Daily Archives: March 26, 2011

Olive Branch Tutorial

Today I will show you how to make a simple Olive Branch Symbol. As I mentioned before, there are different ways to recreate a symbol but I’ll teach my own method first.

What You’ll Be Making:


  • Illustrator CS5
  • Transform Tool
  • Anchor Points
  • Strokes Profile


1. A. Make a new document and make a circle using the Ellipse Tool with a black stroke or with any color you want.

B. Make the stroke thicker if needed and choose Width Profile 1 (looks like a doulbe-covnex lens shape) from the default profiles.

NOTE: If you’re using different versions of Illustrator, use a long, thin triangle artbrush on a semi-circle.

2. A. Use the pen-tool to add two anchor-points on two sides (near the topmost anchor-point) of the circle (see picture for help).

B. Use the white arrow tool to select the topmost anchor-point and delete it. Your object should look like what you see below.

3. A. Draw somewhere else and away from the “stalk”.  Use the Ellipse Tool to draw a circle with some color fill and no stroke.

B. Use the white arrow to select the topmost anchor-point and move it up some significant distance.

4. A. When your selection is perfected, move up the texture layer above your working photograph layer. You will still see the dashed outline on top of all the layers.

B. With the anchor-point selected, click the button (that looks like a square with straight lines sticking out from its right and bottom side). This will convert the selected anchor-point to a “corner.”

5. With the leaf perfected, move it on the bottom of our “stalk.” Make sure to rotate it so it looks like it sticking out of the stalk. Copy this leaf onto the opposite side so it’s equidistant from the center of the stalk.

6. A. With one leaf selected, go to Effect>Distort and Transform>Transform… .

B. A window should show up. Input values and click preview to see what you’re doing. Adjust the scale (vertical and horizontal) so it’s less than 100%. Adjust the movement with a negative vertical value and a positive horizontal value. Adjust the rotation (positive value) as well. I recommend having 9 copies. Fine-tune the value to get an effect like you see below.

C. Transform the leaf on the other side as well. Switch the positive to negatives or vice versa if needed.

7. A. Go to Object>Expand appearance to expand all the leaves into individual objects.

B. You should see all the leaves having a blue outlining which indicates an editable object.

8. A. Add the same leaf shape above the original bottom leaf and rotate it so it looks like it sticks out of the stalk as well. Copy the leaf on the other side so it’s equidistant from the center of the stalk like last time.

B. Add a transformation effect to it as well. Adjust the values as needed.

C. Add a transformation effect to the other side as well. Adjust the values as needed.

D. Expand the appearance for these two transformations as well.

9. Finally add the same leaf shape to tips of the stalk shape. Add some color to it if you want.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and learned something new.


Re: Senior

Not only did I redo the buttons from Junior year but I also recreated the Senior Awards Evening covers for Senior graduation. I have many tutorials to post but I’ll start with a “Making a…” first with one object you can see in the picture.

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