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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Adobe Illustrator

Create the Captain America Shield Icon in Adobe Illustrator

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Read Time: 14 min
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What You'll Be Creating

Are you a fan of the Captain America iconic design? In this tutorial, you'll learn how to create the Captain America logo design in Adobe Illustrator.

For starters, you will learn how to set up a simple grid, how to create the main four circles, and how to easily place them in the center of your artboard. Using basic blending and vector shape-building techniques, you will learn how to add subtle shading and a simple star shape.

Next, you will learn how to create a pretty simple gradient mesh. Taking full advantage of the Appearance panel and using some simple Blur effects, you will add the extra highlights and textures.

Finally, you will learn how to create a simple background, some Drop Shadow effects, and a fading long shadow.

Once you learn how to make a Captain America shield logo, you can head over to Envato Elements, where you'll find plenty of logo designs that will give you the inspiration to design your own logos. Here's just one of the many examples.

super hero logosuper hero logosuper hero logo

Prefer video tutorials to learn new skills? Then you'll love this new video from the Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel. Watch this video to learn how to make a Captain America shield logo step by step:

What You'll Learn in This Captain America Logo Tutorial

  • How to set up a grid in Illustrator
  • How to create a star shape in Illustrator
  • How to create concentric circles in Illustrator
  • How to create a mesh in Illustrator
  • How to create textures in Illustrator
  • How to create the Captain America logo in Illustrator

1. How to Create a New Document and Set Up a Grid

Let's start making the Captain America icon logo. Hit Control-N to create a new document. Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, set the Width and the Height to 600 px, and then click that Advanced Options button. Select RGB for the Color Mode and set the Raster Effects to Screen (72 ppi), and then click the Create button.

Enable the Grid (View > Show Grid or Control-") and Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid or Shift-Control-"). You will need a grid every 5 px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid, and enter 5 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box. Try not to get discouraged by all that grid—it will make your work easier, and keep in mind that you can easily enable or disable it using the Control-" keyboard shortcut.

You should also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shapes. Don't forget to set the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Units. All these options will significantly increase your work speed.

grid illustratorgrid illustratorgrid illustrator

2. How to Create the Main Shapes

Step 1

The next step in this Captain America shield vector logo is to create the shapes. Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) from your toolbar and then focus on the color settings. Select the stroke and remove the color, and then double-click the fill and replace the existing color with R=228 G=23 B=28.

Move to your artboard and simply create a 290 px shape—the grid and Snap to Grid should make it easier. Hold down the Shift key as you click and drag to easily create a perfect circle.

red circle illustratorred circle illustratorred circle illustrator

Step 2

Make sure that your circle is still selected, and let's move it to the center of the artboard.

Focus on the Control panel (Window > Control) and make sure that the Alignment is set to Artboard, and then click the Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons.

center circle artboardcenter circle artboardcenter circle artboard

Step 3

Keep your circle selected and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Set the Offset to -25 px and click OK.

Fill the resulting shape with white (R=255 G=255 B=255), keep it selected, and go again to Object > Path > Offset Path. Again, set the Offset to -25 px and click OK.

Keep the resulting circle selected and pick the Eyedropper Tool (I). Simply click your red circle to easily fill your selected circle with that same color, and then go one more time to Object > Path > Offset Path. Set the Offset to -25 px and click OK. Fill the new circle with R=22 G=77 B=157.

concentric circles illustratorconcentric circles illustratorconcentric circles illustrator

Step 4

Select the largest red circle and add two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select just the top copy and press the Up Arrow key once, which will move your selection 5 px up. Reselect both copies made in this step, open the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder), and click the Minus Front button.

Make sure that the resulting shape stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance). Set the fill color to black (R=0 G=0 B=0), and then click that "Opacity" text to open the Transparency fly-out panel. Focus on the Blending Mode drop-down menu and set it to Soft Light.

captain america shield shadingcaptain america shield shadingcaptain america shield shading

Step 5

Reselect the largest red circle and add another two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy, and this time press the Up Arrow key twice to move your selection 10 px up. Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Make sure that the resulting shape stays selected and change its Blending Mode to Soft Light.

captain america shield shadingcaptain america shield shadingcaptain america shield shading

3. How to Create the Star Shape

Step 1

Now we'll make the key element of the Captain America shield logo: the star. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 130 x 45px shape, place it as shown below, and set the fill color to white.

