Activity 1: Pen Tool Design


What is Adobe Illustrator?

•Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphics application, so it doesn’t matter what size the icon is created at. We can simply select all the objects and scale them up to the size of King Kong, or likewise scale them down to the desired size. Unlike Photoshop, all our lines and shapes will keep their crisp lines and colours because they’re made of mathematical calculations rather than good old pixels
Bleed is a printing term that refers to printing that goes beyond the edge of the sheet before trimming. In other words, the bleed is the area to be trimmed off. The bleed is the part on the side of a document that gives the printer a small amount of space to account for movement of the paper, and design inconsistencies. Artwork and background colors can extend into the bleed area and after trimming, the bleed ensures that no unprinted edges occur in the final trimmed document.

The CMYK color model (process colourfour colour) is a subtractive colour model, used in colour printing, and is also used to describe the printing process itself. CMYK refers to the four inks used in some color printing: cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black). Though it varies by print house, press operator, press manufacturer, and press run, ink is typically applied in the order of the abbreviation. (wikipedia)



The RGB color model is an additive colour model in which red, green, and blue light are added together in various ways to reproduce a broad array of colors. The name of the model comes from the initials of the three additive primary colors, red, green, and blue.

The main purpose of the RGB color model is for the sensing, representation, and display of images in electronic systems, such as televisions and computers, though it has also been used in conventionalphotography. Before the electronic age, the RGB color model already had a solid theory behind it, based in human perception of colours. (wikipedia)


File Extensions:

eps:  Encapsulated PostScript, or EPS, is a DSC-conforming PostScript document with additional restrictions which is intended to be usable as a graphics file format. In other words, EPS files are more or less self-contained, reasonably predictable PostScript documents that describe an image or drawing and can be placed within another PostScript document.

ai:  Adobe Illustrator Artwork (AI) is a proprietary file format developed by Adobe Systems for representing single-page vector-based drawings in either the EPS or PDF formats. The .ai filename extension is used by Adobe Illustrator.

 jpg:  In computing, JPEG is a commonly used method of lossy compression for digital photography (image). The degree of compression can be adjusted, allowing a selectable tradeoff between storage size and image quality. JPEG typically achieves 10:1 compression with little perceptible loss in image quality.



  •  practice the vector pen tool in Illustrator,
  • Design  vector shapes,
  • save in ai, eps and jpg file formats


Part 1:  Using the Pen Tool

Illustrator Unit, Activity 2, part 1 from Digital Voices on Vimeo.

1.  Open Illustrator and duplicate the Pen Tool cheats below.

HINT:  “CMD” is a Mac key, the PC key is “CTRL”

2.  Now create the 4 of the following shapes with the pen tool. Use a thick/bold stroke with a fill colour.

  • Save the artboard  as: in your Illustration Unit/Activity 1 folder
  • Save as:  firstlastname_activity1pen.eps in your Illustration Unit/Activity 1 folder
  • export as:  firstlastname_activity1pen.jpg in your Illustration Unit/Activity 1 folder



Part 2 – Posting Your Work:

  • When students complete part 1 and part 2, your saved work must be submitted your Illustration Unit (parent page)/Activity 1 page (sub-page)
  • When students complete part 1,  your saved work must be submitted your OneDrive Illustration Unit Folder
  • Upload and insert your png file into your page.
  • Use captions to identify your image.