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Vinyl Banner Design in Adobe Illustrator

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Designing Vinyl Banners In Adobe Illustrator CS4, Chapter 10.

Pathfinder operations have always been an extremely useful tool when designing vinyl banners in Adobe Illustrator and they continue to be so in this version of the software. The only thing that has changed in your banner design is the default behavior of the Pathfinder operations. Now to demonstrate that I have this vinyl banner design open in Adobe Illustrator CS3. Let me grab the rectangle tool and draw out this custom vinyl banner. Now look at these two rectangles one overlapping the other now let's say I want to combine these two banner representations into a single path. Well to do that we've always gone to the Pathfinder palette and click on this "add to shape button"thus combining the two banners. Now however, before we do that to this banner instead of just clicking on the "Add to Shape" button. What we want to do is hold down the "ALT" key. Now by doing that you are turning these to vinyl banners into a compound shape creating a custom banner design. Now you can see right here in the layers palette it appears that I have done nothing and that these two custom banner designs did not join. Huh, let's try that again and see if vinyl banners can in fact he joined in this manner. There, kaboom, we now have a compound shape and these two banners are as one. Okay, so by way of definition what is a compound shape? Well look at the layers palette see these two banners they have now been effectively joined and one vinyl banner becomes two. Now if we get the direct selection tool and remove these shapes around you can see how they recombine on-the-fly making it easy to design banners of every type. In other words it is kind of like a live affect these two banners interact with each other when you move them around. Even if I move this banner outside the confines of the first banner they still make up a compound shape you can see it right here this custom banner design is still interacting them separately from this first vinyl banner. Now, let's contrast that with the new behavior in Adobe Illustrator CS4. Now we're live in Adobe Illustrator CS4.

Banner Maker and Pathfinder Operations in Banner Design

Let me select both of these banners and now let's go to the Pathfinder palette, but now if I click on "Add to Shape" I automatically get one single path and the two vinyl banners become one. There is no longer a compound shape, the behaviors are reversed. Now it is just the opposite from what it was in Adobe Illustrator CS3, the Banner Maker must hold the alternate key to create the compound shape. This is a slower way to design your vinyl banners. Now I'd like to continue the discussion of banner design by going to this document here. For those of you who saw my last tutorial, my lesson on gradients, you'll remember this peacock's tail and you remember how extended well past beyond the art board. We can use a Pathfinder operation quite easily to combine these paths. Creating an improved vinyl banner design. Let me show you. Let's get the rectangle tool, and draw out another banner. Let me draw out a rectangle corner to corner. And if we go to the layers palette that path that I just threw representing this vinyl banner you can see right here. Let me move that layer right above this layer that we want to crop out. Now I want to select both layers, now I go to the Pathfinder palette and click on this button right here. That button is the "crop button" and that is a Pathfinder operation that will throw away all of the extra pads that we don't want allowing the completion of the custom made banner. As you can see all artwork is now contained inside of the art board. Now let me bring this new banner onto stage here. Let me talk about the "Add to Shape" feature. The add to shape feature is very useful in the sign business when you're designing a banner from which you want to create one continuous shape allowing your custom banner design a better appearance. And why would you want to do that? In the sign business we design banners with the customer in mind. All vinyl banners start in this way and then once the design features are applied Adobe Illustrator creates the perfect match between functionality and beauty, taking your banner advertising to the next level. Banner advertising and designing custom vinyl banners in Adobe Illustrator using these Pathfinder operations has resulted in significant enhancements and altogether good fun. Let's say we wanted to print this banner and then create a diecut, well you can't do it because 13 ounce banner material does not cut. So what we need to do is create a separate path for that vinyl banner design. To do that, let me move this over a little bit, to do that it's very simple let me show you, I'll select this banner then go to the layers palette all collapsed this layer here superimposing the top banner over the bottom banner. Banner Maker, Now let me move both banners down to their own layer we can work on them separately and you can see vinyl banners designed in this way are much more apt to be discovered. Now I want to duplicate, because I don't want to change this banner at all I want to create a separate design. So to duplicate the banner first click, then hold down the old key, and drag. Now you have duplicated this vinyl banner onto its own layer. Now if you turn off the bottom layer only the layer containing the top banner is viewable. Okay, now with this top layer selected go to the Pathfinder palette and with the new behaviors in Adobe Illustrator select the first button you come to index your new banner. Now the other thing that you should apply to your banner after the design is complete and your banner has been printed is of course Power-Tape.

end of video transcript
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