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Designing a Logo
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Designing with circles and ellipses


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Designing a Logo

with Nigel French

Video: Designing with circles and ellipses

Okay, now we are going to work with circles and ellipses. So here we are in Illustrator, just go to our basic type and I going to use my Ellipse tool, draw myself a circle and I want to make sure you that has a Fill. Let's position that up there. Then I am going to duplicate it holding down the Alt key dragging away from it. Reduce the size of the duplicate, position that like so. There we have a logo. Now I'm going to move that one over there, making it a little bit bigger, choose this one and give it fill of white over there and making it little bit smaller and there we got a logo.

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Designing a Logo
2h 57m Intermediate Sep 17, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

A great logo is often basic, composed only of essential parts, but simple is not always easy. Designer Nigel French distills over a decade of professional design and teaching experience in Designing a Logo. He discusses the principles and techniques of what makes a logo work, and explains type-only designs, type treatments, and logo symbols in depth. He also explores how to work with clients on defining job parameters and selecting a final design, as well as how to prepare the logo for print and web publication. Nigel demonstrates each of these techniques in the course of designing a new logo for a real client, so viewers can either follow along or apply the techniques to their own work. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Choosing the right typeface
  • Exploring transparency, warped type, and other treatments
  • Working with line, shape, and imagery in a logo symbol
  • Considering current trends in logo design
  • Fine-tuning a design after client selection
  • Drawing up usage guidelines
Subjects:
Design Logo Design Print Design Projects Design Skills
Software:
Illustrator InDesign
Author:
Nigel French

Designing with circles and ellipses

Okay, now we are going to work with circles and ellipses. So here we are in Illustrator, just go to our basic type and I going to use my Ellipse tool, draw myself a circle and I want to make sure you that has a Fill. Let's position that up there. Then I am going to duplicate it holding down the Alt key dragging away from it. Reduce the size of the duplicate, position that like so. There we have a logo. Now I'm going to move that one over there, making it a little bit bigger, choose this one and give it fill of white over there and making it little bit smaller and there we got a logo.

Now let's try something a little bit different. Let's put a -- I am going to set my type to all be black. Actually I'll leave it to be white. All right, so it'll be white. And then I will choose my Ellipse tool and approximately the center point of that still selected type and now I can say it but its still selected holding down the Alt and the Shift key and I will draw myself an ellipse that will go behind it. Fill it and then send it to the back Apple+Shift or Ctrl+Shift+Left bracket and then we have to just nudge it up into the position. Like so. Maybe I will just want to tweak the size of it a little bit as well.

Okay now what if I wanted to put a stroke around that perhaps, the stroke be inside the shape. I need to make it a little bit bigger in order to do give us a little bit of growing room. So, I am going to do this using this Appearance panels, I will come and click on Appearance, click on the Stroke and I want to make my stroke white and then I want to let's say I want to increase the Weight of that stroke. No, I think I will leave it at 1 point. But I want to bring it inside the shape. So this is going to be applied as a live effect and I am going to come up to my Distort & Transform and Transform this and I will transforming just the stroke, I am going to turn on my preview and let's see what happens when I will make that Less than 100 percent.

I want to do the Horizontal scales slightly different to the vertical scale, I have to come up with the Horizontal 97 and the Vertical 93. That looks just about right and I think I wanted a whole shape a little bit bigger and there we have another logo. Now just press my Apple+Z a few times or Apple+Z as you say here. Getting back to that point, I think what I will do this time is I will draw myself a circle like so. I want to make it green and just want to mark this center point of that.

So I am going to select it. Those handles indicate the center point. I will draw myself a guide right there. I'll need to turn my guides on, Apple or Ctrl+Semicolon, and I am going to position that circles about that now I want to rotate multiples of arc, create some kind of semicircle made up of circles going over the letters in an arc. I could use my Blend tool for this, instead of using this Blend tool I am just going to use my Rotation tool and repeat the transformation, but I want to rotate along this axis. And so that the arc doesn't become too tall, I am going to move down to about here, on that guide. I'll just click to set that as the point of rotation and then we will see that's the point around which I will make those duplicates. So I will just drag a copy away holding down the Alt key to about there and then having done one I can just press Apple or Ctrl+D to get my copies, like so.

And let's have a gradient be applied to this so they start out with almost no fill here and get to a solid fill over by the end. So all select them all and then I will group them and then come to my Gradient tool, show on my options, apply the gradient to that and now if I open my Swatches panel which I'll see my Gradient and my Swatches at the same time so tear off my Swatches. And then I going to drag that green down on top of the ending color stroke like so, then to make the gradient happen across the range of objects rather than gradient starting and ending in each one. I am just going to use my Gradient Direction tool over there and then drag that across like so.

And there's another logo. Many, many possibilities we have for applying a different kind of calligraphic stroke to the outlines of our objects. We saw this from working with lines, works with circle too and this is going to look very reminiscent of famous logo. So I'll see on a postcard please, so as to which one that is. I will draw my circle right there and I will give it a stroke rather than a fill. I am just going to move my type over a bit, so I can get a little bit space inside the page. Put my circle right there. Increase the weight of the stroke to, let's say 7 pts.

Then I am going to my Brushes panel. Let's see, what do we have? If I don't see what I want there I can come to this dropdown menu and come to my Artistic brushes, I want Artistic_Chalk Charcoal Pencil and let's see what options we have here. I like the look of that one. I am making sure I am on the stroke and apply that to it and there we have another logo, as seen without all those panels in the way. Many, many possibilities we have for working with multiples of any of these shapes.

The possibilities are really endless. I am going to just press my Undo key Apple+Z to get to that point where I got a mono white stroke and let's set that back to 1 pt. What if I just wanted to click on my Scale tool say and I will have something scaled to 95 percent and will make that a copy and then I can just press Apple+D to get a copy of the copy, each one at 95 percent of the original. And there we got an interesting shape there, would be a bit of a nightmare to print, I think but interesting nonetheless.

So there we see many, many different approaches that we can type working with circles and ellipses. We can change this, the fill, the stroke, the style of the stroke and we can work with multiples, we can apply gradients, the list goes on and on. So, experiment on your logo, the letters, and the types of images that you are trying to convey with your logo, I cannot suggest all kinds of other possibilities. The ones that I've shown you are just nothing more than a starting point.

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