Great Graphic Design: Create Emotional, Gripping Typographic Art | Sophia Yeshi | Skillshare

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Great Graphic Design: Create Emotional, Gripping Typographic Art

teacher avatar Sophia Yeshi, Graphic Designer and Illustrator

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Emotion and Art


    • 3.

      Basic Principles of Graphic Design


    • 4.

      Choosing References


    • 5.

      Setting Up Your Artboards


    • 6.

      Choosing Your Fonts


    • 7.

      Creating Your First Design


    • 8.

      Creating Your Second Design


    • 9.

      Adding Illustration Elements


    • 10.

      Choosing Your Colors


    • 11.

      Adding Textures and Final Touches


    • 12.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Get your design brain going and explore a new way to express yourself with designer Sophia Yeshi’s fun and approachable class!

Join Sophia in a constructive and charming class that breaks down the fundamentals of graphic design and sets you up with a brand new set of tools for your creative expression. Sophia’s art is bold, unapologetic, colorful, and gorgeous to look at — and much of the time her inspiration comes from her own feelings and her interest in the world around her. 

Alongside Sophia, you’ll learn everything you need to know about graphic design and several things you may not have known about yourself — what colors you’re drawn to, what kind of quotes you find invigorating or inspiring, or your latent obsession with any and all fonts.

Lessons include:

  • A crash course in basic design principles such as balance, rhythm, and more
  • A behind-the-scenes look into Sophia’s inspiration and reference process
  • Exploration into how to develop palettes that express emotion
  • Several tips and tricks for fun and interesting Adobe Illustrator effects

By the end of the class, you’ll have at least one completed typographic design and a whole new medium of creative expression, one that you’ll return to again and again.

Sophia’s class is tailored to beginner designers with a basic understanding of Adobe Illustrator, but students of any level are welcome to participate and enjoy.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Sophia Yeshi

Graphic Designer and Illustrator


Sophia Yeshi is a queer Black & South Asian illustrator and graphic designer in Brooklyn, NY. She’s a digital native that discovered Photoshop at 12 years old while growing up in Baltimore, Maryland. She created Yeshi Designs to shine a light on Black women, women of color and folks in the LGBTQ+ community of all shapes and sizes that are bold, dynamic, and demand attention.

After graduating from the University of Baltimore, she spent several years cultivating social media strategy, growing brand awareness, and designing collateral for corporate brands. Now she works with beauty, fashion, lifestyle, tech, and media brands like Instagram and Refinery29 to create culturally-relevant work centered around topics she’s passionate about like climate change, mental health, b... See full profile

