In this tutorial we will learn how to create a business card, which has a spiral pattern. Trajectory of these elements can be easily managed using the Extend Path Tool (VectorScribe plug-in). After reading today's tutorial, you will master this tool and you can create your own design. Spiral elements are very common in various kinds of ornaments. In addition, to speed up the workflow we will use MirrorMe plug-in. Business card has a symmetric design, then this tool will definitely work.
Run Adobe Illustrator and create a new document (File > New …). Set the sizes of the artboard, which correspond to the standard business card sizes in the UK (85x55mm), bleeds (6mm) and CMYK color mode.
Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a rectangle of the size of artboard with black fill.
Create a new layer in the Layers panel, in which you will create patterns. According to my idea the pattern on the business card is symmetrical. Therefore, to speed up the process, use the MirrorMe plugin. Take MirrorMe Tool and click with its pointer in the center of the artboard. Set the quantity of the axes of symmetry equal to 2. This can be done in the tool's panel (Window > MirrorMe > MirrorMe panel) or by using the square bracket keys ([ – to reduce and ] ñmdash; to increase the quantity of axes). Now click on the "Apply to Layer" button in the MirrorMe panel or in the Annotation system.
Now all that we draw in the active sector will be immediately reflected in the rest of the sectors. For more convenient work reduce the Level of layer axes overlay opacity in the tool's panel.
Create two line segments with light gray stroke and without fill at the angle of 45 degrees in the active sector using the Line Tool () and holding Shift key.
Now draw two more inclined at the angle of 45 degrees straight-line segments as it is shown in the picture below.
Take the Scissors Tool (C) and cut the closest to the center straight-line segment at point A.
Delete the upper part of this segment.
I'm going to extend this path to a spiral, so it's time to put to work the Extend Path Tool, which is a new tool of the VectorScribe v2.1 plug-in.
Open the Extend Path Preferences dialog window, to do this, double click on the tool's icon in the Tools panel, or press the Return/ Enter key. Choose Spiral Extension mode and tick "Use Fixed Radius of …"
We can choose from four Extension modes (Single Bezier, Constant Radius, Straight, Spiral) and switching between them can be done also by using E shortcut.
Click on the endpoint selected segment, holding down the mouse button. As you can see, there was a preview of the future spiral.
To reverse curvature press the V key.
In my plans this spiral should not cross the axis of symmetry, so we need to change its fixed radius. Left Arrow key (to decrease) and Right Arrow key (to increase the radius) are intended for these purposes. Click on the Left Arrow key until you get the desired result.
We can also change the Winding Constant of the created spiral. To do this, use the Up Arrow key (to increase) and Down Arrow key (to reduce winding constant). I reduced the constant by repeatedly pressing the Down Arrow key.
After the annotation meets our requirements, move the tool pointer to a new position of the endpoint on the spiral and release mouse button.
Using Extend Path Tool and paths created in the third step, I think you will easily draw other spiral elements, which are shown in the picture below.
Continue create new paths extended with spirals. The Extend Path Tool allows very precisely and easy adjust spirals to the adjacent elements of our design.
To decorate the ornament, create a few circles, squares and X- shaped spiral element in the gap between the lines.
After all the symmetrical elements are created, click on the Remove Axes button in the MirrorMe panel.
Draw a vertical straight-line segment that we will extend along a spiral path, using the Extend Path Tool.
I created this design element after removal of the axes of symmetry, because it crosses them and cannot be created in the "Apply to Layer" mode. Now we can make a symmetrical copy of this path using the Reflect Tool (O).
Now we can place the logo in the center of the business card and remove parts of the paths that go beyond the artboard.
Do not forget that all your designs need to be well presented to the customer. For visualization, I used the Silver Stamping Logo MockUp, which you can download here.
Download the artwork
Click here for Illustrator CS5 and above…