By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Explore this course at lynda.com.
Re-create the logo for Adobe Creative Cloud—even if you don’t have the latest version of Illustrator. In fact, in this week’s Deke’s Techniques, you can use Illustrator CS6, CS5, CS4, CS3, CS2, or even the original CS version. How? Let Deke walk you through the process.
Subscribers to the lynda.com library can go to the course page to retrieve the exercise file for this episode, which contains nine artboards documenting each step in the process, but they’re not required to complete this tutorial.
Select the Rectangle tool. Align your cursor with the top-left corner of the artboard until the Intersect indicator appears. Click and then enter the Width and Height values from step 1 (220 and 160) in the Rectangle dialog that appears. Click OK to create this background shape.
Change the stroke of the rectangle to None and make sure the fill is white.
Go to the Color panel and select the fill. Then open the Gradient panel and click the Gradient Slider to apply the default gradient to the rectangle.
Double-click the first color stop in the Gradient Slider to open an options menu. Click the flyout in the upper-right corner and change the mode to HSB. Change the Saturation value to 97% and Brightness to 50%.
Note: Illustrator may automatically adjust these numbers to match the nearest RGB value.
Back in the Gradient panel, change the Angle of the gradient to 90degrees.
Your background is done! Choose Object > Lock > Selection to make sure you don’t interfere with the gradient during any of the remaining steps.
Now you need to create a few circles to form the basis for the logo. Select the Ellipse tool, press Alt or Option, and click on the left side of the document window to open the Ellipse dialog. Change the Width and Height to 59 and click OK to create your first circle.
Then Alt- or Option-click the right side of the document window, enter a Width and Height of 74 points, and click OK to create a second circle.
Go to the Appearance panel and change the Fill to None and the Stroke to white. Change the Stroke Width to 27 points.
Select the Stroke and click the page icon for Duplicate Selected Item to copy it. Change the width of the new stroke to 12 points and change the color to black.
Marquee-select both circles. Choose Object > Group to group them. Click the Align icon from the Control panel. When the options are revealed, first click Horizontal Align Center and then click Vertical Align Center. This aligns the artwork to the exact center of the canvas. Choose Object > Ungroup to undo any automatic grouping Illustrator may have performed during this step.
Choose Object > Path > Add Anchor Points to double the amount of anchor points along your paths.
Click inside the document window to open the Line Segment Tool Options dialog again. This time, change the Length of the line to 27 points and then click OK.
Click one more time. Change the Length to 42.667 and change the Angle to 0. Click OK to create your third line.
Choose the Selection tool. Drag the perfectly horizontal line, the one you made in the previous step, and snap it into alignment with the bottom half of the left-hand circle. Then move the shortest of the lines to the top of the circle, making sure it snaps into alignment with the anchor point there. Move the remaining line to the bottom of the right-hand circle, again snapping the anchor points.
Select the two lines and half circle comprising the left-hand “C.” Press Cmd+J or Ctrl+J to join the segments. Then select the single line and half circle that comprise the right-hand “C” and join them.
Select both “C” shapes and open the Appearance panel. Click the top Stroke link and change the Cap option to Round Cap. Then click the second Stroke link and change it to Round Cap too.
Illustrator automatically starts grouping objects, which you don’t want. Choose Object > Ungroup to undo that.
Deselect everything, and then select the white outside paths of both “C” shapes. Copy and then deselect them, and press Cmd+F or Ctrl+F to paste them in front.
Choose Object > Compound Path > Release to break up the paths into editable objects again.
Select the outside path again, right-click in the document window, and choose Arrange > Send to Back from the pop-up menu that appears.
This steps actually sends the white shape too far back—behind the gradient—so press Cmd+] or Ctrl+] to bring it one step forward.
Switch to the Scissors tool. Click the top anchor point of the left-hand C (midnight using our clock analogy) and the point immediately underneath it on the inside of the C.
Press and hold Cmd or Ctrl to temporarily switch to the Selection tool and click the larger segment you just isolated in the C, and then press Delete to remove it.
Switch to the Selection tool. Select the larger portion of the C you cut and press Delete to remove it.
Selected the remaining colored portion on the right-hand C and select the black portion of the left-hand C. Go to the Pathfinder panel again and choose Minus Front.
Select both black Cs. Choose Object > Compound Path > Make.
Shift-click the white area to add it to your selection. Go to the Pathfinder panel again and choose Minus Front. This step subtracts the black compound path you made in the previous step from the white shape in back. You should now be able to see through to the red gradient.
And that’s how you recreate a logo using shapes, lines, and the Pathfinder commands in Illustrator. Next week, learn how to create a rainbow gradient and transform it into a fabric-like pattern. Come back soon!
Interested in more?
• Become a lynda.com member
• The entire Deke’s Techniques collection
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Tags: Deke McClelland, Illustrator, Deke's Techniques, Logo, Logo Design
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