Category: Podcast sticker (Illustrator)

Illustrator podcast stickers

Design Ideas and Design Process

Sticker 1: For my first sticker, I decided to incorporate a modernist style using geometric shapes, lines, and bold writing. One of my postcards was what inspired me to create this sticker as I felt the modern traits helped draw attention to the text and I thought they made the overall design generally more eye-catching and interesting. Whilst I knew I wanted to create a modern sticker; I wasn’t entirely sure how to create it. To help gain ideas, I sketched out specific letters that I would include, and I illustrated around them until I found a look which I liked, and thought worked well for the overall style. I also experimented around on illustrator with font sizes and colours before finally settling on black, white, and grey tones. This design helped me a lot with regards to getting my bearings in illustrator, and learning about how it works generally speaking.

Sticker 2: For my second sticker, I chose to create it with a softer, more artistic and creative feeling. To achieve this, I planned on writing out the text and then adding illustrations such as soft shapes and patters which would flow from it. Whilst I wanted to stick with this plan fully, I ended up changing a few things along the way. Instead of leaving the inside of the sticker plain white to help draw attention to the illustrations merged with the text, I chose to fill in the sticker with a grey tone that gets darker the further away it gets from the centre. This made the sticker feel almost like a metal plaque. Whilst it didn’t go entirely to plan, I feel like this design was successful at helping me develop my skills and knowledge of illustrator. I also managed to add a boarder to it which helped make it look more like a sticker.

Sticker 3: My third sticker was easily my least favourite and successful. This was because my design didn’t go to plan at all and so much changed along the way. In the beginning I was planning on manually adding the text to the sticker using the brush tool as I wanted to make another artistic looking sticker, as well as wanting to explore the brush tool and what it has to offer to help me develop my skills. This proved unsuccessful as it was very hard to manually add the text without it looking messy and poorly made. To make up for this, I used a font called ‘sign painter- house script’. This looked like it had been painted as the letters seemed to flow more smoothly. I then used the paintbrush tool to add splashes of paint to the ends of letters, making them look like they had been messily painted on, without making the whole sticker look messy. The one issue I encountered however was that the whole sticker looked rather boring. To solve this issue, I added ink splatters in some of the empty areas. Whilst the design wasn’t as nice as I thought it would be, I think it definitely helped me develop my skills as I managed to explore the die cutting feature more, and I also got the chance to explore the brush options. Not only that but I also figured out how the edit the control panels, giving me the chance to add and subtract the more important tools which I needed.

Sticker 1: This screenshot shows me merging some of my shapes together so that I could add a boarder around the sticker.
Sticker 1: This screenshot shows me exploring the tools in the properties panel. I used this panel to edit the font, font size, and leading of the text.
Sticker 2: To make sure the brushstrokes I used to illustrate the text of my sticker, I used the properties panel to edit the stroke size.
Sticker 2: To make sure my illustrations looked neat and smooth, I used the paintbrush tool option panel to make the strokes as smooth as possible.
Sticker 2: In this screenshot, you can see me using the gradient tool to edit the way the grey tones fade from the outside into the centre of my sticker.
Sticker 3: Before making my third sticker, I decided to write out a few letters using the brush tool to see if my writing was neat enough to create an aesthetically pleasing text. This showed me that it looked quite messy and unprofessional.

Paint experiments

Sticker 3: This screenshot shows how I used the offset path tool to create a border around my sticker which matched the shape of it exactly.

Software Tutorials

Sticker 1: When creating my first sticker, I used a few software tutorials to help me figure out how to die cut my sticker. I also watched two YouTube tutorials to help me merge layers and shapes so that I could die-cut them. Whilst I was able to merge the layers together, the die-cutting was not as successful as the sticker was made of multiple shapes and even though I merged them, they were still seen as individual shapes when I tried creating a 0.5pt boarder.

The video I watched to help me merge shapes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwEGB4YVe-c

The video I watched to learn how to die cut: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqQqEJ-HtC8

Sticker 2: In order to successfully die-cut my second sticker, I used the same tutorial as I did for my last sticker. The die-cutting process was much more successful in this sticker than it was in the last one as the whole sticker was based on a single shape. I also watched a YouTube tutorial and looked at the adobe website when making this so that I could work out how to make my brush strokes smoother so that my illustrations appear more professionally done. Not only this but I also looked at the adobe website for help on how to create a gradient colour blur within my sticker.

Link to adobe website: https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/illustrator/using/gradients.html

Sticker 3: Whilst my third sticker was definitely my least favourite and most unsuccessful, I gained quite a few new skills from it including how to find and change different brush settings, how to alter the control panels, and how to make a more effective looking die-cut border. To do this, I watched a YouTube tutorial explaining how to find the different brush settings and how to use them. I learned how to manipulate the control panels simply through experimenting and exploring illustrator. Finally, when it came to die-cutting, I simply watched the same video from before, and then experimented further.

Brush tool video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4P4-QIj0B2o

Resources for Research and Inspiration

Sticker 1: Two large inspirations for my first sticker were the modernist movement and Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, specifically, his painting ‘Composition with Red, Blue, Black, Yellow, and Gray’. I loved the painting because of the bold colours and blocky modernist layout. Whilst I wanted to make a sticker like this, I also didn’t want colour to distract from the text as that is the most important part of it. Because of this, I chose to make all of the shapes black and white and grey. My second source of inspiration is hard to explain, however it was essentially the faded lines you see in architectural sketches that are used for accuracy. I liked how the lines made architectural sketches look technical and industrial, yet still creative. I chose to incorporate this into my text, as if the text is something which was designed and planned before being manufactured.

This image was taken from google images and is a simple example of the kind of architectural lines I was describing.

