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Design

Create a Simple Speedometer Illustration in Adobe Illustrator

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:MediumLanguages:

In the following steps you will learn how to create a simple speedometer illustration in Adobe Illustrator. We'll be using some basic tools and blending techniques to achieve this icon, so let's get to it!


1. Create a New Document and Add a Simple Background

Step 1

Hit Control-N to create a new document. Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, 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.

Speedomenter Illustration

Step 2

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and focus on your Toolbar. Remove the color from the stroke then select the fill and set its color at R=34 G=32 B=44. Make sure that Rectangle Tool (M) is active and simply click on your artboard to open the Rectangle window. Enter 610 in the width and height boxes then simply click the OK button to get your 610px square.

Next, you need to center this dark shape, so open the Align panel (Window > Align). Set the aligning to Artboard (open the fly out menu and go to Show Options if you can't see the Align To section as shown in the following image) then simply click the Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons. In the end your shape should cover the entire artboard.

Finally, go to the Layers panel (Window > Layers), open the existing layer, simply double-click on the shape made in this step and name it "bg".

Speedomenter Illustration

2. Create the Main Frame of Your Speedometer

Step 1

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and simply click on your artboard to open the Ellipse window. Enter a 260 in the width and height boxes then click the OK button to create your 260px circle.

Make sure that this new shape stays selected, open the Gradient panel (Window > Gradient) and simply click on the gradient thumbnail to add the default black to white linear gradient. Keep focusing on the Gradient panel, set the Angle at 90 degrees then move to the gradient slider. Select the right gradient slider and set the color at R=64 G=62 B=74 then select the left gradient slider. Set the color at R=123 G=160 B=117 then move to the Location box (from the Gradient panel) and set it at 15%. Keep in mind that the white numbers from the Gradient images stand for Location percentage.

Make sure that the circle made in this step is still selected and center it using the Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons from the Align panel. Finally, go to the Layers panel and name this new shape "mainBack".

Speedomenter Illustration

Step 2

Reselect your "mainBack" shape and open the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance). Select the existing fill, open the Transparency panel (Window > Transparency) and lower the Opacity to 50%.

Return to the Appearance panel, make sure that the fill stays selected and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 10px Offset, click OK and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 15px Radius and click OK.

Speedomenter Illustration

Step 3

Reselect your "mainBack" shape, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill using the Add New Fill button (pointed by the little, blue arrow in the following image). Select this new fill, replace the existing linear gradient with the one shown in the following image, lower its Opacity to 15% and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 10px Offset and click OK.

Speedomenter Illustration

Step 4

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a second 260px circle and set its fill color at R=34 G=32 B=44. Center this new shape using the Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons from the Align panel then move to the Layers panel and name it "mainFront".

Speedomenter Illustration

Step 5

Make sure that your "mainFront" shape is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel, select the existing fill and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the properties shown in the following image, click OK and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the attributes shown below and click OK.

Speedomenter Illustration

Step 6

Reselect your "mainFront" shape, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill using that same Add New Fill button. Select this new fill, set the color at black, lower its Opacity to 10%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1px Offset, click OK and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and click OK.

Speedomenter Illustration

3. Create the Thin Line Indicators

Step 1

Enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). For starters you will need a grid every 5px, so go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid, enter 5 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box.

Using the Pen Tool (P), create two vertical, 10px paths and place them as shown in the following image. The Snap to Grid should ease your work. Add a 2pt stroke for these little paths and set the color at R=1 G=212 B=68. Make sure that both paths are selected and simply hit Control-G to Group them.

Speedomenter Illustration

Step 2

Make sure that the group with the two green paths is selected and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.

Speedomenter Illustration

Step 3

Reselect the group with the two green paths, go to Object > Expand Appearance then go to Object > Path > Outline Stroke. Make sure that the resulting group is selected and simply hit Shift-Control-G twice to Ungroup it. Using the Selection Tool (V), select the eleven shapes highlighted in the second image and simply hit the Delete button from your keyboard to remove them.

Speedomenter Illustration

Step 4

Reselect one of your tiny, green shapes then go to Select > Same > Appearance to easily select the other green shapes. Once you have all those shapes selected, open the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder), click the Unite button then hit Control-8 (or go to Object > Compound Path > Make) to turn your green shapes into a simple Compound Path. Move to the Layers panel and name your green compound path "thinLines".

Speedomenter Illustration

4. Create the Thick Line Indicators

Step 1

Using the Pen Tool (P), create two vertical, 15px paths and place them as shown in the following image. Once again, the Snap to Grid should ease your work. Add a 4pt stroke for these little paths and set the color at R=1 G=212 B=68. Make sure that both paths are selected and simply hit Control-G to Group them.

Speedomenter Illustration

Step 2

Make sure that your group with the two green paths is selected and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.

Speedomenter Illustration

Step 3

Reselect the group with the two green paths, go to Object > Expand Appearance then go to Object > Path > Outline Stroke. Make sure that the resulting group is selected and simply hit Shift-Control-G twice to Ungroup it. Using the Selection Tool (V), select the three shapes highlighted in the second image and simply hit the Delete button from your keyboard to remove them.

Speedomenter Illustration

Step 4

Select the remaining thirteen thick, green shapes, click the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel then hit Control-8. Move to the Layers panel and name this new compound path "thickLines".

Speedomenter Illustration

Step 5

Reselect your "thickLines" compound path, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill using that same Add New Fill button. Make sure that this new fill is selected, set the color at R=0 G=255 B=0 and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1px Offset and click OK.

