Sunday, September 25, 2016

Week 5 _ Text in Illustrator

Adding type

Type features are some of the most powerful tools in Illustrator. You can add a single line of type to your artwork, create columns and rows of text, flow text into a shape or along a path, and work with letterforms as graphic objects. In Illustrator, you can create text in three different ways: as point type, area type, and type on a path. 


The first step to perfecting any new font is adjusting the leading, kerning and tracking, which affect the line spacing, letter spacing and text to create a smoother flow between letters and lines of a paragraph

LEADING-named because of typesetting printing of the past, leading refers to the vertical spacing between line of a paragraph.   In old print methods, small bars of lead were placed horizontally between the lines to create a distance between text.

KERNING: Kerning refers to adjustments made to horizontal spacing between select letters.  In Illustrator you don't actually select a set of two letters, but place your text selector between the two letters, then adjust.

TRACKING-Tracking refers to the spacing between all letters of particular selected area of text.  Very similar to Kerning, but the effect is applied globally to all the letters of the text area.


In Class Demo:
Type tool (point)
Type tool (area)-linking text to another type area
Placing Text
Linking text areas to one another.
Using envelops to warp text;  make selection, envelope (top right of control panel) 


Threading text between text areas.

On your own time:  If you are interested in more text effects and unique ways to work with text and text effects,  here is a list of 80 text tutorials with images that might interest you.   This is only placed here as a reference for you after the class.   You might want to research these for your poster design.

Click here to view the 80 Text Tutorials

Other tools:
Blending modes
Magic Wand Tool

scale, sheer, re-shape tool
-width, warp, pucker, etc.... tools
-free transform tool
-live paint, live paint selection (object>livepaint>make) -blend tool
-symbol sprayer tool 

In Class Assignment: Calligrams



noun.  a word or piece of text in which the design and layout of the letters creates a visual image related to the meaning of the words themselves.

-Illustrate 9 of the following words into a Calligram.  You must create shapes and edit beyond normal type. 




live paint, live paint selection (object>live paint>make) 


-Blending modes
-Magic Wand Tool

-scale, sheer, re-shape tool
-width, warp, pucker, etc.... tools
-free transform tool
-symbol sprayer tool 
-blend tool

Outside assignment:

Project 05_Poster Design and Typography

Think back to the deco and bauhaus research we did early on in this class. 

Create your own favorite movie poster design or rock concert poster.  A minimum of three lines of text--including: 
1. Band or Movie Title
2. Location or "In Theaters Everywhere" 
3. Dates of Importance
4. Production company
Any other information that should be included such as a slogan or alias..."The King of Pop," "You'll never feel safe after dark again!" 

Do not copy the original poster.  Design your own.  You may use any and all tools that we have gone over in Illustrator. 

11X17 (1/8 inch bleed, CMYK, 300 dpi.) 

1. Consider typography.  How does the type drive your poster?  
2. What about color?  What effect do you want the viewer to have on the viewer? 
2. Does the type fit the poster that you are trying to make?
3. How will you organize the type on the page? 
4. How large does the type need to be?  Should the title be larger than the actors? 
5. When does the movie open?  What other pertinent information do you need to include for your poster design? 

You may research and submit to one of the poster design contests that are available to students online. 


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Week 4_ Gradient Mesh Tool

Introductions to the Gradient Mesh.  
I will be doing a long demonstration to these tools.  But, here are a couple tutorials for you, in case you need to refresh or refer back to these.

In Class Assignment: 
Use this image to create the apple using the mesh tool.   We will be doing much of this together.  

In Class Assignment: Using the gradient Mesh tool,  create an volumetric image of the apple using the gradient mesh tool. 

Use the gradient mesh to create the irregular shape of the coffee cup handle in the following tutorial.

Outside Assignment:  Using the Gradient Mesh tool, create a self portrait, based on a photograph.   

If you run into some specific problems, here is a list of tips and tutorials on using the gradient mesh tool in illustrator that might be able to help.

Remember to keep the form simple.  We are making an illustration... like an "anime" version of yourself.    Here are some examples from previous classes.   Notice how the portrait is built up from a background forward.  Use the gradient to give the head the volume.   You can then use gradient mesh to add in features (mouth, nose eyes, etc) and you can build up from there.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


Understanding color

There are many ways to experiment with and apply color to your artwork in Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. As you work with color, it’s important to keep in mind the medium in which the artwork will be published, such as a print piece or a website. The colors you create need to be described in the correct way for the medium. This usually requires that you use the correct color mode and color definitions for your colors. The first part, color modes, will be described next.

