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Design

How to Create a Doctor Who Themed Icon Pack in Adobe Illustrator

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:LongLanguages:
This post is part of a series called Learn Adobe Illustrator.
How to Create a Stripes and Flowers Pattern From Scratch in Adobe Illustrator
Create a Copper Pipe Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Today I’ve put together a special little tutorial for all of you “Doctor Who” fans out there in which we’re going to learn how to create our very own props from the TV series, using some of the most basic shapes and tools that Illustrator has to offer.

You can always expand the pack by taking a quick look over at Envato Market, where you'll find tons of beautifully crafted icon packs at the press of a button.

Assuming you’re as excited as I was when I wrote this piece, let’s get started!

1. Set Up a New Document 

Since I’m sure that you already have Illustrator up and running in the background, bring it up and let’s set up a New Document (File > New or Control-N) using the following settings:

  • Number of Artboards: 1
  • Width: 800 px
  • Height: 600 px
  • Units: Pixels

 And from the Advanced tab:

  • Color Mode: RGB
  • Raster Effects: Screen (72 ppi)
  • Align New Objects to Pixel Grid: checked
setting up a new document

2. Set Up a Custom Grid

As you probably already know, Illustrator lets you take advantage of its powerful Grid System by setting it up using the lowest possible values, so that in the end you’ll have full control over your shapes since you can make sure they’re perfectly snapped to the underlying Pixel Grid.

Step 1

The settings that we’re interested in can be found under the Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid submenu, and should be adjusted as follows:

  • Gridline every: 1 px
  • Subdivisions: 1
setting up a custom grid

Quick tip: you can learn more about grids by reading this in-depth piece on how Illustrator’s Grid System works.

Step 2

Once we’ve set up our custom grid, all we need to do in order to make sure our shapes look crisp is enable the Snap to Grid option found under the View menu, which will transform into Snap to Pixel each time you enter Pixel Preview mode.

Now, since we’re aiming to create the icons using a pixel-perfect workflow, I strongly recommend you go through my how to create pixel-perfect artwork tutorial, which will help you widen your technical skills in no time.

3. Set Up the Layers

With the New Document created, it would be a good idea to start layering our project, since this way we can maintain a steady workflow by focusing on one icon at a time.

That being said, bring up the Layers panel, and create a total of four layers, which we will rename as follows:

  • layer 1: reference grids
  • layer 2: tardis
  • layer 3: sonic screwdriver
  • layer 4: dalek
setting up the layers

4. Create the Reference Grids

The Reference Grids (or Base Grids) are a set of precisely delimited reference surfaces, which allow us to build our icons by focusing on size and consistency.

Usually, the size of the grids determines the size of the actual icons, and they should always be the first decision you make on you start a new project, since you’ll always want to start from the smallest possible size and build on that.

Now, in our case, we’re going to be creating the icon pack using just one size, more exactly 128 x 128 px, which is a fairly large one.

Step 1

Start by locking all but the reference grid layer, and then grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 128 x 128 px orange (#F15A24) square, which will help define the overall size of our icons.

creating the main shape for the reference grid

Step 2

Add another smaller 120 x 120 px one (#FFFFFF) which will act as our active drawing area, thus giving us an all-around 4 px padding.

creating the main shape for the active drawing area

Step 3

Group the two squares composing the reference grid using the Control-G keyboard shortcut, and then create two copies at a distance of 40 px from one another, making sure to align them to the center of the Artboard.

Once you’re done, lock the current layer and move on to the next one where we’ll start working on our first icon.

creating and positioning all three reference grids onto the artboard

5. Create the Tardis Icon

We’re going to kick things off by creating the Doctor’s time machine / spacecraft, so make sure you’re on the right layer, that would be the second one, and then zoom in on the first reference grid so that you can have a better view of what you’re going to be doing.

