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How to Create a Detailed Sign In, Login Screen in Illustrator

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In the following steps you will learn how to create a detailed sign in/sign up form using Adobe Illustrator. It's a pretty long tutorial that might teach you some new stuff about the Appearance panel or about working with text. For the starting shapes you will only need the Rectangle and the Ellipse tools along with the Rounded Corners and the Roughen effects. For the coloring you will use linear and radial gradients, some basic blending and masking techniques and a bunch of new effects. Finally, for the text you will have to use the Appearance panel and some discrete Drop Shadow effects.


Step 1

Hit Control + N to create a new document. Enter 800 in the width box and 600 in the height box then click on the Advanced button. Select RGB, Screen (72ppi) and make sure that the "Align New Objects to Pixel Grid" box is unchecked before you click OK.

Now, turn on the Grid (View > Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). For starters 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 set the unit of measurement at pixels from Edit > Preferences > Unit > General. Al these options will significantly increase your work speed.



Step 2

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 600 by 300px shape, fill it with R=220 G=215 B=205 and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 5px radius, click OK and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Roughen. Enter the data shown in the following image and click OK. In the end your shape should look like in the first image. Move to the Layers panel, double click on this shape and made it "main". Make a copy of "main" (Control + C > Control + F), select it and simply go to Object > Expand Appearance.



Step 3

Open the Align panel (Window > Align). Using the Pen Tool (P), create a 320px, vertical path with a simple 1pt, black stroke. Switch to the Selection Tool (V) and select this new path along with the second shape made in the previous step. Click on the border of the bigger shape (it should get emphasized) then simply click on the Vertical Align Center and Horizontal Align Center buttons from the Align panel. In the end your thin, vertical path should be placed as shown in the third image.



Step 4

Reselect the path made in the previous step along with the second shape made in the second step, open the Pathfinder panel and click on the Divide button. Ungroup (Shift + Control + G) the resulting group of shapes and focus on the two new shapes. Select the left one, lower its Opacity to 50%, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and fill it with the linear gradient shown in the second image. The yellow zero from the gradient image stands for Opacity percentage. Move to the right shape, select it, lower the Opacity to 50%, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and replace the flat color used for the fill with the linear gradient shown in the third image. Focus on the Layers panel and lock these two shapes to make sure that you won't accidentally select/move them.



Step 5

Select "main" and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select it, focus on the Appearance panel and add two new fills using the Add New Fill button (pointed by the little blue arrow). Select the first one, lower its Opacity to 50% and add the radial gradient shown in the following image. Move to the second new fill, select it, lower the Opacity to 50% and add the same radial gradient.



Step 6

Make sure that the shape edited in the previous step is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a new fill. Select it, set the color at R=136 G=122 B=92, lower its Opacity to 5%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the data shown in the following image, click OK and return to the Appearance panel. Add a 2pt stroke, set the color at R=245 G=245 B=245 and align it to inside. Keep focusing on the Appearance panel and add a second stroke for this shape using the Add New Stroke button (pointed by the little, blue arrow). Select it, make it 1pt wide, set the color at R=178 G=167 B=143 and align it to inside.



Step 7

Have a closer look at the shape edited in the previous step and you'll notice that the edges are a bit pixelated. It's because of the Film Grain effect. It's not a big deal, but here's how you can fix it. First, open the Transparency panel. Select the shape edited in the previous step, make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F), select it and focus on the Appearance panel. Remove all the fills and strokes, make sure that you keep the Rounded Corners and the Roughen effects then add a simple, white fill. Now, select this white shape along with the shape edited in the previous step, go to the Transparency panel, open the fly-out menu and click on Make Opacity Mask. Have a new look at the edges of your shape and you'll notice that the pixelated edges are gone.



Step 8

Reselect "main" and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown in the left window, click OK and go again to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown in the right window and click OK.



Step 9

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 590 by 10px shape, fill it with R=220 G=215 B=205, place it as shown in the first image and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 5px radius, click OK and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Roughen. Enter the data shown in the following image and click OK. In the end your new shape should look like in the second image.



Step 10

Select the shape made in the previous step and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select it, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill. Select this new fill, make it black, lower its Opacity to 10%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Sketch > Note Paper. Enter the properties shown in the following image, click OK and return to the Appearance panel. Add a 2pt stroke, set the color at R=245 G=245 B=245 and align it to inside. Add a second stroke for this shape, make it 1pt wide, set the color at R=178 G=167 B=143 and align it to inside.



Step 11

Duplicate the shape made in the previous step (Control + C > Control + F). Select this new shape, remove the existing fills and strokes then add a simple, white fill (make sure that you keep the Rounded Corners and the Roughen effects). Select this white shape along with the shape made in the previous step, open the fly-out menu of the Transparency panel and click on Make Opacity Mask.



