Skill Level Intermediate
- [Instructor] Welcome to Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory. When people think of branding, they mainly have the primary visual identity for a company in mind. But in reality, branding can take place for a business but it can also take place for a product, or a service, a person, or in context of this movie, an annual event. This movie was requested by someone who saw the design I created and asked me how I went about creating it.
So let's dive into the details and discover various methods you can use to work out a promotional event graphic. Now, this client is a tourism board in Lorain County which is in Ohio. This was the branding I'd done for them years ago. The mark is a make up if iconography and I actually developed a whole system of icons that they could use for various times of the year to represent those touristic activities.
And they came back to me and they said hey, we have an annual event we do, it's a fishing event, and it's called Waist High in Walleye. And so she sent me all the material and some of that material in the discovery phase, or working out idea phase, was this image that dates back to the late-70s, early-80s and it's what they ran in the newspaper to promote the event. And they've kind of been using it ever since, and obviously it's very dated now, and this, they wanted to use the same verbiage, waist high in walleye, which I think is brilliant, because it also applies those fishing waders that you put on to go out, hip waders I think is what they call them, you go out into the water to fish, so it applies in that sense as well.
But here they're playing off of a belt buckle, and I think they actually gave out some actual belt buckles in a promotion. So this is the theme we're gonna work with, waist high in walleye, and as with all my projects, it starts in analog, it starts with drawing, and this was a thumbnail sketch that I pulled out from my old project folder. Now, when I work on any given project I actually have a physical folder, a physical folder, not a digital one sitting on my computer hard drive, but an actual folder, and in it I put any notes I may have, any sketches, or in this case, a thumbnail sketch.
So I pulled that out, scanned it in, and this is my idea that I kind of encapsulated in this thumbnail sketch. I want to have a circular motif of a fishing pole wrapping around a graphic representation of a fish, a walleye in this case, and obviously the type for the event. So I'm gonna walk you through the process of how I created it. Now what's a little interesting is revisiting this theme years later after I created the original mark, I realized, wow, it's a lot easier to create this graphic, a lot faster and more precise.
So the way I'm showing you is way easier than the way I had to do it, which for the most part was manually. This part started off the same, but I didn't have the shape building tool. And so what I have here is the circular shape, that will make up the pole, and then I have this shape that we're gonna use to edit that circular shape. And we're just going to go ahead and just select these two elements, go to the shape building tool, and I'm gonna hover over the path I don't want, which is this, and click it to get rid of it, and then I can select this shape we use to edit, to get access to the final piece here, and this is gonna make up the handle of the fishing pole.
I have reel handle, actually, reel is what's on the pole, so I'm not sure why I named it that, but, oh well, you know what I'm talking about. And now we're gonna kind of set a thickness for this stroke to establish the handle, because it's a beefy kind of handle, and I'm using kind of an arbitrary number here, because I sized this up for this recording, and I just used whatever the size ended up being. In this case, 19.117, we'll click okay, so that's the handle, we can jump to the next part, which is actually gonna be the pole itself, and we'll turn that on.
We're using the exact same circle, using this shape to edit it. We're gonna go back to the shape tool here, and then I'm gonna select the part I don't need, which is right here, and I'm holding option down as I hover over it, and then it turns red, gives me the negative sign, click to get rid, then I click out of it, select this shape, and delete it. This pole, as all fishing poles go, as it comes out of the handle, it's thicker. As it gets to the tip of the fishing pole, it's thinner.
Now back when I originally built this, I had to eyeball this, with just using two circles and kind of figuring out what looked good until I finally got what I think was gonna work well. Now, way easier. I can just go to strokes, I can establish the thickest end by just going 10.5, that's what that's gonna be, and then I'm gonna go ahead and zoom in on the tip here, and we're gonna switch to another tool, the width tool here and I'm gonna grab this anchor point.
Now you'll want to have smart guides turned on, you toggle those on and off using Command + U, and with them on it's gonna show you the measurement on the right. Right now it's 10.5, and I'm just going to drag this out until it gets to about almost 5, we'll go to about 4, that looks pretty good, that looks good. We'll let it go right there, and with it still selected, I'm gonna give it a round tip, just because it's gonna look better than the flat, and that's how I make the thick to thin way easier.
