Drawing a Universal Power Symbol in Adobe Illustrator

In this week’s free episode of Deke’s Techniques, Deke shows you how to draw a meticulous (of course) version of the universal “this is how you turn the power on/off” symbol inside Adobe Illustrator.

Who knew that this symbol is based on the artist’s interpretation of a zero (off) meets a one (on)? Deke, that’s who. Why he decided to ask the question in the first place is one of the mysteries of the world.

But the results of Deke’s never-ending curiosity is that we all benefit from his learning exactly how to recreate this everyday symbol with precision in Adobe Illustrator. 

He begins with a field of blue and a set of center guides.

A blue field with cyan center guides in Adobe Illustrator


Next, he creates a 600 point diameter circle at the center of those guides.

A white circle on a blue background with the Ellipse dialog box in Adobe Illustrator


Next, with the bounding box set to visible, he uses the convent “pie” handles to drag a Pac-Man like “mouth” in the circle (at the top). The Shape properties allow you to make sure the beginning and end of the pie wedge are precisely equidistant from the vertical guide.

A white circle with a wedge taken out in Adobe Illustrator


Removing the point that holds the wedge together creates a perfectly interrupted circle. Applying round caps via the Stroke properties controls finishes the zero part of our symbol.

An open white circle on a blue background with Round end caps applied


And finally a mathematically engineered line interrupts the circle and finishes our power symbol.

The power symbol in white recreated on a blue background in Illustrator


Deke’s Techniques, finding graphic arts projects in everyday places every week.

Next entry:Very Large Artboards in Adobe Illustrator

Previous entry:Tracing an Object with the Photoshop Pen Tool

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