Toy Tech: Adobe Illustrator Width Tool




As you know, Adobe Illustrator is used for many tasks within our industry, creating ideation sketches, final art, design specs and various types of paint opts. This post illustrates a specific technique that will help you refine your line art to have more character and esthetic appeal.

In Adobe Illustrator CC 2015, you can use the Width Tool (Shift+W Mac OS) to make lines thicker or thinner with a simple click and drag technique. Yes, gone are the days of adjusting and re-adjusting your line work until your head is ready to explode.

The Width tool, which is so easy to miss on the toolbar, allows you to create interesting shapes and line variations without much fuss. Also, this humble little tool adds so much to your line work, avoiding the look of the bland mechanical looking outlines by varying the thickness of the widths.

Disney artists were really big on this at the Mouse Factory. Man alive—thick and thin—over and over like a mantra. Why were they so adamant about this you ask in wide-eyed wonder? Well, this esthetic rule really adds form and movement, as well as, emotional impact to your overall design sketch. As Austin Powers would say, “It makes it groovy, baby!”

So, from creating complex shapes to just adding a few well-placed accents of line variations to bring polish to your work, this Adobe Width Tool will make a huge difference in visual impact and speed with your department’s design workflow.



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