Design Ideas and Process
Starting off my illustrator project, my main focus was to tie together my indesign and photoshop tasks, seeing as the idea for the project as a whole was to create material for a podcast it made sense to tie them together as a set, however, my indesign and photoshop work was very different in design so to have the 3 pieces as a full set I wanted to tie them together with this project and use elements from both in this design.
My initial idea for the illustrator task (figure 1) stemmed from the form of the microphone image I used in the photoshop task (figure 5), I took the same image into illustrator and drew the outline of it using the pen tool, my initial idea was just to use the silhouette of this image and have a very basic background using the shape created, however after creating it I decided I would add slightly more detail to the silhouette to allow it to be more easily understood to be a microphone, especially if the user had seen the actual podcast cover (figure 5), having the microphone sticker with slightly more detail as a base flat simple image allowed me to branch out into colour very easily because of the simple style and shape, it was from here that I added in the colours that I’d used in my indesign project (figure 4) using the iconic pink and blue to create a vibrant sticker (figure 2), with the task itself being to create a sticker I found that having bright colours made sense because the function of the sticker is to stand out against any background and be noticeable no matter where it is stuck. From this point I decided that text wouldn’t need to be a huge part of the sticker itself because the bright colours allowed it to be noticeable, this meant I could embed the text into the shape which I did, creating an emphasis on the word podcast by making it larger, I also decided that I’d cut the text into the shape to simplify it down more, I wanted the sticker to consist of 2 colours and only if necessary three, also cutting the text into the microphone silhouette shape meant that it flowed better within the shape as a whole and the text didn’t just look like an afterthought addon. Finally, I decided to bring in some more elements, the lines dots and squiggles, from my indesign task (figure 4) and add them onto the sticker (figure 3), this meant that the sticker tied the 3 designs together much better, however I eventually decided that this made the sticker itself too crowded which defeated the design I’d originally gone for, so I decided that figure 2 would be my final design.
When it came to software tutorials, my main focuses for illustrator were learning how to use the pen tool better and I also wanted to improve my use of layers within illustrator, as this is something that I’ve not done before, and it’s led to issues in past projects.
The main illustrator tutorial I used was an in-depth video on the pen tool inside illustrator by ‘tutvid’ on YouTube, focusing on using it for creating very custom paths and shapes. This video helped me learn to create the simplified microphone shape for my sticker, this wouldn’t have been anywhere near as easy without the pen tool, the amount of iteration and detail needed if I’d done this using basic shapes prebuilt inside illustrator and editing the anchor points that way would’ve taken way too long in comparison. Furthermore, using the pen tool as opposed to another option or method, meant that I had the paths built in aw way that I understood and could utilise properly later on when I wanted to add more detail or customise the shape, the paths became easy to use and simple, because I could limit the amount of anchor points, I’d used it meant I could manipulate the shape perfectly. The tutorial specifically explains how to use the pen tool for tracing a shape and how to get the angles and curves you want properly and how to refine them down to be exactly correct to the image you want to create.
The video also touched on certain shortcuts and key binds you can use when using the pen tool to allow you to quickly create certain types of joins in the shape or certain Bezier curves, these shortcuts and commands are something that I’d like to develop further now so I can more efficiently use the tool in future.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXpnKlUMZQA&ab_channel=tutvid – This is the tutorial I used.
Design Resources and Articles
When I was looking into shortcuts and quick commands I could use inside of illustrator I came across a default keyboard shortcuts article by adobe, this article highlights all of the keyboard shortcuts inside illustrator and is particularly useful as they’re well grouped into sections and easy to sift through to find what you need quickly, I spent time going through this article to learn some new shortcuts that would hopefully allow me to more effectively utilise the given tools inside illustrator. As well as a list of every shortcut for illustrator the article also has downloads for ‘one page reference’ sheets, one for both mac and windows users, this download is a very useful and precise list of the most helpful shortcuts for illustrator, I saw this as a list of shortcuts that it would probably be necessary to learn off by heart, and then from there I can go and learn the more specific niche shortcuts as and when I need them from the full list on the original article.
https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/using/default-keyboard-shortcuts.html – this is the article I used