About this lesson
Download this lesson’s exercise file.Arc and Spiral.docx
Arc and Spiral
Showing how you can use the Line Tool along with the Arc and Spiral Tools.
When to use
Using the Arc and Spiral Tools are a great way to create decorative elements, flourishes, or corner elements for your designs, especially when combined with some of the other options found in the Stroke Panel.
- In a new document, grab your Line Segment Tool.
- Click and drag out a line and make sure you have a black stroke and no fill to create a basic black line.
- Return to the Line Segment Tool but this time click and hold on the tool icon to reveal the Arc and Spiral Tools.
- Select the Arc Tool and then click and drag on your canvas and notice how the appearance of the line shifts as you move your cursor around.
- Now do the same thing while holding down the Alt/Option keys.
- You can also double click on the Arc Tool selected to reveal a dialog box that allows you to have even more control over the customization of your arc.
- In this dialog box you can preview changes such as the type of line, the slope, whether or not you want to fill the arc or leave it empty, and the length along the X and Y axis. You can also choose which corner you would like to be rounded.
- Now switch to your Spiral Tool and click and drag on your artboard. Notice how the line changes as you move your cursor around.
- Try the same thing only holding the Alt/Option key while you move your cursor to create a deeper or shorter spiral.
- You can also hold the Command/Ctrl+Shift keys while dragging around to change the length of the spiral.
- Experiment with the different types of lines that you can create, and also try changing the weight, cap, and profile of the lines to see how it changes the appearance of your lines.
- If you wanted to create a decorative flourish in Illustrator, one of the best ways to do it would be with the Spiral Tool. You can add a rounded cap to the line and then use the Width Tool (Shift+W) to vary the thickness of the line in certain spots.
- You can also change the profile of your line from the Stroke Panel and try reversing it by clicking on the small icon that looks like two arrows facing each other next to the profile dropdown.
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