Create an Origami Logo in Illustrator; getting a little taste towards one of the trends of 2009 Logo Design and answering to those that requested an Illustrator version of the previous Origami Logo tutorial!
Step 1 – The inevitable ‘New Document’
Create a New Document in Illustrator.
For the purpose of this tutorial, I am working in my Illustrator favourite, 210mm by 210mm.
You can download the source file to this tutorial above.
Step 2 – Import Origami Sketch(es) & Template Layer
If you are working from a sketch or photograph, import the image into Layer 1.
Once your sketch is in, double click on the layer and set the Layer Option to ‘Template’. You can also alter how much you would like to fade the template image here.
Step 3 – Guidelines
Make sure the Illustrator Rulers are present (View » Show Rulers OR Keyboard: Ctrl + R) and that the guides are showing (View » Guides OR Keyboard: Ctrl + ;).
Next plotting as accurately as you can, place guides outlining the segments of your Origami logo.
Step 4 – Digital Inking
Using Illustrators Pen Tool (T), trace around each individual segment of your Origami logo.
Depending on your logo, you may have some areas that are identical, so you can copy, paste and even reflect (Object » Transform » Reflect) these segments. In the case of this logo, I was able to reflect three areas; the top, sides and folds coming down.
This is what your Origami Logo should look like after ‘Digital Inking’ is completed.
Step 5 – Origami Folds
It is important to identify early on where each path overlaps the other. Applying a series of colours helps to quickly identify which level a segment falls on, in your Origami logo design. Depending on the complexity of your Origami logo, this could be 5, 6 or more layers.
Step 6 – Rendering, the first of a few gradients…
First apply the body colour you have chosen for your logo.
After some experimenting, I usually have an idea of colours and so create a swatches folder with a selection of colours ready and available; this I find makes things much easier for rendering, especially with gradients and meshes.
This is the first gradient, using a simple Linear Gradient with three colour samples. If you find your gradient is too gradual, you can use the diamond handles at the top of the gradient bar to shorten (or lengthen) the transition between the colours.
Step 7 – Rendering, QUICK TIP!
Select the opposite Origami segment/fold and using the Illustrator Eyedropper Tool (I), click on the gradient we just created. This will apply the previous gradient…
…all we have to do now is to adjust the angle to the 90° we want. This we can do in several instances to get the basis for many gradients throughout the design.
Step 8 – Rendering, PESKY ANGLES.
As there is only one under-fold on this section of this logo, we only need a two colour Linear Gradient. The trick here is to know what angle the fold is at, so that the shadow can be cast appropriately – in this instance, the fold is at 35°.
Again, using the Eyedropper Tool technique, we can copy the gradient to the opposite side and adjust the angle using a negative figure – so in this case, -35°.
Step 9 – Rendering, TWO SEPARATE ANGLES.
Unless you’re an absolute wizard with meshes, you’re going to have trouble when rendering paths that have two (or more) angles. As you can see in the above image, the middle shadow is fine but the lower shadow is not.
What to do is break this path into two separate paths and you do this using the Scissors Tool (C). Once you have cut the path, join the two ends together (Object » Path » Join OR Keyboard: Ctrl + J).
I separated my paths with two nudges to give myself a little space and so it could be seen clearer in this tutorial. Make sure to place them back if you do this.
Now that the paths can be rendered individually, we can apply the following Linear Gradients with their own angles.
Step 10 – Finishing Touches
The opposite side requires only one angle of gradients and the Origami logo is almost complete…
Just play with some type and… Can you tell what it is yet!?
I hope you got something out of this tutorial and thank you for reading!
If you have an article or tutorial you would like me to write about, please get in touch and let me know – I’ll be happy to take a look.
Alex | @ZenElements