There are a few things out there that I find really cool, and Illustrators ability to create multiple strokes on one path is one of those cool things. This infographic in one line and that is it, no shapes. Check this one out, it is simple and just awesome. And it will also show you how to create a dotted line in Illustrator, an odd feature that many people don't know about!
Start with a path, add a stoke to it.
Open up the Appearance Panel, you'll need this to add strokes to strokes. May seem odd, but this is how it is done.
In the lower left of the Appearance Panel, click on the Add New Stroke button.
This shows how one stroke can be on top of another stroke.
Click on the Stroke Link in the Appearance Panel. Click on the Dashed Line Box and set the dash length to 0. Yes ZERO. Why Zero? Then nothing shows up, right? so turn on the Cap options with the rounded end. This gives you two "half circle" caps that make a dot. And with a Zero stroke, it looks like a dot.
Setting the gap on the dashed line gives you the spacing between the dots.
Click on the last stroke and click on the Appearance Panel cheese grater and choose Duplicate Item, this gives you a copy of the stroke and its attributes.
With the duplicated stroke, make it a different color and set the stroke weight to be smaller than the stroke below it.
You can also move each stroke above or below each other, just like you would a layer.
Here is the stroke on top of a stroke on top of a stroke. And this is all one path! Not separate circles on the path.
To save this effect, go under the Window Menu and choose Graphic Library. Select the path with the multiple strokes and drag it into the Graphic Styles Panel and it will add the style to panel for future use.
Now any shape you create you can quickly add the newly created stroke style to any shape that has a path.
Adjust the stroke of the paths to change the look of the dots.
The Width Shape Tool in Illustrator can be used to create some very interesting shapes and icons. And it just plain cool to use, and easy too. I had done a previous post on using the Width Shape Tool in one of my posts on creating a wood-block effect but this post is about the Width Shape Tool and what it can do.
The Width Shape Tool works only on lines and paths and can create variable width lines. I call it the Chicken on a Skewer since that is what it looks like.
The first line is just a line. Second and third lines have a zig zag effect applied to it to show how the Width Shape Tools works on smooth curves or lines/path with corner points.
Using the Width Shape Tool click on the end of a line and 2 lines will come out of the point.
This line has rounded ends that give the ends a bulb when the width is varied.
With the Zig Zag effect applied to the line, you can use the Width Shape Tool and the effect will be change as well.
If the line or path has curved point, the entire line will be adjusted when using the Width Shape Tool.
If the line or path has corner points, with Width Shape will only adjust to the corner and not the entire line or path.
Any point along a path can have a point landed to adjust the width. Select the line or path with the Selection Tool then select the Width Shape Tool and click anywhere on that line.
Several point can be added to the line.
These width profiles can be saved for later use. In the Control Bar next to the line width, there is the Line Profile drop down menu. Click on the hard drive icon at the bottom of the width profile menu to save a profile.
Lines with end caps can create some interesting effects.
This is the same line with no end cap, rounded end cap and a full capped end.
To control the points using the Width Shape Tool, click on the point that was created by the Width Shape tool with the Width Shape Tool.
This is the dialog box that you can enter in measurements to control the line width.
Here are 4 lines created with the Width Shape Tool with rounded caps.
To change the shape just on one side of the line, hold OPTION to pull the width off to one side. Default is pulling the handles creates equal width on both sides of the line.
This is a curved shape with a taper to zero at one end.
Take the shape and rotate and copy it around at a 45° angle then duplicate the rotate to form the shape.
This is selected with the Direct Selection Tool and the the corners are changed to create a different shape.
A set of "lollipop" shapes nested together, created using the Width Shape Tool.
I get this question a lot from people. What does InDesign do, why do I need Illustrator, can't I just do this all in Photoshop, why do I need InDesign for this, I like Photoshop for all my design needs. The list goes on, but the websites out there do it with lots of words, so I thought a very simple infographic would work great.
Illustrator: Greatfor Logos and logotype creating and editing, vector graphics and illustrations, infographics and motion graphics. Business cards, letter head, stationery.
Not for image editing or anything pixel based. Large multi-page publications are better suited for InDesign than illustrator. Audio, video and animation are a no-go in Illustrator.
InDesign: Greatfor Books, reports, brochures, flyers and all sorts of print materials. InDesign makes large documents easier to format, interactive presentations and PDFs simple to create and can also be your go-to for ebook and digital publishing.
Not for image editing, anything beyond the most basic drawing of shapes, never create a logo in InDesign, not for UI/UX design and does not have good support for image filter or effects.
Photoshop: Greatfor Image editing, compositing, color adjusting and matching, adding special effects and filters to images, processing camera RAW files, creating and editing Web and motion graphics as well as software, web, mobile and UI design.
Not for logo design, vector illustration, type or vector logos, any type of print materials that contains more than basic text. Never used for brochure or book layouts.