How to Create a Flat Winter Scene in Adobe Illustrator

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In this tutorial we’ll be creating a cozy
winter forest scene in a trendy flat style. We’ll be using various basic shapes
and Pathfinder operations of Adobe Illustrator, building a lovely scene that
can be used as a header for your blog or website, as a greeting card or an
illustration for print. The process is very easy and comprehensive.

Flat vector scenery has become a very popular design
element that is widespread in advertisement banners, website layouts and brochure
templates. You can find plenty of it on Envato Market and combine several
different concepts into a series. In this tutorial we will make one piece of such a set of scenes: a flat winter forest. 

If you’re interested, you can purchase the end result and the different variants of this flat style forest vector illustration, you can buy it on GraphicRiver.

Flat Style Forest Vector Illustration

1. How to Make a Flat Fir Tree

Step 1

Let’s start by making a trunk for our first
tree. Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and
make a thin stripe of 7 x 90 px size. 

Fill
it with brown color. Use the Live
Corners
feature to make the corners of the stripe fully rounded by pulling
the circle markers to the center. If you’re using an earlier version of Adobe
Illustrator, feel free to use Effect
> Stylize > Round Corners.

Add another thin shape with rounded corners
of 7 x 60 px for the fir branch, and
fill it with light-blue color.

make a tree trunk with rectangle tool

Step 2

Hold Alt-Shift
and drag the created blue shape to the right to make a copy. Press Control-D a few times to make more copies. And let’s add some
diversity to the branches. Copy the
first one and Paste it in Front
(Control-C > Control-F).
Squash the shape, making it shorter, but
preserving the initial width of 7 px.

make a fir branch with rectangle tool

Step 3

Make each stripe a bit longer then the
other by selecting their bottom anchor points with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and dragging them down. Leave the width
the same for all the shapes. Add shorter copies on top of each stripe.
Recolor the stripes, gradually darkening the lower shapes, as shown in the
screenshot below.

make a fir branch with rectangle tool 2

Step 4

Group
(Control-G)
the pieces of each stripe to form the branches, and place our
stripes vertically. And now let’s select the upper branch and double-click the Rotate Tool (R) to open the Options menu. Set the Angle value to 30 degrees and repeat the same action for every stripe, rotating it
at the same angle.

rotate the branches

Step 5

Place the rotated branches on the left side
of the tree, Group (Control-G) them
and double-click the Reflect Tool (O)
to open the Options menu. Select the
Vertical Axis and click Copy to flip the mirrored group to the
other side of the trunk.

reflect the branches

Step 6

Finally, let’s make the trunk a bit more
detailed. Copy the trunk shape and Paste it in Front (Control-C>Control-F). Make the copy a bit lighter. Take the Scissors Tool (C) and click the top and bottom anchor points to split
the shape into two halves. Delete the left half of the copy.

Wonderful! Our first tree—the winter fir—is ready! Let’s move on to the next one!

use the scissors tool for the trunk

2. How to Render the Second Tree

Step 1

Let’s make the second tree taller. Start by
forming a two-colored trunk. You can make a new shape, changing its length and width to your liking, or
just copy the trunk from our first tree and make it taller.

Take the Rounded Rectangle Tool and make two small light-blue shapes on top
of the trunk, forming a stylized crown of the tree.

Select the blue shapes together with the
trunk, and use the Align panel to
align the shapes, selecting Align to Key
Object
and clicking Horizontal Align
Center.

make a rounded rectangle tree crown

Step 2

Duplicate both blue shapes (Control-C > Control-F) and make their color a bit darker.
Then use the Scissors Tool (C) to
split the upper copies apart by clicking their side anchor points and deleting
the unneeded halves.

Here is how the second tree should look in comparison with our first tree. We make it taller in order to make the whole composition more diverse. 

use scissors tool on the rounded rectangle shapes

Step 3

And let’s add a couple of branches to this
tree as well. First of all, duplicate one of the rounded pieces from the crown
and place it at the right side of the trunk. Then take the Pen Tool (P) or the Line Segment
Tool (\)
and make a squared shape.

Set the Stroke color to brown in the Color
panel, and head to the Stroke panel.
From here, set the Cap and Corner to the middle positions, making
the corner and the ends of the line a bit rounded. And set the Stroke Weight to 3 pt.

use strokes lines to make branches

You can make the corner even more rounded
using the Live Corners feature.

make the corners rounded with live corners feature

Step 4

Let’s add some more branches here.
Duplicate the one that we’ve made and vary the sizes and positions of the
copies. We may need to make the tree even taller to have more space for the additional branches.

copy and add more branches

Step 5

Let’s add a small, rounded bush, consisting
of two circles made with the Ellipse
Tool (L).
 Attach a dark-brown trunk. This little fellow will help us to fill in some blank spaces of our illustration.

make a circle tree

3. How to Make a Bushy Oak

Step 1

We’ll start by making the crown of our oak.
Form a 90 x 45 px rectangle of a
light-blue color and make its corners fully rounded. Make two more rounded
rectangles of a smaller size and form a pyramid, placing one on top of the
other.

form the oak crown from rectangles

Step 2

Group
(Control-G)
the shapes and duplicate them (Control-C > Control-F), making the
top copy a bit darker. Keeping the top group of shapes selected, take the Eraser Tool (Shift-E), hold down Alt, and stretch the selection over the
right half of the tree-crown to delete it.

add a shadow with the eraser tool

Step 3

Add a dark-brown tree-trunk in front. Take the Polygon Tool and set the Sides value to 3 to make a tiny triangle. Copy the created triangle and spread
the copies over the left side of the crown and over the trunk, making the tree
textured.

add a trunk and triangle details

4. How to Make a Fancy Pine

Step 1

Let’s use the very first tree that we made in this tutorial—the fir—to form a tall, detailed pine. First of all, make its
trunk much taller, dragging its bottom anchor points down with the Direct Selection Tool (A). 

