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Pattern Brush with Artboard 2

How to Create a Pattern Brush

This video shows how to make a patterned brush style using simple graphics and the ’Path Decorator’ settings.

Artboard 2 collection Material color swatches

12 Custom Color Palettes for MacOS

When considering a new color scheme for your next design project, custom color palettes are a great place to start. Using Apple’s Color Picker, you can manually create new color swatch lists, or download and install pre-made custom color palettes from several sources on the web. Here’s how…

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random_pattern_fills

Randomized Patterns Make Interesting Fills

Randomized patterns add texture and variety. This is an especially good effect for representing features with naturally occurring randomness. Artboard has several tools in the Style Inspector to help you make awesome randomized patterns.

Tutorial Details

Program: Artboard 1.6+ for Mac OS X
Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
Topics Covered: Style Inspector
Estimated Completion Time: 25 minutes

Start with a Shape

wpid-Start_with_a_Shape.png

Create a shape to be used for your pattern. Here we’ll use the Regular Polygon tool with a nice green fill style to make a shape. You could use the Freehand Path or Bezier Curve tools to make a similar shape that isn’t quite as symmetrical. In the Geometry panel we’ll adjust the shape to have 6-sides, turn on the “Star” shape option and adjust the “Tip” setting to about 70%. We end up with a clover-like shape that we’ll use for our pattern.

Prefer doing things hands-on? Give it a try…

 

Make a Sandbox for your New Pattern

wpid-Make_a_Sandbox_for_your_New_Pattern.png

Use the Rectangle tool to draw a rectangle for your sandbox. We’ll play in here and you’ll be able to see your pattern as you are creating it. With your sandbox selected, open the Style Inspector and choose ‘Reset’ to reset to the default style. For now your rectangle looks like a dull grey box – but don’t worry, it’s going to get exciting fast!

Add a Pattern Fill

wpid-Add_a_Pattern_Fill.png

Click the “+” button to add a new Style Component. You’re going to add a “Pattern Fill.” Now, click the shape you made earlier and copy it (CMND-C, right-click > Copy, or Edit > Copy in the main menu). Then paste the shape into the image-well for your Pattern Fill by clicking ‘Paste Image’. With the default settings you are going to get a nice evenly spaced pattern like you see here.

Randomize Pattern

wpid-Randomize_Pattern.png

Now, let’s have some fun. You can go ahead and turn off the existing Fill and Stroke by disabling them (un-checking) in the Component list.

We hated to do it, but “Rand” stands for randomized. Why? It’s a long word and we’ve simply run out of room. Okay. So, the best way to get familiar with how these settings work is to play with them. Just keep in mind, very small and closely spaced patterns start using a lot of memory and may slow things down a bit. To get this particular look, we changed the Scale setting to 60%, Spacing to 0, Rand Spacing and Rand Scale to 100%, and Rand Angle to 25%.

Note, in the Inspector you may be seeing units expressed in “cm” or “in” or something rather than “pt” (points) as you see here. You can change your display units by choosing File > Drawing Size & Units in the main menu and selecting drawing units.

Suppress Clipped Images

wpid-Suppress_Clipped_Images.png

But what about those shapes cut in half along the edges of our rectangle? That doesn’t look very natural.

Click to enable the “Suppress clipped images” option to keep most images from getting artificially clipped at the edges of a shape. Here we see how it looks on an irregular shape (right-click to quickly Copy Style and Paste Style onto a new shape). Sweet.

When you’re satisfied with your new style, you can optionally click on Style in the components list to name it and save it to the Library.

Experiment

wpid-Experiment.png

Now that you understand how to make a randomized pattern, go ahead and experiment. For example, you can also use existing images and even Artboard clip art as the basis for your pattern. Clicking “Image file” in the Style Inspector pane will let you select images from a file on your computer rather than pasting your copied graphic. In that case, small images with alpha-transparency (i.e., no white background) work best.

Here we’ve used the Symbol Stamp tool to add a tree symbol to our canvas. We then copy the clip art and paste it into the Style Inspector to create a different pattern. Since we don’t want these upright trees placed at funky randomized angles, we’ve changed the Rand Angle setting to zero. We’ve also upped the Scale back to about 60% since the image is pretty small already and this pattern does start to slow things down a bit. While for a small area like this or simple effect you could as easily use the Symbol Stamp tool and place clip art individually, it’s easy to see how handy randomized patterns can be.

You’re on your way to creating interesting fill styles. Have fun!

