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Icon Design

Create a Vinyl Record Player Icon in Adobe Illustrator

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In the following steps you will learn how to create a vinyl player icon in Adobe Illustrator. For starters, using a simple grid and the snap to grid feature along with basic tools you will create the main shapes. Next, you will learn how to create a conical gradient using a somewhat complex mesh. Using a simple blend along with some basic blending and vector shape building techniques you will learn how to create the vinyl. Moving on, using the existing meshes and a bunch of simple effects you will create the arm and a small knob. Finally, taking full advantage of the Appearance panel you will learn how to add shading, highlights and depth for the shapes made in the beginning of the tutorial.


1. Create a New Document & Setup a Grid

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.

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 simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides > Grid, enter 5 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box. You should 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 > Units > General. All these options will significantly increase your work speed.

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2. Create the Main Shapes

Step 1

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=196 G=154 B=108. Move to your artboard and simply create a 250px square, the Snap to Grid should ease your work.

Next, you need to center this 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). Make sure that your square is still selected and simply click the Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons from the Align panel. In the end your shape should be placed in the center of the artboard. Move to the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and double-click on this brown shape. Name it "main" then lock it to make sure that you won't accidentally select/move it.

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Step 2

Set the fill color at white and pick the Ellipse Tool (L). Create a 180px circle and center it using the Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons from the Align panel. Move to the Layers panel, double-click on this new shape, name it "vinylShadow" then lock it.

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Step 3

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. Focus on the bottom, left corner of your brown square and make sure that Ellipse Tool (L) is still active. Create a 24px circle and place it as shown in the first image.

Move to the Layers panel, double-click on this new circle, name it "knobShadow" then lock it. Focus on the top, right corner of your square, create a second 24px circle and place it as shown in the second image. Move to the Layers panel, double-click on this new circle, name it "armShadow" then lock it.

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3. Create the Vinyl

Step 1

Return to "gridline every 5px ", so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 5 in the Gridline every box. Make sure that the Ellipse Tool (L) is still active, create a 160px 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, open the Gradient panel (Window > Gradient) and simply click on the gradient thumbnail to add the default linear gradient for your circle.

Keep focusing on your Gradient panel, open the Type drop down menu, select Radial then move to the gradient colors. Select the right slider and set the color at black (R=0 G=0 B=0) then select the left slider and make sure that the color is set at white (R=255 G=255 B=255). Make sure that the circle made in this step is still selected and go to Object > Expand. Check the Gradient Mesh button from the Expand window and click OK.

Move to the Layers panel and you will find a new group. Select it, hit Shift-Control-G to Ungroup it and Alt-Control-7 (or go to Object > Clipping Mask > Release) to release the existing clipping mask.

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Step 2

Focus on the Layers panel and you will find a 160px circle with no color set for the fill or the stroke. Select it and simply remove it using the Delete key from your keyboard. Still focusing on the Layers panel, you should also find a simple mesh. Select it and open the Transform panel (Window > Transform). Make sure that the Constrain Width and Height Proportions button is checked then simply enter 160 in the width (or height) box. Make sure that your entire mesh is selected and make it yellow (R=255 G=221 B=23).

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Step 3

Using the Pen Tool (P), create a 170px, vertical path and center it using the Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons from the Align panel. Make sure that this simple path stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance).

Remove the color from the fill (if you have one) and select the stroke. Set its color at black, lower the Opacity to 15% and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK. Move to the Layers panel and simply lock the vertical path made in this step. You will only need it as a guideline.

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Step 4

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect your yellow mesh, pick the Mesh Tool (U) and simply add a twelve mesh points as shown in the following image. Use the vertical path made in the previous step as a guideline. Once you're done you can remove it.

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Step 5

Keep focusing on your mesh and grab the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select those mesh points and replace the yellow with the colors shown in the following image. Once you're done, move to the Layers panel, double-click on your mesh and simply name it "vinyl".

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Step 6

Make sure that your "vinyl" mesh is still selected and make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F). Focus on the Layers panel, double-click on this new mesh and simply name "vinylSupport". Lock the "vinyl" mesh and return to your artboard. Focus on the "vinylSupport" mesh and grab the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select those mesh points and replace the existing colors with the ones shown in the following image.

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Step 7

Make sure that your "vinylSupport" mesh is still selected, go to the Transform panel and simply enter 170 in the width (or height) box. Move to the Layers panel and simply drag your "vinylSupport" mesh below the "vinyl" mesh.

