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Illustrator - UI & Web Design using Adobe Illustrator

Creating custom icons & logos using the shape builder tool in Illustrator CC 2017

Daniel Walter Scott || VIDEO: 1 of 45

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Hi there, in this video we're going to build this logo shape here using the Shape Builder. We're also going to build all of these fun little guys. So let's go and do that, and learn how to use the Shape Builder tool.

So first up, let's delete these guys, they're from earlier tutorial, and we're going to use this pasty area on the side here, but you can use the new document. So the Shape Builder tool, you are going to love. When they came up with this, as a trainer, I was jumping around, happy days, because the next thing we’re going to do after this is the pen tool, and if you have tried to learn Illustrator before, and you've gone to the pen tool, and you tried to join parts, it's a pain in the bum. 

Now Shape Builder is going to make you a pro pretty quick. What we're going to do is, I'm going to draw a couple of shapes. I'm going to give this one a stroke around the outside of Magenta, just because I'm going to give it a nice thick stroke, so you can see it. Hold down 'Shift' to get a perfect circle. I'm going to do the same with the rectangle tool. I'm going to draw this. I'm just building a random shape to show you a bit of an example. I'm going to grab this star tool, you can see all these sort of weird things going on here. 

Now, if I want to kind of fill these things-- If you've never used Illustrator before you might not be as impressed, but if you've fumbled around, and tried to teach yourself, this is going to be mind blowing. So, I've selected all three of them, I'm going to grab this in this tool down here, it's called the Shape Builder tool, and what it allows me to do is a couple of nice things. It allows me to fill these gaps, they're not actually joined, but this is going to make them do it for us, so I'm going to pick a fill color. So I'm going to pick a fill color, I’m going to say, I want to fill with-- Where's my swatches? These are the swatches that I brought in from over here, so I'm going to grab that green, and watch this. Close that back up, and like I said, "I want you to be green." And, maybe you too to be green. But, I like the rest of you, say this bit to be orange. You can see how quickly, and easy it is to start coloring these things.

What you can also start to do is start joining them. Say that I want these guys to be the same shape, not two separate colors, with the stroke around it, what you can do is-- I've picked that color here, I'm going to drag across. Can you see, I drew a line clicking and holding my mouse across these two. Watch, makes it fuses it. So if you've ever messed around with the Pathfinder tool, say goodbye Pathfinder tool as well. Nice thing as well is you can trim things up. Say that you don't want this box up here, you can hold down the 'Alt' key on a PC, or the 'Option' key on a Mac, and watch this, when I click this, hey, trimmed it up, nice, huh. So I can say, actually I don't want that, don't want that. You can trim up a couple of things. I don't want either of these two. You can start building shapes whilst using existing pre-made shapes. Makes it really easy to start creating things. You can see they're all separate, so I’ve got a cool little, I don't know what that is.

So that's kind of getting started with it. I’m sure he was left on. One of the things you can do with it, say, let's use the line tool, let's draw ourselves a little home icon, like a home button, I'm doing it kind of freehand, all you got to do is make sure they overlap. You can see my little stick house here. A little house down the bottom here. Making sure that everything overlaps. If they don't, grab your white arrow, click on one of the dots, click on the background, click on one of the dots, and you can move them around. Just make sure they all overlap. Selected all, I'm grabbing my Shape Builder. Pick a color I'm going to fill up with. Actually, let’s put a roof on this thing. Let's put a roof on it. Grab my Shape Builder, actually select them all first. Grab Shape Builder. Pick a fill color. One of my colors there, pick green for the roof. Just fill it in, and then I can go to--What else have I got in there? Pick a different color, orange, fill the house, then the door's going to be yellow. It's just really easy to create custom shapes here.

Now you might be thinking, "What about all the ugly strokes?" There's a couple of things we could do. I've just used my black arrow, click off on the background, I'm going to click on you, shift, shift, select all three of these, I could just use that. Then I've got this. I've still got the stroke around the outside, I could select them all and say, "No stroke." You could see that. I've made all these shapes. Or, you can start doing stuff like this. Say that I just want-- I want bits of these strokes, but I want to trim these edges off. Using the Shape Builder tool again, holding down 'Alt'. Remember, by default it's kind of adding shapes, so I can click and add, but if I want to remove shapes, I hold down the 'Alt' key on a PC, or 'Option' key on a Mac. Watch this, I can drag across these guys. Goodbye! How cool is that! I do love this tool!

