Create a Christmas Themed Postcard | Jeremy Mura | Skillshare

Create a Christmas Themed Postcard

Jeremy Mura, Brand Identity Designer

Create a Christmas Themed Postcard

Jeremy Mura, Brand Identity Designer

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10 Lessons (1h 19m)
    • 1. Merry Christmas!

    • 2. 1 Ideas & Inspiration

    • 3. 2 Sketching

    • 4. 3 Document Setup

    • 5. 4 Creating Color Palette

    • 6. 5 Create Post Card

    • 7. 6 Add Color

    • 8. 7 Color Guide

    • 9. 8 Design Back Side

    • 10. 9 Saving Final Files

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About This Class

Creating postcards for this festive season can be a fun project to send to your family or friends!  Using a simple method of finding ideas and using colours you can create simple postcards that will have a custom-made look. This class is a fun way to create your own design for Christmas and build a postcard that you can print and send off to loved ones.

In this class we are building Christmas themed postcard from scratch, using inspiration, sketches and colour. We will be using shapes and simple process illustrator to design a print-ready file that you can use to print off and write a letter too. Learn how to use the shape tools, colour guide, colour swatches, pen tool and clipping masks.

In this FREE class you’ll learn:

  • How to create a custom post card for print
  • Practical Tips for choosing colours using adobe colour
  • How to get inspiration for your design concepts
  • My process of sketching and digital creation
  • How to finalise, save and export your design for print

All you'll need for this class is Adobe Illustrator (Free Trial), I'm using CC but other versions is fine.

Meet Your Teacher

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Jeremy Mura

Brand Identity Designer

Top Teacher

About Jeremy

Jeremy Mura is a brand identity designer and content creator from Sydney, Australia.

He has been in the design industry for over 7 years now working for both small and big brands worldwide. He has worked for brand names such as American Express, Telstra and Macquarie Business School. In that time he has also helped hundreds of people upgrade their design career from logo designers, illustrators, brand designers, web designers and many more.

‍I’ve become known for my transparent, helpful and positive personality as well as creating practical content and courses that help launch beginners into the creative industry.

He has over 2M+ Views on Youtube with over 300+ videos uploaded, has taught over
45k+ Students on Skil... See full profile

