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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.
Here are some famous logos that use lines. Maybe the lines underscore the name, or maybe the lines are the logo itself. Maybe the lines suggest some kind of connection, maybe they go through the type, maybe they join things together. Many, many different ways of using lines. Let's now see how we can apply lines to our logo in progress working in Illustrator. So here in Illustrator, I'm beginning with nothing but type. I'm going to work with some lines. I have got my rulers turned on. I'm going to draw myself some guides and then I'll switch to my Line tool and draw myself a row underneath my type.
Set the weight of the row using my Stroke panel. I'm going to make it about 6 pt, let's move it down a little bit. It doesn't get more simple than that, but that's completely valid approach. Let's maybe make it dashed line. We can adjust the width of the dashes or if we want it to be a doted line only to make a rounded cap and have the dash be 0 and set the gap to in this case I think something like about 6 pt. Little bit more than 6 pt, let's have it be 9 pt, there you go, a dotted line.
If I just undo that and we'll go back to a solid line, let's say that we had a version of the logo that also incorporated the tagline of the logo. We can have the row separate the tagline from the logo itself. I think what I want to do with that type is I want to put it in all caps and then space it out a lot with the tracking. Let's just really pump that up, really pump it up and increase the point size a bit. Maybe not trying to quite so loosely, and then I can just pull my type out to that guide using the line as a separator, as a version of the logo.
Now for something a little bit different, how about we will keep the tagline there, but this time I'll get rid of the horizontal row, move the tagline a little bit closer and we will have a vertical row. Now, I'm going to draw myself a guy that mounts the top of the caps and another guy that mounts the baseline, and then I'll use my Line tool just to draw myself guide right there and I'll set the Weight of that to something like 10 pt, and I think I'll make it in a green color, may be a little bit heavier.
There we go, now the line doesn't necessarily need to be a straight line. Let's see what we can do with some wavy lines. I'll turn off my guides for a moment. Let's use the Pen tool. Now, I'm just going to create myself some kind of little swooshy line underneath my type like so. If I'm going to do this, I probably don't want a line of uniform weight.
So I'll go to my Brushes panel, and I can apply maybe this artistic brush here. If you don't see this on your Brushes panel, you can access this from the Artistic_Paintbrush and in fact what I have opened up those brushes and I can apply any one of these to my line. There is another logo or maybe I do want a straight line, but instead of going above the type, below the type or by the side of the type, how about right straight through the type like so, and then make it weight, increase the weight of it a bit.
So it's about the same way as the horizontal corresponds on the e's. So that actually slices through the type. Rather than having a single go through the type, how about having multiple lines go through the type. And you have seen this effect numerous times before, commonly used in logos. So I'm going to move that rule up a bit, I'm going to extend its width just to make it easier for me to select without selecting the type. I'll change the Weight back to a very light, Weight 1 pt and then I'm going to duplicate that holding down the Alt key and the Shift key to put a copy of that beneath the type, and then I'm going to swipe off above.
I'm going to choose my tool Blend tool, and I want to click on the start point right there, you will see I have got little cross next to my Blend tool and click on the equivalent point down there. I get multiples of those lines as specified numbers of steps between the two points. Now, that's not what I want or is not quite what I want. So I'm going to double-click on the Blend tool and for Spacing change that to Specified Steps. I want far fewer than that, let's try 24 and turn on my Preview. So I have now got 24 lines going over my type between the starting point and the ending point. Not really appropriate for the kind of business that I'm working with so I'm getting get a rid of that.
Getting back to our idea of a swooshy line, we could have it go through the type. So I'm going to start with my Pen tool up here, click and drag, click and drag again down here and then come and click and drag down at the bottom. I need to apply a color to that, I'll apply the green to it, and I want to change the Weight, increase the weight quite a bit. Then go to my Brushes and we will give it one of those artistic brushes.
Now, obviously I don't want it going over the top of the type. So what I'm going to do is choose my Eraser tool. Now, my type is locked from the previous example I did. That's important that my type be locked. Now that it's locked, I can't affect the type, so I can just rub out the line where I don't want to see it like so. Then when I let go of my Eraser tool, my type comes back and there is my swooshy line going above and below the type.
So there are just several ideas to play with when working with lines as part of your logo. So we began with just a simple line, we made it dashed, we made it doted. Now, I can think of one more thing, which kind of suggested by doing this, and that's how these things work out, you do one thing and it kind of leads to another, and you end up going down half that you haven't initially foreseen. Some of them will be dead ends, but some of them may turn out to be really fruitful. So what I'm going to do here is, I'm going to draw myself a wavy line that goes through the type. Something like that, then I'm going to select my type and I now need to convert my type into outlines.
So Type, Create Outlines and then I'm going to select the whole thing there and I'll use my Live Paint tool; my Live Paint Bucket, and see what it says Click to my live paint group, I'll do that right there. And what's happened here is, where that line intersects with the letters, it's making individually editable shapes. All about retaining the existing appearance of the same time. I need to now choose from my swatches, let's choose the green. I'm going to make the bottom halves of the letters here green.
Then I'll switch to my black. I'm going to make the bottom half of the letters here black like so. I don't want to see that line any longer. So I'm going to select the line itself and I'll make it color none. So we have got that lovely line going through it now, and the great thing about this is that it's live. So if I want to just come and tweak it, I can click on that line and choose those anchor points and move them around to a modify that effect.
So there are some ideas to experiment when working with lines.
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