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Icon Design

Quick Tip: Create a Nice Award Medal Icon

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In the following tutorial you will learn to create an icon of an award medal. You will use various shapes and pathfinder techniques to make this great looking icon. This illustration can be made without the use of the Pen Tool, so it's a great tutorial for beginners. You will be proud of the results!


Step 1

Create a 256px by 256px, RGB document. 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. Al these options will significantly increase your work speed.


Step 2

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a 100px by 100px shape. Fill it with none and add a 5pt stroke (any color). Open the Stroke panel and click on the Align Stroke to Inside button. Finally, go to Object > Expand Appearance then click on the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel.


Step 3

Select the shape made in the previous step, fill it with the linear gradient shown below then add a 0,5pt, aligned to inside stroke (R=254 G=179 B=32). Take a closer look at the gradient image and you'll notice some white text. It stands for location. With the shape still selected, open the fly-out menu of the Appearance panel and click on Add New Fill. This will add a second fill for your shape. Select it (from the Appearance panel), make it black, lower its opacity to 5% then go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the data shown below then click OK.


Step 4

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 20 by 20px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Fill it with none, add a 2pt, aligned to inside stroke (any color) then go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the resulting shape, fill it with the linear gradient shown below then add a 0.5, aligned to center stroke (R=254 G=179 B=32).


Step 5

Pick the Star Tool. click & drag with the mouse, then press the Up Arrow / Down Arrow to add / subtract the sides of your star then hold Command to Command the Inner Radius. In the end your star shape should look like in the image below. Fill it with the radial gradient shown below then add a 1pt, aligned to inside stroke (R=254 G=179 B=32). Add a second fill for this shape. Select it, make it black, lower its opacity to 5% then go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the data shown below then click OK.


Step 6

Disable the Snap to Grid and enable the Smart Guides. Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and click on your Artboard. Enter 7 for both width and height then click OK. This will create a 7 by 7px shape. Fill it with R=254 G=209 B=32 then add a 0.5pt, aligned to inside stroke (R=254 G=179 B=32).

Add a second fill for this shape. Select it, make it black, lower its opacity to 5% then go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the data shown below then click OK. Place it above the top corner of the star (the Smart Guides will ease your work). Make four other copies of this circle and place them above the other corners of the star.


Step 7

Disable the Smart Guides and enable the Snap to Grid. Grab the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 100 by 115px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Fill it with R=44 G=112 B=171 then go to Object > Path > Add Anchor Points. Pick the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select the bottom, left anchor points and move 30px to the right then select the bottom, right anchor point and move it 30px to the left. Next, go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 3px radius, click OK then go to Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 8

Select the shape made in the previous step and duplicate it (Command + C then Command + V). Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a shape like the red one shown in the first image (R=191 G=70 B=46). Select it along with the copy of the blue shape and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Continue with the Rectangle Tool (M). Create a 30 by 115px shape, fill it with white and place it as shown in the third image. Create a final rectangle. Make it 20 px wide and 115px tall, fill it with R=35 G=31 B=32 then place it as shown in the final image.


Step 9

Reselect the Star Tool. Create a small, white star and place it as shown in the first image. Select it and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter 5 in the Copies box, drag the Move-Vertical slider to 19px then click OK.


Step 10

Make a copy of the blue shape. Select it and Bring it to Front (Shift + Command + Right Square Bracket). Fill it with none and add a 2pt stroke. Make it white, align it to inside then lower its opacity to 20%.


Step 11

Select all the shapes created so far and group them (Command + G). Select this newly created group and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the data shown below click OK and you're done.


Conclusion

You can take this tutorial further by applying the same techniques and finishes to make a collection of various designs. Have fun!

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