Related Skills

Design Graphic Design
Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: The reason why I really loved graphic design and illustration is because it allows me to have a voice, whether it's my personal feelings or empowering and inspiring messages, I tried to share things that I think that my community will relate to. I just think it's really important, especially as a young woman to be able to look at my work and say, "Well, I see myself in that." Hi, I'm Sophia Yeshi, and I'm a Graphic Designer and Illustrator. I create work that's bold, expressive, colorful, and demands attention. I've worked with clients such as Instagram, Refinery29, Adobe, and Converse. I discovered my passion for graphic design when I was 12 years old. I spent a lot of time on the Internet, and I was actually on this site Neopets and I discovered 30-day Photoshop trials. Today, we are going to be talking about expressing your feelings with graphic design and a little bit of illustration, we are going to be picking a quote that speaks to you whether that's your feelings or something that's motivational, and we're going to be choosing the color palette, adding texture, and really just bringing it to life through graphic design and typography. Take a class today, really all you'll need is your computer, access to Illustrator, which is what I'm using today, and a Pinterest account if you want to follow along my process of choosing references. Thank you so much for taking my class. I'm so excited to get started. Let's just dive in. 2. Emotion and Art: I think it's really important to talk about your feelings because it's something that a lot of people aren't comfortable with. Creating work centered around your feelings can really lead to you opening up emotionally and being more vulnerable. I literally have a piece that says vulnerability is not weakness, and it stemmed from a real life conversation that I had with a friend about how they don't feel comfortable being vulnerable. I think that it can really be a great way to process and kind of open yourself up and think, "Wow, how do I actually feel about this?" By seeing it designed or written down. Personally, I'm a Cancer, so I've always been a very emotional person, but I was never drawn towards methods that people would talk about, like I didn't really like journaling or writing them down. Of course, therapy is great and I encourage everyone to go to therapy, but something that has helped me when I do maybe have a feeling or a thought, I do tend to typically write it down. But I always visualize it. I'm a very visual person. I see it in my head first and a lot of the times I realized that I'm not alone in those feelings. The reason why I share it, is because I think that a lot of the things that I feel are things that people can relate to. By me sharing, it may make someone else more comfortable and admitting how they feel as well. Knowing that you're not alone in your feelings is really important. It always makes me feel better to see someone else going through something similar or having a similar experience and knowing like, "Okay, it's not just me." You're not crazy. A lot of people experience the same things. There is a sort of a comfort in being able to talk about it and being able to relate to other people's experiences. Next up, we're going to talk about basic principles of graphic design. 3. Basic Principles of Graphic Design: In this lesson, we're going to be talking about basic principles of graphic design. We're going to start with contrast. Contrast is really important, and it's something that I use in a lot of my work. In fact, in almost all of my work, you will see that there is usually a heavy amount of contrast. What contrast is, is just a difference between elements. It's being able to see a juxtaposition, whether it's between the colors. You can create contrast with topography, with shapes; whether it's a square and a circle, those two elements juxtapose one another. It's a really useful way of creating visual interest. As you can see, there is contrast, this is the homepage of my website, there is a lot of contrast between the shapes. There are some that have some sharper edges, some that are rounder, as well as between the colors, the line thickness, there's just tons of contrast. Contrast is a way it can draw your eye in. For example, in this piece right here, there is a contrast between the background, which is this navy blue, which is a lot darker, and this bright orange color. It's creating interests because your eyes are automatically drawn to the center of the piece, which is where I want you to focus on. The next one is rhythm and patterns. This is another concept that I use in a lot of my work as well. Rhythm and patterns is about creating repetition in your work. You can have regular rhythm, you can have irregular rhythm. It really just depends on your preference and what your goal is. When I was looking at my work, I realized I tended to have a lot of regular rhythm and patterns in my work where the elements are all repeating in a way that doesn't look too off. It looks like it's supposed to be cohesive. In this piece, it was a lot of organic shapes in the background and that's, after you combine them all together, and lay them out in the background, it does create a rhythm in your work. Let me see if I have any more examples of rhythm. Here's a good one. For this piece, for converse, you can see the shapes in the background have a pattern as well. Even in the way that it is animating with the colors, I'm using the same colors, and I'm just moving them along. That shows a regular rhythm as well. When it comes to patterns, it's important that you have to have a repeating element, otherwise, it's not a pattern. As you can see in this piece, I am repeating shapes, and they are all around, and I do repeat circles, you'll see this flower. This is creating a pattern. In a lot of my pieces, I like to add interest to the background. One of those it's just creating really simple patterns. I think that's something that we can explore today in our typographic piece. Color is something that is so incredibly important. It's probably my favorite thing about designing anything. I usually save it for last, because color really sets the tone for your work and for the mood. You can see I use a lot of the same colors in my work. It took me a while to really establish a palette that I felt speaks to me. In my work, you'll see a lot of this magenta, navy blue, and yellows. I have combined tones that are darker and harsher with tones that are lighter. I think that is really important to find colors that speak to you. If you look at any painter, illustrator, graphic designer, most of the time you're going to notice a similarity. They tend to use a lot of the same colors. If you were to pull their work into Illustrator and look at the codes, you're going to see a consistent palette. That just makes your work look more cohesive. Of course, you can always break outside of that. But I think just having a general idea of, do you like lighter tones, you love darker colors? What colors really speak to you and feel like you? That's really going to help your work feel more cohesive as a whole. When I was defining my palate and the colors that I liked, I spent a lot of time looking at other designs and illustrators, and saw what colors they use. I ended up just having a board of visual inspiration. There was a time when I was creating my branding. This was the initial color palette that I created, and this was in January of this year. This was really a great starting point for me. I use this palette and it has evolved over this year. This same palette that I