Join Von Glitschka for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating offset graphic motif, part of Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory.
- [Instructor] Welcome to Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory. Graphic design can be applied to any context or theme. You can look at a complex form, analyze its shapes, and then deduce the simplified graphic that captures the essence, and communicates in a simple and iconic way. In this movie, we'll do this using basic shapes, and a feature called Offset Path. Let's get started. So here's a very crude thumbnail sketch of an owl.
So this is going to be the theme for this specific project, we're actually creating a logo mark for a client, and we're going to use a methodology called Offset Path to do that. So this is where it started, in analog, as a thumbnail, to capture a general essence of what we want to pull off, but, it doesn't clarify anything, so we want to improve on this with another rough sketch. Now this rough sketch is going to help us build what we need, and notice, it's not perfect, it doesn't need to be, because we're going to be using perfect tools, perfect geometric shapes, that is, to formulize our artwork.
So we're going to go ahead and lock this layer. I put guides on their own layer, so at any time I can turn it off, and not let them get in the way, 'cause once again, they show through every layer automatically. Now once again, this all starts off with basic shapes, so we can zoom in a little bit on this to get a little better shot here. And you can see, this is nothing more than elliptical shape, as shown in the shapes tool over here in the tools pallet, and that's all we're going to do, we're going to take this elliptical shape, and we're going to use it to replicate everything needed to move forward with.
And so on this one, we're going to go ahead and select it, and go to object, path, Offset Path, and this is the method. I really wish I could put a keyboard shortcut on it, 'cause I use this so much, I wish I didn't always have to do this, but, unfortunately not all menu items can have keyboard shortcuts. So we're going to select Offset Path, it'll open up the control for this, and in this case, we're going to put 14 points as the distance we're going to offset from the circle we have selected, and we'll go, okay, now we're just going to repeat that a few more times, and we're going to go Offset Path, and go like that, so we've done two, we're going to do two more.
We're going to Offset Path another time and click okay. And then, actually, I think we need to do a couple more, so we'll go Offset Path, once, and I believe we ought to do one more, so we'll go to path, Offset Path, to do another one. So that's as easy as it gets in terms of shape building. We only had to physically create one, and we used Offset Path to create the rest. What we're going to do now, is we're going to select this second circle, and we're going to bring to front, so object, arrange, bring to front, I have F5 set up to do that.
Select this, and we're going to minus front with the path finder. And essentially, we've just created a very thin donut. Now, under appearance panel, you want to make sure you've retained compound. We'll do the same thing with this shape, make sure it's on fronts, so I'm going to use F5, which brings that to front, select the background shape, minus front with Pathfinder. And then we'll fill it just so you can see it. So once again, we've created another donut shape. And we've retained the compound, which is important as well.
So, that's all we're doin', this is the methodology we're going to use to create all the aspects to this specific design. And we'll turn this one off really quickly. We're going to turn on another layer, and on this layer, we're going to take these two circles, once again, simple shapes, and we're going to intersect 'em to get the beak shape. Then we're going to go ahead and select these two shapes, and we're going to fuse 'em together using unite on Pathfinder. And then, on the beak shape itself, we'll go ahead and minus front, to create the final beak shape that we need right there.
Now we have a copy of this one we're going to leave here, and we'll go ahead and turn this layer back on. I'm going to select this, I'm going to clone a command, so you command F. Once I've cloned it, I'm going to go to reflect, I'm going to find a central anchor point right here, and reflect those over, like that. And then, the next thing I want to do, is, all of these shapes are being created by Offset Paths, and it doesn't matter if it's a perfect circle or not, and actually there's one aspect I forgot to create, so we're going to go to ellipse tool here, and I'm going to go ahead and create kind of the highlight of the eye.
But because we have a standard of 14 points, I want that to be 14, so making sure this link is linked, so it does it proportionally, we'll just hit 14, and now this is set up to be 14. I'll snap it to this top point here, select this, drag it down until it snaps to the bottom, and that will locate the highlight there. I'll clone this, command C, command F. We'll find a central anchor point, flip it over, now we have all the eyes we need.
Now, there is one thing we need to do, and that is, on the wing, just so it doesn't get confusing, I'm going to turn these off really quick. We'll go here, you can see we have this wing shape, it all started with an oval centric, and if I colorize this you can see how these are just a bunch of oblong donuts, per se, and we have a shape already sittin' on top here, which is a rectangle, we'll select this, and we're just going to trim through those. Once again, when you do that, you lose compound, so you want to add the compound nature to the shape back in.
And now, if we go back to our original shapes we created with the eyes, we're going to go ahead and select this circle, I'm going to command C, copy it, then I'm going to past it, command F, in place, on this layer, in order to trim the top of this wing shape, is essentially what we're creating here. And when we did that, once again it goes back to group, turn it back to the compound. And now, if we go back to layers, and we turn on our eyes, and we turn on the beak, we're going to select this beak shape, the original beak shape, and we're going to Offset Path this, and we're going to go Offset, and we're going to go 14.
But this time we're going to go to join, we're going to go to round, because I want it to round off at the tip of the beak here, like that. That's what I wanted, we can go ahead and toss this original shape we created from. I'll select this beak shape, I'm going to clone it, command C, command F, and then just for the moment, I'm going to move this up to the chest layer, right here, that copy we just made. We're going to take this part of the beak, we're going to move it up to the wing, and then we're going to select our wing shape.