Random Map Fills

Randomized Patterns Make Interesting Map Fills

Randomized patterns can add texture and variety to an otherwise flat map. This is an especially good effect for representing features with naturally occurring randomness, such as ground-cover and forests. Ortelius has several tools in the Style Inspector to help you make awesome randomized patterns.

Tutorial Details

Program: Ortelius 1.6+ for Mac OS X
Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
Topics Covered: Style Inspector
Estimated Completion Time: 25 minutes

Start with a Shape

wpid-Start_with_a_Shape.png

Create a shape to be used for your pattern. Here we’ll use the Regular Polygon tool with a nice green fill style to make a shape. You could use the Freehand Path or Bezier Curve tools to make a similar shape that isn’t quite as symmetrical. In the Geometry panel we’ll adjust the shape to have 6-sides, turn on the “Star” shape option and adjust the “Tip” setting to about 70%. We end up with a clover-like shape that we’ll use to represent a tree.

Prefer doing things hands-on? Give it a try…

 

Make a Sandbox for your New Pattern

wpid-Make_a_Sandbox_for_your_New_Pattern.png

Use the Rectangle tool to draw a rectangle for your sandbox. We’ll play in here and you’ll be able to see your pattern as you are creating it. With your sandbox selected, open the Style Inspector and choose ‘Reset’ to reset to the default style. For now your rectangle looks like a dull grey box – but don’t worry, it’s going to get exciting fast!

Add a Pattern Fill

wpid-Add_a_Pattern_Fill.png

Click the “+” button to add a new Style Component. You’re going to add a “Pattern Fill.” Now, click the shape you made earlier and copy it (CMND-C, right-click > Copy, or Edit > Copy in the main menu). Then paste the shape into the image-well for your Pattern Fill by clicking ‘Paste Image’. With the default settings you are going to get a nice evenly spaced pattern like you see here.

Randomize Pattern

wpid-Randomize_Pattern.png

Now, let’s have some fun. You can go ahead and turn off the existing Fill and Stroke by disabling them (un-checking) in the Component list.

We hated to do it, but “Rand” stands for randomized. Why? It’s a long word and we’ve simply run out of room. Okay. So, the best way to get familiar with how these settings work is to play with them. Just keep in mind, very small and closely spaced patterns start using a lot of memory and may slow things down a bit. To get this particular look, we changed the Scale setting to 60%, Spacing to 0, Rand Spacing and Rand Scale to 100%, and Rand Angle to 25%.

Note, in the Inspector you may be seeing units expressed in “cm” or “km” or something rather than “pt” (points) as you see here. You can change your display units by choosing View > Display Units > in the main menu and selecting Points, Drawing Units, or Map Units.

Suppress Clipped Images

wpid-Suppress_Clipped_Images.png

But what about those shapes cut in half along the edges of our rectangle? That doesn’t look very natural.

Click to enable the “Suppress clipped images” option to keep most images from getting artificially clipped at the edges of a shape. Here we see how it looks on an irregular shape (right-click to quickly Copy Style and Paste Style onto a new shape). Sweet.

When you’re satisfied with your new style, click on Style in the components list to name it and save it to the Library.

Experiment

wpid-Experiment.png

Now that you understand how to make a randomized pattern, go ahead and experiment. For example, you can also use existing images and even Ortelius symbols as the basis for your pattern. Clicking “Image file” in the Style Inspector pane will let you select images from a file on your computer rather than pasting your copied graphic. In that case, small images with alpha-transparency (i.e., no white background) work best.

Here we’ve used the Symbol Stamp tool to add a tree symbol to our canvas. We then copy the symbol and paste it into the Style Inspector to create a different pattern. Since we don’t want these upright trees placed at funky randomized angles, we’ve changed the Rand Angle setting to zero. We’ve also upped the Scale back to about 60% since the image is pretty small already and this pattern does start to slow things down a bit. While for a small area like this or simple effect you could as easily use the Symbol Stamp tool and place symbols individually, it’s easy to see how handy randomized patterns can be.

You’re on your way to creating interesting map fill styles. Have fun!

ChineseNewYear-SVG-import.png

Import Free SVG Graphics, Like This Awesome Chinese New Year Dragon

Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is an open-standard vector image format for two-dimensional graphics. SVG graphics are available from many sources, and here we show how to import and edit a graphic from OpenClipArt.org, a free and public domain source of SVG clip art (Mapdiva is not affiliated with OpenClipArt.org).

