Create a Vintage Linocut Logo Effect

Posted by on Oct 10, 2013 in All, Tutorial | 6 Comments
Create a Vintage Linocut Logo Effect

This tutorial will cover how to create a linocut effect in illustrator. Linocut is a printmaking technique where a block of linoleum is carved with chisels and then the block is inked and pressed onto paper or fabric. 

 

Ben Brush Design Linotype effect tutorial

Start with an image you want to base your linocut design off of. I chose this photo of a manual coffee grinder.

 

Ben Brush Design Linotype effect tutorial

Trace all of the major shapes in the design using the pen tool and fill them with black. Use negative space and gaps in the black fill to make the outlines. I added a coffee bean for detail on the brass plate during this step.

 

Ben Brush Design Linotype effect tutorial

Because linocuts are made with V-shaped knives cutting into a  linoleum block, we want to make the detail lines pointed at both ends. An easy way to do this is to select the line, and change the setting under the PROFILE drop down in the STROKE options window.

Make sure to draw in all of these details using the same color white.

 

Ben Brush Design Linotype effect tutorial

Another way to make these pointed detail lines is the width tool, which can be used to shape the width of a stroke, making it thick in the middle and narrowing on both ends.

 

Ben Brush Design Linotype effect tutorial

Select all of the detail strokes (SELECT > SAME > STROKE COLOR,) and go to OBJECT > EXPAND APPEARANCE.

Ben Brush Design Linotype effect tutorial

With all of the white now expanded, select the entire image and in the Pathfinder window select Divide. This cuts out all of the white detail from the black background image.

 

Ben Brush Design Linotype effect tutorial

Select all of the white (SELECT > SAME > FILL COLOR) and delete it.

 

Ben Brush Design Linotype effect tutorial

Now that the logo has all the linocut style detail, it’s time to give it a rougher, stamped look. Use the roughen effect (EFFECT > DISTORT & TRANSFORM > ROUGHEN) to give the crisp straight lines some subtle variation. The settings listed above worked well while the logo was about 12 inches wide.

I picked up this technique from Chris Spooner who I believe said he got it from Simon Walker.

 

Ben Brush Design Linotype effect tutorial

After you have applied the roughen effect expand it ( OBJECT > EXPAND APPEARANCE. )

 

Ben Brush Design Linotype effect tutorial

It’s time to add a little more distress. For this I used a light vector distress texture from Chris Spooner’s Vector Bumper Pack. Place the texture over the logo and change its color to white. Using the pathfinder again select “DIVIDE”

Now is a good time to mention that Chris Spooner has teamed up with Design Cuts for a limited time to offer a full 1 year membership, and access to all of his design resources like this vector texture set for just SEVEN DOLLARS. I cannot recommend that deal enough.

 

Ben Brush Design Linotype effect tutorial

Select all of the white texture ( SELECT > SAME > FILL COLOR ) and delete it. Now you have a vector linocut effect logo.

 

Ben Brush Design Linotype effect tutorial

To add an extra level of realism, we can add some raster texture to it in Photoshop. To do this, copy the vector logo, and paste it onto a layer in Photoshop as a smart object.

 

Ben Brush Design Linotype effect tutorial

Place a high res texture file ( also available from the Design Cuts deal ) on a layer above the logo. Right click on the texture layer and select CREATE CLIPPING MASK. This will isolate the texture to the logo and remove it from the background.

 

Ben Brush Design Linotype effect tutorial

Change the Blending Mode to LIGHTEN and the opacity to 70% and you are done!

Familiar Grounds Ben Brush Design

 

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About 

Ben Brush is a graphic designer working and living in Nova Scotia.

6 Comments

  1. Tom Ross
    October 10, 2013

    This is SO awesome Ben! Seriously amazing work, and I love your attention to detail with the shapes and texture application.

    We’re honored that you were inspired to create this from our deal with Chris, and we hope you get a ton of use from all your new items.

    Now I’m off to share this with the rest of the team :).

    Reply
  2. Michael
    October 12, 2013

    Hi Ben, I’m having a little trouble when it comes to applying the initial texture. Can you further expand on the steps between placing the texture image and using Divide in the Pathfinder. I can’t seem to achieve what you’re doing. Thanks and great tutorial!

    Reply
    • Ben Brush
      October 12, 2013

      Thanks for checking out the tutorial Michael.

      What is going wrong when you try?

      I’ll try explaining a little more in depth.

      First, make sure the texture you have is vector, Chris Spooner’s will work, or I have one available here http://benbrushdesign.com/free-vector-texture-pack/

      Place the texture over your logo (it will be easier if it’s a different colour) and then select both the logo and the texture and click divide.

      Once that’s done you make have to un-group the texture and image before deleting the texture.

      Reply
      • Michael
        October 14, 2013

        Opps – I was using a different texture set. Problem solved! Thanks again :)

        Reply
  3. My Top Links of the Month for October 18th 2013
    October 18, 2013

    […] Create a Vintage Linocut Logo Effect in Illustrator […]

    Reply
  4. Mary Thoma
    July 17, 2014

    Hello, I am not a professional designer as yourself. I am wondering if the “illustrator” application will translate over to video? I am working on a project to artfully craft a video showcasing the power of the arts to impact the lives of persons with dementia. The video must be beautifully done in order to fulfill my vision and creating automated graphics from photographs or video seems a good fit.

    Reply

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