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Create a Plastic ID Badge in Illustrator

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In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a plastic ID badge in Adobe Illustrator CS5. We'll use pixel perfect vector build methods, multiple highlights, and effects to create the plastic and lanyard texture, then add your own image to the badge.


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 your click OK.


Step 2

Let's start with the background. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a shape the size of your artboard. Fill it with R=39, G=167, B=222. Remove the color from the stroke.

Make sure that this blue rectangle is selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill using the Add New Fill button. It's the little white square located at the bottom of the Appearance panel. Select this new fill and use the radial gradient shown below. The yellow zero from the gradient image stands for opacity percentage.

Add a third fill for this rectangle, select it from the Appearance panel and make it black. Lower its Opacity to 5%, change the blending mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the data shown below and click OK. Move to the Layers panel and lock this shape to make sure that you won't select or move it accidentally.


Step 3

Now turn on the Grid (View > Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). 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 to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Unit > General. All these options will significantly increase your work speed.


Step 4

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 400 by 265px shape. The Snap to Grid will ease your work. You won't be able to view the grid because it is hidden behind the background shape. You can easily bring it to front if you uncheck the Grids in Back box from Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid, but it's better to keep it in the back.

Fill this new rectangle with white R=232, G=255, B=255. Make sure that there's no color set for the stroke, lower its Opacity to 25% and then go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 10px radius, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance panel. Move to the Layers panel, Double-click on this new shape and name it "Plastic".


Step 5

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid) then go to Edit > Preferences > General and make sure that the Keyboard Increment is set to 1px. Reselect the shape created in the previous step and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -3px radius and click OK. Select the resulting shape and make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + F).

Select this copy and hit the left arrow and the up arrow twice. Reselect these two new shapes, open the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder) and click on the Minus Front button. Fill the resulting shape with a linear gradient shown below and lower its Opacity to 30%. Remember that the yellow zeros from the gradient image stand for Opacity percentage.


Step 6

Reselect "Plastic" and make two new copies in front (Command + C > Command + F > Command + F). Select the top copy and hit the right arrow and the down arrow twice. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white and lower its Opacity to 65%.


Step 7

Reselect "Plastic" and make two new copies in front (Command + C > Command + F > Command + F). Select the top copy, then hit the left arrow and the up arrow once. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white and lower its Opacity to 50%.


Step 8

Reselect "Plastic" and make two new copies in front (Command + C > Command + F > Command + F). Select the top copy, then hit the left arrow and the up arrow five times. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white and lower its Opacity to 10%.


Step 9

Reselect "Plastic" and make a copy in back (Command + C > Command + B). Select this copy and focus on the Appearance panel. Increase the Opacity to 100%, remove the color from the fill and add a 1pt stroke. Set its color at R=208, G=208, B=208. Now align it to outside and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 10

Re-enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Gird). Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create an 85 by 10px shape and place it as shown below. Fill it with white, make sure that there's no color set for the stroke, and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 5px radius, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Switch to the Ellipse Tool (L) and create two, 10px circles. Place them as shown in the following image and fill them with white.

Select these three new shapes (along with "Plastic") and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. The resulting shape should look like the third image shown. Move to the Layers panel, rename it "Plastic" and drag it to the bottom of the Appearance panel, right above the background shape.


Step 11

Reselect "Plastic", raise its Opacity to 100%, make sure that it's still filled with R=232 G=255 B=255, and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the existing fill, lower its Opacity to 25%, then add a second fill. Select it from the Appearance panel, lower its Opacity to 20% and use the linear gradient shown below.


Step 12

Reselect "Plastic", add a third fill and use the linear gradient shown below. Select it from the Appearance panel, lower its Opacity to 25% and change the blending mode to Overlay. The white numbers from the gradient image stand for location image.


Step 13

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 5 by 275px shape, fill it with white, and place it as shown in the first image. Select this thin rectangle and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the data shown in the second image, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the resulting group of shapes and turn it into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make).


Step 14

Reselect "Plastic" and make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + F). Select this copy (along with the compound path created in the previous step) and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Again, select the resulting group of shapes and turn it into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make). Fill it with the linear gradient shown below and lower its Opacity to 5%.


Step 15

Reselect "Plastic", make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + F) and bring it to front (Shift + Command + ] ). Select this copy and get rid of the existing properties from the Appearance panel. You can easily do it using the D key from your Keyboard. It replaces the existing properties with the default properties (white fill and a 1pt, black stroke). Remove the stroke and replace the white with a simple blue (or any dark color).

Now, make sure that this blue shape is still selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance. This will create a new group with two simple subgroups. One is normal, while the other should be masked. Delete the normal one, then select the masked subgroup and lower its Opacity to 40%.


Step 16

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 400 by 10px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Fill it with the linear gradient shown in the first image, lower its Opacity to 15%, and go to Effect > Warp > Bulge. Enter the data shown in the second image and click OK.


