Simplest Document Setup for a Logo

My goal is to create a logo. It doesn’t have to be a Paul Rand quality logo. Instead, I just gotta like it. Adobe Illustrator (AI) is a fine tool for the job.

AI is flexible. Working in it feels more to me like programming than illustration. Don’t get me wrong though, it is a tool for designers, and, I am not. Although every Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) application includes at least one built in JavaScript interpreter, I am not talking about programming here. Instead the similarities between programming and illustrating are that

  • You are working in your cognitive space with the computer as the meta-medium
  • Creativity ebbs and flows, it is critical
  • So too having a plan is critical

My plan follows.

This is my first attempt. It will be wrong in most ways and right in some.

As I learn more I will revise this document.


  • The destination (artifacts)
    • Create a logo
    • Use it for
      • Website favicon
      • WordPress
      • Social sites
      • Letterhead
      • Business cards
      • Signs
      • Posters
      • Smartphones (Android and iOS)
  • The means (attributes of the process of reaching the destination)
    • Version control: branching and tagging
    • Keeping AI quick: font manager?
    • Training: more required?
    • Re-use: utilize dynamic symbols to use logo across destinations
      • Artboards too
    • Leverage all of AI’s placement tools

Where do I begin?


Adobe Illustrator CC Tutorial – Training Taught By Experts rocks. It demonstrates how to do tons of stuff. Although zero coding is involved, programmers will find the cognitive and technical flow familiar and fun. This was enough to get producing something versus nothing. More though it prepared me for taking advantage of the great AI resources on the AI website. That website also rocks. The rest of the blogosphere also became my trawling site

What do I plan to do with this desire and training?




  • Start AI
  • File → New
  • Name: TBD
  • Profile: Print
  • Number of Artboards: 4
    • Because
      • Logo
      • Banner
      • Banner with Slogan
      • Business Card
      • Do I need a 16×16 Artboard for the Favicon or do I just create it on export?
    • Arranged by: Column
  • Units: Pixels
  • Width and Height: full numbers, pixels cannot be fractional
  • Color Mode: CMYK
  • Raster Effects: High (300ppi)
    • “printers need at least 300 pixels for each inch”
    • “Note: you don’t have to worry about DPI for vector objects created in Illustrator or CorelDRAW — they print well at any size. The DPI relates only to bitmap images traditionally handled by Photoshop.”
      • So why are we worrying about this?
      • We aren’t worrying. We are just planning on making the document “Pixel Perfect” so that when it is send to “Web” media it will minimize anti-aliasing. That is why we’re using Pixels everywhere.
  • Preview Mode: Pixel
  • Align New Objects to Pixel Grid: TRUE
  • OK
  • Verify the Artboards are positioned correctly
    • Go into Pixel Preview mode
    • Verify the Artboard is aligned
    • If not, align it with the Artboard Tool
      • It should snap into place


  • Document Raster Effects Settings → High (300 ppi)
    • Should already be set


  • General
    • Keyboard Increment → 1px
  • Selection & Anchor Display
    • Snap to Point: 8px
  • Units
    • General: Pixels
      • Should already be set
    • Stroke: Pixels
      • Should already be set
    • Type: Pixels
      • Should already be set
  • Guides and Grid
    • Gridline every: 64px
    • Subdivisions: 8px
    • Note: Try 1 and 1 for ultimate control

Transformation (Scaling)

  • Check “Align to Pixel Grid” if it is not already checked

View (Moving)

  • Snap to Pixel → True
  • Snap to Point → True



  • Open Logo
  • 5“x5”
  • Width: 2400px
  • Height: 2400px
  • Unsure what the last two do because the Artboard is not configured with those dimensions
  • Constrain proportions: true
  • To set the Artboard dimensions correctly
    • File → Document Setup → Edit Artboards
  • Panel Menu → Rearrange Artboards

Dynamic Symbol

  • Draw the parts
  • Select all of them
  • Symbol Panel Menu → New Symbol
    • Name: TBD
    • Export Type: Graphic
    • Symbol Type: Dynamic
    • Enable guide for 9-Slice Scaling: No
    • Align to Pixel Grid: YES
  • Delete it and place it again


  • Begin implementation


  • Accept the defaults
    • No personal experience with deviating
  • Verify warnings are acceptable

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *