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5.1 Designing Our “d” Logo

In this final lesson, we’ll be putting all we’ve learned together, creating a complete logo design from start to finish.

Thanks for taking this “Mastering Logo Design in Adobe Illustrator” course. We’ve covered a huge range of essential tools required to help you create and refine your own logo designs in Adobe Illustrator. See you next time!

5.1 Designing Our “d” Logo

[MUSIC] Okay, right. Now we're going to move onto creating the actual logo itself. So that's the logo that you see here. And at the moment, this is all grouped together. And I'm just going to select this, scale it down holding Shift. And just move this out of the way, I pop back over there. Now, we're going to start by selecting the Ellipse tool. So we're going to be using all of the tools that we've just learned about, or most of them, in creating this logo. So I'll just left click and hold shift, and I'm going to add a stroke, let's just start with the pink. So we'll double-click pink, and remember we're going to create this as a global swatch, and select OK. And let's just hold Shift and select those other swatches, and we'll drag those to the trash to remove them. Now we've got our pink stroke, and we're also going to select the line too. Left-click and hold shift to draw that vertical line, and make sure you've got your smart guides on. Go to View and down to Smart Guides. And we can nicely drag this over here. And we can snap this in place. You can see that those smart guides make it very, very easy to line these shapes up. And we can select everything by dragging over it. And from the stroke panel, it increased that weight. And we'll go up to, Let's go to 130, I think. Yeah, we'll stop at 130. Now of course, [LAUGH] now we've increased that weight. This looks a little bit short so, we need to increase that, and we can do that with the direct selection tool. So you can select that top anchor point. And you can actually use the up and down arrow keys to extend that, or just drag holding the mouse and hold Shift and it will keep it perfectly straight and vertical. Let's increase that to, let's go for 140. So there we go. So we've got the letter d. We've got that d shape. And we can still edit that stroke at the moment. Now just make sure that you get that width correct so you're happy, because next we're going to go to Object Expand. And leave fill and stroke selected, and effectively it will turn those strokes into shapes. So you can see that these now are not recognized as a stroke or an outline by Illustrator. They are a shape with a fill. And we're going to use either the shape builder tool, or the pathfinder tools and select unite. And it will merge those into one shape. So it goes from looking like this to, this. Dustin Hines says, this is inspired me to install Illustrator. Awesome, that's so awesome. Good work man, good work. Okay, so we've combined that into one complete shape, and we're gonna, let's just scale this down a bit. It's a little bit big at the moment. So we can scale down holding Shift. And we'll keep those proportions, we don't want to skew it out of shape [LAUGH] because that looks awful. And if you hold down Alt at the same time as Shift, it will scale your design towards the center or scale it up. So very, very handy. You can scale from a particular corner by holding Shift or hold Shift and Alt to scale from the center. And we'll come out of outline mode. Remember, that's command or control Y. And select the ellipse tool and we'll just left click and hold shift to make a perfect circle. And with the direct selection tool remember we can drag over this anchor point on the right, and just hit delete or backspace and it leaves us with a semi-circle. And now, what we want to do is remove the bottom half of this semicircle, and we can do that with the rectangle tool. I mean there's lots of ways to do it, but this is just one of them. So we'll use the rectangle tool to draw a shape over the bottom half only, and you can see those smart guides nicely mark where the center is. And of course it doesn't matter what color the shape is here. Cuz the important thing is that the shape is on top. Now you can see then I was changing the color, but I was changing the stroke instead. So make sure you've got either the fill or the stroke selected, respectively, depending on what you're trying to change. So now I can just drag over both of them and from the Pathfinder panel, select minus front, and it will knock out that blue shape from the pink shape. And it will leave me with this quarter segment here. And I can zoom in using the zoom tool, thousands of percent and use those smart guides to line up those edges. And then hold Shift, just so I don't skew the proportions. Seeing as I've gone to all this trouble of making this lovely quarter segment of a circle, we don't want to go in skew that out of shape by doing something like that. No, no, no, no, no. Okay, now it's a little bit too tall. Again, we can use a direct selection tool to drag over all of those anchor points at the top. We must make sure we select all of them so we don't skew the shape. And use either the mouse or the arrow keys to just bring that down. So we can adjust the height again with a direct selection tool. And now we can merge all of these into one shape. We can do that from the path finder panel or by using the shape builder tool to select both segments. Cool, so we have effectively almost created the shape. There's one more thing that we're going to add. Near the top right corner here, we have a very kinda hard edge, I'd like to round that off slightly. Now there's a few different ways we could do this. We could do this with the pencil. Remember we talked about this, and