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Step 8

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 160px circle and center it using the Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons from the Align panel. Fill it with none but, add a 1pt, white stroke and align it to inside. Make sure that the shape made in this step is still selected and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -45px Offset and click OK.

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Step 9

Double-click on the Blend Tool (or go to Object > Blend > Blend Options). Select Specified Steps from the Spacing drop-down menu and enter "15" in that white box.

Move to the Layers panel, select both circles with the white stroke (made in the previous step) and hit Alt-Control-B (or go to Object > Blend > Make) to create a simple blend. Things should look like in the second image. Make sure that your blend is selected, lower its Opacity to 40% and change the Blending Mode to Overlay.

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Step 10

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 160px circle, set the fill color at R=255 G=222 B=23 and center it using the Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons from the Align panel. Make sure that this yellow circle is selected and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 2px Offset, click OK and move to the Layers panel.

Select the resulting shape and simply drag it below your "vinyl" mesh. Make sure that this larger yellow circle stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. First, select the fill, replace the yellow with R=20 G=15 B=15 and add the four Drop Shadow effects (Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow) shown in the following image. Next, add a 1pt, black stroke, align it to outside, lower the Opacity to 30% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

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Step 11

Select the remaining yellow circle and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the fill, replace the existing color with the radial gradient shown below, lower its Opacity to 15%, 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 properties shown in the following image and click OK.

Return to the Appearance panel, add a 2pt stroke for this circle, align it to outside and set the color at R=20 G=15 B=15.

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Step 12

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 70px circle, set the fill color at R=255 G=222 B=23 and center it using the Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons from the Align panel. Make sure that this yellow shape stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the existing fill, replace the yellow with R=15 G=10 B=10, lower its Opacity to 70%, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1px Offset and click OK.

Return to the Appearance panel and add a second fill for your shape using the Add New Fill button (pointed by the little, blue arrow in the following image). Select this new fill, set the color at R=180 G=20 B=35 and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -5px Offset and click OK.

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Step 13

Make sure that your red circle stays selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a third fill using that same Add New Fill button. Select this new fill, set the color at R=190 G=30 B=45 and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -8px Offset and click OK.

Return to the Appearance panel and add a fourth fill for your shape. Select it, add the linear gradient shown below and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -23px Offset and click OK.

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Step 14

Make sure that your red circle is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a fifth fill. Select it, set the color at R=25 G=20 B=20 and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -28px Offset, click OK and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown below, click OK and return to the Appearance panel. Add a sixth fill for your shape, select it, set the color at black, lower its Opacity to 3%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -5px Offset, click OK and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.

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Step 15

Make sure that your red circle is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a seventh fill. Select it, set the color at R=185 G=185 B=185 and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -32px Offset, click OK and return to the Appearance panel. Add the eighth fill, select it, set the color at R=115 G=115 B=115 and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -33px Offset, click OK and get back to the Appearance panel. Add one final final, select it, set the color at white and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -34px Offset and click OK.

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Step 16

Focus on the Layers panel and unlock your "vinyl" mesh. Select it along with the "vinylSupport" and the rest of the shapes that make up your vinyl and Group them (Control-G). Keep focusing on the Layers panel, double-click on this new group and simply name it "vinyl".

Vinyl Player

4. Create the Arm

Step 1

Focus on the Layers panel, open your "vinyl" group, select the "vinylSupport" mesh and make a copy in front (Control -C > Control-F). Select this copy, drag it outside the group and place it in the top of the Layers panel. Double-click on this new mesh and rename it "armBase". Make sure that it stays selected, go to the Transform panel and simply enter 20 in the width (or height) box. In the end things should look like in the third image. Reselect your "armBase" mesh, drag it up and place it as shown in the fourth image.

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Step 2

Switch to "gridline every 1px", so go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box. Focus on your "armBase" mesh. Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 14px circle, set the fill color at R=25 G=20 B=20 and place it as shown in the following image. Make sure that this new shape stays selected and add the three Drop Shadow effects (Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow) shown in the following image.

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Step 3

Return to "gridline every 5px ", so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 5 in the Gridline every box. Using the Pen Tool (P), create a simple path as shown in the following image. Make sure that it has no color set for the fill, but add a 4pt stroke and set its color at R=255 G=222 B=23.