Focus on the bottom edge of this rectangle and pick the Direct Selection Tool (A). Use it to select both anchor points and go to Object > Path > Average. Check that Both box and click OK to easily turn your rectangle into a triangle, as shown in the following image.

triangle illustratortriangle illustratortriangle illustrator

Step 2

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create an 80 x 125 px shape, fill it with white, and place it as shown in the first image.

Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and focus on the top edge of this new rectangle. Select both anchor points and go again to Object > Path > Average. Again, check that Both box and click OK.

Use the Selection Tool (V) to select this new triangle and go to Object > Path > Add Anchor Points. Reselect the Direct Selection Tool (A), use it to select that middle-bottom anchor point (highlighted in the third image), and drag it 30 px up, as shown below. Keep in mind that you can check the Info panel to see exactly when you get to 30 px.

star shape illustratorstar shape illustratorstar shape illustrator

Step 3

Pick the Selection Tool (V) and hold down the Shift key as you click the two shapes that make up your star to easily select them, and then merge them using the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel.

merge star illustratormerge star illustratormerge star illustrator

Step 4

You're almost done making the star of the Captain America shield. Make sure that your star shape stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel.

Select the existing stroke and set the color to black, lower its Opacity to 3% and change the Blending Mode to Multiply, and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Set the Offset to -7 px, click OK, and return to the Appearance panel. Click that Stroke text to open the Stroke fly-out panel, increase the Weight to 2 px, and align the stroke to Inside.

Click that Path section from the top of the panel to make sure that the effect you're about to add will affect the entire selection, not just a fill or a stroke. Go to Effect > Warp > Fish Eye, drag that Bend slider to 20%, and click OK to apply the effect.

captain america sta shapecaptain america sta shapecaptain america sta shape

4. How to Create a Radial Mesh

Step 1

The Captain America shield logo now needs a mesh. Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a new 290 px circle and center it using the same Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons from the Control panel.

Make sure that this new shape stays selected, select the fill color, and open the Gradient panel (Window > Gradient). Simply click the Radial Gradient button to fill your selection with the default black to white radial gradient.

radial gradientradial gradientradial gradient

Step 2

Make sure that your gradient-filled circle is still selected and go to Object > Expand. Check the Gradient Mesh box and click OK.

Ungroup (Shift-Control-G) your resulting group of shapes and press Alt-Control-7 (or go to Object > Clipping Mask > Release) to release the existing clipping mask. Focus on the Layers panel and simply delete that top 290 px circle (the former clipping path).

gradient mesh illustratorgradient mesh illustratorgradient mesh illustrator

Step 3

Select your mesh and focus on the Control panel to adjust the size. Check the Constrain Width and Height Proportions button, and then lower the Width (or the Height) to 290 px.

scale gradient mesh illustratorscale gradient mesh illustratorscale gradient mesh illustrator

Step 4

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Select your mesh, grab the Mesh Tool (U), and add four extra mesh points as shown in the following image.

mesh tool illustratormesh tool illustratormesh tool illustrator

Step 5

Enable Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Pick the Direct Selection Tool (A) and focus on your mesh. Select the mesh points and replace the existing colors with the ones shown in the following image. Keep in mind that you can hold down the Shift key and click a mesh point to add it to your selection.

gradient mesh colorsgradient mesh colorsgradient mesh colors

Step 6

Make sure that your mesh is still selected, focus on the Transparency panel (Window > Transparency), and change the Blending Mode to Multiply. The Captain America shield vector logo is looking great!

gradient mesh blendgradient mesh blendgradient mesh blend

5. How to Add Subtle Shading and Texture

Step 1

The last step in making the Captain America shield logo is adding some final touches. Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a new 290px circle, set the fill color to black, and center it.

black circle centerblack circle centerblack circle center

Step 2

Make sure that your black circle stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel.

Select the existing fill, change the Blending Mode to Overlay, and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Set the Offset to -2px, click OK, and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the properties shown in the following image, click OK, and go to Effect > Blur > Radial Blur. Enter the attributes shown below and click OK.

captain america logo texturecaptain america logo texturecaptain america logo texture

Step 3

Make sure that your front circle stays selected, focus on the Appearance panel, and add a second fill using the Add New Fill button.

