Beeautiful Illustration

Sep 24

No, that’s not a typo in the headline. Just a fun play on words. I’m going to show you how I created a beeautiful illustration that became the basis for the Happy Hive logo. Happy Hive is a blog about organization and home decor run by my wife. Let’s get started.

The inspiration for the logo came naturally from the name. So the first thing I did was grab a pencil and start sketching a bee hive.

My Original Bee Hive Sketch

My Original Bee Hive Sketch

Once I completed my drawing, I used my ancient Epson scanner to scan the image.

Let me take a moment to discuss why I didn’t ink my drawing before scanning it. I’m always worried that one inking mistake can ruin an entire drawing. And in this instance, I was really happy about the way my sketch came out— so I wasn’t willing to take any chances. By scanning my image, I could print out multiple copies and then do the inking on one of the print outs. If I messed up, I could just print out another version and try inking again.

One great trick is to take your scanned image into Photoshop and then reduce the opacity of the image. By reducing the opacity of the image, it makes it easier to ink over it on the printout.

Inking Applied to My Bee Hive Sketch

Inking Applied to My Bee Hive Sketch

After I was happy with my inked image, I scanned the image again. I brought the scanned image into Illustrator and used the Live Trace feature to get a nice clean vector image.

When I’m working in Illustrator, I like to keep all of my working files in magenta. I find the bright-bold color really makes it easy to see the details of your artwork.

My Sketch Turned Into a Vector Image with Live Trace

My Sketch Turned Into a Vector Image with Live Trace

Once I had my vector image, I applied the final touches by adding the Happy Hive name and some colors. I wanted the colors to give it a clean modern look (to contrast the vintage look of the logo), so I chose a combination of gray and yellow. For the type treatment, I chose a font that matched the hand-drawn look of the bee hive. That’s all it takes! I hope this inspires you to create your own hand-drawn logo.

Finished Happy Hive Logo

Finished Happy Hive Logo