Then select all the branches,
except the top ones, and press Enter
to open the Move window. Set the Horizontal value to 0 px and the Vertical value to 10 px
in order to move the selected group of branches 10 px down.

Deselect the upper branches from the group
that we’ve just moved and repeat the same action, moving the rest of the branches 10 px down.

move the branches down

Step 2

Now recolor the branches, applying a brown tint to make them fit the trunk. And let’s start forming the pine
needles. Use the Rounded Rectangle Tool to
place a tiny vertical shape at the left side of the upper branch.

add pine needles with rounded rectangle tool

Step 3

Move the created needle beneath the branch (Shift-Control-[). Hold Alt-Shift and
drag it to the right and up a bit, making a copy. Press Control-D
several more times, filling the upper branch with stylized needles. Vary the
shades of blue, making the branch more diverse.

add pine needles with rounded rectangle tool 2

Step 4

Group
(Control-G)
the needles that we’ve made for the
upper branch, copy the group and paste it multiple times to fill all the empty branches. Make
the bottom needles a bit longer by selecting their bottom anchor points with the Lasso Tool (Q) and moving them down with the Down Arrow key.

You can make the left side of the pine a
bit darker to make it look more detailed. And let’s move to our last tree!

add details to the pine

5. How to Make a Stylized Fir

Step 1

Finally, let’s make another needle-leaved
tree, but this time it will be very simple and stylized. To start with, make
three triangles, using the Polygon Tool.
Vary the size and the color of the triangles, making the top one small and
light blue and the bottom one large and dark blue.

Combine the triangles, placing them one
beneath the other, forming a pyramid.

make a fir tree from triangles

Step 2

Add a trunk and Send it to Back
(Shift-Control-[).
Finally, make a set of tiny dark-blue triangles and
speckle them above the blue shapes of the fir-tree, adding a textured touch.

add texture to the fir tree with triangles

6. How to Make a Winter Forest Scene

Step 1

Let’s place our trees in a row, duplicating
some of them and varying the sizes to form a well-balanced composition. Add a long horizontal stripe with the Rounded Rectangle Tool at the bottom of the forest, forming the ground.

You can
rearrange the trees, placing one object above the other by using the Control-[ and Control-] key combinations.

Select all the trees and head to the Align panel. From here, select Align to Key Object and click Vertical
Align Bottom
.

align the trees to key object

Now all the trees are aligned evenly to the ground! 

make a balanced composition

Step 2

Let’s add a light-beige rectangle for the
background beneath the trees so that we’ll be able to make some white, snowy
details. Recolor the horizontal ground to white and add a small white
circle at the left side of the ground shape. Press Alt-Shift and drag the white circle to the right, making a copy.
Press Control-D several times to
create more copies, covering all the ground shape with circles.

add white circles for the ground

Step 3

Keeping the circles selected, Unite them in Pathfinder. Take the Eraser
Tool (Shift-E)
, hold Alt and drag the selection rectangle over the bottom half
of the circled shape in order to delete it.

unite the circles in pathfinder

If you combine the circles with the ground
stripe, it should look like this.

flat forest scene composition

Step 4

And now let’s add a few finishing details
to the sky to fill the empty space of our composition. Use the Rounded Rectangle Tool to form a 50 x 15 px shape. Place a smaller shape on top, moving it to the left
and thus forming a stylized cloud.

Make more clouds and distribute them at the
top part of our illustration. Now it looks complete!

add clouds with rounded rectangle tool

Congratulations! Our Winter Forest Flat
Illustration Is Finished!

Great job, everyone! Our flat-style winter
forest scene is ready! We’ve added a tiny finishing touch here: snowflakes
falling from the clouds to make the illustration look more detailed. I hope you’ve discovered some new tips and tricks that you can use in your future work.

flat forest scene composition

You can get the source file for this flat winter forest vector illustration to check out how it was made and see what other color schemes you can apply to it in order to make the image more diverse and to expand its field of use. Following this example, you can try recoloring the image, depicting various seasons of the year or different lighting, or showing day and night scenes.

Flat Style Forest

How to Create an Illustration Inspired by International Day of Persons With Disabilities

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In the following steps, you will learn how to create a simple illustration inspired by the International Day of Persons With Disabilities

For starters, you will learn how to set up a simple grid and how to easily add or remove anchor points from a path. Moving on, you will learn how to add text on a path, how to stylize it, and how to easily mask it. Using basic stroke techniques and the Rounded Corners effect, you will learn how to create most of that wheelchair logo. Finally, you will learn how to add a simple background, some subtle shading, and a smaller piece of text on a path.

For more inspiration on how to adjust or improve your final text effect, you can find plenty of resources at GraphicRiver.

1. How to Create a New Document and Set Up a Grid

Hit Control-N to create a new document. Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, enter 850 in the width box and 860 in the height box, and then click that More Settings button. Select RGB for the Color Mode, set the Raster Effects to Screen (72 ppi), and then click Create Document.

Enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). You will need a grid every 10 px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid, and enter 10 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box. Try not to get discouraged by all that grid—it will make your work easier, and keep in mind that you can easily enable or disable it using the Control-“ keyboard shortcut.

You can learn more about Illustrator’s grid system in this short tutorial from Andrei Stefan: Understanding Adobe Illustrator’s Grid System.

You should also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shapes. Don’t forget to set the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Units. All these options will significantly increase your work speed.

set up grid

2. How to Create the Wheelchair Wheel

Step 1

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and focus on your Toolbar. Remove the color from the fill and then select the stroke and set its color to R=37 G=170 B=227. Move to your artboard and simply create a 300 px circle—the grid and the Snap to Grid should make it easier.