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Step 4

Make sure that the yellow path is still selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the existing stroke, replace the yellow with R=109 G=110 B=113 then go to the Stroke panel (Window > Stroke) and simply check the Round Cap button.

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Step 5

Make sure that the path with the grey stroke is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second stroke using the Add New Stroke button (pointed by the little, blue arrow in the following image). Select this new stroke, make it 3pt wide, set the color at R=167 G=169 B=172 and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the properties shown in the following image, click OK and return to the Appearance panel. Add a third stroke and select it. Set the color at R=230 G=231 B=232, make it 1pt wide and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.

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Step 6

Make sure that the path with multiple strokes is still selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 10px Radius and click OK.

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Step 7

Reselect your "armBase" mesh, make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F) and bring it to front (Shift-Control-[ ). Select this copy, go to the Transform panel and simply enter 15 in the width (or height) box. Focus on the Layers panel and simply rename this new mesh "armBaseFront".

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Step 8

Switch to "gridline every 1px", so go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 10 x 20px shape, fill it with a random color and place it as shown in the first image. Make sure that this new rectangle stays selected and go to Object > Transform > Rotate. Enter a -45 degrees angle and click OK. Keep focusing on this shape and simply replace the flat color used for the fill with the linear gradient shown in the following image.

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Step 9

Make sure that your rotated rectangle stays selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill. Select it, set the color at white, change its Blending Mode to Soft Light and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1px Offset and click OK. Return to the Appearance panel and add a third fill for your shape. Select it, add the linear gradient shown in the following image and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1px Offset, click OK and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.

Get back to the Appearance panel, select the entire path (simply click on the Path piece of text from the top of the Appearance panel) and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 2px Radius and click OK.

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Step 10

Return to "gridline every 5px", so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 5 in the Gridline every box. Reselect your path with multiple strokes along with the rotated rectangle and the "armBaseFront" mesh and Group them (Control-G). Make sure that this new group stays selected and simply add the three Drop Shadow effects (Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow) shown in the following image.

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Step 11

Reselect all the shapes and meshes that make up the arm and simply Group them (Control-G). Move to the Layers panel, double-click on this new group and name it "arm".

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5. Create the Knob

Step 1

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 20px circle, set the fill color at R=15 G=10 B=10 and place it as shown in the following image.

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Step 2

Switch to "gridline every 1px", so go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box. Focus on the Layers panel, open your "arm" group, select the "armBase" mesh and make a copy in front (Control -C > Control-F). Select this copy, drag it outside the group and place it in the top of the Layers panel. Double-click on this new mesh and name it "knob". Move to your artboard and place the "knob" mesh as shown in the third image. Make sure that it stays selected, go to the Transform panel and simply enter 18 in the width (or height) box. In the end things should look like in the fourth image.

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Step 3

Make sure that your "knob" mesh is still selected and make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F). Select it, go to the Transform panel, enter 16 in the width (or height) box then go to Object > Transform > Rotate. Enter a -90 degrees angle and click OK.

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Step 4

Reselect your "knob" mesh and simply add the three Drop Shadow effects (Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow) shown in the following image.

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Step 5

Using the Pen Tool (P), create a 3px, vertical path and place it as shown in the first image. Add a 1pt stroke for this path and set its color at R=255 G=222 B2=23. Duplicate this thin path, select the copy, drag it down and place it as shown in the second image. Reselect both paths made in this step and Group them (Control-G). Make sure that this new group is selected and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the properties shown in the following image, click OK then go to Object > Expand Appearance and Object > Path > Outline Stroke.

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Step 6

Make sure that your group of yellow shapes is selected and hit Shift-Control-G twice to Ungroup it. Select the seventeen yellow paths highlighted in the second image and simply delete them. Next, select the five yellow shapes highlighted in the third image and hit Control-8 (or go to Object > Compound Path > Make) to turn them into a Compound Path. Make sure that this new compound path is selected and replace the yellow used for the fill with R=152 G=98 B=55.

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Step 7

Select the top, yellow shape and replace the yellow with R=35 G=30 B=30 then select the remaining yellow shape and replace the yellow with R=180 G=20 B=35. Reselect both shapes edited in this step along with the brown compound path and Group them (Control-G). Make sure that this group is selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK. Reselect this group along with the shape and the meshes that make up your knob and Group them (Control-G). Move to the Layers panel and simply name this new group "knob".

