Deke’s Techniques 304: Create Your Own Chinese Seal (or Chop)

In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques episode, Deke sets out to create his own personal Chinese-style seal (or chop) in Adobe Illustrator. Starting with a field of red, Deke adds lines, shapes, and transformation effects until he’s created a chop that’s truly his own. 

Although you may not need a seal with an abstract take on the words "Deke McClelland" in your own work, the strategy and tools that Deke uses to create his own imprimatur can be easily translated to your own. 

Here’s what Deke’s symbol looks like at the end of this movie:

I’m already starting to figure out what pieces of Deke’s name I can repurpose for my own: we both have a lot of Es and Ls, and of course an upside-down M makes for a right-side up W. 

I’m working on this for next week, because that’s when Deke will be showing us how to add the custom brush stroke and texture to really sell this effect. Here’s a preview: 

Variations on a personal Chinese chop in Photoshop

So work on your own seal of awesomeness and stop back by next week to take it one (or three) steps further. Meanwhile, there’s the whole collection of Deke’s Techniques to amuse you. And if you’re not a member of, you can get a free week’s trial at

Next entry:Deke’s Techniques 305: Simulating Hand-Lettering with Art Brushes

Previous entry:New Course: Draw Better and Faster with Illustrator CC


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