we could draw that curve out, and that's pretty good. Another way we could do it, is select the ellipse tool, left-click and hold Shift. And we're going to draw a mini circle, and we'll give us a different color, so we can see what we are doing. And we'll position this, remember I'm zooming in really, really far ahead that Z on the keyboard, the only zoom tool up. Now, the smart guides here, they are not being very helpful. But they're actually making it difficult for me to lineup exactly where I want. So I can just go and disable those. And do this manually by eye, zooming in incredibly far. If you get the precision correct at a zoom level of something like 64,000, which is the maximum level in Illustrator, then when you zoom back out to 100%, your design work is going to look flawless, okay. So remember, being the perfectionist, we have to get this in the right position. So I'm just zooming in and out. Striving for perfection, okay. So the curve, that's the important part. I want that perfectly smooth curve. And now I've got that. So with a direct selection tool, as long as I don't disrupt this curve here I can pull this out. And I can pull this one as well. And I still got that perfect curve. If it doesn't matter what's going on with the rest of the shape here, which looks pretty crazy, as long as I've got that curve, I can then drag over everything. And either use the subtract from the path finder panel or the shape builder tool. And just hold down ALT. Remember to get that minus icon up, and left click, left click, left click, and it removes all of those excess pieces. And now I've just very subtly rounded off that corner. So whether it's the pencil, or whether you use shape tools, shape builder tools, pathfinder tools, if you want to tweak something ever so slightly, like rounding off that corner and doing it manually, you can do that, and you have that flexibility in Illustrator. Cool, right. I'm just going to use a direct selection tool to just lengthen the height of that a tiny bit. And now we're going to start creating the shadows. Now this is the really, really cool bit. So let's zoom in. And we're going to use the pencil. So let's just switch our Smart Guides back on. Now, you can press the caplocks key, and it will turn the pen icon into a crosshair, which is helpful if you're looking to get a little bit more precision when working. And you can see those Smart Guides nicely marking that path for me too. Thank you very much Illustrator for being so helpful, and I can left click exactly on that path. Now, the important thing here is that we get this first curved line looking correct, and I'll show you why. I've left clicked again on that bottom point, and I'm gonna try and get this curve, Looking nice and smooth. Let's have a look at our example. Okay, I'm just gonna undo that. It's Cmd or Ctrl+Zed. And we'll try that again. So it may take a few gos just to get it looking super, super smooth. And then once you've done that first line, what we're going to do is just click on that point to cut it. And we're just going to drag this over here. Now, it doesn't matter how the rest of the shape looks, the important thing was just that first line. And I will just make this a different color, so you can see what I'm doing. So that's gonna be where our first gradient's going to go, and the second one is even easier. We can use the pen tool. You can see it snaps to those points really nicely. And we just have to cover the area. So it looks like this in Outline mode, that's Cmd or Ctrl+Y. And you can see the wire frame of your shapes. Now, this is where the shape builder tool can save you a little bit of time, you can drag over this. And from the Path Finder panel, select Divide, and then use the direct selection tool to delete all of those extra segments. And that's absolutely fine, there's nothing wrong with that. A slightly quicker way of doing it would be shape builder tool is to select it, hold Alt, and you just left-click on the points that you'd like to get rid of, and it just leaves you those shapes. So both do exactly the same thing, one as I say is just a little bit more time efficient. So this looks fine, looks like a piece of candy or something. So we've got these colors. What we're going to do is we're going to select, but we're going to create some swatches because at the moment, we've got the pink color and we want to add some shadowing in there. So you can see we've got the darker color on the inside, and then it fades out and blends the with rest of the shape. So first of all, let's go and create those swatches. So we have nothing selected, we've got our pink here. And we can select this one here, Color Guide, and you can see automatically populates some darker and some lighter. The lighter ones work with a global swatch, but if we take our existing color here, and we'll go a couple of shades darker, just click that. You might have to click it once or twice, make sure that it is selected here in the toolbar on the left. And then just go back to the swatch panel, add it as a new swatch and just tick that global button. And we'll bring that up here along side it. And again, we're going to select the original pink magenta color, and we'll go a few shades lighter. So again, make sure that, that is selected in your toolbar, and then create a new swatch. So we've got our darker color, our middle color, and our lighter color. And we can select, well, let's start with the bottom. We can select this part of the shape here. Open up the gradient slider, and just click anywhere. I'm gonna get that default black-to-white gradient. Now, what we're going to do is just swap that around by clicking reverse gradient. And we can double-click on the black and select a darker color. And then we can double