That Blue Square Thing

Vector Graphics Workshop

Vector graphics are used to make logos and icons. They are special types of images which can be resized to become as large as you like.

PDF iconWhat are Vector Graphics?

PDF iconHow are logos used?

simple bst logo

A simple logo

I need a new logo for this website, so lets start by making a really simple logo.

PDF iconMaking a Logo as a Vector Graphic in Illustrator

Keep the logo really simple and think about where you'd want to use it. Make sure you save both the Vector Graphic version (the .ai file) and export a PNG file as well.

PDF iconExporting vector graphics

If you need to resize your vector graphic it's quite easy (once you know how...):

PDF iconResizing a Vector Graphics

simple 3 circles logo

Working with shapes:

Shapes and text form the basics of most of what you need to use Vector Graphics for. There are lots of interesting things you can do with shapes.

PDF iconTranparency in vector graphic shapes

You can use transparency to make a logo like the one on the right with three overlapping circles.

simple 3 circles logo

PDF iconColour gradients in vector graphic shapes

PDF iconWarping vector graphic shapes

Warping shapes is quite hard, but can be used to change simple circles into more interesting shapes, like the plectrum to the right. This is even cooler because it uses a simple gradient.

Making a leaf shape

simple leaf image

A more complex (and natural) shape like a leaf isn't actually that hard to create once you have some basic skills. If I can produce something that looks reasonable, anyone can...

This combines the skills of adding basic shapes, warping and using a gradient fill. You may need to refer back to some of the guides above.

Start by aiming to produce something like I have (I used a gradient from a darker green to a lime green at 80% opacity and changed the angle a little if that helps). But then have a think: not every leaf is green. Not every leaf has a simple shape. What else can you produce?

PDF iconMaking a leaf guide

Frames r Us assessment

This assessment asks you to make a simple logo using shapes from a design. Make sure to keep to the design - that's super important.

frames r us logo Mini-Assessment:
See the client brief document for the rules for this task and the visualisation diagram for what you need to produce. Your work will be marked by your user area being inspected. All of the evidence required should be saved in one place.

PDF iconFrames r Us Client Brief

JPG iconFrames r Us Visualisation diagram

The visualisation diagram allows you to make some choices and add some optional (and harder) elements to your logo. You will need to export it at two different sizes.

PDF iconWorking with text - some tips for making your text look cooler

PDF iconRequired export sizes

PDF iconFrames r Us Assessment Markgrid

Make sure you think carefully about where you're saving your work.

award badge graphic

Making an Awards Badge

This adds a little more complexity to using shapes, but shows you how easy it is to make something quickly in Illustrator which can be used in lots of ways.

PDF iconExample award badges

PDF iconMaking an award badge

To add text on a circle the proper way you'll need to take a look at this guide as well.

PDF iconText on a circle

owl face logo

Making an Owl Face Logo

By combining a range of shapes with some slightly more advanced skills, it's fairly easy to make a simple owl face logo - which is a fairly common logo choice.

Obviously, once you know some of the basic skills you can reuse them to create other types of logo as well.

PDF iconOwl Logo - part 1: the basics

PDF iconDrawing lines with Illustrator

PDF iconOwl Logo - part 2 adding the eyebrows

designcats logo

Making the designcats logo

Once you have the skills to make the Owl Face Logo, it's not too tricky to take them a bit further and create the designcats logo.

PDF iconDesign Cats logo

You may find that you need to get a bit more complicated with the cat's tail. The guide below might help.

PDF iconUsing Complex Lines

I got the basic idea for this from this post on Creative Market. I'm not sure who it's by, but it helped me to get a couple of ideas together and, obviously, I used the name designcats.

Working with effects and drop shadows

Illustrator has a whole range of really interesting graphics effects you can use. One of these is adding drop shadows, but there are tonnes of interesting things you can do.

PDF iconEffects and drop shadows

Time for an assessment...

This assessment gives you a choice over your client. Look carefully at the markgrid and present all the required evidence.

Final Assessment:
See the client brief document for the rules for this task. Your work will be marked by your user area being inspected. All of the evidence required should be saved in one place.

PDF iconLogo Client Brief

PDF iconLogo Workplan

You can find out more about what's required on a visualisation diagram.

PDF iconTask 0 - a pre-planning task

PDF iconRequired export sizes

PDF iconLogo Review

PDF iconLogo Assessment Markgrid

Note that you need to write a short evaluation/review of your logo for this task.