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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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Artboard 2 Add Perspective with Skew

Add Perspective with Skew

Artboard’s new ‘Skew’ function makes it easy to distort objects and add perspective. Here we combine multiple objects and apply ‘Skew’ to quickly add great looking windows to a tall building.

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map draw rivers with tapered strokes

Designing Tapered Rivers with Flowing Styles

Ortelius has always had great tools to create smooth meandering rivers & streams. Now they can look even better with naturally tapering ends. We’ve added an expert Tapered Stroke component to the Style Inspector – you can use it to design your own creative map styles. Here’s how…

Tutorial Details

Program: Ortelius 1.7+ for Mac OS X
Difficulty: Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced
Topics Covered: Style Inspector
Estimated Completion Time: 15 minutes

Draw a Line To Preview Your New Style As It Is Built

Draw a line on the Ortelius drawing canvas so you can preview your changes as you build a new style. Open the Style Inspector. Keep your line selected for the next step.

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

 

Create New Style and Add a Tapered Stroke

Create_New_Style_and_Add_a_Tapered_Stroke.png

Choose ‘Reset’ to create a new ad-hoc style ready for your use.

Add a Tapered Stroke Style Component from the drop-down list by clicking the “+” button. You won’t be using the Fill and Stroke Style Components so they can be removed from the list by clicking the “–” button. Next, we’ll adjust the settings on your new style.

Make Adjustments

Make_Adjustments.png

Adjust the line width of your river style. From upstream to downstream your river widths will become wider (or thicker). Plan on creating a set of 2 or 3+ stroke styles of varying widths that can be “nested” in your river hierarchy, the upper-most being your tapered stroke.

For example, this tapered style will represent the upper-most river segments that will flow into other down-stream river segments. We’ll create a 3-pt width tapered stroke to flow into a 3-pt width (non-tapered) segment, and then a 4-pt width (non-tapered) segment.

Click the color well to open the Colors panel and choose a new color. You can also adjust the percent and type of taper – we’ll keep the default settings as they work really nicely for rivers. Then uncheck the “Right” setting so your stroke is only tapered on one end.

HINT: When you draw your rivers in the direction from upstream to downstream the taper will be the upstream end. You can always choose Edit > Paths & Tracks > Reverse if you need to flip the direction of the taper.

Add Style To Library

Add_Style_To_Library.png

As desired, click at the top of the Style Components list to return to the main Style Inspector window. Type in a name for your new style and click the “Add Style To Library” button. You’ll be prompted to assign the style to an appropriate category and the style will be saved to the Library.

Your new styles are ready for use. Choose a tool, such as the Freehand Track, pick your style from the Styles & Symbols palette, and draw.

Joining Tracks for Smooth Transitions

Joining_Tracks_for_Smooth_Transitions.png

HINT: To make a smooth transition between two tracks of varying line widths or styles, select the tracks and choose Edit > Paths & Tracks > Join or use the CMND-J keyboard shortcut. A smooth transition will be automatically created between line styles. Smooth transitions apply to connectable tracks, not regular paths.

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.

scrapbook-featured

Create Scrapbook Styles for Fun Spring-time Graphics

A scrapbook style is characterized by a wide outline around your graphic in the color of paper – as if the graphic were cut out by scissors. The key to this style is adding a wide stroke to show underneath the shape’s silhouette. Artboard’s advanced Style Inspector makes easy work of these fun scrapbook styles.

Tutorial Details

Program : Artboard for Mac OS X
Difficulty: Intermediate
Topics Covered: Style Inspector
Estimated Completion Time: 15 minutes

Step 1

Open a new drawing. We’ve changed our drawing units to points’ in the File > Drawing Size & Units… dialog. For this tutorial we are demonstrating using a graphic we’ve already drawn – a silhouette of a pigeon. Start by drawing your own shape or using a simple clip art (silhouette/outline shapes work best) in the built-in library. Even a simple circle or square will work to let you step through this tutorial.

Step 2

Open the Style Inspector. With the object selected, click “Reset” to create a new style. Change the fill color to a creamy off-white paper color (we’ve used RGB-251,248,229). Change the stroke color to a medium grey. Click the “+” button in the Style Inspector to add another stroke; change the width to about 14-pts and make it the same color as the off-while fill; check the box to add a shadow. Now, make sure this new stroke is at the top of the style components list – as needed, you can click onto the “Stroke” name in the style component list and drag to move it. Items at the top of the list are drawn first, therefore the wide stroke will appear under the other fill and stroke in your drawing.

This is a nice scrapbook look already – you could stop here. We’re going to enhance the look by adding some wavy line texture to the style.

TRY IT NOW! Download the Artboard resource file for this tutorial.

Step 3

With the shape still selected, click the “+” in the Style Inspector and add a “Hatch Fill” style component. Play with the settings to get the look you’re after. We’ve made the line width about 4.5-pts, used a nice blue color with partial transparency, and added some roughness and wobble to the lines.

Step 4

Follow step 3 above to add a second Hatch Fill using another color. We’ve made ours a nice semi-transparent green with different line width, spacing, roughness and wobble. The key isn’t trying to copy exactly how we’ve done it, but to play with the settings so you get a feel for what is possible.

Final Image

Congratulations! You’ve created a fun scrapbook style. Use the Style Dropper to apply this style to other graphics for instant gratification ;) or save it to your library for future use. Make variations of the style by clicking “Clone” in the Style Inspector and removing the hatch fills, adding new colors, and more. Enjoy the awesomeness – here are some free eggs for your basket.

Your pigeon dressed up with a cheery pink background – ready for spring!

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.

Image crop with Artboard OS X

How To Clip Images with Complex Objects

Artboard makes it easy to clip your images with complex vector objects. Draw any shape and use the Intersect command. Here’s how.

