Creating an Icon in Illustrator

For this tutorial, we will be making a highly abstracted icon of a pointing hand using some very simple shapes. Beyond being an exercise in using the pathfinder tool, the tutorial presents a way of thinking about creating icons.

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Make a cool vector drop shadow in Illustrator

This quick tutorial will show you how to create a cool vector drop shadow effect with a custom pattern and some quick adjustments in the Appearances Panel.

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Faded Halftone Text in Illustrator

This is a quick tutorial on how to apply a halftone to live text in Illustrator. What’s great about this one is that it opens up so many possibilities in regards to live text effects in Illustrator. I’ll provide some further examples at the end.

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A Curated Layout in Indesign

In this tutorial, we will make a highly customized “curated layout” – a layout that displays a rich amount of information in a way that is easily consumed and offers the viewer a number of ways to enter into the page. It’s a bit long but not very complicated. As an added bonus the copy contains some observations about editorial design.

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An Optical Illusion Illustrator Pattern

In a few simple steps make a seamless pattern in Illustrator that will baffle your friends and amaze your co-workers!

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Ghosts, Pac Man and the Shape Builder Tool

Apparently, the ghosts in the game Pac Man had distinct personalities that were put to use within the game’s logic. Blinky followed Pac Man wherever he went, Inky was Blinky’s follower, Pinky tried to think ahead of where Pac Man would be and Clyde wasn’t very bright. I always thought it might be pretty entertaining if someone created a video game from the ghost’s perspective.
But I digress, in this tutorial, you will be introduced to the Shape Builder – a newish tool that makes building complex shapes from simpler ones very straightforward. Think of it as an interactive version of the Pathfinder’s Unite and Minus Front features. We’ll be using to Shape Builder to create the ghosts as well as Pac Man.

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Tracing an Egg with the Pen Tool

This tutorial demonstrates some of the fundamentals of using the pen tool to draw curves. In it, we will trace an egg (yes, that very same egg that has become the most popular Instagram post ever) and will consider best practices for drawing curves as well as strategies you can use in determining how to trace curves for your own projects.

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A logo made with Type on a Path and the Appearnces Panel

In this tutorial, we’ll create a circular logo using the Appearances Panel and the Type on a Path tool. As with many of these tutorials, the steps can be adapted for a multitude of projects.
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Using a Displacement Map for T-Shirt Mock-ups

In this tutorial, we will take a blank t-shirt mockup and apply a color overlay with a white graphic. The tutorial uses a displacement map to achieve the effect of the graphic appearing to be contoured to the surface. A displacement map is a separate grayscale graphic that uses black and white pixel information to distort the graphic in horizontal and vertical directions. Lighter pixels will push the image up, darker pixels will push the graphic down, and 50% gray will not push pixels in either direction. For this tutorial, we will use a grayscale copy of the base image to control the displacement of the graphic so that it conforms to the figure.

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Creating a two-tone image with Photoshop

There are a number of reasons to create an image comprised of only two colors – it may work within your color palette or you may need an expressive graphic image that can have text placed on top of it and be easily read. Below is a very easy way to make a two-tone image using adjustment layers allowing for endless possibilities.

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