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How to Create a Vector Stamp Set in Illustrator

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In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a vintage, vector stamp set in Adobe Illustrator. Learn how to build a stamp illustration, shape by shape. We'll construct the stamp border vector shape, highlight the edges, create the branding, and give the vector postage stamp a vintage texture, and final illustrator stamp effect. Let's get started with making this vector stamp in Illustrator and then transform this into a vector stamp set.


Step 1 - Create a Vector Stamp, Get Started

Now it's time to begin with making our post stamp in vector. Create a 300 by 300px, 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 2.5px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid, enter 2.5 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

Start with the Rectangle Tool (M). Create a 200px square and fill it with white. No stroke.


Step 3

Reselect the shape created in the previous step and go to the Appearance panel. Add a 7.5pt stroke and set its color at R=227, G=220, B=192. By default, it should be aligned to center. Select this stroke from the Appearance panel and click on the Duplicate Selected Item button from the bottom of the Appearance panel.

It's the little file icon placed next to the trash icon. Obviously, this will add a copy of the selected stroke. Select this new stroke, increase its size to 15pt, and go to the Stroke panel (Window > Stroke). Check the Dashed Line box and enter 8pt in the dash and gap boxes. Still in the Stroke panel, make sure that the button that Aligns dashes to corners and paths ends is selected. It's pointed with a little white arrow. In the end your shape should look like the following image.

Select it, go to Object > Expand Appearance, then go to Object > Expand. Make sure that the Fill and Stroke boxes are selected and click OK. Move to the Layers panel and you will find a group filled with a bunch of shapes.


Step 4

Select the group created in the previous step and simply click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. This will turn your group into a simple shape. Make sure that it's filled with R=227, G=220, B=192. Again, no stroke.


Step 5

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create four, 7.5px squares. Fill them with a bold color and place them as shown in the following image. The Snap to Grid should ease your work.


Step 6

Select the shapes created in the previous step along with the large, beige shape and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Now, if you look into your Layers panel you should find only one shape.


Step 7

Select the shape resulted from the previous step and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 3px radius, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 8

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid), then go to Edit > Preferences > General, and enter 1 in the Keyboard Increment box. Select your beige shape and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -2px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting path and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F).

Select this copy and hit the down arrow once. Reselect the two shapes created in this step and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. This will create a group with thin shapes. Fill them with white.


Step 9

Reselect the large, beige shape and add a 2pt stroke. Align it to inside, set the color at R=255, G=246, B=211, then add a second stroke. Make it 1pt wide, set the color at R=165, G=160, B=141, and make sure that it's aligned to inside. Reselect the entire path and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 10

Re-enable the Snap to Grid. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 175px square and place it as shown in the following image. Fill it with none, but add a 5pt stroke. Make sure that it's aligned to center and set the color at R=32, G=71, B=129. Save this color into your Swatches panel and name it "Blue". You will need it again later.


Step 11

Continue with the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 160px square and place it as shown in the following image. Fill it with none, but add a 2pt stroke. Align it to inside and set the color at as blue (R=32, G=71, B=129). Go to the Appearance panel, and duplicate the existing stroke. Select this new stroke and go to Effect > Distort &Transform > Zig Zag. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 12

Next, you need to mask the shape created in the previous step. It's a pretty simple technique. First, select it and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Fill it with white and remove the two strokes along with the Zig Zag effect.

Now, select this simple white shape along with the shape created in the previous step and go to the Transparency panel. Open the fly-out menu and click on Make Opacity Mask. In the end, your shape should look like the third image shown below.


Step 13

Move to the Ellipse Tool (L). Create a 150px circle, fill it with none and add a 5pt stroke. Align it to inside and set the color as blue (R=32, G=71, B=129).

Place this shape as shown in the first image, then go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -7.5px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape and go to the Appearance panel. Increase the stroke size to 15pt, then go to Object > Path > Offset Path.

This time enter a -12.5px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape and return to the Appearance panel. Decrease the stroke size to 0.5px, set the color at white, then make a copy of this circle. You will use these two paths to write on, so properties are not very important. The white stroke only makes them easier to spot.


Step 14

Continue with the Ellipse Tool (L). Create a 100px circle, fill it with Blue, and place it as shown in the following image.


Step 15

Let's add the text. First, select one of the circles with the thin, white stroke. Next, pick the Type on a Path Tool and simply click on the edge of this path.

Now, you should be able to add your beige text (R=227, G=220, B=192). Use the Myriad Pro font with a size of 13pt, a leading of 15.6 and a tracking of 1500. You will have to adjust these numbers if you choose to use a different text or font.


Step 16

Grab the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a 5px circle. Fill it with the same beige tint and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Pucker & Bloat. Drag the slider at 40% and click OK. Duplicate this path, then place these two circles as shown in the following image.


Step 17

Pick the Rectangle Tool and create two new rectangle. A 45 by 20px shape and a 20 by 45px shape. Place them as shown in the following image, fill them with beige and unite them.


Step 18

Reselect the large, beige shape (edited in the ninth step), and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select this copy, bring it to front (Shift + Control + Right Bracket key), and go to the Appearance panel.

Remove the strokes and the Drop Shadow effect, then replace the white fill with a black one. Lower the Opacity of this fill to 5%, change the blending mode to Multiply, and go to Effect > Distort > Glass. Enter the data shown below and click OK. Now, your stamp should look like the third image shown.


Step 19

Have a closer look at the stamp edges and you'll notice that the Glass effect exceeds the path boundaries. It's not a big deal but it's better to mask it.

So, select the shape made in the previous step, make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F) and select it. Remove the Glass effect from the Appearance panel, raise the Opacity to 100%, change the blending mode to Normal and fill it with white.

Now, repeat the same technique used in the twelfth step. Select this fresh, white shape along with the shape created in the previous step and go to the Transparency panel. Open the fly-out menu and click on Make Opacity Mask. The pixelated edges should disappear.


Step 20

Reselect the beige stamp shape and make a new copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Fill this copy only with white and bring it to front (Shift + Control + Right Bracket key).


Step 21

Switch to the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 320px by 190px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Select this ellipse along with the shape created in the previous step and click on the intersect button from the Pathfinder panel.

Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the second image, lower its Opacity to 20%, and change the blending mode to Multiply. Take a closer look at the gradient image and you'll notice a yellow zero. It stands for opacity percentage.


Step 22

Now that you stamp is complete, you can replace the blue with a light green, red, brown or any other color that you prefer.


Conclusion

This Illustrator stamp tutorial is now complete. Now your vector stamp work is done. Here is how our final vector stamp image should look.

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