Advertisement
Icon Design

How to Create a Calendar Icon in Illustrator

by

Learn how to design a calendar icon in Adobe Illustrator. This tutorial covers the step-by-step process of designing this vector icon in Illustrator using tools such as: shape building tools, brushes, a round corner script, and multiple gradient colors. This calendar icon can be used in the next design or website you build.


Step 1

Create a 600 by 600px, RGB document. First, turn on 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. All these options will significantly increase your work speed.


Step 2

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 350 by 50px shape. Fill it with the linear gradient shown below and add a 0.75pt stroke. Set its color at R=255, G=255, B=250. Next, you need to add some roundness for this shape. The Round Any Corner script will come in handy. You can find it in the Vectortuts+ article 20 Free and Useful Adobe Illustrator Scripts.

Save it to your hard drive and grab the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select the top anchor points (highlighted in the first image) and go to File > Scripts > Other Script. Open the Round Any Corner Script, enter a 5px Radius and click OK. In the end your shape should look like the second image shown.


Step 3

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid), go to Edit > Preferences > General and enter 1 in the Keyboard Increment box. Reselect the shape created in the previous step and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1px Offset and click OK.

Select the resulting shape and make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + F). Select this copy and hit the down arrow once. Reselect these two, fresh shapes, and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=238, G=208, B=157.


Step 4

Re-enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Pick the Rectangle Tool and create a 50 by 50px square. Fill it with R=238, G=208, B=157. Now place it as shown in the first image and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter 6 in the copies box and drag the Move-Horizontal slider to 50%.

Click OK and go again to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. This time enter 4 in the copies box and drag the Move-Vertical slider to 50%. Click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Go to the Layers panel and you will find a group with thirty squares.


Step 5

Select the group created in the previous step and hit Shift + Command + G three times. This will ungroup your squares. Select the five squares from the second image, group them (Command + G) and fill them with the linear gradient shown below.


Step 6

Select the rest of the squares, group them and fill them with the linear gradient shown below.


Step 7

Let's focus on the bottom, left and right squares. Again, you will need the Round Any Corner script. Pick the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the two anchor points highlighted in the first image, and go to File > Scripts > Other Script. Open the Round Any Corner Script, enter a 5px Radius and click OK. In the end your shapes should look like the second image shown.


Step 8

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Select all the shapes created so far and make a copy in back (Command + C > Command + B). Select these copies, click on the Unite button and fill the resulting shape with R=207, G=200, B=176. Move this copy 2px down, then make a copy in back (Command + C > Command + B).

Select this new copy and move it three pixels down. Fill it with R=181, G=174, B=138. Now go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown in the final image and click OK.


Step 9

Focus on the top left square. Select it and make two copies in front (Command + C > Command + F > Command + F). Select the top copy and hit the down arrow and the right arrow twice. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white.


Step 10

Select the shape created in the previous step and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter 6 in the copies box and drag the Move-Horizontal slider to 50%. Click OK and go again to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. This time enter 4 in the copies box, drag the Move-Vertical slider to 50%, and click OK.


Step 11

Re-enable the Snap to Grid. Next, you need to mask the shape edited in the previous step. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 350 by 250px shape. Fill it with white and place it as shown in the first image. The snap to grid will ease your work here. Pick the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the bottom anchor points of this white shape, and go to File > Scripts > Other Script.

Open the Round Any Corner Script, enter a 5px Radius, and click OK. In the end your shapes should look like the second image shown. Reselect the white shape, along with the shape edited in the previous step, and go to the Transparency panel. Open the fly-out menu and click on Make Opacity Mask.


Step 12

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 50 by 50px shape, and place it as shown in the following image. Fill it with the linear gradient shown below and add a white stroke. Go to the Appearance panel and select this stroke. Make it 2pt wide, align it to inside, and lower its Opacity to 30%.


Step 13

Pick the Rectangular Grid Tool and click on your artboard. A new window should open. Enter the data shown below and click OK. This will create a nice grid. Add a 0.75pt stroke for this grid and set its color at R=169, G=124, B=80. Now place it as shown in the following image.


Step 14

Focus on the bottom area of the grid. Grab the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the bottom anchor points (highlighted in the first image), and go to File > Scripts > Other Script. Open the Round Any Corner Script, enter a 5px Radius, and click OK.


Step 15

Disable the Snap to Grid. Pick the Type Tool (T), click on your artboard, and enter in "16." Use the Calibri font with a size of 23pt. Set the color at R=65, G=64, B=66. Now go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below and click OK.

Now select this small text, along with the orange square, and Switch to the Selection Tool (V). Click on the border of the square (it should get emphasized) and move to the Align panel. Click on the Horizontal Align Center and the Vertical Align Center buttons. In the end your text should be centered as shown in the third image.


