In this tutorial, you'll learn how to create the iconic Batman logo using simple shapes in Adobe Illustrator. With the Ellipse Tool (L), the Shape Builder Tool (Shift + M), and an understanding of positive and negative shapes you'll be ready with your own bat signal in no time flat.
1. Create a Base Ellipse
This Batman logo is comprised of ellipses. Use the Ellipse Tool (L) to create a horizontal ellipse that will be the base of the bat shape. The two outer ellipses will be added later.
2. Begin Creating the Bat Wings
Draw another ellipse that's at an angle. This will form the left edge of the bat wing. I'm using bright colors so the shapes are easily discernible for the purpose of the tutorial.
Copy (Control + C) and Paste (Control + V) the blue ellipse and rotate it 30 degrees to the right.
Select both of the blue ellipses, Copy (Control + C) and Paste (Control + V) them, Right-Click and hit Transform. From there, select Reflect.
Flip the ellipses over a vertical axis. It may help to Group (Control + G) the ellipses together so they're easier to manage.
Align the two sets of ellipses so their top contour forms a series of scallops with a deep, curved "V" in the center.
3. Delete the Shapes Beyond the Design
For the sake of this step, I've hidden the other ellipses. Select both the orange ellipse and the blue ellipse and using the Shape Builder Tool (Shift + M) select the bottom of the blue ellipse.
Deselect the ellipses. Using the Selection Tool (V), select the bottom of the blue ellipse and hit Delete.
Repeat with the Shape Builder Tool (Shift + M) on the other blue ellipses so only the intersecting bits remain. The purpose of these steps is so you become familiar with using this tool instead of the Pathfinder panel.
4. Cut Out the Batwings
Using the Selection Tool (V), select all four of the blue ellipse halves. Next grab the Shape Builder Tool (Shift + M) select and drag it across the four shapes. This will unite all four of them.
The following step can be done in two ways. The first way is to simply Select and hit Delete on the blue ellipses. This should cut them out of the orange ellipse. The second method is to select both the blue shapes and the orange ellipse and Minus Front using the Pathfinder panel.
The advantage of using the Shape Builder Tool (Shift + M) is that it's fast. The advantage of using the Pathfinder panel is that you can expand the shape so whatever you've deleted won't remain as a shape outline. The choice of which one you find best is entirely up to you.
5. Form the Tops of the Bat Wings
Let's focus on the top of the Batwings. Using the Ellipse Tool (L), draw two circles equal distance from each other and the outer edge on the top of the orange ellipse.
Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a triangle along the right edge of the left circle (see below for placement). The aim of this shape is to get the space between the two blue circles to be a straight line from the top of the orange ellipse until it his the center of the blue circle (again, see below for reference).
Repeat the pink triangle on the other blue circle. Use the Shape Builder Tool (Shift + M) after selecting both the pink triangle and the blue circle to unite them together (again, select and drag across the two shapes to unite). The top edge of the circle and triangle shape does not matter, as it will be deleted, but the inside edge of each should be as smooth as possible, as it will be a part of the final bat silhouette. The orange ellipse was hidden to focus on these elements in this step.
Select both of the new blue shapes and the orange ellipse with the Selection Tool (V) and then select each blue shape with the Shape Builder Tool (Shift + M) and Delete the blue shapes from the orange ellipse. you should be left with both bat wings completed.
6. Carve Out the Head
Using the Ellipse Tool (L) draw a circle a bit past half-way down the middle bit. This will form the bat head.
Draw two triangles with the Pen Tool (P) on either side for the ears.
Select all of the pink and orange shapes with the Selection Tool (V) tool and then select the orange shape in between the bat ears with the Shape Builder Tool (Shift + M).
Delete this middle shape and Unite the pink Bat-head and orange shape in Pathfinder panel or with the Shape Builder Tool (Shift + M).
7. Finishing the Logo
Now that your basic Bat-Shape is complete, check out the anchor points to make sure they are joined, there are smooth curves, and you don't have extra shape bits scattered around your picture plane (remnants of deleting shapes).
Select your Bat Shape and change the color to black. Draw a large horizontal ellipse around the bat and center the black shape within it.
POW! Holy Smokes, Batman, You're Done!
Add a black ellipse behind the yellow one to finish off the logo. POW! This Bat-Tutorial has Bat-Finished in record Bat-Time. Creating this iconic logo familiarizes users with various tools and building complex shapes from simple ones.
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