Step 17

Select all the shapes created so far (except the background shape), group them (Command + G) and lock the group.


Step 18

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L), create a new 10px circle, fill it with white and place it as shown below. Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid) and make two copies in front of this shape. Select the bottom copy, then hit the left arrow and the up arrow once. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Lower the Opacity of the resulting shape to 30%.


Step 19

Reselect the white circle created in the previous step and make two copies in front. Select the bottom copy, hit the right arrow and the down arrow once. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Lower the Opacity of the resulting shape to 80%. Again, select the white circle and make two new copies in front.

Select the bottom copy and hit the right arrow and the down arrow twice. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Lower the Opacity of the resulting shape to 30%.

Once again, select the white circle and make two new copies in front. Select the top copy, then hit the right arrow and the down arrow once. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=35, G=31, B=32. Now lower its Opacity to 10%.


Step 20

Reselect the circle, lower its Opacity to 20% and replace the white with the radial gradient shown below. Select all the shapes created in the previous two steps and group them (Command + G). Re-enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid), make a copy of this group, and drag it to the right as shown in the second image.


Step 21

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and recreate the rounded rectangle from step 10. Again, make it 85px wide and 10px tall, fill it with white and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 5px radius, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the resulting shape, disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid), and repeat the techniques used for the white circle in steps 18 and 19. Group all those thin shapes when you're done.


Step 22

Re-enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 370 by 200px shape. Fill it with R=239 G=239 B=239, make sure that there's no color set for the stroke, and then go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 10px radius, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance panel. Move to the Layers panel, Double-click on this new shape and name it "Frame".


Step 23

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 2px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape and make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + F).

Select this copy and hit the right arrow and the down arrow twice. Reselect these two new shapes and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white and lower its Opacity to 20%.


Step 24

Reselect the shape created in the previous step and make a copy in back (Command + C > Command + B). Select this copy, increase its Opacity to 80% and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 2px radius and click OK.


Step 25

Reselect "Frame" and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 2px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape and make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + F). Select this copy, then hit the left arrow and the up arrow once. Reselect these two new shapes and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white and lower its Opacity to 40%.


Step 26

Reselect the shape created in the previous step and make a copy in back (Command + C > Command + B). Select this copy, increase its Opacity to 100% and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 3px radius and click OK.


Step 27

Reselect "Frame" and make two copies in front. Select the top copy, then hit the right arrow and the down arrow twice. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white.


Step 28

Reselect "Frame" and make two new copies in front. Select the top copy, then hit the left arrow and the up arrow twice. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Again, fill the resulting shape with white.


Step 29

Reselect "Frame", make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + F) and bring it to front (Shift + Command + ] ). Select this copy, fill it with a flat blue, and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the data shown below, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Move to the Layers panel and focus on the resulting group. Open it, delete the unmasked subgroup, and lower the Opacity of the masked one to 30%.


Step 30

Re-enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). For the following image you will need a grid every 1px. So, go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid, then enter 1 in the Gridline every box.

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 130 by 160px shape, and place it shown in the first image. Fill it with white and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 5px radius and click OK. Load your image (or use this one), re-size it and place it as shown in the second image.

Drag this photo below the white, rounded rectangle and open the Transparency panel. Select this white, rounded rectangle (along with the photo), open the fly-out menu of the Transparency panel, and go to Make Opacity Mask. This will add the sharp, rounded corners for your image.


Step 31

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a new 130 by 160px shape ,and place it above the masked photo. Fill this new rectangle with the linear gradient shown below and focus on the Appearance panel.

Select the fill and lower its Opacity to 50%. Continue and add a 2pt stroke for this shape. Align it to outside and set its color at R=185, G=187, B=189. Make sure that this shape is still selected and add a second stroke using the Add New Stroke button. It's the little, black square icon located at the bottom of the Appearance panel.

Select this new stroke, make it 1pt wide, set the color at R=2555, G=2555, B=255. Now align it to outside. Reselect this rectangle, make sure that no fill or stroke is selected (in the Appearance panel), and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 5px radius and click OK.


Step 32

Switch back to "Gridline every 5px". So, go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 5 in the Gridline every box. Select "Frame" and make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + F). Pick the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 400 by 170px shape, fill it with white and place it as shown in the second image.

Select this white circle (along with the copy of "Frame") and click on the Intersect 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 33

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 360 by 190px shape. Fill it with a random color, place it as shown in the first image, and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 10xp radius, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid), select the resulting shape and make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + F).

Select this copy, then hit the left arrow and the up arrow three times. Reselect both shapes and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient (shown in the final image) and lower its Opacity to 80%.


Step 34

Reselect "Frame" and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 35

Re-enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 400 by 50px shape, and place it as shown in the first image. Fill it with the linear gradient shown in the first image, lower its Opacity to 10%, and go to Effect > Warp > Bulge. Enter the data shown (in the second image) and click OK.


