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Adobe Illustrator CC - Advanced Training

Class Project 05 - How to blend images with the background colors in Adobe Illustrator Blend Modes (Blending mode design)

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, in this video we're going to crop a bike inside a giant letter R, but really we want to look at the color blending. You can see how the image is blending with the background. We've offset it a little bit. Kind of looks cool. Let's learn how to do that now using Blending Modes in Illustrator. 

First up, open up the file called 'Blending Modes'. You don't have to, it's just an orange box, you can draw your own. It doesn't quite work as well with say, a solid black or solid white color. Blending Modes interact with them differently, from colors. So what I first want to do is my giant letter with the image inside. It's easy to do, right? I'm going to grab my 'Type Tool'. I'm using Museo Sans Rounded. I love it, it's such a cool font. Whenever you're doing font sizes as well, if you want to go so big, hold down 'Shift', and hold down the 'Alt' key on a PC or the 'Option' key on a Mac to go real big with the font rather than using the option over here. Takes too long. 

Next thing I want to do is, bring in my image, and resize my 'R'. 'Command-Shift-P' is place, or 'Control-Shift-P' on a PC. Pick any of the bike images, click 'Place'. And click and drag so it's bigger than the letter R. Just has to be covering it up. Then you need to send it to the back. You can right click, and 'Arrange', 'Send to Back'. Select both of them, and hit 'Command 7' or 'Control 7' on a PC, that makes a Clipping Mask. So that's the kind of basics. Now we're going to play with the way it blends with the background. 

So with this selected, I'm going to go over here to 'Opacity'. And this is the option here. So where it says Normal, try 'Darken', 'Multiply'. Actually what I'll do is move this over so you can zoom in. We do our edits so that you can see that easier. What color! Now it will depend, if you've got like a green in the background these might all do the exact same. If you've got a different image, it might look different. So don't count on these 100%, what they're going to do. It's all bit of experimentation. I quite like Overlay and Multiply, that's cool. Don't be afraid to use combinations. 

Let's say we want to use Overlay. But also Multiply, so I'm going to make a duplicate of this. Weirdly, still works, right? But with it over here it's not interacting with the orange background, so it's still Overlay. This guy here, I'm going to change back to 'Multiply'. Don't be afraid to play with the opacity as well. This fellow is a bit strong, you can just drag the opacity as well. And you can lay them on top of each other. So you guys laying on top. And they got kind of a combo deal. Don't be afraid to offset them as well. You might do some sort of cool, like, misprint, misregistation 3D-ish kind of thing, I don't know. 

So that is playing with Blending Modes. We've done it with images, but you can do it with just colored text. And you'll get different effects. And this is where I set our class exercise. What I'd like you to do is I want you to create your own giant letter with image. You can use any of the other images from the Exercise Files. There's a few other bikes in there, you can use your own. Your own giant letter, and your own background color, and your own Blending Modes. You can offset, you don't have to. Maybe you can do the Arrange, maybe do the whole alphabet. I'd like to see what you do. Remember, reach out to me on Instagram. On Twitter, I'd love to see it. Also, post your projects on this website so that other people can see what you've done. All right, go and do some Blending Mode magic.