Category Archives: Tutorials

How to Make a Repeat of Anything in Adobe Illustrator

rep00Unbelievable but true! You can take any element you can think of and make a simple drop repeat out of it in Illustrator. Don’t believe me? Click below to find out how…
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Clipping Masks

CL00A clipping mask is a way of taking multiple objects, textures (cross hatch, stipples, symbols clusters for instance), blends or photographs and cropping them within a single or compound path, essentially making the photo or texture the object’s fill.
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Compound Path Explainer

Compound Paths are especially helpful in creating logos and other iconographic art in Illustrator, below are some tips on understanding how they function and how to best work with them.
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Illustrator Cross Hatching

In this tutorial we will be emulating cross-hatching using some effects and the blend tool. The tutorial is pretty straight forward and gives you lots of places to make your own variations.
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Nested Styles for By Lines and Paragraph Leads

Nested styles have huge advantages because you can use a paragraph style that is a collection of individual character styles, apply it to quickly format large amounts of text and then – if necessary – make changes to one of the character style and see your result cascade throughout the document.
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Low Contrast Images for use as Backgrounds

A lot of times I have students propose putting an image behind text in order to give the page interest. Its a fair enough request, but one that introduces a lot of problems in comprehending the text. Sometimes, they will lower the opacity of the background or throw a lowered opacity white fill under the text but it usually doesn’t help. Full color Images have a variety of tone and color and as a background makes reading the text extremely difficult. The difficulty arises because in order for text to be legible it needs a consistent background that offers decent separation between the positive space (the text) and the negative space (the page), if you have a variety of contrasts as the background it acts counters to comprehension . One way to remedy this is to prepare a low contrast image with a single color.
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Oh Gee! It’s an Ogee, in Illustrator!

Another in a series of super simple patterns in Illustrator, this time it’s an ogee.
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A Grunge Portrait in Photoshop

This tutorial combines the grunge brush and grunge texture from the previous tutorials to make a stylized, painterly portrait. If you don’t have them, no worries, you can always search google for grunge textures and grunge brushes.
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A Grunge Texture From Scratch

This tutorial shows you how to make a grungy dirty surface from scratch without having to scan a surface to begin with. Like the grunge brush tutorial below, there are a lot of steps involved – don’t despair its not overly complicated – it just means there are lots of ways to modify and improvise to make even more interesting textures.
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A Grungey Grunge Brush Tutorial

I was surprised that it was difficult to find a tutorial for making a grunge brush from scratch, so I decided to make one. There are a lot of steps in this tutorial to produce the right amount of random texture and noise without making it too dark or too light and without too much obvious patterning. Don’t let that scare you, it only means there are a lot of different ways to modify this tutorial and make your own surprising variations. (please note, your results will look completely different from mine because of the randomization – Gaussian – functions in the filters I am using.)
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