fp6I’ve been designing a new look for Tandem Exchange Online and, as it facilitates pairing students to learn different languages, came up with the idea of having people icons made up of different flags. As the images will be used for both print and web I used Illustrator to create the artwork. However, my people icons (thankyou Mr Lyndon!) were created using two paths – one for the head and one for the body. I tried finding a tutorial that would make both paths a ‘clipping mask’ but in the end had to work it out myself. Here’s how to do it (more for me in case I forget – which is likely!)

I used Adobe Illustrator CS3

  • Select both the paths that make up the ‘person’ and make a ‘compound path’ (Object > Compound Path > Make)
  • Drag the flag image into the same group layer making sure it’s at the bottom of the stack (as I was using gifs downloaded from the web I had to convert them to RGB and up the resolution to 300 dpi). Rotate and put into correct position.
  • Select all and make ‘clipping mask’ (Object > Clipping Path > Make)
  • Edit ‘clipping mask’ (click icon on top toolbar) and stroke (in this case 2 pixels)

et voila!