I’ve been tinkering with Illustrator and Photoshop today trying to come up with a logo design for my portfolio. I’ve been trying to think of a good design that I can use as a basis for the whole identity of my porfolio site and while I haven’t exactly finished it yet I’d like to share some of the ideas and methods I’ve used.
This is mainly going to be a quick tip of how to create isometric shapes within illustrator easily. There are many different methods out there but I find this to be the easiest.
Let’s have a look at the finished project
So apart from the text I quite like the logo, its a play on my initials with building blocks. I’ve been sketching out logo ideas for a few days now playing around with my initials and how I could incorporate them into a design themed logo. OK its probably a little cliché but its a useful technique to be able to create isometric shapes in Illustrator, so let’s take a look
Create Your Grid
The first step in drawing isometric shapes within illustrator is to create a grid to draw your shapes on. This is easy in illustrator.
Create a new document, I’m using a 300px x 300px canvas just for demonstration It can be as large or as small as you want, just keep in mind what you would like to use this logo for and where it will eventually end up.
Sort out your spacing preferences (Ctrl + K / Cmd + K) This spacing will be the spacing between each line of the grid you will create so choosing 20px will lead to you have 20px x 20px squares on your grid. I’m using a spacing of 8 pixels as it gives me plenty of lines within my grid, If you are using a bigger canvas then you will want to increase this spacing depending on how detailed a drawing you are going to create.
Now we can start creating our grid. Start by selecting your line tool and setting the stroke value in the top tool bar to 1pt and then click somewhere on the page, you should get the line tool settings dialog box appear. Now to cover the page in grid lines I recommend setting the line length to roughly double your canvas width and giving the line an angle of 30 degrees.
The angle value here will be the setting the angle of perspective or the ‘slant’ of your drawing.
Once you have chosen your setting just hit enter and a line should appear on the page, don’t worry if its bigger than the canvas its only going to be a guide. Click your arrow/selection tool (V) and select the line you just created, now drag the line to the top left of your canvas so that the top of the line only just touches the corner of the canvas like so.
Now with your line still selected hold dawn the ALT key and then hold down the Right arrow key on your keyboard. You should see lines being drawn at regular intervals across your canvas, once the whole canvas has been covered from left to right in lines zoom to 100% and make sure the spacing between the lines is OK for you, If not go back to the beginning of step one and change your spacing value.
Now that you have half of your grid created you need to finish it off, the easiest way to do this is to duplicate the layer you are on and then select this new layer and all the lines within by using CTRL + A, go to OBJECT -> TRANSFORM -> REFLECT and set the axis to horizontal and the angle to 0, hit OK. You should now have a grid of lines created and looking something like this.
The final step is to make the lines you have created into Illustrator grid lines. To do this hit CTRL + A to select all of the lines and then hit CTRL + 5 or go to VIEW -> GUIDES -> MAKE GUIDES. Your document should now look like this.
Drawing Your Shapes
Now we actually have to use our grid. Start by selecting the Pen Tool and drawing a rough square shape by click in four points on your grid.
The next step is to click on the Direct Selection Tool (A) and then drag the four points or anchors properly onto your grid to create a perfect square.
That’s all there is to it, now you can keep creating lines and moving them about and create all sorts of shapes.