Sticker 2: When coming up with the design for my second sticker, I knew I wanted to create one which looked more artistic and creative, and I also knew I wanted to merge my text with illustrations. In order to gain inspiration on how to illustrate my text, I created a mood board featuring a variety of images of text and letters with patters and shapes and visuals flowing from them. Some images were of old or old styled letters and some were clearly contemporary. Whilst I originally liked the idea of my text being heavily mixed with lots of visuals, I ended up simply decorating it with shapes and patters which flower from it as I found it was quite difficult to create my idea on illustrator. It also ended up looking quite messy. After creating my text, I decided to fill in the whole sticker with grey and I chose to make the grey fade as you look towards the centre. This made my sticker look like a metallic plaque which I actually quite liked. In order to then expand on this idea, I smoothened out the edge of the sticker.

Illustrated letters mood board

Sticker 3: My third and final sticker was heavily inspired by what I wanted my second sticker to be like. I intended on it looking messy but in a controlled and intentional way to make it appear more creative and artistic. I wanted the text to look like it had been painted onto the sticker using oil paint. I was somewhat inspired by the logo for the show ‘art attack’ as it looks like the text has been splattered onto the logo. After this idea fell through, I decided to use ink platters instead in an attempt to bring back the artistic theme. This worked somewhat however the whole sticker looks messy.

This was the logo which I was partially inspired by. I wanted to make a sticker similar to this, except a bit more professional looking.

 

 

 

Undulating Type.

A sticker design project. Created using Adobe Illustrator. 

Image 1 – An overhead mockup with two designs

Personal Aim: experiment with movement and flow within Illustrator

Brief Introduction:

During the entirety of this term, we were asked to explore different Adobe softwares, to expand our understanding, whilst also experimenting with different document formats and the regulations that apply within. Almost instantly, I was excited to have an opportunity, to polish up my existing skill set with Illustrator.  Hence why these designs, turned out to have the strongest visual impact.

Image 2 – An overhead, mockup shot of the strongest design idea (refer to design 3 below)

Design Ideas and Design Process:

Idea 1: Exploring Curves and 3D Type

 Since Illustrator offers a wide range of tools for both, the development of illustrations/drawings and type, I was curious to experiment with the idea of 3D type, a design trend that was dominant in 2019, with the concept of 3D not only being limited to type (refer to image 3) but was also prominently seen in animations and GIFs as well (refer to images 4-5). One other popular trend that I have seen, probably emerging around late 2019 to 2020, is the increase use of neutrals and soft pastels, with both leaning towards embedding accents of pinks (can be very evident in ‘stationery design’, with abstract curves serving as a repetitive pattern in the background. From the start, I knew I wanted to try and fuse the two together and judge the outcome derived.

Image 3 – A 3D video by Antoni Tudisco, that got popular over Instagram in 2019, https://www.behance.net/antoni
Image 4 – Another 3D animation seen trending in 2019 by BastardFilms, https://www.instagram.com/_bastardfilms_/

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Image 5 – A collage showing the popular use of 3D type, softer colours and curves, derived from Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image 6 – Final design 1, inspired from certain elements of the 2019 design trend

After coming up with a small phrase, I decided to choose Helvetica Bold as my typeface, primarily because square types tend to work better with 3D view. Once I was satisfied with the size, I headed over to the ‘effects’ menu before selecting the ‘3D, extrude and bevel’ option. After much consideration, ‘isometric top’ provided the desired effect that I was after. All that was left for me to do was to just ‘expand’ and ‘ungroup’ the object and soon enough, I was able to physically choose parts of the 3D shape to fill in my desired colour. Instead of following the general rules that comes to shadows, I decided to just use two soft orange colours, one being light and the other being dark.

The next characteristic to embody were the curves, which in this case, were freely hand drawn with the help of the ‘pen tool’ and then fixed with the ‘direct selection tool’ (to smoothen out any sharp or ragged edges). After drawing one, to add variation, I copied the same design, but instead flipped them either vertically or horizontally, alongside with making some of them bigger in size than the others.

Image 7 – A screenshot showing the process of creating a soft brush pattern
Image 8 – Representation of what the pattern looked like when layered onto the background
Image 9 – The ineffective dotted pattern layered in the background

Sticking with the design trends colours, I went with soft pastel pinks with accents of neutrals. I did also try to create an abstract pattern with a soft brush, but in the end, that experimentation did not look very cohesive. Just to give one last try, I created a dotted pattern, but in the end, it also took me to a dead end, making me realise that it would be best to leave this design the way it looks.

 

 

 

Idea 2: Exploring Layouts and Twirling

Image 10 – Final version of design 2
Image 11 – Stationery designs like this, inspired me to try out the marbling effect
Image 12 – A recreation of the texture that marble resembles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I was researching into some stationery designs (refer image 11), I was reminded about a technique that I had seen and tried (physically with nail varnish) previously. Whilst exploring idea 1, I was reminded about this technique effect that piqued my curiosity. The effect in question is called marbling (refer to image 12), where beautiful and smooth curves mix with the background to form movement (similar to waves). As the name may suggest, it is inspired from the physical textures of natural marble, where this movement is prominent within the rock. It is a process that is usually associated to more elegant types of design, that are usually topped off with serif fonts and complimentary colours.

Image 13 – The end result of the twirl effect, which worked out effectively

For the colour schemes, I decided to use purple as my main focus, which has been quite common for web design trends within 2020. Varying degrees of purple hues and even neon versions of purple have been more commonly visible. I also thought that the colour purple could create an interesting juxtaposition between the marbling effect and the suggestion of elegance (as it is not considered, in the Western cultures, to portray elegance).

