• Mrs. Impey's Digital Design Blog

    Students in Digital Design 1 will use the daily blog posts on this page to help complete assignments.  Blog posts will include tutorials and project expectations for each assignment.  While a demonstration will be given in class, the blog posts will serve as additional support for students who prefer to follow picture tutorials, or may need to work at home to maintain deadlines.

  • Project #7: To Outline or Not to Outline?

    Posted by Jennifer Impey on 4/25/2022

    Today’s essential question: Should I add an outline to my design or utilize color and implied line?

    Today we will:

    1. Explore tattoo and sticker designs that incorporate line and implied line.
    2. Decide whether to outline or not outline our designs.
    3. Continue working in Adobe Illustrator to create our tattoo/sticker designs.


    To outline, or not to outline?:

    When it comes to tattoo and sticker designs, you’ll often see two variations. Some artists like to use a hard outline, or contour, to outline their designs. Other artists will utilize blocks of color instead, creating an implied line, or “invisible line” around the object. An implied line is created through color contrast.

    As you start finishing up your tattoo/sticker design, I would like you to decide how you are going to approach this idea of the outline for your design. Take a look at these two daisy tattoos. One uses a hard, black outline around the design and the other uses color and value contrast to create implied outlines around each form.

    Likewise, here are two examples of daisy stickers that incorporate the same idea of outline vs. no outline. (Notice that both stickers have a white outline around the edges…this is common for stickers as it is difficult to print to the edge of paper, especially when a sticker is an organic form.). One sticker has a definite hard, black outline to it’s design and the other sticker utilizes value contrast to create the edges of the petals.

    As you continue working on your tattoo/sticker design, you must design how you are going to outline it. Use the “Appearance” adjuster in the “Properties” panel in Illustrator to adjust your Stroke as seen in the pictures below.

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  • Project #7: Begin Drawing Your Tattoo / Sticker Design

    Posted by Jennifer Impey on 4/12/2022 8:00:00 AM

    Today’s essential question: How can I apply what I’ve learned about Adobe Illustrator to making a tattoo/sticker design?

    Today we will:

    1. Create the template layer in Illustrator with our drawing/composite image to trace.
    2. Begin tracing and outlining our design.
    3. Utilize the shape and pathfinder tools.
    4. Post a progress blog post at the end of the period.

    Create your art board:

    1. Create a new document in Adobe Illustrator.
    2. Size it according to the printed size you want your tattoo/sticker to be.
      1. I have made mine 4″ x 4″.
      2. Make sure you have your document size set to inches, NOT pixels, points, or millimeters!
      3. Raster Effects set to High (300 ppi)

    Create your template layer:

    1. Once you have created your document, click on File —> Place.
    2. Find your template image and open it.
    3. Click and drag on your art board to insert your file.
    4. Double click on your layer and check the following:
      1. Template Box
      2. Dim image if necessary.
    5. You *may* also take a picture of the area of your body that you are planning this tattoo to go to place in the background so you can see what it will look like as you are creating it.

    Begin drawing out your tattoo/sticker:

    Be sure to use the skills you learned in our first Illustrator project:

    • Draw each individual piece in its own layer!
      • Use sublayers!
      • This will help you organize and move things when needed.
    • Name each layer so you know what it is.
    • Be sure to CLOSE each shape you draw with the pen tool.
      • This is super important, especially if you plan on adding color later!
    • Use the shape and pathfinder tools to draw your closed paths where possible.
      • This helps ensure you are CLOSING the path.
    • Save your working file as an .ai file on your flash drive.
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  • Project #7: Introduction to Tattoo Design

    Posted by Jennifer Impey on 4/11/2022

    Today’s essential question: Is a tattoo a piece of art, and if so, what makes it art?

    Today we will:

    1. Discuss whether a tattoo must have meaning to be a good tattoo.
    2. Understand how originality and plagiarism affect that tattoo industry.
    3. Brainstorm ideas for a tattoo and/or sticker design.

    Project Objectives:

    1. Design a tattoo that is size appropriate for placement on the body.
      • Students who do not wish to create a tattoo may design a fun sticker (or set of stickers!) instead.
    2. Create a tattoo that has meaning to you (or someone else) and be able to explain how and why the tattoo is a work of art.
    3. Utilize source imagery to design an original piece of art.
    4. Work between Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator to design the tattoo.
    5. Continue working in layers in Adobe Illustrator and refine your skill with the pen tool and shape tools.

    Watch the following videos for insight on tattoo design:

    Do Tattoos Need to Have Meaning?