created is now the core basis of my work, and it still really speaks to me. I just looked at colors that I liked. I knew I liked lavender and blues. I looked at colors that paired well together that I could use for a variety of different purposes. I didn't want to just have too many colors that were the same hue or the same tone. I try to have darker and lighter shades. Even now, I still will have to adjust depending on what the piece is. But you can even see, a lot of my work has those same colors in it. Right here, this is literally all of those colors, except that lime green, because it was a little too bright for this piece. But these colors are pretty much what I use in most of my work. There are times when I do switch it up, but it still compliments this palette, and it also feels like me. For example, this piece is a lot more pastel, but it still has a lot of those tones, the lilacs, the greens, all of those still feel really cohesive with my work. Balance as a principal in graphic design has to do with the visual weight of a piece; all of the elements and how they interact together. A lot of the times, we like to see things balanced in symmetrical. If you look at my work, I think I tend to favor symmetrical or balanced pieces. Meaning that if I put a line on this side of the composition, most likely, I'm going to put a line on the other side to balance it. Or I may place a figure in the center. Sometimes you want to place your figure off-center, purposely to create a little bit of off balance, which is when you talk about like the rule of thirds, in photography, that's that concept as well, that it can be more interesting to have a figure or an object a little bit off-center to add to your visual interests. Another one of my favorite concepts that I think gets overlooked is a whitespace. Whitespace is not literally whitespace. If you look at my work, you may be thinking, "I don't see any white." That's because it's more so about allowing the elements in your composition or in your design to breathe, so giving objects text room. If I didn't have any whitespace, this text would be right up against the edge of the frame or the composition, and it wouldn't have any room to breathe. When you first start out, a mistake that a lot of designers make is just pushing everything really close together, so you may have an image and texts right next to it. That can be a purposeful choice. But most of the time, it's going to look a little bit better if you just give it some padding, and give it some room. Great. Now that we have those concepts down, let's get into the design. 4. Choosing References: In this lesson, we're going to be talking about references. I use references for a lot of my work. When it comes to an illustration, most of the time, I'm going to use a stock photography website to get the posing right, or I may even take a picture of myself if I can't find it online. When it comes to typography or design work, a lot of the times I'll use references for composition inspiration, for color palette inspiration, inspiration overall, I think using a references are really great way to get inspired by the way that other people have done it. You may not think about it the same way. I love Pinterest. I'm sure most designers and illustrators do. I use it almost daily. Anytime that I have a new project or I take on a new client, most of the time I'm going to have a Pinterest board where I'm pulling inspiration so I can refer to, especially when it comes to a branding projects. That could be anything like I get inspired from photography. You see I have a board called Art Photos that I referenced just because this can add a lot of inspiration from the color, just really interesting photos. I'll have other boards as well. I have some for editorial illustration, home decor, info-graphic design, interior design. There are so many different things that inspire me. I just find having boards just really helps me to be able to kind of visualize, set the tone for a piece. Today I made a Pinterest board for our projects. When I was creating this board, there were a lot of different things that I was looking for. I was looking for color inspiration, I was looking for typography inspiration, as well as composition. Just overall just was thinking about how I wanted to piece to look. There are a few different inspirations here. Down here I really liked the color palettes, and I thought that a lot of these were really dynamic, and included a lot of colors. Thinking about texts, there does need to be enough contrast between the background, the other elements in the text that it's legible. I was thinking about ways, when you have a dark color and something a little bit brighter, that's got a lot of visual interest. With this pane, I really loved the color palette here. When we were going through my work, you can see it is kind of similar of having, I love this blue color which I already use. I love this pink. I thought it was like a lot of contrast and I could see how maybe the text could be pink. Maybe the background is this blue or this black, so to me I could see a way that I could apply this color palette in a really fun and interesting way. I don't know if this sounds egotistical, but I think that you can get inspired by yourself. I get inspired by my own work all the time. I love to go back and look at the way that I use color, the way that I use shape, pattern, typography. Oftentimes it does inspire the way that I approach a current design. With this one, I looked at it and thought I really like the way that I use shapes. That may be something that I want to bring into this piece as well. I also have some typography examples. Now some of these are hand lettering, and we're not going to be getting into hand lettering today. But I do think that you are able to use type in a lot of similar ways. You don't always have to use hand lettering. Personally I can do him lettering, but a lot of the times I choose to use typography. I think that it takes a lot less time, and you can get a very similar effects. Another one of my inspirations for this piece was this poster right here that has a lot of really interesting gradients. I like the way that they use color. I saw this and I started to think about maybe I could use a gradient in the background in a really interesting way. I love to scroll down and see other examples. A lot of the times like I really love this orange as you can see it because it's like a Nike ad. But I love the red and the blue and just the way that they approach the colors. That's something that I'm going to keep top of mind when I start to design my quote. Oftentimes I'll start with boards that I already have. For example, I went into my color inspiration board and I scroll down and I really like this one, so I added it to the board. I really like this one, so these were things that I already had floating around and when I want to search. Today we're talking about typography, so I may search quote design. It does take awhile, it's showing my pins, these are all my work. If you search quote design, and you start to scroll, sometimes you don't find what you're looking for right away. I'm not really seeing a lot of exactly what I'm thinking for this piece, so I'm just going to keep looking until I find one thing that I like. I like this, I like the color, I like the composition. If I scroll down, I'm able to find really quickly a lot of pieces that I think are similar and that would work well. This is why Jade Purple Brown, one of my favorite illustrators. If I go ahead, I'm going to add it to my Skillshare board. I'm going to go back to that same board, I like this one. I like the colors, I like how bold the font is. I'm going to go ahead and add that to my board as well. This is so fun. I really like the pattern in the background, the rhythm of the elements, and the contrast between the colors. This is something that is definitely inspiring me for this piece. 