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This course reveals how designers can create vibrant web graphics, wireframes, and complete web site mockups with the strong layout and color management tools in Adobe Illustrator. Author and Adobe Certified Expert Justin Seeley covers topics such as building responsive layouts with artboards, producing custom color palettes and swatches for web graphics, and making vector shapes and text that seamlessly scale. The course also explores adding drop shadows and other live effects, setting up interface elements such as forms and tabbed interfaces, optimizing and exporting different types of graphics, and speeding up your workflow with reusable image sprites and Smart Objects.
When I'm designing any new web site, I tend to work in a modular fashion, meaning I work on individual pieces of the web site one at a time and then I aggregate those pieces together in my final mockup to present it to clients, or to send it off to a developer in order to change it into a working prototype. So in this movie, I'm going to be discussing how to bring in those anchor or master objects into your mockup so that you can start to bring this thing to life. As you can see here, I've got my mockup open. I've also got several other elements that I've been working on in my design ready to go.
And so I'm just going to start pulling these over from here into my mockup. And so I'm going to do that one at a time. The first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to work on the background layer, but I need to get this part of the document ready for that. So I'm going to turn off the visibility for every layer except for the background layer. And the background layer, I'm going to make sure it's selected, and then I'm going to go into my background, or bg, .ai file. I'm just going to select this, and this is a just background that I created. And I'll copy it--Command+C or Ctrl+C--and then I'll move over into my master objects document and I'll paste it in, just like so.
And then I can kind of move it into place so that it snaps up against the boundaries of the document. And then I'll use Command+0 or Ctrl+0 to make sure I'm viewing it all. And so since this is the background element, it's not going to move or change at all. So I'm going to go ahead and put a little lock next to that so I that I can lock it down. That way I can't do anything to it. I can't move it or anything like that. I'm also going to turn back on the footer. The footer is exactly as I need it to be. It's got the right color and everything. So the footer is actually pretty much done, so I can leave that alone.
The content area is a little bit of a different story. The content area right now just consists of these abstract rectangles, and I need to actually bring some stuff in in order to use this. So what I'm going to do is jump over into my navigation bar. I use Command+0 or Ctrl+0, so you can see the whole thing, and basically this is just the navigation bar that stretches across the top of the document. I'm going to select it all and copy it, and then I'm going to go back over into this document. And in the content area, I'm going to unlock the menu bar and I'm going to select it and then I'm going to delete it, because I don't need it anymore.
And then I'll choose Edit and I'll choose Paste, or you can give Command+V or Ctrl+V--either one. And then once you get that there just kind of move it in so that it fits in those guides right there, and you can zoom in couple of times with Command+Plus or Ctrl+Plus to make sure it's in the right place. And then once you get that in place, what you want to do is group these objects together by going to Object > Group, or you can do Command+G or Ctrl+G--either one. And so there's my group right there in my Layers panel.
I'll double-click and I'll call this Menu Bar. And then I'm going to lock it down. Again, that's something that's not going to change. Now I've got this item here, the big square. That's going to be logo that goes across the top. And so what I'm going to do is unlock that layer temporarily, and I'm going to select it, and then I'm going to go to the Transform panel. And I'm noticing here that it's 250 pixels wide by 260 pixels tall, so that's how big I need my logo element to be when I bring it in here. And so what I'm going to do is I'm going to over robot logo, and I'll use Command+0 or Ctrl+0 so I can see the whole thing, and then I'll select this whole element here.
I'll group it with Command+G or Ctrl+G. Then I'm going to go to the Transform panel, I'm going to make sure the Constrain Width and Height is selected, and then I'm going to type in "250" for the Width. And it gets to about 260, around about for that, so I'll just hit Enter to commit to that. And then I'm just going to copy it--Command+C or Ctrl+C--bring it back over, and I'm going to paste it in. And then I'll just move that until it's in the center, something like this. I might move it just a little bit more.
I want to make sure that it's lining up with these guides here, so once I get it right there in place, I can then select the path behind it by targeting that, and I can press delete. And so now I have my logo in place, I have a menu bar behind it, and it's looking pretty good. The last thing I have to do is go grab the top header. And so I'm going to go into the header and turn the visibility on for that layer, and then I'm going to grab these items here, and I'll delete those, and I'll also delete this.
The header color is the right color, so I'm going to leave that alone. You can also change that if you needed to, but in this case, I'm using a dark gray for the header and footer. So I'll go over to top header. And I've already got some stuff here, so I'm just going to select this. And this is just a text layer and some shapes to create the search bar and the navigation. So we'll go back over to Master Objects > Edit > Paste, and then we'll just move these up and I'll line them up in between the guides, right where they're supposed to go, kind of center them up and click away.
So I've got a search bar and a navigation bar up in the top. I can lock down the header. Again, that's an area that's not going to change. The only thing they I have left is the main body of content here, and the body of content needs to be a different color. I could just make it white, but the client has come to me and said, "No, we want it this specific color." Luckily I've saved out a .ase file that I can then load into this Illustrator document to get the right color. So in order to do that, I may go over to my Swatches panel and go right here. I'll go to Open Swatch Library, I'll go to Other Library, I'll go to my Desktop, and I'm going to look inside of my Chapter 08 folder, and there's a robot_colors.ase file.
I'll open that up, and there's my robot colors. They wanted it to be this kind of off-white, yellow color right here, so I'm going to select this object first, then click on that, transforms it to the right color for me. I can then load these colors over into my color palette to keep them over there, or I can just lead this panel up. It doesn't matter. For now I'll close it and I'll reset my workspace. And if I use Command+0 or Ctrl+0 to see everything, you can see now that I've taken this wireframe and turned it into a shell that I can then use going forward to design any page that I want to.
So I've laid out all of the master elements inside of my page, or the anchor elements, that are never going to change. That's the header, the search bar, this navigation bar across the top, the logo element, the page background, the footer, and of course the rays of light in the very back. And so now that I've got this all set up, I'm ready to start adding various bits of content to this design to really make it a true web site mockup.
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