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Adobe Illustrator CC - Essentials Training

How to use Type & Fonts in Adobe Illustrator to design a postcard

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, in this video we're going to make this simple post card. We're going to look at fonts that are installed on your machine, and we're going to look at something called TypeKit, which is fonts that Adobe give you. We can download them for free, and use them as part of our designs. All right, let's go and learn how to do that now in Illustrator.

Let's make our post card for our text to go on. Go to 'File', 'New'. We want a post card size. Now, there is under 'Print', you can see 'View all presets', and there's no post card size in here. Under 'Art & Illustration' there is a preset for post card but if I click on it, and switch it over here to say inches or millimeters, it's got a really weird ratio. Not what I consider a traditional post card. Maybe that's where in the world, depends on what's traditional. I'm going to just put in '5.8' and '4.1'. That's the kind of a really standardized post card size. If it's in millimeters, very similar, it's '148' x '105'. I'm going to go back to 'inches'. Awesome! Everything, I'm going to make sure it is 'Landscape'. I'll just click 'Create'. Let's put in our background color, so just grab the 'Rectangle Tool'. Pick a Fill color, I'm going to go to my 'Color Mixer'. Up the top here, I'm just going to make sure I'm on 'RGB'. You might be on CMYK. RGB. It's going on RGB for the moment, we'll look at color a little bit later on. Just kind of click through here, and decide on our color. I'm going to pick a bluish green color. I'm going to drag it across the whole thing. I want no Stroke. So I'm going to go in here, and go 'no' Stroke, please.

Don't worry too much about the color because we are going to go and change it in a future tutorial. I say that, and I'm like, "Stupid." A little wiggle. I also want a rectangle on this side. I want to break it into three groups. Two columns for the text, and one on the left here for just-- I'm going to put an image in later on. You have seen that at the beginning there. So, what I want to do is break into three. The easiest way is to copy and paste this. I've got two of them. I'm going to change this to a dark gray. I'm going to go back to my 'Swatches'. Just pick dark gray for the moment. This is going to be switched out again. So, divided by three, remember, we did the Math? These are the width. I'm going to break the link so that the height and width aren't joined, and I'm going to say, I'd like the width just in here, and put a divide by, which is a ' / ', and I want to divide it by 3 there. Hit 'return'. It's just divided it into three. I'm going to use two of these for my text, and this is going to be my Image.

What I'd like to do for the moment though is to lock the background. So 'Layers', I'm going to call this layer 'BACKGROUND'. All caps, for no good reason. I'm going to hit the locking icon. 'New' Layer, and this is going to be my 'TYPE. All caps for no reason. So when you're adding Type, there's two types of Type Boxes. Grab the Type Tool, which is this capital 'T'. If you click once, you've created what's called a Point Type Box. Don't worry about the names. Basically the Point Type Box is a box that just keeps on going. Keeps on going forever, and goes off the screen. Good for titles, and logos, and stuff but when we want Body Copy, we need a different kind of Type Box. So grab the 'Type Tool' again, and down here, kind of this lower part, we're going to add some Body Copy. If I click, hold, and drag, so up here, I just click once, and I got a Point Type Box, whereas if I click, hold, and drag down here you can see, you get a box that has-- it's called an Arial Type Box. Basically it doesn't have any kind of end to it, and snaps back around.

Watch this, if I resize it now, it kind of expands and contracts, whereas this one here, if I try expand and contract it, kind of a weird sort of function, using a Point Type Box. There's going to be times when you need to convert it too. So I'm going to delete that one. Is that, say I draw a-- I click once for a title in here and I add some stuff what happens, let's say, later on I want to make this a lot bigger, so I'm going to go to 'Properties', and make the 'Font size' a lot bigger. I want to break on to two lines, right?

