Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Zig zags in Illustrator

My son just started Kindergarten and I wanted to practice my Adobe Illustrator skills, however small, by creating him a special sign to hold for photos. I had an idea to create zig zags within a large letter K, but I had no idea how to easily create a zig-zag line.

A little searching on the Internet and I came across this tutorial on the blog web designer wall (you'll find some other great tips there as well). Here are my step-by-step instructions for creating a zig-zag line.

Start by creating a straight line with your Line Segment Tool. I have changed the color and the stroke weight to 30.
With your line selected, click on the Effects tab and scroll to Distort & Transform and then click on Zig Zag.
This opens a dialog box where you can adjust the attributes of your zig zag line. The "Size" slide bar adjusts the height of each zig and zag and the "Ridges per segment" slide bar adjusts the number of peaks within your line.
The default zig zag settings in my program.
In this version I increased the size and the number of ridges to seven, creating more zigs and zags.
Choosing the Smooth radio button allows you to create a rounded transition between your peaks and valleys.
A simple concept, but it was new to me as I continue to explore Adobe Illustrator as a complete novice. I should note that I did this tutorial in CS2, but the effect is still available in the latest version of Illustrator.

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