Manipulating letter format in Illustrator

Design ideas and design process

This Illustrator task encouraged me to explore how the tools can be used to manipulate letters in various unique ways.


Design Idea 1

In this letter logo, I focused on using the envelope distortion and pen tool. I began by drawing a custom shape which then warped the initials into a distorted shape when clicking the envelope distortion tool. Duplicating these initials and positioning them above the original set of letters afterwards, resulted in an aesthetically pleasing letter logo.


Design Idea 2

In my second design, I combined two different fonts together, Savoye led plain and Srisakdi. I further experimented with various line weights and colour combinations using the colour swatches and used a brush definition of a charcoal feather for the initials to highlight them as the focal point.



 Design Idea 3

My third design for this task I believe is my most successful as it allowed me to expand my skills within illustrator even further and shift my design skills out of my comfort zone by using the curvature tool to a higher standard and through using the transform tools to complete the logo.


I began by adding my letters which were written in a serif font and made these letters outlines to allow me to change and adapt the format/shape of the letter entirely.


After manipulating both letters I discovered that the letter D due to having an internal shape within the centre led the letter T to looked very different in comparison so to resolve this issue I added a triangle shape into the middle of the T and used the curvature tool to match the T with the curve style seen in the letter D.


This design task allowed me to experiment with the colour swatch palette, I attempted to experiment with extreme colours and display how contrasts can be used to bring out the contents within a shape. I approached this idea by filling the circle shape with a bright red colour as this brought out both the colour black and white used for the letters.


Then I duplicated the 2 letters and altered the size of the letters and positioning using the transformation tools resulting in a more appropriate layout for a letter logo.


To complete the logo, I added another eclipse shape with a weight of 2pt compared to the outside eclipse which had a weight of 5pts, this helped develop the logo even further. This design idea for the task is the most effective as it shows a range of variations between layout, shapes, and line thickness


Software Tutorials

As I was unfamiliar with creating letter logos, I watched a range of tutorials to assist me along with some articles which helped me gain knowledge on various transforming methods in a step-by-step format. I began with learning the basics which involved warping text into a simple shape using the envelope distortion tool, the tutorial began with displaying how to transform the text into shapes such as a triangle or an eclipse. However, I wanted to also learn how to warp text into a custom shape within illustrator which I grasped an understanding of through another youtube tutorial. This not only explored how the envelope tool is used within the process but also how the transform tool and the direct selection tool can be used to create unique shapes which results in a creative displacement of letters. Another tutorial I watched showed how to create outline fonts in illustrator, this helped me expand my text skills further as this turns the letters into individual shapes which can be directly manipulated when using the direct selection tool. This tool shows various anchor points which are included in the piece of text, displaying what can be changed, distorted, etc. A software skill I would like to learn in the future is creating 3D type, this can be done through making a 3D drop shadow and by adding various textures, and gradients which bring the text further out of the page. I believe this would allow my skills to be able to develop further as I could combine both the 3D drop shadow with the warped text which uses the envelope distortion tool.


Design resources and articles

I read a design article to expand my knowledge on the various text effects in Illustrator, the article described how the effects can influence the texts shape, format, or overall look. The article influenced me to see how each of the 3 designs could use different formats, effects and colours which would result in a unique, contrasting letter logo which shows contrasts when placed aside different type logos.

After seeing one of the text effects included in the article titled grainy & shaded type it encouraged me to change my type in my second design to use a brush definition of a charcoal feather. This led the initials to seem printed/painted on which I believe could bring curiosity if seen by audience members as this effect contrasts with the computerised lines created with the pen tool.

An additional article I read was on warping text which provided me with tips, one being on adjusting the spacing between objects before wrapping the text and use a clipping mask when you want the text to flow around a complex shape, such as I the one drew in my first design idea.


Learning throughout the module

Throughout this spring term module, I have increased my knowledge of using adobe software and this is reflected in my quiz results improving from last term’s. However, I did guess two of the answers within the quiz which asked questions on more advanced technicalities within the adobe software, such as, what to save certain files as, so to improve I will research each of the software’s pre-sets and save settings.

Last term I also received feedback to explore vector-based work, I believe I successfully achieved developing my skills within this area by choosing a task which specifically asked for vector objects to be drawn. I will push myself to continue to explore using vector-based work in the future.

Within the module, I learnt how to add guides within InDesign which assisted me in creating a layout of a table, this task pushed me to improve my text formatting skills in an eye-catching and striking way. If I was to improve my work created this term, I would create a timetable which does not use any lines and has a minimalistic style, this is because this format would be a complete contrast with my other table.