Design-A-Day SpoonChallenge: Day 7

Design-A-Day SpoonChallenge Day 7: Vector

Day 7 Design Challenge, #SFDesignADay, SpoonChallenge, Vector Design, Vector, Design Prompt
We're almost halfway through the #SFDesignADay SpoonChallenge! Today's design prompt is brought to you by Ceri Staziker, a veteran Spoonflower Marketplace contributor better known as Cerigwen, specializing in vector designs. Ceri shows us how to get the best vector designs by hand drawing them then cleaning them up with tools like Illustrator or Inkscape to finalize your creation.
Vector Design, #SFDesignADay, SpoonChallenge, Ceri Gwen
Ceri: I use vector artwork for most of my Spoonflower designs. Unlike raster (or pixelated) graphics, vector artwork is comprised of mathematical points and outlines, creating shapes which are able to be scaled up or down in size without any loss to the original quality. I like to fiddle endlessly with my designs on screen — the position, size and colour of each element — and vector graphics allow me to do this very easily.
My job as a graphic designer means that I am used to working with professional software such as Adobe Illustrator which I use to create my vector-based designs. The thought of using this kind of drawing software can be a scary, but Illustrator is increasingly used by more and more people who design as a hobby. There are many tutorials to be found online to get you started, so why not give it a go? Free software is also available to download from the internet, such as Inkscape, which does a great job.
Vector Design, Design Prompt, Ceri Gwen, SpoonChallenge, Design A Day
Here are my tips for getting the best results from your vector drawings. First make a pencil or pen drawing and import it into your application to use as a tracing guide. There are two ways I like to create a vector outline. The ‘Image-Trace’ function in Illustrator can do this automatically for you, or alternatively, you can use the pen tool to manually draw an outline. 
#SFDesignADay, Vector Design, Design Prompts, March SpoonChallenge, Ceri Gwen
As you can see in the illustration above, you get a cleaner, more precise outline when you draw manually. You could refine or clean-up Image-Trace’s attempt, or, draw from scratch with the pen tool, aiming to create your outline with the fewest points possible. This will achieve the smoothest result. As you add each point with the pen tool, just click and drag to create a curve — ‘handles’ appear on the curve which you can manipulate later to refine the shape.
Vector Design, SpoonChallenge, Ceri Gwen, #SFDesignADay
I use Image-Trace when working with complex shapes, or outlines which don’t need to be super smooth, accurate or symmetrical. For example, I used it to replicate a linen texture in the background of my Jaded Valentine design (see enlarged detail below).
Design Challenge, Design A Day Prompt, Vector Design, Ceri Gwen, #SFDesignADay
Vector-based designs can add a new dimension to your portfolio, and are a useful addition to your design toolbox.
Vector Design, Design Challenge, #SFDesignADay, March SpoonChallenge, Ceri Gwen, Vector Design Prompt
Excited to try a new design style? Be sure to post it to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest with #SFDesignADay so we can follow along with you! Still not sure how the Design-A-Day SpoonChallenge works? Check out our FAQs here.
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Today's prompt  has been a bit of a train wreck for me. Vectors may be out of my mental and technological capabilities. I have downloaded two separate versions of Inkscape, and I've frozen and crashed my old computer more times than I can stand.(It was used when I first got it a few years ago) For the brief moments that it has worked, I've embarrassingly found myself floundering and lost, clicking buttons and basically learning how not to make a vector from your artwork.

So I pretty much conceded defeat for the theme and just got on with making a design today. This is a bunch of hand drawn flower sketches put together on the computer, nothing too fancy. I got my linen texture in there and added some bright colors to make the petals really pop.

Royal Flora

Royal Flora II.


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