Make sure that your shape stays selected, focus on the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance), and set the stroke weight to 60 px.

ellipse tool

Step 2

With your shape still selected, go to Object > Path > Add Anchor Points twice. Pick the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the seven anchor points highlighted in the first image, and remove them using the Delete button on your keyboard.

Make sure that the resulting path remains selected and return to the Appearance panel. Click that “Stroke” piece of text to open the Stroke fly-out panel, and then check the Round Cap and Round Join buttons.

add anchor point

3. How to Add Text on a Path and Stylize It

Step 1

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 330 px circle, and place it exactly as shown in the following image. The color attributes are not very important.

circle

Step 2

Make sure that your 330 px circle is still selected, pick the Type on a Path Tool, and simply click on the edge of your selected shape. This will allow you to add text along your path.

Add the “INCLUSION MATTERS” piece of text, make it white, and open the Character panel (Window > Type > Character). Select the Insaniburger font, and set the Size to 45 px and the Tracking to 75

Next, you need to adjust the position of your text. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and simply drag that middle bracket from the outside to the inside of your circle. This should move your text inside the circle. Use that same bracket to move your text along the path as shown in the following image.

text on path

Step 3

Make sure that your text is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel, and add a new fill using the Add New Fill button. Select it and set the color to R=27 G=34 B=88.

add new fill

Step 4

Make sure that your text is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a second fill, drag it below the existing one, and select it.

Set the color to R=27 G=34 B=88, lower its Opacity to 30%, and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Drag both Scale sliders to 101% and set the Move-Vertical slider to 0.2 px, enter 1 in that Copies box, and then click OK.

opacity

Step 5

Make sure that your text is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a third fill, drag it below the existing ones, and select it.

Set the color to R=27 G=34 B=88, lower its Opacity to 30%, and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the attributes shown in the following image, click OK, and then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 3 px Radius and click OK.

gaussian blur

Step 6

Make sure that your text is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a fourth fill, drag it below the existing ones, and select it.

Set the color to R=27 G=34 B=88, lower its Opacity to 15%, and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click OK.

transform

Step 7

Make sure that your text is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a fifth fill, drag it below the existing ones, and select it.

Set the color to R=27 G=34 B=88, lower its Opacity to 20%, and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click OK.

transform

Step 8

Select your blue path, make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F), and bring it to front (Shift-Control-]). With this copy still selected, go to the Appearance panel and set the stroke color to white.

Select this white path along your text on a path, open the Transparency panel (Window > Transparency), and click the Make Mask button. In the end, things should look like in the third image.

make mask

4. How to Create the Background

Step 1

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create an 870 x 880 px shape. Fill it with R=27 G=34 B=88, send it to back (Shift-Control-[), and make sure that it covers your entire artboard.

background

Step 2

Reselect your blue path and replace the blue with white.

white stroke

5. How to Create a Human Silhouette

Step 1

Pick the Pen Tool (P) and create a simple path about as shown in the following image. Once again, the grid and the Snap to Grid will help. Add a 60 px stroke for this new path, make it white, and don’t forget to check the Round Cap and Round Join buttons.

pen tool

Step 2

Make sure that the path created in the previous step is still selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 30 px Radius and then click OK.

rounded corners

Step 3

Using the Pen Tool (P) or the Line Segment Tool (\), create a 120 px horizontal path, and place it as shown in the following image. Add a 60 px stroke for this new path, make it white, and don’t forget to check the Round Cap button.

line tool

Step 4

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a 100 px circle. Fill it with white and place it as shown below.

white circle

6. How to Add Subtle Shading and a Second Text on a Path

Step 1

Reselect your white circle along with the three white paths and Group them (Control-G).

group

Step 2

With your group still selected, apply the three Drop Shadow effects (Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow) shown in the following image.

drop shadow

Step 3

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 220 px circle, and place it exactly as shown in the following image.

circle

Step 4

Make sure that your 220 px circle is still selected, pick the Type on a Path Tool, and add the “DECEMBER 3RD” piece of text along your selection. Make it white, use the text attributes shown below, and use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to adjust the text location as shown below.

type on path

Congratulations! You’re Done!

Here is how it should look. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and can apply these techniques in your future projects. Don’t hesitate to share your final result in the comments section.

Feel free to adjust the final design and make it your own. You can find some great sources of inspiration at GraphicRiver, with interesting solutions to improve your design.

final product

Best Resources of 2017: Photoshop Text Effects & Layer Styles

Create cool text effects in seconds! Check out these amazing layer styles below.

21 Photoshop Text Effects & Layer Styles

Your ideas need great design, so try a quick text effect! With Photoshop layer styles, you get the option of trying out multiple effects to find the best fit. Design impressive web and print graphics with 3D text and more.

Today, we bring you 21 of the best Photoshop Layer Styles from Envato Market and Envato Elements. Create cool, creative effects in less time with these professional styles.

Featuring some of the best-selling items of 2017, these styles are incredible resources you’ll want to add to your collection.

Enjoy professionally made templates that are easy to use! Or get quality help from our design experts at Envato Studio.

What Are Layer Styles?

New to Photoshop? Learn how to install and use Photoshop layer styles from this video:

Realistic Glitter Effect Toolkit

You don’t need to get messy to make realistic, glittery text. Try out this pro toolkit, designed to make quality glitter effects so much easier. Make pretty designs with shiny text perfect for weddings and more!

Realistic Glitter Effect Toolkit

12 Retro Photoshop Text Effects

Get inspired by retro vintage textures with this extraordinary pack of text effects. Choose from 12 different effects to apply to your work. Make amazing typographic compositions with polished effects you’ll love!

