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Andrei Marius On July - 7 - 2011

Hi there. In the following tutorial I will show you how to create a simple penguin character. The twenty-seven detailed steps wil introduce you to the basic tools and shape building techniques. After you create the starting paths, you will add some basic colors and effects. Finally, you will learn some basic stuff about the bleding techniques.

  • Difficulty: Beginner – Intermediate
  • Estimated Completion Time: 1 hour
  • Number of Steps: 17

This is what you’ll be creating:

preview

Step 01

Create a 255 by 255px document. First, turn on the Grid (View > Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Next, you’ll need a grid every 5px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides > Grid, enter 5 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box. You can also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shapes. Do not forget to replace the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Unit > General. Al these options will significantly increase your work speed.

Step 02

Let’s start with the Rectangle Tool(M). Create an 190 by 220px shape, fill it with any color and remove the stroke. Select this fresh shape and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 110px radius, click OK then go to Effect > Warp > Fisheye. Drag the Bend slider at 20%, click OK then go to Object > Expand Appearance.

Step 03

Continue with the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 70 by 180px shape and go to Effect > Warp > Fisheye. Drag the Bend slider at 30%, click OK then go to Object > Expand Appearance.

Step 04

Select the two shapes created so far and add a copy in back (Control + C > Control + B). Turn off the visibility for these fresh copies, you will need them later. Select the remaing, visible shapes and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resdulting shape with R=224 G=20 B=72.

Step 05

Select the shape created in the previous step and go to Effect > 3D > Extrude&Bevel. Enter the data shown in the following image, click OK then go to Object > Expand Appearance.

Step 06

Let’s focus on the Layers panel. You should find a simple group. Click on the little arrow icons until, find the Clipping Paths (pointed by the arrows in the following image) and delete them all. Now, select the shapes shown in the first image, click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel and fill the resulting path with R=131 G=5 B=42. Fill the remainging shape with R=224 G=20 B=72. In the end you should have four shapes in your Layers panel, two visible and two invisible.

Step 07

Select the large, visible shape and go to the Appearance panel. Open the fly-out menu and click on Add New Fill. This will add a second fill for your shape. Select it and use the linear gradient shown in the following image. The yellow zero from the gradient image stands for Opacity percentage. This means that you need to select the gradient slider and lower its opacity to 0%. Next, add a simple stroke for your shape and select it from the Appearance panel. Make it 5pt wide, align it to inside, set its color at R=255 G=255 B=255 and lower its opacity to 5%. Finally, reselect the entire path and go tot Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the data shown below and click OK.

Step 08

Pick the Rectangle Tool(M), create two squares (50 by 50px) and place them as shown in the first image. Fill the top shape with black and the bottom shape with white. Grab the Direct Selection Tool(A) and focus on the black shape. Select the two, bottom anchor points and go to Object > Path > Average. Check Both then click OK. This will turn your square into a triangle as shown in the second image. Move to the bottom square. Again, using the Direct Selection Tool(A), select the top anchor point and go to Object > Path > Average. Check Both then click OK.

Step 09

Select the two triangles made in the previous step and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 7px radius, click OK then group these two shapes. Select the small, "O" shape and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Bring this copy to front (Shift + Control + ] ) and fill it with white. Select it along with the group and go to the Transparency panel (Window > Transparency). Open the fly-out menu and click on Make Opacity Mask. In the end your illustration should look like in the fourth image.

Step 10

Turn the large,oval shape (made in the fourth step) back to visible. Fill it with none and add a 0.75pt, black stroke. Align it to outside then go to Object > Expand Appearance. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the second image.

Step 11

Reselect the large "O" shape and make a copy in front (Contro + C > Control + F) then grab the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 190 by 125px shape and place it as shown in the second image. Select this new shape alonw with the fresh copy and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the fourth image and lower its opacity to 80%.

Step 12

Turn the small,oval shape (made in the fourth step) back to visible. Fill it with none and add a 1pt, black stroke. Align it to outside then go to Object > Expand Appearance. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the second image, lower its opacity to 50% and bring it to front (Shift + Control + ] ).

Step 13

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Select the large "O" shape and make two copies in front (Shift + Control + ] ). Select the top copy and hit the down arrow once. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. You will gret a group with two thin shape. Remove the bottom shape (pointed by the arrow in the third image) then select the remaining shape. Go to the Appearance, remove the stroke, the effect and keep only one fill. Make it white and lower its opacity to 50%.

Step 14

Reselect the large "O" shape and make two new copies in front (Shift + Control + ] ). Select the top copy and hit the up arrow once. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Again, you will gret a group with two thin shape. Remove the top shape (pointed by the arrow) then select the remaining shape. Remove the stroke, the effect and keep only one fill. Set its color at R=120 G=5 B=24.

Step 15

Pick the Ellipse Tool and click on your artboard.. Enter 10 in the width box and 2.5 in the height box then click OK. This will create a 10 by 2.5 px shape. Fill it with R=237 G=166 B=168 and place it as shown in following image. Make a copy of this and fill it with white then rotate it and place it as shown below.

Step 16

Focus on the shapes made in the previous step. Select the pink shape made in the previous step and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 2.5px radius, click OK then select the white shape and go to Effect > Blur > Guassian Blur. Enter a 3px radius then click OK.

Step 17

Finally, re-enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid) then pick the Ellipse Tool(L). Create a 90 by 25px shape and fill it with R=71 G=5 B=42 then send it to back (Shift + Control + [ ) and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 5px radius, click OK and you’re done.

Final

Now your work is done. Here is how it should look like.

Categories: Icons, Logos

19 Responses

  1. Jahangir says:

    Love the final result, looks like Opera hired you to design that logo and now you are sharing how you actually did it :)

  2. Kiran says:

    Awesome, tutorial.. All the best.

  3. Ronald L Harris, Jr. says:

    this is fantastic. your the best, thank you.

  4. Ronald L Harris, Jr. says:

    Just finished the tutorial. It was very fun. I think tutorials like these are the best. Thank you so much. I have a request. Can you create a gold metallic medallion logo. I would like that very much. Thanks, your the best.

  5. JoxnieD says:

    Great! Thx a lot mate :)

  6. Lin says:

    In step 07, “Make it 5pt wide, align it to inside” doesn’t work for me. The only alignment way is center.

  7. Hi again,
    From your image it appears that you already have the gradient applied. All you need is to add the flat color.
    Here is anoher, detailed explanation that might help you.
    Select your shape, click on the Unite button then hit the D key from your keyboard. This will add the default properties (white fill and black stroke) for your selected shape. First, replace the white fill with R=224 G=20 B=72. Next, add a second fill with the linear gradient and the Inner Glow effect shown in the seventh step. Finally, edit the stroke using the properties shown in the Appearance panel in the seventh step.
    Let me know if you got it.

  8. Henry James says:

    Superb tutorial, good steps defined and its looks so sharp and clear concept based logo which i never thought about it. Thanks for adding a useful resource and its fun to be learning.

  9. jitendera says:

    hi my Gaussian Blur is not working as yours

    • What’s the problem? How does it look like?

      • Bonta Csongor says:

        my Gaussian Blur works as JITENDERA-s i think its not bluring like your y have to increase the pixels from 7 to like 40 and more to achive something similar to yours.

    • Darshia says:

      I have the exact problem with you. If I enter “7″ in the radius box, and it turned out to be very “strong”. Therefore, the result was not like your picture showed in the tutorial.

    • Darshia says:

      I have just found the way to solve it. Still keep “7″ in the radius but lower the opacity of the white triangle down to 30% and the black one to 50%. Try it !

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