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Showing posts from May, 2013

Rules for vector illustration: Part 1

If all goes to plan, I'll be talking in June about vector illustration at a group called #digibury . As part of the talk I'll be sharing the rules and strategies that I've developed to improve my own vector illustration skills, and which have enhanced the outcome of the design challenges I've been set. In order to make sure I have more of this:  and less of this: The talk will be an exclusive one-off for now but once it has taken place and I've received some feedback on my approach, then I'll share more of the things that I've discovered in my journey into vector illustration. Overall it's about an approach not a style, and what I'll be talking about won't force people into one way of illustrating things. Rather it will provide the ability to move between styles much more easily without falling into the typical traps vector design software often sets for new illustrators. If you'd like to learn more or invite me to talk then you ca

Light and dark in vector drawing (adding depth and weight without gradient fills, drop shadows or inner glows)

This is a brief post on shading in vector drawing and how to use light and dark for depth and weight. I begin with a grey rectangle that's 25% black. It looks rather flat. Next I add a base to my rectangle, it's 50% black. Already we're starting to see something that isn't there, a white almost side to the object. Let's fill that in, to make the whole thing a bit less uncanny. We'll use 12.5% black for that right-hand side. This gives a sense of being lifted forward, while the dark underneath gives the sense of solidity. To demonstrate the way in which the shades of colour add certain qualities (dark = depth, weight; light = lightness, and bringing forward) we'll switch the colour of the base with that of the side and vice versa. Now it's almost as if we can see up inside this shape. It begins to look like one of those cuboid lampshades. To increase this sense of openness I'm going to add a small detail. Notice the flap at the back i

iDraw vs TouchDraw vs Inkpad (Vector Graphics on the iPad)

I've been working with vector drawing apps on the iPad for a while now, and I'd like to share some of the features that I think make each perform well (and not so well in some areas) when compared to a desktop equivalent like Adobe Illustrator. iDraw The things it does well: (1) an impressive shear tool to tilt objects through the z-axis (2) shape/icon library (includes iOS icons) (3) PDF and SVG import (4) proportional resizing (hold down one finger on other side of screen while stretching) (6) smart guides (Illustrator style) (7) iWork style document page (and drag to create folders feature) (8) place text on path (highlight curve/path at same time as text then with the Arrange/Modify tab choose Place Text on Path from bottom of Modify menu) (9) text can be converted to outlines (10) shapes can be filled with images from photo library (11) magnifying loupe (12) ability to lock items (not layers) (13) there is a Mac version that can exchange files in iDraw fo