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By Lauren Harmon |

Draw the Adobe CC Logo in Illustrator: Deke's Techniques

Draw the Adobe CC Logo in Illustrator

Explore this course at lynda.com.

Re-create the logo for Adobe Creative Cloud—even if you don’t have the latest version of Illustrator. In fact, in this week’s Deke’s Techniques, you can use Illustrator CS6, CS5, CS4, CS3, CS2, or even the original CS version. How? Let Deke walk you through the process.

Subscribers to the lynda.com library can go to the course page to retrieve the exercise file for this episode, which contains nine artboards documenting each step in the process, but they’re not required to complete this tutorial.

  1. Create a new document and dial in the following settings:
  • Profile to Basic RGB
  • Units to Points
  • Raster Effects to High (300 ppi)
  • Width to 220
  • Height to 160
  1. Go to View > Smart Guides to turn on your guides.
  2. Select the Rectangle tool. Align your cursor with the top-left corner of the artboard until the Intersect indicator appears. Click and then enter the Width and Height values from step 1 (220 and 160) in the Rectangle dialog that appears. Click OK to create this background shape.

  3. Change the stroke of the rectangle to None and make sure the fill is white.

  4. Go to the Color panel and select the fill. Then open the Gradient panel and click the Gradient Slider to apply the default gradient to the rectangle.

  5. Double-click the first color stop in the Gradient Slider to open an options menu. Click the flyout in the upper-right corner and change the mode to HSB. Change the Saturation value to 97% and Brightness to 50%.

Note: Illustrator may automatically adjust these numbers to match the nearest RGB value.


  1. Now double-click the second color stop. Change its mode to HSB and change Saturation to 95% and Brightness to 90%. Click outside the options menu to commit your changes.
  2. Back in the Gradient panel, change the Angle of the gradient to 90degrees.

  3. Your background is done! Choose Object > Lock > Selection to make sure you don’t interfere with the gradient during any of the remaining steps.

  4. Now you need to create a few circles to form the basis for the logo. Select the Ellipse tool, press Alt or Option, and click on the left side of the document window to open the Ellipse dialog. Change the Width and Height to 59 and click OK to create your first circle.

Then Alt- or Option-click the right side of the document window, enter a Width and Height of 74 points, and click OK to create a second circle.


  1. Press the V key to switch to the Selection tool. Shift-select both circles.
  2. Go to the Appearance panel and change the Fill to None and the Stroke to white. Change the Stroke Width to 27 points.

  3. Select the Stroke and click the page icon for Duplicate Selected Item to copy it. Change the width of the new stroke to 12 points and change the color to black.


  1. Switch to Outline mode. Make sure your bounding boxes are turned off. (You can confirm this from the Window menu.) Select the smaller left-hand circle and drag it from its bottom anchor point inside [SR3] the larger circle, snapping the two bottom anchor points together.


  1. Double-click the Selection tool to open the Move dialog. Change the Vertical Position to 0 and the Horizontal Position to -42.667. Click OK to move the smaller circle precisely 42.667 points to the left. Return to Preview mode.
  2. Marquee-select both circles. Choose Object > Group to group them. Click the Align icon from the Control panel. When the options are revealed, first click Horizontal Align Center and then click Vertical Align Center. This aligns the artwork to the exact center of the canvas. Choose Object > Ungroup to undo any automatic grouping Illustrator may have performed during this step.

  3. Choose Object > Path > Add Anchor Points to double the amount of anchor points along your paths.


  1. Choose the Scissors tool, which can be found under the Eraser tool. Click the anchor point around the “10 o’clock” position in the larger, right-hand circle and then click the “7 o’clock” point to snip this portion of the path away.


  1. Press and hold Cmd or Ctrl to temporarily switch to the Selection tool and click the segment you isolated, and then press Delete to remove it.


  1. Ctrl- or Cmd-click the smaller circle. Click the anchor points around “2 o’clock” and the “6 o’clock” point. Again, press and hold Cmd or Ctrl to temporarily switch to the Selection tool and click the segment you isolated, and then press Delete to remove it.


  1. Select the Line tool. Click anywhere inside the document window to open the Line Segment Tool Options dialog. Change Length to 19 points and change the Angle to 135 degrees. Click OK to create a stubby little line.
  2. Click inside the document window to open the Line Segment Tool Options dialog again. This time, change the Length of the line to 27 points and then click OK.