After drawing two rectangles, with different shades of purples, all I had to do was select the ‘twirl’ tool and adjust the size of the brush, before creating this effect (refer image 13). I kind of wanted the appearance to look very abstract as it would be completely pointless, to set restrictions to this effect. Finally, after much consideration within colour schemes, I created a wavy, lavender background too ensure that my marbling effect would stand out more prominently.

Image 14 – An alternative experiment with outlined text

Once I was satisfied with the way the colours looked, I decided to tackle typography next. ‘Ambroise Std, ExtraBold’ was the typeface that I made use of, as it seems to fit and compliment the background very well. I also wanted the composition of the text to match the playfulness of the background, so I went ahead and sectioned out the word before placing them asymmetrically. Initially, I wanted the type to be in an outline (refer image 14), but after trying it out, it looked incomplete, so instead I decided to fill in the word and then layer the outline behind it, which ended up with a much better result.

 

Idea 3 (favourite design idea): Exploring Type Manipulation

Image 15 – A final version of design 3
Image 16 – A still capture from a kinetic type video, taken from a Wix Blog
Image 17 – Repetitive text example, designed by Carlos de Jesus, that was popular in 2019
Image 18 – This type of variation within text was also popular in 2019 design trends. These types of designs tend to have outlines and bold colours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of my best design ideas was derived from a mixture of design trends, that took place between 2019-2020. In the year of 2019, kinetic type, type moving around in 3D space (refer to image 16) and repetition type, with repetition being a 2D version of kinetic (refer to image17), was extremely popular and almost all designers seem to be making the most of it. Whilst I was looking for some more examples, I also noticed another popular trend, which consisted of outlines and repetition but within ‘one unit’ (refer image 18). This was very interesting to me, especially since I felt that these ideas would fit in very well with my personal aim, that being to explore movement.

Upon finding a YouTube tutorial (and a few articles for assistance) on how to create the repetitive, wave type, I started to experiment with a single letter at first. Once again, I decided to use Helvetica for this experiment, as from my previous testing, round fonts did not actually work as effectively as it was suggested.

Image 19 – One of my first design ideas that was inspired by collaging of individual letters
Image 20 – This was the first variation that was produced using a curved path. Overall, I was not really fond of the optical flow that this design had, but it was still a good starting point to visualise my design.
Image 22 – This time around, I decided to change the spin of the effect (drawing a new curve path, in a different direction), before individually re-arranging the letters to experiment with layout within an individual word

Image 19 shows one of my initial design ideas, that was inspired from collaging and spacing, but in the end, I decided to discard that one, as it just did not feel right. Instead, I decided to simply spell out the word ‘type’, before following all the steps to create the repetitive, wave type. Soon after, I experimented with different placements of each letter and changing the spine of the design using ‘curve paths’ (refer images 20-21). Once I was happy with the flow of the text, then I decided to implement repetitive words (design trend), before layering it onto a solid black background and some freehand abstract shapes.

In terms of colours, I decided to stick with bright, warm colours, which are a feature of the design trends that I am focusing on. Adding a black background, enabled all the bright colours to stand out more, whilst accents of white helped to keep the balance between the both.

Software Tutorials:

Refer to the additional resources/links at the end under this subheading.

I used a fair range of software tutorials for this project, as I wanted to learn new skills and try out new features on Illustrator that I had not known/tested out before. One of the main one being the type variation that I did in my favourite design (refer design process 3). In reality, it actually took me quite a few hours to understand and learn. For the first few attempts, I could not even make past the first part of the tutorial (where the text has grids to manipulate, via the ‘envelope mesh’ option), mostly because of the typeface (even when I was using the suggested typeface or my own choice, hence I decided to skip that step just to move forewords). But once I tried it out with one letter and enlarged it, I was extremely excited to see the potential that the process had. To develop my skills further, I would really like to try out more variations within ‘envelop mesh’ and 3D type, especially with different typefaces.

 

Resources for Research and Inspiration:

Refer to the additional resources/links at the end under this subheading.

Mood boards:

One of the quickest ways for me to visualise a concept or a design trend is to create a mood board, since it is an easy way to dismantle each element that is essential, whether it may be colours, imagery, background/foreground, type setting or other variants. These have been the most effective in my learning journey as I can look at an interesting feature and then look up the way it is done on the software. In reality, all my designs and trend inspirations have emerged from looking at a range of peoples work and how they interpret/explore different attributes, since mood boards work really effectively for visual cues.

Image 22 – A generic mood mood board that I created, to help me visualise some of the design trends

Websites, blogs and articles:

Apart from creating visuals cues, I also did a fair amount of reading, whether they may be one person’s opinion or collective. This really enable me to understand what elements were popular during certain design trends and also judge how different interpretations. Aside from judgements, it also gave an opportunity to look at different ideas/concepts that I could have done or could do in the future (inclusive for any project, across all modules).

Image 23 – Example of my generic mood board

Additional Resources/links:

Software Tutorials:

3D type: YouTube and website article

Envelope Mesh: website articles

Resources for Research and Inspiration:

Website articles:

2019 Design Trends

2020 Design Trends

 Mood Board (generic):

Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colour melt

DESIGN IDEAS AND PROCESS

  • In my research I noticed stickers often had one main focal image, with the text being an accompanying feature. One of the most distinguishable features of my previous work was the hand holding the earphone. Therefore this would be recognisable and relevant for the consumer, and easy to relate the sticker to the podcast.

  • I inserted the image into the document and cropped out the blank space around the hand. With the image selected, I used the ‘image trace’ tool and selected ’16 colours’ followed by ‘expand’ to change the image into a vector, where each shade is isolated to its own shape with adjustable colours.

