Ideas and process
This project involved getting to know Illustrator and using the new skills to create three designs for a Typography and Graphic Communication sticker.
I knew I wanted to make a small illustration of a pencil to keep in the theme of my other projects to include in all of my sticker designs. I did this through using shape tools, and setting the stroke to be quite thick as I like the look of the chunky outlines. When I was finished I grouped the design together so I didn’t keep accidentally moving parts of my work around. My first design was primarily inspired by my photoshop final design, so I tried moving the pencils around into a way that would look good, this was unsuccessful at first but I did get a chance to experiment with envelope distort. Eventually I found a composition that I liked. Then I had to add some text, I did this by drawing a circle (holding shift so it was perfect) and using the type on a path tool to make the type curvy. Then to make the type stand out I drew a red shape behind it using the paintbrush tool (turning the accuracy down so the result would be very smooth).
For my second design I reused the pencil I made, keeping just one this time for simplicity, I used it as a line to base my text on. One thing I struggled with was making the text fit, I originally wanted it to be bigger than this but instead I had to settle with smaller text, to compensate with this I used the envelope distort tool to warp the last word so it would be a bit more interesting. I then added some drips using the paintbrush tool. To finish off I made a gradient in the background so it wasn’t just one flat colour. I think if I had more options available to me I would make the background shiny, too make it more fun. Hopefully the gradient can replicate this.
I wanted to change up the colour scheme a bit with this one so I decided to make a rainbow come out of a broken pencil. I used the knife tool a lot in this, to cut the shapes in half so I could change their colour individually. I experimented with making the type flow out on the rainbow using the type on a path tool, but ended up deciding not to do this as it wasn’t very easy to read. I added a flat background to not complicate the design too much. Whilst I still like this design, it is my least favourite out of the three, looking back I should have definitely increased the stroke width of the outline.
I knew barely anything before starting this task so I learned so much more than I did in my indesign and photoshop tasks. I improved my skills with creating images and icons myself, I usually rely on just drawing things freehand and on paper, but having to work in a completely digital format was difficult, although I soon figured it out. I’d like to try working like this but with a less geometric shape, maybe seeing how far I can go with using it illustrator as a tool for artwork. I think to improve my work I should experiment with the different brushes and textures that illustrator provides rather than sticking to one. This will make me able to achieve a more interesting (and less flat) design in future.
I used the tutorials recommended to us, I found the using layers videos helpful, even though the things being discussed weren’t too different from using layers in photoshop it was still good to get a refresher. One interesting thing I found was that the layers aren’t just one big group, you can expand the layer using a drop down arrow in order to interact with all the different elements, this is different from what i’m used to in photoshop, where the layers are one thing rather than individual groups. I think I prefer the way it is set out in illustrator as it means I can interact with each individual element on the layer (for instance, lock it) without affecting the other shapes.
Whilst creating my designs I encountered some issues that I had to fix, when this happened I found some tutorials online to help me. It’s difficult to find quick tutorials on youtube when i’m looking for knowledge about how to do a specific thing because they are usually longer than they need to be so it can be a time waster, but the ones I found were quite good. I think in future I should definitely watch a full tutorial as whilst I have learned the basics, there are still so many tools in illustrator that I have not yet used, meaning there are still some gaps in my knowledge that stop my designs reaching their full potential.
I found this one helpful when making my first design as it taught me about the type on a path tool.
this one wasn’t as helpful as it was made on an older version of illustrator, i got the main ideas from it though, and it helped me create the rainbow’s outline in my third design.
this one was useful as the polygon tools in photoshop and illustrator are slightly different as it isn’t quite as obvious in illustrator how to change the settings. Although I did only need to watch a couple of seconds of this one before I realised what I was doing.
resources for research
The resource we were recommended to look at for inspiration was Adobe’s ‘Design a brand system’ with Javier Garcia. This was helpful to me because it was interesting to have a look at the design process, sketching out ideas and turning them into a simple illustration that will somehow convey the ideas of the brand, or in the case of this project, Typography and Graphic Communication. It was good to start with, however I know I wanted to add more detail to my designs than was shown in the tutorials, so I had to look elsewhere.
However, I wanted to find some more inspiration that was more specific to sticker design, I started by looking on Pinterest and google images for a start. I am quite inspired by a cartoonish, simplistic look so the first designs that caught my eye the most were bright ones that had very strong outlines, almost childish but in a good way. I thought it would be best to go with that kind of look, because it meant I could still have fun whilst making smooth looking designs that weren’t too busy, also they would stick out, which is a good thing considering stickers are usually quite small and stuck among a group of other stickers (for instance, on the back of a laptop) so I wanted to make sure my designs wouldn’t get lost.