Step 12

Move to the Layers panel, select the shape made in the ninth step and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK. Now, reselect this shape along with the masked shape made in the previous step and send them to back (Shift + Control + [ ).



Step 13

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 580 by 10px shape, fill it with R=220 G=215 B=205, place it as shown in the first image and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 5px radius, click OK and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Roughen. Enter the data shown in the following image and click OK. In the end your things should look like in the second image.



Step 14

Select the shape made in the previous step and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select it, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill. Select this new fill, make it black, lower its Opacity to 10%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Sketch > Note Paper. Enter the properties shown in the following image, click OK and return to the Appearance panel. Add a 2pt stroke, set the color at R=245 G=245 B=245 and align it to inside. Add a second stroke for this shape, make it 1pt wide, set the color at R=178 G=167 B=143 and align it to inside.



Step 15

Duplicate the shape made in the previous step (Control + C > Control + F). Select this new shape, remove the existing fills and strokes then add a white fill (make sure that you do not remove the Rounded Corners and the Roughen effects). Select this white shape along with the shape made in the previous step, open the fly-out menu of the Transparency panel and click on Make Opacity Mask.



Step 16

Move to the Layers panel, select the shape made in the thirteenth step and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the left window, click OK and go again to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the right window and click OK. Now, reselect this shape along with the masked shape from the previous step and send them to back (Shift + Control + [ ).



Step 17

Reselect the four shapes made in the last eight steps and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check the Horizontal box then click on the Copy button. Select the resulting shapes, drag them down and place them as shown in the second image. Focus on the two shapes with the Drop Shadow effects and inverse the angles used for those effects.



Step 18

Focus on the Layers panel and unlock the two shapes made in the fourth step. Now, select all the shapes created so far and group them (Control + G). Lock this group.



Step 19

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 220 by 35px shape, fill it with R=136 G=122 B=92, place it as shown in the first image and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 5px radius and click OK. Make sure that this new shape stays selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill. Select this new fill, set the color at R=178 G=167 B=143 and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the properties shown below (make sure that you check the bottom reference point), click OK and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the data shown in the following image, click OK and return to the Appearance panel. Make sure that no fill or stroke is selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown below and click OK.



Step 20

Select the shape made in the previous step and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select it, drag it 70px down and focus on the Appearance panel. Make sure that no fill or stroke is selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Outer Glow. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.



Step 21

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 220 by 45px shape, fill it with R=185 G=216 B=245, place it as shown in the first image and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 5px radius and click OK.



Step 22

Select the shape made in the previous step, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill. Select it, add the linear gradient shown below and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the properties shown below (make sure that you check the bottom reference point), click OK and return to the Appearance panel. Add a 1pt stroke, align it to inside and set the color at R=0 G=78 B=127.



Step 23

Select the shape edited in the previous step, make sure that no fill or stroke is selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the first window, click OK and go again to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the second window, click OK and go once again to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the third window, click OK and go one more time to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the fourth window and click OK.



Step 24

Select the shape edited in the previous step, make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F), select it and drag it 300px to the right. Make sure that this new shape is selected, focus on the Appearance panel and replace the existing color with the ones shown in the following image.



Step 25

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 220 by 40px shape, fill it with R=196 G=215 B=241, place it as shown in the following image and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 5px radius and click OK.



Step 26

Select the shape made in the previous step, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill. Select it, add the linear gradient shown below and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the properties shown below (make sure that you check the bottom reference point), click OK and return to the Appearance panel. Add a 1pt stroke, align it to inside and set the color at R=73 G=104 B=156.



Step 27

Select the shape edited in the previous step, make sure that no fill or stroke is selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the first window, click OK and go again to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the second window and click OK. This will be the Twitter button.



Step 28

Select the shape edited in the previous step, make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F), select it and drag it 60px up. Make sure that this new shape is selected, focus on the Appearance panel and replace the existing color with the ones shown in the following image. This will be the Facebook button.



Step 29

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 30px circle, fill it with R=178 G=167 B=143 and place it as shown in the following image.



Step 30

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid) then go to Edit > Preferences > General and make sure that the Keyboard Increment is set at 1px. Select the circle made in the previous step and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 2px down using the down arrow from your keyboard. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=147 G=134 B=107. Reselect the circle made in the previous step and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown below, click OK and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the fill and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.



Step 31

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). For the following steps you will need a grid every 1px. So, go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 10px square, fill it with R=178 G=167 B=143 and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 2px radius, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the resulting shape and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 1px down using the down arrow from your keyboard. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=136 G=122 B=92. Reselect the rounded rectangle made in the beginning of the step and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.



