Join Von Glitschka for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a blob brush logo, part of Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory.
(mechanical sounds) - [Instructor] Welcome to Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory. In this movie, we're going to use the blob brush tool to create a brand logo mark, so let's jump right into this. Now, when you're digitally drawing in Illustrator, you need the ideal tool to do that, and frankly, the best tool is going to be found outside Illustrator, meaning you're going to have to use a tablet and a pen.
For this movie, I'm specifically using a Wacom Pro Cintiq. Now, that said, you can still do all the blob brush drawing I'm showing you with a simple mouse, you just won't have pressure sensitivity capabilities. Now, on the Wacom, it is gesture touch support, but because the touch support inside Illustrator, whether you're using a Surface Pro or a Wacom or some other tablet and it supports touch gestures, it's a little wonky, so I have the capability turned off and I'm not using it.
I'm using it like a traditional Wacom tablet to do my digital drawing. So, I just wanted to point that out. But, once again, you can use a mouse, you just won't be able to do the pressure sensitivity aspects of drawing with the blob brush. So, let's go ahead and jump in to the refined sketch that is the inspiration for this movie. Now, awhile back, I worked on a project for a retail client and I had to develop some exploratory directions for a brand logo, and this was one of those directions.
It ultimately was never used, but I really love the style that I was able to capture in this, and this is what I want to replicate in this movie and show you how I went about doing that. And so, it all started with this sketch, shown here, and I'm just going to select it, we'll go ahead and adjust the value to 20%, and I'm going to lock that layer, and on the layer above it, on this blob brush layer, we're going to go ahead and start digitally drawing. Now, I'm going to zoom in, just so you guys can see this a little better, do that, and the first one is the easiest of all things to draw, and we're going to be drawing, I should point out, using the blob brush tool, so we're going to go over here and select blob brush, we're going to use this nib here, if I double click into it, these are the settings, notice I have pressure sensitivity set up, since I'm using a pressure-sensitive Wacom stylus, and all these settings work really great, if you want to copy these settings, fine.
There's going to be another movie course coming out soon called Illustrator For Non-Illustrators, and I go over all the stuff in more in-depth detail, so make sure to check that out, too. We'll click OK. Now, with this selected, with the blob brush selected, we're going to use this magenta color. Now, I usually draw like this with this magenta color, just because I never use this color on anything else, so it's never going to get mixed up with another color in my color palette for whatever I'm working on, and on this one, we're just going to start drawing this perimeter of the shape.
Now, keep in mind, it's hand done, hand quality, I'm not worrying about being precise in terms of the circle shape, I want it to be imprecise, I want it to have those nice imperfections to it, and this is all I'm doing. And you can see, it's fused it together, so it's one cohesive shape, and I should point out, if you go into the blob brush tool here, if I checked merge only with selection and clicked OK, so, let's say I drew half of the circle, actually, this is hard to see, let's move this over.
If I drew half of the circle like this, and then I came back and drew the other half of the circle. Okay, that's, like, a really lame circle. Let's do that again. Yes, I can draw a circle. Okay, let's draw. There, that's less lame. Now, if I select this side, you can see, it's separated from that side. That's what that setting will do in the tool. If you prefer this way, then by all means, use it. I do prefer this for doing certain type of inking, but not this one, so I'm going to delete these, go back into the tool, turn that off, and so now, if I do this and then I do this, once again, beautiful circle there, Von.
It fuses together. So I just wanted to point that out really quickly and show you how bad I can draw circles. We'll zoom in on this artwork. I'm going to take this shape now and I'm going to just drag it to this layer above, 'cause we're going to come back to that, and the next thing I want to do is I want to draw out one of these shapes, just to show you the aesthetic of drawing in Illustrator, inking in Illustrator. We'll grab this nib, make sure we're on the blob brush, the color's okay, and I'm just going to go ahead and ink out this artwork of this vine.
Like this. This is also a great time that, if you're working, to listen to your favorite tunes or podcast or audiobook. By the way, if you're looking for a new podcast, check out Futility Closet, it's awesome. And I just happened to design the logo for it.
It really is fun to listen to, they talk about forgotten history, so it's really interesting. Okay, so that's how quick it'll go to do this type of inking. We're going to zoom out a little so we can see the stem here. I'm going to go ahead and ink that out. Once again, I don't have to be perfect, because the aesthetic of this look and feel is imperfect, so that's how I would ink out everything for this.
Now, I'm not going to spend 20 minutes doing that, so we'll just turn on this layer, and you can see where I've done just that, so let's go ahead and zoom in on this, and we're going to do a little bit of cleanup here. So, with the shapes being all fused together, like this, we want to use the direct select tool and select inside and grab these inside shapes and just delete 'em, 'cause we only want the outer edge and the inside isn't going to be hollow, showing through, it's just going to be the filled color.
