Archived copy for reference only


Graphic Design / Interactive Design / Fine & Applied Arts / Parkland College

Graphic Design Exercises
Illustrator: Logo (Hot Times)

(Archived from 2019)


To learn Illustrator drawing techniques by recreating the logo below.


The best way to create a logo is by sketching out concepts. The best way to execute a logo is to trace over the sketch in Illustrator. During the tracing process, a lot of interpretation is required. Often, a logo becomes better as a result of interpretation.

By definition, a logo must work in b&w. Therefore all logos are first created without color and approved by the client before color is added. When applying color, Pantone colors are preferred since it has a wider gamut than CMYK. Pantone chips can also be matched with paint and dyes for signage, fabrics and other applications.

If gradients are desired, they must be rendered in CMYK and presented as an alternative color option because it will not be practical to print all applications in 4-color process.


drawing the b&w logo

  1. download starter file
  2. launch Illustrator, file > new (document profile=print)
  3. file > save as ""
  4. file > place "hotTimes.gif" (as template)
  5. create the following layers: box, flames, type (Futura Extra Bold)
  6. draw box and create type
  7. view > outlines (cmd+Y)
  8. select direct select tool, then pen tool
  9. draw the flames using as few anchor points as possible
    (object > document info: objects)
  10. fill with black or white as needed (stroke=none)
  11. save

finishing the b&w logo

  1. save as "hotTimes-bw.pdf" (preset=default)
  2. type > create outlines; ungroup
  3. window > pathfinder: cut flames and type out of box
  4. group extra flames
  5. duplicate art, fill=white
  6. window > swatches: select all unused, delete
  7. save

colorizing the one-color logo

  1. save as "hotTimes-color.pdf"
  2. delete white logo
  3. window > swatch libraries > color books > Pantone solid coated
  4. choose a warm red (PMS 485); apply
  5. draw box to label the PMS color as a swatch
  6. duplicate color logo

colorizing the CMYK logo

  1. expand panels
  2. window > swatches: duplicate PMS 485, convert to CMYK; rename
  3. make new swatch: 15M+85Y
  4. select art: fill=gradient (linear)
  5. window > gradient: assign colors, adjust gradient slider
  6. select logo art
  7. gradient tool: draw vertical line
  8. draw box to label the CMYK colors as swatches
  9. save

colorizing the RGB logo

  1. save as "hotTimes-web.pdf"
  2. delete all art except for gradient version
  3. file> document color mode > RGB (swatches are converted to RGB)
  4. change label to HEX codes
  5. save
  6. delete swatches
  7. file > export > save for web (preset=PNG-24, image size=400px wide, clip to artboard=no)


  1. place all PDFs into InDesign (3 pages)
  2. window > swatches: convert colors to CMYK
  3. add your name and exercise number (on master page)
  4. print b&w laser proof and submit for grading
  5. file your graded proof in your Process Book for individual review

Last updated: 5/7/21