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Deke's Techniques is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.
Hey, gang. This is Deke McLelland. Welcome to Deke's Techniques. Now, you might notice I've got a little bit of a cold, hope you don't catch it. But I'm just so darn excited. Once again, we are inside of Illustrator, in which I'm going to show you how to create the world's most beloved logo and of course I'm talking about. The one for the Adobe Creative Cloud. Now, I know not everybody's a fan, but three things. First of all this is a good looking logo. And we're going to create it entirely from scratch. Second, it involves some mad Illustrator skills as documented here.
And third. You don't need Illustrator CC to create the Creative Cloud logo, you can make this in Illustrator C6,5,4,3,2,1. Let's get started. >> For starters, those of you have access to the exercise files. I've created this document called CC logo steps. And it's divided into nine art boards, each of which document an important step in the process.
And you can switch from one art board to another just by pressing Shift + page down. And that will allow you to review every single step that we're going to be performing over the course of this movie in order to get this final logo right there. So, the first thing you want to do is press Ctrl+N or Cmd+N on a Mac to bring up the New Document dialog box. Change the profile to Basic RGB just so that we get the right color swatches. We want the units to be set to points, so leave it that way. And go ahead and twirl open this Advanced section down here and change the Raster effects from Screen to high.
So, that we get a decent quality drop shadow in the end, and we want this to be a kind of a dinky document. So, I'm going to change width value to 220 and the height value to a 160, and then I'll click OK. Now, we want to create a big rectangle filled with a gradient. So, go ahead and grab the Rectangle tool. Make sure, by the way, under the View menu that Smart Guides are turned on. If they aren't, go ahead and choose Set command. And then align your cursor with the top left corner of the art board and click.
And we want to enter those same values again, 220 for the width and 160 for the height. And then go ahead and click OK, and we end up with this big rectangle. We don't want a stroke, so change this second swatch to none. Then, in the Color panel, or at the bottom of the toolbox. Make sure that the fill is active. If it's not, click on it. Then, go ahead and bring up the Gradient panel. Which you can get to by choosing the Gradient command from the Window menu, if you like. You need to expand the panel and click inside the bar here in order to apply the default gradient.
Now we need to change the colors, by double-clicking on the first color swatch, it needs to be HSB. Not just K as it is now. So, I'll go ahead and click on this Flyout Menu icon, and choose HSB, and the values we're looking for is zero degrees for the hue, so that's fine. Change the saturation to 97%. If it changes a little on you, that's just because Illustrator is approximating to the nearest RGB value, and then change the brightness value to 50%. And you get one of the ugliest gradients in the world. That's because we also need to change the second color stop.
So, double-click on it, change it to HSB, of course. We want, once again, zero for the H value, will change the saturation value this time to 95%, and then take the brightness value up to a nice, chipper 90%. And we end up with this very bright effect here. Now, you want to change the angle value to 90 degrees, and we have our base gradient. We need to lock it down so we don't end up messing it up. So, go up to the Object menu, choose Lock and choose Selection. Now I'll go ahead and zoom in here so, that I'm filling my screen with the gradient.
And now I"m going to switch from the Rectangle tool to the Ellipse tool. And you want to press the Alt key, or the Option key on a Mac, and click somewhere in the left-hand portion of the illustration. Doesn't really matter where yet. I came up with some values through trial and error and if you're working along with me and you want to get the same results. Then you want to use these exact same values throughout. So, first thing here inside Ellipse dialog box, assuming both the width and height values start out the same as they do by default. Then go ahead and lock them down, by clicking on the Chain icon, and then change either the width or height values to 59 points.
And click OK, and you end up with this nearly invisible circle, don't worry about that. And then Alt+Click or Option+Click over on the ride hand side, and change either the height or width value. Notice that they're linked together so, they change together to 74 points and click OK. And now I'll press the V key to switch back to the Black Arrow tool, and Shift+Click on the other circle so that they're both selected. I'm going to go ahead and collapse that Gradient panel, so I have a little more room to work. And you know what? I want my layer to be bigger. I'll click on the Flyout Menu icon, choose Panel Options, select other and change this guy to some big, let's say, 100 pixels.
So, we have this big preview. And I'll change the name of the layer to cc logo, or something like that. But what I really need to do, that was just housekeeping, is go up to the Window menu and choose the appearance command in order to switch over to the Appearance panel. Let's change the fill to none. And then select a stroke and change its line weight to 27 points, and change the color to white. With that stroke selected drop down to the little page icon, click on it. That'll duplicate the stroke. Change the line weight this time to 12 points, and let's make this guy black.
