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Logokit 400
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2.1 Sketching and Vectorizing Icons

Let’s start with a sketching exercise, to draft rough ideas which will form the basis of our logo icons. Once we’ve chosen a theme, we can start to vectorize some of our stronger ideas in Adobe Illustrator.

2.1 Sketching and Vectorizing Icons

Hi there guys, welcome back. We're gonna dive right into the first creative stage of designing our logo kit. We're gonna start with creating a series of icons, which are the symbolic or image-based building block of a logo design. Bringing up our fictional brief of designing logo concepts for a parks service, let's say that we're gonna take nature as a broad theme for our logo kit. The first thing that I would want you to do is pick up a large sketch pad, anything around a 3 or bigger is best, plus a pen or pencil. So what I want you to focus on is taking just 10 or 15 minutes to draw some very rough sketches of icons. So what I mean when I say icon, it's a very simple graphic which is made with just a few lines or shapes. As we've decided to opt for a why not style and the nature theme, you can use these as starting points for drafting some of your own ideas. So try drawing simple and minimal icons to represent nature elements, like trees, flowers, birds, animals, mountains. So get started on that now. You may want to find a quiet spot away from your computer to get really creative with your drawings. And given the theme, you might also find it useful to draw outside. So go ahead, pause the video. We'll review our work in about 15 minutes time. Okay, so how was that? Did you genuinely take only about 15 minutes to do your sketches, or did it take a bit longer? If it did, no worries, drawing minimal designs takes practice. And you really do have to get used to moving on from one idea to the next very quickly, which can be difficult at first. Let's take a look at your sketches. As an example, here's mine. So can you spot any designs in your own work which looks stronger than of those? You can see here that I've scribbled out a few of mine which didn't work so well. But there are few of those here that I think have some potential. Once you got a few, maybe even just five or so sketches that have some potential, you can move over to Illustrator. So what I'm gonna do is show you how I'm gonna vectorize some of my own icons, based on sketches that I've got here. If you want to use your own sketches as a starting point instead, that's fine too. You can also find the final vectorized version of these icons in the resources accompanying this lesson, if you want to open those up and have a look at them. Okay, so for this stage we're gonna need Adobe Illustrator. So let's open it up. And once it's open, head up to File > New. Keep that all as it is, and then click OK. All right, so lets take a look at our sketches and choose one to vectorize first. Sometimes if the design style is a bit more complex, I like to scan in the design and trace it into Illustrator, using the shape and line tools. And these line art designs, which are very simple, is quite good a practice to these by sight alone. I'm gonna start with this little owl sketch, he's pretty cute. So I look first for the sorts of shapes and lines which make up the design, and then match these to the right tool for the job. So I'm gonna start with the Ellipse Tool, which is here on the Tools panel inside the Rectangle Tool menu. Holding down Shift is gonna keep that circle perfectly proportioned. Cool. To mark out the center point at the circle, I'll need to bring in some guides. So to do that, go to View > Show Rulers. And then drag a guide down from the top to the center point. And one from the left ruler, too. Okay, great. Then for the curved lines of the beak, I can create this using the Arc tool, which you'll find here in the Line Segment Tools menu. I'm just gonna draw it out roughly. And then I'm gonna switch to the Direct Selection Tool, which is A on your keyboard, to manipulate the anchor points directly. Then, to create symmetry, I select the line. I edit and copy it, and Edit > Paste. Then right-click, or Ctrl+Click if you're on a Mac. And Transform > Reflect, and choose Vertical. Okay, and then can move that over into position. Then, for those cute little button eyes, let's take the Ellipse tool again and hold Shift. Get that about to the right size. And then copy and paste that over to the other side. So, as a quick exercise, I'd like you to eye the download, the vectorized icons provided with this lesson, and take a look at how those have been put together in Illustrator. Or if you have a bit more time on your hands, have a go of vectorizing a few of your own sketches. In the next lesson, we'll look at how you can refine your vector icons by adjusting details like stroke, caps, and color.

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