By Colleen Wheeler | Tuesday, February 14, 2012
In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques video, Deke uses the Reshape tool—an older, more obscure Illustrator feature—in an unexpected way to create a fresh, swirly typographic curve for your last-minute Valentine (or whatever other occasion you may have to make sweet swirls). You start with the Pen tool to rough in your letter S. If you’re not a wiz with the Pen tool, don’t be scared—just make a crazy polygonal not-quite-letter-Z to create the anchor points. Then using the Reshape tool, drag out each segment until you get the curves you seek. (Members of lynda.com can download the accompanying exercise file and use Deke’s S as a tracing template.)
There’s no need to figure out your control handle curves with the Pen tool or try to join spirals created by the aptly named Spiral tool, either. The Reshape tool will supply the curves and the Object > Path > Simplify command will reduce the number of anchor points to smooth out the lumps (since your valentine won’t appreciate lumps). Add a white stroke to your path, and if you’re using Illustrator CS5, use the Width tool to add some weight to your sweetness. The result will be this Valentine-worthy letter S:
For members of the lynda.com Online Training Library®, Deke takes this technique to the next step to show you how to create a hand-drawn letter effect that will help you add the “weet” to your swirling “Sweet” by manipulating existing type definitions.
Interested in more?
• the entire collection ofDeke’s Techniqueson lynda.com• All Illustrator courses on lynda.com
• All courses by Deke McClelland on lynda.com
Suggested courses to watch next:• Up and Running with Illustrator• Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced• Illustrator CS5 Essential Training
Begin learning software, business, and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
Share this article:
Tags: Illustrator, Deke's Techniques
You can change your email preferences at any time. We will never sell your email. More info
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:
Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.
We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go Review and accept our updated terms of service.