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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.
So we have seen squares and rectangles, we have seen circles and ellipses, let's now look at triangles and stars. To draw a triangle we use the Polygon tool, which is on the same tool space as the Rectangle and Ellipse. Click and hold down to access that. If necessary, you can tear off the whole panel. Then you've got access, easy access, to all of those tools. So with my Polygon, as I click and drag if I want to add to the number of sides, I just press my up arrow or my down arrow to remove the number of sides. Now, actually I want a triangle, if I want to constrain it, I hold down the Shift key. So there is my triangle and the triangles of course will look like arrows, so they suggest direction.
I can flip this around like so, I'm holding down the Shift key to constrain the rotation to 90 degrees. I can put it right there and maybe I would want to just size it so that it's the same size as the type itself and there we have a logo, I could position it anywhere relative to the type to suggest all kind of different things with the triangle or maybe let's now put it flat again, there we go. And what if I were to maybe duplicate that like so and then flip the duplicate a 180 degrees so that it looks like that and then I could put that one right next to that one and maybe have this one have a stroke rather than a fill and you can create all kinds of interesting shapes, just play around with this stuff, there is so much you can do.
We are just messing around with multiples of these simple shapes. Of course, you could put a triangle within a triangle, let's make that one bigger and then I'll double click on my Scale tool. Let's have one scaled to 50% of that and we want - have it be a Copy, and then we will fill it with white and I'm going to switch to my Selection tool now. I'm going to flip this around and position it down there like that, put a white triangle inside of a filled triangle and from one triangle you get four triangles.
Let's now look at some stars. I'm going to hide my guides for a moment, Apple+; or Ctrl+; will start the Star tool. When working with the Star tool, if you want to constrain it, hold down the Shift key, if you want to add to the number of points on the star, press your Up arrow, your Down arrow will remove the points. So I'm going to - we would just go with a five-pointed star. If you want to change the star inset, hold on your Apple or Ctrl key and you can drag in or out with that to change the inset value.
But I want just a regular five-pointed star and again that's going to be green color. I'm just going to pull that down there like so, and stars are used all the time in logos. We saw the famous Converse logo uses a star. We have been talking about the issue of separating these two words and I'm differentiating them by color, but what if I wanted them both to be of the same color, then I could put a space between them. I might need to make that space a little bit bigger, so I'm holding down the Alt key and the right arrow just to turn that space a bit bigger and then get my star and then put that in the middle right there and hold down Alt and Shift to just scale that down a bit, like so, separate our two words with a star in between them.
Let's just back up a little bit, I'm going to press my Undo key a few times to get back to right there, again working with the star. This time what I'm going to do is, I'm going to increase the size of it, and I think I'll make the points rounded rather than sharp. So I'll choose my Direct Selection tool, click off the star to de-select it and then come and select each of these anchor points one by one, using the Direct Selection tool. In fact, I'm holding down the Shift key and just kind of dragging over them.
Get to the -- one go there and then using my tools options up here, I can click on this button Convert selected anchor points to smooth, I have got a rounded star. Well I'm not crazy about that but maybe I want a star that does not have quite such an inset as that, so I'm going to draw myself another star and make it a little bit more like so, size it up and I'll do the same thing again with my star points, selecting with the Direct Selection tool, convert them and that's kind of more along the lines of what I was after. And then, I don't know, maybe I want to put that in inside a circle or something.
Now the star, for some reason, doesn't have a center point, but we can add one. If I come to my Window menu and choose Attributes, and I can then click on this little icon here, Show Center, that's going to show me where the center point is and then I can use that information to center a circle on that, send the circle to the back, come back and select the star and we will make the star white. Actually even though it is centered, it looks a little bit off-centered.
So I'm just going to optically center it by nudging up a bit, and there is my symbol that can now go with my logo, or maybe I want another circle inside of that really not knowing when to stop sometimes, there is another circle inside there, and I'll fill that with the green. Now I think maybe I should quit while I'm ahead on that one, because that's not getting any better. But of course we can inverse these values, I could maybe select this star and rather than it has a white fill, it could have a white stroke, and I can make that stroke a bit heavier and there is another slightly different version.
These explorations with stars and triangles they are nothing more than just a starting point, play with them, make multiples, experiment with the different fills, with the different weights, position the resulting elements differently with your type. All kinds of interesting things will come up. You'll find yourself going off on all kinds of different tangents. Some of them will lead you nowhere, some of them may lead you to exactly the logo that you are after. But there is no way of knowing until you try these things.
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