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Using transparency

From: Designing a Logo

Video: Using transparency

So here we have some logos that use transparency. Technically speaking, the bp logo could be created without transparency although as we will see it's going to be very easy, perhaps easier than any other technique to achieve this kind of effect using transparency. I'm now going to go over to Illustrator and take a look at applying some of these techniques to my logo. Okay, here I am in Illustrator. Let's take a look at how some of these effects were created, beginning with this one. And what I'm going to do here is I'm going to zoom out, Apple+0. I'll select that and now I'm going to duplicate it down to the bottom of my page, holding down the Alt key and then I'm going to zoom in on that area, Apple+Spacebar or Ctrl+Spacebar, and click and drag over that, and I'll keep that one as visual reference and we'll just create it from scratch. So I'll type in my type and in this case I'm using the Franklin Gothic font, and it's Franklin Gothic Medium.

Using transparency

So here we have some logos that use transparency. Technically speaking, the bp logo could be created without transparency although as we will see it's going to be very easy, perhaps easier than any other technique to achieve this kind of effect using transparency. I'm now going to go over to Illustrator and take a look at applying some of these techniques to my logo. Okay, here I am in Illustrator. Let's take a look at how some of these effects were created, beginning with this one. And what I'm going to do here is I'm going to zoom out, Apple+0. I'll select that and now I'm going to duplicate it down to the bottom of my page, holding down the Alt key and then I'm going to zoom in on that area, Apple+Spacebar or Ctrl+Spacebar, and click and drag over that, and I'll keep that one as visual reference and we'll just create it from scratch. So I'll type in my type and in this case I'm using the Franklin Gothic font, and it's Franklin Gothic Medium.

Let's increase the type size on that, Apple+Shift+> or Ctrl+Shift+> and we'll just leave it like that in black for the time being. I now want to create my leaf, which I'm going to create using the Ellipse tool and I want to draw an ellipse outwards from the center point. So I'm holding down the Alt key and I'm going to make it something like that. Let's fill it with a light green. Now I'm using a light color because now I'm going to overlap these colors, and as they overlap, they are going to create darker colors.

So I want to start off with something light. So I have got somewhere to go, here's my Fill property and my Swatches. Now, what I want to do is I want to pinch the top and the bottom of that leaf. I'll choose my Direct Selection tool, click away from it, click back on it. Now on the top anchor point, hold down the Shift key, click on the bottom anchor point, and then up on my Options bar, I want to Convert Selected Anchor Points To Corner. That's going to pinch the top and the bottom, like so.

Now I'll switch to my Rotation tool, and let's get in big. Now, before I rotate, I want to set the transparency. Now I'll come over and click on my Transparency panel, and what I'm going to do is, I'm going to use Multiply. I'll leave the Opacity set to 100% and I'm going to click on the bottom point of my leaf. I'm kind of locking that in place so the rotation is going to take place from that point. I need to have the whole thing selected, so I'm going to hold down my Apple key or my Ctrl key and click on it so I have got the whole of the shape selected, click on that bottom point again. Now, I can move my leaf. But, I also of course want to make duplicates.

So I'm going to throw in the Alt key, and let's say we've got about there, and now all I need to do is repeat that transformation, Apple or Ctrl+D, and I'll get as many duplicates as I like. You will see that in this particular instance I stop there, but if I keep going, I complete the whole circle. So then, all I need to do is come back here and select my piece of type, and we want this to be in a green color. We want the one word to be in white so that it reverses out these shapes.

So I'm going to insert my cursor between those two words, hold down the Shift key, and click my Left Arrow, and then set the Fill on that to white or paper, and then bring that to the front, Object > Arrange > Bring To Front. Nudge it over a bit and then we have one of our transparency logos. So well now take a look at creating this effect. I'm going to zoom in, Apple+Spacebar, click and drag or Ctrl+Spacebar and here, we have a very similar effect to the one that we just saw with the overlapping petals, here with the overlapping fronds, and we are constraining all of those within a cropping rectangle.

So let's zoom out again, Apple+ 0 or Ctrl+0 and I'll select that and duplicate it by holding down the Alt key. Bringing it down there, and then I'm going to zoom in again on this portion of the page so that we got some room to work with. And this time, I'll be starting with a rectangle as my basic shape, and having done that, I'm going to delete one of the top Anchor Points by switching to my Pen tool, and hovering over it, you will see a minus appear next to the Pen, click on that and that will delete the anchor point. With the top anchor point that remains, I'll press my Right Arrow, move that over to the right, give us our palm frond shape.