12 Retro Photoshop Text Effects

Real 3D Text Mockups Vol 1

Phenomenal 3D designs are possible in Photoshop. And you can achieve a clean, classic look with this pack of 3D mockups. Choose from six Photoshop files with organized layers and groups. Save time with this download!

Real 3D text Mockups Vol 1

3D Text Styles

Fantastic, high-quality text effects are just a click away. Design perfect titles or logos with this pack of 3D text styles. All you need is at least Photoshop CS3 to run this effect. Give it a try!

3D Text Styles

The Ultimate 1001 Text Effects

Prep yourself for any scenario with this ultimate collection of 1001 text effects. Whether you’re new to Photoshop or more experienced, these stylish effects are certainly easy to use. Get this collection to enjoy amazing gold and metal effects.

The Ultimate 1001 Text Effects

Cinematic 3D Title Text Effects Vol 9

Make cinematic titles just like your favorite movies! This creative series includes eight fully layered Photoshop files that are easy to edit. Not only for text, this package also works with shape layers to make your elements pop!

Cinematic 3D Title Text Effects Vol 9

Cinematic 3D Title Text Effects Vol. 9

Marvel’s Black Panther is right around the corner, and we know you’ll want to try out this effect. Create epic movie titles and brilliant 3D effects with this simple download. Enjoy bonus background textures to complete your designs.

Cinematic 3D Title Text Effects Vol 9

Retro Neon Styles Pack

See your name in lights? Make it happen with this elegant retro styles pack. Any lover of vintage design will appreciate this incredible resource of 18 Photoshop files with over 80 layer styles. Create that wonderful retro diner look with this effect!

Retro Neon Styles Pack

Glitch Text Effects

Make your words twitch with this cool glitch effect. This huge pack of 60 different styles gives you everything you need to make your Instagram posts more exciting. Choose from 56 glitch textures and 30 color options. It’s a great find!

Glitch Text Effects

Foil Balloon Text Effect for Photoshop

Foil balloons are super popular on Instagram! And you can celebrate all your special achievements with this incredible text effect. Built using smart objects in Photoshop, this text effect requires version CS6 and above.

Foil Balloon Text Effect for Photoshop

Retro Text Effects Vol 1

From vintage sports signs to exciting neon lights, this text effect pack includes 10 colorful options. It works well at 300 dpi, ensuring that you’ll have a high-quality result. Just add your text to the simple-to-use smart objects to enjoy this effect.

Retro Text Effects V01

3D Gold and Metal Effects

Give your work that professional polish with this set of 18-carat text effects. This suite includes 10 Photoshop files with 3D gold and metal text effects to make your titles look awesome. Great for web and print work.

3D Gold and Metal Effects

Cinematic 3D Title Text Effects Vol. 10

Great typography is in your fate! Design explosive graphics with these impressive cinematic effects. Enjoy eight fully layered Photoshop files that are simple to navigate. Also included is a helpful instructional guide, and even free fonts!

Cinematic 3D Title Text Effects Vol 10

Design a new Facebook cover with this awesome 80s text effect. Inspired by the trendy neon colors and sci-fi typefaces of the 80s, this package includes 10 Photoshop files that are fully editable. Try it out for a cool result!

80s Text Effects

Simple 3D Text and Logo Effects

Need a simple effect that’s also multipurpose? Try out this phenomenal bundle! This pack includes ten 3D text and logo effects featuring a minimalist design. They’re very easy to use, so you’ll have no problems changing the colors or textures.

Simple 3D Text and Logo Effects

The Snow Text Generator

Get ready for winter with this super creative text effect. Packed with 12 iced snow backgrounds, this package includes many amazing elements for a wintry look. You’ll love the selection!

The Snow Text Generator

Text Portrait Mockup

Turn your pictures into cool text portraits with this Photoshop mockup. This download includes four Photoshop files with everything you need inside. Create a high-quality effect that will work well on any t-shirt or graphic design.

Text Portrait Mockup

Salt and Sugar Generator

Spell out your messages with this fun generator. This download includes two Photoshop actions to generate salt and sugar text. The effect is realistic and clean, and features highly detailed textures to inspire phenomenal design. Enjoy it now!

Salt and Sugar Generator

Photoshop Text Effects Vol 25

Apply brilliant metal textures to your designs with the help of these layer styles. This incredible pack includes several inspiring designs featuring grunge and metal designs. They’re 100% scalable too, so you can easily insert them into your projects!

Photoshop Text Effects Vol25

Cartoon Text Effects

Love Kung Fu Panda? Design a fun movie title with these cartoon text effects. Inspired by several popular animated films, this pack includes eight fully layered Photoshop files. Also included are background textures and an easy user guide.

Cartoon Text Effects

Watercolor Text Effects

Watercolor is a tricky medium to work with. Instead of getting messy with paint and water, try out this efficient text effect pack. This series includes ten watercolor text effects with realistic, high-quality textures. Give it a try!

Watercolor Text Effects

17 Awesome Text Effect Tutorials

Want to create these effects yourself? Try one of these Photoshop tutorials to get you started. Design epic typography with 3D effects and more.

Conclusion

This list features exciting
resources for the avid designer familiar with Adobe Photoshop. For
additional help with your typography needs, enlist the skills of a talented
professional by choosing one of the amazing designers from Envato Studio.

And with loads of Photoshop layer styles available at your fingertips, chances are we’ve missed a few to add to your personal collection. Be sure to browse Envato Market and Envato Elements for more resources, and let us know your favorites in the comments below!