5. Setting Up Your Artboards: Next, let's get into Illustrator and start actually creating the work. I'm going to create a new art board and I'll like to title my art boards here. I'll just name it Skillshare Speak it into Existence, so that if I'm searching, I can easily find what I'm looking for. This is the name of the piece. Then, for the width, since we're using this for social media, I'm just going to make it 1,080 by 1,080. If you want to make it poster size, you can, it should be like an eight by 10 ratio, and then, RGB because it is for a web. So I have my blink art board. The first thing that I'm going to do is I'm going to go back to my Pinterest board and I'm going to grab a couple of those references. I like to have a lot of references just like hanging around. I can pull for color inspiration, layer inspiration, and it just helps me start somewhere. I'm just going to put those off to the side. I like that one for color. I also really like this one. These colors are so fun. Let's see what else. Because you can be inspired by yourself, I'm going to go ahead and copy my own design as well. I love gradients, and I think I'm going to use a gradient today. So I'm going to copy a few of these gradient pieces, and then, let's see, maybe one more for the topography or for the composition. Let's see. It is Speak it into Existence. So there are a ton of words. I like in some of these where they're emphasizing the words that they want to stand out. Yourself and better are white, whereas the other ones are a little closer to the background color. Let's go ahead. Yeah, let's do that one. Oftentimes, I'll have a couple different art boards so that I can play around and not limit myself to one style. Now, I have my references and I'm able to begin to design. 6. Choosing Your Fonts: I'm going to start getting into the text design. I took some time to look through fonts in advance because just that process alone can take me hours. I have tons of fonts installed on my computer. I wanted to show you guys a couple of ways that I find fonts just in case you don't have interesting one installed on your computer. One website that I use a lot is called Fonts in Use. If you go through it, you can find really interesting fonts from album covers, even from the '60s and '70s book covers as well as new websites and branding. It a really great resource to find interesting type. Once you click on the type, you can see where else it was used and then find the resource. Some of them I'm sure are free and then other ones you do have to buy. This is only $20, which is really not bad and it's really interesting it looks like hand lettered. It'll be a really great one to use for an illustration like this. The other resource that I wanted to show you guys is Behance. If you go to and you type in free fonts, you can already see they're giving me site-based recommendations just because it's what I search a lot. Free fonts and then if you just scroll down you can see there are tons of free fonts. When I'm looking for fonts, I tend to be really picky. I tend to go for ones that they are just interesting, not something you would normally find. There are a lot of resources for free fonts out there, but I like a website like this because a lot of the times they're being offered directly from either the font foundry or the designers themselves, and I think it's just really interesting. There are other ways to find some like you can also go on Creative Market. This is a random thing I already had pulled up. If I just go to fonts and I found some really cool fonts on this website too. Yeah. These are a few different resources. Going back into illustrator. Let's just right away go ahead and give these a background color. Let's see, maybe let's do something. I'll start here, at the start they're just something like not to limit myself. I'll go ahead, that's tiny. But I'm going to go ahead and just type the quote out, and I will make it 120. I like to central line my type, to start out with, and I can always change it up and I think I want to maybe make it, yeah, 150. We'll go ahead and center it and looking at the typefaces that I had pulled out, I tried to choose typefaces that were really interesting. They had some character. This one right here, Migra extra bold. It feels calligraphic like it was hand lettered, like an ink pen and I think that's really interesting and remember why you're making this quote and try to choose a typeface that feels aligned with what you're trying to say. I want this quotes to feel really uplifting and inspiring. I want a typeface that's like fun, is playful and relates back to the purpose of this. Let's go ahead and change this to Migra extra bold, and I thought it would be fun to use contrast and have two different typefaces at play here. I think I would love to do like a sans serif for this. Let me find a really nice sans serif that I like. Let's try this one. It's called nimbus and right away that's way too large. I'm going to go ahead and make that a bit smaller. Let's say maybe we'll go a 100 and see that looks like. Let's go 80 and we went to play with the spacing here so that it visually looks like it's right in the middle. There's enough spacing between the two. It feel that looks pretty good and then I want to increase the tracking here. I think I'm going to do two different approaches with this. I really was liking the gradients that I found in my Pinterest board and then I think for the one on the right, I'm going to go for more of a sans serif in this quote and then try this tech shadow. I think that's really fine, It adds a lot of emphasis and some uneven balance to it. Which, yeah, I just feel it gives it like this forward motion which is really nice. I will pause on this one for a second while I set up my second art board, and I'm just going to go ahead and copy what I had. There was a typeface that I really liked and let me see if I can find it, think it was this one. Once it's in all caps, it has this really nice feeling to it, the edges of the letters are really rounded. It's aesthetically pleasing, I like it and sometimes that's enough. Let's increase that. I want this also be the same with or the same on size and this line looks super far away. I'm just going to decrease that. I could even maybe I'm thinking about making speak a little larger but that might be weird, so I like that. 7. Creating Your First Design: Then we're going to go ahead and get into our text shadow. To start off, I'm going to make the text color white because I know that I want to make the shadow have some different colors in it. I think starting off, just make it white just so it's neutral and it's not competing. I going to copy it with Command C and then paste it in the back with Command B, and I want to lock the one that's on top with Command 2. Then I'm going to use option "Click" to drag this to where I want it and I'm thinking that I would want the shadow to go from this point to this point. It's going to connect like this s to this s. You can just visualize and you can always change it after you do it. In order to make this shadow, it's a really easy technique, but I'm going to change the colors first. Color isn't too important right now, it's just getting the values of what you want. Do you want something lighter? Do you want something darker? I know we have this light purple background. For now, I'll use something that goes with that. I'm going to change