  • With the now vector selected, I selected ‘recolour’ to adjust the colours to those inspired by my podcast cover. So that I could have whatever background shape and colour I wanted, I ungrouped the vector to delete the background. I could then group the remaining shapes and locked them into place to prevent them moving around.

  • To create the colour stretch at the bottom of the image I used the rectangle tool to create a rectangle the width of the corresponding patch of colour. Because I cropped the image, the bottom of it was flat which meant the rectangle fit flush against the image without gaps or overlap. To duplicate the rectangle, I selected the rectangle and holding down ‘option’ I could click and drag the next rectangle into place. To ensure they lined up neatly I also held down the shift key, this kept them level horizontally. Using the adjust tool I could change the width of the rectangle to match the image.

  • Once the rectangle was in place I changed the colour to match that of the image.  I made sure the rectangle was selected, then using the eyedropper tool, I clicked in the colour block from the image that I wanted to rectangle to match. I also found moving the rectangles to the back of the layer, through pressing ‘command-shift-[‘ made the overall appearance a little cleaner.

  • For the cut lines, I used a range of tools. For larger spaces I created rectangles and circles and using the direct selection tool I could adjust the shapes to fit the space needed. For these shapes I created them on the top of each layer at 50% transparency, so that I could see the image beneath.

  • I had made this for a different sticker design that used the whole hand, I was able to import it into this file and use the ‘direct selection’ tool to adjust this shape and use further tools and add any new lines or shapes needed.

  • Using the ‘shape builder’ tool I was then able to delete any overhang or unnecessary fill areas. Once I had the desired shape I combined the shapes into one using the ‘pathfinder’ tool. Having practiced with the pen tool as part of my research, I was able to make the cut lines quite clean.

  • As a single shape, I was able to remove the shape fill and apply the relevant colour preset to the outline. I also used the ‘pen tool’ to help me build my cut shapes where helpful. The last touch was to use the direct selection tool to make final adjustments to the position of individual lines and to curvet edges.

SOFTWARE TUTORIALS

Though I was most familiar with illustrator, I found many of these tutorials very helpful in identifying and explaining the use of some tools that I had not got to grips with before. I particularly appreciated the demonstration on the shape builder tool. Previously I have tried to use the pathfinder tool in shape creation; partnered with the shape builder tool some tasks are made much simpler and easier. This is a tool I experimented with a lot this week and feel very comfortable using now. To use the shape builder tool to delete unnecessary shapes, I selected the overlapping shapes > selected the shape builder tool > hovered over the line or shape that I wanted to remove > held down the option key and clicked on the path I wanted to remove. This made a very clean and easy removal of an unwanted shape.

Other tools which I found really helpful in these tutorials were the lasso tool, the ‘create outlines’ tool and, especially for this task, the image trace tool. I have used image trace before, but not in illustrator. I found this tutorial helpful and used it in all of my designs this week to manipulate my chosen image into a vector. Once in a vector I could use ‘recolour’ to adjust the colours to imitate the predominant colours in my previous designs on the podcast. I decided against using any gradients, however, the simple tutorial was also very helpful and it is something I would like to explore in further designs.

One of my additional resources this week was The Bezier Game:  https://bezier.method.ac/
This website is incredibly helpful to develop ones skills with the pen tool. Each level is different and has a number of ways the shape could be completed. It is great for understanding how shapes are made and for learning to control the pen tool. This was particularly useful on this project when it came to making the cut lines for the sticker. I found also that understanding the pen tool better also translated to understanding how to edit and adjust shapes and lines.

RESOURCES FOR RESEARCH AND INSPIRATION

I have previously worked with a company that designed stickers for their merchandise, though I did not design any myself, I appreciated how a sticker was much more interesting and appealing when it wasn’t a conventional shape. This is something I notices in many of the resources and something that I wanted to include in my design. It had the benefit of giving me the opportunity to develop my skills with the pen tool, but also produces a much more engaging product for the consumer.

I really enjoyed Javier Garcia’s videos on branding. It was interesting to learn how he valued geometrical shape design and enjoyed exploring the impact of colour on the design. Though I did not choose to make my design geometrical, I did also enjoy exploring the effect of colour and how this can change the tone of the design. Many stickers that I have researched are often very colourful as this grabs the viewers attention. If they are less colourful, it is always a specific design choice. Either to set a camper tone or to make a point.

For further inspiration, I looked on sites such as etsy, where it is common for people to purchase novelty stickers. Ads also often pop up on instagram and other various social media platforms. Going to a store website, rather than a design website, showed me what customers are actually consuming. I discovered many stickers are very simple. They have a focal image, often with very little text. When text it used many times it is the main element. This is due to the average size of a sticker; they are generally quite small and so there isn’t enough space to cram the design with image and text as one or the other, or both, may end up so small that they are unreadable. This is something I kept in mind when designing my stickers, though the image is nice and big on my screen, I must consider the final product.

etsy example

Postcard Assignment.

For the postcard assignment I have decided to create a piece that represent the person who played an important role in Graphic Design, William Morris. William Morris was a British  textile designer, book designer and created famous “Golden Type”. He created Kelmscott Press in 1888,“Deeply concerned with the problems of industrialization and the factory system, Morris believed that a return to the craftsmanship and spiritual values of the Gothic period could restore balance to modern life. He rejected tasteless mass-produced goods and poor craftsmanship in favor of the beautiful, well-crafted objects he designed.In 1888 Morris decided to establish a printing press to recapture the quality of books from the early decades of printing.”

I have chosen black and white photo of William Morris.

 

I used Adobe Illustrator for this task. I tried a new selection of tools. To create an outline of William Morris’s photo, I have used the “Image Trace”. Then I have filled the background with black color and added three circles with stroke color(transparent). I aligned the  text around the circle, to curve the text and wrap it around in a shape of circle,I applied “Type on the Path Tool”.And the final step was to create a PDF.