This time around. And because we're working inside a RGB document, we get a nice, rich black. I want these guys to be 42 and 2 3rds points apart from each other, which sounds ridiculous, but that's what I'm looking for. So, I'll press Ctrl+Y or Cmd+Y on a Mac. Click off the Path Outline to deselect them. Select this guy. Make sure, by the way, always a good idea, to turn off the bounding box. And that'll allow you to drag the circle by its bottom anchor point and ultimately you want to snap it in to alignment with the bottom anchor point of the larger circle.
Then, double-click on a Black Arrow tool to bring up the Move dialog box, change the vertical value to zero, and change the horizontal value to negative 42.667. Something that represents 2 3rds. And then turn on the Preview checkbox, and you'll see it scoot over to the left. Then click OK. Now press Ctrl+Y, or Cmd+Y on a Mac. And let's go ahead and marquee both of these guys. I want to center them. So, the first thing you need to do is choose the Group command from the Object menu. Or, of course, you can press Ctrl+G.
Cmd+G on a Mac. Go up to the Align icon right there. Click on it. Choose Align to art board. Then you'll see these alignment options. Click on Horizontal Align Center and then click on Vertical Align Center. Now the only reason I group these guys together is so that they would move together and no longer want them to be grouped. So, I'll go up to the Object menu and choose Ungroup in order to break them apart. Alright now return to the Object menu, choose Path and choose Add Anchor Points and that'll give you some additional anchor points here.
One new anchor point for each segment. And now we want to bust things up by switching from the Eraser tool over to the Scissors tool. You want to click this Anchor Point right there. Then you want to click at this one. So, we have the kind of c left over. And now you want to press the Ctrl key or the Cmd key on a Mac. It should give you the Black Arrow tool because it's the Last Arrow tool you used. Click with the Ctrl or Cmd key down on this segment and then press the Backspace key or the Delete key on a Mac to get rid of it. And then Ctrl+Click or Cmd+Click on this remaining circle on the background.
And you want to click here, on this guy and then down here at the bottom. And now press the Ctrl key or the Cmd key on a Mac, click there. On this Path Outline and press Backspace key or the Delete key on a Mac to get rid of it. Now for the Line tool, go ahead and select it here. Inside the toolbox, you maybe have to select it from the Line Tool Flyout menu. We're going to to create a handful of lines three in all. So, you want to start by clicking inside the illustration. Change the length value to 19 points and change the angle value to 135 degrees.
Press the Enter key or the Return key on a Mac. Click again, we're just creating some segments that we'll move into place in just a moment. And change the length value to 27 points. We still want the angle to be 135 degrees, so click OK. Click again down here some place, and change the length to 42.667, and change the angle to zero. Click OK. And we'll end up with this horizontal line. Now, return to the Black Arrow tool, which you can get by pressing the V key. Grab this guy, and drag it and snap it into alignment with that point there.
Then get this guy, the short one, and drag it and snap it into alignment with the top of the left hand C, like so. And then go ahead and grab this one by its bottom anchor point, the longer of the two. And drag it until it snaps in to alignment with the bottom of the backward c, and go ahead and release it. Now we want to take all three of these segments so, select em all, and cut them by pressing Ctrl+X or Cmd+X on a Mac. And then select both of these guys by clicking on one and Shift+Clicking on the other.
And press Ctrl+B, or Cmd+B on a Mac, in order to paste those segments in back. Now, Shift+Click on this diagonal segment, the longer of the two, to deselect it, and Shift+Click on the forward C to select it as well. And then you want to press Ctrl+J or Cmd+J on a Mac in order to join those segments together. Now select this guy and Shift+Click on the backwards C and press Ctrl+J or Cmd+J on a Mac to join them together as well. Looks like I forgot a step, it's documented inside that nine art board file but I just forgot to do it.
And the problem is I need to apply some round caps. So, I'll go ahead and Shift+Click on the forward C so they're both selected. Then inside the Appearance panel, click on the word Stroke for the stop stroke and change it to a round cap and you'll get this effect here. And now you need to the same for the white stroke. So, click on the word Stroke for that bottom stroke, and change it to round cap as well. And you'll end up with the effect you see on the screen. Now, we need to convert these strokes to filled path outlines. And that's a two part procedure, you first go up to the Object menu and choose Expand Appearance.
And that breaks everybody into independent strokes. And then you return to the Object menu, choose Path, and choose Outline Stroke. And we end up with this wacky effect here. Now, we have some groups going, you can tell that, on the far left side of the Control panel, we need to get rid of them. So, go up to the Object menu and choose Ungroup, and you should now see the word path. On the far left side of the Control panel, which tells you that everybody's been successfully busted up. Now click off the Path Outlines to deselect them and click and Shift+Click on the two white paths.
