The Basics of Design: How to Master the Pen Tool

The Basics of Design: How to Master the Pen Tool

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Beginner Graphic Designer Tool

I know why you are here. You want to be, or at least have the skills of, a graphic designer! Do you want to learn how to make logos, design icons, or just create basic designs in Adobe Illustrator? There is one thing you must learn about before getting straight into Adobe Illustrator- the pen tool. The pen tool allows you to make things that are outside the usual circle, rectangle, star, and pentagon shapes. You can use the pen tool to make your sketches into clean shapes with crispy lines. The pen, in this case, is mightier than the sword because the sword cannot design your next poster. Bad joke.

I made a practice sheet from scratch to give beginner graphic designers a template to have in their tool kit. Open this file in Illustrator to practice how to make paths with the pen tool. I hope you enjoy it!

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Definitions for the Pen Tool

  • Pen tool: Creates anchor points and handles when you create paths for shapes. Basically, it creates the skeleton of whatever you are designing.
  • Add Anchor Point Tool: Use to create more anchor point on a path. All you do is click on the path to make a new anchor point.
  • Delete Anchor Point Tool: Use to delete anchor points on a path. Use it by Clicking on an anchor point you do not want.
  • Anchor Point Tool: Can use to create a regular anchor point to have handles or move handles created by an anchor point.
  • Anchor Point: Point that is created using the pen tool. Creates a sharp edge and sets up the structure for paths.
  • Handles: Part of an anchor point that is created when you click and drag. Creates curved edges.
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