that to magenta and then maybe this navy blue. I'll go to "Object" "Blend". The reason why it didn't allow me to do it, I think it's because the text isn't outlined. I'm going to use Command Shift O to outline the texts and then Object, Blend, Make, then I'll go back and do "Blend Options". If you're not familiar with the concept of outlining, it's making it so that it converts the text to a vector that's editable. It's super easy. If I wanted to edit the text, I still have the one that's on top that I locked that is still editable. I could just unlock it, use that one, and just redo the blend. It would be very easy. I'm going to play around. You can either use the "Specified Steps" or "Specified distance". For a Specified Distance, I'm going to make it two px, which is going to make each one two pixels apart. It's going to be very small. I'm just zooming in to make sure that this looks pretty good. I'm going to go to "Trim View" just so I can see what this art board actually looks like. I think if I make that a little bit larger. Oops, I have it locked. This is a good time to bring up layers. I think it's really important to use layers, otherwise your art board can get really messy. I will just take a second to define my layers. I'm going to go ahead and make a reference layer, and I'll put that at the very bottom and that will have all of the references and our graph from Pinterest, as well as the type because those are technically references at this point. I'm not using all of them. I will have this one be Speak 1, which is the first one, and I'm going to unlock everything so I can select it, select those and drag, and then I will make this one Speak 2. I'm going to take Trim View off so I can see where everything is. I'll just go ahead and move all of these down to my references and these too. Now, I'm a little more organized, I feel better. I hate being disorganized when it comes to fonts or just in general with my art board. Now, you can see how this blend is going off the art board and I really just want to contain it so I can see what that is going to look like. I'm going to copy the background, paste it in front, and then use Command Shift right bracket to bring it to the top, select the Blend. Then Command 7 is going to create a clipping mask and I'll just use the Command left bracket to send that to the back. The reason why it's great to organize your layers is because if I had everything on one layer, if I sent it to the back, it would send it behind everything else and it can just get very confusing. If you just break it up and keep it organized, it'll be really helpful. I'm going to lock my references so I don't move those too much, and then I'll spend a little bit more time tweaking this one and figuring out what I'm going to do with it. I think it would be fun to play around with maybe in this gradient, making these different colors. I know that it's going to go from this color to this color and perhaps if the first speak were different colors than it into an existence, I think that would really stand out. Right now, this is all reading as one word. I'm just going to use the Direct Selection tool to select the letters that I want to. I know I have this pink color, so let's maybe go with something a little bit lighter, then I'll select this one. I'm going to select the same color and I'm just going to make that shade a little bit darker here. That's the stroke. I was wondering why it looked like that. Make sure you have your fill selected if that's what you want and not your stroke. Take that stroke off and change the fill. There we go. Go ahead and change that, and I'm going to just make that a little bit darker so that there is like a nice gradient effect. When I click out of this, I think that looks really cool. I want to see what it looks like when I reverse it. Blend, Reverse Front To Back. Let's compare. I like that. But the only thing is it's not really coming, hold on. Yeah, and it has to go this way so that it can connect from here to here. I just want to move it up a little bit so that I'm getting a little bit more of that color. There we go. Yay. That looks really cool. Now, I think I still want to edit this shadow a bit. I want you to see this gradation a bit better. 8. Creating Your Second Design: Before we get into adding more details to this, like some shapes and some patterns in the background, I'm going to go back to the first one we're working on and work on this gradients. I know I have these inspirations and I'm going to use a combination just like looking at these. I like this circle here. I think it creates a really great emphasis. That way I can have this in the middle and I think it'll be really nice. The one thing that I want to do is just create a few quick color palettes but I probably won't keep it as these. But just to start with, I think that it'll be really good just to have them as a reference. Just going back to my Pinterest board really quickly, there was one pin from my design I actually wanted to add so I can reference my own color palette. Go ahead and do that and make sure it's on references. Then super quickly, I'm just going to make a bunch of squares and I'll apply these with the colors, and then I'll be able to add them to color groups really easily. Now we're going to go to this one. This one was one of my favorites. I'm really enjoying the tones here. If you see this is my work and it's right on par with the colors that I like. I think that's all the colors. There's a light pink. I'm just going to drag or select the color group that I want and then go to my swatches and click "New Color Group". You can name it, but I don't need to right now. We'll go ahead and group those together so that when I'm working, I can quickly just apply colors as I go. I will change them later for sure, but for now it just helps me get an idea of the tones that I'm looking for. I'm actually just going to color the text first and we'll make it white. Then I'm going to lock it so that it doesn't get in my way as I'm working. I'm going to select this background and go to "Gradient". I'm liking a circle gradient. I feel like that would be really nice. There is the option to use this gradient where you can move the points around and you can select colors. But it's not really what I'm going for. I can show you what it looks like because it looks really cool. But today I think I just want to stick to the good old circle radial gradient as what it's called. I'm going to add maybe four points. Let's start choosing a few colors. Right now I'm using this second palette on the second color group, the one that had the pinks, and reds, and blue. Already, that's looking so cool. I can play around with the distance between the colors to either increase one color, decrease another one. That's a little intense. We want to make it look seamless. The other thing that I like to do is when you double-click on the Color, you can see that it comes up as T. I want to make sure this is RGB because it's going to actually change the way that the colors blend together. A lot of times it makes it smoother. It didn't change too much here, but I just want to make sure, just in case. I'm going to go back into my Gradient tool and then start playing around with the scale of this gradient. I think if I make it a little bit bigger and then just seeing how this color looks, I feel like I like this red. It's like at the heart, this red, which is really cool. Something like this, it feels a little blurry. It's not really exact. That feels really good to me, right around there. Yeah. This was a really easy way to make a gradient. Then the other thing that I'm thinking about is just adding a little bit of