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1. Merry Christmas!: So, in this course, we're going to be creating a Christmas-themed postcard. I'm going to take you through some ideas and finding some inspiration online. Once we've done that, we're going to create a sketch using rough sketches, and then taking that into straight out to build out a vector design. Once you've done that, I'll show you how to set up a document, and then supplement your colors and give you some tips, and tricks on how to create some awesome and nice color palettes. I'll take you through some how many rules and things that are going to ultimately make you a better designer. We're going to go to in Illustrator, I'm to show you some illustration techniques, how to create shapes using the pen tool, how to combine all the elements, and create a sophisticated postcard that's going to be simple, elegant, and just fun for these holiday festive season. Once we are done with all that, I'll show you how to save the files, ready for print so you can print it out, and then send it off to your family or friends. So get stuck into it and create something awesome, create a project, and we'll have fun. 2. 1 Ideas & Inspiration: To find inspiration, the best place to go is Pinterest. I love just going on there bring a mood board and getting some IDs and building some themes out and I really enjoyed that process. You can see here adding some different images, some more by ID is some more about color palettes. You see finding some colors you can just really top in Christmas color palettes or Christmas inspiration and you'll get some different images and then you can click on the button, Save and save that onto your own custom board. You can see he got it some other images to we really want to be about no snowman and snow? Or is it going to be about food and presence? Like is the thing going to be about giving? Because you know, Christians about family and giving and spending time together. You can see he got some different landscapes of Randy's. Do I want to make it just like a simple flat design of Laca landscape or trees? Or do I want to make it more like sophisticated maybe it's satisfactory or in some Elfs doing some work or building something or do I just really want to make it like a fire place, warm, cozy, really friendly and welcome, so you can start to see, we can have all these different types of themes. This is a quick way of just IDs and really finding a nice spot to build on. It's just the foundation, but you can get different images online. Outside. You don't have to go online. You can just go to places, travel, and I go for a walk outside. Men, I know that they put out Christmas stuff really early these days in retail stores that's a good tip as well. Can go see like the front of the stores, which is handy as well. I'm just going to go into illustrator and what I'm going to do is quickly just sketch out some words that we can use. Some of the press B, I'm sought to sketch out. I'm just going to put Christmas. What we can do with these is actually to start to do some words, I'm just going to get my top told us how topping up stuff. One of the things we just discussed about is like landscapes. The scale this down a little bit. Skeleton cool. Snowy landscapes talked about food, giving family. A satisfactory. I'm just typing out the common themes and ideas that we just discussed. What else you could have about. If you want to make it more. For others, it's a time of celebration. You can see we've just got these basic, from these, we stemmed the untested a quick word list as quick mind-map. You can see just by putting these words, we can start to branch off and see other things, so I'll press B again and got this. Now you can start to branch off other words. That's really going to help you out. I'm going to copy these words across. Was there going to be baking cookies. Cookies from Santa big feast. Think of a cozy fireplace. I think of gathering around, a music, waiting, Chrismas Eve Will say, give me a flat design, will have D's in it. Trees, snow. Maybe, it's more about activities for people, snow ski, snowboarding, sledding. For other people to time, celebration. This Christmas, it's time to people celebrate Jesus birth on Christmas as well. Some will celebrate as a festivities. Then you can see what else here little Elfs. You can see I'm just adding words. Adding a simple mind map just to get some IDs, so it gets some things running through your head. You can see we start off with just main themes and then from that you can branch off and then find some other stuff. If you break it down, it makes it really easy for you to build something and create from that. This is one way I would like to do and to build out those IDs, but I'm earning more towards family theme, a car like this name of the fireplace. Now we're really look kind of cool. There's booming cool colors and environment on a postcard. If I send it to my cousin oversee or my mom or something that I really feel welcome and I'll feel that love and that pace, because it reminded them of home if you have someone traveling, that vibe of that fireplace is going to really make him feel at home again, that's my ID that we are going to aim for. We're going to get stuck into it and start to build in Illustrator. 3. 2 Sketching: One of the key things I do before I start designing the postcards is do some sketches. I'm just using a 15 centimeter ruler here and a normal 2B pencil, and also have a rubber as well that I use to just rub out and erase things. You don't need any crazy tools. All you need is just the basics. What I start to do is draw out pretty much an average A5 size. But you can see I do a landscape and I also do a portrait style. Sometimes we want to design it more on an up straight type of look, or we want it to go sideways on landscape to maybe give it a bit more space and width to it. It just depends on what you want and what the look you're going for. You can see here what I decided to do is, just start to do these guides and then I'd start doing rough sketches, not focusing too much on detail, but I had a rough look after getting the aspiration idea, I had a rough look in my head that I wanted to produce. After that I started just creating sketches using basic shapes like circles, squares, oval shapes and really trying to keep the center piece in the middle of that fireplace, putting that in the center in the middle because that's what the eye's going to be drawn to, to the middle with the fires. Then how organic shapes as well by just reading lines, if you do like long strokes, you can get this organic lines which worked really well, and once I've done that I started doing sketches on the other styles as well, and pretty much doing similar ideas staying with the phosphates. We're just doing it in a different look of just a variation. You always want to experiment to at least three sketches, five sketches, even 10 if you can, if you can fill up a page or a few pages in just your normal notebook or I'm using a mole skin here just nicer paper that I like using, and it's really going to help you out build your design thinking, not only that, you can have more free form and practice using your pencil in your hand and really going for it. Some other techniques that I like using is if I'm working with typography or trying to fit in letters. What I usually do is try and do a nested shape or just a normal shape that I want to construct my letters in. That helps me build those letters within a guideline. If you want to make some really bad shapes or anything like that, start off if doing a shape and then drawing the text within that, and that really helps me to get that banner look or that distorted look of the topography, and that's how I usually work when I'm doing hand lettering. If you wanted to make a more of a hand lettered type of piece. So that's just a cool tip that I love using as well, and I usually love sketching because it's just free form in. Don't worry too much about making mistakes because that's the good thing about learning, you're going to learn, you're going to sketch, you're going to grow as a designer on an illustrator and it's going to really help you build out those skills. Have fun with it, create something awesome, add some objects, make it feel like the audience that we discussed, make it cozy. Think of objects you can use in real life that actually make the atmosphere and create that look that you want. You can see here as I'm coming to the final bit I'm starting to think about, which one do I want to choose? Should I had a bit of shading to see what it looks like? Should I rub out some of these lines just to clean it up a little bit. Sometimes I like to even re-draw it on a bigger picture just to make it more neater and it allows you to focus a bit more in details, and then what I'll do, I'll take a picture with my iPhone and I'll upload it, just sent it to my Facebook or my e-mail and then go from there. 