Identity – Realising the Design

As is customary for me with a project, here I shall be writing about how I constructed this design. It will mainly be in the style of a tutorial, although not as detailed in terms of screenshots, hence why I have included it in the tutorial category as well as the identity category on my blog.

Equipment used:

  • Adobe Illustrator CS5.1 (Designs) (I should add InDesign is just as good for creating this set of designs, I just started working in Illustrator first)
  • Adobe Photoshop CS5.1 (Image editing)
  • Marker pen and some paper (Creating the signature)

Preparing the Portrait Image:

As the image was from a previous project, you can read the creative process for it here, but I did make one difference to lighten the face as it would be at a much smaller size for my identity documents.

  1. Opened the image in Photoshop. 
  2. I went to Image > Adjustments > Brightness & Contrast, and slid the Brightness scale to 80. 
  3. I saved the image as a JPEG file. (File > Save)

Preparing the Signature:

  1. I got a Sharpie marker pen, as that gives a nice thick line, much thicker than that of a fine-liner as I wanted my signature to stand out and drew it out on a sheet of paper until I was happy with it. I was looking for a signature where my name could be read, but in a rough handwritten manner.
  2. I then scanned it in and ensured it scanned at 600dpi to ensure a high quality signature.
  3. I then opened it in Photoshop, double clicking on ‘Background’ in the Layers Palette, to turn it into a layer that I could work on.
  4. I then went to Image > Adjustments > Invert to make it white on black rather than black on white so it fitted better to my design process. 
  5. Because my eventual colour scheme was black and grey, I used the Brush Tool from the Tools Panel, selected the tone of grey I wanted by going to the Foreground Colour and selecting CMYK 0,0,0,80, before brushing over the signature.
  6. I saved the image as a .psd file and as a.jpeg so I could place it into the other files and edit it if necessary.

Preparing the WordPress logo for the Business Card:

  1. I downloaded the WordPress logo for print from here
  2. I opened it in Photoshop and went to Image > Adjustments > Black & White to turn the logo into black for use on my grey background. 
  3. I then saved the image to keep the changes made.

Business Card:

  1. Firstly I opened a new Illustrator document to 85x55mm, the size my research had shown to be a UK business card.
  2. I then added an Artboard so I could view both the front and back of my business card at once. To do this I went to the Layers Palette (Window > Layers), clicked the sub-tab for Artboards, clicked the drop-down box and selected ‘New Artboard’
  3. I then drew a rectangle using the Rectangle Tool on the Tools Panel to cover both cards, and using the Fill box on the Tools Panel, ensured it was black.
  4. I then placed in the portrait of myself and the signature (File > Place) and positioned them correctly. Here I did use guides to ensure everything was positioned well and that was the front completed. 
  5. For the back, I created the info-graphics, by creating four circles using the Ellipse Tool, using the Fill Tool to colour them in at CMYK 0,0,0,80. I then used a mixture of shape tools to create the icons and edited the WordPress logo as can be read above. I positioned all of them to be central within the background.
  6. I then typed out the information I wanted on the business card, and set it in Open Sans Regular at 10pt, with the tracking set to -10. As for the kerning, I adjusted the letter pairings anywhere between -50 and 50. There were too many adjustments to place screenshots of here. As for the leading, I kept that standard. To adjust the type I used the Character and Paragraph palettes (Window > Type > Character or Paragraph
  7. I then saved it (File > Save), for the purpose for me to submit it, I saved it as an Illustrator file (.ai) and a PDF file (.pdf).

Letterheads:

  1. I opened a document to A4 size in Illustrator. (File > New)
  2. I set guides to create a 15mm margin around the outside edges of the document. To do this I pressed Cmd + R as a keyboard shortcut to bring up the document rulers. From there, I dragged out the guides from each ruler and placed them correctly.
  3. I selected the Rectangle Tool from the Tools Panel, and drew a shape out 18mm from the top. From there I selected the Fill Tool from the Tools Panel, and ensured I coloured it black.
  4. I then went to File > Place and selected the signature and portrait images and positioned them correctly so they looked good and were set against the margins. 
  5. Underneath the black box, I typed out the information I wanted on the letterhead, and set it in Open Sans Semibold for the titles and Open Sans Light for the other text at 7pt, with the tracking set to -10. As for the kerning, I adjusted the letter pairings anywhere between -50 and 50. There were too many adjustments to place screenshots of here. Leading was not required as the type was only one line. 
  6. I then saved it (File > Save), for the purpose for me to submit it, I saved it as an Illustrator file (.ai) and a PDF file (.pdf).

Compliment Slip:

  1. I opened up a new document to 210x99mm. (File > New)
  2. I then selected the entire letterhead design (Cmd or Ctrl + A keyboard shortcut) or with the Selection Tool from the Tools Panel drag across the entire design.
  3. Copy it (Edit > Copy) or Cmd + C as a keyboard shortcut and paste it into the compliment slip document (Edit > Paste) or Cmd + V.
  4. Re-position if necessary.
  5. I added a ‘With Compliments’ to the design, set in Open Sans Semibold, with the same type settings as the letterhead, positioned on the inside point of the lower margins meeting. 
  6. I then saved it (File > Save), for the purpose for me to submit it, I saved it as an Illustrator file (.ai) and a PDF file (.pdf).
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