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How to Create an Open and Closed Zipper in Adobe Illustrator

by
Gift

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In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a simple zipper illustration in Adobe Illustrator. We'll be creating the starting shapes using the Rectangle Tool, the Pathfinder panel and some basic shape building techniques. Next, we'll go on to adding the details using the Transform and the Drop Shadow effects along with some basic blending techniques. For the final touches we'll use some Warp effects, the Appearance panel and a simple built-in pattern.


Step 1

Hit Command + N to create a new document. Enter 600 in the width box and 800 in the height box 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 your click OK.

Enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). You'll need a grid every 1px. Simply 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 set the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Unit > General. All these options will significantly increase your work speed.


Step 2

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), set the fill color at R=237 G=203 B=72 and create a 7 by 12px shape. Continue with the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 4px square and place it as shown in the second image. Finally, create a 4 by 8px shape and place it as shown in the third image. Select all three shapes, open the Pathfinder panel and click on the Unite button.


Step 3

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 and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select this copy and move it 1px up using the up arrow from your keyboard. Reselect both shapes made in this step and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting group of shapes, turn it into a Compound Path (Object > Compound Path > Make) and fill it with R=200 G=136 B=26.


Step 4

Select the shape made in the second step and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select this copy and move it 1px down using the down arrow from your keyboard. Reselect both shapes made in this step and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting group of shapes, turn it into a Compound Path (Object > Compound Path > Make), fill it with white and change the Blending Mode to Overlay.


Step 5

Select the shape made in the second step and focus on the Appearance panel. Add a 1pt stroke, align it to inside and set the color at R=208 G=154 B=62. Reselect this yellow shape along with the two compound paths made in the last two steps and Group them (Control + G). Select this new group and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check the Vertical button and click on the Copy button. This will create a horizontally flipped group copy. Select it and place it as shown in the fourth image.


Step 6

Select both groups made in the previous step and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.


Step 7

Reselect the two groups edited in the previous step and Group them (Control + G). Select this new group and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the top window, click OK and go again to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the bottom window and click OK.


Step 8

Focus on the bottom side of the group made in the previous step. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 24 by 10px shape, fill it with R=208 G=154 B=62 and place it as shown in the following image. Make sure that this yellow rectangle is selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 1px radius, click OK and go to Effect > Warp > Arc Upper. Enter the properties shown below, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 9

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 and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select this copy and move it 1px up using the up arrow from your keyboard. Reselect both shapes made in this step and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=200 G=136 B=26.


Step 10

Select the shape made in the eighth step and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select this copy and move it 1px down using the down arrow from your keyboard. Reselect both shapes made in this step and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white and change the Blending Mode to Overlay.


Step 11

Reselect the shape made in the eighth step and focus on the Appearance panel. Add a 1pt stroke, align it to inside and set the color at R=208 G=154 B=62.


Step 12

Reselect all the shapes made in the last four steps and Group them (Control + G). Select this new group and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the left window, click OK and go again to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the right window and click OK.


Step 13

Focus on the Layers panel and open the group made in the seventh step. Select the bottom subgroup and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select this new group and drag it outside of the main group, in the top of the Layers panel. Make sure that your new group is still selected, place it as shown in the first image then focus on the Appearance panel. First, open the existing Transform Effect and edit it as shown in the following image then add the Drop Shadow effect shown below.


Step 14

Select the group made in the previous step and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check the Vertical button and click on the Copy button. Select this newly created group, drag it to the right and place it as shown in the third image. Make sure that this new group is still selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Open the existing Drop Shadow effect and edit it as shown in the following image.


Step 15

Focus on the top side of the group made in the previous step. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 14 by 7px shape. Fill it with R=237 G=203 B=72, place it as shown in the first image and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 2px radius, click OK and go Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 16

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 and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select this copy and move it 1px up using the up arrow from your keyboard. Reselect both shapes made in this step and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=200 G=136 B=26.


Step 17

Select the shape made in the fifteenth step and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select this copy and move it 1px down using the down arrow from your keyboard. Reselect both shapes made in this step and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white and change the Blending Mode to Overlay.


Step 18

Reselect the shape made in the fifteenth step and focus on the Appearance panel. Add a 1pt stroke, align it to inside and set the color at R=208 G=154 B=62. Select this rounded rectangle along with the two shapes made in the last two steps and Group them (Control + G). Select this new group and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the second image and click OK. Make a copy of this group (Control + C > Control + F), drag it to the left and place it as shown in the third image.


Step 19

Select all the shapes created so far and duplicate them (Control + C > Control + F). Select all these copies and drag them a few pixels to the right as shown in the first image. Focus on this new zipper, select the two group pointed in the first image and simply delete them. In the end your second zipped should look like in the second image.


Step 20

Focus on that second zipper made in the previous step. Select the two groups highlighted in the first image and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Group the resulting shapes and go to Effect > Warp > Arc. Enter the properties shown in the following image, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 21

Select the group of shapes made in the previous step and go to Object > Transform > Rotate. Enter an 18 degrees angle and click OK. Place this group as shown in the second image.


