Learn how to create a hand-lettered design inspired by a historical quote.
(loudly swooshes) (loudly clicking) - [Instructor] Welcome to Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory. In this movie we're gonna create a bevel styled monogram design using the name of an existing company it's intended for, so let's get started. Now this company makes gaming accessories, they're called Serpent Realm, so we're gonna focus on their name, Serpent Realm, and we're gonna take the S from Serpent and the R from Realm and we're gonna make a really clever monogram interchanging, or interlocking, that is, the S and the R.
It all starts with drawing, all starts in analog. We work out our idea to create a clever design where the S interplays with the R to create this nice monogram, we're gonna create a nice beveling on it. But the thing is, you don't have to draw it perfectly because we're gonna be building perfectly using precise geometric shapes inside of Illustrator and using mathematical methods which will be precise in terms of composing our elements. So the drawing doesn't need to be perfect.
Anybody can do this type of drawing and anybody can do this type of building. But because this runs at an angle, it's gonna be easier to build if we do it at a 90-degree angle. So I'm gonna rotate it at this point at 90 degrees so creating the S and the R is gonna be far easier to compose using basic shapes. The first shape I use is a circle and this circle shape, if I go to Transform, is a 50-point, I like working in points rather than inches 'cause I don't like fractional numbers and I try to work on a whole as a I build because it just makes doing the math a lot easier.
And so I determine 50, because this is 50, I used a rectangle at the same size of 50-point height, found the center point, snapped a guide, and then that helped me figure out where to place the tip of the nose of the snake so it interplays with the midpoint of what's gonna be the volume of the body of the snake. So I usually start with a circle like this, I go to Dynamic Corners, which is a plugin by Astute Graphics. If you use the Corner widget, you can use that too, I prefer using Dynamic Corners because it just allows for quicker process on certain types of shapes.
On stuff like this I can grab a circle and just pull these out just to create the shape I need rather than fusing a rectangle and a circle together. I'll select and highlight certain anchor points, I'll pull things out, and this is how I'll create the inner part of the shape. I'll select these two and I can do it at the same time, go to Object, Path, Offset Path, and this is gonna be 50 so I'll punch in 50. You can see Preview, this is how it's gonna create the bodies of the snake, and I click OK, and that's how quick something like this can go.
I'll pull these in 'cause eventually this shape will punch through that shape. So I'll make little edits like this but you can see how quickly this can go to compose those type of shapes. So it doesn't need to be hard, it can be very simple to pull off elements like this. So if we go to the next level, and I've colorized these differently so they kinda pop out from one another. One thing I'll do is I'll zoom in on the snake head here and I made a copy of the edge of this matching the angle of the edge here for this shape and I'll just use that to trim off this to create the eye using Pathfinder, and then I'll go back to the rounding tool and this is where I'll just put some nice rounds on the top of the head here.
I don't want it so pointed and angular so I might pull this out, you know, right about there, that looks good. A very subtle one on the front, barely even there, and then on the bottom here I'll go ahead and pull this out, probably right around there, it looks good. And so, this definitely looks more like a serpent head, looks cooler I think, and then I'll go ahead and take this shape, I'm gonna clone it 'cause I'm gonna need this for something else so I don't want to get rid of it.
I'll make a copy, Command C, Command F, I'll select the body and then I'm just gonna Minus Front to basically create a U shape that's sitting on its side which is the body of the snake. Then I'll take this one for the magenta and I'll copy it, Command C, Command F, then I'll select the body, then I'll go ahead and Minus Front on this, creating the same type of U sitting on its side to create the body of that snake as well. Now that I have those, I can select the snake head, the snake body here, and I can go ahead and unite those together.
Usually as I build, I'll go into isolation mode and I'll select anchor points I don't need that it's added and I'll just delete those as I go to keep the art clean and moving forward. Now that I have the body of the snake build, I need to create the shape that's gonna work as the beveling. So I go back to this inset shape and I go to Object Path, Offset path, I do half the size, so halfway would be 25 and I go OK, and you can see how it brings that shape, pull that out so it covers the full body.
I'll select the body and make a copy of it, Command C, Command F, select the bevel shape, intersect it, meaning wherever they overlap creates a new shape. And just so you can see I'll colorize it and that's the shape we've created. Now I can take this inset path now and get rid of it, I'm done with it. I have both the shapes needed to create the effect here. We'll go ahead and take that fill off. And then I'll take this one on the bottom one, on the bottom part of the R, and I'll offset this path, Offset Path, same set to 25, and then we'll select the body, I'll clone it, Command C, Command F, select the bevel shape we created.