Vinyl Player

6. Add Shading, Depth and a Subtle Texture

Step 1

Return to "gridline every 5px", so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 5 in the Gridline every box. Focus on the Layers panel and unlock your "vinylShadow" shape. Select this white circle and focus on the Appearance panel.

First, replace the white with the linear gradient shown in the following image. Next, select the existing fill and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 15px Offset, click OK and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 15 Radius and click OK.

Vinyl Player

Step 2

Make sure that your "vinylShadow" shape 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 > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 5 Radius and click OK.

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Step 3

Make sure that your "vinylShadow" shape is still selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the top fill and duplicate it using the Duplicate Selected Item button (pointed by the little, blue arrow in the following image). Focus on this newly added fill, remove the existing Gaussian Blur effect then lower its Opacity to 30%.

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Step 4

Make sure that your "vinylShadow" shape is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a 1pt, black stroke. Align it to inside, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light, lower its Opacity to 15% and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -4px Offset and click OK.

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Step 5

Focus on the Layers panel and unlock your "armShadow" shape. Next, you need to copy the properties used for the "vinylShadow" circle and paste them onto this "armShadow" circle. Here is how you can easily do it. Go to the Layers panel, focus on the right side and you'll notice that every shape comes with a little grey circle. It's called a target icon. Alt-click on the target icon that stands for the "vinylShadow" shape and drag onto the target icon that stands for your "armShadow" shape. Make sure that your "armShadow" shape stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Open the Gaussian Blur effect used for the bottom fill and set the radius at 5px then open the Offset Path effect used for the same fill and set the offset at 3px. Move up to the the next fill, open the existing Gaussian Blur effect and set the radius at 3px. Finally, open the Offset Path used for the stroke and set its offset at -1px.

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Step 6

Focus on the Layers panel and unlock your "knobShadow" shape. Again, use the target icon to copy the Appearance attributes from your "armShadow" circle onto the "knobShadow" circle.

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Step 7

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 220px square, set the fill color at black and place it as shown in the first image. Move to the Layers panel and drag this new rectangle below your "vinyl", "arm" and "knob" groups. Make sure that this black shape stays selected, lower its Opacity to 40%, change the Blending Mode to Overlay and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 10px Radius, click OK and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.

Vinyl Player

7. Create the Wooden Board

Step 1

Focus on the Layers panel and unlock your "main" shape. Select this brown square, focus on the Appearance panel, add a second fill and drag it below the existing fill. Make sure that your new fill is selected, add the linear gradient shown in the following image and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 3px Offset and click OK.

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Step 2

Make sure that your "main" shape is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a third fill. Select it, set the color at black, lower its Opacity to 5%, change the Blending Mode to Overlay and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -2px Offset, click OK and go to Effect > Sketch > Graphic Pen. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.

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Step 3

Make sure that your "main" shape is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a fourth fill. Select it, set the color at R=196 G=154 B=108 and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -10px Offset, click OK 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, click OK and go to Effect > Stylize > Outer Glow. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.

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Step 4

Make sure that your "main" shape is still selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Add a 2pt stroke, set the color at R=232 G=210 B=185 and align it to inside. Keep focusing on the Appearance panel and add a second stroke for your "main" shape. Make it 1pt wide, set the color at R=169 G=124 B=80 and align it to inside.

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Step 5

Make sure that your "main" shape is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a third stroke. Select it, set the color at black, make it 1pt wide, align it to inside, change the Blending Mode to Overlay, lower its Opacity to 15% and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -10px Offset and click OK. Return to the Appearance panel and add a fourth stroke for your "main" shape. Select it, set the color at black, make it 3pt wide, align it to inside, change the Blending Mode to Overlay, lower its Opacity to 5% and hit Shift-Control-E to apply that same -10px offset effect.

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Step 6

Make sure that your "main" shape is still selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the entire path and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 20px Radius and click OK.

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Step 7

Make sure that your "main" shape is still selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the entire path and simply add the five Drop Shadow effects (Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow) shown in the following image.

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7. Add a Simple Background

Step 1

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 610px square, set the fill color at R=65 G=60 B=60 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, send it to back (Shift-Control-[ ) then focus on the Appearance panel. Add a second fill for this square and select it. Set the color at black, lower its Opacity to 10%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the properties shown in the following image, click OK and you're done.

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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.

Vinyl Player
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