Step 22

Select the group edited in the previous step and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check the Vertical button and click on the Copy button. Select the newly created group and place it as shown in the third image.


Step 23

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create an 18 by 170px shape, fill it with R=80 G=80 B=80 and place it as shown in the first image. Continue with the Rectangle Tool (M), create an 18 by 185px shape, fill it with R=80 G=80 B=80 and place it as shown in the first image. Select both rectangles and send them to back (Shift + Control + [ ).


Step 24

Select the left rectangle made in the previous step and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 3px radius, click OK and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below, click OK and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the fill and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.


Step 25

Select the other grey rectangle and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 15px radius, click OK and go to Effect > Warp > Arc. Enter the properties shown in the following image, click OK and go to Effect > Warp > Shell Upper. Enter the properties shown below, click OK and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown in the following image, click OK and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the fill and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.


Step 26

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 28 by 70px shape, fill it with the linear gradient shown below and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 3px radius, click OK and go to Effect > Warp > Bulge. Enter the data shown in the following image, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 27

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 and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select this copy and move it 1px down using the down arrow from your keyboard. Reselect both shapes made in this step and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white and change the Blending Mode to Overlay.


Step 28

Select the shape made in the twenty-sixth step and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select this copy and move it 1px up using the up arrow from your keyboard. Reselect both shapes made in this step and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=200 G=136 B=26.


Step 29

Select the shape made in the twenty-sixth step, focus on the Appearance panel and add a 3pt stroke. Select it, set the color at R=208 G=154 B=62, align it to inside and lower the Opacity to 25%. Keep focusing on the Appearance panel and add a second stroke for this shape using the Add New Stroke button (pointed by the little, blue arrow). Select this new stroke, make it 2pt wide, set the color at R=208 G=154 B=62, align it to inside and lower the Opacity to 25%. Add a third stroke for your shape, make it 1pt wide, align it to inside and set the color at R=208 G=154 B=62.


Step 30

Focus on the top side of the shape edited in the previous step. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 28 by 30px shape, fill it with the linear gradient shown below, place it as shown in the following image and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 3px radius, click OK and go to Effect > Warp > Bulge. Enter the properties shown in the following image, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 31

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 and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select this copy and move it 1px down using the down arrow from your keyboard. Reselect both shapes made in this step and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white and change the Blending Mode to Overlay.


Step 32

Select the shape made in the thirtieth step and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select this copy and move it 1px up using the up arrow from your keyboard. Reselect both shapes made in this step and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=200 G=136 B=26. Reselect the shape made in the thirtieth step and focus on the Appearance panel. Add a 1pt stroke, align it to inside and set the color at R=208 G=154 B=62.


Step 33

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 14 by 32px shape. Fill it with the linear gradient shown below, place it as shown in the following image and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 1px radius, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 34

Select the shape made in the previous step and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 1px to the left. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=208 G=154 B=62.


Step 35

Select the shape made in the thirty-third step and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 1px to the right. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=208 G=154 B=62.


Step 36

Select the shape made in the thirty-third step and make two copies in front (Control + C > Control + F > Control + F). Select the top copy and move it 1px up. Reselect both copies and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=200 G=136 B=26.


Step 37

Select the shape made in the thirty-third step and and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select this copy and move it 1px down. Reselect both shapes made in this step and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white and change the Blending Mode to Overlay.


Step 38

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 20 by 11px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Fill it with none, but add a 3pt stroke. Pick a random color for the stroke then go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 3px radius, click OK and go to Object > Path > Outline Stroke. Select the resulting shape, send it to back and focus on the Appearance panel. Fill it with the linear gradient shown below then add a 1pt stroke and set its color at R=208 G=154 B=62.


Step 39

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 20 by 1px shape, fill it with R=208 G=154 B=62 and place it as shown in the first image. Make sure that this thin rectangle is selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 0.5px radius, click OK and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown below, click OK and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the data shown in the following image and click OK.


Step 40

Select all the shapes made in the last fourteen steps and Group them (Control + G). Select this new group and add the three Drop Shadow effects shown in the following image (start with the left one).


Step 41

Select the group made in the previous step and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Place these two groups as shown in the following image.


Step 42

Finally, let's add a nice background. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a shape the size of your artboard and fill it with R=225 G=225 B=215. Make sure that this rectangle stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Add a second fill for this shape using the Add New Fill button (pointed by the little, blue arrow). Select this new fill and use the radial gradient shown in the following image. The yellow zero from the gradient image stands for Opacity percentage.

Return to the Appearance panel and add a third fill for your background shape. Select it, make it black, change the Blending Mode to Multiply, lower its Opacity to 3% and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the properties shown below, click OK, return to the Appearance panel and add a fourth fill. You will need a built-in pattern for this final fill.

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. Make sure that the fourth fill is still selected, add the "Diamond" pattern, lower its Opacity to 10%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the properties shown below, click OK and you're done.


Conclusion

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

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