Valentines. Hearts, flowers, pink, red, shiny, chocolate-y, sparkly, sweet— today, they’re all around us, in fact, we can’t get away from them. But here’s the thing: I really wanted to show you a quick Valentine-esque project, one that would show you an easy way to apply a color palette to the most basic typographic design— but I didn’t want to throw even more saccharine-sweetness at you. So I designed this graphic, bold thing to be merely the vehicle for adding a bunch of useful skills to your own design toolkit:
Tip: I use Adobe Illustrator CC (Creative Cloud), but the techniques for this project should translate to almost any draw (vector) application.
1. Choose your palette. I’m using Colormusing’s Heartbeat color palette. Its non-typical pinks and deep wines should work well. For this type of project, a palette with a distinct light-to-dark color range is ideal.
Tip:Colormusing palettes always come with hex numbers, the 6-digit numbers like the one you can see in the Library (above), as well as CMYK values, for every palette hue. Having all this information at your fingertips really makes it easy to apply the palette colors to your projects!
Tip: If you want to be able to change your typeface later on, skip Step 3!
Tip: Holding down the Shift key constrains the proportions of whatever you’re resizing; if you don’t hold it down, the letters could get tall and skinny, or short and wide. (Hey, maybe you want to do that! That’s okay!)
Tip: If you want to make a letter on top of another one when it’s currently under it, select the letter you want to be on top, then go back to the Object menu, Arrange, Bring to Front. This is one of my very favorite tools in Illustrator!
And that, folks, is how you make Arial beautiful! Now go out there and try some variations on this theme:
Use a different typeface for each letter;
Use a combination of upper- and lower-case letters;
Use the entire color palette (as in the stripes of all colors) as the background, with about 40-50% opacity;
Combine 2 different palettes, in complementary colors. For example, a palette of shades of blue would work well with a yellow/gold palette; use one for the letters, the other for the background.
And that’s just off the top of my head— I’m sure you’ll think of many more! Which reminds me that I’d love to see what you do with this tutorial! Keep me posted, okay?
Did you know… the color palette featured in this tutorial, Heartbeat, is available as part of a new 4-palette set? This saves you 50% versus purchasing the palettes separately!
See more Colormusing palettes (and lots of things I’m doing with them) at Colormusing.com! And be sure to sign up to receive Colormusing’s free monthly e-mail newsletter, Hue News, while you’re visiting!