click on the white, and select our original pink color, which is what the rest of the logo is, so it's gonna blend nice and seamlessly from the darker color into that color, Almost. So you can see that you may, depending on the color you're using and your shape, you may get some banding appearing, that's okay. What you can do is select the shape and go back to the gradient panel, and just bring that slider to the left a little bit. So just bring it in, bring it in like so. And you can see that, that banding disappears, and it just creates a much more seamless transition. Of course, you can adjust this to the extreme, so you can have that shadow tucked up right in the corner, or you can have it a bit more, kind of a bit further out. And you can even use the gradient tool over here to quickly and easily adjust your gradient. So we could rotate the angle, for example, and we could adjust, That using the gradient tool live on the actual shape itself. So we can move that around. So you can see that perfectly, perfectly smooth transition. And now we've created one gradient, this is the easiest part in the world. We select our eye dropper tool, we sample our ingredient, and then we just hit reverse. Unfortunately, because of these shapes, they kind of work the other way around, but you could even type in an angle here if you wanted and adjust that, that way. Or you could use the gradient tool itself from the left, and you could just move the angle around. So two different ways of doing the same thing. Let's just see. So I can adjust that gradient bend there a little bit. You can see it's not as smooth as I might have liked it to be. So I can go back in with the Direct Selection tool, and just adjust those handles, just to try and get it that little bit smoother. Cool. Okay, so we've created the logo. We've applied the gradients, and we've got the angle of the gradients all working nicely. The next thing we're going to do is actually change the color. Now, again, going back to global swatches, this is awesome because we don't have to go and recreate these gradients. We don't have to go back in and re-add any color. In fact, I will just add the highlight, so we're just gonna add a slight highlight up here. That was the reason for creating the lighter swatch. This is really easy, we just use the pen tool to draw over this top bit. And then use the shape builder tool, or the path finder tools to remove it, and it leads us with this top section. And of course, we can go back into the gradient slider and adjust that angle, reverse it quickly, double click the darker swatch, select the lighter one and we've created a highlight. And that's fine, we could go in and adjust the swatch if you like. We'll do that in a moment but we could also just select this from the transparency panel, just bring that opacity down, so we can bring that down to let's say 60, Just so it's a little bit more subtle. And now we could even use the Direct Selection Tool to drag these bottom anchor points down. So let's the shape, that's our gradient in there. And it will extend down a little bit further. So when you combine all of these tools together, there's lots of different ways of doing the same thing. Now if you wanted to change the color of this from pink to blue or any other color because we created these as global swatches, we can go back in. We can double-click on the pink, select preview and as we adjust it, it will adjust the color. Now for some reason in illustrator, when you go into the color guide, the lighter colors you can see them marked as global swatches and the darker ones on. But that's not really an issue. So as we change this color, the highlights will change as well which is quite handy. So let's go and pick a blue color, something nice and vibrant. So you can see there it is left behind the darker pink color but that's fine. We can double click that swatch, select preview, and we just adjust those sliders. And we just aim for a darker shade of blue. So this is really really quick and easy to do. Just make sure you get the same kind of tone. If you kinda go too green here, it's gonna look a bit out of place. But essentially, by dragging your sliders left, it makes your colors darker and to the right makes them lighter. And there we go. And we've got all of those gradients still fully editable. So we can go in, we can fine tune that gradient until we're happy. Now, at the moment this is still in RGB. You can go to File > Document Color Mode, and it's RGB. That's for on-screen design. If you're doing something for print, you can turn this to CMYK. Of course the CMYK print palette isn't as diverse as what you can display on screen. However we can go back into these swatches, and you can see it's automatically changed that selection from RGB to CMYK. And we've got these decimal places added. You can't really have that for print, but we can just go and round those up. And then just click OK. And of course do that with the other ones, so just round up or round down consistently all of these with a CMYK color mode. And it will then make sure that you will design a suitable for print. Okay, and then at the end, actually, we can go Object > Group with everything selected, and group it together. So we can scale it, we can move it around, you can use it as part of a design, whatever you'd like to do with the logo, it's now going to move around as one object. So, there might be different uses. You might be doing a logo for print, you might be doing it for a website, or for a little kind of favicon icon in the header. So, let's remove our original here. So once you've got your logo and you're totally happy with it, you can then export it and you can adjust the art board using the art board tool from the tool bar on the left. And you