And press Ctrl+C or Cmd+C on a Mac in order to copy them. Click off the past out lines and press Ctrl+F or Cmd+F to paste them in the front, just so that we can work on them. Now you want to go Window menu and choose the Pathfinder command, which brings up the Pathfinder panel. And you want to click on this very first guy there, Unite, in order to fuse these path outlines together. Now, we end up with a compound path as you can see on the far left side of the Control panel. We need to bust that up too by going up to the Object menu, choosing Compound Path and choosing Release.
And then, once you've done that, I want you to Shift+Click on the larger path outline to deselect it and now you've got these extras on the inside here. I don't need my smart guides any more so I'm going to go ahead and turn them off because they're sort of making things flush on screen. Anyway, we've got these two guides still selected. Press the Backspace key or the Delete key on a Mac to get rid of them. And then, go ahead and select this guy and right-click inside the Document window, choose range and choose Send to Back. That's actually too far back. I just sent the shape in back of the gradient. So, press Ctrl+ or Cmd+ on a Mac, to move it one step forward. And we end up with this effect here.
We still got some stuff left to do here, so click Off the Path Outlines to deselect. Select this guy right there, and just so we can better keep track of him, change his fill to green. And that way, there's no mistaking it. And then press the C key to switch back to the Scissors tool right there. And I want you to click there and there. And now press and hold the Ctrl key or the Cmd key on a Mac to temporarily get the Black Arrow tool. Click on this portion of the path and then press the Backspace key or the Delete key on a Mac to get rid of it.
Now Ctrl or Cmd key on this wide path to select it. And let's change it's color to cyan. Again, just so we can see what's going on. And with the Scissors tool, you want to click here, and then you want to click down here. And now, you can press the V key, to switch back to the Black Arrow tool permanently. Click on this path right there to deselect it, and press the Backspace key, or the Delete key on a Mac, to get rid of it. Now then you want to select this green path, and this black backward C. And you want to return to the Pathfinder panel and you want to choose Minus back, which is the very last icon.
And you'll end up with this effect here. Awesome. Now go ahead and select the cyan shape and select the forward C, and this time you want minus front. And that's going to leave you with a little extra item right there. First of all, notice that we've got a group. Next go up to the Objects menu and choose Ungroup in order to get rid of it. Then Shift+Click on that forward C what remains of it anyway to deselect it and I occidentally Shift+Clicked to much there. But by the time you're done, you should see just this little half circle, and then press the Backspace key, or the Delete key on a Mac to get rid of it.
We're in the home stretch, we're almost done. In other words, go ahead and select both of the black shapes like so. Click on one, Shift+Click on the other. Go up to the Object menu, choose Compound Path and choose Make because Illustrator needs to regard these two as a single path outline. And then Shift+Click on the white path, bring up the Pathfinder panel once again and click on Minus Front. And that's going to subtract that one black path outline from the white path outline below it. So, that's why we had to turn it into a compound path.
So, we end up when I click on Minus Front, with this effect there. And then finally, let's add a hint of drop shadow, by going to Effect menu, choosing Stylize and choosing Drop Shadow. And the first thing you want to do, is change the color. So, go ahead and click on the Color Swatch. The values that I came up with were a hue of zero degrees, a saturation value of 100% and a brightness of 50%. Then go ahead and click OK. Crank the opacity value up to 100. Take the x offset value down to zero and then if you want to see what you're doing you can turn on the Preview checkbox.
You can see that we've got way too much shadow going on. And the values I came up with for the Y offset and the Blur, are negative 0.3. That will move the shadow upward,as you see here, and then I change the blur value to 0.3 in order to get this final effect. So, we have just a little bit of edge along the top of the logo. Then click OK, then press Ctrl+Shift a or Cmd+Shift a on a Mac in order to deselect your artwork. And you can even zoom in if you want to, and press the F key a couple of times in order to switch to the Full Screen mode.
And there you have it, folks. Whatever you think of the creative cloud, that's how you create its elegant logo, here inside Illustrator. See that was fun, wasn't it? Now, it's not meant in any way to be an endorsement of the Creative Cloud. I, like Switzerland, I'm neutral. If you decide to use it, I'm there for you. If not, I understand. Next week, I'm going to show you in Photoshop how to create this cool multicolor gradient, and then. We're going to turn it into this psychedelic fabric texture that's going to make the editors cry because it's hard to compress.
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