William Morris

Overall, it was an intriguing experience, as I anticipated one outcome and got a totally different design. I also learned a lot of technical skills, which helped in my other projects.

Sticky printing

Design ideas & design process

When we were told we would get to actually print our own sticker designs I decided to create a sticker that wouldn’t have any problems with actually printing the correct colours, which would look the same on screen as it will be printed. Thus I used Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black (and white as it’s usually the paper/background colour).

Fig 1: Finished design Idea 1

For my first design idea, fig 1, I started off with this idea of various tabs open in a desktop, once I had done this though I felt it was rather plain so I tried various effects. Eventually I discovered the flare tool and I find it makes the design feel more like a photograph of a screen, giving it a bit more interest and ties it together. Upon deciding my sticker shape I went away from my original idea as It would have been rather plain and looked at other shapes. Finally deciding on placing two stars next to one another as the Typography and Graphic Communication course is all about bringing things together; type and image, print and screen, etc.

Fig 2: Completed Design Idea 2

Within my second design idea (fig 2) I wanted to try gradients, having a preference for warm colour pallets I decided to use Yellow and Magenta on a black background to ensure it really stands out. As the gradient creates an orange colour I layered various hexagons to create a vague reference to honey combs. After adding the text I began distorting the various shapes as well as the text creating a busy vibe within the design. As we are busy bees in the department – excuse the pun.

Fig 3: 100% cyan, magenta and yellow

For my final design idea I thought of creating the microscopic view of a printing press print on the white paper (fig 3). In order for my sticker to not get blurred edges but nice crisp ones the colours had to be 100% Yellow, Magenta or Cyan.

Fig 4: Typography & Graphic Communication text shaped like a ball

Once that was done I Created the text, as it didn’t stand out enough for my liking I tried using the stroke rather than the fill, creating a neon writing effect. Which was better but still not quite vibrant enough for my liking. Eventually I decided to warp the type and make it white, thus making my text look as though it’s jumping out at the reader, especially placed on a circle – which looks like a ball, fig 4.

Fig 5: Paintbrush pathway

Despite the text being more prominent at this point I wanted to do something else with my design, make it something really interesting to look at, so I decided to try create a path with the paintbrush to lead the eye and create the illusion that the text really is jumping out of the design. Sticking with my three colours I lowered the paintbrush’s opacity after choosing a watercolour brush to add texture, yet keep the inking dots within the focal point. After adding these (fig 5) it created a more playful dynamic to the design itself as well, like a fairy flight. Considering the main audience of stickers is children this happy accident made this my favourite design idea.

Fig 6: Green pathway is Cutcontourkiss and pink pathway is Cutcontourperf

As my design was complete all that was left to do was create the Sticker cut (Cutcontourkiss) and sticker bleed (Cutcontourperf ) pathways on their corresponding layer for the sticker to be printed later on. See fig 6.

 

 


Software Tutorials

I used https://www.linkedin.com/learning/illustrator-2021-essential-training/walk-through?u=83824434 to gather inspiration and a basic knowledge of how to use Adobe Illustrator as I am very much still a beginner.

Since these types of tutorials are created for you to follow along it helps me not only learn but retain the information so when I needed to know how to round the edges in the pen toll for example I knew how to do so without having to go back and rewatch it. I will also be less likely to forget how to do so in the long run as I have put what I learned into practise already – it’s useful, not just something someone told you is useful.

Another thing I used was notes on previous keyboard shortcuts I have learnt so far, which work in Adobe Creative Cloud across Photoshop and InDesign. Before starting I used trial and error to work out which of those also work for Illustrator, and wrote those as well as any new ones I learn down on another piece of paper. This means I will become a more efficient user of these softwares. My goal with this is to one day be able to change to any tool and function merely by using the keyboard since this does decrease the amount of time I need to create something significantly.

Moreover, in future I aim to be able to design things where the text itself is an image, or warped into the shape of an image, I think that would be interesting to explore further and opens up a lot of doors as well. Similarly I wish to learn how to make 2D designs appear 3D, almost photographic within the software as this would open a lot of new possibilities as well. Whilst I am not the most talented artist I do think that with this ability I could create some sophisticated and intricate designs in the future. Furthermore, I will continue to explore how to navigate the individual tools to make my time more efficient knowing the best tool for the job ahead of time.


Resources for research and inspiration

I quite enjoyed creating something that’s meant to look pretty more than anything else, since it meant I really could make it as simplistic and childlike as I felt at the time – playing around with and getting to know the software. I drew a lot of inspiration from the actual printing press process where all the printed colours come from the four colours; Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. An example of this (CMYK) can be seen at: https://www.vectorstock.com/royalty-free-vector/cmyk-halftone-dot-pattern-vector-1226241. It inspired me to the point that my colour pallet is entirely based on this across all three design ideas. One design idea was even created. in such a way to represent this, or the original idea behind it anyway.

Knowing how vast Adobe Illustrator is used I limited my research to video tutorials, which not only explain but also demonstrate what to do (and I can follow along). A good place to find reliable sources is LinkedIn Learning, though I do use Youtube when looking at a more specific skill as it’s simpler to find a specific tutorial when you don’t yet know what what you want to do is called, like how to use artistic brushes.

In future I would like to explore the weeks worth of viewing material on LinkedIn as there’s just a fountain of knowledge waiting for me to learn how to apply it. Maybe learn how to use a drawing tablet as well whilst using illustrator as I found it quite difficult to make the paintbrush stokes with a mouse, when drawing I very much prefer holding/using a pencil or pen to a trackpad or mouse.