2017’s best album covers: How Split used lasers to design Vessel’s The Great Distraction cover art

Electronic post-punk Leeds band Vessels’ latest album has been nominated for the Best Art Vinyl awards this year. Designed by local creative studio Split, The Great Distraction record sleeve started out as a simple brief and ended up as large-scale installation of laser lights. Here’s how it happened.

Leeds-based studio Split designed and captured the album cover for The Great Distraction with a number of computer-synthesised colourful laser lines – not by the works of Photoshop or InDesign – but by a real-life installation of lasers that people could walk around and admire.

The installation and subsequent album art created a “trippy and euphoric as it is dark and atmospheric” aesthetic, much like the sounds of the album, which has collaborations with The Flaming Lips, John Grant, Vincent Neff and Harkin (Sky Larkin) – making it the band’s arguably most ambitious album yet.

“The visuals combine the hard, crisp, rhythmical lines of a digital work with the imperfections of an analogue, physical medium, in an attempt to capture something that really got to the heart of the sound of the record,” says Split creative director Oli Bentley.

The Great Distraction

The artwork captured a large scale installation involving 25 high-powered lasers set up by Split at The Hepworth’s Clader Space. The record sleeve has since earned its rightful place among the Best Art Vinyl nominees of 2017, including Lorde’s Melodrama, Beck’s Colours and Gorillaz Humanz.

The laser’s lines allowed patterns to suspend in the air, while providing a visual link between the analogue synths that define the band’s current sounds, such as their track ‘Deflect the Light’ featuring The Flaming Lips.

“Both were developed in the early 60’s; both will always be wrapped up in the folklore of sci-fi; both have been ever-present on the club scene; and both retain their connotations with ‘the future’, despite being non-digital technology with well over half a century of history each,” says Oli.

Alongside The Great Distraction cover artwork, the laser installation features on the packshots of all the singles from the album, as well as press images photographed by David Lindsey. Split returned to the installation for the band’s press shots, using a combination of lasers and projections of the album artwork to “ensure a consistent look and feel across the album campaign as a whole”.

However some of the photographs use the light from the lasers alone, like this one.

Vessels band members captured by David Lindsey

You can vote for Split’s artwork in ArtVinyl’s cover of the year competition here.

The Great Distraction, released on September 29, is Vessel’s fourth album in over 10 years. Take a look at the visual assets below. 

How to Create a World AIDS Day Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In the following steps you will learn how to create a World AIDS Day text effect in Adobe Illustrator. 

For starters, you will learn how to add two simple pieces of text and how to adjust them. Using multiple fills inside the Appearance panel, some basic effects and the 3D Rotate effect, you will learn how to add the 3D look for your text. Finally, you will learn how to create a simple, flat background.

For more inspiration on how to adjust or improve your final text effect, you can find plenty of resources at GraphicRiver.

1. How to Create a New Document & Add Text

Hit Control-N to create a new document. Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, enter 850 in the width box and 560 in the height box, and then click that More Settings button. Select RGB for the Color Mode, set the Raster Effects to Screen (72 ppi), and then click that Create Document button.

new document

Step 2

Pick the Type Tool (T) and open the Character panel (Window > Type > Character). Select the Insaniburger font, and set the Size to 130 px and the Tracking to 50 px.

Move to your artboard, click on it, and add your text about as shown below. Make it black.

type tool

Step 3

Using the same font and color attributes, add a second piece of text as shown in the following image.

second text

Step 4

Select your pieces of text, focus on the Swatches panel (Window > Swatches), and click that [None] swatch to remove the black fill. This should basically make your text invisible.

none fill

Step 5

Make sure that your two pieces of text are still selected, focus on the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance), and add a new fill using the Add New Fill button. Select this fill and set the color to R=255 G=70 B=80.

add new fill

2. How to Apply the 3D Effect

Step 1

Make sure that your pieces of text are still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a second fill, drag it below the existing one, and select it. Set the color to R=202 G=23 B=30 and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the attributes shown below and then click that OK button.

transform effect

Step 2

Make sure that your pieces of text are still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a third fill, drag it below the existing ones, and select it. Set the color to R=202 G=23 B=30 and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 3 px Offset, click that OK button, and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the attributes shown below and then click that OK button.

opacity

Step 3

Make sure that your two pieces of text are still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Simply click that “Type” piece of text from the top of the panel and go to Effect > 3D > Rotate. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click that OK button.

3d rotate

3. How to Add a Background

Step 1

Pick the Type Tool and focus on the Character panel. Select the Century Gothic font, make it Bold, and then set the Size to 43 px and the Tracking to -10. Add the “World AIDS Day” text, set its color to R=202 G=23 B=30, and go to Effect > 3D > Rotate. Enter the attributes shown below and then click that OK button.

century gothic

Step 2

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and simply click on your artboard to open the Rectangle window. Set the Width to 860 px and the Height to 570 px and then click that OK button to create your rectangle.

Fill it with R=252 G=242 B=243, make sure that it covers your entire artboard, and easily send it to back using the Shift-Control-[ keyboard shortcut.

background

Congratulations! You’re Done!

Here is how it should look. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and can apply these techniques in your future projects. Don’t hesitate to share your final result in the comments section.

Feel free to adjust the final design and make it your own. You can find some great sources of inspiration at GraphicRiver, with interesting solutions to improve your design.

final product

The Difference Between Typography & Hand Lettering: Typography in 60 Seconds

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

Learn the basics of design in under a minute! Check out this video below.

Typography in 60 Seconds: Hand Lettering vs. Typography

Always strive to learn more. For designers and artists, it’s important that we study important terms when delving into different mediums.

In this video, I’ll discuss the difference between hand lettering and typography using helpful tips from our tutorials. Try out the hand lettering lesson used in this video from Scott Biersack:


What Is Hand Lettering?

