The Alphabet Book

A good (re-)introduction to indesign. Sections on paragraph styles were particular helpful.

Here is the alphabet_book


Anatomy of a Film Poster

Didn’t have the assets for the class exercise, so elected to do and online tutorial. Ive come across several film poster tutorials of various levels of difficulty. See Poster tutorials under homework.

The element that transforms a film poster is the text. I found this forum response which explains what fonts are used  in the lower half. The rule seems to be ultra condensed typefaces, not so much a particular font. Most popular sans serifs have ultra condensed. Amongst them are the following:


  1. Univers Ultra Condensed
  2. Helvetica
  3. Franklin Gothic
  4. Akzidenz Grotesk
  5. Compacta
  6. Malstock
  7. Roswell
  8. Iris
  9. Empire

Sans Serif

  1. Bordeaux
  2. Heliotype
  3. Modula Serif
  4. Robotik

Donut in Photoshop

Started by drawing two circles using the ellipse tool, selecting these in the Paths palette and filling with black(⇧F5). Then used the Warp tool to give a more realistic donut like shape.

The next step is to add volume and colour. This is achieved using several effects in the layer styles panel beginning with Bevel and Emboss

This gives us a pretty convincing shape. Now to work on the the colour. Using a radial gradient overlay with the panel setting below.

These are the colour stops I used but there are many possibilities.

Next adding drop shadow and an inner shadow. The drop shadow is simple enough. The inner shadow has the following values

The outer chocolate takes on a deeper color adding a touch of realism. In the satin option I reduced the opacity to soften the orange layer. Now for the toppings.

In brush presets altering the scattering until we get something like the preview windwow. Now its just a case of applying an appropriate colour.

My final touch was adding a Bevel and Emboss to the toppings layer to give the more dimension.

Chocolate Bar in Photoshop

Started off by making a single block with the rectangle tool and filling with suitable shade of brown. To give the chunky block feel a Bevel and Emboss was applied.

To create a bar, its just a matter or duplicating the block into the required size. 3×4 was sufficient here.

The individual blocks were merged together using Merge Visible  ⌘E  whist holding down  ⌥ to make a copy.

To add a bit of visual interest the top right corner was selected with the Polygon Lasso Tool and slightly pulled away giving the effect of broken piece of chocolate. A drop shadow was also added to give more depth.

What we end up with is nice simple graphic which can pass for a chocolate bar. Now for the wrapper. We start by making a rectangle covering the lower half of the bar,giving it a suitable cover. The same Bevel and Emboss is used to give it form.

To give the wrapper  more realism  a rough selection is made at the top and masked away

Now for the label. I kept this very simple. Just a swirl from the custom shapes and blocky typeface for the text which  represents the chunkiness of the chocolate bar.

Starting with a rectange selection, filled with diamond gradient in difference mode. I dragged acrossed the selected area many time until I got the image in the top leftNext I applied  FIlter > Stylize > Emboss with the above settings. The result looks like crumple paper. The select was turned into a brush using Edit > Define Brush Preset  and the following setting applied to the brushThe brush was used in difference mode to randomly cover the whole layer, and a selection made as  backdrop to the chocolate

The Background

Start with a new document (600x600px) I used the gradient tool in with the settings pictured below

Clicking randomly  producing this rather psychedelic result. Then changing linear mode and dragging diagonally from the top right initially to produce the result to the left.The next step  adds filters to give a gooey texture. The filters were applied in the order shown below.

The filters have these settings:

The final step is to add a Hue / Saturation adjustment layer to produce a chocolate color

Drinks Can Design in Illustrator

Today we learnt create a realistic mockup of a soft drink in illustrator

Started by placing the background image and scaling proportionally to cover the desired area.

Next we created a mask to clip the background to the exact dimensions as marked out by the template. This was achieved by

  1.  Creating a rectangular region with correct dimensions
  2. Select both the rectangle and the background
  3. Through the menu selecting Object > Clipping Mask > Make ( ⌘7 )

After this it was pretty straight forward. Just a matter of adding images and text regions in the specific areas. The text tools are very similar to InDesign.

To produce the can we started by drawing a side view. Its width is the radius of the can. Then applying  Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel to this selection to create our 3D representations of the can.

Next the layout is saved as a symbol and applied to the can using “Map Art …”  in the Extrude & Bevel dialogue box.

Grunge Brushes are so Average !

In this exercise we looked at the behavior of the average command and what effect it has on a path

An important point to note is that the beginning shape must have smooth points in order for out result to have smooth curves. Basically it bring point towards the centre. The images show the result when applied to each axis.

Having a basic understanding of how the average command works we made several irregular shapes and applied Object > Path > Average [ Horizontal axis ] to make swirling horizontal lines.

These were then duplicated and rotated 180° to create more variation before making a brush.

Making a brush is a simple process. Just a matter of dragging the swirling lines into the brush palette and choosing the required setting the dialogue box.

and you have a new brush ready for use. The brushes can now be used as the stroke on any path.

The type is  converted to a path using Object > Expand, ungrouped, then the paths are applied. It is possible to apply more than one stroke resulting in some interesting effects.

First Logo

Using pathfinder tools to make  the following logos.olympic rings using pathfiner palette

The interlock effect was acheived by:

1. Pathfinder > divide

to create individual pieces at the intersections.

2. These were then coloured appropriately to give the appearance of interlocking.

3. The next step  use Pathfiner > Unite to rejoin the segments to form as complete a circle as possible.

3D Interlocking Rings

A slight variation on the above.

 Google Chrome Style Logo

The next logo reminds me of the Google Chrome with a hint of a Mobius Strip. Maybe its the colours. I found it surprising that such a pleasing effect was so simple to produce.

Starting with a circle, then creating a smaller misshaped circle inside.  

The next step is apple Object > Transform > Rotate at an angle of 90° and click copy until we have four circles filling the outer circle.

 Following this the circles are filled with colour producing something like the image toe the right. The the circles could have been better positioned to  make sure there is no white space left in the inner circle. the stroke are not needed so the next step is to remove them.

Making sure all circles are selected apply Pathfinder > Divide, colour the individual segments appropriately and rejoin where necessary using Pathfinder > Unite. the result should be like the following.