can do this manually, just by dragging. Or you can click the art board options icon, and we can specify a specific width and height. And click OK. And then we can just scale this down, remember holding shift, so we don't mess up with proportions. So, you can see that look the same if I go to actual size, which is Cmd or Ctrl+1. That is the actual size of it And we can scale this up. Now if I wanted to go in the center, we can use the alignment options as well. You see this option here, you can align to the selection which is two or multiple shapes, or you can align to the art board. So I now know that that is in the center of the art board. I know it looks a bit off center because of the design, but it technically is in the center. The space left and right, top and bottom, is all equal either end. And what I might do is set up the art board tool and just drag this across holding Alt+Shift. Now remember that that creates a copy of whatever is selected. And I can then go and scale this down, set these two a different size. So this might be for a totally different use. Just drag that on there, align to art board and position it in the center. So using the artboard tool allows you adjust, resize and even go and create new artboards. And you can have a whole variety of different sizes. So if you're doing some stationery for example, you might have your logo on one artboard, a letterhead, a compliment slip, a business card, an envelope design and you can create these on all different artboards within the same document. And then you can just quickly move between all of the basis stationary and add your logo as you like. And you've got color palace is where you got global colors across an entire stationary kit. So if the client says change red to blue, you can do it in an instant. Incredibly handy. And the last step really is to export these. So once you've set up your artboards, you can go to File, down to Export. You've got a few different options here. This is the Save for Web, the legacy version. That's a little bit older. You've got Export As, which is quite straightforward. You can select your formats and choose your artboards or choose a specific range of artboards. So I've got one to two at the moment, I could change that to just export artboard to. And if you don't know what the number is, you can see the number by selecting the artboard tool, it kind of takes into this art board edit mode and you can even view them from the panel on the right. So you can even double click these and give them a name to go alongside their number. And we can also go to Export > Export for Screens. Now this is especially useful whether you're doing design for print, whether it's or not print so much, but whether you're doing logo design or design for web, so many different uses for this. You can again select the range, you can tick what you'd like to export. I have artboards or if you have any assets created. You can choose way you'd like to save them and then you can add multiple formats. So you've got iOS and Android presets. You've got even more options here to do with the type of settings for each of these different formats and you can export it in multiple formats as well which is incredibly useful for saving time. You can have the prefix which is what starts at the beginning of the file name. So if it's a logo, it might be for web use. Okay, I need an SVG format. I need a PNG at times one. I'll add another one. I need PNG at times two. Add another one and it automatically knows what I'm doing so it adds a times three as well. I'd like to also have a JPEG format. So if you've done a logo for a client and they're like, okay, can you give me all the final files,you can then go through and just quickly export all of the stuff. So you set all of your different options here. You can of course, obviously, remove these by clicking on the X, and once you've set the location, let's just go and create a folder. And we'll call this Assets. Just make sure that we go and select that folder. We've got all our settings done. We've got both our two different artboards. Click Export. And I would export all of that, and you can see it here. And of course, when you name your artboards, the file name of the artboard would appear there as well. So, file name at the beginning, that was the prefix that you can also set to what you like. And then you got your artboard name, and then you got the size that it exports at. So if you do a logo design, when you finish and your client has approved the work and they are totally happy, you can essentially use this to gift them a full suite of logo designs like a whole kit of the file design in different colors. In CMYK format, RGB format, you can set it all up with an illustrator, and then export all of those formats, literally, within a few clicks. And then you have an entire pack that you can give to them with the final design. Cool, so that about wraps up the stream. I've had an awesome time. I hope you guys have found this useful and you've enjoyed kind of learning about how to master log design. These are all of the essential tools I use when I'm creating my logo designs. And even though each individual use of the tool has it's own specific thing that it can be used for, a lot of what we've looked at today, when you combine all of these different tools with all of the different things that you can do, actually the possibilities to what you can create kind of become somewhat limitless. And by learning all of these different tools, anything that you think of in your mind or that you create on a sketch whether pencil and paper, whatever it is, you've then got the tools that empower you to actually create that digitally within Adobe Illustrator.

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