This isn’t a video demo, but rather a few screen captures from a project that crossed our desks this past week. Here’s Paul describing his thinking as a sketch becomes a more finished icon using Abobe’s Illustrator software:
I start with a rough sketch of a gopher, giving him little beady eyes to make him a bit more unique and demented. Some designers prefer to make the cleanest ink drawing possible, and then use AI’s Live Trace tool to vectorize it. I prefer to modify it and simplify after I’ve scanned and traced it.
I realize he doesn’t quite look rodent-like enough, so I add some buck teeth.
The paths are turned to fills, then I use Path>Simplify at about 95% accuracy to remove excess anchor points.
The corners are blunt, so I use the direct-select arrow to move points around to make the corners sharp and lively. Then I can manipulate the lines to be thick and thin, to give it contrast and visual interest. I don’t make them too thin or too thick. I just maintain a guideline in my head as I pull points around so there’s some consistency.
Since I got the sense that this client was going more toward “cute” than “crazy” I made some big Disney eyes, making them slightly off-kilter to retain some crazy.
I use the Knife Tool to slice of some portions of areas, and make them a slightly darker grey-brown. I make the lighter parts an 85% tint of the darker colors when I’m trying to conserve PMS colors.
There you have it. The pink ear insides may have been indulgent, especially if the client is trying to save money on ink, but they can be turned into light brown quickly if needed.
To put Paul or any of our other designers to work on your next design project (logos, websites, brochures and more), visit Logodesign.com and get started! To see more demonstrations, click on the links under “Demonstrations” on the top right side of this page.