but I liked the position and symmetry. I thought it would be an excellent starting point for my design.

dove reference

I started out with extreme basic shapes. Circles, ovals, ellipsis, whatever you want to call them. I tried to make as few lines as possible while still capturing the essence of the bird’s body. When they are properly layered, you can create the illusion of depth very easily! Make sure the head is on top of the body, the feet on top of the wheat. The body behind the wheat, etc.

dove body

For the wings, I made one on the left side before I mirrored it to the right. Here’s a good rule of thumb for creating vector illustrations: Use as few points as possible for the cleanest curves. It’s so much easier to manipulate that way. For my wings, I made sure they were behind the body but in front of the wheat. This gives the illusion that the bird is kind of leaning forward.

For the tail feathers, I used the same technique I did in creating the head of the wheat stalks. I used two overlapping circles to cut out a basic feather shape. I used the rotate tool and held down ALT while I clicked the bottom of point of my shape to set the new pivot point. When the rotate dialog box pops up, I used 30 degrees and checked the preview button to make sure. Instead of hitting “ok” I clicked “copy” to duplicate the shape instead. And then I pressed Ctrl+D to repeat this process a bunch more times until the shape copied itself in a full circle. Pretty cool technique!

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I deleted the shapes at the top that I didn’t need and set the fill color to white just so they overlapped and didn’t look transparent. I also adjusted the layering of the feathers to keep it symmetrical on both sides. With the bottom feather being furthest behind, the next two features being second, and then the top feathers being in front or on top. Does that make sense? See the image below for a breakdown.

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Step Seven: Fine Tuning

In reality, there was a lot more trial and error in the process of this illustration. There was a lot nudging lines around, moving and rotating, and asking “does this look right?” Use your eye and keep the shapes and lines in harmony. And my final design was inverted (white on black) to match the colors the ministry was using on its old business card and website.

But before I made the color change, I wanted to “naturalize” the illustration a bit. Make it slightly rougher and analog. Here is a simple technique for making your vector art look a bit more natural.

Roughen it up a bit.

I selected all my strokes and went to Effect > Distort and Transform > Roughen. This took some tinkering to get to look just right! I was aiming for a subtle wobble to my linework, but not too much.

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Photoshop Trickery

This looks pretty good, but I want to take it a step further. I’ll copy my entire design and open Photoshop. I’ll start a new document at about 2500 x 2500 and paste my artwork as pixels. Make sure it takes up most of the document.

After you’ve got it pasted in there, merge it with the background layer. Then go to Filter > Add Noise to about 15%. Then give it a Gaussian Blur of 2%. And finally apply a Smart Sharpen to about 140% with a 34 px radius. Now adjust the levels to eliminate the grey noise in the background.

Repeat this process about 3-4 times tinkering with your settings to get the best effect.

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Aside from the fact that the lines are slightly rougher than before, notice the joints between lines. The areas where lines meet up are now a bit more blended together. It doesn’t look extremely precise and perfect. More natural. Now this isn’t always appropriate for every situation. If you wanted to keep the clean look then don’t do this. But in my case I like the analog look and felt like it worked for this project.

Back to Illustrator

At this point, I will copy and paste this back into Illustrator and give it a live trace to convert it back to vector art. I’m ok with some amount of smoothing or “quality loss” here. My image is 2500×2500 so it is pretty high res. A Live Trace will work fine. But if I wanted to keep a lot of those rough details, there is the “lettering” preset under Live Trace Options which works wonders for keeping your rough details, but is terrible for CPU performance. Your resulting vector art is often loaded with thousands of points and that’s not really good here. So I just keep the default settings.

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Step Eight: Finish!

That’s it. That’s all there is. I hope you learned a bit about creating iconic vector art in Illustrator. It’s really about being able to simplify the elements as much as possible, using basic shapes as starting points, and keeping things simple, balanced, and consistent. Everything in this design has one stroke weight. Even my text. That’s the beauty of this style. This won’t work for a logo, but this illustration can be just as versatile in many situations.

Here’s my final design on black and then the finished business cards.

 

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Mock it up!