Step 36

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 40px circle and place it as shown in the following image. Remove the colors from the fill and add an 8px stroke (any color). Align it to inside and go to Object > Path > Outline Stroke.

Switch to the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 60 by 40px shape, and place it as shown in the second image. Select this fresh rectangle, along with the expanded stroke, and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. The resulting shape should look like the third image shown.


Step 37

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 -3px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape and make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + F). Select this copy and hit the right arrow and the down arrow once.

Reselect these two new shapes and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=144, G=146, B=139. Now turn them into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make).


Step 38

Reselect the shape created in step 36 and focus on the Appearance panel. First, replace the flat color from the fill with the linear gradient shown below. Next, add a stroke. Make it white, 2pt wide and align it to inside. Select it from the Appearance panel, lower its Opacity to 70%, then add a second stroke for this shape. Make it 1pt wide, align it to inside, and set its color at R=149, G=145, B=149.


Step 39

Re-enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 10 by 40px shape. Fill it with a random color, place it as shown in the first image, and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 5xp radius, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 40

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid), select the shape created in the previous step, and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -3px Offset, click OK and make a copy of the resulting shape. Select this copy, then hit the left arrow and the up arrow once. Reselect the two shapes created in this step and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=164, G=166, B=169.


Step 41

Reselect the shape created in step 39 and focus on the Appearance panel. First, replace the flat color from the fill with the linear gradient shown below. Next, add a stroke for this shape. Make it white, 2pt wide and align it to inside. Select it from the Appearance panel, lower its Opacity to 70%, then add a second stroke for this shape. Make it 1pt wide, align it to inside, and set its color at R=149, G=145, B=149.


Step 42

Re-enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 60 by 40px shape. Fill it with R=35 G=31 B=32 and switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A).

Select the bottom, left anchor point and move it 5px to the right. Continue with the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the bottom, right anchor point and move it 5px to the left. Now your shape should look like a trapezoid. Reselect it and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 5xp radius, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 43

Switch to "Gridline every 1px". Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 1 by 40px shape, fill it with black and place it as shown in the first image.

Select this thin rectangle and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the data shown in the second image, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the resulting group of shapes, turn it into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make), and make sure that it's filled with black.


Step 44

Reselect the shape created in step 42 and make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + F). Select this cop,y along with the compound path created in the previous step, and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Again, select the resulting group of shapes and turn it into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make).


Step 45

Reselect the shape created in step 42, make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + F) and bring it to front (Shift + Command + ] ). Select this copy and focus on the Appearance panel. Remove the color from the fill and add a simple stroke. Make it 2pt wide, set its color at R=80 G=80 B=80, and align it to inside. Add a second stroke for this shape, make it black, 1pt wide and align it to inside.


Step 46

Reselect the shape created in step 42, add a new fill, and use the linear gradient shown below.


Step 47

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 30 by 195px shape, and fill it with R=28, G=117, B=185. Continue with the Rectangle Tool (M) and create two, 30 by 1px shapes. Fill them with R=13 G=105 B=186 and place them as shown in the second image. Select these two, thin shapes and hit Alt + Command + B. This will add a simple blend between these two shapes. Next, you need to edit it.

Make sure that your blend is selected and Double-click on the Blend Tool from the Toolbar (or got to Object > Blend > Blend Options). Select Specified Steps from the Spacing drop down menu, enter 30 in the box, and click OK. In the end, your blend should look like the third image below.


Step 48

Reselect the blend created in the previous step and go to Object > Expand. Select the group of shapes created in the previous step and turn it into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make). Make a copy of this compound path, fill it with R=0 G=135 B=217, and move it 1px down.


Step 49

Reselect the large, blue rectangle and make two copies in front (Command + C > Command + F > Command + F). Select the top copy and hit the right arrow once. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=13, G=105, B=186.


Step 50

Reselect the large, blue rectangle and make two new copies in front (Command + C > Command + F > Command + F). Select the top copy and hit the left arrow once. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=13, G=105, B=186.


Step 51

Reselect the large, blue rectangle and make two new copies in front (Command + C > Command + F > Command + F). Select the top copy and hit the left arrow twice. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=0, G=135, B=217.


Step 52

Reselect the three, thin shapes created in the last three steps, group them (Command + G) and bring the group to front (Shift + Command + ] ). Now select all the shapes created in the last five steps and group them (Command + G).


Step 53

Select the group created in the previous step, rotate it and place it as shown in the second image. Reselect the large, blue rectangle inside this group, make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + F) and bring it to front (Shift + Command + ] ). Fill this copy with the linear gradient shown in the fourth image, lower its Opacity to 30%, and change the blending mode to Multiply.


Step 54

Reselect the group created and edited in the previous step, then duplicate it. Select this new group, rotate it and place it as shown in the first image. Now, select both groups, focus on the Layers panel, and drag them below the black shape.


Step 55

Select all the shapes highlighted in the first image and group them (Command + G). Select this new group and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below, click OK and you're done.


Conclusion

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

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