rotation to the text. I like to do this, as you can see, these letters are on a slight rotation. I do this a lot in my work. I'm even going back, let me see. I can show you there's a rotation here, here. It just adds like a really nice energy and movement and that's exactly what I want with this. An easy way to do that is just go to "Effect", "3D", "Rotate". Then you'll see a preview and you can just edit it, moving this tube around. Right now it's as if this was the surface of the cube and we are moving, literally, imagine a cube, we're just moving the front, the face of it, and seeing what angle we like. I like that. I think I want to make this one a little bit larger and maybe just play around and make this something still super light, but maybe like an off way, a light pink, something that just compliments what we already have going on. Yeah. The only thing I'm thinking is making this a slightly different color, just a little bit darker. Don't hit V because it will change, get [inaudible]. Let me see. I'm going to do a little bit more to this gradient, but I think it's almost there. I feel like this is looking really cool. Next we're going to get into textures and patterns and the background and just jazz it up. 9. Adding Illustration Elements: Now I want to add some elements, just some illustrative elements in the background that I think will add some interest. For this one with a gradient, I honestly think that adding anything else to this will make it too busy. I'll revisit it once we add textures at the end and maybe some noise. For this one I'm just going to go ahead and add trim view so I can just ignore everything else in the background and I'm also going to lock all of these elements because I'm right now I'm using my work home tablet and a pen and it's really easy to move things around accidentally with it. I'm going to use the pencil tool, and I think I'm going to add some organic shapes. In a lot of my work, you'll see these free-flowing forms as well as shapes. I'm just going to go ahead and make sure I just have a stroke selected and I will use a color that we already have going on, and it may be too busy with this gradient but we'll see once we start adding in the shapes. I like this blue color and the first thing I'm going to do is add some wavy, just like some blob, some doodles. Go ahead and fill that in and then I'm going to select those points, join them and smooth that out a little bit. If you have the pencil tool selected, if you just hit Alt on your keyboard or option, it's going to bring up the smoothing tool and it's going to allow you to make any of these points a lot smoother. Honestly when it comes to like paths and points you want as little as possible, because one too many points are going to slow down your computer but it also can make your objects look jagged if that's what you're going for. I mean, this is more of like a hand-drawn field so it's fine. But oftentimes you do when it comes to like vector shapes want them to be smooth. I'll just start out with making a few shapes, and I have no rhyme or reason for these shapes. I'm just going with the flow and what speaks to me. I have my smoothing all the way up on the pencil tool options, so that'll just make it so that when I draw a shape, it's going to be as smooth as possible. I like to fit them together a little bit, and make sure they're not overlapping. Here we go. I think I'm drawn to the style. I mean, I was always the person in school that was doodling way too much and I always got in trouble for doodling. If I can doodle in my illustrations, I mean, hey, why not? I'm going to go ahead and just apply mortified to the fill. Let's use this in red color. You'll see in a lot of my work, sometimes I'll do different shapes, like sometimes I'll do like half circles, circles, or like flowers, but right now I like these organic shapes. Right now I'm not going to worry about like where they are in the foreground or background, I'm just going to draw them and then I will figure out the placement. Then this light is bright, so I'm not going to worry about that right now. Right now it's just important that each shape has its own color, so that when I do change it around, if it was all the same color then they would all change the same color. Right now this look crazy, but here come together. Now, let send that to the back and this looks crazy and busy. I'm going to select all my shapes again and group them together and then let's play around with the opacity transparency settings. I normally go through a few different ones and then turn that down a little bit and I want to see what it looks like on top as well. Maybe if it's not on top of the text. That's a lot. I feel like that looks really cool. I'm liking that there aren't shapes everywhere, so I may just make a few of them like a little bit smaller. Let's see, and just play around with it and have fun with it. I mean, there's no right or wrong way, this is about expressing your feelings. There's really no way specifically to do it. Like for me, I happen to really like organic shapes and textures, and gradients, so I just like to play around until it feels right. I also think that it looks really cool inside of this gradient and maybe if I've just limited it to the gradient, may it just make me work a little bit better. I want to select those again, I'm going to make this a little bit smaller and then I'm going to make a clipping mask. Initially when I made the blend, you could see that I was able to edit it and move it around. What I did was because I didn't want there to be these obvious lines from each word, I liked it more as a solid block. Then I could apply a gradient to the entire thing. I went ahead and I expanded the blend and it wasn't tied to that blend anymore, it was just the object itself. But the problem was I still had all of the separate objects that were leading up to the gradient. I had to go ahead and use the Pathfinder tool and then use the Unite for the shape modes. Yeah, unite it. It was just one solid block and then I was able to add a gradient just to that shape. If you can see the gradient is linear gradient and I use a similar color palette to the first one and just went up in the same direction following the shape of the line. I'm going to go ahead and take these shapes and first I'm going to copy this gradient, paste it in front and bring it all the way to the front. While I have the gradient selected, also highlight the shapes and make that a mass or it might be in a group. Take this out of the group, here we go, and then bring this to the top. The other thing I think I want to do, and hopefully it's not too busy but I just want to see, and make this super light in the background. You'll see others be dragging stuff around. Let's go ahead and try overlay, and you can't see that. Go back to trim view, and I want to make it even bigger. I love that, I feel it looked so cool. Obviously I can play around with this all day, but I think we are in good place so I'm going to start adding some textures and just adding a little bit more on top of this but in a subtle way. 10. Choosing Your Colors: All right, now we're going to get into my favorite part which is color. So the reason I wait so long to do color is because I like to have the design finalized before I really commit to colors. I do typically tend to give everything its own unique color. When I use the recolor artwork tool, it's really easy to switch the values around, and because color is so important, I don't want to just decide it from the beginning. I want to give it some time. I want to have multiple options and just see which one feels best. There is obviously already some color in this