VforVectors

Vector Tutorials

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Andrei Marius On April - 19 - 2012

Hi there. In the following tutorial I will show you how to create a simple compass icon. We’ll start with a bunch of simple shape and some pixel perfect vector shape building techniques. Next, using the Pathfinder options along with several effects we’ll create the highlights. Finally, using some basic blending techniques and stroke tricks we’ll add the final touches for our icon.

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Estimated Completion Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Number of Steps: 31

This is what you’ll be creating:

preview

Step 01

Create a 255 by 255px document. First, enable the Grid (View > Show 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

Pick the Ellipse Tool(L) and create a 190 by 190px shape. Fill it with R=39 G=170 B=225 then go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the data shown below then click OK.

Step 03

Continue with the Rectangle Tool(M). Create a 10 by 10px shape and place it as shown in the following image. Fill it with white and add a 1pt, white stroke. With the shape still selected, go to the Appearance panel. First, select the stroke, align it to inside and lower its opacity to 15%. Next, select the fill and lower its opacity to 15%.

Step 04

Keep focusing on the shape created in the previous step. Pick the Direct Selection Tool(A), select the bottom anchor points (highlighted in the first image) and go to Object > Path > Average. Check Both and click OK. The rectangle should turn into a triangle.

Step 05

Select the triangle created in the previous step and go to Object > Transform > Rotate. Enter a 180 degrees angle and click on the Copy button. This will create a vertically flipped copy of the triangle. Select this copy and move it as shown in the second image. Select these two triangles and go again to Object > Transform > Rotate. Enter a 90 degrees angle and click on the Copy button. In the end you should have four triangles placed as shown in the third image.

Step 06

Reselect the four triangles from the previous step and group them (Control + G). Select this fresh group and go to Object > Transform > Rotate. Enter a 45 degrees angle and click on OK.

Step 07

Pick the Rectangle Tool(M), create a 70 by 30px shape and fill it with any color. Pick the Direct Selection Tool(A), select the right anchor points (highlighted in the first image) and go to Object > Path > Average. Check Both and click. Again, the rectangle should turn into sharp triangle.

Step 08

Select the triangle created in the previous step and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check Vertical then click on the Copy button. This will create a horizontally flipped copy of the triangle. Select this fresh copy and move to the left as shown in the second image.

Step 09

Select the two triangle shape from the previous step and go to Object > Transform > Rotate. Enter a 90 degrees angle and click on the Copy button. Now, select all four triangle shapes and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. In the end you should have a simple star shape.

Step 10

Select the star shape and place it as shown in the following image. The snap to grid will ease your work. Pick the Pen Tool(P) and draw four simple paths as shown in the following image. Each line should start and end at an anchor point. I added a black stroke for this paths so that you can distinguish them from the rest of the shapes. Select these fresh paths along with the star shape and click on the Divide button from the Pathfinder panel. This will create a group with eight separate shapes. Select it and ungroup it (Control + Shift + G).

Step 11

Keep focusing on the shapes created in the previous step. Start with the four shapes selected in the following image. Fill them with white and add a 1pt, white stroke. With these shapes still selected, go to the Appearance panel. First, select the stroke, align it to inside and lower its opacity to 30%. Next, select the fill and lower its opacity to 20%.

Step 12

Move to the other four shapes. Again, fill them with white and add a 1pt, white stroke then go to the Appearance panel. First, select the stroke, align it to inside and lower its opacity to 10% then select the fill and lower its opacity to 10%.

Step 13

Reselect the eight shapes that make up the star and group them (Control + G). Select this group and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Re-size this group copy as shown in the second image then go to Object > Transform > Rotate. Enter a 45 degrees angle then click OK.

Step 14

Pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 30 by 30px shape and place it as shown in the following image. Fill it with R=209 G=211 B=212 and add 1.5pt, white, aligned to inside stroke stroke. Select this stroke from the Appearance panel and click on the Duplicate Selected Item button from the bottom of the Appearance panel. Obviously, this will create a copy of the selected stroke. Select this new stroke, set its color at R=128 G=130 B=133 and make it 0.5pt wide.

Step 15

Pick the Rectangle Tool(M) and create a 20 by 90px shape. Fill it with R=237 G=28 B=36 and place it as shown in first image. Grab the Direct Selection Tool(A), select the top anchor points and go to Object > Path > Average. Check Both then click OK.

