Make Coloring Book-Style Placecards in Illustrator

In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques, Deke continues his quest for the perfect Thanksgiving dinner place card. This quest continues because he didn’t quite get it right last week.

Sure, the photo and digitally painted cards were cool, but in my original plan (request, demand) Deke would make some some generic faces that could be colored in by my more creatively inclined guests. This way I can reign over the kitchen, whilst my guests have a fun way of helping that doesn’t get in my way. Preferably in another room.

Primarily made of ellipses, lines, and a bit of curve for the hairdos, these generic folk can be altered to meet your dinner invitees general features. Maybe you still want to invite Constantine and Chloe:

Coloring book placecards in Illustrator

If you’re a member of (or you sign up for a free 10-day trial at, there are a couple of exclusive movies to help you make the entire array of potential people. Like maybe Xerxes and Xaviera are stopping by:

Coloring book placecards in Illustrator

You can see Deke demonstrating the fully constructed version above.

Regardless, you can quickly print up enough cards so that everyone can stylize their own, with pens, rubber stamps, colored pencils, crayons… in some room other than your kitchen, ideally.

Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, I hope that some special time with people you are thankful to be with is in your near holiday future.

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