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Circular Logo Design with Draplin: Combine Type & Icons in a Classic Shape

Aaron Draplin, Designer and Founder, Draplin Design Company

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10 Videos (1h 1m)
    • Introduction

      1:50
    • Workflow Essentials

      1:47
    • Research

      4:03
    • Sketching

      8:43
    • Starting the Document

      2:54
    • Type Based Stamp

      13:27
    • Type and Icon Graphic

      6:40
    • Advanced Icon Graphic

      9:17
    • Wrapping Up the Document

      11:14
    • Conclusion

      1:30

About This Class

Want to level up your logo design? Join acclaimed graphic designer and DDC founder Aaron Draplin for a 60-minute tour de force championing the techniques and challenges of combining type and icons into a circle, a foundational shape of graphic design. 

Follow along with Draplin as he creates variations of an often forgotten yet useful object: the travel sticker. From his wizard-like workflow you'll learn the importance of:

  • Hierarchy, line-weight, and graphic balance
  • Key command mastery
  • Setting up and wrapping up your document

Whether you're just getting started with Illustrator or are a seasoned graphic veteran, you are sure to learn some new tips and tricks as you create circular designs of your own. 

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What You'll Learn

  • Circular graphic design. Through friendly, detailed instructions, Aaron will teach you to build your own personal or business logo design. You’ll learn how to use symmetry, type, and line consistency to visually organize your information and convey meaning within a harmonious, pleasing shape.
  • Creating your own. You’ll be encouraged to use Aaron’s tips and tricks to create a circular travel decal or personal sticker to use while shipping boxes or luggage. Aaron will review uploaded student work, and even showcase a few of the best examples on his personal blog, giving you a unique opportunity to gain valuable insight and constructive feedback.
  • Using keyboard commands. As Aaron walks you through his design process, he will share a variety of keyboard shortcuts and other Adobe Illustrator tricks to improve your creative output. You’ll be creating a logo at lightning speed in no time!
  • Workflow considerations. You’ll learn the basics of successful circular logo creation, including how to keep your design balanced, clean, and clear. Aaron will also demonstrate how to pack your small space with information by using type size to communicate primary and secondary messaging.
  • Research and inspiration. Aaron will use stamps, buttons, patches, and stickers from his extensive research library, walking you through why each is graphically interesting. He will illustrate the wide range of ways that designers have used typeface, icons, color, and scale to communicate with circles, and discuss how their work has influenced his own. With the help of his real-life examples, you’ll be well on your way to a beautiful personal project – whether your aim is to create a watermark with simple type or design icons with symbols or imagery.
  • Sketching and preparation. A modern graphic designer relying on pencil and paper? You bet! You’ll learn why “going analog” is so vital to Aaron’s artistic process, and why taking time away from the computer generates stronger ideas. Plus, Aaron will suggest specific tools to help encourage your creativity and focus as you map out your design.
  • Designing a type-based stamp. Aaron shows you his step-by-step method for working with Adobe Illustrator to build circular designs. He includes information on how to use keyboard shortcuts, simple arithmetic, and geometric shapes to keep your lines and type consistent.
  • Designing with type and an icon. You’ll learn how to manipulate simple shapes into a beautiful, effective icon, to incorporate that icon into a circle, and to orient your type to create a dynamic, concise design. You’ll also get to know Aaron’s tips for helping your icons “pop” and the ways that he corrects for size and scale throughout his design process.
  • Advanced graphic design. Aaron’s extra chapter on how to build an advanced circular design will inspire you to think more broadly about your logo. You’ll leave your lesson “thinking in circles” – and amazed at their possibilities!
  • Finalizing your work. You’ll follow along as Aaron flattens his design by stripping away any elements that might cause vendor error. You’ll learn how he finalizes his products so you can produce a polished, professional document, too.

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Students of all levels are welcome to experiment and submit projects. A working knowledge of Illustrator may be helpful, but is not required.

Looking for more on ideation? Check out Draplin's first Skillshare class: Logo Design the Draplin Way: Building with Shape, Type, and Color

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1,362 of 1,373 students recommendSee All

Outstanding Course
Watched the course, bought the book. Watch him on TEDEX!
Brilliant class! Lots of tips and tricks from a wealth of experience, and you're entertaining. Thank you.
Liz Rahima

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Aaron Draplin

Designer and Founder, Draplin Design Company

Bred from the loins of the proud Midwest, this little fucker was squeezed out in Detroit, in the year 1973 to the proud parents of Jim and Lauren Draplin. Growing up on a steady stream of Legos, Star Wars, family trips, little sisters, summer beach fun, stitches, fall foliage, drawing, skateboarding and snowboarding, at 19 he moved west to Bend, Oregon to hit jumps "Out West." His career started with a snowboard graphic for Solid snowboards and took off like wildfire soon after. Everything fr...

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