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How to Create Basic Shapes in Illustrator CS

Chapter Description

Many objects in the Adobe Illustrator program can be created by starting with basic shapes and then editing them to create new shapes. In this lesson, you'll use some basic shapes to create a logo. Along the way, you'll learn how to use tools and commands to create basic shapes, copy and combine objects to create new shapes, paint objects, and more.

Drawing the Piece of Stationery

You can draw the diamond-shaped piece of stationery for the logo in a couple of ways. One way is to draw four-sided polygons (using the same methods you used to draw the triangles for the pencil tip). Another way is to draw using the Rectangle tool, the Rotate tool, and the Transform palette.

  1. Select the Rectangle tool (rectagle.jpg) in the toolbox, and position the pointer over the center point of the pencil body. Hold down Shift+Alt (Windows) or Shift+Option (Mac OS) and drag the tool to draw a square of any size from the center of the pencil.

    Holding down Shift as you drag the Rectangle tool constrains the rectangle to a square. Holding down Alt/Option draws the rectangle from its center point rather than from the top left corner.

    Now you’ll use the Transform palette to enter precise dimensions for the square.

  2. Choose Window > Transform to open the Transform palette.
  3. Type 2.25 in the W (width) text box and 2.25 in the H (height) text box. Press Enter or Return to apply the changes.

    Next you’ll create a smaller square that’s centered inside the first one.

  4. With the square still selected, choose Edit > Copy to copy the square to the Clipboard. Then choose Edit > Paste in Front to paste the copy of the square directly on top of the first one.
  5. In the Transform palette, type 1.5 in the W (width) text box and 1.5 in the H (height) text box. Press Enter or Return to apply the changes.
  6. Choose File > Save to save your work.

    For information on using the transform tools and Transform palette in Illustrator, see Lesson 8, “Transforming Objects.”

6. Drawing with the Rectangular Grid Tool | Next Section Previous Section