Tutorial Details

Program: Artboard 1.7+ graphic design app for Mac OS X
Difficulty: Intermediate
Topics Covered: Image Browser
Estimated Completion Time: about 10 minutes

Step 1

Obtain an SVG file to open in Artboard. Here, we visit OpenClipArt.org and download an SVG file to our local computer directory.

The file in this tutorial is “Chinese New Year Icon” by nicubunu and is provided here as a convenience.

There are two ways to use SVG graphics in Artboard. Add an SVG graphic to an existing Artboard drawing or open an SVG graphic file directly. Both options will open the SVG in the native Artboard file format.

Prefer doing things hands-on? Give it a try…

 

Step 2

Option 1: Add an SVG graphic to an existing Artboard drawing

Step_2___Option_1_Add_an_SVG_graphic_to_an_existing_Artbo.png

Click the Image Browser icon in the Artboard toolbar to open it. As needed, click the “+” in the lower left corner of the Image Browser window to add the directory in which the SVG file is located. Drag and drop the graphic from the Image Browser onto your drawing canvas.

Artboard implements the SVG 1.1 standard, and ignores any and all non-standard comments that other applications frequently use to “help out” when parsing SVG. Occasionally, results may differ from what is expected. See Working With SVG for more information.

Option 2: Open an SVG graphic file directly from Finder
Step_3_Option_2_Open_an_SVG_graphic_file_directly_from_Fi.png

In Apple’s Finder, right-click the SVG file and choose “Open With > Artboard.” A new Artboard file will be created containing the vector graphic.

Step 3

Step_4.png

Often SVG graphics contain many grouped objects, and sometimes groups within groups. As needed Select and Ungroup the imported graphic, then edit as desired.

letterpress effect drawing tutorial with Artboard

Create Letterpress Vector Style

Use the Style Editor, along with Artboard’s transform group settings, to create a popular letterpress graphic style treatment. It’s super easy to save the style and apply to other shapes.

Tutorial Details

Program: Artboard 2.0+ graphic design app for Mac OS X
Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
Topics Covered: Style Inspector– Groups
Estimated Completion Time: 20 minutes

Step 1

Step_1.png

Open a new drawing and choose File > Drawing Size & Units from the main menu and set ‘points’ as the units of measure. Use the Rectangle [r] tool to draw a rectangle the size of your drawing canvas and fill it with a light color (use a light, medium, and dark of any color). Having a background color from the beginning will make it easier to see the changes we will be making to the text.

Prefer doing things hands-on? Give it a try…

 

Step 2

Step_2.png

Add a new layer by clicking the “+” at the lower left corner of the Layers panel. Drawing on a new layer keeps your drawing objects separate from the background will help prevent accidentally selecting the background. With the Text Box [t] tool, drag out a large text box; type to edit the text, clicking the Esc-key to end editing. With the text selected, use the Font panel to choose a font family, typeface, and adjust the size. Our example uses a bold font at 144pt for big header text, but you can adjust the text to fit your needs. After you get it just how you want it, choose Graphic > Convert To > Shape from the main menu (or right click, Convert To > Shape) to convert the text to a shape (once you do that the text will no longer be editable).

Step 3

Step_3.png

Open the Style Inspector. Click onto “Color Fill” in the components list and click the color-well to choose your medium color (for example, medium purple).

Step 4

Step_4.png

With the text shape still selected, from the Style Inspector click the “+” button to add a new “Transform” group from the style components drop-down list. Because Transform is a “group” property, you won’t see anything under the group until you add it, so click the “+” and choose Color Fill. Click the little arrow icon in front of “Transform” in the list to expand the transform group and click onto the color-well in the fill to choose a dark color (e.g., dark purple). In the transform dialog, change the Y Offset to -1.5pt and ‘Number of additional copies’  to 1. Drag the transform component to the top of the components list (so it is visually below the first fill).

Step 5

Step_5.png

Repeat Step 4 to add another transform group from the style components drop-down list. Add a color fill to the transform group and choose white from the Colors panel. In the transform dialog, change the Y Offset to 1.5pt and ‘Number of additional copies’  to 1. Drag the transform component to the top of the components list (so it is visually below the first fill).

Step 6

Step_6.png

With the text still selected, from the Style Inspector click the “+” button to add a new “Core Image Filter” from the style components drop-down list. Click the little arrow icon in front of “Core Image Filter” in the list to expand the image filter group. Similar to Transform groups, you won’t see anything under the effect group until you add it, so click the “+” and add a Color Fill. Click onto the color-well in the fill and pick the light color matching your background color. Now, click again on “Core Image Filter” in the style component list. Choose “Gaussian Blur” from the Filters drop-down list, use the settings ‘Inside clipping path’ and 10-radius. That’s it!