Step 16

Reselect the Type Tool (T) and add the rest of the text. The text size for the months abbreviations should be 20pt. Add the same drop shadow effect for all the text.


Step 17

Go to the Brushes panel (Window > Brushes), open the fly-out menu, and go to Open Brush Library > Artistic > Artistic_Calligraphic. A new window with a set of built-in brushes should open. Select the 10pt Oval brush, pick the Brush Tool, and draw some X's, as shown. Set the color for these paths at R=190, G=30, B=45.


Step 18

Re-enable the Snap to Grid. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 370 by 380px shape, and fill it with R=35, G=31, B=32. Place it as shown in the following image, send it to back (Shift + Command + Left Bracket key), and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 5px radius, click OK, and go to Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 19

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect the shape created in the previous step and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape and make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + F).

Select this copy and hit the down arrow once. Reselect both shapes and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white and lower its Opacity to 30%.


Step 20

Re-enable the Snap to Grid. Pick the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 20 by 20px shape, and fill it with R=35, G=31, B=32. Go to the Appearance panel, select the existing fill, and click on the Duplicate Selected Item button from the bottom of the Appearance panel. Obviously, this will create a copy of the selected fill.

Select this new fill and set its color at R=128, G=130, B=133. Now go to Effect > Warp > Shell Lower. Drag the Bend slider a -100%, click OK, then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the data shown below and click OK.

Return to the Appearance panel, make sure that your shape is still selected, and add a stroke. Make it black, 2pt wide, and align it to outside. Make a copy of this stroke, make it 1pt wide, and set its color to R=128, G=130, B=133. Reselect the entire path and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Once again, enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 21

Select the shape made in the previous step and duplicate it. Move this copy to the right, as shown in the second image. Next, you need to make some changes for this copy. Select it and go to the Appearance panel.

Open the Transform effect and replace the existing numbers with the ones shown in the following image. Click OK and then open the Warp effect. Replace the Shell Lower effect with a Shell Upper effect and click OK. In the end your copy should look like the third image shown.


Step 22

Select the dark rectangle, make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + F), and grab the Ellipse Tool (L). Create a 450 by 90px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Select this squeezed circle, along with the rectangle copy, and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

This will create a group with two simple shapes. Remove the bottom shape, ungroup (Shift + Command + G) the remaining shape, and bring it to front (Shift + Command + Right Bracket key). Fill it with the linear gradient shown in the final image and lower its Opacity to 15%. The yellow zero from the gradient image stands for Opacity percentage.


Step 23

Disable the Snap to Grid. Reselect the Type Tool (T), click on your artboard, and enter "September 2011." Place this text as shown below and use the Calibri font with a size of 23pt. Set the color to R=65, G=64, B=66. Now go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 24

Reselect the dark rectangle and create a copy in back (Command + C > Command + B). Move it 5px down, lower its Opacity to 30%, and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 10px radius and click OK.


Step 25

Reselect the dark rectangle and go to the Appearance panel. Add a second fill for this shape, lower its Opacity to 40%, and use the radial gradient shown in the following image. Don't forget that the yellow zero from the gradient image stands for Opacity percentage. Add a black stroke, make it 2pt wide, and align it to outside.

Add a second stroke, make it 1pt wide, align it to outside and set its color at R=147, G=149, B=152. Finally, reselect the entire path and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 26

Now let's add a different set of colors for the frame. Start with the thin, long shape. Select it and replace the white with R=125, G=143, B=81. Now raise its Opacity to 70%. Now move to the arrow buttons. Select them, go to the Appearance panel, and replace the existing colors with the ones shown in the following image.


Step 27

Select the dark frame and go to the Appearance panel. First, replace the flat colors with the colors shown in the following image. Next, select the fill with the gradient. Raise its Opacity to 100%, change the blending mode to Overlay, and replace the existing gradient with the one shown below.


Step 28

Here are the colors that you'll need to use if you prefer a brown frame. First, the colors for the arrow buttons and the thin, long shape.


Step 29

Next, the colors for the large frame.


Step 30

Finally, the background. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a shape the size of your artboard. Fill it with the linear gradient shown below, then go to the Appearance panel, and add a second fill. For this new fill you will need a built-in pattern. Go to the Swatches panel, open the fly-out menu, and go to Open Swatch Library > Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Textures.

A new window with a set of built-in patterns should open. Return to the Appearance panel, select that second fill, and click on the USGS 19 Land Inundation pattern. Now that you added the pattern for your fill, lower its Opacity to 35%. Reselect the first fill and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the data shown below, click OK, and you're done.


Conclusion

The final icon is below with multiple color options shown.

Related Posts