At the beginning of last month, as a new year’s resolution, I accepted Smashing Magazine’s Design Something Every Day challenge. I am happy to report that I have not fallen off the wagon. I have created and posted to Holodek 365, my blog, every day since January 1. Let me tell you, it is quite a commitment. It is not as easy to find time every day as I thought it would be, but the persistence seems to be paying off.
My thought for the first month was to strictly do Adobe Illustrator tutorials. These became something to fall back on when I was feeling uninspired which so far has been about half the time. I cannot believe all I have learned from following these few tutorials—everything from basic commands that I should know (or have just forgotten) to advanced techniques. Thought I would share a few of the simpler ones because they have come in super handy since I relearned/discovered them.
To scale just the pattern that has filled a shape, select the shape, bring up the scale tool’s dialog box by double clicking on the tool in the toolbar and check only Patterns in the Options section and then type in a scale percentage.
Cycle through color models in the color panel by shift clicking the spectrum bar at the bottom of the panel.
Option + Command click and drag a slider in the color panel to move the other sliders in relation to it. This keeps similar color but with a different tint or intensity. (Especially helpful in RGB mode when creating a gray.)
Make a layer a “Template ” layer buy selecting Template from the Layer Panel’s fly-out menu. This will lock the layer and make the graphic transparent for easy tracing.
16 two-color gradients are much more manageable than one 17 color gradient.
I have also learned that sometimes rasters have their place in Illustrator (especially drop shadows). Most the rasters I used were eventually vectorized and/or live traced to achieve some great effects I never thought possible.
Hope you find this useful. Here’s to another successful and productive 333 days.