Step 16

Pick the Pen Tool(P) and draw a vertical path as shown in the first image. Select this fresh path along with the sharp triangle and click on the Divide button from the Pathfinder panel. This will create a group with two separate shapes. Select the left shape and replace the existing color with R=140 G=30 B=45.

Step 17

Select the group created in the previous step and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check Horizontal and click OK. Select the resulting group and place it as shown in the third image then replace the existing colors with the ones shown in the fourth image.

Step 18

Reselect the red and black shapes created in the previous step and group them (Control + G). Select this new group and go to Object > Transform > Rotate. Enter a 29.5 degrees angle, click OK and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown in the final image and click OK.

Step 19

Pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 20 by 20px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Fill it with the linear gradient shown below and add a 1pt stroke. Align it inside and set the color at R=0 G=0 B=0 (black). Continue with the Ellipse Tool(L) and create a second shape. Make it 10 by 10px and place it as shown in the second image. Fill it with the linear gradient shown below and add a 0.5pt stroke. Align it inside and set the color at R=147 G=149 B=152.

Step 20

Select the blue circle and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select this copy. First, remove the Inner Glow effect and the color from the fill then add a 20pt stroke. Align it to inside and set its color at R=230 G=231 B=232 then go to Object > Expand Appearance (or Object > Path > Outline Stroke). Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the third image.

Step 21

Reselect the shape created in the previous step, bring it to front (Shift + Control + ] ) and add a stroke. Make it 2pt wide, align it to inside and set its color at R=250 G=250 B=250. Add a second stroke for this path. Make it 1pt wide, align it to inside and set the color R=167 G=169 B=172. Reselect the entire path and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below then click OK.

Step 22

Reselect the path edited in the previous step and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -5px Offset and click OK. Fill the resulting shape with R=245 G=245 B=245 (remove the strokes and the drop shadow) then duplicate it. Select this copy and hit the Down arrow once (to move it 5px down). Now, select both shapes and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting group of shapes and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 3.5px radius then click OK.

Step 23

Pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 210 by 210px shape and place it as shown in the following image. Fill it with none and add a 10pt stroke. Set its color at R=209 G=211 B=212 and change the blending mode to Color Burn then go to the Stroke panel (Window > Stroke). Check the Dashed Line box and enter 2pt in the dash and gap boxes.

Step 24

Pick the Type Tool(T) and add the four simple letters.

Step 25

Reselect the blue circle and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Bring it to front (Shift + Control + ] ) then go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -5px Offset and click OK. Reselect these two shapes and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown below and lower its opacity to 50%. The yellow numbers from the gradient image stand for opacity percentage. Don’t forget to remove the Inner Glow effect from the Appearance panel.

Step 26

Pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 180 by 180px shape and place it as shown in the following image. Fill it with none and add a 1pt stroke. Make it black, align it to inside and go to Object > Expand Appearance (or Object > Path > Outline Stroke). Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the second image and lower its opacity to 30%. Again, pay attention at the yellow numbers from the gradient image.

Step 27

Pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 180 by 180px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Fill it with any color then make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid) then select this copy and hit the up arrow seven times. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the third image and lower its opacity to 20%.

Step 28

Re-enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 180 by 180px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Fill it with any color then make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Disable the Snap to Grid then select this copy and hit the down arrow three times. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the third image and lower its opacity to 15%.

Step 29

Re-enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 180 by 180px shape and place it as shown below.Fill it with the linear gradient shown below and add a 1pt, white stroke. Go to the Appearance panel and select the stroke. Align it to inside and lower its opacity to 15% then select the fill and lower its opacity to 30%.

Step 30

Select the shape created in the previous step and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Pick the Ellipse Tool(L), create a 300 by 170px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Select it along with the fresh copy and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. The resulting shape should look like in the third image. Pick the Direct Selection Tool(A), select the bottom anchor points and move it 40px up. In the end your shape should look like in the fourth image.

Step 31

Reselect the shape created in the previous step, fill it with the linear gradient shown below, lower its opacity to 15% and you’re done.

Final

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

Categories: Icons

6 Responses

  1. oxyde says:

    Really nice work, all the power of Illustrator.

  2. Julia Agnes says:

    awesome and easy to follow tutorial! thank you for sharing :)

  3. otmars says:

    ufff! great tutorial! thanks! and good vibes!

  4. webdesign says:

    Very nice, thank you :-)

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