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How to Create Basic Shapes in Illustrator CS

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Many objects in the Adobe Illustrator program can be created by starting with basic shapes and then editing them to create new shapes. In this lesson, you'll use some basic shapes to create a logo. Along the way, you'll learn how to use tools and commands to create basic shapes, copy and combine objects to create new shapes, paint objects, and more.
This chapter is from the book

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to do the following:

  • Use tools and commands to create basic shapes.
  • Copy and combine objects to create new shapes.
  • Use rulers, guides, and grids as drawing aids.
  • Use Selection tools to select and change parts of objects.
  • Paint objects.
  • Scale objects using the bounding box.

Getting Started

Before you begin, you’ll need to restore the default preferences for Adobe Illustrator. Then you’ll open the finished art file for this lesson to see what you’ve created.

  1. To ensure that the tools and palettes function exactly as described in this lesson, delete or deactivate (by renaming) the Adobe Illustrator CS preferences file. See “Restoring default preferences” on page 2 in the Introduction.
  2. Start Adobe Illustrator.
  3. Choose File > Open, and open the file in the Lesson03 folder, located inside the Lessons folder within the AICIB folder on your hard drive.
  4. If you like, choose View > Zoom Out to make the finished artwork smaller, adjust the window size, and leave it on your screen as you work. (Use the Hand tool (hand.jpg) to move the artwork where you want it in the window.) If you don’t want to leave the image open, choose File > Close.

    Now create the start file to begin the lesson.

  5. Choose File > New to open a new, untitled document. Leave the Color Mode and Artboard Size at the default settings, and click OK.
  6. Choose File > Save As, name the file, and select the Lesson03 folder in the Save In menu. Leave the Type of File Format option set to Adobe Illustrator® Document, and click Save. In the Illustrator Native Format Options leave at the defaults and click OK.
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