4. 3 Document Setup: Before we're going to start designing, we're going to have to set up our documents so they can be ready for print. If you go into Illustrator, you can go and press Create New on the left-hand side to make a new artwork or you can go top-left corner and press File New. The shortcut is Control N or Command N. Once you do that, click New and you'll get this box pop-up. We want to have an A six size, but it may not have your sizing. We're going to have to create it ourselves. If you go on the right-hand side, we're going to type in Christmas postcard. Then, we're going to change the points to millimeters. What we're going to do is we're going to change the sizing. There's a cool site if you've go to papersizes dot io, it will show you a certain size and you can select it. We're going to do 105 by 148. We're going to change the width and the height. We want to have it landscape or portrait, you can choose, but we're going to go with the portrait. I'm going to leave that at one art board. We're going to have the blade at two millimeters. You can also click Advanced Option C. You want to make sure that it's on the CMYK, it's on 300 PPI. The preview mode can be on default. If we want to print it, we're going to make sure it's in CMYK so the color come out nice, and that 300 PPI, it means pixels per inch. It's going to increase the quality of when it gets printed out. You can see all that. It's all good. We're just going to press Create, and you can see there, we have our art board without bleed marks. You can see the bleed there. What we can do is if I press Shift O to the art board, I can hold Alt and Shift and just drag across another art board or as many as I want like that. In case we need extra ones, we can just use that. Now, there are two art boards. That's how we set up that first bit. What we can do now is I'm going to set up some guides. I'm going to press Control R, or Command R if you're on a Mac, to get our rules up. If you left-click on the rule from the left, you can drag that in, and from the top, you can track that down. What I'm going to do is I'm going to unlock my guide. If you go to View, and then, you go Guides, Unlock Guides, the shortcut key is there. I'm going to select it, go to the top on the right there, and press Align to Art Board. Change the selection mode. Then, what we're going to do is send these. I'm going to click the Send button and I'll do the same for the horizontal line. I'll press the Align to the Center there. Now, you can see we have two guides that align with the center of our art board. I can also copy one across like that holding O and Shift. I'll select this art board, select the guardian and do that. Now, we know the center point is, and we can roughly get an estimate and pretty much that's how we set up our document. From this, we can bring enough sketch and start to design our postcard. 5. 4 Creating Color Palette: We're going to start to develop our own Christmas color palette. So mean illustrated now enough file that we created. I just turned off the guides. What I want to do now is go to my swatches panel. If you've got a window on the top left corner, you can open your swatches by clicking on the books on the bottom. You can see my swatches panels on the right here. We have all these default colors and illustrate that we don't want to use. What I'm going to do is go to the top right corner, you can see these four lines. Click that. Go down to select all unused, and that's going to select all these colors because you're not using them. [inaudible] pick this beam icon on the bottom right, and you get this box will pop up that says delete this selection and just press yes. Once you've done that, you can see it's cleaned these swatches panel. So I always like cleaning that up because I don't want to have it too clouded and have too many colors that are going to use. Also, if you have a lot of swatches, it can actually lag. I illustrate a little bit, not too much. We clean that up. What I'm going to do is actually go to Adobe Color. You can see here, if you don't have Creative Cloud, you might there able to use this. But there's plenty of other ways to get colors which you can from a picture which will do as well. But you can see here, if you go to Adobe Color CC, it's on create now. We've got multiple color rule here. The first color we go is analogous. You can see what it does. It actually creates colors alongside each other. If I move this one is going to move it. You can see it's gathering the left and the right of the main color, that primary color. You can see that. This is nice if you want to, just like a standard range of colors, that's going to be pretty easy to use. The second one is monochromatic. I like this one a lot because it gives you different shades, darker shades, and lighter shades of that one color. If you can drag on the color, you can get some really nice colors. This one works really good for flat vector design as well. If you're going to get for a simple look without much shading as well. That's what I like to get for that. So you can do that and it's pretty sweet. The third one is triad. Triad, you can see how it splits three ways. It grabs it from the opposite directions. As you can see there, I don't really use this one because the colors are too far off from each other. But I do prefer to use complimentary, which is the fourth one. This coloring was nice. It pretty much gives you the split. This is really good because a lot of brands use it, because what it does is uses the complementary, the opposite of the side. Usually it has a nice contrast and the colors resonate with each other. It's really good on the eye. It's easy on the eye as well. You can see I love orange and blue. They work really well. Then you can see there, you can go ahead and move these down and it's going to edit this. You can also edit each individual color by clicking on them and dragging the box. You can see that it's going to edit all those colors as well. You get the hex code here, which you can copy on the RGB code, which is handy. The next one is compound. You can see compound what it does there. It gives a slide variation, it goes off like complementary, but it locates a bit of a wide range of colors there. Then you've got shades. It gives you pretty much darker shades of that one color. It's similar to monochromatic, but shade is more closer to each other. It keeps the same hue, but it really just drops the brightness and the tone of that, which is nice. I like using shades as well. It's really good for simple illustrations, even logos. Then if you click cluster them, whatever you want to do with these, you can edit on it, you can move the bars, the sliders, you can increase the brightness, the black and white, you can play around, and we can even save these color palettes. What we're going to do there, we're going to go to explore. I'll explode. We can actually search for color palettes as well. If I go to Christmas, what's going to pop up is a whole bunch of crystals color palettes. There's heaps of this same one here, but if you scroll down, you'll see that visit some more. You see he was starting to get some different looks. You can see Christmas is very reading green, or even white it's because of the snow and Santa. For the Christmas tree ever puts a Christmas tree in their room. That's why they draw these colors about Christmas. There's probably other reasons why it's those colors, but also that red and green are actually complimentary colors as well. Actually works well together. It's always nice to each other. If I like a pellet, what I can do is save it or bring it into the customer and rebuild it. So this one, he is nice and what I can do is press edit copy. What I can do here is if I can click on each individual color and I can actually edit it. Maybe this is too like olive green or want to bring that up, bringing the brightness up slightly. It can edit that. Maybe this is a bit too green as well. Maybe want to make it more. Well yellow we owe crane color. That's looking nice, and this maybe I want to do like an off white this, yeah, a bit of a yellow tint. I like these reds here. I might just drag the brightness bit