  3. Click one more time. Change the Length to 42.667 and change the Angle to 0. Click OK to create your third line.

  4. Choose the Selection tool. Drag the perfectly horizontal line, the one you made in the previous step, and snap it into alignment with the bottom half of the left-hand circle. Then move the shortest of the lines to the top of the circle, making sure it snaps into alignment with the anchor point there. Move the remaining line to the bottom of the right-hand circle, again snapping the anchor points.


  1. Select all three lines. Press Cmd+X or Ctrl+X to cut them from the artboard. Select the two half circles and press Cmd+B or Ctrl+B to paste the segments in the back of them.
  2. Select the two lines and half circle comprising the left-hand “C.” Press Cmd+J or Ctrl+J to join the segments. Then select the single line and half circle that comprise the right-hand “C” and join them.

  3. Select both “C” shapes and open the Appearance panel. Click the top Stroke link and change the Cap option to Round Cap. Then click the second Stroke link and change it to Round Cap too.


  1. Now you’ll convert the strokes to filled path outlines. It’s a two-step process. First choose Object > Expand Appearance. Then select Path > Outline Stroke.
  2. Illustrator automatically starts grouping objects, which you don’t want. Choose Object > Ungroup to undo that.

  3. Deselect everything, and then select the white outside paths of both “C” shapes. Copy and then deselect them, and press Cmd+F or Ctrl+F to paste them in front.


  1. Open the Pathfinder panel. Choose the Unite shape mode to connect the paths.
  2. Choose Object > Compound Path > Release to break up the paths into editable objects again.


  1. Now Shift-click the outside path to deselect it (keeping the interior paths selected) and press Delete to remove the interior paths of the white shape.
  2. Select the outside path again, right-click in the document window, and choose Arrange > Send to Back from the pop-up menu that appears.

This steps actually sends the white shape too far back—behind the gradient—so press Cmd+] or Ctrl+] to bring it one step forward.


  1. Just to make it visually clearer which shape you’re working with, select the left-hand C and change its fill to another color, like green.
  2. Switch to the Scissors tool. Click the top anchor point of the left-hand C (midnight using our clock analogy) and the point immediately underneath it on the inside of the C.

  3. Press and hold Cmd or Ctrl to temporarily switch to the Selection tool and click the larger segment you just isolated in the C, and then press Delete to remove it.


  1. Ctrl- or Cmd-click the right-hand C to select it and temporarily switch to Selection tool. Go to the Control panel and change its fill to another bright color. Back with the Scissors tool, click the 6 o’clock anchor points on the inner and outer curves of the C.
  2. Switch to the Selection tool. Select the larger portion of the C you cut and press Delete to remove it.


  1. Select the colored portion of the left-hand C and the black portion of the right-hand C. Then go to the Pathfinder panel and choose Minus Back.
  2. Selected the remaining colored portion on the right-hand C and select the black portion of the left-hand C. Go to the Pathfinder panel again and choose Minus Front.


  1. Choose Object > Ungroup to undo the automatic grouping. Then Shift-click to deselect all the path outlines except a half circle inside the right-hand C. Press Delete to get rid of it.
  2. Select both black Cs. Choose Object > Compound Path > Make.

  3. Shift-click the white area to add it to your selection. Go to the Pathfinder panel again and choose Minus Front. This step subtracts the black compound path you made in the previous step from the white shape in back. You should now be able to see through to the red gradient.


  1. Finally, you’ll add a drop shadow to complete the logo. Choose Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. When the Drop Shadow dialog opens, change Color to Hue of 0, Saturation of 100%, and Brightness of 50%. Then change Opacity to 100%, X Offset to 0, Y Offset to  -0.3,and Blur to 0.3. Click OK to add the effect.

And that’s how you recreate a logo using shapes, lines, and the Pathfinder commands in Illustrator. Next week, learn how to create a rainbow gradient and transform it into a fabric-like pattern. Come back soon!

Interested in more?

• Become a lynda.com member • The entire Deke’s Techniques collection

Adobe and Illustrator are registered trademarks and Creative Cloud is a trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries

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