So what you can do, is you can change this with the Black Arrow. See this little circle on the side here, that's the kind of conversion tool. You double click it, it changes it into an Arial Type Box like the bottom one here. Nothing really looks like it changes, except now, when I drag the edge, can you see, it snaps down to two lines. Three lines, if there's enough room. So that's what I want this box to be on, I want it to be nice and big. I'm going to add some actual Type, and look at fonts next. At the top here, there's a bit of text we're going to put in. We're going to say, "How to murder a designer?" And we'll go, this will be our 'TIP#1'. How to murder a designer? It's asking them to 'Send it over as a Word doc'. Even that happens.

This is just going to leave us Body Copy. There's Lorem Ipsum at the moment, let's say we don’t have that yet. Lorem Ipsum is just Place Holder text, it's Latin. They are actual words, they're just mixed up, they make no sense but good as a Place Holder until you get text. So let's move him down. What we will do is start on this one up the top here, and look at fonts. First of all I'm going to change my Fill to 'light'. Next thing I want to do is pick a font. So I'm going to drop this down. You know how to pick fonts, there's no big deal. So add a little bit of extra-ness to it. What I really like is these filters. So these are all the fonts that are on my computer. They've been installed in some previous life.

So up here, where it says Filter, this can be really handy. I'm looking for a Serif font which has those-- basically a Serif font has the little feet. They kind of look like Times New Roman. It has little Serifs on the edges here. Let's zoom in just so I can give you a bit of font-nerdry. Go back to our 'Fonts', let's pick 'Times', just because - if I zoom in - a Serif font has these little feet. These are called Serifs, this is a Serif font. A Sans Serif font is this one here. Sans is without, so Sans Serif is without feet. This one has it, this one has no feet. So, Serif font. Let's look at a font-- I've gone through and had a look about what I want to use already.

Now what you can do at the top here, is once you've picked 'Serif' you'll notice all your fonts are cut down to only Serif fonts. Super handy, okay? Now the only trouble is, next time you come back in it's going to have the same filtering on. So you got to remember to probably turn it off after you've used it to go back to 'All Classes' and 'Fonts'. Serif font. You just kind of scroll through and you can see my text updating on the side there. So it's best to have your text already drawn like we have. So you can go through and just check it. I'm going to use, can't remember which one it's here. 'Goudy Old Style', I'm going to use 'Italic'. Okay, that's the one I decided I want to use.

In terms of the font size, how many are we going to use? '12 point'. Just so you know, in terms of font sizes, see the Body Copy down here? Body Copy, a small body copy, or the-- if you open up pretty much any magazine in the shop, it's going to be 10 point. That's like a super common font size. It's legible, it's readable. Looks kind of big, but this is a small post card. The smallest you want to go is about 8 point. That's kind of more business card size where you have to just squeeze lots of stuff in. So we're going to have 10 points. So that's that font, I'm going to do the same here, use the same font. So, 'Goudy'. You might not have this one, you can go and pick your own. I'm going to make sure it's 'point'. I'm going to move this down, I'm probably going to play with that a little bit at the end. This font here, we're going to look at something called TypeKit. Goudy, that's something that happens to be on my machine already, but what Adobe do as part of your Creative Cloud License is you get access to TypeKit. Basically what it means is, I can-- with any sort of font selected, I can drop down my 'Character Panel' and go to this one that says 'Add Fonts from TypeKit', click on him. It's going to open up a website. Already opened it up here. It will ask you to login because you need to have a paid Creative Cloud License. You don't have one of this, it's not going to work.

Basically what we want to do is, go to 'Browse' which is this first option here, and it's just the fonts. Now there's lots of places you can go for free fonts. Ada Fonts or 1001 Free Fonts, these are fine, but what you'll find is that, I don't know if I need a font shape like a cactus I'll go to 1001 Free Fonts, or just kind of like, really fun, but, I guess, free. They don't have a lot of stuff I need for maybe more professional work. Glyphs and Ligatures, and… like, I live in Ireland, I'm from New Zealand, both the Maori and Irish languages have all the fodders, and all that accented letters. So I need a more mature font. Something like TypeKit is perfect for it. They're cool fonts, and they're free.

