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Andrei Marius On January - 20 - 2011

Hi there. In the next tutorial I will show you how to create a grungy nuclear warning symbol in nine coherent steps. It’s a pretty simple tutorial targeted at beginner users. You will learn some nice stuff about working with grid, basic tools, gradients, strokes and some nice effects.

Difficulty: Beginner
Estimated Completion Time: 30 minutes
Number of Steps: 9

This is what you’ll be creating:


Step 01

Create a 700 by 700px document. First, enable the Grid (View > Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Next, you’ll need a grid every 10px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid, enter “10″ 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

Pick the Ellipse Tool(L), hold Shift, create a 500 by 500px shape then double click on it and name it “1″. Select this shape and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -70px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape, name it “2″ then go again to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -130px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape, name it “3″ then once again go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -15px Offset and click OK. Select this fourth shape and name it “4″.

Step 03

Select shapes “2″ and “3″ then click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Step 04

Pick the Pen Tool(P) and draw a horizontal path as shown in the first image. Select it, go to Object > Transform > Rotate, enter a 60 degrees angle and click on the Copy button. Reselect the horizontal path, and go again to Object > Transform > Rotate. Enter a -60 degrees angle and click on the Copy button.

Step 05

Select the shapes/paths made in the previous two steps and click on the Divide button from the Pathfinder panel. This will create the group of shapes shown in the second image. Keep the three shapes shown in the third image and delete the rest. Fill them with R=33 G=31 B=23 then select shape “4″ and fill it with the same color.

Step 06

Select shape “1″, fill it with R=253 G=206 B=33 and add a 40pt, black, aligned to inside stroke. Seelct the fill from the Appearance panel then go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the data shown below then click OK. Reselect thew overall path and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown in the following image then click OK.

Step 07

Now, let’s add a grunge effect. Open the Brushes panel (Window > Brushes) then open the fly-out menu and go to Open Brush Library > Artistic > Artistic_ChalkCharcoalPencil. Pick the Pen Tool(P), draw a vertical path (as shown in the first image) and click on the Chalk brush. Fill it with black, lower its opacity to 50% then change its blending mode to Overlay. Next, you need to mask this brush. First, open the Transparency panel and duplicate shape “1″ (Ctrl+C > Ctrl+F). Fill this copy with white then remove its stroke and effects. Select this white shape along with the vertical path, open the fly-out menu of the Transparency panel and click on Make Opacity Mask. Select this masked shape and move it in the top of the Layers panel.

Step 08

Make another copy of “1″. Select it, fill it with none, remove all the effects, keep only the stroke then go to Object > Expand Appearance. Pick the Rectangle Tool(M) and create a shape like the red one shown in the third image. Select it along with the other fresh shape and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white and lower its opacity to 25%.

Step 09

Finally, for the backgroud, pick the Rectangle Tool(M) and draw a shape the size of your artboard. Fill it with the radial gradient shown in the first image then add a second fill (from the fly-out menu of the Appearance panel). Fill it with R=1 G=1 B=1, lower its opacity to 2% then go to Effect > Sketch > Graphic Pen. Enter the data shown below, click OK then add a third fill. Fill it with the final radial gradient and lower its opacity to 15%. Take a closer look at the gradient. The yellow text stands for Opacity and the white text stands for Location.


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

Categories: Logos

11 Responses

  1. ryas says:

    thk for you creativity

  2. This is a very nice tutorial. Thank you!

  3. Steve says:

    Very helpful. Thanks!

  4. Joel says:

    This does not work. I tried it on Illustrator CS4 for Mac. Selecting and dividing the paths in step 5 does not work. No idea why. I feel you must be omitting some details that perhaps beginners do not know.

    • I believe it’s because of CS4.
      Here’s is how it might work for you.
      Select the three paths created in the fourth step and turn them into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make). This will turn the three paths into a single path. Select it along with the shape created in the third step and continue with the instruction from the fifth step.
      Let me know if it worked.

  5. KHOKON says:

    Really a great tutorial.

  6. Hi!
    Thanks a lot for doing this – perfect for what I want to do. It’s well explained an presented. Very professional.
    Thanks again,

  7. ducsu says:

    Hi. I am a bit confuse in step 7 instructions. I got the chalk brush open. It asked to draw a vertical line with pen tool and click on the chalk brush. When I do that, it only apply the brush to it’s vertical line. How do I get the brush strokes like image 1 in step 7?

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