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Art 633: Patterns

It wasn’t until after I retired that I finally had the opportunity to hunt down a class to learn Adobe Illustrator.

Barely in the nick of time, to be frank. By the Spring of 2012 my old copy of FreeHand 10 (which had been superseded back in 2003 — but I found FreeHand MX to be unusable) would not have survived another System upgrade, and there was no way that I would be able to keep running Snow Leopard if I had to replace my computer.

A friend and fellow retireee from the Graphics Section (my former supervisor, actually) who had retired the same day I did, and I both felt the need to buckle down and learn the program which had ousted our preferred one. So we signed up for City’s course of Art 633, or; Intro to Computer Graphics. Which was basically an Adobe Illustrator class.

The class didn’t generate a lot of files suitable for posting, most of the coursework being set exercises to learn to use the various tools. But we did get to build a couple of things that I felt like showing off.

Frankly, while I can now use Illustrator, I still don't much like it. It isn’t FreeHand, which I used for over 20 years. Although, to be sure, Illustrator work is likely to be a component used in projects posted over in the Publications section as time goes on. As well as in the Graphics collection here.

Building patterns in Photoshop is something that I’ve been doing for some time, but one of the assignments that I rather enjoyed from Art 633 was building patterns in Illustrator. We were using CS5 at the time, and the pattern building changed completely in CS6, so I'm not really conversant with how to do it now. But I may end up needing to learn it some day. Patterns are cool.

For the assignment we were to create 10 different patterns, 5 with solid backgrounds and five with transparent, each with a 1" x 1" repeat.

Then we were to use them in a file which put them in an initial cap of our name. We were to:

Convert the initial cap to outlines first

Create a clipping mask with the patterns to put them into the initial cap, then type the rest of our name next to it.

Create a 4-color gradient for a background and put it behind everything

I consider myself fortunate to have an initial with a nice symmetrical first letter, so I found that part of the assignment easy.

Actually, the class ran out of time on this assignment, since this was the last thing before our final assignment, which was a fairly complex and demanding. So all that was really required in the end was a page with the pattern tiles and the gradient. But I’d got on a roll and worked on the assignment at home so I was able to turn in the initial as well.