Speedomenter Illustration

5. Add Some Paths Between Your Think Line Indicators

Step 1

Disable the Grid (View > Hide Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 225px circle and center it using the Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons from the Align panel.

Make sure that this new shape stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Remove the color from the fill, but add a 5pt stroke. Set its color at R=1 G=212 B=68 and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -2.5px Offset, click OK then go to Object > Expand Appearance.

Speedomenter Illustration

Step 2

Reselect the circle with the green stroke made in the previous step and go to Object > Path > Add Anchor Points. Grab the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the anchor point highlighted in the first image and simply hit the Delete button from your keyboard to remove it. Make sure that the resulting path is selected and go to Object > Path > Outline Stroke.

Speedomenter Illustration

Step 3

Reselect your "thickLines" compound path and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 2px Offset and click OK. Bring the resulting compound path to front (Shift-Control-] ) then select it along with the shape made in the previous step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Turn the resulting group of shapes into a Compound Path (Control-8) then move to the Layers panel and simply name it "intervals".

Speedomenter Illustration

Step 4

Reselect your "intervals" compound path, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill using that same Add New Fill button. Make sure that this new fill is selected, set the color at R=24 G=22 B=34 and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -2px Offset and click OK.

Speedomenter Illustration

6. Add the Text

Step 1

Pick the Type Tool (T), simply click on your artboard and add the "km/h" piece of text. Set the color at white and use the "MoolBoran" font with the size set at 20pt.

Speedomenter Illustration

Step 2

Make sure that the Type Tool (T) is still active and add some simple numbers as shown in the following image. Use the same font and color, but decrease the font size to 18pt. Reselect all your pieces of text and Group them (Control-G). Move to the Layers panel and simply name this new group "text".

Speedomenter Illustration

7. Create the Support for the Speedometer Needle

Step 1

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 30px circle and fill it with the linear gradient shown in the following image. Make sure that this new shape is selected and center it using the Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons from the Align panel.

Speedomenter Illustration

Step 2

Go to Edit > Preferences > General and make sure that the Keyboard Increment is set at 1px. Reselect your 30px circle and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1px Offset and click OK. Make sure that the resulting shape is selected and make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F).

Select this fresh copy and move it 1px down using the down arrow button from your keyboard. Reselect both shapes made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the following image and change its Blending Mode to Soft Light. Don't forget that the white numbers from the Gradient image stands for Location percentage while the yellow zeros stand for Opacity percentage.

Speedomenter Illustration

Step 3

Reselect your 30px circle 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 button from your keyboard. Reselect both copies and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white, lower its Opacity to 25% and change its Blending Mode to Soft Light.

Speedomenter Illustration

Step 4

Reselect your 30px circle, focus on the Appearance panel, select the existing fill and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the properties shown in the following image, click OK and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the top, left window (in the following image), click OK and go again to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the top, right window, click OK and go once again to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the bottom, left window, click OK and go one last time to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the bottom, right window and click OK.

Speedomenter Illustration

Step 5

Make sure that your 30px circle is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill. Select it, add the linear gradient shown in the following image and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -10px Offset, click OK and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the left window (in the following image), click OK and again to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the right window and click OK.

Speedomenter Illustration

Step 6

Make sure that your 30px circle is selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a 1pt stroke. Select it, set the color at black, align it to outside, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and lower its Opacity to 10%.

Speedomenter Illustration

Step 7

Reselect your 30px circle along with the two, thin shapes used to highlight it and Group them (Control-G). Move to the Layers panel and name this new group "support".

Speedomenter Illustration

8. Create the Needle

Step 1

Enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). For this step 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 10 x 105px shape, set the fill color at R=39 G=170 B=225 and place it as shown in the first image. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and focus on the top side of this new rectangle. Select the left anchor point and drag it 3px to the right then select the right anchor point and drag it 3px to the left.

Grab the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 4px circle, use the same fill color (R=39 G=170 B=225) and place it as shown in the third image. Reselect both shapes made in this step and click the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Move to the Layers panel and name this new, blue shape "needle".

Speedomenter Illustration

Step 2

Focus on the Layers panel and drag your "needle" below the "support" group. Make sure that this blue shape stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. First, select the existing fill and replace the blue with R=249 G=41 B=27.

Next, add a second fill for your shape, select it, add the linear gradient shown in the following image and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -3px Offset and click OK.

Speedomenter Illustration

Step 3

Reselect your "needle" and grab the Rotate Tool (R). Drag the reference point in the middle of your 30px circle (as shown in the first image) then simply rotate your "needle" as shown in the second image.

Speedomenter Illustration

Step 4

Make sure that your "needle" is still selected and add the four Drop Shadow effects (Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow) shown in the following image.

Speedomenter Illustration

9. Add Subtle Shading

Step 1

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a third 260px circle, fill it with the radial gradient shown in the following image and lower the Opacity to 35%. Remember that the white numbers from the Gradient image stands for Location percentage while the yellow zeros stand for Opacity percentage.

Make sure that this new shape is selected and center it using the Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons from the Align panel. Move to the Layers panel and name this new shape "shading".

Speedomenter Illustration

10. Recolors the Lines

Step 1

Select your "thinLines", "thickLines" and "intervals" compound paths then simply replace R=1 G=212 B=68 with R=144 G=195 B=221 and R=0 G=255 B=0 with R=0 G=255 B=255.

Speedomenter Illustration

Congratulations! You're Done!

Here is how it should look. I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and can apply these techniques in your future projects.

Speedomenter Illustration
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