Make sure that one's on top because instead of intersecting it now, what I wanna do now is I wanna kind of, it's sitting on top, let's go ahead and color it. It's sitting on top so I'm gonna select the body shape and I'm going to Minus Front to end up creating our bevel shape that's gonna look like this. Then I can take that inset and toss it. So that's all I'm doing there to clean these up and I'll do that for all the elements I need to compose this design. As I create, everything, I still need to create the tail part here, as I create, everything's on a 90-degree angle here so if I turn on this layer, you can see I've figured out the tail here and I tend to save shapes.
So as I create stuff I'll make a copy, move over, usually put it on another layer, and kind of save them. I have a junk file layer I call X and I keep a lot of stuff in there. So if I ever need to go back I can rebuild stuff if I need to and it makes the process quicker. But once I have all of my elements composed, I need to start trimming things out. So right now, you know, I have this shape for the shading on the bottom part and the body, but you can see it's overlapping this green snake.
So what I'm gonna do is make a copy of the green snake here, Command C, Command F, and just so you can see what I'm doing, I'm gonna color it this yellow color, I'll go ahead and zoom in. Underneath we have this shape that goes all the way over here so I'm gonna create what's called a throw-away shape and I'm gonna intersect it with this snake shape so this is what we've created here and it's just to edit the artwork underneath. So I'm gonna clone this again, Command C, Command F, select the bevel shape and trim that in, select this shape again, select the body shape, and trim that in so you can see how it now is called what is called a butt fit, it's butt-fitting right up next to the other art overlapping the edges, that's kinda the look and feel that's gonna make this style work, so that's why I'm doing it, and I'll have to do it on the other artwork as well.
So on this part, the bottom part of the snake comes into the inner part of the bottom of the top of the R so it we'll have to do that one as well. So we'll go ahead and create a throw-away shape like this and I'll go ahead and color that orange and then I'll take this body shape here and I'll clone it, Command C, Command F, select this shape, intersect it, this gives us our editing shape. I can select this and clone it, Command C, Command F again, select the bevel shape, trim it, select this shape again, select the body shape, and trim that.
So what we end up with, let me pull it out so it's easier to see. That's what we've ended up with, we've trimmed this, we've trimmed this one. We wanna trim anywhere one shape is giving the illusion of going under the other snake, the other part of the body. The last one I'll do here to explain it is we'll select this, make a clone, fill it, and we're just gonna use this shape, and it doesn't need to be this pretty. We can create this shape and create a bigger shape 'cause this is all we need.
Then with this we can clone it, Command C, Command F, select the bevel shape on the tail part here, trim that, select this shape, select the body part of the tail and trim that, and this is how you get that look and feel of things overlapping, going underneath. It all comes down to trimming it but you can see none of this is Bézier curves, none of this is using the Pen Tool. It's all using geometric methods and mathematical precision which is great, it makes the process easier.
Now we need to go back to our former orientation so we can build the left side of the R and the snake using right angles instead of angled, it's gonna be easier. So we need to reorient our artwork. And so, here's our sketch and here's our artwork that's based off of that sketch and to reorient it, we're gonna use a tool that's part of the Subscribe plugin which is a free plugin by Astute Graphics and if you wanna go to their site, if you use the code, vonsub, that's V-O-N-S-U-B, and you add that to your cart, you'll get it for free and I'm gonna show you how this feature works because, I don't use it everyday but when I need to us it like this, it just is gold, it works great.
So how do I get this back to its original orientation? Well, you would have to eyeball it in Illustrator, there is no precise way. I'm gonna show you a precise way and it's by using this tool. And so what I did before I originally rotated it 90 degrees, I created a rectangle with it so it rotated at the same angle. So all I'm gonna do is select our art, select the sketch, select this rec. Well first, I'm gonna select the sketch and rectangle, focus by holding down the Option key, clicking on, in this case the image of our sketch, and then I'm gonna align this so it's perfectly in the center with the sketch, we'll select everything, artwork included, along with our sketch.
We're gonna go to the Orient tool, which is right here, click on it, and your first click is gonna be where it first places the orientation. So we'll click here on the middle left side of this rectangle, and then the very center of everything here and then once we do that, notice this arrow comes up. We'll just move our mouse while holding the Shift key and it snaps it into the perfect orientation and it puts it back at 90 degrees, it's that simple, we can get rid of the rectangle, we can go ahead and lock that sketch layer and that's as easy as it is to do that, that's why I love the tool.