Tutorial Details

Program : Artboard 1.7+ for Mac OSX
Difficulty: Intermediate
Topics Covered: Image Browser and Intersect
Estimated Completion Time: about 15 minutes

Step 1 – Draw the Clipping Shape

Open the Image Browser and drag-and-drop from the Browser to your drawing canvas to place your image. Draw any shape – from a simple rounded rectangle to a complex outline of the area you want to clip. Here we’ve used the Bezier Path [b]tool to draw an outline around the girl in the picture. We used a simple red stroke with no fill to better see the outline as we traced over the picture.

Step 2 – Clip the Image

To clip the image with your shape, hold the Command-key and use the Select [s] tool to select both the image and the shape. Then click the Intersect icon on the Toolbar, or choose Graphic > Combine > Intersect from the main menu. Clipping images is non-destructive – an image that is clipped still has the original image hidden behind the clipped area, and the clipping path can be removed later as desired. Double-click the image to reposition it or scale it within its bounding box. An image effects panel is also displayed. If you want to remove the clipping path, right-click the image and choose “Remove Image clipping path” from the contextual menu.

Step 3 – Mask and Resample Image (optional)

An image with a clipping path can be permanently cropped to remove portions of the image that are hidden, thus reducing overall file size. Cropped images are resampled to the clipped area. To crop a clipped image, right-clicking the image and choose “Crop and resample image” from the contextual menu.

Final Image

Clipping images in Artboard is as easy as 1-2-3! We hope you enjoy the simplicity of how it works just like the Boolean operations with any vector objects.

haunt-beaut-text-final

Create Hauntingly Beautiful Art Text in Artboard

Any text in Artboard can be converted into a shape and custom styled to great effect. We show you how to use Artboard’s Core Image Filters applied to a style to create this hauntingly beautiful art text effect.

Tutorial Details

Program : Artboard 1.7+ for Mac OS X
Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
Topics Covered: Style Inspector; Core Image Filters; Converting Text to Shape Group
Estimated Completion Time: ~20 minutes

Step 1

Open a new drawing.

Draw a large text box with the Text Box[t] tool. Return to the Select[s] tool, double-click the text box and type “ARTBOARD”. This is a good place to mention that in Artboard you can automatically change the case of your text. For example, select the text box and choose Text > Change Case > To Lower from the main menu. Note how your text changes instantaneously to all lower-case. We are using “Moltors” font that is only upper-case so it doesn’t matter in our example, but now you know how to do it!

Speaking of fonts, with the text box still selected, open the Font panel and choose a nice fat font (e.g., Moltors) and adjust the size. Our example uses 96pt for a large text block, but you can adjust the text to fit your purpose. As needed, use the Select[s] tool to grab the text box sizing handles and adjust its size. Close the Font panel.

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

 

Step 2

In the next step we convert our text to a shape so we can style it. We could simply convert the text to a single shape (once you do that the text will no longer be editable) using Graphic > Convert To > Shape from the main menu (or right click and choose Convert To > Shape). However, I want to flip the “R” to make our graphic text extra fancy, so each letter needs to be a separate shape. To do so, choose Graphic > Convert To > Shape Group from the main menu (or right click and choose Convert To > Shape Group). Then, ungroup the shape.

Step 3

With the Select[s] tool, select the first “R” and choose Graphic > Flip > Horizontally from the main menu. You may want to adjust the letter’s position after flipping to maintain nice spacing between letters. Now, select all the letters and choose Graphic > Combine > Append from the main menu, or click the “Append” icon if you’ve added it to your toolbar. Appending the shapes together allows us to apply a style across the shape as a whole.

Step 4

Use the Select[s] tool to select the text shape and open the Style Inspector. With the text shape still selected, click “Reset” to create a new style from scratch. Click onto “Fill” in the components list then click the “-” button to remove the component. Repeat to remove the “Stroke” style component. Next, click the “+” button and add “Core Image Filter” style component. The core image filter is a group, so we’ll need to add one or more components under the group (we’re adding an image). Click the “+” and add “Image” to add an image adornment. You may need to click the little triangle next to “Core Image Filter Group” in the components list to expand it and see what’s inside the group.

Click onto the “Image Adornment” to open its properties. Click the “Image File…” button to choose an image that will be used as the fill. You can use any image here – experiment to see what works best for your needs. In this example, we’re using a lovely floral pattern we downloaded from freedesign4.me.

Step 5

Let’s turn our attention back to the Core Image Filter Group. Click on it in the style components list. From the drop-down, choose the “Gloom” filter. Keep the standard settings – with “Clipping” set to “Inside path”. The effect will automatically be applied to the image in the filter group. If the image is smaller (or undesirably bigger) than the text shape, you can return to the Image Adornment and adjust the scale of the image.

Step 6

Finally, let’s add a background object to our final image. Use the Rectangle[r] tool with the “Licorice – fill” style from the Basic Strokes & Fills category in the built-in collection. Draw a large rectangle. With the rectangle selected, choose Graphic > Send To Back from the main menu (or right click and choose Arrange > Send To Back). That’s it!

Final Image

From here, you may want to copy your shape to try different background photos. With the copy selected, click “Clone” in the Style Inspector. Now you can simply go to the Image Adornment style component and choose a new image file. To save any of your styles to the User Library, click “Style” at the top of the Style Components list and name and save the style to your collections. Here is our final image, along with a variation using an old family photo for the image adornment. Do you think it would look good over a patterned background?

How to make a typography graphic for your website

How to Create a Typography Graphic Using Artboard

In this Vimeo video demonstrates how to create a simple graphic for your blog or website using Artboard for the Mac. Lisa uses different fonts, typography techniques, and self-created chevron stripes for a new report cover. Enjoy! Read more