Okay. So I want to rotate this around a specific point, and I'm going to use some guides to mark that points. I'm going to drag down a guide from the top. I need to turn my guides on, Apple+Semicolcon or Ctrl+Semicolon and there are some guides already. Let's get rid of the ones that we don't want. So I'll now need to unlock my guides, Apple+Alt+Semicolon or Ctrl+Alt +Semicolon. Let's get rid of those and with this shape selected, I'll now draw another guide right there.

Okay. Keep the shape selected, switch to your Rotation tool by pressing R, hold down the Alt key and then click on the intersection of those two guides, and I'm going to rotate this by -- well funnily enough, it's coming out with eight degrees, that's the angle of rotation I used on previous instance when I was working with this. I think I'll just go with that, and I'm going to click Copy and then to repeat the transformation, Apple or Ctrl+D and I'll stop about there. And I'll lock my guides, Apple+ Alt+Semicolon. Select all of these shapes and group them, Apple or Ctrl+D. Then, I'm going to just move that over a bit there because I now want to reflect a copy of it.

So I'm going to come over to my Rotation tool, where hiding behind the Rotation tool is my Reflect tool. So if I click and hold down on that tool space, bring out my Reflect tool. So I'm going to Alt+Click about there. That's going to bring up my Reflect dialog box, and I want to reflect it across the Vertical axis, and most importantly, I want a copy. So there is my copy, and I'm now going to set the transparency on this copy. So if I open up my Transparency panel. This time I think rather than using Multiply as I did in the previous example, I'll just take the Opacity way down to about 50% or thereabouts and then I can overlap that like so and...

twist it around a bit, scale it a bit, pull it around a bit and just kind of move it into place. Well, maybe I want a different color. Okay. Let's pretend that that's exactly what I want. It's not exactly what I want, but I want to make you sit and watch me fiddle around with it for ages to get exactly what I want, but the concept is there. So now I want to switch to my Rectangle tool because I need to put a bounding rectangle around the two shapes. I'm going to hold down my Shift key, well I draw that to get a perfect square.

If I want this square to be filled as I do in this instance, I'm going need two, because when I make this rectangle into a clipping shape, it's going to lose whatever fill it has. So having drawn one, what I'm going to do is I'm going send that one to the back and that's Apple+Shift+( or Ctrl+Shift+( to send it to the back. I need to make it bit lighter in color then, I'm going to copy it and select this shape and then I'm going to paste a copy in front of this shape, and to do that, I'm going to go to the Edit menu and choose Paste in front or Apple or Ctrl+F.

Now, I need to select along with this both of my palm frond shapes. So select one, hold down the Shift key, select the other and then Object menu, Clipping Mask, Make. And now when I click away from it, we can see that those shapes are clipped or cropped by that clipping shape. Right. Let's now take a look at the third of our transparency examples overlapping letters, and where they overlap creating some interesting shapes with the resulting color. So I'll choose my Type tool, type in my letters, and then I'll scale it up a bit, give it a color. And I'm now going to convert this to outlines, but just before I do, I'll duplicate it, and so when I need it, there is my other piece of type and I'm going to use the complementary color there Magenta, and I may also select both, create outlines, that's Apple+Shift+O or Type > Create Outlines.

Okay. Now, what it has given me for each different piece of type, it's given me a group. And I need to ungroup these elements. So I'm going to -- I'll select the first word with my Selection tool and then ungroup, that's Apple+Shift+G or Ctrl+Shift+G, and I can now come and set the transparency to Multiply, and I can select the letters individually and start overlapping them and you can see that where they overlap. We get some interesting results.

So something like that. Now, I'll come to this one. Again, I need to ungroup it, Apple+Shift or Ctrl+Shift+G. I'm going to set the transparency to Multiply. I'll move this up into position. And just move the letters closer together. And you can fiddle around with that one for a long time until you get it just right, but we see there the effect that we're after. Okay. So there we have infinite number of approaches to working with transparency.

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Designing a Logo

31 video lessons · 58696 viewers

Nigel French
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