Designing Stickers in Illustrator

Design ideas and design process

 Idea 1: For my first design I decided to use a lightbulb to show the generation of ideas by graphic designers, as that is most likely the podcast’s target audience. I knew that I wanted to include letters or type of some sort as the podcast talks about type. I began by typing out letters, converting them to outlines and then trying to warp the letters into a lightbulb shape. I didn’t think this was very successful as the letters looked awkwardly squashed and the amount of white space was too much for the lightbulb shape to be clear enough.

I then tried drawing the shape of the lightbulb with the pen tool and using it creating a layer mask with it. This worked but I still didn’t think the shape was clear enough, so I image traced and then expanded a photo of a light bulb so that I could place this over the top. I then went in with the white arrow tool to clean some stray points up.
This is my favourite design as I think it represents the content of the podcast well without spelling it out, and when seen from far away still works.

Initial idea
Arranging letters
Experimenting with gradient fill on idea 1
Layer masking
Design 1

 

Idea 2: For idea 2 I wanted to try a simpler design based on type. I typed out ‘Typography and Graphic Communication’ and then experimented with typefaces, leading and tracking. I reduced the leading quite significantly to make the text appear as one unit and because it allows the text to be bigger within the same dimensions. I changed the colour of ‘typography’ so that the words could be differentiated. I then experimented with different compositions of the pen using the transform tool, but I settled with just one pen drawing a line as it was the clearest and allowed for a fair amount of white space, stopping the sticker looking crowded.

Experimenting with idea 2
Experimenting for idea 2
Design 2

 

Idea 3: I decided to go for the classic circle shape for this sticker. Using the pen tool I created some organic shapes and filled them with the freeform gradient for a bright and almost 3D effect. I used the layer mask to cut a circle out of it and then experimented with various typefaces for the ‘T&GC’. I went with a simple serif typeface in the end, so that it is easy to read and brings a touch of classiness to the sticker – sans serif looked more basic and since the other designs are sans serif I thought it would add some variation to my designs.

Creating freeform gradients in organic shapes
initial idea for text on idea 3
Experimenting for idea 3
Design 3
Final Ideas with cutcontourkiss and cutcontourperf layers.

 

Software Tutorials

I had used Illustrator a fair bit before so I knew the basics but I wanted to explore the dropdown menus further. I read a tutorial on how to create icons, from which I learnt how to use the ‘Effect > Distort and transform > Transform’ function. I tried this out on Design Two, and although it didn’t make the final design I think I will find this tool very useful in the future, particularly for creating circles made up of icons. I also used the dropdown menus to outline strokes and to lock and unlock objects, for which I have now learnt the keyboard shortcuts.

I then watched a tutorial about making stickers in Illustrator (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Gh69t8mg8I) which reminded me about using swatches to get consistent colour schemes, and using linear gradients for tonal effect.

The next tutorial I watched was about freeform gradients ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhB5tTTLqDU ). I learnt about how you can use either points or lines to create 3D effects and multicoloured, organic gradients. I also watched several tutorials on using the pen tool (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kAQUNFZJXY), which led me to ‘The Bezier Game’ ( https://bezier.method.ac ). This encourages you to practice making various shapes using the pen tool in as few clicks as possible – I found this very helpful and I have become a lot more confident with this tool now. I then combined my knowledge of freeform gradients and the pen tool to create organic shapes filled with gradients, before layering them up and layer masking them over a circle.

In the future I would like to learn more about the pathfinder tool and work out which icon does what, as I usually just use trial and error to achieve the effect I want, which is more time consuming than it needs to be.

 

Resources for research and inspiration

Firstly, I looked at some sticker designs on Google to get a feel for proportions and the sort of images used. A common factor was that they used colour and large text where it needed to be readable; circles also seemed to be a popular choice when it came to shape.

I had a flick through Behance to gather some inspiration on typefaces, colour schemes and how to layout different elements, for example after looking at one of the articles I knew I wanted to make use of white space, which I did in Design 2. I was then looking at my boards and decided to have another look at  Vasjen Katro’s work, a designer I really like (http://shop.baugasm.com). This is where I got the idea for the freeform gradients as he uses a lot of fresh 3D effects which look similar, with bright/pastel colour schemes.

A  topic I would like to explore further is effects on type – for example text looking worn or ripped or textured. I think this is probably a job for Photoshop, after the text has been made in Illustrator. Typography is my main interest and this  would add another element to my stickers and would allow me to create stickers that are purely typography with effect over it – I felt that my other stickers were too boring without some sort of illustration as well.  On my Google search I saw some that used just type with an effect on it and I thought they were very effective designs, so I will look into how this is done.

 

 

 

 

 

The Type Manifesto

Resources For research and Inspiration

Before responding to the task, I decided that I would extend my theme of modern pictograms in my work. Previously, I used images taken from health and safety signage but wanted to vectorise them for manipulation with type, whilst maintaining its aesthetic. I returned to the original sign I found the graphics on, as well as the deisgns I had created from previous tasks, for a reference of how they should look. I uploaded the images to the document and lowered their opacity, allowing me to trace them but still view them for a reference

I researched sticker designs to see how the boarders fit around their subject. Considering I will use pictograms and type, I decided to research how sticker boarders fit around both these.When intricate or sharp corners are used, they generally have simplified boarders, creating a breathable and softer background. I thought rounder boarders, used with geometric subjects, would contradict ideals that modernist designs stood for, as it looked lazy and sluggish. However, I thought it important to have a generous boarder to reinforce the corners when pealed. I decided that I would strive for straight edges for uniformity in the designs original structure but combine rounded elements when necessary. In addition I wanted to avoid basic forms for the stickers boarder, aiming for a combination of straight and curved edges, rather than conforming to generic shapes as the overall sticker shape.