That took like seconds, and I probably spent almost an hour when I originally built this trying to create this to get it just precise the way I want, because I was eyeballing it, there was no precise way to build it back then. So technologies change, and it's made the process easier. We'll turn on this one, and this is gonna be the fishing line coming off the top of the pole, we'll go back to the shape building tool, hold option down, get rid of the path we don't need, select the shape for editing and toss that.
And on this one, I believe this was one point, yeah, we'll beef it up to two. And give it a round cap. And now we have our fishing pole in place. That's how easy it is. Now the next thing I wanna do is add some of the other detail that's gonna be on this pole, namely a fishing pole isn't a fishing pole without a reel, and a reel is what has the fishing line on it, and it spools off, and as you cast, it comes off, and then you crank the handle. If you've been fishing you know what I'm talking about.
Well this I looked at the reel, and then iconified it, or simplified the form. I want it to read as a reel, it's a real reel, I want to have it read as a reel without getting too complicated. I want to keep it iconic and simplified. So I'm gonna turn this layer on that has the pole, we built at 90 degrees, then we have a circle, based off of the other circle, we created our pole on, and now I'm just going to rotate it in place.
So you can rotate it manually, or you can go to the rotate tool, click on it, and we're gonna punch in a number here, and this number, we'll try 27. Once again, because I sized this, this is a little arbitrary, and this, if I punch it in this way and preview it, it will rotate it right in place that looks good, and we'll go okay. We don't need the outer line, that was just to control rotation. We'll get rid of that, so we have this in place. So everything, the lure and the reel are shapes, but these are still paths.
So we need to expand these paths. I'm gonna select all of them and I'm gonna go to object path outline stroke, and you can see it's expanded it. But notice this one. Notice how it adds all these anchor points. I really don't like this, and they've never improved this, and I wish they really would, because I want it to be clean and mean and this is anything but. So what I'm gonna do is use a plugin, and the plugin is called Pathscribe, so we'll pull that out right here, and on Pathscribe it has a nice, let's close that one, it has a nice smart remove feature, and that's what we're gonna focus on now.
So with this expanded, we're gonna just select the anchor points, we don't need these, and then we'll just hit smart remove, and it smart removes it without destroying your art. We'll go ahead and remove the ones up here, there's a lot of them here, select those, smart remove those, and you can see how it retains the nice, elegant curve of the pole, it just removes all the redundant anchor points that we really don't need and that's what we're after.
Clean mean graphics. So that's how I created the base motif for a fishing pole in this regard. We're gonna focus on the topic which is a walleye, which is a type of fish that shows you what that fish looks like. Let's actually zoom in, so you can see some of the details. Now notice on this fish, all of its fins are pretty much the same in terms of the texturing. These lines kind of are similar in terms of distance between them than the top dorsal fin.
I believe that's what they call that, a dorsal fin, okay, if you're an oceanographer, and you're screaming at the computer right now, that's not a dorsal fin, then email me and let me know what it was. Anyway, I'm gonna draw from this, and so that's exactly what I did, I created a refined sketch, and as I was looking at this, I was going, you know what, that fishing pole was so geometric, I think it could be better, I think it could be more geometric in terms of the fish. And so that's what I did. I kind of built it more geometric in terms of the fish and I kept the continuity of the negative shapes of these lines, so if I pull this over, you can see these are just one compound shape, if you look at the appearance panel, and it's just sitting over the fin.
So I'll just select both of these, go to the pathfinder, and go to the command, I call it punch, it's not punch, it's remove from shape, like this, and it essentially punches through that shape. That why I called it punch for so many years, out of a bad habit, which goes back to my freehand days, remove from shape, you could call it that as well, the minus front, that's what it called.
That's why I never call it that, because, that's, an engineer thinks that's a good name, nobody else does. Here's the inside, the body of the fish is just a fill of black with a white outline to match the negative space on the fins. So obviously I'm gonna have to build this out in terms of expanding things. Such as on his gills, right here, all these are, are just simple strokes of white, to match the thickness of the white lines in this motif, and so I'd have to go to object path, and outline stroke to turn those into actual shapes, and I'd do that for everything, so what I end up with is clean vector art that's gonna be easy to color.
