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Adobe Illustrator CC: Create a Logo

This software is available for free use at Idea Exchange, Old Post Office, Creative Studios. example logos

A logo is crucial to the success of any brand or company. It needs to be versatile, memorable and dynamic. But perhaps most important of all, it needs to be transferable to multiple media platforms. This means, it needs to be able to fit on a customized pen or a gigantic billboard… without losing any quality.

Adobe Illustrator is the perfect tool to do just that. This vector based program allows images created within it to be blow up as large as you need without getting blurry. This tutorial will teach you the basics of Adobe Illustrate as we create our own logo.

How to Guide

1. Launch Adobe Illustrator. On the main screen, click on the “Create New” button.

Illustrator main screen, create new

2. Select the Print tab and click on “Letter” for a standard size option. You can also customize your canvas size using the toolbar to the right (circled in green). There are also plenty of free templates to choose from under the other tabs (Mobile, Web, Print, Film & Video, Art & Illustration). Make your selection and click Create to continue.

select a canvas size

3. This is what the main layout of the program looks like!  The first thing you should know how to do is resize your canvas (known in Illustrator as an Artboard). To do this  select the Artboard Tool from the toolbar on the left.

use the Artboard Tool to resize canvas

This will allow you to resize your current artboard by dragging the corners in or out. It will also allow you to create new artboards.  Using artboards is a great way to have all your concepts in one file, but still separate from each other.

use artboards to have all concepts in one file, but still separate

4. Once you’ve learned how to do that, we are ready to start creating a logo! We are going to start by using the Type Tool to type your brand or business name. If you click + hold on this tool, it will show you all the type options available to you. For now, we are just going to use the basic one. 

use the Type Tool to type brand or business name

5. Use the toolbar to the right to change the font, size, color, style and spacing of your font. Make sure you have the Properties tab selected in order to display this toolbar. If you only want to change a specific selection of you text, hightlight that selection using the type tool and then make your changes (that’s how I made the word “Design” blue and in bold).

customize text

6. Now, for my logo I want to have a nice paintbrush stroke across the top of my text. To do this, I am going to start by using the Pen Tool to create the basic shape of it. To use the pen tool you click to create anchor points. The lines will then connect with each other (kind of like connect the dots!)  Make sure to connect your final anchor point to your first to complete the shape.

use the pen tool you click to create anchor points of a shape

7.  Right now, my shape does not look much like a brush stroke. So, I’m going to use the Distort Tool to modify it further. Click + hold on the icon to see all the options.  Here is a sample:

use the Distort Tool to modify

8. Of all those effects, I think the Twirl Tool looks the most like a paint brush stroke. I manipulate my shape further until I am happy with it. To further modify your shape, select your shape and then select the Mesh Tool. This will map out the entire shape in anchor points, allowing you to manipulate it more freely.

further modify with Mesh Tool

9. Once that is complete, we will need to Rasterize the shape to allow further color modification. Select your shape and then select Object > Rasterize from the menu.

Rasterize shape to allow color modification

9. You should now be able to change the color of your shape using any of the options highlighted in the image below..

change the color of your shape

10. To resize your shape, use the Resize Tool.  Click on the shape and drag from the anchor point to make it bigger or smaller.

resize your shape

11. Your logo is now complete. Don’t forget to take advantage of the space on your artboards! This is the perfect tool to explore color and media variations.

example finished logos

12. To export your image for use, select the .PNG option to ensure the background behind your logo is transparent. We also recommend saving a copy of your Illustrator file (.ai) so that you can return and  edit at a later date if needed.

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