Once again, you want to make sure compound is on, and we'll select this beak, with the wing shape, and we're going to trim that part of this. Once again, you're going to lose your compound, so you want to always be adding that back in. So now we have the eyes. Actually, we'll go ahead and colorize the beak, like this, so you can see it. The beak, the eyes, we have these central point on the eyes, and we can go ahead and color those even, so you can see how it's shaping up, and it's coming out. We'll go ahead and turn off these base images, we'll go to the chest.
And the reason why I put this beak one on this layer, is because I have all these concentric circles as you see here. And I want to snap these to the bottom part of this beak shape, like this. And so that's why I brought this in, now I'm going to take this rectangle, these two circles, right here, which was made off of the wing aspect. And then I'm going to fill these with a color, like this, and then fuse 'em, or unite 'em together with Pathfinder, making sure they're there on top of the chest shape here.
And then I'm going to trim that chest shape, and we'll make sure compound is back on. And then I'll turn on the coloring on that. We can get rid of this beak shape. And now, if we go back to our original layers and turn 'em on, you can see we have most of the content already created. So that's good, we can take this wing, we can clone it, command C, command F, use reflect, find a central anchor point, and reflect it over to get the other side there. And we just have a few more things to go here.
And the next one is, this is why I isolate on layers, 'cause it can get whoa, confusing. So I do that so I can turn things off and focus on one area, and on this part, I'm going to select these two shapes here, we'll go and fill it, so you can see what's goin' on. I'll unite 'em, and this is just allowing us to take the part that's going to make the, they're not ears, I'm not sure what they call it, crown, of the owl, and I'll go ahead and minus front from those to lop those off.
And then, I'll use this top part of the circle here, I'm going to take this, I don't want to just use it, because then it will disappear, and I need it for the top part of his head, right here, too. So I'm going to take this circle, clone it, command C, command F, and then trim this part of the crown I guess is what you call that. And we'll go ahead and fill it blue. And I'm going to take these two circles here, and I'm going to unite 'em together, just so you can see what I'm doin'. It's on top, and then we'll minus front, I can use direct select, actually I could have used this square, so if I back up, I forgot to fuse this square with these two circles.
And then, if I take that, and minus front from there, it gives us what we want. And then I can fill it with the blue, select this crown, clone it, command C, command F, and reflect it to the other side, like this. And then if we go back to our layers, and turn on our layers, you can see we have all the artwork needed. I can actually get rid of these circles that we used on multiple layers to create our base artwork. So this is how we create the base artwork, the base vector shapes, that is, like this, in order to formulate our final design.
I can turn off our sketch in the guides layer at this point, and this is where it comes down to turning it into black and white art, selecting a tonal family. These are actually the brand colors we're going to use here. And I'm going to go ahead and colorize this design. So I'm going to select these colors, and I'm going to colorize 'em like this. And I'll select these, colorize that, and colorize this, like this.
And you can see how quickly you can get a very cool, compelling design, using Offset. Now, specifically, with this artwork, I tend to try a bunch of different color pallets, but on this one, due to the final context of what the product and company is, I wanted to keep these colors kind of conceptually in line with that, which is going to make sense as I show ya. But, if we look at our design closely, we're going to zoom in really far on this, just on these two shapes here.
Now, what looks better in your mind, this, or this? This, or this? Do you see the subtle rounds I've added in? This is where I'll go in on artwork like this, and I'll use true radius for this kind of rounding, and we'll move this out of the way so you can see it. And then I'll just add these subtle rounds in here, just to really button up a design. Now, back in the day, when logos were done, prior to digital, they would create the art really big.
Ink it, actually, on hot press illustration board, and shoot it on a stat camera to create slicks. And that optic system would round off these sharp corners. So now, what we do, because we aesthetically like it, was actually caused to limit some production value in days past. So, it's funny how that changes. But, I really like all of the subtle rounds, if I zoom in on this right here, you can see how I've added rounds. If I actually select this, you can see how I've added round there, I've added rounds here, there.
I've rounded all of the sharp corners, so none of 'em are sharp. They have very subtle rounds, and it just improves the overall aesthetic, in my opinion. That's why I do it specifically on logo projects. And now, we'll go ahead and take a look at the final context. And because it was financial, I kept with green for money, and growth, that type of thing. And I'm going to select this artwork, I'm going to clone it, command C, command F. And then, I'm just going to move this down over the top here, and you can see, it doesn't work that great on a color background as is.
This is where I take a primary brand color, in this case, it's this green color, and this is where I'll go ahead and change it to a white, so that it works on the brand color as the background color, kind of like this. And that's why I do that. I think it's going to work well that way, it looks good, and then line it, middle and center. And that's what I will usually do to provide the final art to the client. I'll give 'em versions like this that they can use.
Now this style is perfect for other usages, as well. One of those usages is embroidery. It really works well for embroidery, because it's such a graphic, simple style. Design is style driven, so once you have 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 can often be done using simple shapes and build methods, like Offset Path. Thank you for watching DVG Lab.
I hope you enjoy these movies as much as I do creating them for you. So, until next time, never stop drawing.
Skill Level Intermediate
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