There is no easy way to do that without having a plugin to do it, so that's why I use it all the time. And now we can continue building, here's our artwork here for the part that drops down. If I select this and group it on this element, I can grab this shape, grab this tail, and then focus, once again holding the Option down, onto this shape, make this shape the focus, and then align the edge and then it'll put it right into the right location it needs to be on my artwork.
So all this will come down to me doing now is I can double click into the isolation mode on this, move this all the way down, only has to be right about there. Then I can ungroup this, I don't need it grouped anymore, select this shape, clone it, Command C, Command F, just so you can see what I'm doing I'm gonna fill this. We'll bring it to in front of the other shape, I'm gonna clone it again, Command C, Command F, we'll select the bevel shape, I'll trim it, and that's all I'm doing now, is trimming this artwork to be where it should be.
And because we have this going over the top of the tail, we'll also use this, so we'll go ahead and select this downward stroke of the R, clone this, go ahead and fill it. We're gonna make another copy of this, then we can select the tail and cut through that, select this shape, go the bevel shape on the same tail, and using Pathfinder, cut through that. So this is how we're starting to compose and build our artwork.
We can take the head now and we can hold, this is where you'll wanna have Command U, Smart Guides turned on, hold over this anchor point, drag it over until it snaps right to the corner here. And that's a little hard to see so let's go ahead and zoom in on this so you can see this better. So you can see anchor, hold, bring it over until it snaps right to where this corner is, and that's gonna be the correct position of where that is, like this.
That's gonna work great, and then we'll go ahead and build this one out. And I would just have to clean this up now. Now this is where it gets a little tricky because this is gonna have to fuse into that. It's not hard, it's just gonna take some time. I'll go ahead and do the body part so you at least see how I do it. I'll select the body of this part of the R, the head part of the R, I'll go ahead and unite those together but notice it kinda messes this up but it's okay.
We just select the anchor points we don't need, like this, and then you just remove them and then it gives you that R shape you need, and we just have to do the same thing for the bevel shape and then this bevel shape, actually, we're gonna want the bevel shape on this one to be opposite, now that I look at it, I kinda built this wrong, but that's okay. It's easy enough to fix. We'll zoom in on this and I'm gonna go ahead and create this shape like this.
Doesn't have to be perfect. Just we wanna get this angle right. Once you have it, I'll go ahead and scale this up 'cause we need this a lot bigger, like this. We'll scale this right about there. Then I'll take this, I'll snap it to that one, we can get rid of this one, we don't need it. And actually, what we can do is we can drag this down til it snaps to that, and drag this one down til it snaps right there.
Select this, clone it, Command C, Command F, select this artwork, intersect it, select this now with the other bevel shape, unite those, oop! Let's not do it that way, let's do this, let's drag this over, and we'll drag this over all the way. Select these two shapes, and that creates the beveling on the R for the snake.
But notice this goes over the top here and then it should go under this. So this is where we're gonna need to create this shape, copy it, paste, if I fill it, we'll have to bring this to the top here so it's above, and then using this shape, we're gonna trim, trim the R, we don't need this part. Let's go ahead and lop that off, like this, and then we just take this shape, select the base of the R, trim it through, select this shape, select the shading or the beveling shape, and...
Oh, you know what, did I do that right? There we go, okay my bad, wrong one. I almost edited the wrong one, then we'll do this one. So there, there we go. (laughing) Had to work through that for a second. I'm usually not explaining things as I go when I'm working, I'm usually listening to audiobooks or music, so. But that's how you build out the base artwork. It's not hard, it just takes time thinking through it and if you save your shapes as you go, if you make a mistake, no big deal, go back and edit it.
But that's how I'd reorient the art, build out those details, and then if we go back we can turn that one off. So this is all of our base art right here and now if we're gonna colorize it, the coloring's about as simple as it gets because we're gonna keep the coloring very simplified. The snake is all gonna be the same coloring as shown here. So it has its own base coloring.
So if we select the bevel color, that'll just be a nice darker hue, as shown here, and we'll go ahead and make the eye, we don't want that to be dark, we want that to kinda stand out so we'll make that light. This will be a lighter hue for the base color of the R. We'll have this darker orange for the shadowing, like this. And once again, on the eye, we'll go ahead and make that white.
Now this is looking really cool but to get that ultimate effect, I wanna add gaps to this and I think gaps is what's really gonna pull this off and I wanna, you kind of have to build it to this far and then you're gonna do one step backward, meaning one step backward, meaning you have to add gaps. So if I turn this on, you can see these are all this magenta color, and it's just sitting on top here.
