Graphic Design / Interactive Design / Fine & Applied Arts / Parkland College

Graphic Design Exercises
Illustrator: Lines


To learn advanced Illustrator drawing techniques. To practice using Illustrator's pen tool by recreating the following logo:


Vector art can easily be stroked to create lines. However the mechanical quality of a stroked object looks computer-generated (it's "too perfect"). By varying the thick and thins of a line, one can soften the look of any line-based art. In this case, evoking a hand-made quality to the art helps convey the "free-flowing" feeling of this style of bodywork.


prepping for the exercise

  1. download starter file
  2. launch Illustrator, file > new (profile=print), save as ""
  3. file > place "tessler.psd" (template=yes)
  4. practice Illustrator's navigation shortcuts (download Illustrator keyboard shortcuts)

creating the art in illustrator

  1. set stroke to black and fill to none
  2. choose the direct selection tool, then choose the pen tool
    (tip: the CMD key gives you the last accessed select tool)
  3. start tracing over the art (watch the mouse carefully)
  4. make adjustments (if necessary)
  5. select all; stroke=3pt
  6. width tool: add width points to increase/decrease stroke widths
  7. select all; stroke=white
  8. select > objects > stray points; delete
  9. new layer "circle"; draw circle; fill black; move below "layer 1"
  10. new layer "type"; add type (ITC Galliard)
  11. save

tips for working with type

  1. adjust tracking/kerning: opt+left arrow or opt+right arrow
  2. adjust leading/line spacing: opt+up arrow or opt+down arrow
  3. adjust size: cmd+shift+< or cmd+shift+>


  1. file > save as (format=PDF)
  2. delete unused art, convert type to outlines
  3. add your name and the exercise number to the file
  4. print a proof for grading
  5. file your graded proof in your Process Book for individual review

Last updated: 3/1/17 ■ Webmaster: Paul Young