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Create a Safe Icon in Adobe Illustrator

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In the following tutorial you will learn to create a safe icon. We'll use a variety of Adobe Illustrator tools and techniques to create this icon. Learn how to make a place to stash your vector gold. It's all about the details you put into this design to give it a bit of shine.


Step 1

Create a 300 by 300px 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

Start with the Rectangle Tool (M). Create a 185px by 210px shape and fill it with R=163, G=163, B=163. Create a second rectangle. Make it 185px wide and 10px tall, fill it with R=67, G=67, B=67. Now place it as shown in the following image. The Snap to Grid will ease your work.


Step 3

Focus on the darker shape. Pick the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select the top left anchor point and move it 25px to the right. Now select the top right anchor point and move it 25px to the left. Now, the shape should look like a trapezoid.


Step 4

Duplicate the shapes made in the previous step (Command + C > Command + F). Make the original shape invisible, then select the copies and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=203, G=203, B=203. Now go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 1,5px radius, click OK, then lock it.


Step 5

Turn back to visible the two shape from the previous step. Select them and hit Shift + Command + Right Bracket key to bring them to front.

First, focus on the dark one. Replace the fill color with the linear gradient shown below, then go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 2px radius, click OK then go to Object > Expand Appearance.

Now, let's move to the second shape. Make sure that it's filled with R=163, G=163, B=163. Now go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 2px radius, click OK then go to Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 6

Select the large, gray shape and go to the Appearance panel. Open the fly-out menu and click on Add New Fill. This will add a second fill for the selected shape. Select this new fill and use the linear gradient shown below the first image. Take a closer look at the gradient image and you'll notice some yellow text above the gradient sliders. It stands for Opacity. It means that you need to select those sliders and lower their opacity to 0%.

Add a third fill for this shape. This time use the linear gradient shown below the second image. Add one final fill. Select it and make it black. Lower its opacity to 10%, change the blending mode to Multiply, then go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the data shown below and then click OK.


Step 7

Disable the Snap to Grid then go to Edit > Preferences > General and enter 0,5 in the Keyboard Increment box. Make two copies of the shape from the previous step (Command + C > Command + F).

Select the top copy then hit the right arrow once and the down arrow twice. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting shape and remove all the extra fills (from the Appearance panel). Save only one fill and replace the existing color with R=209, G=211, B=212.


Step 8

Reselect the large, gray shape and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -15px Offset and click OK. Select this new fill, keep the first fill (R=163, G=163, B=163) and remove the rest. Next, go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 2px radius, click OK then go to Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 9

Select the shape made in the previous step and add a dark stroke (R=52, G=52, B=52). Make it 1,5pt wide and align it to outside. Next, go to Object > Expand Appearance. You should get two separate shapes, one representing the fill and the other the stroke. Select the second one and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the data shown below and then click OK.


Step 10

Select the gray shape, which we made in the previous step. Add two new fills and use the linear gradients shown below. Add one final fill. Select it and make it black. Lower its Opacity to 10%, change the blending mode to Multiply, then go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the data shown below and then click OK.


Step 11

Make two copies of the shape from the previous step. 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. Select the resulting shape, remove the extra fills, then fill it with R=203, G=203, B=203. Make another two copies of the shape from the previous step.

Again, select the top copy. This time hit the right arrow and the down arrow only once. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting shape, remove the extra fills, then fill it with R=230, G=231, B=232.


Step 12

Enable the Snap to Grid and make a copy of the shape from the previous step. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a shape like the red one shown in the first image. Grab the Delete Anchor Point Tool(-) and click on the top left anchor point. Now, the rectangle should turn into a triangle. Select it along with the copy and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black and lower its Opacity to 2%.


Step 13

Now, let's create the hinges. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 20 by 10px shape, and place it as shown in the following image. Fill it with any color and then apply Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 1,8px radius, click OK, then go to Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 14

Select the shape made in the previous step. First, fill it with the linear gradient shown below and add a 0,75 stroke, aligned to outside (R=67, G=67, B=67). Next, add a second fill. Select it and make it black. Lower its Opacity to 5%, change the blending mode to Multiply, then go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the data shown below and then click OK.

Make two copies of this shape. Select the top one and hit the right arrow and the down arrow once. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting shape. Remove the stroke and the extra fill and then replace the color from the existing fill with R=203, G=203, B=203. Select these two shape and group them (Command + G).


Step 15

Select the group made in the previous step and make two copies. Move these copies as shown in the following image. Once again, the Snap to Grid will ease your work.