Hand lettering is the art of drawing letters by hand. In history, we’ve seen this in ancient calligraphy art forms like Chinese calligraphy and more. Hand letterers create these pieces with traditional art tools like brushes, pens, and markers.

Hand Lettering Sketch Mockup
Hand lettering featured on this Sketch Mockup from Envato Elements.

What Is Typography?

The difference here is that typography is the art and technique of creating and arranging type. Because typography deals with type and typefaces, these days we see it most commonly in digital font forms like Arial and Helvetica.

These typefaces have been designed to make letters appear the same on our screens, making it a little more practical in most design situations. And the best part is that letters, numbers, and symbols can be easily manipulated using the character panels available in most design software.

Monly Font
An example of a typeface. Monly Font from Envato Elements.

Learn More With Our Tutorials!

Inspired to create more typography? Start with one of our tutorials! Continue to grow your skills over time while developing amazing patience.

Get Amazing Design Resources

Want to create videos like this? Download the resources used in this video:

Check out these tutorials to learn more from our experts:

Creative industries are growing at twice the rate of the UK economy, new figures show

Take a step back and be proud of how your hard work as a creative contributes to the UK economy, with the release of new figures by the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS).

The creative industries sector was worth almost £92 billion in 2016 – up from £85 billion in 2015 – and it’s growing at twice the rate of the UK economy, according to a report released by the department yesterday, which provides an estimate of the contribution of DCMS sectors.

Creative industries such as advertising, marketing, arts, film, TV and radio and galleries are all included in the sector which now makes up more than five percent of the UK economy’s gross value added (GVA) – which measures the value of goods and services produced without associated costs. The numbers reflect results from 2016.

The increase is driven by a boom in the computer services sub-sector, says the DCMS, which covers wider digital industries as well as video games. DCMS sectors now account for 14.2 percent of the UK’s GVA.

The UK digital sector’s contribution to the UK economy has increased by 5.8 percent between 2015 and 2016 – and by 23.3 percent since 2010.

The Government continues to look at ways to support the creative industries, with initiatives such as the UK Games Fund which helps video game companies grow with grants to support new projects and talent. This has just been extended until 2020.

Earlier this week it was announced the immersive technologies such as virtual and augmented reality will receive £33 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, as part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy.

An £80 million Creative Industries Cluster Programme competition has also been announced, looking to boost the sector by part-funding research partnerships between universities and the industry.

It’s also worth noting the Government’s Digital Strategy published earlier this year, aiming to grow digital businesses, and the announcement last week, which included more than £500m of investment in technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), 5G and full fibre broadband.

Read the full DCMS Sector Economic Estimates 2016: GVA Report, which also includes sport, telecoms and tourism sectors.

Select a person in Photoshop CC in one click with this new feature

Creative Cloud 2018 was only released just over a month ago, but Adobe has just announced a new Select Subject tool coming soon to an update of Photoshop CC that aims to make it easier to select a person or animal from an image.

Using the Select Subject tool, you can make a selection of a subject or multiple subjects with one click, with the help of Adobe’s machine learning Sensei, which detects the objects within the image. Watch the video below to see how it works.

This tool is designed to help you to get started with selecting a subject from an image, but it’s not 100 percent accurate (as you can see in these examples), so you’ll probably need to use the Select and Mask tool as well to refine the edges.

You might usually choose to select negative space with the Magic Wand, or use the Pen Tool, Magnetic tool or Lasso tool to outline the subject. The video below shows how the Select Subject tool is somewhat faster than some of these options.

Subject Select can also be used with an image of multiple subjects, such as a group of people or people with animals. Select Subject will be available in Select and Mask workspace so you can refine the mask in one spot.

It’s expected to be released with the next update of Photoshop CC.

How to Create an Illustration of Scandinavian Mittens in Adobe Illustrator

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In this tutorial you will learn how to create a pair of Scandinavian mittens. These will definitely get you warmed up for winter! We will be using basic shapes, effects, and tools. 

This tutorial is broken down into parts to make it easier for beginners. The first part of this tutorial will show you how to create the basic mitten. The second part will show you how to decorate the mitten. And the third part of this tutorial will show you how to finish up the mittens and create the background. If you have used Adobe Illustrator before, then this should be easy for you.

For more inspiration, browse GraphicRiver for similar images and you will definitely get into a winter mood!

So, without further ado, let’s get started!

1. How to Create the Basic Mitten

Step 1

After opening Adobe Illustrator, create a new document with 850 x 850 px Width and Height.

Let’s start by creating a light grey rectangle with the help of the Rectangle Tool (M). Set the fill color as shown in the image below. Next, using the Rounded Rectangle Tool, create a light grey rounded rectangle. Now, rotate the rounded rectangle to 45 degrees. To do so, select it, and while holding down the Shift key, rotate it. For the next step, make the two shapes overlap as shown in the image below.

creating the basic mitten

Step 2

Add another rounded rectangle and place it above the regular rectangle. Now let’s modify this rounded rectangle. We will use the Fish effect: while keeping the rounded rectangle selected, go to Effect > Warp > Fish and enter the options below.

creating the cuff

Step 3

To add a slight shadow, create a darker grey ellipse and place it behind the basic rectangle (Control-X, Control-B), making sure to keep its right side slightly visible.

Then create another rounded rectangle, rotate it slightly to the left, and place it behind (Control-X, Control-B) all of the created shapes. This is the finger of the mitten. To get this rounded rectangle with very rounded corners, create a small rounded rectangle first and then stretch it. Or you can go to View > Show Corner Widget and modify the corners by dragging them inside.

Unite these three shapes (the basic rectangle and the two rounded rectangles on the top and bottom) by selecting them and hitting the Unite button on the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder). Make sure to keep the darker grey ellipse and the finger separate from this united group. 