piece, but I'm not really married to these colors. I think that I could do a lot more with it. So I'm going to refer back to some of these palettes that I made in the beginning. I also have way more palettes to choose from. I have a bunch of pallets saved to my libraries, which I normally do. I'm just going to go ahead and add these themes to my swatches so that I can play around with it once I start to recolor. I like this one. Let's see, this one's nice and this one. As you can see now I have a bunch of options. The only thing that I want to do before I start is just duplicate these artboards just in case I want to revisit these colors at any point, because often times I like to have color options. Make sure everything is unlocked when you duplicate your artboards. I'm going to start with this first one, "Speak it into Existence". I'll select the entire artboard and everything on it. I'll click the recolor artboards tool, which is this color wheel right here. Then it's going to bring up all the colors that are in my artwork and I'm going to select a palette. The first thing I can do is select the one that we're already using and just play around with it. This black is probably going to be a little bit too harsh and I don't think it's going to go with the theme. Let's do five colors. Some of these are not going to work out and that is okay. The other thing, let me see. You can see a lot of it can be really harsh. and I may have to adjust them myself after I decide on the color palette. There's a lot of going through, seeing which ones you like. Because it's a gradient, not all colors are going to work really great with a gradient. So it may be that I have to refine it myself. The good thing about this is that I can move this around. I know that the outside is probably going to be the darkest. Then I'm going to want something a little brighter and then the middle, maybe that yellow where the blue is. Then this blue, you would probably want something a little bit lighter. At that point, you can play around with it. Maybe make this closer to white. Here's one. Here we go. I'm going to make a few more and just see. I think for now, I'm going to take out the color that is on top because I think it's really important to get the gradient at this point. These colors are really nice. I thought that looks really cool, but I'll probably have to adjust the gradient itself. So I'm going to go into here and make some adjustments. See, this is where changing that back to RGB is going to make a much smoother transition. If you get some weird like gray colors, it's most likely that you added it to your swatches, it didn't add it as RGB. I'm playing with these gradients a little bit. I'm really just looking for something that feels like it fits together with this color palette. With this feeling, I want this to feel like, I guess, inspirational, motivating, and so I think the color palette should feel that way as well. Sometimes I achieve that with really dark and dramatic colors but sometimes like this, it can be something that is a little bit more pastel. It just fits. I don't want any harsh lines so that's why I'm blurring it out to get to something that looks really smooth. I love that. The last thing, I think I just want to maybe lighten that a little bit, it was a little harsh, and maybe make this closer to white. All right, so going back to this one, I'm going to do the same thing, just tweaking the colors. Most of the time I'll do this and I'll still only end up with one final color. Sometimes I do have multiple options, but I just like to give myself the range to play around, to experiment. I think that is really important in doing work like this, that you just are able to not take it so seriously. Now I still like that a little dark. I feel like those three are really cool. Let's do this one now. Unlock it. As you can see, there are a lot of colors, but I'm going to simplify it to five. Then I'm going to go ahead and just select a palette. It's a little bit intense because I had a lot of colors going on. Sometimes if you combine two colors together, just to really help simplify it. I don't know if that's one is working. This is literally my process. I just go through selecting colors. I'm really liking this pastel situation. I think I like that yellow background. So I'm going to keep it yellow background. I'm going to change that to green. I like the pink. Let's do that and then I do think I need to edit the gradient again, and go ahead and change this to RGB. Because right now it doesn't have the smoothest transition. There we go. I think this green could probably be a little bluer and this pink could be a little brighter. It feels like cotton candy, it's very fun. We'll do one more and I would rather match, so I'm going to do this one similar to that one. We have three different versions, we have three different color palettes. I feel like each of these has its own mood and is own vibe. The one on the bottom feels like really summery, and light, and carefree, which feels a lot different than the other two. This one is a lot bolder. It's kind of in your face. It's much more vibrant and there's a lot more of a contrast between this pink, this blue, and this yellow rather than this one where it's not too much contrast going on. The top one I feel has a really nice energy to it. I'm really like this red in the center. I think that it is in the middle. It's a little bit more calm than this one, but at the same time it still has its own energy and its own boldness. I honestly think there's so many different moods and vibes that I can go with. At this point is just which one speaks to you the most. Now that I have a bunch of different color options, I'm going to get into adding final touches. 11. Adding Textures and Final Touches: Now that the designs are pretty much finished, I just want to add some finishing touches with some textures, just to give it a little bit more character and not have it be so one-dimensional. I'm going to add in a couple of paper textures and maybe on the other one, I'll add a grunge texture just to show you guys the difference. I love adding paper textures. You can see these are all just JPEGs, I downloaded them from the Internet. I'm going to scroll through, there are a bunch of different ones and just see which one I think will add the most texture. I'm going to make sure this is on the right layer and then place it over top. I'm just going to make sure that it covers the entire upward and then I'll just use the crop image tool because that's a thing now. I'm going to crop it. I like to let textures or anything you're placing on the art board go just a little bit past because a lot of times it could just be slightly not long enough and you don't want to risk the edge not having the texture or the color that you want. All right, so now that I have that, I will play with the opacity settings and the blend modes. Most of the time I use like a Color Burn or Multiply, but I think Color Burn looks cool and then I'll lower the opacity a bit. Let me show you the difference between having that texture and not having it. Before, it looks like a little dull, putting it on there, it brighten the colors. Then, if you zoom in, you can see that it added a really nice texture over top of everything and just made it look a little bit more dimensional. I'm going to copy that and go ahead and just paste it onto the other art boards with the same design, and make sure it's on the top. Maybe I'll play around for one of these with just adding one more. I'm just previewing these to see what I like, and they are so many. They're all super subtle, which is nice. I like this one that looks wrinkled. So I'll