Hi, It’s Andy here from Zen Grenade graphics. Today I’m going to show you how I made the various elements in Adobe Illustrator that make up this logo that I made for an IPad Game App called “Jungle Jim”.
I’m using Adobe Illustrator CS5 but the general methods that I used should work fine in older and newer versions.
The first element I’m going to look at is this fern. At first glance it looks like a simple enough shape, I could make the curving stem easily enough with the pen tool but when it comes to making the leaves they would need to follow the curve of the stem and also taper to the tip evenly. One way would be to create all the leaves individually and rotate and resize each one but that’s going to take quite a bit of tweaking and is going to be quite time consuming to get just one looking perfect. What if I want to create several slightly different versions in order to add a bit of variety
As is often the case with Illustrator, digging a bit deeper into the sub-menus and doing a bit of creative thinking can present us with a much quicker way of doing things.
The first thing I did was use the Pen tool to draw the stem which is basically a tall triangular shape
Then I need to draw myself a leaf. I rotate the leaf slightly and copy and paste it, then flip it with the “Reflect” tool and make it into one shape with the unite command on the Pathfinder tool.
The next step is to copy and paste several instances of this combined shape and place them on the stem I want them to be spaced evenly so I’m going to select them all and use the “Align” tool and I used the “Vertical distribute center” command to do this, Now i’m going to group them and Align them with my stem. Once I’ve got everything in line I can select them all and combine them all into one shape.
It’s looking good so far but all the leaves are the same size and I really want them to taper evenly from the bottom up.
So the next step is to create a rectangle roughly the size of my fern graphic and with the Direct Selection Tool , that’s the little white arrow tool, I’m going to select the 2 anchor points at the top and scale them in so that they move together by exactly the same amount , so what you should have now is a tall truncated pyramid shape.
Select this shape and your fern graphic and Align them using the Horizontal Align Center command.
Now for this next step to work properly, the truncated pyramid shape needs to be above the fern in the hierarchy of objects. If it isn’t, just bring it to the front by clicking on it and going Object -> Arrange -> Bring to Front . Now you want to select them both and go Object – > Envelope Distort ->Make with top object and it will squeeze your fern into the shape of the truncated pyramid giving you the tapered effect.
Now that we have our basic fern shape, all we need to do is turn it into a custom brush by dragging it onto the brush menu. We want it to be new Art Brush and we can give it a name if we want to.
Then all we need to do is select the paintbrush tool and paint it on. This might take a few tries to get it looking good and it can get really distorted if you use curving strokes that are too extreme but generally if you use long gently curving strokes it will look fine.
Obviously this general method can be used to create all sorts of graphic elements not just ferns. Try it with decorative patterns or even type, whatever you want.
I hope you found this tutorial useful . If you did it would be great if you’d share it on Facebook or Twitter .
The Jungle Jim game is available to download for free from itunes app store.In the next part of this tutorial I’ll go through how I made the typographical part of the logo. Bye for now