Initial transform effect before adding a rotation

Exploring tools in Illustrator

Design ideas and design process

3D text using the 3D transform tool

Previously, I had never used illustrator and thought that it was useful for illustrating using pen style tools rather than the wide range of varieties available through the many tools and effects. I decided to counter my expectations of this software with my approach by focussing on what effects can be achieved with text rather than drawing my design manually. Straying away from the “pen” type tools allowed me to discover elements such as the transform effect which has a spectrum of possibilities. For example, using the transform tool I was able to create this 3D lettering effect.

The original letter form
Initial use and experimenting with letter depth
inflate tool experiment
revolve tool experiment


Altering the colours to emphasise the structure

The experimentation of this tool demonstrated to me that there are much simpler techniques to develop a design similar to this than I previously would’ve used; layering various shapes in a similar, but ultimately less effective fashion.

spiral text effect, using the transform feature

The transform tool was also used to create this spiralled text effect. Again, I would have developed a similar design to this but using a much more long-winded process of manually layering texts. Steering away from using copy and paste as well as pen tools has encouraged me to be more experimental and therefore more efficient with designs.

Selecting a heavy font and laying my text in a way which compliments the intended outcome
Initial transform effect before adding a rotation
Restyling: adding a rotation to the inside text and editing the colour choice


My third design was created staggering 3 layers of coloured texts and using the tweak tool to create a glitch appearance. I found this design to be more simple but also quite effective and clear.sticker 1

creating texts
experimenting with the ‘tweak’ feature


Software tutorials

The tutorials i used largely introduced me to many tools and what their uses are. Many of the tutorials I experimented with covered tools I ended up not including in my design, but led to me having a better understanding of the layout and features of Illustrator as well more confidence in my use of the software. As well as my own research, I found using the Adobe introduction to the software very useful to me as I was explained and displayed how to properly control tools before I began experimenting. As I wanted to see what Illustrator offers aside from the drawing features, the tutorials I used focus on these aspects. While this helped me find more uses from illustrator, I realise that I’ve neglected refining and experimenting with digitally drawn designs and this is a skill I aim to develop as I venture into using Illustrator more frequently. I found the following  tutorials useful due to their short and simple nature as well as a clear visual demonstration which I find beneficial.

Design resources and articles

I personally find that I learn best through watching demonstrations rather than reading, however I did find reading a number of articles were useful in influencing my styles. The example linked below was interesting to me and inspired me to experiment with the typography I used, allowing myself to bend the boundaries of legibility which I would’ve otherwise been hesitant to experiment with. I found many articles important when considering what I was making and the features which determine the quality of the completed design. For example, considering the shape and outline of a sticker in relation to its size. However, with a lot of articles expressing the importance of breaking some design rules, I enjoyed using unconventional shapes for my sticker outline along with the legibility of letters.