The basic mitten is ready!

creating the finger of the mitten

2. How to Create the Mitten Decoration Patterns

Step 1

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), make the very narrow grey rectangle. Holding the Shift and Alt keys, move this dark rectangle to the right to get another copy of it. Press Control-D and you’ll get another copy of this rectangle on the right, at the same distance as it was between the first and the second. Keep pressing Control-D until you have filled the whole top of the mitten with stripes as shown in the image below.

continue creating the cuffs

Step 2

To create an element of decoration, start with the blue rectangle. Next, draw two lines on the rectangle by using the Line Segment Tool (\) as shown below. Don’t forget to remove the fill color and set any stroke color. The color and thickness of these lines don’t matter. 

Now select the rectangle and the two lines and press the Divide button on the Pathfinder panel. After that, right-click your mouse and hit Ungroup. Your rectangle will be divided into three parts in the places where you put the lines. And finally, delete the top and bottom parts of the rectangle.

creating the first element of the decorative flower

Step 3

Let’s create a mirror reflection of the shape from the previous step: while keeping the object selected, right-click your mouse and select Transform > Reflect. Once you get the dialogue box, select Axis Vertical, Angle 90 degrees, and press Copy. Move the other part to the right. Group these two shapes together (right-click > Group). 

Keep the two shapes selected and hit the Rotate Tool (R). While holding the Alt button, click with your mouse right below the group. In a new dialogue window, enter Angle 90 degrees and press Copy. To finish the flower, press Control-D two more times.

forming the decorative flower

Step 4

Place the flower in the middle of the mitten. Make a smaller copy of the flower and place it on the left side of the larger one. Be sure to hold the Shift button to resize it evenly. 

To create a second copy of the flower, hold down the Shift and Alt buttons together and move the small copy to the right. At the end, you should have one big flower and two smaller ones.

placing the decorative flowers

Step 5

Let’s create a snowflake. We will start by creating a very narrow vertical rectangle. On top of the rectangle, place a circle: for an even circle, use the Ellipse Tool (L) while holding down the Shift key. 

Now, create a small rectangle. While holding the Shift key, rotate it by 45 degrees. Then, create a small circle and attach it on top of the rotated rectangle as shown below. Group the rotated rectangle and the small circle together (right-click > Group) and make a vertical copy of this group: while keeping the group selected, right-click your mouse, select Transform > Reflect, select Axis Vertical, Angle 90 degrees, and press Copy. Move the copy of the group to the right.

Select your created shapes and again right-click your mouse, select Transform > Reflect, select Axis Vertical, Angle 90 degrees, and press Copy. Move the created copies down. 

When we have the base of the snowflake, group all its parts together and while keeping it selected, hit the Rotate Tool (R). After that, press Enter, and then enter 45 degrees in the new dialogue window and press Copy. To finish the snowflake, press Control-D two more times.

creating the decorative snowflake

Step 6

Place the snowflake below the flowers. Next, select it and while holding the Shift and Alt keys, drag it up above the flower. This way, you’ll create a second copy of the snowflake, which will be vertically aligned.

placing the decorative snowflake

Step 7

Now, create an ellipse which should be the same color as all the details. Select the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C) and click on the right anchor point of the oval. Then select the top and bottom anchor points of the oval using the Direct Selection Tool (A). Move them to the left. We will end up with a petal-like shape.

Rotate this shape to the right. Place a blue circle on the left side of the petal-like shape. Now, make a horizontal copy of the petal-like shape just as you did for the vertical copies, but this time, create a horizontal one.

Next, we need select these three shapes and while holding the Shift and Alt keys, drag them to the right. This way, you’ll create a second copy of this group, horizontally aligned. Finally, press Control-D ten to twelve times to get a straight ornamental line.

creating the decorative line

Step 8

Select the whole ornamental line and group all its details together. While keeping this group selected, rotate it by 45 degrees while holding the Shift button. Next, make a vertical copy of the line. Move the newly created line to the right.

Now select the lines together and make a horizontal reflection. Move the created copy down.

creating the shape from decorative lines

Step 9

Place the ornament around the top snowflake of the mitten. Do the same for the bottom snowflake. For the middle one, place the diamond shape in the middle. As it is too small to be around all three flowers, select the right two lines and move them to the right. Do the same for the left two lines of the diamond-like ornament. Finally, add one horizontal ornament line on top of the mitten.

placing the decorative shapes

Step 10

For the pompoms, create two blue circles. Transform them by going to Effect > Distort and Transform > Roughen. You can play with the options for the rough effect (Size and Detail) to get a result which will satisfy you. To connect the pompoms with the mitten, create two arcs using the Arc Tool, but don’t forget to delete the fill color and set the stroke color.

creating the pompoms

3. How to Create the Background and Finish the Mittens

Step 1

Make a vertical reflection of the whole mitten. Rotate both copies slightly towards the center and place them as shown below. Now we will connect them with a rope. Let’s begin by creating a curve using the Pencil Tool (N). Make sure that you have blue stroke color and no fill color.

It’s easier if you can see the whole artboard (Control-0). To make the drawing part even easier, double-click on the Pencil Tool, and move the slider to Smooth and press OK.

creating the connecting rope

Step 2

For the background, create a light blue square behind the mittens, with 850 px Width and Height. To make the square, select the Rectangle Tool (M), click on your artboard, and then enter the options.

creating the background

Step 3

To finish the illustration, make a few copies of the snowflake, resize them, and change their color to light grey (the same fill color as the base of the mittens). To take the color from the mittens, use the Eyedropper Tool (I). Distribute these snowflakes on your illustration. And you’re done!

adding the snowflakes

Great Job!