So we can just select these and just use the delete key. And you'll have to hit it a couple times, so if I select the inside, I go hit delete once, and then twice to get rid of it. Like this, just these little shapes. Okay, now that we have all of those, let's go ahead and drag select these. Deselect this background shape, and just so you can see what I'm doing, let's go ahead and color this green, and we're going to go to pathfinder, we're going to hit unite.
If we look at appearance, it's a group, so we want to change it to a compound. If we go to object and pull down, notice I have it set for the F7 key, that's what I use, but we can make a compound, and now I can do the same approach on this background shape we drew. I'll delete that. We're going to select the artwork and bring it to front. I have that set up, by the way, as F5, so I can bring that to front, like this, or you can go to object, arrange, bring to front, notice how I have F5 set up.
So, with tese two shapes now, I can select both, go down the pathfinder and remove from shape to get the final artwork I need. Now, you can see the sketch going through, so it's like a very artistic pancake with... Okay, that's a dumb analogy. Not a pancake, but you get the idea. Let's turn off the refined sketch, and I don't want to keep it pink, so we're going to color it this nice kind of earthy green, and we'll go ahead and zoom out a little bit here.
And this is where the fun begins. This is when we can start using some artistic brushes on it, and I'm going to turn on this brush works layer here. And all I mean by that is we're going to switch tools now. We're going to go to the paintbrush tool. We're going to select this art brush here, and for the color, we want our color to be black here. I'm going to slide this over, just to show you what these art brushes are. So if I go like this, you can see, it'll give me this nice textured brush.
So we'll delete those, and we'll slide this back over, and I'm going to go ahead and paint some textures on this, but I don't want it black, I want it white. And then I'm going to go ahead and paint these textures here. So I'll do one here like this. And to control the size of an art brush, you control the stroke size, so on this, I went a little bigger. So that works good, we'll do another, but I don't want the value at a hundred, I want this at 30, because I want it to be subtle.
And that looks good. Now, it's going to remember these settings, both the stroke size, it'll remember this, it'll remember the 30% and it'll remember the color. So now that we have those set, I can quickly go up here and paint one here and paint one right here, and on this one, I want this one a little bigger, so we'll go up to two, and that one looks good, so we'll go ahead and leave it. So that's how easy it is to add this kind of aesthetic to, in this case, a brand mark.
We'll go to the layers, and this is some surface texture I want to add. Now, not everything needs to be a brush, this isn't. This is an asset my friend and designer Paul Holwell created years ago, and I saw it and wanted his designs, so I said, hey, is there any way I can use that texture? And he said sure, he sent to me, and me and him have been using this texture forever. And so, I'm just going to select this vector shape, it's black, I'm going to change it to white, change this one to white as well, and then for both of them, I'm going to set the value to 50%, and I think that really adds a final kind of buttoned-up look we're going for.
Now, this looks great on a white background, but if I go to keyline view, it's pretty messy, meaning these are still paths with the brush applied, this is going outside of the edge of our box. So, aesthetically speaking, it's what we want, but production value wise and usability wise, it's not going to work, so we need to clean up our artwork, so we're going to go ahead and do that. First thing we're going to do is we will select these paths here, and on these paths, we'll go to object, expand appearance, so we turn it into vector art, we're going to unite it with the pathfinder.
If you go to appearance, you'll see it's only a group, so we're going to have to change it into a compound path. I'm going to hit F7, changes it to compound path. It also, just for the sake of clarity, let's go ahead and color this yellow for right now, so you can see it. We'll select the background shape of the art, we'll clone it, command C, command F, bring this to front, select the paintbrush we turned into a shape, and we'll intersect these two. And so, anywhere they overlap will become the new shape.
Notice it reverted back to a group again, so we're going to hit F7 to change it back to compound, and in this case, I want to change it back to white and I want the value to be back where it was at 30%. And now we have it nicely trimmed. We'll select this art and this art, unite this. It'll say group, change it to compound. For sake of clarity, we'll colorize it pink, so you can see it.
Select our art again, clone it, command C, command F. Select this art, intersect it, and notice it's a group, so we'll hit compound again. And we'll color it white, like this, and we'll change the value to what we had at 50. So now we have really nice, clean artwork. If we go to keyline view, everything's trimmed, it's going to work, there's no going to be any problems when it goes to press or goes to print, and its usability.
Now, on this design, I locked it up with the brand name and type. This was the exploratory that I created for this project. Now, like I said earlier, ultimately, this wasn't used, but I really love the aesthetic of this mark. And if you go into Bed, Bath and Beyond, you can see this brand by this name on the shelves, and the logo type that's used on the packaging, I did do that. I happen to kind of like this a little more, but that's the way the world of design works.
So, design is style-driven, so once you've determined an appropriate style for your project, think through how best to craft your artwork. At times, the process doesn't need to be difficult, and it can produce some really nice results. Even though this design wasn't ultimately used, I still really like it. Thank you for watching DVG Lab. I hope you enjoy these movies as much as I do creating them for you. Until next time, never stop drawing.
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.