Join Von Glitschka for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a sports mascot, part 2, part of Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory.
- [Narrator] Welcome to Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory. In the previous DVG lab, we covered the initial stages of creating a sports mascot design of this lumberjack for Timberline High School, my alma mater. In this movie, we're going to continue the creative process and flesh out all the various brand assets including typography so let's get started. So this is where we left off with this character. The next stage, I want to add a nice gray outline to this character because I'm going to encapsulate the whole motif that we come up with with that.
It's an aesthetic used in sports graphics. And it's going to work well for this as well. So this is the gray outline I established on that. If I double click into isolation mode, I have the character is grouped, so I can push him to the back. And you can see I just have the outer profile of this shape and it just has a fat stroke applied to it. So if I go to stroke here, you can see it's a 12 point and it's rounded. So that's how I've created this and then I'll just push this behind the character again.
And that's how it works with the context of the art. So I just wanted to point that out really quickly. It's really easy to do once you have your perimeter of your artwork established. But now, we're going to jump in to typography. And how I usually explore typography here. Now these fonts aren't in the file. I've converted these to paths, obviously, because I can't just be distributing fonts that I don't own. I paid for these fonts in bottom, but I can't give them away.
But I can convert them to paths to show you how I explored this specific project. I knew I was going to have type in a banner. So I tried Gotham and this Grotesque Black font, one of my favorites. And then for the name Blazer, I wanted it to be very bold and a little bit rustic. Meaning I didn't want to use a Sans font. I wanted to use a Serif font, but I wanted it to be block type of sorts. So I picked three different fonts to explore.
This was Berthold City Bold, Museo Slab, I might be mispronouncing some of these names. Quatro Slab, one of my favorite fonts of all time, really cool font if you haven't checked that out. And another one, which I've been using lately on a few other projects, and it's probably why I didn't pick it for this one, is Zona Black Slab. So slab fonts are great for this kind of aesthetic. There's actually a foundry out there, and I can't remember the name off top my head. But it creates fonts for, specifically, sports design.
So you might want to look for that and see if you can find it. If I can find it, I'll put it in the exercise files. But this shows you down below, the motif I came up with that I want to create the logo type for this brand mascot character moving forward for Timberline High School. So we're going to jump to this layer, and you can see how I fleshed out some dimensional type and the brand colors we've established below here. Well, how did I go about doing it? It's easy to just show you this and being it's done.
But I want to walk you through because it really isn't hard to this. It's relatively a simple thing to do. So what we're going to do here is I'm going to select these two shapes and I'm going to go ahead and offset... Actually let's clone it command c, command f. And then we'll go ahead and unite these. Go to appearance and you can see they're grouped. So we want to make sure to go Object down to Com Path, and Make.
I have that set up as an F7 key. And once we've done that, then I'm going to go to Object, I'm going to go to Path, I'm going to go to Offset Path. And on this, I want it to be 12 points offset it. So we'll do that, mitering can stay default. Everything there can stay and we're going to go OK. So this is what we're going to end up with is what you see here. And actually, the initial shape that we base that off of, we can get rid of that now. Now there's a little bit of clean up I'm going to do before I go to the next stage.
And that involves this area where the top overlaps with the back. I don't really like that. So I'm going to select these two and these two and I'm just going to remove 'em so I'm going to have it just converge where these tangents come from the separate shapes. So that's just a minor little thing you have to watch out for. And in this respect, I also don't need any of these centralized areas that are poking through.
So you can use the direct selection tool and select those and delete those as well. Now that we have this shape that's working as the fat outline around our inner text, we're going to clone this shape, command C, command F. I have this set up as a F3 key, which if you watch a previous DVG lab, I go over all my F keys and how I use them. So make sure to check that out. And if you want to set up your own, it's going to make the process go a lot faster. So I want to drag this down.
Oops, I have to make a copy of it first. So command C, command F. And now based off of where I drag this will determine how deep this is going to look. So that's all I'm paying attention to is I'm creating what you could call a faux perspective. I'm not really doing true perspective, I'm just adding dimension and giving the illusion of perspective if you will. So I'm just copying this shape and moving it down like this.
