Illustrator Quick Tip: How to Make Custom Swooshes, Swirls, and Curls

by Jay Hilgert
on July 31, 2015

I’ve gotten a lot of responses to this post about how I made the intricate designs in those headers. Swirls, and swooshes, or whatever you want to call them, are pretty hard to come by as a freebie (except here on BittBox), and they are even more rare in vector format. Part of the reason is that most people, even avid Illustrator users, don’t realize how easy it is to create these shapes. All it takes is a few simple, yet not highly utilized Illustrator tips. This tutorial will show you how to create your own curlies, and swooshes easily, in Illustrator. It’s not nearly as difficult as you might think. . .

Illustrator Swirls, Curls, and Swooshes Tutorial
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Easy Color Transitions with Illustrator’s Blend Tool

by Jake Rocheleau
on July 17, 2015

Since all Illustrator objects are vectors it’s much easier to create dynamic effects from basic shapes. Gradients can be applied onto a single shape or they can be created by blending multiple shapes together.

illustrator blend tool quicktip

I’ll demonstrate the latter technique using a little trick known as the Blend Tool. It’s actually very simple once you learn how to tweak settings and get the gradients working as you intend.

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The Basics of Illustrator Vector Manipulation

by Jake Rocheleau
on April 22, 2015

Adobe Illustrator is a powerful vector program made for digital and print designers. Vector shapes are made to scale without any quality loss, which makes them quite different from pixel graphics. This means vector graphics can be manipulated differently and under different contexts which may be confusing for new designers.

illustrator paths shapes splash

In this post I’d like to cover a brief how-to process of vector manipulation in Adobe Illustrator. I’ll explain the absolute basics of shape tools and how to manipulate them. Photoshop users who are familiar with vectors will recognize some of these terms. Others who are brand new to Illustrator will just need time to practice the fundamentals of this powerful design suite.

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How To Clear Color Swatches in Photoshop & Illustrator

by Jake Rocheleau
on February 16, 2015

Both Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are very common design tools. Although they possess an incredible amount of power the overall interface can be quite cumbersome even to intermediate users. But if you spend enough time learning the fundamentals everything else will just naturally fall into place.

For this quick tip I’d like to demonstrate how to clear out color swatches in Photoshop and Illustrator. Each program has a slightly different method of clearing swatches and you’ll want to stick with the most comfortable way to your workflow. The swatches panel is a little tricky and it’s not always used in every design project. But it’s still a palette that has plenty of value in the long run and it’s worth learning these little tricks.

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How to Plan Your Freelancing Design Income

by laura9
on December 2, 2012

One of the most difficult problems that you will face as a freelance designer is knowing how much money you need to earn each month as a designer.

If you don’t get a handle on your income early on, you may find that you can’t continue as a freelancer. We certainly don’t want that to happen.

In this post, we’ll examine some of the factors that you must take into consideration when planning your monthly earnings. If you enjoyed this post, you may also like 20 Pricing Principles for Freelancers.

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Illustrator Quick Tip: Align to Key Anchor (point)

by Jay Hilgert
on September 12, 2011

Today I want to share a quick alignment tip for Illustrator (I’m using CS4). First of all let me say that this is a very simple tip but it won’t be useful every time. You have to need one of your points not to move. That’s the purpose of this technique. Like I said, it’s easy, so let’s get started.

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Illustrator: How to average points for perfect alignment

by Jay Hilgert
on August 24, 2011

I’ve only recently been using this Illustrator feature, but I’ve found it to be very useful for really precise drawing. In my case, when I draw fonts. I want to show you how to use the Illustrator “Average” feature to get perfect point alignment during drawing.

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[Requested Illustrator Tip] Edit Styles in Multiple Text Boxes at Once

by Jay Hilgert
on August 15, 2011

This Illustrator quick tip was requested by Chris. Chris asks, “I want to make a global change to the FONT or STYLE of a bunch of text boxes (each with different text inside them) at once. Is there a way to do this?” As a matter of fact, there are a couple different solutions, both of which take no time at all, however, graphic styles must be applied differently, but we can take care of all of the font formatting with ease. Let’s get started.

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