down. Cool, we've already built this palette here. What we can do is actually slightly, so if I click "Save" on the top left corner, you'll see you get this box. What I can then do is name it. I can name the palette. I can also choose which library I want to get it to. If I go to my Library, click on that. You can also add tags and publish it, but we're not going to publish it in that tags. What I'm going to do is press "Save". What this does now if I go to illustrate and opened my lobbies panel here at the top left corner go to Window. You can see if we go to libraries, what just happened is that new color palette that we just created is now in our Illustrator file. What I can do now is right-click on this color thing and press at the swatches. Now we have all these switches, he now switch panel and we can begin to start to use it. So going to make a shape and then click on it. You can see they all are colors a day, which is pretty handy. Another quick way to actually use these colors as well is if we go to create, you'll see this little camera icon in the top right corner. Click that. What it does is allows you to open an image, sulfides double-click this image. You can see now from that image it's automatically starting to pick up colors. The thing is you can actually move these as well. It's going to find the pixel on the image and find the color from that. You can drag them all around. This is a cool way to gather colors really nicely. You can also get select the color mood. I can click colorful, bright, and automatically do it for you. But let's bring it down a bit. Muted, deep doc or custom. Once again we can go, here, and you can move them around and that's customizing. So this is another quick way to build a nice color palette, let's see, which one looks good. You did. The colorful would you date. What I want to do is we can say this again. I'll go doc collars and said that's my library press "Save". Go back to illustrate my libraries, and there we have it. Right-click, press at the swatches. Now we have all our colors in here. We can use, and we can start to build out a postcard. If we want to add more colors, you can add more colors. I might add a few more to play with. But that's how you can easily create your own versus color palettes. That's going to give you that nice Christmas vibe and feel and is still going to be useful in, you can even customize it, but overall it's going to look nice and illustration. 6. 5 Create Post Card: we're going to import our sketch. If you just have it in your downloads folder or wherever you have it, just click it and drag it into "Illustrator file " I just took a photo with my iPhone 5. It doesn't have to be fancy, you're going to vectorize it away anyway. I'm just going to scale that down and bring it into my art board, and I'm just going to make it bigger. My guides [inaudible] my photos my guides on by pressing control semicolon. If you're on a Mac, it'll be Command. What I'm going to do you I am going to make clipping mouse to cut off the edges. I'm going to press M for the marking tool. What I'm going to do is just drag a box, select it, holding Shift and select the sketch and press Control seven. That should make a sketch, just like that. This is ablate monster, but we're going to work within this [inaudible] pinned here. What I'm going to do is I'm going to select this, go to my layers panel, click the on the right-hand side. But if you've got a window top left corner, and then go to layers as you can see here in the middle, you get this up. What I'm going to do is double-click on the word Layer one and rename it to L sketch. What I'm going to do is press the little create new button for the layers on the bottom. We've now made a new layer and we're going to call these design, just like that to keep that in layers need. What I'm going to do is I'm going to lock this layer by clicking the little empty section here, which is going to lock it so now we can't touch that, so cool. What we're going to do is we're going to start to build out our shapes. Another cool trick as well, is that if we start to create our shapes, make sure you select the right layout. Press M. You see we sought to create it. We're just going to use a color for now, but you can see it's sort of covering the sketch. We can actually select these and go to our transparency panel. If you get a window transparency, you can switch it to multiply just for now. You can see that it's going to overlay on the sketch so then we can build our shapes over the top. That's one way you can do just to build a shape so we can see what I'm doing or press Shift x, to put the field on the strike and just build the strike out first before adding the fills. What other way you want to do it you can do it that way. What we're going to do is start to build from the bottom. I'm just going to stop the good out these maps and things. I'm going to press M for the marking tool and just put out this bottom background. You can also work with gray scale as well. I'm going to use the strikes. It's very easy to see, let's take this red color for now. That, and I'm sought to be another shapes. I'm going to press M for the marking tool, strike that out. I'm also going to center this, so if I select this, go to the top and you can see if you click the little selection budding aligned to selection or aligned to our board. What to align to our board and I can center it by passing this. Now I'm ready to send it. Don't worry if this sketch doesn't extend it over it's rough because we're all going to vectorize it and it's all going to be shapes. We have our shape here. What I can do if I press A for the direct selection tool, you'll see in this corner it has, this little white circle. You can actually round the corners off, say if you'd, go all the way around that. You can just round it up a bit, try and round it up maybe two millimeters, just like that. What I'll do is I'm going to copy this control C, control F and I'll scale that in, like that. Drag it like this. Let's make it the same width. If you ever want to keep them in portions, you just hold O and shift. I will keep the exact proportions ball so you scale it. You also can move it like that from the sides by holding O option if you're on a Mac. Instead of just getting one side it will move both sides as you can see there. Seriously Control Z that and continue to build this up. I'm going to press the L for the lips will make a circle. For this corner section. Just keeping it very basic shapes. I'll group these two together. Press O for they reflect to find the center and hold alt option. You get this tool up. What you can do now is press preview. What it does, is pretty much reflect the objects you selected and reflects it horizontal or vertical, if you go vertical we're going this side, but we want to go to the bottom hem so press horizontal impress, copy. You can see exactly now because we've centered it, we use the center point here. This is going to be exactly the same as this spacing. Then we'll also do the same for the other side. Select them both by holding shift, press O, find the center point. You can see I've got my smart guides turned on. This helps you snap to the guides. You can do that by going view, smart guides. The shortcut for that is control U as well. Make sure that's selected whole from the center. Do the same thing. I'll left click once, press vertical, press copy. I can see the copy has got their little ends there. Which is pretty cool. We're probably going to have to maybe make them look a bit more 3-D. A cool trick for that is if you select it all and suddenly group it. If you go to shear, I'm going to right-click on this little icon here you see two squares with the error. If you right-click, you'll see, you'll get the shear tool, if I select that it's actually on a shear, the angle of the shape. If I grab it from the bottom or the top. See, you can work with that, and you can shear it. Sometimes it doesn't work. So you got the vertical bit, but we can. So what we can do now to make it look a little bit more 3D, we can actually select it with our Selection tool, and get this box, and just bring it up a little bit. So you can see it gives it a angle, but you can just leave it flat if you want. Plot designs probably easier. So the next video, we're going to move on to our fireplace. So once again, I'm going to use the circular shapes. Press L. I'm going to find the center point, hold out and shift. But you can see it's too oval, so I'm going to grab this sides and bring that in, holding Alt. I'm going to just drag it slightly up like