And then I'll go to the pen tool. Let's go up here and I'm going to zoom in just so you can see what I'm doing here. We'll zoom in, maybe even more, like right there. I'll grab the pen tool. And this is where you want to have smart guides turned on. Command U to toggle them on and off. And this is where I'll take these points and I have to connect these because that's what it would do if it was a solid shape. This one, it would be engulfed in what we're going to embed together, so we don't need to worry about it.
We'll go over here and we're going to do the same thing here. Like that. These are very easy to do, no big deal. And on this one, this would actually look... Let's see, am I getting the right one? Make sure, you have to make sure you're getting the right one. Okay, this one right there, like that. And then on the banner like that. So not too difficult.
Once you do this a few hundred times like I have, I don't even think about it. So when I have to explain it, sometimes I stumble, like, uh what am I doing? Then I'll select all those elements I just built and I'll select the two outer shapes that I created from my base type and I'm just going to go unite. So now we have our base shape that gives a little bit of dimension. I'm going to cut this, select this, and paste behind to make sure it's in the right position.
And then I can sample these colors since I already have them so we'll do that. And I'll sample this, is going to be gold. And this is going to be white. I can select this green shape we created. I can clone this command C, command F or F3 if you have keyboard shortcuts set up. And I believe in my graphic styles, I have my outline set up as a style, so I can just click that and I can copy this and paste behind this shape and that's how quickly you can add dimensions.
Now it goes even quicker when you're not trying to explain it as you're doing it. But it's really not hard, it's not complicated. You just have to pay attention to these tangents to get that illusion going. But it works really easy and it does add a lot of interest. Now, if I go to this next one, you can see how I've created an inset kind of shadowing. And all I did on that is just selected the type. If you select your type, and then you can go to Object, Path, and then you just go Offset path and you do a negative number.
And that's how you can create this inside detail. Now to get the distorted one, what I would do is I would first take my base art. Let's go ahead and show this. I would take my base art, which is essentially these. Let's clone them. I'd move 'em up here. We'll color this, we'll do this black. And we'll color the type white so you can see what I'm doing. I'd select these shapes and then going over here, I would select what's called the shear tool.
You can put this pretty much anywhere and then if you hold shift down, you can create your distortion like this. So I'd do this first, then I'd use the exact same methodology to build out the dimension. You don't want to do the distort after you've done this. Because then your tolerances for the thicknesses aren't going to look right because it'll distort that as well. So that's how I go about creating this kind of italicized version of the logo type.
And this is going to work really well when locked up with our brand character as you see here. And, on this character, I should point out, I created him so he could work standalone with the bottom of this shirt having a nice curve and everything, but I created it that way because I knew I was going to have type overlapping. And if I pull this off, you can see that all this is is just him sitting on top of the type and it's overlapping the characters and stuff as you see in here. Now as much as I think this looks great at this point, I'm looking at this more and more, and notice on the type, I have a 12 point kind of outline thickness, then you get to the mascot character and it's just looking a little too thin.
It doesn't look bad, I just think it could look better. So what I want to show you now is I'm going to stay zoomed in, and just notice, this is how it is, and this is how I'm going to edit and revise the outline on the character art to really marry well with the lockup with the type. So I'm going to turn that on. So this is after, this is before. So look, especially around the top part of his head, the ax, around the edge of the outer perimeter of the artwork.
This is what it was, this is how I changed it. This is what it was, this is how I changed it. Do you see how it marries better with the type? So these are those little art directive decisions you have to pay attention to as you work on something like this. And don't just go, oh that looks pretty good. No, is it right or is it wrong? In my opinion, this isn't bad, I just think this is better. Thus, it's the correct way to go. Thus, I go ahead and change it.
Now, once again this character is just sitting on top of this type. You can see how the type runs through it if we go to keyline view, you can see it just runs right behind the character here. And I just have it grouped together to look like it should intend to look. But I would never deliver this art to the client because it's pretty messy and you're asking for problems. Example, if I select this shape and just move it out, I put that there just to hide these areas where the outline doesn't fill in.
Because I wouldn't leave it like that. I want it to be like this in the final art. Visually. Visually speaking, this looks exactly how I intended. But production wise, it's not what I would call clean art. Another reason for that. If I select this, you can see I have another outline that's right here. But I have another shape. If I move this over, you can see I have this shape here. I created it this way to add that thickness to make it align with the type but I didn't want it to effect the beard.
