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A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.
– Steve Jobs
Why do we Design?
Adobe Illustrator (link)
For this unit, we will be learning and using Adobe Illustrator CS6. Adobe Illustrator is a graphic creation software used to create Vector-based works. It is used by professionals in a variety of industries and fields, and it isn’t the easiest piece of software. We’ll work through a few basic exercises to become familiarized with it first.
At the end of this unit, you’ll work toward creating a layout design utilizing Adobe Illustrator’s vector based environment.
PDF About Adobe Illustrator CS6
Videos about Illustrator CS6 from Lynda.com
Videos about New Features from Lynda.com
Learning Illustrator Videos on Adobe.tv
Concepts to know and understand
Vector vs Bitmap: Computer graphics are created in two types of formats, either vector or bitmap (also sometimes called raster). Vector graphics are created using mathematical principles, algorithms and formulas describing where points, lines, and planes exist, how they are drawn, and how they relate to one another. As they are defined by math, no mater how much you zoom in or zoom out, the graphics will always look crisp and sharp, whether on a business card or on a billboard. As such, this makes vector based graphics popular for designing logos or other corporate images.
Bitmap (or raster) images, on the other hand, are composed of little squares of color (called pixels) within a grid. The vast majority of images on the internet are bitmap. When you zoom in, the dots get bigger, and you begin to get blocky, or pixelated looking images. See how similar images would compare in the image above.
Principles of Design- How the designer arranges the elements of their work.
Repetition: A Principle of Design- When an object, color, shape, or other significant element is seen more than once in the work. Often associated with pattern, it can create a feeling of unity or movement. Want to learn more?
Pattern: A Principle of Design- The repeating of an object, or series of objects, many times throughout the work. This principle of design often pairs with repetition. Want to learn more?
Working in Illustrator: Rectangle Tool
If you haven’t already opened Adobe Illustrator, do so now. The software normally doesn’t open a new document for you, so you’ll have to go up to File, in the overhead menu, and click New. A window will pop up giving you lots of options for sizes. If it isn’t already selected, choose Letter in the drop down menu labeled ‘Size:‘. That’s your standard 8.5 x 11, or a piece of standard printer paper we use here. Click OK in the bottom right corner of the window.
In the center of your screen, you have a large white square. This is the Artboard. Around the artboard are quite a few different things, providing you with your tools and other panels. Your primary Tool Panel is on the left, and you’ve got a few other important one’s on the right, like the Color Palette, layers panel, and others.
For the first creative tasks, we’ll create different composition composed of different colored squares and rectangles. First, spend a few minutes playing with the Rectangle Tool (looks like a rectangle in the tool bar on the left), and the Control Panel on top (its the bar across beneath the yellow red green dots with the little orange Ai icon). Try to create a composition that is appealing to you using just the rectangle tool and different colors.
Part 2: Looking at Compositions
Even in design, and maybe more importantly so… your works are compositions. How and where you put things creates the composition.
Compositions can be static or dynamic. Dynamic compositions are full of energy or movement. Look at my previous example of rectangles. Does it feel dynamic? As if it were full of energy or movement? The answer is probably no. The design itself is fairly static. The use of only vertical and horizontal lines creates a feeling of stability and a lack of movement.
Angles and diagonal lines are used to create motion. While a flat horizon line is at rest, a triangle is in motion. Angles and uneven spacing between objects causes our eyes to move back and forth. This physical movement translates into the perception of movement within a composition. The work on the right converted Egon Schiele’s The Poet into rectangles that convey the dynamism of the composition. Find a work of art you like, and break down its composition into rectangles in Illustrator. Tip: It’s easier if you save the work to your desktop, open it in illustrator, and work right on top of it.
Here’s my example, and the original.
El Lissitzky. 1922-23
Tom Evans. Indiana University. 2000
Elements & Principles Icons >>
The J. Paul Getty Museum. 2011
Rectangles 1 in Illustrator >>
Mr. S Uu. 2012
Digital Foundations Wiki
Egon Schiele. 1911
Mr. S Uu. 2012