go ahead and crop this. Awesome. I'll move this to the side just to see how this new one looks and just use the eyedropper tool to quickly select the same settings. I think that looks really cool. I honestly have a ton of textures. I have a whole entire folder on my computer, what textures, some of them are grunge. This one is like a concrete texture. Let's just see what these look like. That could be a little bit too intense for what I'm going for. I want to just add subtle texture. There are a couple of really great places to find textures. You can literally Google, free textures. You also can look on websites like Envato Elements that you do have to have a subscription to, you can look at Creative Market or another really great place that I think people don't think about is Adobe Stock. If you just have a few stock credits, you can buy textures and you can use them over and over and over again. This one actually is an EPS file, so it's a vector. When I place it into Illustrator, I'm actually getting to change the color, I can manipulate the size and the shape and if you zoom in, it's like these just little blobs. But when you zoom out, it looks really cool. Honestly, all of this is really just trial and error to get the look that you want. I want to try this pattern and change it to yellow. Make sure it covers the art board, and then lower this. Sometimes I do layer the text on top. I'm going to seeing what that looks like here, just to see. But sometimes I do like to add it to the entire piece because then it looks less like just a texture placed in the background and is more so the whole piece feels like maybe it was printed on paper or something like that. But I actually really do like this subtle texture. I think it adds a really cool effect. Then the last thing that I wanted to do, and I think I'm going to do it to this first one, I'm going to go ahead and just lock that texture and I wanted to add Grain. Then zooming out a little bit. There are a bunch of different Grain types, but when you are adding it to color, most of the time I just leave it on regular. But you can see what it looks like, with the different ones, that looks pretty cool. Some of these will change it to black and white. Yeah. Wow, I don't know what that is. I think that looks really nice. I'm happy with the intensity and the contrast that's there, and just click "Okay". If you zoom in, what that did is just added a Grain [inaudible] to it. It's just almost like film grain. It's a really cool texture that I love to apply to my work. The only thing I was thinking of doing with this one is adding a Gaussian blur, which is just going to increase this blur effect that we already have going on with the gradient. I think I want to turn that down just a little bit. I add this last because adding all these textures and effects can slow down your machine. You wouldn't want to add all these structures and effects and then try to change your colors around, because it's then going to be every single time you're changing the colors, it's trying to add that texture back. This is why it's great to do this as a last step. I feel like that looks really cool. I really like that. I want to see what it looks like without the blur though, just to see if that actually added anything. I'm just going to go to my appearance panel and then I can see everything that's been applied. I'm going to hide the Gaussian blur and we'll see if that did anything. It didn't really do anything, so I'm going to delete it because it'll just slow it down. I really like this Grain, I like this texture that's on top. I feel like this looks really cool. I'm going to add the noise to this one, then I think for the third one here, I'm just going to keep it as this. Now I realize I do have six art boards. But it just speaks to the fact that you just want to allow yourself to have fun in experiment, try different colors, try different textures. That's how I end up with three different versions of the same quote. For this one, I think I want to add a grunge texture or something that's a little bit gritty. Let's go into these vintage grit textures. I tend to like to add textures that are a little bit uneven, so it's not evenly dispersed throughout. I kind of like something like this, or I kind of like this one. I'm going to change the color of this and just looking at this, I think I want to maybe try white and then lower the opacity. First, lower the opacity to maybe like something super low. Because again, we're just adding texture, you're not suppose to notice it right away. It just adds a little bit more interest and a bit of roughness to it. I have on lighting which I think looks nice, but I'm going to take a look. I normally scroll through or cycle through most of them and then just see which one looks the best. I like that hard light. I want to show you guys a couple of different options for textures. In my libraries, I have a craft paper texture that I actually downloaded from Adobe Stock and this is another one of my favorites, adding craft paper on top, it can be really nice. If you zoom in, you can see that texture right on top which I think looks really cool. I'll turn it off so you can see what it looks like without it. It just intensifies the colors a little bit, and then it adds this nice speckle appearance happening. Then I'm wondering what I should add to this one. There are so many different ways you can add texture, it's crazy. I did add this and I think it just added it really small. It's very tiny. I'm going to zoom out, not that part. I feel like I just went to outer space with my art board. All right, we're back. I added this texture in here from my libraries and I'm just going to resize it so that again, it touches the screen [inaudible] towards the bottom and we're done. I'm going change this color and actually want to see what it looks like with gray and then lower the opacity and zoom in just a little bit so I can actually see what's happening on our board. A little bit too intense, so we'll turn that down super low. Let me just check to see if another one works better. That's really nice. It's very subtle, but just what I want. I turned it up just a little bit and you can see these lines, but not all over. Now I'm just going to make this a clipping mask so that it doesn't go into my other art board. I'll make this a little bit larger just in case. Select that and lock it, and there we have it. I ended up with six different designs with different colors, different textures, and different feels. I got to say, out of all six of these, I think my favorite has to actually be this first one. I'm really drawn to these colors and I don't often use red in my work, so it was a great way to introduce a different color palette. Even though the blue tones are very similar, it still feels a little bit different than the colors I would normally use. To me, this one feels really warm, like the color is coming out from the center and it just feels really energetic, almost emotional. I don't know if that makes sense. It's like an aura, if you guys have ever had your aura as red or seen one of those photos, it reminds me of that. I think this came out really great. I think this first one is the one that I would post, but I would love to see yours. So make sure you post them in the project gallery. 12. Final Thoughts: Congratulations, you did it. You made it to the end of the class. I hope it wasn't too hard, but I can't wait to see what you guys have done, so make sure you post your project in the project gallery. If you want to keep up with my work, you can follow me @yeshidesigns on Instagram and check on my prints on my website, Thank you so much, until next time.