Step 16

For the following step you will need a grid every 1px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box. Now grab the Ellipse Tool (L). Hold Shift and create a 57px by 57px shape. Fill it with R=159, G=159, B=159. Now add a second fill and use the linear gradient shown in the second image. Reselect the entire path and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 17

Select the shape made in the previous step and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape. Remove the drop shadow effect on the second fill, then select the remaining fill and replace the existing color with black. Select this black shape and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -4px Offset and click OK.

Select the resulting path, fill it with none and add a white stroke. Make it 3pt wide and align it to the outside. Select this stroke and open the Stroke panel (Window > Stroke). Check the Dashed Line box and then move it down. Enter 0,5pt in the dash box and 13pt in the gap box. Now your shape should look as shown in the third image below. Duplicate it. Select the copy, return to the Stroke panel and enter 2,2pt in the gap box. Now, your copy should look like the fourth image below.


Step 18

Select one of the last shapes made in the previous step. Go to Object > Path > Offset Path, enter a -3px Offset and click OK. We'll use this shape to type on it. Pick the Type on a Path Tool, click on the edge of this shape, and add your white text. I used the Myriad Pro font with a size of 3pt, but you can try another font if you prefer.

Now that you added the text, reselect one of the stroked shapes (made in the previous step). Again, go to Object > Path > Offset Path, this time enter a -4px Offset, and click OK.

Select the resulting shape, fill it with R=67, G=67, B=67. Now give it a 3pt, black stroke, aligned to the inside. Select this stroke (from the Appearance panel) and lower its Opacity to 10%. Finally, add two new fills for this shape and use the linear gradients shown in the last two images.


Step 19

Disable the Snap to Grid and enable the Smart Guides. Pick the Pen Tool (P) and create the two triangle shapes made in the following images. Fill the first one with R=46, G=46, B=46, and the second one with white. Now select them both and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 15px radius and click OK.

Next, you need to mask these two shapes. First, group them (Command + G) then duplicate the second shape made in the previous step. Select this copy, fill it with white and move it above the group (in the Layers panel). Open the Transparency panel. Reselect the white shape along with the group, open the fly-out menu of the Transparency panel and click on Make Opacity Mask. Now, your group should look like in the final reference image.


Step 20

Select the second shape made in the 18th step and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -8px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape and move it above the group made in the previous step.

First, fill it with the linear gradient and then add two strokes. Make them both 0,75pt wide and align them to the outside. Fill the first one with R=159, G=159, B=159 and the second one with black.

Now, focus on the black stroke. Select it, move it to the Stroke panel, check the Dashed Line box and then enter 1pt in the dash box. Reselect the entire path and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below and then click OK. In the end your shape should look like the reference image.


Step 21

Duplicate the shape made in the previous step. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a shape like the red one shown in the first image. Grab the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-) and click on the top left anchor point. Again, you'll get a triangle. Select it along with the copy, and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=52, G=52, B=52 and lower its Opacity to 10%.


Step 22

Select the shapes made in the last six steps and group them (Command + G). Select this group and place it as shown in the following image.


Step 23

Disable the Smart Guides and enable the Snap to Grid. For the next step you'll need a grid every 2,5px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 2,5 in the Gridline every box. Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a 25px by 25px shape. First, fill it with the linear gradient and then add a 0,25pt, aligned to outside stroke (R=98, G=98, B=98).

Reselect the entire path and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below and then click OK. Duplicate this circle and then pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a shape like the red one shown in the following image.

Pick the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-) and click on the top left anchor point. Select the resulting shape, along with the copy, and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=52, G=52, B=52 and lower its Opacity to 20%.


Step 24

Pick the Polar Grid Tool, hold Shift, and then click and drag. Hit the down arrow to decrease the number of circles to one then the left arrow to decrease the number of lines to three. Create a 80px by 80px grid and place it as shown in the first image. Select the circle and delete it, and then focus on the lines. Increase the stroke size to 5pt and then open the stroke panel and click on the Round Cap button. Now, your shapes should look like the third reference image. Reselect them and go to Object > Expand.


Step 25

Let's focus on the three shapes made in the previous step. Select the bottom one. Fill it with the linear gradient, add a 0,05pt stroke (R=52 G=52 B=52) then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below and then click OK. Repeat the same effect for the other two shapes, but modify the gradient angle.


Step 26

Disable Snap to Grid. Pick the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 12px by 12px shape and place it as shown in the following image. Fill it with R=110, G=110, B=110 and add a 0,5pt stroke, aligned to the inside (R=106, G=106, B=106).


Step 27

Select the shapes made in the last four steps and group them (Command + G). Select this group and place it as shown in the following image.


Step 28

Finally, select the large, gray shape (made in the sixth step) and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below, click OK, and you're done.


Conclusion

The final image is below.

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