You can get rid of ones you want, keep the ones you don't. So yes, that's a little bit more of the Shape Builder tool. You can also do things like this. You can grab, say, type, and I'm going to do, 'Dan'. No, I don’t want dictation. I'm going to make it nice and big. Where's my font sizes? Bigger even. Hold down 'Shift'. Using my black arrow, make it nice and big. Pick a font that's not super lame. Museo Slab kind of a man. 

Now Shape Builder is not going to work like this, well that’s editable types, so what we need to do is we go to 'Type', and there's one in here that says 'Create Outlines'. Now, it's no longer editable. I can't change the spelling or the font, so you might want to duplicate it before you do this, but now it's a shape like these other shapes here, and we can start messing around with them. By default, they're all grouped, so I right click them, 'Ungroup'. And hopefully now I can start doing some cool-- When I say cool, it's got to be pretty lame, I can tell. But it's a good example. Selected all of these guys, I'm going to grab my Shape Builder tool, stand back Shape Builder, and what I'm going to do is maybe just delete the bits that cross over to do some sort of-- I don't know what I'm doing. Pick a fill color, pick a color up here, from my swatches. You, and you. Oh yes, terrible. I might grab the shape of the tool and just delete that one there. I don't want him. Oh yes, we are funky.

Okay, so Shape Builder tool, getting better. Let's look at rebuilding our logo, because that's really what I wanted to do, make something like that, and you're probably going to be over the sea, like this, it's going to be pretty easy, right? It is.

So to make that shape there, we're going to grab my ellipse tool. I've held down 'Shift' to make sure it goes perfectly spherical, and now I'm going to grab my-- I might actually have a stroke around the outside, there’s no reason to do this, just to make it easy for you guys to understand. So there’s just the black stroke on the outside, I'm back on my black arrow now. I want two of these probably, so I'm going to copy it, and if I paste it, Illustrator just pastes it in the middle of your screen. If you go to 'Edit', and go to 'Paste in Front', nothing looks like it happens but there's a copy exactly in front of the one we had before. If I grab one of the corners I can make it smaller, if I hold 'Shift' while I'm grabbing it, it will make it perfectly smaller, as in the height and the width. 

Remember that shortcut we learnt few videos again, if you hold down the 'Option' as well, so 'Shift' and 'Option', or if you're on a PC, it's 'Shift' and 'Alt', and it will do it from the center. So we got two little circles. You could just draw them separately, select them both, and align them.

Next thing I want to do is I want to grab my line tool, and because I've got smart guides on, if you don't, make sure that's ticked on, I can go from the center here. And if I try and join the other line from the center, it starts adjusting the one I've got, so what you can do is go back to the black arrow, click off in the background, then grab your line tool, start a new one. Back to the black arrow, click off in the background, little painful. I'm just doing this kind of line segment thing for our brand to be some sort of info graphic looking bit. You can see how easy it's going to be to form.

So, black arrow, select them all, and I'm kind of making something like this, remember. I still made a giant version. Maybe got one to make segments, I'm not sure how I'm going to do that. Color them, we'll work it out.

So with this selected, Shape Builder tool, and what I'm going to do is, down here, pick a swatch, doesn't matter really if you pick it up here, or down here, it does matter if you click on these, just fills the whole thing. It's like a little bug with this. The libraries are awesome but these are few little things, so remember, if you are jumping into this tutorial by yourself, you might need to right click this guy and say 'Add to Swatches', so you got him down here. So that color's got to be that one, that one’s going to be that one.

It's going against a dark background, that's why I get to use that white. I'm okay with that. Awesome. So what I want to do is, I can delete these guys, there's a couple of ways, but what I might do is just clip this, hold 'Shift', just select all these pieces, and just move them off. Select them all, but I still got a little black stroke around them, say, "None, please," and now I've got myself a cool little shapy thing for my logo.

What I might do is, because these are all separate, which is cool, select them all, right click them, and go to 'Group'. If you're on a Mac, and you try to right click, and it won't right click, go to 'Object', and there's 'Group' in here.

Alright, so you'll find yourself using the Shape Builder tool lots, it's my ‘go to’ for building all sorts of interesting shapes without having to go to the pen tool, but the pen tool is a necessity, and we're going to learn that in the next video, so let's go and do that.