that. Then what I'll do is I'll make a box from the bottom so I can cut these two shapes. I'll use the Shape Builder by pressing Shift M. You can also see on the left-hand side that's what it looks like, two circles and the dotted line. I'm going to now hold Option or Alt and then click and drag and minus those shapes off. So now we're left with this shape here. This circular shape, which is pretty handy. I'll start to work with these would see. So I'll use the Ellipse tool again, make a circle, I'll hold Auto-option and then left clicking dragging scale that in. We don't want it to be a perfect circle. Just like that. I'll do the same for this. I'll copy it, make it bigger. Then what we can do is use the Pen tool. I'm just clicking and dragging. We'll make that connection there. We'll also again and then cut this off. Let's shape it too like we did before. So now we've got that shape there and we can just group that together if you want. I'll get the Pen tool by pressing P and I'll start to build out these shapes. It can be pretty rough because it's a wood. So you're left with these strokes and we can join them later on. Shortcuts that quickly joined them, you see as we join, we press Control J, and that's going to join them. Then, you can see how the shape is overlapping, but it's okay because it's going to be behind that shape. So you can see that it's going to be covered anyway. So you can just join those up. I'll connect this just like that. Looks messy. It's okay. We can fix it later and clean it up later. I'll do the flames as well. The key to getting mass curves is click and drag and have as minimal anchor points as possible. So I always try and find the most highest point from the north, east or west, whatever, as far as you can go to get that nice curve because if you do too many, you can see it starts to look a bit weird. So click and drag, find the furthest point you can go. I'm holding Alt and Option and you can move these handles. You can see that just to edit the curve there. So it's not going too out of work. Sometimes you can also see that it makes extra points. Just be mindful of that. You can see how it was rounded, but if I hold and left-click on the point, it'll get rid of the handles and just make it pointy again. We got those flames. Quickly do this little one in here as well. We don't have to follow the sketch completely, as long as you're happy with it. These little X-box forming just like that. So we're starting to see progress, you can see that. Simple shapes. Now, for this bricking section of the fire place, what we're going to do is we're going to use the guards we've made. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to press M and we're going to create a brick, so I'm just going to drag that like this. I'm going to round it off again, maybe just a little bit. I want it to be a little bit rough and misplaced, so I'm just going to copy them holding Alt and just slightly moving them and adjusting them. This is one way I usually do to make things look a bit more organic. So copy that. So it's like a old school fireplace. That's more rusty because is nothing perfect unless it's a brand new house or something. We'll send in that. Adjust these little bit. So it could be out those bricks, and what I'm going to do is now select all these bricks that we just created. I'm going to group it by pressing Control J, make sure that they're all grouped. What I'm going to do is make a copy of this shape here, press Control C, Control F, Paste it in front. I'm going to change the copy so we can see it. You can see how it's behind, but we need it in front of the shape. So I'm going to go to Object, Arrange, Bring to Front. So now it's in front and what I can do is select the bricks, hold Shift, select that shape. We're just going to use this as a cut away shape. We're going to press Shift M for the Shape Builder tool and then minus all those bits off. You can zoom in, you can press the space-bar also to move while you do that. I can see all these bricks are there hanging like that. What we're going to do now, we're going to select the group. Use this line, hold, left-click and we're going to reflect it and input on the other side, press Copy. Just make sure we delete that extra paste there. So we've got these and these and it's directly the same on the other side. So you can see that. If we want to scale them up, we can also scale them a little bit as well. We've got those bricks there. Just going to select the same strike and we're going to continue to move on to doing these bricks here. These are just basic squares, so I'm using the squares holding O, just going through there. Some of them are going to be behind. The good thing is, I always do different sizes because you always want to make it more organic. You don't want every shape to be the same unless you're doing that a symmetrical illustration for the postcard, then that's okay. But it's good to have some variety. We've got our Bricks, I'm going to shift click and select them all. Select them all and then group them together, so we send them to the back as well. Control shift, press the bracket key, the left bracket key will bring him to the back. If you do control shift, right bracket you'll bring it to the front. That's a quick shortcut. I'm going to press N for the Marking Tool and do this top section there it's a little square. The reason why we add these blocks in these different sections because it separates them. This is the center piece, this is the main area we want to focus on. Then you see the top is more minimal and more minimal here. When the person looks at it, they can look in the middle and the eye is going to draw them to the middle section which is full of detail and life. Now for this top section, we're going to just add all these little bits and bugs. We simply press P for the Pen tool. Left-click and I'll left click over here. It's like a little closed line. Some people hang stockings and things that's why I did that. Not only there is a blocks up this section, we can as put Merry Christmas, so as soon as they look at it, the eye's going to the top first, then to the middle. They see. This is a Christmas card from my relative or whatever it is. Use the pen tool and go through here, I right-click on the shape tools and get startled and you can see that to scale that out, we'll copy this cross holding out and shift. Drag it across. Still holding, drag it across. If funny to bring it down, just bring it down. Also try and keep them equally spaced. There's enough wide space or you'll clutter it. These is the snow globe. That's a circle. I'm going to press M for the Mockito. Whenever you need to align something to select them both and press. Make sure it's on selection first, always make sure you select the drop-down and select the outboard or key objectives or selection and then center it, so it's aligned. Then I'll get the direct selection by pressing A, which is this white mouse. I'll select the corner and I can just tap it one, two, get the other side one, two, gives a bit of dynamics to have angle. I'll also press I for the algebra tools just like the other stripe just for now. Select its biggest tricks there. Just to make it consistent for now. I'll scale these holding Shift, hold the corner, use that and we'll do a mug. We can edit that cup is off later. That's actually a big mug. Using the pen tool data to get these nice curves. For the stockings. I'm just going to use the pen tool for this one. Left-click once. The reason why add three points at the end, see how it's pointy because I can easily grab the endpoint drag it up. The white point again, round corners go boom like that and it can round it off. If you can round that off, then we can run that bit off as well. But you can see here we can't round this one. That's why we've done it too much. If you round this a little bit in this, then you can round off that too like that. You can select the multiple points and round that off. Then just fix it up as you go. I'll use a circle like that and then use the shapeable tool, select them both and just cut it off. Group those, maybe make it a bit small, we'll copy it. Adds a bit of flavor. Now instead of just keeping like a normal fireplace, it doesn't give character a personality. When you add things like maybe they always have milk and cookies for Christmas so something like that. Or they always have like a star hanging on the tree or whatever. These little subtle differences will really help make your postcard unique and different and standout. Instead of just having like a typical Christmassy card. I'm just using squares for these presency. Laying that up. These one's will be in the background. A little bit smaller will get two circles for these, didn't copy it. Since we've done most of our shapes now for the top bit, I'm going to make a square because we are going to color that and I'm going to press T for the Type Tool. I'm going to type out merry Christmas. You can dial free funds online. I'm going to go to type change case uppercase because I want to uppercase. You can look for free funds, but I'm going to go Modelica and typing in caps. It might be a bit too wide though. This is very wide, so I'll go BW stretch. You can see this is a more condensed font so you can make it bigger. It's going to fit. As you can see that if it's a wider font, then it's not going to fit properly. Cool. We've got that. We want to center it. We have all our elements and what we're going to do is going to start to build it out. 7. 