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The Pen Tool


Yes. The dreaded pen tool. Both friend and foe and more often than not it is the latter. When you are first introduced to the pen tool it seems simple enough but that’s until you want to attempt the most stupid shape on earth.

Hello Kitty’s head.

But seriously there are some forms such as a cursive type or cutting out a person that are just so complex that utilizing the pen tool actually ends up being more of a hassle rather than being helpful. I almost gave up on any hope of learning how to use it until, luckily, my procrastination on Youtube prevailed. Now I might have a chance at not being sucky anymore.

I follow a youtuber named William Paterson who is a UK based graphic *slash* logo designer. He puts up a ton of useful tutorials regarding illustrator and designing logos but one day he uploaded a video that blew my mind, Super Junior style. In this video Paterson shows his viewers how to create the perfect curves with pen tool.

Essentially his technique involves reducing the points to horizontal and vertical directions only for the most part. This was absolutely perfect for me because I attempted to use illustrator to make my personal logo. I thought, “Child’s play. It can’t be that hard. Even I can do this, right?” WRONG. It sucked. But thanks to Paterson I redeemed myself. As you see below.



I am not a pen tool master but hopefully with these videos I will be able to get there. One day.

And I hope some of you will find this helpful. You can also watch Ste Bradbury Design for more tips and tricks. He is yet another UK graphic designer that put up a video on how to create a logotype where he used an identical technique with the pen tool. Skip to 10:05 if you want to see the pen tool used in action.


  1. kcolema7 wrote:

    THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS. I’ve come a looooong way since I first used the pen tool but I still get frustrated sometimes when it comes to curves and cursive lettering. This video was a huge help! thank you!

    Monday, October 26, 2015 at 9:00 am | Permalink
  2. Hannah C wrote:

    Oh man, I am so glad you posted this! Thank you! This was very informative and helpful! 😀

    Friday, October 30, 2015 at 12:04 pm | Permalink
  3. Crista wrote:

    Your welcome, Hannah!

    Wednesday, November 4, 2015 at 2:59 pm | Permalink
  4. Skye wrote:

    I always get frustrated when I use pen tool both in Illustrator or Photoshop, it requires so much patience and skills! This video helps a lot and I will practice with it! Thank you!

    Friday, November 13, 2015 at 11:04 am | Permalink
  5. Crista wrote:

    Your welcome. ^_^

    Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 3:06 pm | Permalink
  6. balhumai wrote:

    This is just the right time to post this<3 thanks a lot its so useful

    Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 6:06 pm | Permalink