Advertisement
  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Icon Design
Design

Hit the Bullseye With This Dart Icon Quick Tip in Adobe Illustrator

by
Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In the following steps you will learn how to create a simple darts arrow illustration in Adobe Illustrator. For starters you will learn how to set up a simple grid and how to create the main shapes using basic tools, some simple effects and the Live Corners feature. Next, you will learn how to create, save and use a linear gradient and how to add subtle shading for your shapes. Finally, you will learn how to easily recolor your final darts arrow.

1. Create a New Document and Set Up a Grid

Hit Control-N to create a new document. Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, enter 600 in the width and height boxes, and click on the Advanced button. Select RGB, Screen (72ppi) and make sure that the Align New Objects to Pixel Grid box is unchecked before you click OK.

Enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). You will need a grid every 1 px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides > Grid, and enter 1 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. Do not forget to set the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Units > General. All these options will significantly increase your work speed.

setup grid

2. Create a Set of Simple Shapes

Step 1

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and focus on your Toolbar. Remove the color from the stroke, and then select the fill and set its color to R=39 G=170 B=225. Move to your artboard and simply create a 22 x 4 px rectangle.

Make sure that this blue rectangle stays selected and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Drag the Move Vertical slider to -6 px, enter 2 in that Copies box, click the OK button and then go to Object > Expand Appearance. Make sure that that the resulting group of shapes is selected and Ungroup it using the Shift-Control-G keyboard shortcut.

blue rectangles

Step 2

Using the same Rectangle Tool (M), create a 22 x 17 px shape and place it exactly as shown in the first image. Focus on the top side of this new rectangle and switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select both anchor points, move to the top bar and set the Corners to 2 px.

The Live Corners feature is only available for CC users. The best solution to replace it would be the Round Any Corner script that can be found in this article: 20 Free and Useful Adobe Illustrator Scripts. Save it to your hard drive, return to Illustrator and make sure that the Direct Selection Tool (A) is active. 

Select the same top anchor points and go to File > Scripts > Other Script. Open the Round Any Corner Script, enter a 2 px radius and click OK. In some cases you might have to increase/decrease the value mentioned in that Corners box.

Move to the bottom side of the shapes made in this step, select both anchor points, return to that Corners box and this time set it to 1 px. In the end your new blue shape should look like in the second image.

live corners

Step 3

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 14 x 7 px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Focus on the top side of this new rectangle and switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select both anchor points, return to the top bar and enter 3 px in that Corners box.

live corners

Step 4

Get back to your Toolbar and replace the existing fill color with a simple yellow (R=255 G=200 B=0). Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create two 20 x 3 px shapes and two 20 x 2 px shapes, and place them exactly as shown in the first image.

Focus on your bottom yellow rectangle and switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select both bottom anchor points and then enter 1 px in that Corners box.

yellow shapes

3. Create the Tip and Recolor the Existing Shapes

Step 1

Select all your blue shapes, open the Gradient panel (Window > Gradient) and simply click on the gradient thumbnail to add the default black-to-white linear gradient.

Keep focusing on your Gradient panel, set the Angle at 0 degrees, and then focus on the gradient sliders. First, select the left gradient slider and set the color to R=139 G=146 B=152, and then select the right gradient slider and set the color to R=209 G=211 B=212

Focus on the gradient bar and click on it to add a new gradient slider. Make sure that this new slider is selected, set its color to R=229 G=226 B=223, focus on the Location box (from the Gradient panel) and set it at 15%. Keep in mind that the blue numbers from the Gradient images stand for Location percentage. Add three new sliders for this gradient and then use the color and Location attributes shown in the following image.

Now, you need to save this linear gradient. Return to the Gradient panel, click on that gradient thumbnail and simply drag it inside the Swatches panel (Window > Swatches).

save linear gradient

Step 2

Make sure that the shapes filled with your linear gradient are still selected, focus on the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance) and add a second fill using the Add New Fill button. Select this new fill, replace the existing color with a simple white (R=255 G=255 B=255) and then change its Blending Mode to Soft Light.

white fill

Step 3

Select all your yellow shapes and simply replace the existing fill color with your saved linear gradient.

use saved gradient

Step 4

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 4 x 62 px blue shape and place it as shown in the first image. Make sure that it stays selected and go to Object > Path > Add Anchor Points. Focus on the top side of this new rectangle, pick the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-) and simply click on the two anchor points highlighted in the second image to get rid of them.

Now your shape should look like in the second image. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the two anchor points highlighted in the third image, and drag them 15 px down. In the end your blue shape should look like in the fourth image.

tip shape

Step 5

Make sure that your blue shape is selected and make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F). Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 1 x 62 px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Select this new rectangle along with the copy of your blue shape, open the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder) and click the Intersect button.

Make sure that the resulting shape stays selected, focus on the Appearance panel and replace the existing fill color with R=190 G=200 B=203.

highlight

Step 6

Make sure that your blue shape is selected and make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F). Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 1 x 62 px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Select this new rectangle along with the copy of your blue shape and click the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel.