Select the new fill, lower its Opacity to 70%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply, and then apply the radial gradient shown in the following image. The yellow numbers from the Gradient image stand for Opacity percentage, while the white numbers stand for Location percentage. This means that you have to select each gradient slider, focus on the Opacity and Location settings from the Gradient panel, and enter the numbers indicated below.

captain america logo gradientcaptain america logo gradientcaptain america logo gradient

Step 4

Make sure that your front circle stays selected, focus on the Appearance panel, and add a 1 px black stroke. Select this subtle stroke, align it to Inside, lower its Opacity to 15%, and change the Blending Mode to Overlay.

Keep focusing on the Appearance panel and add a second stroke using the Add New Stroke button. Select this new stroke, set the color to white and the Weight to 1 px, align it to Inside, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light, and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Set the Offset to -1 px and click OK.

captain america logo strokecaptain america logo strokecaptain america logo stroke

Step 5

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 130 x 60px shape, fill it with black, and place it as shown in the first image.

Keep this ellipse selected, lower its Opacity to 60%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply, and then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the Radius to 20 px and click OK.

shadow gaussian blurshadow gaussian blurshadow gaussian blur

Step 6

Again, use the Ellipse Tool (L) to create a 140 x 75 px shape, fill it with white, and place it as shown in the first image.

Keep this ellipse selected, lower its Opacity to 20%, change the Blending Mode to Color Dodge, and then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the Radius to 15 px and click OK.

highlight gaussian blurhighlight gaussian blurhighlight gaussian blur

6. How to Add the Background and a Long Shadow

Step 1

The Captain America shield logo is complete. Now we only need to add a shadow and the background. Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to create a shape that covers your entire artboard, fill it with R=50 G=55 B=70, and feel free to center it.

Keep it selected, focus on the Appearance panel, and add a second fill using that same Add New Fill button. Select the new fill and make it black, lower its Opacity to 10%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply, and then go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.

captain america logo backgroundcaptain america logo backgroundcaptain america logo background

Step 2

Reselect your largest red circle and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the top window (in the following image), click OK, and then continue to apply the other three Drop Shadow effects shown below.

captain america logo shadowcaptain america logo shadowcaptain america logo shadow

Step 3

Before exporting our Captain America logo PNG file, let's add a sleek long shadow. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 290 x 305 px shape and place it as shown in the first image.

Make sure that this new shape stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Lower its Opacity to 15% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light, and then replace the flat color used for the fill with the linear gradient shown in the following image. Don't forget that the white zero from the Gradient image stands for Opacity percentage.

captain america logo long shadowcaptain america logo long shadowcaptain america logo long shadow

Congratulations! You're Done!

Here is how your final Captain America icon logo should look. Now it's ready to be exported as a Captain America logo PNG file. I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and can apply these techniques in your future projects.

Feel free to adjust this Captain America design and make it your own. You can find some great sources of inspiration at Envato Elements, with interesting solutions to improve your logo designs.

captain america logocaptain america logocaptain america logo

If you liked the Captain America design and you need more inspiration, Envato Elements is an excellent resource for logo designs. Here's a short list of some of the most popular logo designs that you can find.

The Heroine Mascot Logo Template (AI, EPS, JPG, PNG)

Go fast or go home with this bold and colorful superhero logo design. The design is 100% vector, so you don't have to worry if you need to make it larger.

faster superhero logofaster superhero logofaster superhero logo

Wing Thunder Lightning Superhero Monoline Logo (AI, EPS, JPG, PDF, SVG, PSD)

Keep it smooth and simple with this lightning superhero logo. This logo might be the perfect solution if you're looking for a simple yet elegant design.

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Cartoon Superhero Cute Friendly Baby Mascot Logo (AI, EPS)

Pump up the cuteness level of your logo using this cartoon superhero baby mascot. Feel free to recolor it or use a different font for the text.

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Super Panda Logo (AI, EPS, PDF, SVG, PNG)

Keep it sweet and lovely with this cute panda logo. The warm colors and the smooth outline will make this logo stand out.

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The Fast Man Mascot Logo Template (AI, EPS, JPG, PNG)

Take it to the next level with this fast man superhero logo. This is a 100% scalable vector design, and you can easily edit the colors or the text.

fast man mascot logofast man mascot logofast man mascot logo
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