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Create a Simple Clipboard Icon in Illustrator

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In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a simple clipboard icon. Use a complete Illustrator CS5 workflow, vector shape building techniques, and vector effects to design this icon. Let's get started.


Step 1

Hit Command + N to create a new document. Enter 600 in the width and height boxes, 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).

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. All these options will significantly increase your work speed.


Step 2

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 240 by 325px shape. The Snap to Grid will ease your work. Remember to look into your Info panel for the live preview with the size and location of your shape. Once created, fill your shape with R=195, G=153, B=108. Remove the color from the stroke. Move to the Layers panel, Double-click on this fresh shape and name it "Support".


Step 3

Reselect "Support" and move to the Appearance panel. Select the existing fill and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 4

Reselect "Support" and click on the Add New Fill button. It's the little white square icon from the bottom of the Appearance panel. Obviously, this will add a new fill for your shape. Select it from the Appearance panel, set its color at R=35 G=31 B=32, lower the Opacity to 5%, change the blending mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Sketch > Graphic Pen. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 5

Reselect "Support" and add a third fill. Drag this new fill into the bottom of the Appearance panel, fill it with the linear gradient shown below, and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the data shown below and click OK. The white numbers from the gradient image stands for Location percentage.


Step 6

Reselect "Support" and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the fill added in the previous step and click on the Duplicate Selected Item. It's the little file icon located at the bottom of the Appearance panel. This will add a copy of the fill.

Select this new fill, set its color at R=35 G=31 B=32, lower its Opacity to 5%, change the blending mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Sketch > Graphic Pen. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 7

Reselect "Support" and add a fifth fill. Drag it into the bottom of the Appearance panel, fill it with R=117 G=76 B=41, and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 8

Reselect "Support" and add a sixth fill. Drag it into the bottom of the Appearance panel, fill it with R=35 G=31 B=32, lower its Opacity to 20%, and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 9

Reselect "Support" and add a first stroke. Set its color at R=212 G=183 B=150, make it 2pt wide, and align it to inside. Focus on the Appearance panel and add a second stroke using the Add New Stroke button. It's the little black square from the bottom of the Appearance panel. Select this new stroke, set its color at R=138 G=94 B=60, make it 1pt wide, and make sure that it is aligned to inside.


Step 10

Reselect "Support", make sure that no fill or stroke is selected, and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below, click OK, and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 7px radius and click OK. Have a closer look at the Appearance panel and make sure that the Rounded Corners effect is in the top of the panel.


Step 11

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. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 210 by 290px shape, and fill it with white. Switch to the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 7px circle, fill it with a random color, and place it as shown in the following image.


Step 12

Reselect the circle created in the previous step and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the data shown below, click OK, and apply Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 13

Select the group of circles created in the previous step, along with the white rectangle, and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.


Step 14

Reselect the white shape (result from the previous step) and place it as shown in the following step.


Step 15

Reselect the white shape and add a stroke. Set its color at R=229 G=230 B=231, make it 2pt wide, and align it to inside. Add a second stroke for this shape, set the color at R=255 G=255 B=255, make it 1pt wide and align it to inside.


Step 16

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 202 by 1px shape. Fill it with R=152, G=199, B=219. Now place it as shown in the following image.


Step 17

Reselect the blue shape created in the previous step and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 18

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 1 by 282px shape. Fill it with R=246, G=186, B=186. Now place it as shown.


Step 19

Reselect the pink shape created in the previous step and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 20

Select the white shape, along with the blue and the pink shapes, then group them (Command + G). Select this new group and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 21

Reselect the group created in the previous step and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 22

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 95 by 24px shape. Remove the color from the fill and add a 3pt stroke. Set its color at R=109, G=110, B=113. Make sure that this fresh shape is still selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 5px radius and click OK. In the end your shape should look like the first image shown.

Reselect it and make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + F). Select this copy, increase the stroke size to 5pt, and go to Object > Path > Outline Stroke. Select the resulting path and make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + F).


Step 23

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create two, 17px squares and place them as shown in the first image. Select the left square, along with one of the paths crated at the end of the previous step, and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the right square, along with the other path created at the end of the previous step, and click again on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel.


Step 24

Focus on the two shapes created in the previous step. First, you'll need the Round Any Corner script. You can find it in the Vectortuts+ article 20 Free and Useful Adobe Illustrator Scripts article. Save it to your hard drive and grab the Direct Selection Tool (A).

Select the eight anchor points highlighted in the first image and go to File > Scripts > Other Script. Open the Round Any Corner Script, enter a 1px Radius, and click OK. In the end your shapes should look like the second image shown.


Step 25

Reselect the two shapes edited in the previous step and replace the flat color from the fill with the radial gradient shown below.


Step 26

Again, reselect the shapes created in the previous step and add the two simple strokes shown in the Appearance panel.


Step 27

Reselect the rounded rectangle created in step 22. Add a second stroke for this path, make it 2.5pt wide, and set the color to white. Add a third stroke for this path, make it 1.75pt wide, and set its color at R=229, G=230, B=231.


Step 28

Reselect the shape edited in the previous step and add a new stroke. Select it from the Appearance panel, make it 0.5pt wide, set its color at R=166, G=168, B=171. Now go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 29

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create two, 13 by 1px shapes. Fill both shapes with R=250 G=250 B=250 and place them as shown in the following image.


Step 30

Select all the shapes created in the last eight steps and group them (Command + G). Select this new group and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 31

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a 14px circle. Fill it with the linear gradient shown below and place it as shown in the following image. Add a 2pt stroke for this shape, align it to inside, and set its color at R=245, G=245, B=245. Add a second stroke for this path, set its color at R=166, G=168, B=171, make it 1pt wide, and align it to inside. Add a third stroke for this path, set its color at R=88 G=89 B=91, make it 0.3pt wide, and align it to outside.


Step 32

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create an 85 by 11px shape, fill it with R=229, G=230, B=231. Now place it as shown in the following image. Move into the Appearance panel and add the three strokes shown below.

It's the same set of strokes used for the shape created in the previous step. Make sure that this shape is still selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 3px radius and click OK.


Step 33

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 83 by 3px shape, and fill it with R=166, G=168, B=171. Now place it as shown in the first image. Continue with the Rectangle Tool (M) and create two, 81 by 1px shapes. Fill them with R=245 G=245 B=245 and R=128 G=129 B=132, then place them as show in the second image shown below.


Step 34

Select all the shapes and groups created in the last twelve steps and group them (Command + G). Select this fresh group and place it as shown in the second image.


Step 35

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create an 83 by 8px shape, fill it with the linear gradient shown below, and place it as shown in the following image. Focus on the Appearance panel and add the three strokes shown below. Move to the Layers panel and drag this fresh rectangle below the two groups.


Step 36

Finally, if you can edit the "Support" shape. In the following images you can find two different sets of properties that you can use for this shape.


Conclusion

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

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