AGP: Graphics & Illustration – Week 1


Create a series of related badges in Adobe Illustrator that either deal with a set of skills or a progression of difficulty, challenge or level. Post your reflection on what you learned, what was difficult and what was easy.


I decided to attempt the alternative challenge and create a Badge Set series that portray a small selection of personality traits. I opted for this theme because they could be quite useful when applied to social media profiles or even creative CV’s.

When thinking what traits I would try and portray, I made the concious decision to select those which could coincide with the various icons found on digital media applications and websites. This would allow me to keep the graphics simple while providing good reference for a starting point. You can find these icons either by Google Image search or by visiting sites that offer them such asIcoMoon.

After a quick search I opted for the Geo-location icon which could mean an explorer, the light bulb/idea icon which could mean a thinker and the familiar pencil icon which tends to represent the ‘create’ action or for my portrayal; a creator.

Even though I have used Illustrator before, I discovered new ways of working from watching the Class 1 video, and I tried to only use the methods and techniques demonstrated by Ben. Pressing ‘Alt’ and drawing from the centre is my new best friend!

I think it should be apparent how I created most aspects of the designs. I just copied the techniques Ben used and combined them with my own unique twist to hopefully create some original badges. The only aspect where I had to resort to my prior knowledge was to create the filament for the light bulb. I tried to create this using basic shapes but I couldn’t get it to look acceptable. I also tried the badge without the filament but it looked too simple. I therefore had to use the pen tool (which I’m sure we’ll look at soon) in order to create a path that resembled the filament.

One tip I would like to share with the community is how I created a consistent gap between the ribbon and the badge. I was tempted to just use a thick stroke on the badge which has the same colour as the background. However, when saving out each badge with a transparent background, I could no longer get away with this. I then tried to make a copy of the badge (which is a circle that has the ‘Zig Zag’ filter applied), scale it up and use the’Pathfinder’ tool (again, from my previous knowledge), to cut away the resulting shape from my ribbon. This didn’t work at first because the ‘Zig Zag’ tool only modifies the path at an artboard level meaning that the ‘Pathfinder’ tool will still treat it as a circle. You must first ‘Expand’ the shape so the points can be applied to the path.

I really enjoyed working on this task. I have taught something similar to my students during their introduction to Illustrator, but I might use this example in future as it allows more creative freedom and the video from Ben & Greg does an excellent job of introducing the tools and basic methodologies. Also, the theme of ‘badges’ is something all of my students would relate to. Excellent work guys!