Designing Gradient Dot Patterns with Illustrator
Illustration by John Hersey

Setting up your base document


From:

Designing Gradient Dot Patterns with Illustrator

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Setting up your base document

Now I'm going to assume, no matter what, that you want to work along with me. So we're going to start things off with a little bit of a set up exercise. I'll show you how to create your new document and I'll show you how to adjust a couple of settings inside of Illustrator. So that we're all on the same page. If you're a premium member then you have access to my exercise files, in which case you'll want to go ahead and load this guy right here, Big orange letters.ai. But if not, you can still totally follow along with me and here's how, go up to the File menu and choose the New command.
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Watch the Online Video Course Designing Gradient Dot Patterns with Illustrator
1h 19m Intermediate Feb 11, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Join Deke McClelland, as he shows you how to make a custom gradient dot pattern with Adobe Illustrator. He begins by showing you how to load, apply, and scale the preset patterns that ship with Illustrator, and then demonstrates how to make your own gradient patterns with round and square dots. Last, he shows how to infuse your designs with energy using dynamic rotations that make your own specialized pattern wave.

Topics include:
  • Using Illustrator's preset gradient dot patterns
  • Creating a pattern of custom halftone dots
  • Filling editable text with a dot pattern
  • Turning circular dots into squares
  • Using dynamic rotations to create specialized patterns
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Deke McClelland

Setting up your base document

Now I'm going to assume, no matter what, that you want to work along with me. So we're going to start things off with a little bit of a set up exercise. I'll show you how to create your new document and I'll show you how to adjust a couple of settings inside of Illustrator. So that we're all on the same page. If you're a premium member then you have access to my exercise files, in which case you'll want to go ahead and load this guy right here, Big orange letters.ai. But if not, you can still totally follow along with me and here's how, go up to the File menu and choose the New command.

And then, inside the New Document dialog box, go ahead and name your document anything you want. You can always change it later when you save the document to disk. Then go to the profile and change it to basic RGB, because we'll be creating an RGB file, it's just the most flexible way to work. Make sure your units are set to points. Even if you're normally more comfortable with inches or say millimetres for those of you outside the states, points is the way we'll be working throughout this project.

The size of your document wants to be 766 points by 506 points. So 766 points wide. By 506 points tall and I know that sounds awfully molecular, but that's going to work very well for our purposes throughout this course. Then go ahead and click OK and you'll end up with this blank document. And now what you want to do, is grab your Type tool and create some very large text. And you just want to create point text by the way, so just go ahead and click some place inside of your document.

And then start typing away. Now I created some very narrow text. As you can see here, very short text as well, just three letters. And let me show you how it's formatted. I'll go ahead and grab my black Arrow tool, the Selection tool at the top of the toolbox and I'll click on the text in order to select it here. And I'll go up to the Control panel you can see I've selected mariot pro which would be available to you I'm working with the bold condensed style so right there that guy bold condensed and then finally the point size is a whopping 600 points.

And I've gone ahead and visual centered the text on-screen. And it is also aligned to the center as well. Now the other things I recommend you do. Are to go up to the View menu and adjust a couple of settings here. You want to turn off smart guys because initially they're going to get in our way. And you're going to want to remember this keyboard shortcut because it's very useful to be able to turn smart guides on and off as you work. Anyway, I'm just going to go ahead and turn off my smart guides. The other thing you want to turn off is the bounding box, because it will also get in our way throughout this project.

And you do that by going up to the View menu and choosing Hide Bounding Box. If this command already reads show bounding box, then you're okay, it's already hidden. If it reads hide bounding box however, choose the command to turn it off. And then finally, I'm working in a custom work space, it really doesn't matter if you're working in a custom work space or not, I'll still tell you how to find the panels. Really the only big difference here is if you're working with the essentials work space which is how Illustrator starts out by default, then you want to go ahead and click on this double arrow icon to expand your panel so you can at least see the contents of the most essential panels.

But I'm working with this one called one on one. If you want to set up your workspace in the same way, and by the way, I'm going to switch to the single column toolbox here, then you can check out my illustrator CC One-on-One: Fundamentals. And then, just do a search on the website. Just do a search for workspace, and you'll find the exact movie you're looking for. And that's how you set up the document you'll be working in throughout this course.

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