    Bringing in Your Own Tattoo Design

    **Please note that there is some language in both of these videos. The purpose of watching these videos is not to encourage you to get a tattoo, BUT to understand how the tattoo industry is viewed as a fine art. These videos will also show you how tattoo artists view originality and plagiarism in the tattoo field.

    Organize your Flash Drive:

    1. Create a new folder in your Illustrator folder called “Tattoo Design” or “Sticker Design”.
    2. Inside your project folder, create a new folder titled “Tattoo Source Images”.
    3. Do a google search for source images that you might use to design your tattoo/sticker and save 10-15 of them to your folder.

    Answer the following questions and submit in today's assignment in Google Classroom:

    1. Discuss your viewpoint of a tattoo. If you were ever going to get a tattoo, would it need to have meaning to you or could it just be a "really sweet piece of art"?
    2. List some ideas you have for a tattoo design. It can be a tattoo design for you or for someone else.
    3. Save 10-15 source images you will use when designing your tattoo to your flash drive. Upload a screenshot (Comment+4) to your Google Classroom assignment before submitting.
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  • Project #6A: Digitally Coloring Your Coloring Page

    Posted by Jennifer Impey on 4/6/2022

    Today’s essential question: How do I add color to my vector art?

    Today we will:

    1. Add color and gradients into our shapes in our coloring page.
    2. Digitally color our coloring sheet.
    3. Save and export our file as a PNG.

    Ai: Coloring Page Tutorial #4 (Adding Color)

    Types of Gradient:

    In Illustrator, you can create the following three types of gradients:

    • Linear
      Use this gradient type to blend colors from one point to another in a straight line.
    • Radial
      Use this gradient type to blend colors from one point to another point in a circular pattern. 
    • Freeform
      Use this gradient type to create a graduated blend of color stops within a shape in an ordered or random sequence such that the blending appears smooth and natural. Freeform gradient can be applied in two modes:
      • Points: Use this mode to shade the area around a color stop.
      • Lines: Use this mode to shade the area around a line.

    Note: A color stop is a point on the Gradient Annotator (for linear and radial) or on the object (for freeform) that controls the color of the gradient. You can change the color of the color stops to set a gradient 

    Screen Shot 2020-11-09 at 2.57.21 PM

    Gradient Panel: 

    To open the gradient panel, do one of the following:

    • Choose Window > Gradient.
    • Double-click the Gradient tool in the toolbar.

    The gradient panel allows you to change the colors in your gradient, add color stops, adjust the opacity, choose the type, choose from a list of pre-defined or previously used/saved gradients, and more.

    • Double click on either slider of the gradient bar to change the colors of your gradient.

    Screen Shot 2020-11-09 at 3.05.53 PM

    • To add additional colors in your gradient, click just below the gradient bar where you want to add a new color. 
    • To delete a color, simply click on the slider and press the “Delete” button

    Screen Shot 2020-11-09 at 3.13.28 PM

    • If you want to save your gradient, click on on the drop down arrow next to the gradient viewer, and then click on “Add
      to Swatches”.  This will save your gradient combination.

    Screen Shot 2020-11-09 at 3.00.20 PM

    • You can adjust the transparency of a gradient.  You can make it go from an opaquesolid color to a translucent solid color.
      • This will allow you to see anything that is underneath the shape that will have transparent fill.

    Gradient Annotator:IMG_2413

    The Gradient tool is found in the tool bar on the left side of your screen.  When clicked, itopens the Gradient Annotator, which is a slider bar that allows you to adjust the gradient in a linear and radial gradient.  The gradient annotator allows you to:

    • Adjust the start and end point of your gradient fill
    • Adjust the midpoint of your gradient
    • Adjust the angle of your gradient
    • Adjust the color stops

    **But wait...I can't add color to an area on my coloring sheet!!!

    That means you never completed the entire path.  If you used line segments to make your image instead of SHAPES (which is comprised of multiple line segments and anchors, all the way around to create a closed shape), you may not be able to add color the way you want!  You might need to go in and edit your paths!

    Play with Effects!

    Once you've colorized your coloring sheet, you can also play around with the various effects in Adobe Illustrator.  Try them out and see if one will enhance your colored image!  Select the path that you wish to apply the effect to, and then find it in the effects menu.  Here are a few examples of how I can change the effect on my football:

    Football with brown fill.








    Effect --->Artistic--->Film Grain--->Film Grain

    Effect --->3D and Materials---> Inflate--->Inflate

    Save your file at the end of the period:

    1. File —> Save As
      1. Save this as a NEW file. We want to keep our black and white one as is.
      2. Rename your file “Colored Coloring Page” or something similar.
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