I noticed my research examples used a lot of colours, primarily soft pastel like colours. Rather than overwhelm the viewer with bright colours, the forms serve this, leaving the colour to convey tone. I think I’ll experiment with Black and red, two typical modernist colours which will be in line with my pictogram designs. I think I would have liked to explore colours more, using them more as elements of shade and tone for depth in the design.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design Ideas

For my first idea, I experimented with taking the pictogram and making them look like they were talking around a microphone. I felt it looked week so decided to explore more with the microphone I created using the pen tool. I wanted to include my podcast name’s initals within the microphone, leading to become a monogram which I felt was quite bold. I felt the stand looked week so I removed it, making the mic the main body. I thought I could include the title as a subtitle to the podcast. Since the microphone was full with the monogram, I decided to include it in the exterior, resembling sound waves like the layers of colour I added in the mic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For my third Idea I experimented with people talking around the microphone more. Instead I used different pictograms. I experimented with how they sat together, I made their bodies resemble text boxes by making the armpit and shoulders more angular. I also experimented with their positioning, finding that ordering them in descending size helped lead the eye towards the microphone. The sticker formed a triangle, inspiring me to add a play button for the background, as it had connotations with the podcast. I needed the background to contrast so I used red colours (in line with modernist ideals). I found it still looked flat, so I added a smaller dark red triangle to give it depth. In addition I distorted it to look a bit more playful and 3D.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My second Idea was my favourite idea. I explored the pictograms through only using two, making it feel sleek. I experimented again with using the intials of the podcast within the graphics, finding out that I could actually use the type to form the body parts. I found that the T could form the armpit and the M could form the armpit and waste, whilst creating a more feminine design. I went with this and experimented with making the type sit in different locations, trying to maintain consistancing in form with both of them, leading me to go back with the pen tool and select several anchors, dragging them in to make them skinnier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design Process

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Software Tutorials

I decided to research how to use the pen tool on Illustrator. With this research under my belt, I wanted to use it efficiently and decided to learn the shortcuts for the following tools: Add anchor point (+); Minus anchor point (-); Anchor point (shift, C); Pen tool (P); selection (V) and direct selection (A). These shortcuts allowed me to manipulate the paths and shapes more efficiently. I found it helpful as I learnt how to creat curves within a line, rather than having to use the shape tool. Initially I would use too many anchor points, but gradually became more confident. I learned that you could use guides to draw the handlebars out and create symmetric curves. I found using the shortcuts easier for moving anchor points around, as before I would accidently move handlebars. In addition I also learnt that I could draw the paths with no fill and a contrasting colour stroke to help trace my images. I also found it useful to lower the opacity of the image I wanted to trace to still have a reference.

The video I watched can be found below:

 

In addition, the shape tool and pathfinder helped me. Initially I experimented with overlapping shapes and combining them with the pathfinder tool. This was helpful to an extent, I later returned to my designs and recreated them to be one path, via the pen tool. Regardless I still used the shape tool. I found Holding down shift and scaling spheres helped me create heads more efficiently than the pen tool.I think I also would like to improve my skills with the pathfinder tool, making my shapes also include more variation in form.

The videos I watched can be found below:

 

 

I experimented with creating outlines to represent sound from the podcast in my first design. I didn’t want to over crowd the design, so I experimented with adding a subtitle along the exterior of the microphone. I had to learn how to set type to a path to do so, and used the outer line of the design to do so. I think this is one of the techniques I want to develop. Instead of using it almost as ornamentation, I would like to experiment with making an intricate design just using this tool.

The video I watched can be found below:

 

A Bright Typography Sticker

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.

Idea 1

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).

Idea 2

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.

Idea 3

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.

 

Software tutorials

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.

https://youtu.be/V-5j6tuPlQA
I found this one helpful when making my first design as it taught me about the type on a path tool.

https://youtu.be/YsIhr8tSAV8
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.

https://youtu.be/pRmUXOCLh_M
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.

 

 

 

TY1SK Illustrator task.

Illustrator sticker task

Design ideas and process:

Before completing this task I looked on Pinterest and google images to get some inspiration on ideas for this task, this helped me tremendously as it gave me an idea of what shapes are used for stickers and what they include in the stickers to engage the audience to their final product.

My design ideas:

My first sticker design

My second sticker design

My final sticker design

Before completing this task I looked on Pinterest and google images to get some inspiration on ideas for this task, this helped me tremendously as it gave me an idea of what shapes are used for stickers and what they include in the stickers to engage the audience to their final product.

Design process:

I used the ellipse tool and overlayed the ellipses on top of each other and then used the pathfinder tool to unite the ellipses together to create a shape. I added the images I felt that related well with typography and graphic communication and positioned them how I wanted. I experimented with the envelope distort tool to create a wrap on the text and created a rise style to add an effect on the text which I liked and wanted to include in my sticker design. I also experimented with the levels of the wrap on the text as I adjusted the blend of the wrap on the text so that it focused on the first half of the words, I also adjusted the levels of the distortion effect on the wrap where I increased the horizontal distortion to create more of an rise effect. I created the cut line for the sticker, I then created the contour line for the sticker. Lastly I added a background colour to make the sticker look complete.

Software tutorials.

 

This tutorial helped me a lot in this task as I was a bit confused on how to create the cut and contour line for the sticker. This tutorial not only helped me with creating cut contour and cut lines but to create them to a high standard. This is a skill I didn’t know you could create with Adobe illustrator, I can use this skill in the future when creating stickers or anythin similar in illustrator.