And we are done and ready for the cold winter! I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and learned some useful tools for your future illustrations. With these mittens, you will surely never be cold again!

final image

Malika Favre on the interplay between negative space and erotic art – and a new exhibition based on Parisian cabaret institution Crazy Horse

Stunning new work by the artist and illustrator, who talks to us about her new exhibition of artworks based around a dancer lit using geometric patterns and shapes.

Desire is an emotion that underpins a lot of illustrator Malika Favre‘s work, and her latest series of artworks for Outline Editions taps into that directly. Rendered in Malika’s iconic style of patterns of simplified shapes and surfaces, Le Crazy is based on a dance show called Désirs (Desires) at Parisien cabaret institution Crazy Horse.

The inspiration for the show happened almost accidentally. Growing up in Paris, Malika says that she wouldn’t have visited Crazy Horse – whose audience is primarily formed of tourists – except for a personal invitation from one of the dancers, who saw distinct similarities between the design of the show and Malika’s work.

“So I went, not expecting anything really,” Malika says, “and it was just like absolutely amazing. I was expecting something a little bit more like cabaret, kind of old school – maybe a little bit kitsch. But actually it was absolutely stunning and I loved the art direction. The lighting especially was incredible. At the end of the show I was very excited – and I wanted to do something based on it.”

The Désirs show features female dancers who move slowly, while patterns of geometry are projected onto them in striking hues of blue, red and white (a colour palette that Malika has made much use of in previous work, as well as of in Le Crazy of course). The hard lines of the projected shapes contrast with the of the dancers – while the use of darkness and light, shape and negative space allows Malika to, as she puts it, “explore the different ways in which the body can appear and disappear.”

You can see Crazy Horse’s promo video for Désirs below.

Malika started working on Le Crazy three years ago, but as commercial work mounted up, she had little time to work on the project. Six months ago, she says, she decided she needed to finish this. She’d already created a series of sketches, “so I had to edit it down and make it into a coherent series.”

Le Crazy features 11 prints inspired by the show. Only one is drawn directly from one of the Desirs’ routines – which shows two dancers in bearskins, when the show takes imagery from our side of the la Manche, observing that its colour palette works just as well for the Union Jack as for Le Tricolore. The rest show dancers in a series of poses, following a routine.

Désir‘s routines – like much of Malika’s work – have a defined narrative to them, though sometimes this is often suggested rather than explicit and sometimes somewhat obscured. But for Le Crazy, Malika wanted to created a series that worked more like cinematic framing of scenes. Some are establishing shots, others move closer.

“You have close-up and super-close-up [compositions] and then you also have full body [works] where it’s more actually about the lighting and the set around them,” she says. “So it does tell a story – but you can view them in any order.”

Playing with negative space is a technique that Malika is well-known for, and one that makes the viewer actively use their imagination to decode the imagery – and rewards that action with the pleasure of knowing you’ve revealed what is hidden. It’s a similar to the underlying principles shows like Désirs – as well as much of erotic art – which eschew the explicitness of pornography to ‘leave it up the imagination’. This again requires more work from the viewer, but the experience is more sensual and rewarding.

“I always use negative space in my work because I always try to limit the colour palette and try to draw as little as possible,” says Malika. “But when it comes to erotic work specifically, this is where negative space is extremely important because it allows you to stay on that fine line where it’s more about the imagination of the viewer. That’s where the mystery is.

“[In Le Crazy] you’re seeing the bodies moving through dots or lines, so you don’t see the whole body. Your brain recreates the full body in motion and I found that extremely sensual. I think it’s a little bit magic, as well. It allows viewers to form the piece, because the piece is not complete without their brains finishing it.

“It draws people in in a interesting way – and it’s a very good challenge for me. I find it’s an interesting exercise to make it all work.”

Alongside the artworks, Malika has collaborated with London’s oldest signmaker, Kemp, to produce large-scale neon signs based on them (you can have a sneak peek in Malika’s tweet below). These have the same playfulness and use of negative space as the works themselves, but have a glow that links more directly to the the show’s inspiration than a flat print.

Malika has long collaborated with craftspeople in other mediums. She’s currently also working with a Paris-based fashion designer applying her artwork style to embroidery on leather, and an animated version of her recent cover illustration for the New Yorker magazine (below) was hugely popular on Twitter last week. Even with a medium like animation that she knows well – before going freelance Malika was directed animation through at Nexus and at much-missed design studio Airside – she prefers to work with specialists who work full-time in the medium.

Malika feels that the simplicity of her use of line, shape and colour should be matched by unfussy animation and short loops – forming what you’d describe more as a GIF than an animation. So for all of her other animation work, she works with French animation Mathieu Maillefer.

“We’ve worked together for years and he understands exactly that I want to keep things very simple and very subtle,” says Malika. “I’ve [collaborated] with animators where it didn’t work because they were just adding too much movement or taking it too far and it was losing its essence.”

Collaboration helps to keep things interesting. One of the dangers of being known for a particular style is that clients often want you to replicate what you’ve done before. While you can actively choose to not continue to do specific forms – Malika decided some years ago not to avoid commissions in what she describes as her “glamorous lady” work from her early freelance days – if you’re a ‘known brand’, you still need to produce work that’s recognisably yours.

“Keeping things interesting can be really hard because the reality of the commercial industry is that you get commission for something you’ve already done,” says Malika. “So the only way I can keep pushing my work is through [collaborations and] personal work like this series.

“It’s something that I don’t really pressure myself too much about, however, because I see my work every day – and I know I’m actually the first one who will getting bored of what I do.”

Le Crazy is on show at Outline Editions gallery in Shoreditch, London until December 3rd. You can buy works from Outline Editions for between £250 and £500.