Here are the designs mocked up on some of our templates. You can buy this tri-blend template pack from Go Media’s Arsenal. These other mockups are from our site Mockup Everything.

ashish_buscard_mockup-540x304

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6 Essentials to Setting Up Your Illustrator Documents http://www.gomediazine.com/tutorials/6-essentials-to-setting-up-your-illustrator-documents/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=6-essentials-to-setting-up-your-illustrator-documents http://www.gomediazine.com/tutorials/6-essentials-to-setting-up-your-illustrator-documents/#comments Mon, 30 Apr 2012 14:00:22 +0000 William Beachy http://www.gomediazine.com/?p=18460 A quick thanks to Josh Bunts who suggested this post on Go Media’s Facebook page. Technically, he asked for advice on “…document set up and color pallets.” I thought I should expand the post to speak generally about all things Illustrator pre-work. 1. When setting up your document specs, keep the end in mind When… Continue Reading »

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A quick thanks to Josh Bunts who suggested this post on Go Media’s Facebook page. Technically, he asked for advice on “…document set up and color pallets.” I thought I should expand the post to speak generally about all things Illustrator pre-work.

1. When setting up your document specs, keep the end in mind

When creating a new Illustrator document, the very first thing you’ll be confronted by is the New Document (profile) window that asks you a bunch of questions. The important thing here is that you know what you’re designing for. Are you designing a web page or a poster? Is your design going to be viewed mostly online or in printed form? Once you know the primary way that your design will be used, here are my recommendations:

Name

Duh.

New Document Profile

Adobe has been kind enough to create document spec cheat sheets. Instead of making all the following decisions on your own, you can simply select a common-use profile. But none of these seem ideal to me, so I suggest you set this to “custom.”

Number of Art Boards

If you will need multiple art boards of the same size, go ahead and select how many you’ll need. A common example of this would be a multi-page brochure, or multi-page website design. If you’re planning on laying out anything over 12 pages you might seriously consider switching over to InDesign which is better suited for large documents. If you are setting up a document that will require multiple art boards of different sizes, I wouldn’t worry too much about this here either. You’ll need to set up those art boards once you’re in the document.

Spacing

If you have multiple art boards Adobe wants to know how much space to put between them. Personally, I use lots of space around my art boards to put design elements I’m working with. So, I like at least 300pts (if not more.)

Columns

This is NOT column guides on your art boards, this is simply how Adobe arranges the art boards on your work area. This adjusts automatically based on the number of art boards. I typically leave this alone.

Size

Obviously, this is the size of the art board. Here’s what you need to know. If you’re designing for print and require a bleed, you can either add the bleed dimensions directly to the art board or you can add a bleed dimension, and Illustrator will include the art in the bleed area when it exports. However, if you “Save For Web,” then it will not include that bleed artwork. As with the New Document Profile, Adobe has kindly provided you with a list of common art board sizes.

Width and Height

Obviously, if you’re creating a custom art board size, this is where you put it in.

Units

Before I type in my custom art board size, I like to establish what units I’ll be working in. It’s just much easier for me to think of print dimensions in terms of inches and web dimensions in terms of pixels.

Orientation

The orientation is established by the width and height you enter in. But if you decide to flip it, this is an easy way to swap those dimensions.

Bleed

This is where you’ll enter in how much bleed you’ll need. For most printers this will be .125” (inches) on all four sides. Obviously, if you’re designing for the web you won’t need a bleed.

There is a little double-arrow to open the “Advanced” area, which I recommend.

Color Mode

This is probably one of the most important settings you’ll need to establish for your document. For print you’ll want CMYK. For web you’ll want RGB. If you’re doing something like branding where the design (a logo) will be used on both print and web, I would start with RGB. Of course, if you’re building someone a brand you’re going to need to establish RGB, CMYK and Pantone spot-colors for their company, but that’s another lesson.

Raster Effects

This is the resolution at which Illustrator will render its effects – things like drop shadows. Although technically you shouldn’t really need anything over 72dpi for the web, I always set this to 300dpi. I am just never sure when I might want to use part of a design for print or decide to blow-up a part of the design.

Preview Mode

Most of the time you’ll want to be in the default Illustrator view, but if you’re designing for the web and want to have a more realistic view of how your design will look once rasterized, the Pixel Preview Mode can be useful. There is also an overprint preview mode which, quite frankly, I never use and have a very difficult time imagining a scenario where you might need it, so I’ll skip trying to explain that in this article.

Align New Objects to Pixel Grid

If you’re designing for the web checking this off will force your vectors to align to the pixel grid. This helps keep your vectors pixel-perfect when they rasterize. Though you’ll also notice your objects snapping into locations that are not necessarily where you’re putting them.

