Week 2 – Page Layout and Typography

Illustrator Basics

Pen Tool

By using the pen tool, Fill colour and Stroke colour commands in illustrator, I am going to trace this image of a fried egg in order to create a vector image.

Here you can see that by placing paths I have traced the outline of the egg. I repeated this process with the outline of the yoke and added Fill colours and Stroke colours to further define the object.

This is the final vector image I ended up with after tracing the image of the fried egg. Although my vector image doesn’t look amazing, with more time spent on accurately tracing etc a much more detailed image can be achieved.

Type Manipulation

By using Type commands in illustrator I am going to create a logo/letter head containing my initials.

Here you can see my initial’s in a Times New Roman typeface. This screenshot displays the original letter forms prior to making adjustment. By selecting ‘Create Outlines’ The outline of the type will be constructed by paths, by selecting and dragging the individual paths it allows you to distort or reshape your type.

Here is my logo\letterhead after adjustments were made to the type using paths.

Type and Grids

By using rulers and guides I have constructed a grid for my print area, first of all making sure the rulers are aligned correctly. This can be done by dragging from where the rulers overlap in the top left corner to the top left corner of your page. As well as this guides are created by dragging them from the vertical and/or horizontal rulers.

In addition to this I have added a thick line using the line tool. This works at separating the page and also for the type to rest upon.  The type was added by simply clicking the type tool on my page. I used a Gill Sans type at 44 pt for my headline, and positioned it pleasingly according to my guides.

Here I have made further alterations to my headline via kerning, Kerning is the process of changing the spacing between individual characters. Although this is not usually a problem whilst using typefaces at around 9-12 pt, when using larger size type the kerning should be observed. In this case kerning was used between the i and r in “Grid” and also for the s and t and the t and e in “Systems”. Kerning is done by clicking the type tool between two characters, then whilst holding option (alt) use the arrows on your keyboard to make the adjustments desired.

Body copy has also been placed between the my two vertical guides. This is done by dragging the type tool to create a box rather than clicking once. For a full article body copy should usually be set in columns between 3.5 – 4 inches in length or 35 – 65 characters. This is the point at which many readers begin to read back over the words that they have already read. A 3.5 inch line of body copy encourages the reader to move to the next line of type at about the time that she is ready to move her eyes from right to left.

Leading is the space between lines of type. By pressing Command+A on the keyboard to select all of the type within this type box. With all of the type selected, press Option and the down arrow key to open the leading. The leading in my body copy has been increased.


Here I began to introduce colour into my grid. I did this by replacing the point on the “i” with a red square using the rectangle tool whilst holding shift to maintain the square. In addition to this I duplicated the red square by holding option (alt) and dragging it to produce another and rescaled to 300%. This was then placed above my body copy. The final change I made was using direct selection tool and create outlines/anchor points to stretch the stem of the “d” in my headline.

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