Step 7

You’ve created a great ad-hoc style with popular letterpress treatment. Optionally, you can save the style to easily apply to other vector objects in this and other drawings. Simply click onto “Style” in the components list to return to the main window. Add a name for your new style and press enter. Click “Add To ‘Collection’…” to add it to an available My Library user collection. Pretty cool!

Final Image

Final_Image.png

At this point you can make the treatment better by jazzing up the background with some texture, different colors, and simple offsets to other text.

Cocktail-Slide-Charts

Cocktail Slide Charts – A Kickstarter Project Designed Entirely in Artboard

Kickstarter project “Cocktail Slide Charts” mixes sweet design, cool graphics, and at-your-fingertips information in a tight package – designed entirely with Artboard vector drawing software for Mac OS X. Cocktail Slide Charts are cocktail recipes at your fingertips on fun to use and liquid resistant slide charts.

 

Project developer Bryan Sweeney of Vancouver, WA, describes how he used Artboard’s layered graphics to manage this graphically complex project. “I just thought I’d share with you my Cocktail Slide Charts Kickstarter Project. I created the entire design using Artboard! I was able to create all 3 slide charts with just 2 files. Each of the files has many layers that I turned on and off to export the correct images for each slide chart. It worked out really slick,” wrote Bryan. The design makes use use of Artboard’s gradient fills, layered graphics, advanced text layout, and fully editable vector graphics. “Thanks for an awesome program at a reasonable price!” 

Check out the project on Kickstarter to view all the images that show the front and back of the external case of the slide charts and give you an idea of which slide charts include which recipes. These Cocktail Slide Charts might just be perfect for your next cocktail party.

Do you have a project you’ve designed with Artboard? If so, drop us a line – we’d love to see it!

Artboard_Icon_256

Mapdiva Releases Artboard Drawing Software on the Mac App Store

11.02.08 Indianapolis, Indiana – Today Mapdiva released Artboard 1.0, vector drawing software for Mac OS X. Design logos, posters, floor plans, technical drawings, fun fashions, Web graphics, and more. Use pre-designed templates to create fliers, invitations, signs, and business cards. Artboard is drawing software for everyone. Available exclusively on the Mac App Store.

Artboard delivers with over 1600 awesome styles and fully editable clip art, including speech bubbles, shiny buttons, maps and flags, people factory, and home planning; plus a Library to store your own. Artboard features a powerful style generator and stacked styles that go way beyond simple fill and stroke, providing a wide range of spectacular effects. Artboard is simple, powerful and fun graphic design software that will make school reports and business presentations shine.

Artboard has everything to create your own graphics and illustrations, including:

  • Interface designed to work with vector graphics
  • Simple and direct drawing controls
  • Over 20 tools for drawing rectangles, stars, circles, lines, curves, text and navigating
  • Perfectly crisp anti-aliased graphics
  • Layers-based drawing
  • Smooth Bezier curves
  • Beautifully rendered text available with outline, mask, and text on path
  • Page and poster-tiled printing
  • Automatic graph paper
  • Pen tablet support
  • Export for web and print the most popular graphics formats PNG, JPG, PDF, and TIFF supporting resolutions from 72 to 600-dpi
  • Quick access to iPhoto, Pictures folder, and Smart folders via Image Browser
  • Drag-and-drop between popular productivity apps such as iWork(TM) Pages, Number, and Keynote
  • Deep Mac OS X integration via technologies such as ColorSync, Quick Look, Spotlight, Apple Fonts palette, Apple Colors palette, drag-and-drop and many other
System Requirements
  • Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later
  • Core Image supported graphics card
  • 38.5 MB
Pricing and Availability

Artboard is Mapdiva’s second vector-based software application for Mac OSX. Artboard 1.0 is only $19.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the Mac App Store in the Graphics & Design category.

About Mapdiva

Founded in 2008, Mapdiva is dedicated to making powerfully easy vector software so you can focus your creative energy on content and design. Mapdiva’s flagship product, Ortelius, is the cartography software for map design. Artboard is their latest product. Mapdiva, LLC has offices in Indianapolis, IN USA and Armidale, NSW Australia. Artboard and Ortelius are trademark of Mapdiva, LLC. Apple and Mac OS are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

via prMac

fun-text-style

Making Fun Map Title Text in Ortelius

Whether formal or informal, your choice of fonts will set the mood and help to weave the story being told by your map. Map text doesn’t need to be dry and stodgy. Introduce a creative element in you next map graphic through the use of text shapes with custom fill styles.
The key to success with this approach is moderation – for example, get creative with the title and choose a complimentary font throughout the rest of your map that is simple and unassuming. Your goal is to express a bit of whimsy while maintaining legibility and overall balance.

