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Creating a Universal Woman Symbol in Adobe Illustrator without Drawing At All

Me, again. I know, I was just re-inaugurated as Empress of dekeOtopia on Monday and I'm already back again. I really wanted to call this post Cherchez La Femme, but alas, I have just enough tenuous SEO knowledge to understand that's too clever by half. Nonetheless, I promised to show you how to make the Woman version of the Universal This Is the Restroom You Need symbol. The Universal Man we created in Monday's post is lonely. And more importantly the ladies room in dekeOpolis remains unmarked. Could be awkward.

Illustrator to the rescue, as we apply a series of transformed stroke effects to our initial line segment, and create this badly needed universal woman symbol (without having to draw a thing, not even a skirt).

To create our Universal Chick, we'll begin with the attributes that we applied to create the Universal Dude in Monday's tutorial. For those of you (uh, slackers) who didn't follow Monday's tutorial, there's a sample file you can start from at the end of this post. Or you can apply the stroke attributes and transformation effects shown in the graphics below to a standard perpendicular 266-point line you draw yourself with the Line Segment tool. You'll just have to create new strokes to apply the effects shown. You're smart, if lazy; you can handle it. For the rest of us hardworking folk, here are the steps:  Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 104: Crafting an Infinity Symbol to Match a Font in Illustrator

Deke's Techniques 104: Drawing Infinity with Illustrator's Width Tool

As I write this, I have newly returned from a ski weekend in Keystone, CO. My youngest, Sam, got barf-all-over-the-place sick and had to go home. Which really sucked. But fortunately my eldest, Max, and I missed the bug and therefore went on to have a terrific adventure. Today in particular was outstanding. We woke up, watched cartoons for two hours (in discussing why Scooby-Doo still sucks, Max assured me they're trying to keep it consistent with the old days), and hit the slopes just a short walk from our rented condo. I let him lead while I captured our antics with my hand-held GoPro. I reckon most of the footage would be boring to anyone but us---altho I did wipe out in a hilarious 1080-degree freefall because I was paying too much attention to the camera---but wow it was fun.

On the way home, Max and I discussed whether an insanely large cargo plane could carry smaller airplanes, the latter of which might subsequently take off from the innards of the former. As the rational father, I naturally argued "no, that's insane, you silly child." But Max had me really believing "maybe" over the course of two grueling hours because, seriously, the kid is relentless and we had nothing better to do.

Which takes me to this week's technique: Infinity. Life-wise, infinity reminds me of how much I love my boys. (I know it's cornball. But I'm feeling it so shut up.) Video-wise, infinity is a symbol. One that's missing from just about every font on the market. So what do you do when you're thinking infinity (like me) but you can't make infinity (like right now here like me)? Answer: Draw it with the Width tool in Illustrator.

Here's the official description from lynda.com: Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 076: Adding a Border to an Image in Illustrator

Deke's Techniques 76: Adding a Border to an Image in Illustrator

I sit in my home in Boulder, CO and it is hot as hell. 101° F. With my laptop on my lap, making it even warmer. The heat is all around me. Like a stench that I can't escape. Like an insect that won't leave. Like a quasi-friend that eludes my skills. Which is all good. Because, you see, this is the day that Deke's Techniques amps up from casual to serious. Today, this very day, I begin in earnest to kick some seriously vector-based ass.

Join me as I poke a toe into the waters of what will come. Specifically, today, I show you how to stroke a border around an imported image in Adobe Illustrator. Which, technically speaking, is impossible. And still, I show you how.

Here is the official description from lynda.com: Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 075: Adding Photographic Texture to Vector Type in Illustrator

Deke's Techniques 75: Adding Photographic Texture to Vector Type

One of the great things about Deke's Techniques (for me anyway) is that it gives me the chance to explore, not just how vast and powerful programs like Photoshop and Illustrator work, but how they work together, and in real-world scenarios. For example, this week, I show you how to take a couple of cloud photographs (Photoshop) and cram them into some vector-based text objects (Illustrator), replete with strokes and drop shadows.

Here's the official description from lynda.com: Read more » 

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All Pirate Flag Files and Art

Today I share with you the essential pirate flag asset files. As described in this week's 6-day video blog (which began with "Sketching the Pirate Flag" and continues until Friday, October 29), the flag art measures five feet wide by three feet tall. It's an Illustrator file, so every line is razor smooth, as if drawn with pen and ink. And because Illustrator saves PDF-compatible files, you can open it in the free Adobe Reader utility. Even better, you have my permission to modify the file and print it as you see fit.

Here's a picture of me with said flag that was shot this morning.

Deke and the pirate flag

It's my gift to you. The only catch is that you have to be a member of dekeOnline. Read more » 

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