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In this tutorial, we'll explain how to create a bar of soap and give it a retro look. This isn't just any soap though, but vector soap that has a stylistic nod to Fight Club. I am jacks clean, calm, vector rage! Let's get to it!

Final Image Preview

Below is the final image we will be working towards. Want access to the full Vector Source files and downloadable copies of every tutorial, including this one? Join VECTORTUTS PLUS for just 9/month.

Step 1

Open up a new document and draw a rectangle with the Rectangle Tool (M). Fill it with a pink color or any other color of your choice. Then apply rounded corners in Effect > Stylize >
Rounded Corners. Choose a fairly high setting of around 18 pt.

Step 2

Go to Effect >3D Extrude & Bevel. Apply the settings you see in the image below. I added an Extrude Depth of 100 pt with a Bevel of 20 pt and make it Rounded.

Step 3

Select the shape and add a Drop Shadow (Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow).

Step 4

Duplicate the shape on top (Command + C + F) and expand the appearance.

Step 5

Delete all shapes except the top shape.

Step 6

Open up the Basic Pattern Palette (Window > Swatches Libraries > Patterns > Basic Graphics) and choose Stipple Irregular. Drag a symbol out onto the artboard, delete the rectangle border with the Direct Selection Tool (A), and then change the stroke to a white fill. Next, drop the changed pattern shape back into the Swatch Palette. Rename it to White Stipple.

Step 7

Select the expanded shape and fill it with the new pattern.

Step 8

It looks a little bit harsh, so let's add some Gaussian Blur (Effect >Blur > Gaussian Blur).

Step 9

We need some text to add to the soap bar. I chose a bold font and outlined the text. I slightly changed it and morphed the T and the U together.

Step 10

Move the outlined text on top of the soap bar and apply the same 3D Extrude & Bevel setting from Step 2. This time we won't need a Bevel and I added an extra Highlight.

Step 11

Repeat Step 4, duplicate the text and expand it. Next add the "White Stipple" pattern and add a Gaussian Blur again.

Step 12

So far so good. Let's add a soap tray. Create a rectangle bigger than the soap bar and place it underneath. I filled it with a light turquoise blue. Add some rounded corners again.

Step 13

Repeat Step 10 and add a Bevel of 25 pt, Tall-Rounded.

Step 14

Select the soap tray and add a Drop Shadow like we did in Step 3.

Step 15

We need to give the soap bar some bevel. We want the text to look like it's carved out and sits deeper. Let's add another rectangle but smaller then the soap bar. Fill it with the same pink color.

Step 16

Add the same 3D Extrude & Bevel we used before, but this time choose the second Cap option (Turn off cap for hollow appearance) and set the Bevel to 3 pt, Rounded. Decrease the Light Intensity to 57% and the Ambient Light to 50%.

Step 17

Select the new shape and add an Opacity Mask via the Transparency Palette. Hide the lower part with a black to white linear gradient rectangle. This will give the illusion that the text sits deeper and a part of the soap is carved out.

Step 18

Next, we will add our sun burst background. Create a rectangle and select both path points on the right, then hit Command + Option + J. Choose Both for Average. Then select the Polar Grid Tool underneath the Line Tool in the Toolbar and choose the settings shown below. I entered 20 Radial Dividers. Draw a polar grid on the art board. Make it into a grid under View > Guides > Make Guides. Then align the burst shape and duplicate it along the radial guides (rotate while copying, by holding down the Option key, then hit Command + D).

Step 19

With this nice Step & Repeat trick, you'll have a sunburst in no time. I filled it with the same blue as the soap tray.

Step 20

Duplicate the sunburst and offset it a little and fill it with the soap pink. I placed the center of the shapes behind the soap tray in the top-left corner.

Step 21

Create a pink circle on top of the sunbursts, but behind the tray.

Step 22

Let's move on to the fun part, the soap bubbles. The symbol is available for VECTORTUTS PLUS members and is available in this tutorials download file. Place several bubble symbols with the Symbol Sprayer (Shift + S).

Step 23

Select some of the bubble shapes and set the Layer Mode to Color Dodge.

Step 24

Repeat Step 23 by rotating and scaling some of the bubble shapes around the tray and on and underneath the soap bar.


Fresh and clean, this retro style soap bar is done! I hope you had fun and vented your pent-up vector anger without the need for any unnecessary mayhem!

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