Step 1

Create the base of the telephone booth by drawing a 64 x 6 px rectangle, which we will color using #3579B7 and then horizontal center align to our active drawing area, positioning it 2 px from its bottom edge.

creating and positioning the main shape for the time machines bottom section

Step 2

Select the Add Anchor Point Tool, and use it to add two new anchor points towards the rectangle’s upper section (at about 2 px from its top edge). Once you’re done, adjust the shape by individually selecting its top anchor points using the Direct Selection Tool (A), and pushing them towards the inside by 2 px using the Move Tool (right click > Transform > Move > Horizontal > 2 px).

adjusting the main shape of the time machines bottom edge using the move tool

Step 3

Give the resulting shape a 2 px thick outline by using the Offset Path method. First select the shape and then go to Object > Path > Offset Path and enter 2 px into the Offset value field.

adding the outline to the time machines bottom section using the offset path method

Step 4

Change the fill color of the larger outline to #161B1E in order to make it stand out.

changing the color of the time machines bottom section outline

Step 5

Add a darker section towards the upper side of the blue shape, by creating a 68 x 4 px rectangle (#29537A) which we will horizontal center align to its top edge, masking it afterwards (both shapes selected > right click > Make Clipping Mask) using a copy of it (Control-C > Control-F).

adding the darker section to the time machines bottom shape

Step 6

Separate the darker section that we’ve just created from the rest of the blue shape by adding a 64 x 2 px rectangle (#161B1E) right under it which will act as a horizontal divider/ outline.

adding a horizontal divider to the bottom section of the time machine

Step 7

Grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and add a set of highlights by drawing a 2 x 2 px square (#FFFFFF) followed by a wider 4 x 2 px rectangle (#FFFFFF), which we will position 2 px from one another. Adjust the shapes by setting their Blending Mode to Soft Light and lowering their Opacity to 60%, making sure to group (Control-G) and position them towards the right side of the blue base, exactly 38 px from the active drawing area’s right edge.

creating and positioning the first set of highlights to the right side of the time machines bottom section

Step 8

Grab a copy (Control-C > Control-F) of the highlights that we’ve just created and position it on the left side of the blue base, 42 px from the active drawing’s area left edge.

Oh, and once you have it place, you can select all the shapes that we have so far and group them (Control-G) so that they won’t get separated by accident.

creating and positioning the second set of highlights onto the time machines bottom section

Step 9

Create the upper section of the booth by drawing a 58 x 90 px rectangle (#3579B7) which we will position above our base, giving it the same 2 px thick outline (#161B1E).

creating and positioning the main shapes for the upper section of the time machine

Step 10

Add a 58 x 2 px rectangle (#FFFFFF) at the upper edge of the blue shape that we’ve just created, and turn it into a highlight by setting its Blending Mode to Soft Light while lowering its Opacity to 60%.

creating and positioning the highlight onto the upper section of the time machines body

Step 11

Create the inner section of the time machine by drawing a 46 x 78 px rectangle which we will color using #29537A and give a 2 px thick outline (#161B1E), positioning them both just above the base.

creating and positioning the inner section of the time machines main body

Step 12

Add a 46 x 2 px rectangle towards the upper section of the blue shape that we’ve just created, and two 1 x 76 px ones towards its left and right side, coloring all three using black (#000000). Turn them into subtle shadows by lowering their Opacity to 40%, selecting and grouping (Control-G) both them and the two underlying shapes afterwards.

adding the subtle shadows towards the inner section of the time machine

Step 13

Start working on the left door by creating an 18 x 74 px rectangle, which we will color using #3579B7, give a 2 px thick outline (#161B1E), and then position towards the left side of the inner section that we’ve just created, at a distance of 2 px from its outline.

creating and positioning the main shapes for the time machines left door

Step 14

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create four 10 x 12 px shapes (#29537A) with a 2 px outline (#161B1E) which will act as small engraved panels, and then position them onto the door, leaving a 2 px vertical gap between them.

adding the four engraved panels to the time machines left door

Step 15

Change the first panel’s color to #D8D2BA, and then add a couple of 2 px thick window lines (#161B1E), two vertical and two horizontal, to turn it into a window.

turning the time machines left door top panel into a window

Step 16

Add three 10 x 1 px rectangles (#000000) underneath  the window lines that we’ve just created (right click > Arrange > Send Backward), and then turn them into shadows by lowering their Opacity to 30%.

