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Create a Vector, Daily Flip Calendar

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In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a daily flip calendar. Learn to use vector shape building techniques, multiple Illustrator tools, and a bit of artistic ingenuity to illustrate this daily flip calendar icon. Let's get started.


Step 1

Create a 700 by 700px, 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 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 replace the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Unit > General. All these options will significantly increase your work speed.


Step 2

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 285 by 380px shape. Fill it with R=234 G=229 B=211 (no stroke) and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 10px radius, click OK, then apply Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 3

Grab the Pen Tool(P) and draw 295px, horizontal path. Place it as shown in the following image, the snap to grid will ease your work.

Select this simple path along with the shape created in the previous step and click on the Divide button from the Pathfinder panel. This will divide your rounded rectangle into two separate shapes. Go to the Layers panel and you will find a simple group with these two shapes. Select it and ungroup it (Control + Shift + G).


Step 4

Now, let's add some details for the shapes created in the previous step. Start with the top one. First, replace the flat color from the fill with the linear gradient shown below. Next, add a simple stroke. Make it 2pt wide, align it to inside, and set its color at R=234 G=229 B=211.

Go to the Appearance panel, select the existing stroke and click on the Duplicate Selected Item button. It's the little file icon from the bottom of the Appearance panel. Obviously, this will create a copy of the stroke. Select this new stroke, make it white, and decrease its size to 1pt.

Again, duplicate this new stroke. Select this third stroke, align it to outside, and set its color at R=191 G=185 B=162. In the end your shape should look like the following image. Reselect it and make a copy in the back (Control + C > Control + B).


Step 5

Select the copy created in the previous step and simply hit the up arrow once. Thanks to the Snap to Grid your shape will move 5px up. Now, let's make some changes for this shape. First, select the fill and replace the gradient with R=234 G=229 B=211.

Next, go to the Appearance panel, remove the 2pt stroke, then select the top, 1pt stroke. Replace the existing color with R=179 G=173 B=152. Your shape should look like the following image. Reselect it and make a copy in back (Control + C > Control + B).


Step 6

Select the copy created in the previous step and hit the up arrow. Now that you move your shape let's make some changes.

First, replace the existing fill color with R=234 G=229 B=211. Next, go to the Appearance panel and select the top, 1pt stroke. Replace the existing color with R=179 G=173 B=152. Your shape should look like the following image.


Step 7

Move to the bottom shape. Select it and bring it to front (Shift + Control + ] ). To speed things up let's copy the properties from the top shapes to the bottom shape. 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. Hold alt, click on the circle that stands for the top shape and drag onto the circle that stands for the bottom shape. Now the top shape and the bottom shape should have the same properties. Reselect this bottom shape and make a copy in back (Control + C > Control + B).


Step 8

Select the copy created in the previous step and move it 5px down. Return to the Layers panel and copy the properties from the shape edited in the fifth step to this shape. In the end it should look like the following image. Reselect it and make a copy in back (Control + C > Control + B).


Step 9

Select the copy created in the previous step and move it 5px down. Return to the Layers panel and copy the properties from the shape edited in the sixth step to this shape. In the end it should look like the following image.


Step 10

Select all the shapes created so far and make a set of copies in back (Control + C > Control + B). Select these fresh copies and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel.

Fill the resulting shape with R=234 G=229 B=211, and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below and click OK. This will add a discrete shadow effect for the overall calendar.


Step 11

Let's enhance the shadow effect. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 295 by 410px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Once again the snap to grid will ease your work. Fill this new shape with R=35 G=31 B=32, lower its Opacity to 15%, and send it to back (Shift + Control + [ ).

Keep focusing on this shape. Make sure that it is still selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 10px radius, click OK, and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 15px radius and click OK. In the end it should look like the second image shown.


Step 12

Disable the Grid (View > Grid ) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid) and add your first text. Start with the day number. Pick the Type Tool (T), click on your artboard, and add your number. Use the Faltura font, with a size of 275pt.

Set the tracking at 50 and the color at R=140 G=135 B=120, then go to Object > Expand (or Type > Create Outlines). Turn the resulting shapes into a simple compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make), then make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Also, select the two shapes created in the third step and make a copy in front. You will need all these copies then for the next steps.


Step 13

Select the top compound path along with the copy of the top shape and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Turn the resulting shapes into a compound path and fill it with the linear gradient shown in the second image.


Step 14

Go to Edit > Preferences > General and enter 1 in the Keyboard Increment box. Select the path created in the previous step and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F).

Select the top copy and hit the down arrow twice. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Turn the resulting group of shapes into a compound path and fill it with R=140 G=135 B=120.