6 Add Color: What I'm going to do is unlock everything, so go to Object, "Unlock All". In cases the is any shapes unlocked. What we're going to do, I'm going to make a new layer and call it color. What I'm going to do is select all these, hold Alt and shift and drag it across. If we want ever go back and make changes, we can always go back and edit this. You can also see a progression. That's why always make copy so we can see the progression as well. Maybe I want to show people the process, showing the portfolio, anything like that and another cool thing is we have to do is make sure you drag this little red box on the right and drag it up a layer. Pretty much it drags everything you have selected, which is on this layer and now it brings it to this layer. Some I'm going to lock the design layer, so this is all locked. We're going to add just the layer here, which we're going to start to color. What we're going to do is start to color. Will start from the bottom as we started from the bottom first. Usually, what I do is just go in and press "Shift X", and what I'll do, I'll select the colors. Whatever I feel like he's, there's be more shaded, I'll put like a darker tone and then, I'll just lock it there, I want to turn off the [inaudible] as well. These other parts, I'll just add like that. But as I go along, I'll add these strokes, so I'm just adding these strokes. You can see those spacing there, but that's okay. We can select it all, add a stroke as well. Bump that up to two so connects it. What we're going to do because we have these lines here, to quickly do that easily we can just go, press the Pen Tool. Make one stroke, hold "Alt" and "Shift" and "Copy". Press "Command D". I'm going to select all these and press "Control G" to make a selection. Go to the top corner and rotate it about 45-degrees "Holding Shift". We keep that 45-degree angle and we might need a little bit more. I'm just going to copy that and then make sure the selection click this center once so that it's all aligned. I'm going to ungroup, then regroup it again. To ungroup things you can go "Control Shift G" and then group it with "Control G". Once again, I'm going to make it a little bit longer and rotate it and now we're going to make a clipping mask. I'm going to ungroup this mat. See this shape, we're going to "Control C", and "Control F", and make a copy or bring it to the front. Drag these strokes under there. Select this shape. Hold "Shift", left click once on the lines you just created. Go to Object, Clipping Mask, "Make". So now we have a Clipping Mask from this shape like this. If I go to my transparency and go multiply. You can see there that we have those lines. But what I'm going to do is just going to select this stroke and just make it like that. But I'm going to go to my cream color and I'm going to actually make it like a darker tone. Drop the black which is K, by maybe put it up 20 percent and it will give it that nice tone. Then we can unlock the clip mask again and maybe you don't want to multiply, make it a normal. Depends on the look. Maybe we'll leave it like that. We have that setup and now we're going to go through and color these parts. We didn't add a boxy for the background so we're going to bring that to the back just for now. I'm just going to select the bricks press "Shift X", or switches it all go to screen and we'll drop the percentage by 40 percent. We'll just start to add colors on these other sections. I'll go to Isolation Mode, you can double-click on a shape. I'll isolate it so you can go work in their. Once again, we can just use the colors you already have so if I use this cream color, maybe you don't want to be a bit more brown. I can actually go to my Color Guide. To open your Color Guide, you go to Window and you can go to color guide. If I drop down this menu here, you can see harmony rules similar to how we did it Adobe CC. You get the same complementary. You'll get Monochromatic shades, triad, all different versions. Which is really awesome. I want a bit of more brown, maybe I want go to monochromatic and what I can do to add it to my Swatches. Click this plus button here and it's going to add this to my swatches panel. What I can do now is go through and add those colors. What I'm going to do is maybe drop this, make it a bit darker and plus that. Press "OK", bring it down. We get these nice turns. I'm going to bring this to the front so it looks like that. I'll do the same, I'm going to just press the Eyedropper Tool and what I'm going to needs to be to the back. I'll just edit that. I'll edit as I go along. You can see this point here, just make sure that it's like that so it's just hanging behind there. Bring it to the back. Make sure it's behind that. I'll select these strokes for the sparks. Shorten the stroke. Let me use this dark tone, might drop the color a bit. You can see colors as well, you can go to CMYK and if you go to the drop down, show options, then it will give you all the parameters there we can edit so I can make it [inaudible] if I want or just slightly darker. Turn my grid off, so just slowly we're adding color and it's looking how you want it. Going to make a box and color it red and we're going to just Shift the X. All these colors here. Shift X. Just move things around. Shift X for this top bit too. I mean, we want these to have the most contrast at the top. We're going to have this off-white that we made and you can have it green or red so it has that nice contrast. We're going to play around with these. Go to "Multiply". Use "M" to create presents, the ribbons. You can make the ribbons as long as you want. I'll just copy them and re-use them. We're going to fix this shading there as well. If we're going to add a bit of shading. I'm going to quickly run these off by figuring a stroke panel, you can run those. Just pretty handy as well. This star is a bit too big so I'm going to scale that. Try and get up so it's matching. Cool, we've colored our post card. But what we're going to do, we're going to make a copy again. So you can see that, and we're going to play around with the colors and see what we can create. 8. 7 Color Guide: So after making a copy, I'm going to show you a cool trick that you can to quickly change your colors in an effective way and without going in and having to change all the colors yourself. You can see here, I'm going to the right, and I went and edited the colors a little bit, made it more brighter using the same color palette using the greens and reds. But it's adding a bit more of a lot of color, so it has a bit more contrast and it blends a little bit well even just fixing up this fire place here. There's that nice contrast there. What we're going to do first is if you go to your postcard design or whatever it is, you can select a part of it or you can select all of it. But what we're going to do is just select this top part so you can see what it looks like this. We're going go to "Window" and we're going to open up our "Color Guide". It's by half way down there, you click that. The shortcut key is Shift F3. I'm going to pick press that and I'm just going to drag this out, and you see, we've got our Color Guide here. What the Color Guide allows us to do is if we click this drop-down menu, it's going to have all these different options. Like when we made out palette, we had all these different harmony rules. You got the complimentary, split complementary, you've shade, triad, tetrad, high contrast, and all those goodies there. But what we want to do is we don't want to use these rules. We want to actually edit with as much as we've created. You can see here I've added a few more palettes, just