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Exercise 02: Lines

A line is the result of connecting any two points on a plane. Lines can be thin or thick, bumpy or smooth, dotted or solid, straight or curvy. In this exercise we make a straight, thick, black line. In later chapter exercises, you will create lines by alluding to them with repetitious single forms or by the gaze of the photographically reproduced subjects within the composition. Lines can be used to provide direction, to separate parts of the page, or to support elements on which images or typography rest. Many of the typographic visual references from the Bauhaus include heavy lines that are used to separate areas of the page and provide direction for the viewer’s gaze.

  1. Press the letter d on the keypad to load the default colors into the Fill and Stroke icons at the bottom of the Tools panel. The default colors in any of the Adobe Creative Suite programs are black and white. The letter d on the keypad always loads black and white into the color chips in the Tools panel.
  2. Click on the Line Segment tool. Clicking and dragging with this tool creates a new line. Holding the Shift key while dragging creates a new straight line. Create a new straight line across the horizontal guide. (Fig 4.7)

    Fig 4.7

    Fig 4.7 Choose Line Segment Tool.

  3. Release the mouse, and the line will be selected. If you click someplace off of the line and accidentally deselect it, reselect it using the Selection tool. With the line selected, look in the Control panel at the top of the document window. Notice that the line has values associated with it, including a fill color (automatically set to nothing, as signified by the red stripe across a white field), a stroke color (black), and a numeric value indicating the weight of the stroke. Change the numeric value of the stroke weight on the line to 30 by using the pull-down menu or by typing 30 into the value box. (Fig 4.8)

    Fig 4.8

    Fig 4.8 Select stroke weight.

  4. With the Selection tool, adjust the line so that it begins at about an inch into the page from the left edge. The line may extend beyond the page edge on the right side. Anything that is outside of the page, represented by the black frame of the Artboard, will not be printed.
  5. Deselect the line by clicking with the Selection tool anywhere on the Artboard outside of the line’s anchor points.
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