2. Set up and save your preferred Workspace

When you’re working in Illustrator there are tons of tool panels (known as Windows) all over your screen. You probably know that you can open, close and move your tool Windows around, but did you know you can also save the way you arrange them? This is critical to my work flow. I know which windows I use most frequently, so I’ve systematically arranged them in just the right order. When you have your work space set up just how you like it click Window/Workspace/Save Workspace.

Then name it something like “Beachy_Print_Workspace.” You may find, as I did, that you’ll want to set up slightly different workspaces depending on the type of project you’re working on. Here is my default workspace set-up.

One item to take note of in my set-up here is that I’ve set up my own color swatch palette and called it Beachy. This is very easy to do. To set up your own custom color swatch palette just edit the normal swatches window until you have all the colors you like then open the drop-down menu and click Save Swatch Library as ASE…

The next time you create a new Illustrator document you will need to open your custom swatch palette by clicking Window/Swatch Libraries/User Defined.

You may also notice my Layers Window, which brings me to my next essential point:

3. Set up and use Layers!

Layers are one of the most important tools for managing your illustrator documents. It took me many years to grow an appreciation for Layers. But just like a computer, the wheel and fire – once you learn how to use them, you won’t imagine living without them. Here is a typical layer stack that I will create while working on a project. Sometimes I’ll get even more specific by setting up layers with names like “Header Art,” “Navigation” or “Footer.” Basically, any design element that I might want to design as a distinct unit can be put on its own layer. Then, as I work, I’m constantly locking and unlocking the layers. This allows me to easily manipulate the elements on the layer I’m working on without disturbing the elements on the other layers. You should really get into the habit of building well organized layers that have clear titles. I promise over your lifetime you will save yourself a lot of aggravation by making this a habit now.

4. Create a template.

You’ll notice that the top layer of my document is labeled “Template.” I always start by designing a template and locking the layer. I actually created tons of templates in advance and now I just open the appropriate template before I start each project. My templates for print projects look something like this: Solid black line for the exterior full-bleed area, then .125” inside of that I make a solid red line for the trimmed art area and finally, .25” inside of that I make a dashed black line for the “live area.”

When I’m working on web designs I typically start with a 960 grid template. You can download one here: 960.gs I normally expand the art board from 1020px wide to 1920px. I do this because I design all my web pages for a monitor that supports 1920px width. Sure, most people will never see the entire width of my designs. But if someone happens to have a monster monitor, I want their viewing experience to be as beautiful as possible. Of course, I keep all the live content within the 960 grid.

5. Link your photos

This little piece of advice doesn’t take place during the set-up, but will occur each time you place an image into your Illustrator file. Any time you place an image into Illustrator, you have two options. You can either embed the image or you can link it. Here is the Place window that will pop up when you go to add an image:

If you don’t check off this “Link” box, then Illustrator assumes you want to embed your image. When you embed an image it means that the photo’s data becomes part of the Illustrator file. When you link your images Illustrator does not embed the photo data. Instead, it just refers back to the photo file that is saved on your hard drive. Here are the reasons I believe linking is the right way to go versus embedding. First, it will keep your illustrator file sizes down. Second, when a photo is linked you can edit the photo outside of Illustrator and it will automatically update the image in Illustrator. Lastly, but most importantly, embedded images are known to corrupt Illustrator files. I’ve lost many Illustrator files because it had difficulty managing my embedded images. The only down side to linked images is that if you move your images on your hard drive, you’ll need to re-link them when you open your Illustrator file. But re-linking files, in my opinion, is a small burden when you consider the advantages.

6. When saving, uncheck “Create PDF Compatible File”

One of the great advantages of Illustrator over raster based software like Photoshop is the ability to keep your file sizes very small.  But for some reason Illustrator, by default, creates a PDF compatible file when you save it. This essentially bloats your file size to something similar to a raster file. While you may want to use this option when saving the final file that you give your client or send to a printer, you don’t need it for day-to-day saving. So long as you’re not done and don’t plan on trying to open the file in some alternative software, uncheck the Create PDF Compatible File option when saving.

So, that’s it – short and sweet. I hope these tips will help you when working in Adobe Illustrator. It’s certainly my favorite program and the more you use it, the more you’ll love it. I promise!

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