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Illustrator Help
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Aug 2, 2014, 04:36 PM
 
I have a logo (.eps) file which was built by someone else out of various shapes. Rectangles, triangles, circles, ovals etc.

I need to convert it so I can have someone print it on a vinyl cutter for me. This means I need to keep the outline as it is but get rid of the 'construction lines' inside the shape.

I don't know illustrator at all. Can anyone tell me how to do this? I just need to know what the tool or technique is called, then I can google for tutorials on it.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Aug 2, 2014, 10:40 PM
 
Sounds like you need to use pathfinder to unify the paths. look under the tools/windows for the palette.
     
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Aug 3, 2014, 12:22 PM
 
Yup. Pathfinder is the tool you need to use. The specific Pathfinder tool you need is the first one in the palette. It looks like a small and a large square have been joined together. Highlight all the shapes you need combined, and then click the Pathfinder tool button. This should create a single object out of the bunch of objects.

If you need help with it, I'll be glad to run it through Pathfinder for you.
     
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Aug 4, 2014, 02:48 PM
 
Thanks for this guys. Its kind of complicated the way the various shapes overlap. I'm not sure I can get away with just combining them all into one shape.

The final logo looks like this but on a black square:



Its the teeth that are complicating it. Each tooth is a trapezium which is partially overlapped by two ovals. The trapezium is white and the ovals are black but they sit on top of the trapezium but underneath the white semicircular portion of the cog.
Am I going to have to change the way its constructed? Cut up the oval sections?
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Aug 4, 2014, 02:57 PM
 
OK, I'm starting to get the hang of it now. I almost have it unified as a single shape. Just got to deal with those pesky black ovals.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Aug 4, 2014, 02:57 PM
 
I'd have to take a look at the actual file to see how it was constructed, but, from your description, it definitely sounds like whoever built it didn't have a concept of compound paths or how to build complex shapes. That gear wouldn't be too hard to build as a single object.
     
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Aug 4, 2014, 04:43 PM
 
Posted the original file here for 30 days.

http://www.filedropper.com/mcengineerrotatefinal_2

I think I just need to combine things in the right order.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Aug 4, 2014, 05:13 PM
 
Oh, man.
That's one crazy piece of construction there.

I actually get a lot of jobs like this...ad or logo art provided by the client that's not put-together properly. Most of the time, it's just easier for me to re-create it from scratch, because the methods the original person used are just poorly thought-out or plain wrong. This is definitely one of those.

By the way...The arc of the gear isn't even. It's more of an oval than a perfect circle.
( Last edited by Thorzdad; Aug 4, 2014 at 05:23 PM. )
     
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Aug 4, 2014, 05:51 PM
 
It looked elaborate to me too but I confess I've misused tools to do things in ways I know how rather than taking the time to learn the proper way. I've really never needed Illustrator before now so I can't really criticise.

I can't get the shapes that make up the teeth to merge the way I need them to. I got close but no cigar.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Aug 4, 2014, 05:53 PM
 
For some reason it just seems to delete most of the teeth.
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Aug 4, 2014, 06:00 PM
 
OK, might be getting somewhere now.

Does this look like it would cut out right?

http://www.filedropper.com/mcengineerrotatefinalcut2

I see what you mean about certain bits not being quite right.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Aug 4, 2014, 06:03 PM
 
If you zoom in really close to where the teeth meet the edge of the gear, you'll see that most of them don't actually touch or overlap the edge of the gear. Because they don't meet, when you do the Join function, the teeth that don't touch are eliminated.

This was another flaw in the art that I found. In fact, one of the teeth isn't even complete. An entire edge is missing. This one reason why I usually end up re-building things from scratch. In the end, it's easier than trying to save bad work.

I got the main part of the gear and teeth built. I can send it to you if you want. I'm working out the triangular voids in the middle right now. Guess what? They aren't symmetrical.
     
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Aug 4, 2014, 06:14 PM
 
PM sent
     
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Aug 4, 2014, 06:42 PM
 
Do post the final cleaned up art. The suspense, it is intense.
     
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Aug 4, 2014, 06:50 PM
 
Here's what I managed to put together.
That was some fun problem solving!

For vinyl cutters, it's really important that your vector art have only the lines you want to have cut. Basically, the plotter reads all the paths in your vector art and cuts the vinyl along those lines. So, you can see what kind of mess that original art was going to be. A lot of plotter software would have probably crashed trying to make sense of it. Similarly, any text (like the MC2) has to be converted to paths.

Speaking of software...Make sure you ask what file format and version the plotter will accept. The last time I did art for a vinyl plotter, I had to save the file in as old of an eps/ai version as my copy of Illustrator would write. A lot of those machines (and their software) are ancient.
( Last edited by Thorzdad; Aug 4, 2014 at 07:21 PM. )
     
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Aug 4, 2014, 07:21 PM
 
That looks spot on. Thanks so much!

This whole effort is so I can get some stickers made up to put on my flight case(s). Hopefully they'll look awesome when they're done.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Aug 4, 2014, 07:39 PM
 
     
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Aug 5, 2014, 10:51 AM
 
great job!

A lot of people don't know when they have a logo designed, it's still best practice to have a clean b/w version for just this type of purpose... no gradients or web 2.0 glossy effects. A good logo will still look good without those.
     
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Aug 5, 2014, 11:49 AM
 
I welcome any comments on the logo itself if either of you have any.

My generous new sign writer friend has made up a couple of stickers for me. I'll post a pic once I have them applied to the flight case.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Aug 5, 2014, 11:55 AM
 
Evaluating a logo depends on what the business is. Mechanical engineer? Ok. Organic turnip farm? Not so much.
     
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Aug 6, 2014, 08:41 AM
 
It sounds like the original "artist" didn't know where he/she was going when he/she constructed the logo in the first place. It's kinda hard to use tools "properly" when you sort of make it all up as you go. Which is why when I do something creative like this, I often re-do the whole thing once I figure out where I'm going with it.

As for misusing software tools, I still use PowerPoint to make simple mechanical drawings. I've used it to create/recreate forms, (and incorporated those into presentations teaching the use of those forms), to make simple electronic schematics, and many other engineering/graphic design/whatever projects. For me it's about using a tool you know - even if it's clunkier than the purpose-built tool that's "perfect" for the job at hand.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Aug 6, 2014, 07:31 PM
 
I'm in IT.

Mostly installation and support and the odd repair. I'm an ACN member and still certified to work on most Macs as well.
ACNs are not allowed to use 'Mac' in any name, website etc they own or use, but my surname starts Mc so I figured it was a nifty little play on that.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
   
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