Now I want to add scales to this. So what I did is created this grid of squares here, made a smaller grid of it, and let's zoom in on this, because I want to explain this a little bit. This grid of squares is for a pattern, and I divided the distance in between them around the edge because it's gonna be a repeat pattern and that's exactly what I've created, is a version of that in white. This is what the last swatch in the swatches palette is, so let's zoom in on the side of the fish and I'm gonna show you how I apply it.
I have a shape here that's gonna take that pattern fill, we can get rid of the stroke, and I'm gonna fill it with this pattern and you can see what it does, and this was just to kind of beta test the replication of scales, do I like this? And actually I did like it, although I think instead of 90 degrees, I think it's gonna look better if we make the scales at a 45 degree angle like this. And so, that's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna turn this off and turn this new, better scales layer on, and I think this looks a lot better, having the pattern like this, and it's not a pattern fill, it's just actual shapes.
But what I like about it is this zigzag pattern at the bottom, that adds a really nice touch to the overall design in my opinion. And now it comes down to building out the clean art, coloring it, in this case we're gonna use green for the comp I presented, take our motif on the fishing pole, and one thing I should point out on this fishing pole, let's make one step backwards because there's one thing I kind of failed to point out, and that is on the fishing pole itself, we turn these back on, and we zoom in on these handles.
The handle right now is very square, when it comes to the edge. And so I would take the rounding tool, and you can do this using the corner widget in Illustrator, I just happen to like the plugin called Dynamic Corners, and I would go in here and I would just round one corner. Once I have one rounded, this is 3.1 odd points, I can just simply click the other corners to apply the round. Now notice on this one, it's not doing it, and that's because there is a problem, and this is one thing you need to pay attention to when you're building.
At times, you'll need to zoom in really far, thankfully they've improved the zoom ratio in Illustrator, and you'll notice, there's an extra anchor point right there, and once again, that nice smart remove comes in handy, because we'll just remove it, we'll go back to the rounding tool, and then with the rounding tool in place we can go ahead and select this corner and go ahead and round it like this. I think we were actually, we're so zoomed in, let's go ahead and go back out, then zoom in, then grab this, sample this corner, apply it to there, so I just wanted to show you that I rounded those.
I kind of skipped over that, and in my opinion that's a really important aesthetic part of this overall design. So once we have that established with the fish, with the fishing pole that nests it really nicely into this nice motif, and the type, this is at the point where I put together a comp, and presented it to the marketing director for the travel bureau, and it's not like she hated it, she was just, I'm not so sure this is gonna work, and I was so convinced this was gonna work, I had to kind of sell her on it, and this is where design leaves the realm of visual, and turns into pure communication between one person and the next, to let them understand why this is gonna work.
Not just, oh, it's a great design, you should just love it, but why should you use this? What are the rationale and reasoning for using this? And my rationale was, this is gonna be a very flexible design for you. Not only does it work great in one color which is cheap to reproduce in a lot of various forms, it's gonna work on a light colored background like this, it's gonna work on a dark colored background like this. This design is gonna give you the flexibility of making merchandise. Let's say you have a T-shirt and you might print it in white on a red T-shirt.
Or maybe you want to go with green, or maybe that T-shirt is blue, or maybe you use a heather colored gray type of fleece and then you print it in dark blue on that fleece. Whatever you do, this design's gonna work so easy and adapt to it. You could print it on mugs, and not only that, you could do stickers and hand them out to anybody who signs up for the event, and they can put it on their truck. You can resell this design the whole year long. Once I explained all that to her, she trusted me, and she says, well let's go for it, and it's become their most popular marketing graphic ever and that's been really cool to see the community kind of buy into it, and the fishers themselves really love this design.
So the client on this project, when it was all said and done was very happy, and continues to be so. So moving forward, if you have a question, or you're curious about something you've seen, and would like me to consider showcasing it in an upcoming DVG lab, then send me an email, and ask me that question, and send it to email@example.com. Thank you for watching DVG Lab, and until next time, never stop drawing.
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.