some brighter colors. I've used the reds and actually just made some shades there that we can use. What we're going to do now is as we selected this section here, what we're going to do is press this little button here on the bottom right of the Color Guides window. You see it's a color wheel. You want to click that. Once you've done that, you can click it, and you see you get these box pop up that says "Recolor artwork". This is a cool way of quickly recoloring your artwork and you can see there, it's already starting to recolor the type and that shape we just selected. So the more palettes you have in your color groups or your swatches, it's going to be here on the right-hand side. What you can do is if you select a palette, it's going to change and just use those colors within that palette. You can see here, because he only have the background color and the Merry Christmas type, it's only recognizing it as two different colors. If we select more objects, there's going to be more colors. What I can do now is if I go to the left-hand side, you can see you get these three options. One is to pretty much swap around the colors, one is to swap around the hues and the shades, and the other one is pretty much changes that as well. Similar, it's like brightness and saturation. If I click this one here, you can see it starts to switch around and I can click these. You can see it's adding different hues of the grains that was there in the first place. You can see that it's shifting the colors there. You can see that. It's using all these colors from this color group we've selected and it's mixing and matching it up. If I select another palette, same thing. You can see here as I'm clicking the button, it's just changing. It's just swapping around the different colors just like that. But if I want to change the hues, I can just play around the hues and you can see. Sometimes it gets kind of muddy with the colors, so I don't really use the hue, but I'll just swap around the colors to see what it's going to look like. I'm going to press "Cancel". We're going to actually use it on our space here. What I can do is I can select all this and we're going to do the same thing. Go to your Color Guide, go to the color wheel like that, and you can see what it's already doing. It's using this palette here, but we want to use the palettes on the side. Maybe I just want it to be a red palette. I can just pick the Color Group 2 with the shades here. You can see it's using these four colors there. You can see how the swatches changes it. If you click this little drop-down right next to the color that it's using, you can change it, if you want the exact, you want the tints, and if you want to preserve tints. Sometimes it does it automatically, sometime you can just change it and you can see there. What I'm going to do now is do the same thing, playing around with the hues. You can see that it's starting to already look kind of cool. You can get a lot of different variations, and the key to doing this is making a lot of different copies of the artwork and just doing a lot of different variations so then you can look at it from a bigger picture and see what colors are working, what looks smooth, what matches together well. It's really going to help you build your expertise in building color palettes and playing with color, and really adapting like that. You can see it's selecting all the color palettes. Let's see what that looks like choosing this brighter color palette. More of a summary feel. Choose this one, see what that looks like. Already you can see that you get heaps of options which I love it. Another cool trick is that you can actually drag the colors as well. You can see how I'm dragging the colors by left clicking and dropping it in the certain point you want. You can also edit the specific colors by selecting which row you want and just changing it like that. You can see the mats changing there. You've got the parameters here, the C, M, Y, K, you can also drop down that and change it to RGB if we're doing RGB. Just change that back. You can also add more rows as well if you just want to chuck, f you have a little more objects and you want to play around with this stuff. You can also remove a color by right-clicking on the color on the right side, and you can go "Add New Color" and you can drop another color there and then you can start playing around with that one. You can select another palette, I can right-click and go "Remove Color". Maybe you only want the darker colors, you can just remove all the light colors. You can also use different presets by dropping and doing the custom on the left hand side, you can go "Color Library" and you can load different color libraries if you want. Press "Cancel" there. You can do a one-color job and it will just do one color. You need two color, three color, it's pretty sweet. Or our color harmony, and it'll select it from the harmony rows. You can see here, by doing a one culture, we just select that one green and then just choose by adjusting all these colors. You can see it's got the lighter ones and the darker ones, and what Illustrator will do, we'll just put the lighter shades where this color is a lighter and these darker grays or whatever the contrast is from the dark to light or just pretty much just decide which will work well and we'll just put the lighter shades there. You can see there and it's using all these colors here. It's a very handy tool, you can play around, you can also go to "Edit" as well and just drag the color wheel around too. So if you just want a certain look, this flat look kind of looks good as well, which I love as well. [inaudible] got to working gray-scale and then you can just do it like this and it's going to save you a lot of time. If you want to change something, we can just press "OK" and it will just save it like that. Now we have all of those adjustments there, and then we can just go in here and play around back with what we want. But that's just a quick way of adding colors and playing around with it. If you do it, you can get some cool effects. This is the design that I'm going to go for for this first bit, and we can create a back-end of the card as well. 9. 8 Design Back Side: We're going to create a simple back of the card if you want to customize it. Sometimes postcards just already have a pre-designed back part of it, but you can just have fun. You create and set it up for other inner designs in the future, make a template. What I'm going to do is just press "Shift" or press the shortcut key over here on the left and we're going to copy this, make another art board. I'm going to press "V" for the selection tool to select it all and press "Delete". What I'm going to do, press the up arrow key again and just click up the top left, you can see how some portrait. We want to make it landscape, because people didn't write, it's better to have more writing space here. What I'm going to do now is press "T" for the Type Tool, and just press that. What I'm going to type is just a short message; Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from the Mura family. That's my second list. My second name. What I'm going to do now is pick a nice levy script font, maybe Nikoli, and I'm going to make it lower case. I'm going to just make sure that type we selected the top left corner pressed "Type", change the case to title case. You can see that it makes the old Title case. I'm going to select it and make the paragraph centered. We're going to bring it down, I'm actually going to press "Enter" and give some more space like this. I'm just going to put it on the side there, and I'm going to center it. I'm going to select that and click the Transform tool and just press the center a bit, like that. Cool. What I'm going to do now is I'm going to do some lines. I'm going to press "P" for the Pen tool. Left click once, left-click again, press "Shift X" to make it a stroke, I'm going to bump the shrink up maybe two points and just leave it. But what I'm going to do now is just hold O and Shift and then left click and drag, and then you can see that we make an alliance. So I'm going to press Command D or Control D to duplicate it. I'm going to select these all and go to the left, and you can see that we can extend that. I'm going to bump is to the side as well, just give more space. I'm also going to actually put this to one point because it`s dark. Maybe that black is too harsh, so then we can put it like 90 percent black, so it's gray. When we print a postcard, you can actually write a short message, your address or where it's