Exploring color modes

Before starting a new illustration, you should decide which color mode the artwork should use, CMYK orRGB.
 CMYK—Cyan, magenta, yellow, and black are the colors used in four-color process printing. These four colors are combined and overlapped in a screen pattern to create a multitude of other colors. Select this mode for printing (in the New Document dialog box or the File > Document Color Mode menu).
 RGB—Red, green, and blue light are added together in various ways to create an array of colors. Select this mode if you are using images for onscreen presentations or the Internet.
When creating a new document, you select a color mode by choosing File > New and picking the appropriate profile, such as Print, which uses CMYK for the color mode. You can change the color mode by clicking the arrow to the left of Advanced and making a selection in the Color Mode menu.

Check out


which provides an explanation of the hexidecimal system that Adobe uses when numbering colors in an RGB environment. 

All Color has 3 main properties

1. Value-how light or dark a color is
2. Intensity or chroma-how prismatic or pure a color is
3. Hue-what color is it?   Red, Blue, Green, etc.

Key Color Terms
Achromatic – Having no color.
Achromatic grays – Grays mixed from black and white only. Achromatic grays appear to have no coloration.
Additive color – Color as seen in light. Red, green and blue-violet are the additive color primaries. When mixed they produce white light.
Analogous colors – Closely related hues adjacent to each other on the color wheel.
Chromatic - Having color.
Chromatic grays – Grays mixed from colors rather than black and white.
Complementary colors – Colors that share no common hue and lie directly opposite each other on the color wheel.
High key – refers to colors that are light in value.
Hue – The name given to a color based on its position in the spectrum and its wavelength. The common name of a color.
Low key – Colors that are predominantly dark.
Monochromatic – One color or a color scheme based on one color.
Muted color – Colors that have lost saturation in mixing, but whose parent colors are still easily identifiable (blue-green or red-orange).
Primary triad – In subtractive color red, yellow, and blue from which (theoretically) all colors can be mixed.
Prismatic color – Pure hues that represent the spectrum colors at highest saturation.
Saturation – Intensity or chroma. Saturation refers to purity of hue.
Secondary triad – In subtractive color orange, green, and violet. The three colors equidistant from each other on the color wheel made by mixing pairs of primaries.
Shade – Mixing black with a color.
Simultaneous contrast – The tendency for complementary colors to intensify each other when juxtaposed.
Spectrum – Pure colored light as seen with a prism or in the form of a rainbow.
Subtractive color – Color seen in pigment as a result of reflected light.
Temperature – The relative warmth or coolness of a color as determined by its hue (blue is cool, orange is warm).
Tertiary colors – Intermediate colors created by combining a primary with a secondary color.
Tint – White mixed into a color.
Triad – Color scheme involving any three hues equidistant on the color wheel.
Value – The relative lightness or darkness of a color.

If you need more information about color theory, here is a very comprehensive color introduction that I give to Color Foundations Classes. 

Color intro from Thomas Everett Green


In Class:

Take the color challenge

Take a screenshot of your results!!!



Complete Exercises 1, 2, 3, and 4 from the digital foundations wiki page:

Review the following Color Schemes (Harmonies)

Monochromatic Color Scheme-only one color (and shades and tints of that color are used).  This color scheme is very low contrast (within color) and can convey a very emotional effect. 
Analogous Color Scheme-is also a lower contrast color scheme, and can also convey emotions, moods, and temperature. 
Complementary Color Scheme-very impacting and exciting, high contrast scheme. 
Split Complementary Color Scheme-very high impact, exciting, less obvious. 
Tetrad Color Scheme-can still be as impacting, but more complex relationships can develop.   It's not obvious to the viewer the color scheme being used
Triadic-equidistant medium Contrast color scheme.  Still provides some excitement, but not as engaging as complementary or tetrad schemes. 
Square Color Scheme equidistant medium Contrast color scheme.  Complex color scheme. 

Contrast can be achieved in many different ways. 

Project 3:  

1. Take 5-10 digital photos of the architecture on MCA campus.  Look for areas that are visually interesting and have lots of angles, shadows and shapes.   You may use any of the tools that you have used so far in Illustrator. Use one of the harmonies we have suggested above, 

Or by creating your own palette based on one of Itten's color contrasts.

2. Select an image and create a new 11x17" document with 1/8 (.125") bleed.  

3. Place and lock that file in illustrator, then recreate that image

The most important thing you will need to consider for your works to be successful is the use of value. If your values are not correct, the work will not have the believe-ability of works that have taken value into consideration. 

Previous student work. 
Complementary Contrast (blue-green and red-orange) 

Warm Cool color Contrast

Mono Chromatic 

Homework for tonight:  Watch the following tools and tricks that we will be using in our next assignment. 

also, please watch!!! :