First, don’t panic that I’ve suddenly skipped from episode 105, “Op Art Experiment 1a:Inflated Checkers,” all the way up to 191 in a single week. You didn’t miss 86 episodes in between. It’s just an adjustment in the numbering convention. I previously counted the free videos (the ones posted on this site) and left out the ones that are only available to members of lynda.com. But given that it’s a new year and Deke’s Techiques is now officially in its third year, I decided to do the rational thing and catch up with the lynda.com numbering system. And so here we are.
Second, the topic of this week’s video: How to create the universal pictographic man symbol in Illustrator. By which I mean, the one below:
And the way we’ll be creating this man is, dare I say, innovative. Rather than drawing him as a series of path outlines, either tediously with the pen tool (gawd!) or as a collection of rectangles and circles that you combine from the Pathfinder panel, I’ll show you how to construct the guy from the Appearance panel by heaping on a series of strokes and a single fill.
Watch the video. And then, if you’re in the mood for a step-by-step companion, see Colleen Wheeler’s deliciously diagrammed post from yesterday. Many of you will be able to follow the directions just by looking at the figures.
And by the way, our man is useful for more than just pointing dudes to the men’s room. The original intention of ISOTYPE (introduced in the video) was to replace the written word—which makes sense to only those people fluid in a specific language—with universally understandable pictographs. For example, you might use our man as part of an insightful infographic:
In this case, our man symbol represents all genders: men, women, and ‘tweens alike. Plus, I created it in Illustrator, which was enormously painful but ultimately successful. I think I should document this in a future technique.
This video includes a follow-up on creating a mate for our man entitled, “192: Building a Universal ISOTYPE Woman with Strokes,” which is available at lynda.com this very minute. And Colleen will document all the steps in depth tomorrow.
Update: Colleen has now awesomely written up the ISOTYPE Woman symbol technique. Click the link to view it.