from, and I can even put a little stamp in the corner here or something funny or even like an illustration. What I'll do is I'll grab these elements from here and I'll copy it. You can see our blade line you can drag this. I'll not probably stick with one color here. Click that. What I can do is now duplicate this. I'm going to group these together and I'm going to hold O and duplicate like this. Once again, just press "Command D" to make a pattern. Then what I'm going to do, I'll delete this one to make it even so we got the stars in the end. I'm going to group this all together as one piece by pressing "Control G", select it. Once again, we're going to align to the apple, so make sure the alignment told the top left you can see the drop-down and click on Align to Artboard. Then once we've done that, we can click this middle button, as you can see, it's shifted it. Now it`s centered pretty much. So you can see that now that's in the center. I might bump this up a little bit. And that's already looking like a festive holiday. It can maybe add some on the bottom if you want. If you want to do it like this. All you do is copy and then just rotate it with the selection tool like this, holding Shifts that you can easily rotate it. What it might look a little bit weird if it's hanging on the bottom set out just laid that. I'll give more room like this. Maybe you can put some more details on the bottom there. I'll make a color, and now because we have our blade line, what you want to do is make sure the color hits the blade line. You see the red line, the blade that we made from the stop, we want to use that as our guide. Maybe we want use this gold color, bring it to the back. But maybe it's too, it's too dark, so we want to use this lighter yellow or even this one. Maybe this one will work good. When they print your postcard and I cut it, they're going to cut on this line because if I cut he sometimes the machines are a bit off by a millimeter or even less, and then you might end up having white marks on the edges, but you want the color to expand all the way to the edges. That's why we made the blade, and that's how we want to drag all that colors to the blade. Even if I go back to our postcard design here, you can see how the background cause we use, we have to actually drag it to the edge. As you can see that. It looks funny, but the thing is it's going to get cut off anyway. So you, want to drag it out like that, make sure it's all consistent. You can hold out too. Because it's a flat design. It's pretty easy. It's not, we don't have any thing too crazy on the edges there. Now when they cut it, all the colors going to be lined up there. I'll cut it and it will look good. That's pretty much how you create a postcard and even a little back end to make it look nice in costume and, and just have a bit of fun with it. You send it to your grandma family and they're going to really love it, and it's going to show them your design skills. It's going also improve your way of thinking as well. 10. 9 Saving Final Files: We've come to the final stage. We are going to save our final postcard and get it ready for print. What I'm going to do, you want to make sure that your artboards are together. We have all these artboards here but we don't want to save those ones, we only want to save this one. I'm going to click on the artboard, and if you go on the bottom right, you can see my Artboards section here. If you don't have that app, you can actually go to Window on the top left corner, and click "Artboards" to open up that window. What we want to do, check that this is Artboard 3, and this one you can see how it's five. What I'm going to do is select this artboard again, click and drag it up to up one, now that this artboard is in order, this is four and this is five. When I save it, I can just save four and five together. What I'm going to do is go to "File", "Save As" and go to "Save as type" and change that to PDF. I'm going to go to "PDF" and we're going to click on "Range". You can see how the button has selected "All", we don't want to save all the artboards, we only want to save the artboard 4 and 5. I'm going to click on "Range" and then change the number to four and you can see that's going to save artboard 4 and 5. What I'm going to do is press "Save". You'll then get another box. In order to create a high-resolution PDF, you can actually just go to "Adobe PDF Preset" at the top and pick a default one. I'm going to click it. You can see it got high-quality print. If you're just going to send that for a quick review online to maybe the printer on E-mail, you can go "Smallest File Size" and it will automatically change the options there. But what we're going to do is click on "High Quality Print", and you can see there, you can tick this off, "Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities" if you want, but if you do, it's going to make the file bigger, just keep that in mind. You want to View PDF after Saving, that's fine. You don't want to "Embed Page Thumbnails", you don't really need that because it's going to make the file bigger as well. Then optimizing for web, that's fine you can leave that on. We're going to go through these options, you see you got "General", you got "Compression", and you can see that it's all on maximum, so you got maxim image quality, Automatic is JPEG and you can see the down-sampling it's not going to down-sampling. If you down-sample it pretty much what it does it scales down the pixels and it makes it look less quality but because it is a vector, the vector shapes works really well, and when they print it, it's going to come out smooth. You can see there is 300 PPI which is 300 pixels per inch, to 450 but obviously per you won't to go past 300 and that's what Color Bitmap Images, then you got these Grayscale and Monochrome. It's good to just use this preset, it's going to do everything for you. If you go to "Marks and Bleeds" you will see, what we want to do here is make sure we turn this on. If I've got marks and bleeds, I want to go "Use Document Bleed Settings". Click that option, and you can see our two millimeters that we set up at the start, it's going to use those bleeds. If you want to add some more printer marks you can add that as well, but it's not all required for every printer that you got to do. You can go to "Output", you can leave the color conversion unless the print is asking for specific color profile but that's fine, Advanced, don't worry about that, Security is fine and Summary, you can see the summary of everything you did. Once you've done that, you want to make sure the compatibility, try and get for a low version not the most earliest because sometimes if you send it off to a printer, your printer might not have the latest version, or even in your home printer it might not be updated as well, so keep on Acrobat 5 which is fine. Then what we're going to do is go "Save PDF" and there we have it, our PDF is saved. You can see that it's all like that. Then you can send off to the printer. Sometimes they might want you to save each artboard by itself, so this will be one side and this will be one side if you want to make a one-sided, but if it's going to be double-sided we can have it like this, boom, boom. Also keep in mind you can see how I saved it and this one is portrait and landscape. You might have to put this on as a portrait as well. If I show you a quick way to quickly just flip it over, if you select the artboard and then should be able to rotate it. Just use your main selection tool and we're going to select it all, and once you've done that, go to the corner and hold "Shift" and left-click and drag, and now rotate it so we get that nice landscape view. I can rotate like that then I get the artboard selected and do landscape. Now you can see the artwork will look like that but obviously when you print it out, you can see it in real life it will be different. Then I can just go "File", "Save As", same thing, PDF and I'm going to save Artboard 4, and call it Front Postcard, press "Save", same thing it's going to use the last settings we used, which is fine and press "Save PDF". You can see we've got this single-sided there and then you can do the same for the other side. That's how you save it, then you can send it off and now print it off and it'll look nice. That's how you create a postcard from scratch. I hope you learn a few tips and tricks along the way. Do your own projects, create your own for practice, and even leave a comment if you need help. I hope you guys enjoyed the course and look forward to doing another one.