This tutorial helped me with basic illustrator skills. I have used illustrator in the past so I had some experience with using the software but I haven’t used the software for some time so this tutorial helped me a lot in knowing the basis of illustrator. I’m not the best at using the pen tool to create curves in a shape with no errors, this tutorial helped me with that as well as allowing me to learn new skills such as using the shape tool to create intricate objects for projects, it also helped me in learning how to use the curvature tool which could be used instead of the pen tool for objects. One skill which I want to develop is the shape builder tool, learning how to use it and how I can use it in the future for projects as it may save time when creating objects and shapes in the future. Another skill I would like to develop and learn how to use is the blend tool as when I have used it in the past it hasn’t turned out how I wanted so I would like to learn how to use that tool efficiently. Lastly I would like to develop all my skills further by learning how to use all the tool effectively.

Resources for research and inspiration:

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/search/pins/?q=podcast%20stickers&rs=typed&term_meta[]=podcast%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=stickers%7Ctyped

By looking at examples of podcast stickers on pinterest it helped me in learning what podcast stickers consist off and what shapes and colours people include in their stickers in order of making a professional and appealing sticker for the intended audience. This resource also helped me tremendously in the research aspect of podcasts, as you can have a podcast on any topic you like and by looking at examples of podcast stickers that already exist helped me in finding images that I could relate with the podcast I was creating a sticker for. This resource also helped me in knowing what fonts as well as shapes companies and individuals have included in their sticker designs, it also helped me in knowing what sort of fonts go well with stickers and how individuals have set their layout for the sticker in order to using the space effectively and how to layout images and text to attract the audience to the design. This resource also helped me in my design process as it gave me ideas on what works well as well as the key elements that are included in stickers, that fewer images are better as it doesn’t over crowd the design and looks more professional as people tend to focus on the font and shape of the sticker. Further topics I would like to explore further are using Photoshop more as I have used it in the past but what to develop my skills further and learn more techniques and using the software which I can then use for further projects, in particular skills used to edit photos and how I can use the software to manipulate images as well as edit the image in general. I would also like to learn more skills in Illustrator to develop my current skills further for future projects.

 

Exploring Illustrator’s pen and curvature tool

Design Ideas and Design Process:

Before I started, I researched different types of stickers to take inspiration from. I found some that were purely typographic and some that included graphics too. I also downloaded the template file and swatches before, to ensure I was prepared.

testing text layout

For the first design, I chose to keep it purely typographic in an attempt to ease myself back into illustrator and get a grasp of the task. I started by experimenting with 3 fonts that I had downloaded from Adobe fonts. I wanted a clear design that was also visually exciting. I was also looking for a nice silhouette of the phrase ‘typography and graphic communication’, so I played around with different layouts of the text. I felt that the ‘and’ on the same line as ‘typography’ made the silhouette too long and so moved it below. This was the same case for ‘Graphic’ and ‘Communication’.

sticker development

I then moved on to the background, which was the bubble around the text, this was a fairly simple process. I chose to use the curvature tool to work around the text and form a silhouette behind the text. I then repeated this, but slightly further out. For the colours, I chose yellow, blue and orange as I felt these stood out and worked well together.

Design 3
Design 2

My process was similar for designs two and three except with the added element of an image. To do this, I drew out my illustrations on another file on illustrator and then placed it into my sticker file. This way, it kept my sticker file tidy and not over complicated. For both graphics, I used the curvature ­­­tool as this is what I found easiest to use and created the smoothest lines.

Design 1

My favourite design was design 1. I wanted all my designs to be simple, as stickers are often printed at small scales and so if they’re too busy it can be hard to distinguish what they are depicting/what the text says. I think that the first design achieves this in the most effective way out of the three designs as the repeating silhouette and the typeface I chose adds dimension and texture. Making this more dynamic than my other two.

 

Software Tutorials:

This tutorial, which was provided to us, showed you how to open up ASE swatch files. This helped me set up my Illustrator file and make sure that all the files I had been provided with, were in the correct format. This then allowed me to download the colours accurately in order for them to be cut correctly. Without this, the sticker would not have been functional when printed.

As I had not made a sticker before, I needed to further research how to do this. I found this video on YouTube that provided a tutorial of how someone else had done it. Although they were not specifically graphic design stickers, it was useful to see how others approached creating stickers on Illustrator and showed me ways I could potentially use the tools in Illustrator to my advantage. For example, manipulate shapes with the white arrow or joining multiple shapes to create just one using the shape builder tool. Before starting the task, I used the Adobe website to watch through general videos on how to use Illustrator to give me more confidence.

Having completed the task, I would like to further develop my Illustrator skills in order to develop from my current designs. In particular, I would like to develop my use of the pen tool because I found it difficult to create accurate lines. I would also develop my use of the brush tool to create a design that I had drawn myself. I will do this by continuing watching tutorials on the Adobe website and other tutorials available to me. ­­

Resources for research and information:

sticker examples I found

To begin my research, I looked at other typographic style stickers to get some inspiration for style and design. I found this useful in terms of how the size and colour of the typeface can be visually exciting or in the other case, how overcrowding and clashing colours can make it difficult to read.

 

inspiration for design 1

The inspiration for the style of my first sticker came from this image on the left. It was fully typographic and felt this was fitting for my sticker design in line with the brief. I felt that the contrasting colours worked well in making the word stand out and the bubble style worked for a visually exciting sticker. Although I decided not to go for a script font in my design, I liked the idea of following the silhouette of the text and then repeating that in another colour. I then used this in my idea and felt it looked most effective and ended up being my favourite design

inspiration for design 2 & 3

Finally, for my other designs, I wanted to develop my skills and use an illustration or a picture in the sticker. I researched images of items related to typography and found that this one incorporated that. I liked the clear and simple illustrations, and I knew that I wanted to include something like that in at least one of my own designs.

Going forward I would like to look at doing logo designs on illustrator and other types of branding as this is often what people use illustrator for.