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Lesson 2. Creating Basic Shapes > Decorating the stationery border

Decorating the stationery border

You'll decorate the border of the piece of stationery with a circle, a spiral, and some star shapes, using different methods to create the shapes.

1.
Double-click 150% in the status bar in the bottom left corner of the window, type 200, and press Enter or Return to zoom in to a 200% view of the artwork.

2.
Select the ellipse tool (), and position the pointer in the left corner of the stationery border. Hold down Shift+Alt (Windows) or Shift+Option (Mac OS) and drag the tool to draw a small circle.

Holding down Shift as you drag the ellipse tool constrains the shape to a circle; holding down Alt/Option draws it from its center point.

3.
Now select the spiral tool () next to the rectangular grid tool (), and position it in the bottom left side of the stationery about midway between the two corners. Drag the tool to draw a small spiral, release the mouse, and then use the arrow keys to adjust its position.

Press Shift+Alt/Option and drag to draw circle.

Draw spiral.

You can drag the spiral tool to draw spirals or click once to open the Spiral dialog box and specify the characteristics before drawing the spiral. Illustrator lets you specify the radius, number of segments, and percent of decay (amount that the spiral uncoils).

Drawing spirals

The spiral tool creates a spiral-shaped object of a given radius and number of winds; that is, the number of turns that the spiral completes from start to finish.

To draw a spiral by specifying dimensions:

1.
Select the spiral tool, and click where you want to place the center of the spiral.

By default, the Spiral dialog box displays the dimensions of the last spiral you drew. The unit of measure is determined by the unit of measure set in the Document Setup or Units & Undo Preferences dialog box.

2.
In the Radius text box, enter the distance from the center to the outermost point in the spiral.

3.
In the Decay text box, enter the amount by which each wind of the spiral should decrease relative to the previous wind.

4.
Click the arrows or enter the number of segments in the Segments text box. Each full wind of the spiral consists of four segments.

5.
For Style, select the counterclockwise or clockwise option to specify the direction of the spiral, and click OK.

–From the Adobe Illustrator User Guide, Chapter 3


Now you'll draw some stars using different methods.

4.
Select the star tool (), and position the pointer in the bottom corner of the stationery. Drag the tool to draw the first star shape. By default, the star tool draws a five-pointed star.

5.
With the star tool still selected, click in the bottom right side of the stationery (midway between the two corners) to create a second star. By default, the Star dialog box displays the dimensions of the last star you drew. In the Star dialog box, type 4 in the Points text box, and click OK.

6.
To draw the last star, start dragging the star tool in the right corner of the stationery, but don't release the mouse button. As you drag, press the Up Arrow key to increase the number of points on the star (we created an eight-sided star), and then before releasing the mouse button, hold down the spacebar and move the star into position in the corner of the border.

Draw star.

Press Up Arrow key to add star points.

7.
Ctrl-click (Windows) or Command-click (Mac OS) away from the artwork to deselect the star, and choose File > Save.


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