Intuitive Tools for Digital Artists

How to Create a Liquid Logo Using Adobe Illustrator and DrawScribe Plugin

Important product change information

Since this article was originally published, DrawScribe has been separated into two individual plug-ins:

DynamicSketch: sketch naturally in vector
InkScribe: draw precisely and accurately in vector

Existing customers of DrawScribe can find full details of how this affects their licenses by reading this article.

Vector Liquid Logo

In this tutorial we will cover the techniques of creating “liquid” objects with the help of the Dynamic Sketch Tool, part of the DrawScribe plugin, plus the Blend Tool. This tutorial includes detailed instructions and interesting tricks that will allow you to succeed in creating this kind of style.

Step 1

Take the Type Tool (T) and create the letters of our logo.

Vector Liquid Logo

These letters will be used as a template in the future, so lock them in the Layers panel. Of course in this tutorial you can reproduce your logo — the techniques described below are suitable for all shapes.

Step 2

Now take the Dynamic Sketch Tool, which is one of the tools of the DrawScribe plugin and open its panel (Window > DrawScribe > Dynamic Sketch panel). Enable the “Edit or continue existing paths” mode and set the value of Accuracy and Smoothness. Choose a random fill color and set 50% opacity for it in the Transparency panel in order to be able to see the template of the logo in the process of drawing. Now create the outer outline of the first letter.

You do not have to closely follow the outline of the template, as we are dealing with a liquid logo, you just need to reproduce the basic proportions of the letter. Neither do you need to focus on the created shape, as it will be edited in the future.

Vector Liquid Logo

Step 3

Create an inner outline of the letter using Dynamic Sketch Tool with the same settings.

Vector Liquid Logo

For the filling, I chose a different color for clarity. Select both created shapes and click on the Minus Front button in the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder).

Vector Liquid Logo

As a result of these actions we get a Compound Path.

Vector Liquid Logo

Step 4

Using the Dynamic Sketch Tool, create an inner and outer outline of the second letter.

Vector Liquid Logo

Select both paths which represent the inner outline of the letter “g” (in my case they have a green fill) and go to Object > Compound Path > Make. Select all the objects of the letter “g” and click on the Minus Front button in the Pathfinder panel.

Vector Liquid Logo

Please note that after receiving the shape of the letter, its paths lose dynamic properties though can still be edited using the Dynamic Sketch Tool.

Vector Liquid Logo

Step 5

For the created objects, set 100% opacity in the Transparency panel and fill them with dark-gray color.

Vector Liquid Logo

Using the techniques described above, create two new shapes filled with light gray color. These shapes will correspond the glare on the surface of the liquid.

Vector Liquid Logo

These objects, as well as the outlines of the letters will be edited later, so you do not need to pay special attention to their shapes. Note that the path of the objects cannot cross itself.

Step 6

Select the objects of the first letter and click on the shortcuts Cmd / Ctrl + Opt / Alt + B, creating a Blend object.

Vector Liquid Logo

Perform the same actions with the second letter.

Vector Liquid Logo

As you can see, our Liquid Logo lacks finish. Now we have the creative job of editing the achieved result.

Step 7

First of all we need to edit the areas of outline of the letters or of glare in places where the transition is beyond the outline of the logo.

Vector Liquid Logo

Also, we should get rid of sharp edges of glare and artifacts shown in the picture below.

Vector Liquid Logo

Vector Liquid Logo

Select the path using the Direct Selection Tool (A) or in the Layers panel, take the Dynamic Sketch Tool and change the shape of the outline until the aforementioned defects disappear.

Vector Liquid Logo

While doing this work, it is convenient to zoom in on the area that is being edited. However, in order to see the entire letter at the time while doing dynamic changes, use the Navigator panel (Window > Navigator).

Vector Liquid Logo

In the process of this work, I made the letters “liquid” in appearance by making their outline wavy in some areas.

Vector Liquid Logo

Step 8

If you are satisfied with the shape of the letters, let’s proceed to creating shadows. Copy both blend objects and paste it back (Cmd / Ctrl + C; Cmd / Ctrl + B). Now go to Object > Blend > Release (the visibility of the upper blend objects is turned off for clarity in the picture below).

Vector Liquid Logo

Ungroup these objects and delete the shapes of light-gray glares.

Vector Liquid Logo

Step 9

Fill the shape with a neutral gray color, copy and paste them back (Cmd / Ctrl + C; Cmd / Ctrl + B). Now fill the lower letters with light gray and move them a little bit down and to the right.

Vector Liquid Logo

Set 0% opacity in the Transparency panel for the light-grey shapes.

Vector Liquid Logo

Select the shapes of shadows of one of the letters and click on the shortcuts Cmd / Ctrl + Opt / Alt + B, creating a Blend object.

Vector Liquid Logo

Do the same with the shape of the second shadow.

Vector Liquid Logo

Vector Liquid Logo

Step 10

Using the Dynamic Sketch Tool and Blend Tool create the shapes of a few drops and their associated shadows.

Vector Liquid Logo

Now let’s create glare. Turn on the Intelligent Path Joining mode in the Dynamic Sketch panel, select a fill color and create a path with the help of the Dynamic Sketch Tool.

Vector Liquid Logo

Now create a new path so that its trajectory intersects the trajectory of the first path.

Vector Liquid Logo

As a result, we got a closed path shown in the picture below.

Vector Liquid Logo

Intelligent path joining mode allows us to create a similar shape. Fill the shapes of glare with a radial gradient which consists of white and light gray colors.

Vector Liquid Logo

Step 11

Create similar glares on other parts of the Liquid Logo. You should not create glares in random places. When we were creating shadows in step 9, we determined the direction of the light (from left to right and from top to bottom). We need to place the glares according to the location of the light source.

Vector Liquid Logo

Step 12

Create air bubbles. Take the Dynamic Shapes tool (part of the VectorScribe plugin) or the Ellipse Tool (L) and create an ellipse with a radial gradient fill which consists of white and gray colors.

Vector Liquid Logo

Now with the help of the Dynamic Sketch Tool, create a glare of light on the bubble using the technique described in step 10.

Vector Liquid Logo

Create several bubbles of different shapes and place them in different locations of the Liquid Logo.

Vector Liquid Logo

Vector Liquid Logo

Conclusion

Hopefully you will find where to apply the techniques that have been described in this tutorial in your own creative workflow. You may find it suitable for liquid-esque icons and infographics.

  • To learn more about DrawScribe plugin, click on the following link here.

Download the CD cover artwork

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Written by Iaroslav

Iaroslav

Iaroslav Lazunov is a graphic designer from Zhytomyr, Ukraine who has found the job that allows him to share his extensive knowledge and experiments with Adobe Illustrator and plug-ins from Astute Graphics. Iaroslav was also a key author over at Vector Tuts+ as well as his own website Vectorboom

Comments

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