Creating your own designs is both fun and challenging. With a vector pack, the artwork is there. All you need to do is create a design using elements from the pack. Golden Press Studio’s Graphic Designer Cory Romeiser shows you how to customize a design from a vector pack in Adobe Illustrator.
First, you’ll need to choose a design. For the video, Cory plays around with elements from the Springtime Vector Pack. He chooses a bee and a honeycomb design. Select a custom document that corresponds to the transparencies you use. Cory copies two elements from the vector pack — a bee and a honeycomb — and pastes them onto the document.
Enlarge the elements to the size you want, and align them to the document so they’re centered. Cory stacks the bee on top of the honeycomb.
At this point, both designs are overlaid, which doesn’t look right. Cory first ungroups each element and then presses Command 8, making compound paths.
Selecting the bee, Cory chooses “object,” “path,” and “offset path.” This creates a big outline all the way around the element. Set the offset path to .25 inches. Click on the eyedropper icon to change the color of the outline to white. From here, Cory hits “Command” and “right bracket (])” to place the bee in front of the honeycomb.
Cory plays with the sizing of the honeycomb until it’s just right. Little pieces of the honeycomb design can be seen where the outline of the bee stops. Grab a couple of anchor points from the top design and drag the outline out to cover the unwanted lines. It’ll make the design look a little cleaner.
Select all elements. Go to the “Pathfinder” tool and hit “Minus Front.” It’ll cut the design out so it’s on a transparent background instead of white.
Now that the artwork is finalized, it’s time to add some words. Cory opts to hand-write his letters using Procreate on his iPad. Once his custom words are written out, he saves the artwork as a jpeg and airdrops it to his computer.
Drag and drop the jpeg into the Illustrator document. The letters are all one document. To split the words up, Cory goes to “Image Trace,” and clicks on a “Hand-Done” preset he created. Image trace works by tracing the outline of your artwork using various dimensions. You can change these with the sliders in the “Image Trace” menu. Cory set his threshold to 97%, his paths to 97%, his corners at (you guessed it) 97%, and his noise set to 1. Most importantly, he selects “Ignore White,” so the Image Trace will just capture the letters, not the background.
Once the words have been traced, ungroup them so you can move them separately. Move the letters onto the design and position them how you like. Cory uses the “Offset Path” function one more time to clean up the letters mingling with the artwork.
Cory places the two designs side-by-side to compare the hand-lettering with fonts. Once you’re happy with your design, all that’s left to do is get printing.
There you have it! Cory showed you how you can take a few design elements from a vector pack and customize it to make it your own in Adobe Illustrator. Be sure to follow Golden Press Studio on Instagram and YouTube to learn even more about screen printing and design.