But what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna color this white, like this, and then I'm gonna go to Stroke and I'm gonna bump this up quite a bit to eight and I'm gonna turn on Round, and you can see how much cooler it looks, this is what we want. So what we have to do at this point now is if I lock this layer, select all the gaps, all these paths, I'd had to go to Object, Path, Outline Stroke, unite them altogether so if I color this like green, you can see what it looks like, it's just shapes now.
And then I would have to go ahead and utilize this and make a clone of this shape, select this, the body shape of the purple on the top snake for the S, and then trim it by using Minus Front on Pathfinder. So what you end up with is, you end up with, if I paste behind, let's go ahead and do the shadowing, we'll only do one section here.
And I'll trim the shadowing with the same shape. You can see it's created a gap and then as soon as I edit these, that gap will remain eight points. So when it's all said and done, that takes a little while to do that but when it's all set and done you end up artwork like this which looks really great. Now, I think we can improve this, improve this a lot more by adding some better gradient controls. This doesn't look bad but I think if we take this and if we go to our, no, if we go to...
Let's see, I don't think I have it turned on, Graphic Styles, I turn that on, and we apply a graphic style to this shading so it still reflects the same look and feel. But what it does not, instead of being a solid, it gives more of a dimensional effect. It gives the illusion that light's hitting it and it's showing that it has form and shape and it's blending from this dark purple to the base color of purple, and that's all we're doing here. So if we go back and we just look at what the base initial shape looked like, all we're gonna do is we're gonna go to the Gradient and we'd want to go to Linear gradient and then you would control how far, what angle, it's easy to just align it with the angle of your artwork.
Then you control how far that cuts in and where it starts. Maybe you have the dart go all the way this far and you go like that. But that's how you would do it. In this case, if you want to check it out quickly, you can just select the graphic styles we created here. Once you have one style made, you can select it for another one and then you would just have to go in on this case and I would adjust this so it would go in the opposite direction. And it'd kinda angle down, maybe you pull it out a little more to be like this to get that kind of styling that you want.
On this one, we'd probably do it so it'd be more like this. And then on the orange, we'd select it and it would be the same thing where the styling would apply to these different shapes and once again you would have to go in and you'd want to apply it so it makes more sense graphically as it applies to the various elements in your design and I think it looks better if it kinda fades out in a nice way to the base color because it really gives that added illusion that there's depth and dimension to the surface of these letter forms.
They're not just flat colors, this one in case, is bezel. You can even add some subtle highlights here, some examples of just adding subtle highlights. All these are are just white blended to zero opacity. They're okay, I don't really care to use those that much but one thing I do use is subtle shading could work really well. So if you look like where this overlaps areas it would cast a shading. So if I turn those on you can see what that looks like and all the subtle shading is, if I select on this one you can see it's just going from a very muted color into the base color zero or into white zero alpha, that is.
And so, that's all we're gonna do here is we'll go Linear, and then we'll go into the Gradient controls, rotate it into the right position, adjustment it, kinda like this, and then what you want to do is you go to Transparency and Multiply, get rid of the outline and you can see you can get a really nice effect. I think this is a little too overt, that one. If we go in here I add it at 70. This was at 100 so if I think you adjust it, this is where your personal preference comes in.
So that'd be how I'd handle it on that lighter color and then also on a purple color, if you go here and you have it set up as a graphic style, once again, wanna make sure you're on the Fill, it'll work the exact same way. So on this one we wanna rotate it and then position it where it makes sense like this, maybe this pulls out a little more. Switch it to Multiply, and you can see that it's gonna work pretty well, maybe a little darker, like that.
So none of those are mandatory. Here's another one over here, we placed here, just to give a little more illusion. We defined this edge a little more using one up here. It's up to you if you like using those. Combined with the highlights they could look really nice to bring kinda that illusion of dimension. I kinda prefer just having just the simplified inner ones and just a few of these outer ones, not so much the highlights. So it's just personal preference. I think this works great the way it is and I think in the final design it's gonna work well for this company.
So building bevels works best on obviously sans-serif typefaces. Creating this effect on a serif typeface would obviously be a lot more time intensive to handle more complex terminations on letter forms. And of course, not all monograms have to turn letter forms into reptiles, that's obvious. But it's a fun style and graphic motif to work on. I encourage you to give it a shot. For more info on monograms, watch my Monogram Overlap movie found in my Logo Design: Illustrating Logo Marks course, I think you'll like that one as well.
Thank you for watching DVG Lab, and until next time, never stop drawing.
Note: Because this is an ongoing series, viewers will not receive a certificate of completion.
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
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