And so, it visually, once again, looks correct, but I wouldn't want to leave it this way. I want to build out clean art. So I just really wanted to point that out because that's really important. You want to give artwork that is production ready. And so I'm going to turn on this layer. And you're not going to see any aesthetic difference. This is kind of a messy build, but visually accurate. If I turn the clean file, the final clean art on, there is no difference.
If I toggle this on and off, it's like I'm not doing anything. That's because visually it's correct, but now it's also production correct. So if I go in to key line view. And we zoom in on these areas, there's none of those floating shapes our outline strokes. Everything is shape based. And it's ready to be used in its final production usage. Now, that said, this is still what I would call rough color. Meaning I used this rough coloring to base this artwork on.
Now that I'm moving in to creating the final art assets and brand assets that I can provide to the school to start using, I need to make sure these colors are going to reproduce well. That means I have to go to Pantone and spec those colors. And so this is what I would call my comping colors. It looks okay on screen to work out a design and get it to a final format, but now I need to pick specific Pantone colors. And if I do that, you can see this is the Pantone processed colors on screen.
I kind of like my comp colors better on screen, but this is where you have to trust the Pantone book. Look at the book, spec the color. And if the book looks the way you intended it to visually, from what you see in your rough colors, then you're safe. But don't trust the screen with Pantone colors. They'll never look as good as rough colors or comping colors for that matter. And that goes whether it's Pantone process or Pantone spot colors. Here's the spot colors.
You can see the variations. Let's zoom in on this so you can see this a little clearer. So this first column over here is our rough comp colors. These are our Pantone processed colors. And then the far right column is the Pantone spot colors. They all, in general, align, but the ones we're going to provide to the client will be Pantone Process as you can see over here and Pantone spot which you can see over here and it's denoted by this dot in the bottom right hand corner. So I just wanted to point that out.
Now, of course, on this design, we have this layout, which is vertical, but I also created a horizontal format. Once again, I'm using my rough comping colors here. Now this is at the point, I'm going to start creating the specific assets to give to the school. So I'm going to jump to this file here. And this is the simplified style guide that I provided to the school. So if we zoom in on this, you can see they have the standard format that we developed and you saw the whole process for.
And this is their spot color file. By the way, this is a PDF guide I give to the client and then it tells them what specific source file to use. So this one is THS, Timberland High School, logo_CMYK1. And so this is format number one, format number two is horizontal, this is process, here's the spot. It calls out all the colors down below. So they can provide this PDF to a printer, and there's no excuse for them not to align with what is expected of the vendor to produce accurate artwork.
I work it out in black and white of course. And then if we go to the second page, I provide other assets where I break out the character into its individual isolated form, not locked up with the type. Provide the logo type separately, on its own as well. Provide this in CMYK, spot and black and white once again. And I also like to create what I call reversed version. Which is just a one color white, knocked out on a darker colored background as you show in here.
So all those formats worked out the exact same way. And so on this, I handled the outline a little differently. It outlined as white and it encapsulates the whole design, but it allows them to drop this on a photo, on a color or dark background and it's going to work great and reproduce really well for them across a broad range of products. So we're going to go back to our other file here. And I just want to share with you some of the usages on these products.
So we'll go ahead and turn off those layers. And you can see how on this duffle bag, if we zoom in on this, you can see how this one color version is just an easy way for screen printer to brand duffle bags that they give to their football team or basketball team. So it's an easy way for a school to use their artwork. Maybe they create customized student body cards. And so this shows how the logo could work in that context as well.
And maybe it's also on sports tee shirts like this. So you have a sweatshirt and it's a light colored garment or you have a dark colored garment and you're using the one color. But all in all, the final artwork, I really love it. It came out well. And this sports mascot was a passion project for us. I wanted to give back to the school I had attended. So this was purely exploratory in nature. Meaning I wasn't hired to create this for them, I did it because I saw a distinct need for it based on my audit of their current identity.
They haven't adopted it yet, but I created a nice presentation that I gave to them and hopefully they'll realize it could help them in their promotional and fundraising efforts moving forward. In my opinion, it was a good, creative risk, and I'm happy with the results. Thank you for watching DVG lab. And until next time, never stop drawing.
Skill Level Intermediate
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