Vector Tutorials

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Andrei Marius On March - 26 - 2010

Hi there. In the next tutorial you’ll learn to create a classic calendar icon. It’s a pretty simple and fast tutorial. You only need to know how to use the basic tools and some effects like the Inner Glow, the Drop Shadow, the Transform effect, the Rounded Corners effect or the Warp effect.

Difficulty: Beginner-Intermediate
Estimated Completion Time: 20 minutes
Number of Steps: 8

This is what you’ll be creating:


Step 01

First create a 256 by 256px document. Next, select the Rectangle Tool(M) and create a 180 by 180px square (you can create a rectangle of a different size then enter the desired dimension in the Transform pallete). Fill it with R=242 G=242 B=242 and add a 1pt inside stroke (R=230 G=230 B=230). Select the fill from the Appearance pallete, and add the Drop Shadow (Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow) shown in the image below. Name this shape “Paper”.

Step 02

Duplicate “Paper”. First, delete the Drop Shadow effect for this copy, then resize it as shown in image #2 (your new shape should have a height of 60px). Fill it with R=193 G=39 B=45 and add a 1pt inside stroke (R=152 G=1 B=0). Next, from the drop down menu of the Appearance pallete, add two new fills. Use the gradients shown in images #4 and #5.

Step 03

Select the Ellipse Tool(L) and create perfect circle like the one shown in the iamge below. Add a new fill. Fill the first with R=242 G=242 B=242 and the second with the gradients shown below. Next, add two new fills and move them below the other fills. Fill the bottom one with R=199 G=27 B=31 then click on it (in the Appearance pallete) and go to Effect > Distort&Transform > Transform. Make some discrete modification in the Move section (as shown in the picture below). Select the other fill, fill it with R=99 G=9 B=10, go again to Effect > Distort&Transform > Transform and fallow the info from the image below.

Step 04

Let’s continue with the rings. Select the Rectangle Tool(M), create a shape like the one shown in image #1 then fill it with R=230 G=230 B=230. Align it acording to the ellipse created in the previous step (select both shapes, switch to the Selection Tool(V), click on the border of the ellipse then click on the Horizontal Align Center button from the Align pallete). Now, that the alignment it’s done you can continue with the ring. Select the Rectangle, add a 5px Rounded Corners effect then go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the fill of this shape (from the Appearance pallete) then add the Inner glow shown in image #3. Next, add three new fills and use the gradients shown in images #4, #5 and #6. Don’t forget to change the blending mode for the last fill to Overlay.

Step 05

Select the shapes made in step #3 and #4 and group them (Ctrl + G). Select this group, go to Effect > Distort&Transform > Transform and follow the info shown in the image below.

Step 06

Select the Rectangle Tool(M) and create square like the one shown in image #1. Rotate this shape 45° (you can do it manually or you can go to Object > Transform > Rotate) and fill it with whatever color you want. Create a copy of “Paper” and move it above this shape (in the Layers pallete). Select this copy along with the roatated shape and click on the Crop button from the Pathfinder pallete. You should get two shapes (image #3). Select the smaller shape, name it “Flip”, fill it with the gradient shown in image #4, lower its opacity to 50% and change the blending mode to Multiply. Next, select the bigger shape, fill it with the gradient shown in image #5 and add a 1pt inside stroke (R=230 G=230 B=230). Add a new fill for this shape and use the radial gradient shown in image #6.

Step 07

Duplicate “Flip” (Ctrl+F > Ctrl+V). Select this copy, bring it to front (Shift+Ctrl+]), rotate it 180° (Object > Transform > Rotate) then pick the Direct Selection Tool(A), select the top-left anchor point, hold Shift and move it as the arrow shows (image #2). Fill this shape with R=242 G=242 B=242 and with the gradient shown in image #3. Reselect this shape and add the Inflate effect (Effect > Warp > Inflate) and the Arc Lower effect (Effect > Warp > Arc Lower) shown in the following image.

Step 08

Finally let’s add some text. Select the Type Tool(T), click on the artboard and write any number you want (in the image below you cand find the name, the size or the weight of the font). Select this text and go to Object > Expand. This should create a new group. Select it and click on the Add New Fill button from the drop down menu of the Appearance pallete. Fill it with the gradient shown in image #3. Repeat these step for the text with the name of the month. Just follow the information from images #4, #5 and #6.


Now your calendar icon is done. Here is how it should look like:

Categories: Icons

15 Responses

  1. Rina says:

    Exactly what I was looking for. Thank you!!

  2. Simon Colijn says:

    Looking nice!
    Good steps and fancy result!


  3. pasi says:

    simply super thanks

  4. Sneh Roy says:

    I will have to try this out! Would work for so many other objects .. so cool!

  5. Stratos says:

    Working on it at the moment. Perfect tutorial, thank you!

  6. Tom says:

    Good tutorial, although i’m facing some troubles. But that is more a consequence of my lack of knowledge of Illustrator…

  7. gt says:

    Great Tutorials for newbies. However, I completed the tut but
    I don’t get how to make the flip appear *on top* of the
    number 10. In Step 08 image 3 above the flip has been placed on top of the number 10. I tried to use Send to Front or send forward on the flip but it doesn’t show on top.
    What do I need to do ?

    Cheers man


  8. Geo4ever says:

    Great tutorial…but flip thing….didn’t get it 😮

  9. akm shahidur says:

    Great!!! Really it is very much helpful 🙂

  10. Freda says:

    Results look great, but I had huge problems with the gradients.
    In the pics you posted you give the RGB values for both ends of the gradient.
    However, in the little preview pics it looks like a gradient from one colour to transparent (which would make sense, since you have several gradients on top of each other).
    I just can’t figure out how to make the gradient look like that, how to make it go from one colour to transparent… (I’m using CS3, maybe it has something to do with that?)

    • Marius says:

      You’re right. Unfortunately, in Illustrator CS3 you can’t lower the opacity of the gradient sliders. But, you can use the Opacity Mask to get a similar result.

  11. nigedo says:

    Thanks very much. Just what I needed. 🙂

  12. AK says:

    So cool icons!

    i’m leaning this kind of stuff and could you teach me how did you change those sizes? i wanna create android app icons..

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