Make sure that the resulting shape stays selected, focus on the Appearance panel and replace the existing fill color with R=222 G=232 B=235. Reselect your blue shape, focus on the Appearance panel and replace that blue with R=145 G=155 B=158.

highlight and recolor

4. Create the Body

Step 1

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create an 18 x 174 px green shape and place it as shown in the first image. Focus on the bottom side of this new rectangle and switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select the left anchor point and drag it 5 px to the right, and then select the right anchor point and drag it 5 px to the left.

Reselect your entire green shape and go to Effect > Warp > Bulge. Enter the attributes shown in the following image, click the OK button and then go to Object > Expand Appearance.

green shape

Step 2

Make sure that your green shape stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. First, select the fill and simply replace that flat color with your saved linear gradient. Next, add a second fill for this shape using that same Add New Fill button.

Select this new fill, lower its Opacity to 50% and add the linear gradient shown in the following image. Remember that the blue number from the Gradient image stands for Location percentage, while the yellow zero stands for Opacity percentage.

body shape

Step 3

Make sure that the shape edited in the previous step is still selected, keep focusing on the Appearance panel and add a third fill. Select this new fill, lower its Opacity to 70%, change the Blending Mode to Hard Light and set the color to R=247 G=148 B=30.

orange fill

5. Create the Flight

Step 1

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 26 x 102 px blue shape and place it as shown in the first image. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and keep focusing on this new rectangle. Select the top right anchor point and drag it 64 px down and 6 px to the right, and then select the bottom left anchor point and drag it 4 px to the left.

blue shape

Step 2

Keep focusing on your blue shape and make sure that the Direct Selection Tool (A) is still active. Select the three highlighted anchor points one by one and enter the Corners attributes indicated in the following image.

blue flight shape

Step 3

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 24 x 102 px red shape and place it as shown in the first image. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and keep focusing on this new rectangle. Select the top left anchor point and drag it 64 px down and 6 px to the left, and then select the bottom right anchor point and drag it 4 px to the right.

red shape

Step 4

Keep focusing on your red shape and make sure that the Direct Selection Tool (A) is still active. Select the three highlighted anchor points one by one and enter the Corners attributes indicated in the following image.

red flight shape

Step 5

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 19 x 144 px green shape and place it as shown in the first image. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and keep focusing on this new rectangle. Select the top left anchor point and drag it 73 px down, select the bottom left anchor point and drag it 5 px to the right, and then select the bottom right anchor point and drag it 51 px up and 3 px to the right.

green shape

Step 6

Keep focusing on your green shape and make sure that the Direct Selection Tool (A) is still active. Select the two highlighted anchor points one by one and enter the Corners attributes indicated in the following image.

green flight shape

Step 7

Make sure that your blue shape is selected and focus on the Appearance panel. First, select the existing fill and replace the blue with the linear gradient shown in the following image. Next, add a second fill for this shape and select it. Set the color to R=247 G=148 B=30, lower its Opacity to 70%, and change the Blending Mode to Hard Light.

right flight

Step 8

Make sure that your red shape is selected and focus on the Appearance panel. First, select the existing fill and replace the red with the linear gradient shown in the following image. Next, add a second fill for this shape and select it. Set the color to R=247 G=148 B=30, lower its Opacity to 70%, and change the Blending Mode to Hard Light.

left flight

Step 9

Make sure that your green shape is selected and focus on the Appearance panel. First, select the existing fill and replace the green with the linear gradient shown in the following image. Next, add a second fill for this shape and select it. Set the color to R=247 G=148 B=30, lower its Opacity to 70%, and change the Blending Mode to Hard Light.

middle flight

6. Add Subtle Shading, Multiply and Recolor Your Arrows

Step 1

Reselect all the shapes made so far and duplicate them (Control-C > Control-F). Select only the copies and click the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Make sure that the resulting shape is selected, focus on the Appearance panel, get rid of that second fill, and then select the remaining fill and set its color to R=167 G=169 B=172.

grey shape

Step 2

Make sure that your grey shape stays selected, send it to back using the Shift-Control-[ keyboard shortcut, and then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the attributes shown in the top left window (in the following image), click the OK button and then add the other three Drop Shadow effects shown below.

drop shadow effects

Step 3

Reselect all the shapes made so far and Group them using the Control-G keyboard shortcut. Make sure that this new group stays selected and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Set the Angle at 30 degrees, check the top right reference point, enter 3 in that Copies box, and then click the OK button.

transform effect

Step 4

Finally, here's how you can easily recolor your arrow. Select the four shapes that have the orange fill (R=247 G=148 B=30), focus on the Appearance panel and simply replace that orange with the color that you prefer.

recolor blue
recolor red

Congratulations! You're Done!

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

final product
Advertisement
Advertisement
Looking for something to help kick start your next project?
Envato Market has a range of items for sale to help get you started.