Step 32

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 2 by 4px shape, fill it with R=245 G=245 B=245 and place it as shown in the first image. Continue with the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 5 by 2px shape, fill it with the same color and place it as shown in the second image. Select both rectangles and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting shape and go to Object > Transform > Rotate. Enter a 45 degrees angle, click OK and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the fifth image and click OK. Select this check symbol along with the two shapes made in the previous step and group them (Control + G).



Step 33

Select the group made in the previous step and place it as shown in the following image.



Step 34

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 1 by 123px shape and fill it with R=178 G=167 B=143. Make a copy of this thin rectangle (Control + C > Control + F), fill it with R=245 G=245 B=245 and move it 1px to the right. Select both shapes and group them (Control + G). Make a copy of this group (Control + C > Control + F), select it and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the following image.



Step 35

Select the shape and the group made in the previous step, open the fly-out menu of the Transparency panel and click on Make Opacity Mask. In the end your masked group should look like in the second image. Select it and place it as shown in the final image.



Step 36

Select the masked group made in the previous step and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check the Horizontal button and click on the Copy button. Select this newly created group, drag it down and place it as shown in the second image.



Step 37

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Using the Type Tool (T), add some text as shown in the following image. Use any color and make sure that you follow the properties shown in the Character panels in the following image.



Step 38

Select one of the pieces of text made in the previous step, focus on the Appearance panel and add a new fill using the Add New Fill button. Select it, add the linear gradient shown below then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown below and click OK. Add the same properties for the rest of the text. You can easily copy the properties from one piece of text to another using the target icons from the Layers panel. Just in case you are not aware of this technique, here's how you can do it. Move to the Layers panel, focus on the right side and you'll notice that every shape/piece of text comes with a little grey circle, that's the target icon. Hold Alt, click on the target icon that stands for the piece of text edited in the beginning of the step and drag onto the target icon that stands for another piece of text.



Step 39

Using the Type Tool (T), add some new text as shown in the following image. Make it white, use the font properties shown in the following image and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below and click OK.



Step 40

Using the Type Tool (T), add the "SIGN IN" piece of text and place it as shown in the following image. Use the font properties shown in the following image then focus on the Appearance panel and add a new fill using the Add New Fill button. Select it, use the linear gradient shown below then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown below and click OK.



Step 41

Duplicate the piece of text added in the previous step. Select this copy, replace the "SIGN IN" with "SIGN UP" and drag it to the right. Place it as shown in the following image then edit the existing Drop Shadow effect as shown below.



Step 42

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid) and focus on the Twitter button. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 1 by 38px shape, fill it with R=73 G=104 B=156 and place it as shown in the first image. Make a copy of this thin rectangle (Control + C > Control + F), fill it with R=196 G=215 B=241 and move it 1px to the right. Select both shapes and group them (Control + G). Make a copy of this group (Control + C > Control + F), select it and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the following image. Select this thin shape along with the group, open the fly-out menu of the Transparency panel and click on Make Opacity Mask. In the end your masked group should look like in the sixth image.



Step 43

Duplicate the masked group made in the previous step (Control + C > Control + F). Select this copy, drag it up and place it as shown in the second image. Also, replace the existing fill colors with the ones shown in the second image.



Step 44

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Return to the Twitter button and add the little Twitter logo. You can find a vector file with the logo here. Fill it with R=250 G=250 B=250, place it as shown in the first image then make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 1px down. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting group of shapes, turn it into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make or Control + 8) and fill it with R=73 G=104 B=156. Reselect the Twitter logo and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.



Step 45

Focus on the Facebook button and add the little Facebook logo. You can find a vector file with the logo here (scroll down to the Downloads section). Fill it with R=250 G=250 B=250, place it as shown in the first image then make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 1px down. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting group of shapes, turn it into a compound path (Control + 8) and fill it with R=72 G=86 B=132. Reselect the Facebook logo and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.



Step 46

Return to the Twitter button. Using the Type Tool (T), add the "Sing In with Twitter" piece of text and place it as shown in the first image. Use the font properties shown in the following image then focus on the Appearance panel and add a new fill using the Add New Fill button. Select it, add the linear gradient shown below then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown below and click OK.



Step 47

Duplicate the piece of text added in the previous step. Select this copy and replace the existing text with "Sing In with Facebook". Drag it up, place it as shown below then edit the existing Drop Shadow effect as shown in the following image.



Step 48

Focus on the little circle made in the twenty-ninth step. Using the Type Tool (T), add the "or" and place it as shown in the first image. Use the font properties shown in the following image then focus on the Appearance panel and add a new fill using the Add New Fill button. Select it, add the linear gradient shown below and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the left window, click OK and go again to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the right window, click OK and you're done.



Conclusion

Now your work is done. Try changing the colors to create different effects and styles. Here is how it should look.


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