So what you can do at the top here, is you can type in, let's say 'Can you… I like doing this because before you download you can kind of see what it's going to look like. Sometimes it's a pain, you kind of download one, then it doesn't look the same in the fonts you need to use it for. So in here, you can also kind of wrangle the fonts into some-- say you only want to look at that kind of Script font or say, hand drawn fonts. So you can go through and just kind of work out which ones you want. Also, I like-- say I'm looking for headings, so I want kind of a more of a bold hand writing font - I'm going to turn that off. - some heading fonts. I'm going to turn that off.

Another nice thing is, in this case, I want quite a narrow width because I want to fit a lot of text across the page. There's a bunch of other options. You can have a look through here. The one I want-- I've already had a look through so I'm going to kind of cheat, and I'm going to go to 'League'. Where are you? 'Lea… There you are. League Gothic, that's the one I decided I want to use already. So this is the font. Now there's a few different Weights, I'm just going to say 'Sync All'. Basically what that's going to do is, hopefully you can see up at the top here, you can see it in a second that it's downloading on to my computer, and magically, four fonts were added. It's that simple. Also notice that-- somehow I'm allowed about 323. Just don't ask questions, somehow keep getting more fonts.

So let's jump back into Illustrator. Now the cool thing about it is that it should already be installed, so if I go to 'League'… if I can spell league. Now what I might have to do is, I'm going to have to turn the filtering of Serif on because this is a Sans Serif font, there it is there. Installed and ready to go. It's that simple. They’re professional fonts. There's some really nice ones in there. I'm going to use 'League Gothic', just this one here and switch it to 'white'. Now you can switch over to the next video because now I'm just going to play around with fonts and font sizes. I'll give you some tricks; let's do that before we go.

I'm going to select all my 'Type' and I'm going to use 'Command Shift', and full stop, or period '.' whatever you want to call it. Now if you're on a PC, it's 'Control Shift', and full stop, or period. Just kind of increases the font. I want them up to three lines. So I'm getting it quite big. In terms of the Leading, I'm going to select it all. You can use the Leading over here. If you hover above it, it should tell you it's Line Spacing it's another word for it. You can decrease it. A shortcut is, if you hold down the 'Option' key on a Mac, or the 'Alt' key on a PC, and use up and down arrows, I find that's just a nice quick way of doing it. Yes, I'm happy with that.

So you are '10 point', you are at '10 point'. I felt like there needs to be something different about the bottom here. Lining him up, now I'm just messing about. If you find that, say I want an extra line in here, just want to fill with Place Holder text. Because it did it automatically for me, let's say you just need more With the box selected, go to 'Type', and go to 'Fill with Place Holder Text'. Just kind of fills it up. Doesn't really matter if you cut it off. Say I just want an extra line, here you go. I'll put in a full stop there, so it looks like end of a paragraph. Full stop, '.' Awesome!

Actually I changed my mind. Back to you. I'm going to lower it down a little bit. I'm going to grab the 'Line Tool', I'm going to draw the line on the side. Just kind of finishing this off. Sure want to be the same length. Now mine had no Stroke, no Fill, so if I click off, looks like it's gone. Basically I want it to print, because there's no Stroke on it. I want to go to 'white', please. One point, probably half a point. Just so you know, when you are printing stuff, if this going out digitally, it doesn't matter how thin it is, but if it's going out physically, I've printed stuff with lines that are really small, so the lowest you should go is this one here, 0.25. I kind of made one that was like 0.18, or something like that and literally it rubbed off. Like, you put your hand on the page and it was so thin that it couldn't hold on to the paper. It just kind of rubbed off on people's hands. That was a big printing disaster. So don't go too thin on lines.

I'm just using my keyboard now to tap this around. Just look. What do you think, people? Needs a full stop down here. So that is it for Type and Fonts. There is other things in here that I'm not going to cover, like there's space between letters over here, there's space between letters. There is left align, right align. I'll assume you'll be able to work those out yourself. Let's get in and start doing some type on a path. We'll do that in the next video. So, haere  rā! See you in the next video.