Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Using Illustrator to create a simple illustration

From: Designing a Book Cover

Video: Using Illustrator to create a simple illustration

In this next mock-up of the book cover, of George Orwell's NineteenEighty-Four, we're going to create a simple flat color illustration using Adobe Illustrator. Here we see the finished version in Adobe InDesign, the Illustrator file placed in the context of the book cover layout. We are going to switch over to Illustrator, and this is the starting state where we have the different elements of the artwork broken out on to separate layers, sky, sun, pig and rooster. And the first task is to create the sun flares.

Using Illustrator to create a simple illustration

In this next mock-up of the book cover, of George Orwell's NineteenEighty-Four, we're going to create a simple flat color illustration using Adobe Illustrator. Here we see the finished version in Adobe InDesign, the Illustrator file placed in the context of the book cover layout. We are going to switch over to Illustrator, and this is the starting state where we have the different elements of the artwork broken out on to separate layers, sky, sun, pig and rooster. And the first task is to create the sun flares.

So I am going to show just the sun layer, hide all of the others. Option+Click or Alt+Click on the eyeball. Then select the sun and mark its center point with some guides. Now I am going to draw the sun flares, and because I need to extend beyond the top of the book, I am going to press Command+Minus or Ctrl+Minus to zoom out, so that I can clearly see the pasteboard around the artboard.

Then use my Rectangle tool, hold down the Alt key, and draw myself a rectangle outwards from the center point at about that size. I can then move that up a little bit. And it currently has a radial gradient applied to it, which I need to remove and replace with a linear gradient. So I am going to come to the Window menu and to my Gradient panel and change the Gradient Type to Linear. And then to change the gradient direction, I'll use my Gradient tool and drag from the top-down to the bottom.

Now to change the shape of this item, I am going to zoom into the top, choose my Direct Selection tool, click outside of it to deselect, swipe back over the top so that I have just that top left anchor point selected, and move that to the left. I am going to move it to left by pressing my Shift key and my left arrow seven times. I am going to do the equivalent with the right anchor point.

And I think that maybe not quite enough of a flare, so I am going to come down to the bottom anchor point and move that in a little bit and then the same on the other side. That looks more like it. I am now going to rotate copies of this flare around the circle. So choosing my Rotate tool, holding down the Alt or Option key, and clicking on the center point, I am going to rotate through 12 degrees, making a copy as we do so.

And then to repeat that transformation, press Command+D. And keep pressing Command+D, until we get all the way around back to the beginning. Now I'll select the circle itself and I am going to bring that in front, Command+Shift+Right Bracket or Ctrl+Shift+Right Bracket. And now with everything on this layer selected, I would like to add some effects to it. I am going to come to the Effect menu and choose Film Grain. And apply a Grain of just 1, Highlight Area 1 and Intensity 1, just to give it a little bit of texture so that the artwork is not quite so flat.

And then I am also going to add a bit of blurring to it. From the Effect menu > Blur > Gaussian blur, very small amount. That's probably enough. 1 to 2 pixels is going to be adequate. And I am also lastly going to change the transparency. Reduce the opacity to probably about 80%. Now when we see this on top of the sky, we'll be able to appreciate the difference. Now there is our sun. We don't need some of these rays down at bottom, so I am just going to swipe over those and delete them.

I think we can now lock that layer so that we can't interfere with it. The next thing that we want to do is create the hills, and we'll do that in the next movie.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Designing a Book Cover
Designing a Book Cover

36 video lessons · 20270 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 42s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 44s
  2. 29m 57s
    1. The project brief
      2m 30s
    2. Doing research
      4m 16s
    3. Setting up a document in InDesign CS5
      5m 4s
    4. Setting up a document in InDesign CS4
      6m 4s
    5. Putting your InDesign CS5 document on a grid
      3m 2s
    6. Putting your InDesign CS4 document on a grid
      4m 31s
    7. Setting up the document in Illustrator and placing it on a grid
      4m 30s
  3. 40m 39s
    1. Creating hand-drawn type with the Blob Brush tool
      4m 13s
    2. Using Live Paint to color type
      3m 40s
    3. Choosing typefaces
      3m 42s
    4. Creating a simple illustration using the Pen and Gradient tools
      8m 43s
    5. Applying type effects
      5m 42s
    6. Manual tracing
      4m 42s
    7. Using the gradient and transparency effects
      9m 57s
  4. 17m 27s
    1. Distressed type
      5m 42s
    2. More distressed type
      3m 35s
    3. Using mirrored type
      3m 34s
    4. Using giant wraparound text
      3m 56s
    5. Starting text on the cover
      40s
  5. 13m 7s
    1. Illustrating concepts with abstract shapes and transparency
      6m 27s
    2. Representing the book content with icons
      6m 40s
  6. 24m 8s
    1. Using historic photography
      6m 21s
    2. Using Illustrator to create a simple illustration
      4m 19s
    3. Using gradient mesh in Illustrator to create a simple illustration
      4m 55s
    4. Using Live Trace on a photograph
      3m 52s
    5. Using black-and-white images creatively
      4m 41s
  7. 25m 30s
    1. Developing a book set
      2m 50s
    2. Designing the back cover
      8m 42s
    3. Designing the flaps
      2m 41s
    4. Designing the spine
      11m 17s
  8. 12m 56s
    1. Using spot varnish
      4m 30s
    2. Preflighting your document
      4m 51s
    3. Preparing the PDF
      3m 35s
  9. 13s
    1. Goodbye
      13s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Designing a Book Cover.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.