The Illustrator Millinery Shop

 

In this post, I am talking about some icons I created in Adobe Illustrator. I used the theme of hats and created five different hat icons under that theme. I will go over each one and have included a 60×60 and a 400×400 pixel version of each hat. All of these icons are vectors as well and can be scaled to different sizes.

Colors

You’ll notice that although most of the base colors of each hat are different, there are colors that I used to create repetition in the whole set. The blue is used in every hat, and all the rest have some form of the yellow, red, gray, and cream, and straw colors. I didn’t want them to all be the exact same, but by using this color set, I was able to still create correlations while having variety.

Barbershop Hat

I started on this hat with an oval that I used for the top of the hat, then I duplicated it and made it bigger for the brim. With a rectangle to connect them, I wanted to show the curve of the hat, so I included lines as the edge of the top of the hat as well as the hat band. The stripes of the hat band, at least initially, were created by taking the line of the top of the hat and thickening the stroke. I didn’t want it to be too plain, and I wanted to give the image that it was straw, so I added the pound signs to lightly give that image.

Propeller Hat

This hat was the one I created as an experiment to test how well I could use the program. I used several circles and the shape builder tool to build the actual hat in red, then I used the pen tool to create the blue stripes going down the hat and the yellow bill on the front of the hat. I made one-half of the propeller by making an oval and using the angle converter tool to narrow one side and widen the other. Then I used the rotation tool and duplicated it. The little piece holding the propeller is made of an oval and rectangle.

Sailor Hat

To make it easier to see, I put this one on a white background. The sailor hat was how I got away from only doing hats with a brim. It was one of the first that I thought of. I was trying to figure out how to get a single color that was used in every design, I liked the idea of a dashed line acting like a seam in the hat. I created the actual hat with the pen tool, with a circle acting as the middle. The darker inside of the hat also was made with the pen tool.

Sun Hat

This was the first hat I made, which may be evident from its simplicity. I created it with two ovals crossing over each other, and I used the shape builder tool to form the main hat. The band was a line curved across to create shape. The flower was created by having a star that I used the angle converter tool to widen out, then I added a yellow center, which color I used again later in the propeller hat. I tried to stay away from outlines in this icon set, but I felt that this hat was too flat without one, so I gave it a slightly darker outline just to help with shape.

Top Hat

The top hat was the icon that I thought would take the least amount of time but ended up taking longer than I planned. I originally had the sides curving in, but later found a more traditional form was better for this set. The band on this hat is different than the others because I created it using the shape builder and the top of the hat so the curve would match. To get it symmetrical I chose which side I liked more, and I took a rectangle, cut off the side I didn’t like as much with the shape builder, and then reflected a copy of the side I liked. After that, I fused it together using the shape builder again.

Conclusion

As you can see, I tried to design these hats with as little strokes as possible, while trying to give the impression of three-dimensional qualities. I toyed with the idea of using a top view looking down on the hats, but it didn’t give the image I wanted. I feel that how I created these icons captures these various hats in simple terms. These icons were created with the idea that they could be used for a hat company of some kind. I feel the simplicity of the design would appeal to be used for a logo or icon for such a company.

Controlling Our Focus (or Along Those Lines)

This is another reverse-engineering post. This time I am going to be going over the rule of thirds, leading lines, and depth of field in photography. I have some examples from different photographers, and then I have some of my own pictures illustrating the same principles.

The Rule of Thirds

Picture by Shutterstock

The rule of thirds is used to line up subjects in an image to make them more aesthetically pleasing. Imagine a grid that splits the image into nine boxes. At the corners of those boxes is the prime place to line up subjects in a picture. Having lines in the picture (such as the horizon) line up with the edges of the boxes also is pleasing to the eye.

We can see in this picture how the Eiffel tower not only lines up vertically but horizontally as well along the bottom. This makes the image pleasing to look at. The trees and other buildings are located in the bottom third of the picture, which is also nice.

This is a picture I took in my backyard of our chickens. The picture looks nice, but there is a reason.

You’ll notice that both the chicken in the front and the chicken in the upper right are lined up using the rule of thirds. All of the other chickens are also in the top third of the picture. This organizes the picture, and it looks neat.

Leading Lines

Picture by Mickisha Caye

When we are talking about leading lines, we are talking about lines in a photo that guide our eye through the picture. Usually, it is to the point of interest, but other times it is used just to lead our eyes through the photo.

This picture is a clear example of what we are talking about. All of the lines in the shot move into a central spot of the leaf. Even the stem leads to the same place. Our eyes may start out at the far edges because they are brighter, but our eyes naturally follow the lines down to the stem.

Here is a picture I took of my backyard. Where do your eyes go?

I made this picture a little bigger so you can see a bit more clearly. Our eyes end up on the bucket because we have lines from the edge of the driveway, the beaten down grass, the garage door, the roof in the upper left, even the branch of the tree to an extent, pointing towards the bucket.

Depth of Field

Picture by Thomas Shahan

The Depth of Field is used to aim our focus as well, but not in the same way as leading lines. As shown in this photo of a bug, depth of field is used to blur the background so that we are drawn to a particular point.

This picture is heavily blurred in the background. Even the plant and part of the bug’s body are blurry, but it leads to the high contrast in the bug’s head that makes this picture so engaging and exciting to look at.

Here is a picture that I took to represent the principle of depth of field. It is my family’s globe in front of a bookshelf.

As you can see, the globe in the front is completely in focus. We can quickly read the different cities that are located on the globe. The books in the background, however, are blurred out that we can’t read their titles. This makes it so although the bookshelf is in the picture, our focus is drawn to the globe in the foreground. Giving a feeling of depth to our picture even though it is flat.

Conclusion

As shown, by using the rule of thirds, leading lines, and depth of field we can see that ordinary photos can be organized in a way that is aesthetically pleasing to look at. By lining up subjects in a way that our eyes are drawn to them, and then controlling the depth of field to focus on what is important, our pictures will be more interesting.

Looking at the Typography on an Advertisement for Photography

Designed by The 5th Color Designs

For this post, I am reviewing some of the different typographical choices for this Photography advertisement design, and why I feel that they work well together.

Typefaces

There were two types of typefaces used in this design. We have the one indicated by the blue arrow that is more of a script typeface. Indicated by the cursive format, slant, and fluidity of the letters. The other typeface, indicated by the yellow arrow, is more of a sans serif. This is because it has even weight throughout the lettering, and it doesn’t have any.

The other typeface, indicated by the yellow arrow, is more of a sans serif. This is because it has even weight throughout the lettering, and it doesn’t have any serifs.

Other Contrasts

Slant

One of the other contrasts used to distinguish the two typefaces is the slants used. The upper type primarily leans left, while the lower type is roman, or upright.

Size

The size of the two typefaces is clearly different. It makes it clear that although they are related by proximity, they are different.

Capital Letters vs. Lowercase

There is also a difference between the typefaces because the upper typeface, underlined in blue, is a mix of Capital and lowercase letters. While the lower typeface, underlined in yellow, is entirely capitalized.

Conclusion

By considering all of these differences, we can see the contrast used to separate these two typefaces. Because of their differences, however, they ultimately complement each other to give the design a complete look. Making an overall clean picture.