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Quick Tip: How to Create a 3D Like and Unlike Symbol with Adobe Illustrator

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In the following Quick Tip you will learn how to create a multi-purpose 3D Like and Unlike symbol with the help of the Extrude & Bevel settings and the Appearance Panel in Adobe Illustrator This technique can be used with many different shapes and symbols, so let's get started!


Step 1

The first thing we need is the thumb-up shape. Take the Pen Tool (P) and start drawing the thumb then continue with the four waves representing the fingers and at the end close the path at the bottom as shown in image 1.

Make sure that the three curves between the fingers are smooth, otherwise after you apply the 3D effect it won't look good and you will have to come back and adjust the handles. If you think it's easier, you can also use a picture to trace the outline of the hand.

Once you have the thumb-up shape, give it a white fill and a 17 pt green Stroke. Now, from the Appearance Panel, open the fly-out menu and choose Add New Stroke. Change the color of this second stroke to yellow (or any other) and set the weight to 7 pt. Make sure that the white fill is located above the two strokes in the Appearance Panel (image 2).


Step 2

Having this shape selected go to Effect menu > 3D and apply the Extrude & Bevel effect. Change the values as indicated then click on the More Options button to open the entire dialog. Decrease the Blend Steps from 25 to 2 because after we expand it we will need as fewer shapes as possible with which to work otherwise things get more complicated.


Step 3

Let's continue with the wrist. First, take the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a rectangle. Its size depends on the size of the hand drawn at the beginning and in my case I used a 50 x 110 px rectangle. Go to Effect menu > Stylize > Round Corners and apply a 10 px Radius then set the Stroke and Fill colors as indicated (1). Make sure that the Stroke is located above the Fill in the Appearance Panel and increase the weight to 5 pt.

Now you can apply the 3D Extrude & Bevel effect using the settings shown (2). Select Tall-Round as the Bevel shape in order to give it a more special look.


Step 4

Take the Vertical Type Tool and type "LIKE" using Arial Black. Go to Object menu and choose Expand then drag the resulting group into the Symbols Panel to define a new symbol (1). Do the same thing to get the "UNLIKE" symbol that you will need later. Go back to the 3D shape obtained at the previous step and from the Appearance Panel open again the Extrude&Bevel Options window and press the Map Art button. Here select the "Like" symbol from the list and apply it on the front surface (2). Scale it if needed.


Step 5

Put the wrist and the hand one next to the other, the wrist being behind the hand (1). Before you select Expand Appearance from the Object menu, duplicate these two 3D shapes because you will need them later to create the Unlike symbol.

After expand go to the Object menu and select Ungroup three times. Now, focus on the five fingers. If you select one of them you will notice that it is actually a group of smaller shapes. Open the group in the Layers Panel and you will find there a Clipping path that you have to delete (2). The same thing goes for the other four fingers and make sure you delete all clipping paths that you find before you continue.


Step 6

Now you can unite all these tiny shapes that make up each finger. As shown in the image 1, select the groups of smaller shapes that compose the index finger and click Add to shape area > Expand from the Pathfinder Panel. If nothing happens, ungroup them first then try again but it should work on the first try. Move on to the middle finger and select all the groups of shapes that compose it then click Add again to unite them (2). Do the same thing for the next finger (3).

Note: If we haven't decreased the Blend steps, these groups would be composed of far too many small shapes and it would have been more complicated to work with them.


Step 7

Continue with the last two fingers and once you obtained all of them, fill them with the linear gradient shown (6). Adjust the angle value for each one of them as needed.


Step 8

Replace the fill color of the yellow border with the green color indicated then fill the hand shape from the inside with a radial gradient from white to light gray. Also select a 1 pt black Stroke then having only this attribute selected in the Appearance Panel, go to Effect > Blur and apply a 2 px Gaussian Blur.


Step 9

Select the shape shown below then go to Object menu > Path > Offset Path and apply a -1.5 px offset value to obtain a thinner shape. Fill it with the green color indicated.


Step 10

Next, select only "Like" from the group and change the fill color. Group the wrist and the hand then go to Effect menu > Stylize and apply the Drop Shadow effect. The Like symbol is now ready.


Step 11

Take the copies of the wrist and the hand that I said to keep at step 5. Replace the “LIKE” symbol in the Map Art window with the “UNLIKE” symbol made at step 4 then change the colors as indicated. When you are done, group the two 3D shapes and flip them vertically to obtain the thumb-down symbol.


Step 12

From this point the process is the same as for the Like symbol therefore follow again the steps 5, 6 and 7. First, select Expand Appearance from the Object menu for both shapes then Ungroup the hand three times. Delete all the clipping paths that you find but only for the fingers not for the entire hand. When you are done, select the groups of smaller shapes that make up each finger and click Add to shape area > Expand from the Pathfinder Panel to unite them as you did earlier. Once you have obtained the five finger shapes fill them with the gradient shown.


Step 13

For the inside of the hand follow Step 8 once more, then create the thinner shape using Offset path as you did at Step 9 and fill it with the color indicated. Finally, group the wrist and the hand and apply the Drop Shadow effect using the same settings shown at step 10. The Unlike symbol is ready.


Final Image

Here is the final image. Try this technique on different shapes and see what you can come up with. I hope you've enjoyed this tut.

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