Tutorial Details

Program : Ortelius 1.0+ for Mac OSX
Difficulty: Beginner
Topics Covered: Converting Text to Shape; Styles
Estimated Completion Time: 10-15 minutes

Step 1. Add Text To Your Map Canvas

Add_Text_To_Your_Map_Canvas

Use the Text Box or Text On Path tool to add a title to your map.

Step 2. Choose a Font

Choose_a_FontWith your text selected, open the Font palette. Choose a wide or heavy font that matches the style you’re after and will look good as an outline. The font you choose will be the basis for the text shapes. In this example we use Geodesic. Adjust the point size as necessary.

HINT: After switching fonts and sizes, you may need to grab the handles of the text box to enlarge it to expose the larger text. Alternatively, right-click the text box and choose Fit To Text from the context menu.

Step3. Convert to Shape and Break Apart

Convert_to_Shape_and_Break_Apart

Select the text and choose Graphic > Convert To > Shape from the main menu. Alternatively, right-click the text and choose Convert To > Shape from the context menu.

Next, choose Graphic > Combine > Break Apart from the main menu. This step will convert each letter into an individual shape object.

Note, text can also be converted to individual objects with paths to further modify the shape of individual letters. Choose Graphic > Convert To > Path from the main menu. Convert back to shape after modification as this will keep your drawing more efficient.

Step 4. Add Style to Letter Shapes

Add_Style_to_Letter_Shapes

Open the Symbols palette. To change the style of a letter, select a letter shape and then choose a style from the Symbols palette. In this example, we’ve chosen various styles from the Patterns & Textures category.

Note that after converting your text to individual shapes, the negative space inside letters such as “o” and “d” (the “counters”) have also been converted to separate shapes. These can be colored or styled individually. If you prefer an empty space, select the counters and letter shape and choose Graphic > Combine > Difference to subtract the inside piece from the main letter shape. In this example we’ve chosen to leave the counters black.

Step 5. Re-Group

When you’re all done making your text fancy, select all the letter shapes and choose Graphic > Group (or use the Command-G keyboard shortcut) to group and keep letter shapes together. Have fun making interesting and unique title text for your maps!

EuropeLabeled-300x270

Ortelius Labels Add Smarts to Map Design

09.17.09 Ortelius map illustration software for Mac OS X makes map design easier with special cartography tools, high-quality graphics, and hundreds of vector-based styles and symbols. One of the most powerful features of Ortelius is its innovative what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) labeling system.

Ortelius gives designers the ability to add labels using map attribute information from existing map data – information behind your map – such as from Ortelius’ royalty-free vector map templates, an imported GIS Shapefile, and from information added on-the-fly.  For the designer, smart labels can take countless hours off the time it takes to make a map, meaning higher productivity with top-notch results.The Ortelius labeling system includes the following features:

  1. Labels use map attribute information, such as road names, when that information exists behind the scenes,
  2. Labels are placed automatically based on cartographic conventions and can be adjusted for perfect positioning, and
  3. Label styles, including font, size, alignment, and color, go hand-in-hand with many map styles and support ad-hoc label styling.

Unlike labeling in drawing programs using hundreds of pieces of free text, Ortelius labels are tightly associated with a map’s features. When a map feature is moved, its label moves with it. When a label is moved, it adjusts itself to follow well-recognized cartographic conventions for label placement. This means road and river names automatically flow along the path of their line or curve. Point labels are placed in one of nine standard click positions, and can be free-positioned with leader-lines. Area labels are placed in the visual or geometric center of their polygon and can be adjusted to spread across an area. Unlike labeling within a GIS, all labels are immediately available for repositioning and ad-hoc styling, providing superior cartographic control.

Labeling using attribute information is ideal for quickly making simple or complex map graphics. To see intelligent labels in action, view Mapdiva’s video tutorials on their web site (Getting Started).

More About Ortelius Map Illustration Software:
Ortelius software is designed as a dedicated map graphics program for Mac OS X. Ortelius Standard Edition is available for $99 (USD). Introductory pricing of $79 is available until Sept 30, 2009. A free trial download is available from their website.