Step 15

Reselect the path created in the thirteenth step and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 16

Select the other compound path created in the twelfth step, along with the copy of the bottom shape, and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Turn the resulting group of shapes into a compound path and fill it with the linear gradient shown in the second image.


Step 17

Again, select the path created in the previous step and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and hit the down arrow twice. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

You will get a group with five thin shapes. Remove the three, top shapes (pointed by the arrows), then turn the remaining shapes into a compound path. Fill it with R=140 G=135 B=120.


Step 18

Re-enable the Grid and the Snap to Grid. For the following step you will need a grid every 2.5 px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid, and enter 2.5 in the Gridline every box. Now, focus on the top area of your calendar. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 250 by 60px shape, and place it as shown in the first image.

Fill it with none, but add two similar strokes. A 2pt, white stroke and a 1pt stroke with the color set at R=191 G=185 B=162. Make sure that both strokes are aligned to inside, then go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 10px radius, click OK, then make a copy in front of this shape. Select this copy, remove the two stroke and fill it with the linear gradient shown in the second image.


Step 19

Select the two shapes 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 second image shown. Select this masked shape and make a copy in front.


Step 20

Select the copy created in the previous step, drag it down and place it as shown in the first image. Next, you need to adjust the mask. Make sure that your masked copy is still selected and go to the Transparency panel. Open the mask and edit the angle of the gradient as shown in the first image. In the end your shape should look like the second image.


Step 21

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 250 by 230px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Fill it with none, but add the two strokes shown in the first image. Make sure that both strokes are aligned to inside, then make a copy in front of this rectangle. Fill it with the linear gradient shown in the second image and remove the two strokes. Again, use this shape to mask the shape with the strokes.


Step 22

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. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 250 by 1px shape, and fill it with R=191 G=185 B=162.

Select this shape and go to Object > Transform > Move. Enter the data shown below then click on the Copy button. This will create a copy right below the selected shape. Now fill it with white.


Step 23

Select the two shapes created in the previous step and group them (Control + G). Place it as shown in the first image and make a copy in front. Select this copy and click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the third image.


Step 24

Use the shape created in the previous step to mask the group of two shapes. Now, it should look like the second image shown. Select this masked group and make a copy in front. Move this copy down and place it as shown in the third image.


Step 25

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a 10px circle. Fill it with none, but add the two strokes shown below. Don't forget to align them to inside. Reselect the entire path, lower its Opacity to 70% and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Pucker & Bloat. Drag the slider at -30% and click OK.


Step 26

Select the shape created in the previous step and make three copies. Now place them as shown in the following image.


Step 27

Let's add the rest of the text. In the following image you can find all the information that you need.


Step 28

Let's add some nice patterns for the shapes created in the third step. First, add a new fill for both shapes. Select it from the Appearance panel and lower its Opacity to 25%.

Now, you will need a built-in pattern. Go to the Swatches panel, open the fly-out menu and go to Open Swatch Library > Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Textures. A new window with a set of built-in patterns should open. Return to the Appearance panel select that second fill and click on the USGS 19 Land Inundation pattern.


Step 29

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and create four, 12px circles. Fill them with R=207 G=200 B=176, and place them as shown in the first image.

Select the top circles and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown in the left window and click OK. Select the bottom circles and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown in the right window and click OK.


Step 30

Select all the shapes created so far and group them (Control + G).


Step 31

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a 15 by 30px shape. Fill it with R=35 G=31 B=32 and lower its Opacity to 15%. Switch to the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 10 by 50px shape, and place it as shown in the second image.

Fill it with the linear gradient shown below and add the two strokes. Don't forget to align them to inside. Reselect the entire path and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 15px radius and click OK.


Step 32

Pick the Pen Tool (P), draw a 40px, vertical path and place it as shown in the following image. Add a 6pt stroke, set its color at R=209 G=211 B=212, and change the blending mode to Multiply. Select this stroke from the Appearance panel and go to the Stroke panel.

Check the Dashed Line box, then enter 1pt in the dash box and 4 in the gap box. Finally, go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below and click OK.


Step 33

Reselect the ellipse created in step #31 and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 3px radius and click OK. Select all the shapes created in the last two steps and group them. Make a copy of this group.


Step 34

Place the two group created in the previous step as shown in the following image.


Step 35

Select the group created in the thirtieth step and go to Edit > Color > Recolor Artwork. The Recolor Artwork window is shown open. Click on the Edit button and make sure that the Link Harmony Colors button is on. Now, play with the color handles and see what you can come up with. Don't ignore the Brightness slider.


Step 36

Finally, add a simple background for your calendar. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a shape the size of your artboard, and send it to back (Shift + Control + [ ). Fill it with R=250 G=250 B=250, then add a second fill and use the linear gradient shown below.


Conclusion

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

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