USING ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR

If you’re familiar with Adobe Illustrator and would like a few handy tips on creating swirly graphics, this tutorial is for you. Given the recent less-than-perfect weather in ‘sunny’ Queensland, this cyclone logo seemed the most appropriate subject matter. Here’s how it’s made:

  1. Begin with a blank document in Adobe Illustrator. Click once the page with the Type tool and type the word ‘CYCLONE’. Choose an appropriate font, preferably bold and simple, and a large size. The example shown uses the font Harabara at 78pt size with slightly modified kerning (space between the letters).
  2. Replace the ‘O’ with two or three spaces (the distance can be fine tuned later). Fill the text with the standard navy blue swatch from the swatches panel.
  3. Activate the Spiral tool and click once on the page. Apply these settings ? Radius: 15mm, Decay: 80%, Segments: 1000, Style: (top option) ? then click OK. Apply a navy blue stroke to the shape and rotate the spiral 45º clockwise.
  4. Under the Window menu, choose Brush Libraries > Arrows> Arrows_Special. Click on Arrow 2.24 (black wavy design) in the resulting library panel to apply the brush to the spiral. Set the stroke width to .5pt.
  5. With the spiral still selected, go to Edit > Copy, then Edit > Paste in Back. Change the stroke colour to mid-blue and the stroke width to 1pt. Rotate the spiral 180º clockwise and nudge the shape around slightly until the position is similar to that shown above.
  6. Select the top spiral (navy blue) and go to Edit > Copy, then Edit > Paste in Front. Change the stroke colour to light-blue and the stroke width to .25pt. Rotate the spiral 90º counter-clockwise and nudge the shape around slightly until the position is similar to that shown above.
  7. Select all three shapes together and move them into position over the text where the ‘O’ should be. Fine tune the design by increasing or decreasing the stroke weights, spacing or size of the spirals.

As you can see, the ‘Arrow 2.24′ brush combined with a simple spiral in Adobe Illustrator can create a dynamic logo design shape. This technique can also be applied to create effective background textures.