Reimagined Road Sign Tutorial

I know we are past the visual assignments week in #ds106, but since I submitted the Reimagined Road Signs visual assignment, I should provide some how to. I am also using this post to submit my fourth visual assignment, which I didn’t finish yesterday because I was packing for a month in the UK.

The assignment description is:

Reimagine the scene in a road sign. What is going on outside the iconic depiction in the sign itself? Find a road sign image online or photograph it yourself. Redraw it to show the rest of the scene you imagine, and show us the before/after on your blog.

Before

After

after

Credit: To create the finished version I used Photoshop and Illustrator to create a mashup of my original photo plus Michael Jackson Silhouette by munchester2cool.

How To

Illustrator purists get annoyed with me for showing anyone how to use LiveTrace, but I don’t care, I think it’s a really useful alternative when you just need to get a quick and dirty vector image. I suggest you don’t rely on this technique as a crutch though, because you can make much cleaner paths by working with the Pen Tool, and it is well worth learning. Also, LiveTrace does not work well in all situations, but for this assignment it is nearly perfect.


Watching the YouTube version is your best bet; it should look good played at full screen (especially if you switch up to 720p). The QuickTime version is included for anyone who subscribes to my podcast via iTunes.

So, this tutorial should be useful for either the Reimagined Road Signs assignment or the Four Icon Challenge. Anytime you want to make an icon actually. And it covers:

  • Advanced image searches using Google (to find images licensed for reuse)
  • Illustrator: LiveTrace for pasted or placed pixel-based graphics, Rotate, Erase tool, working with Layers
  • Photoshop: Quick Select and Magic Wand tools, Threshhold adjustment, Transform (skew) tool
  • And much more!

I hope this has been useful. Your feedback on the tutorial would be awesome. Share and enjoy!

This entry was posted in #ds106, art, blog, digital storytelling, screencast, video, vlog and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Reimagined Road Sign Tutorial

  1. I know the Illustrator purists are pen tool all the way, which I like as well. More decisions made with your own drawing. But LiveTrace is awesome for quick and dirty work. And I do think that depending on how much effort you make to prepare an image there is a lot of creative decision making happening.

    Great tutorial!

  2. Pingback: Buck’s Revenge | mbransons

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