Once you’re done, select and group all of the window’s composing elements using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

adding shadows to the left doors window panel

Step 17

Take a moment and focus on the rest of the panels by adding a 10 x 1 px shadow (color: black; Opacity: 40%) towards their top edge and a 10 x 1 px highlight (color: white; Blending Mode: Soft Light; Opacity: 60%) towards their bottom edge.

Once you have them in place, individually select and group them to their underlying panel using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

adding highlights and shadows to the left doors panels

Step 18

Add a 18 x 2 px rectangle (#FFFFFF) towards the upper section of the door, and four sets of 2 px thick rectangles, one 2 x 2 px and another 4 x 2 px, positioned 2 px from one another. Select them and turn them into subtle highlights by setting their Blending Modes to Soft Light while lowering their Opacity to 60%.

adding the subtle highlights to the time machines left door

Step 19

Select and group all of the left door's composing shapes together, and then use a copy of it (Control-C > Control-F) to create the right door.

creating and positioning the right door onto the time machine

Step 20

Add the little piece of paper to the left door’s second panel, by creating a 6 x 8 px rectangle (#D6D3CC) with a 2 px outline (#161B1E). Draw three 1 px thick rectangles (#161B1E) positioned 1 px from one another, which will act as text lines, and then select and group all of the paper’s shapes together (Control-G).

adding the little piece of paper to the time machines left door

Step 21

Using the Rounded Rectangle Tool add the handles to the doors by creating a 4 x 8 px shape (#161B1E) with a 1 px Corner Radius which we will position over their overlapping outlines, vertical center aligning it to the second panels.

creating and positioning the door handles onto the time machine

Step 22

With the handles in place, add a 2 x 2 px circular lock (#161B1E) to the right door's left side, positioning it between its second and third panel.

Once you have it in place, select it, the doors and the handle, and group them together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

adding and positioning the lock onto the time machines right door

Step 23

Create the upper section of the phone booth by drawing a 50 x 10 px rectangle (#3579B7), give it 2 px thick outline (#161B1E), and then position them both above the doors.

creating and positioning the upper section of the time machines main body

Step 24

Add a 42 x 2 px rectangle (#394954) with a by now standard 2 px thick outline (#161B1E), and position them both in the center of the blue shape that we’ve just created.

adding the darker section to the time machines upper section

Step 25

Take a couple of moments and add some highlights (color: white; Blending Mode: Soft Light; Opacity: 60%) and shadows (color: black; Opacity: 40%) using the reference image as a positioning guide.

adding highlights and shadows to the upper section of the time machine

Step 26

Grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 50 x 2 px shape, which we will color using #29537A, give a 2 px thick outline (#161B1E) and then position both shapes on top of the telephone booth’s main shape.

creating and positioning the main shape of the time machines upper section

Step 27

Add a 50 x 1 px shadow (color: black; Opacity: 40%) towards the bottom section of the shape that we’ve just created, and a set of highlights (color: white; Blending Mode: Soft Light; Opacity: 60%) towards its right side using a 2 x 1 px rectangle and a wider 4 x 1 px one positioned 2 px from one another.

With the details in place, select and group all the section’s composing shapes using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

adding details to the first section of the time machines upper body

Step 28

Add a smaller 42 x 2 px section (#22415B) above the one that we’ve just created, giving it a 2 px outline (#161B1E) and the same details (highlights and shadow), grouping (Control-G) them all afterwards.

adding the second section to the time machines upper body

Step 29

Add the small headlight to the roof of the telephone booth, by creating a 4 x 6 px rectangle (#D8D2BA) (1) with a 2 px outline (#161B1E) (2) on top of which we will add a 4 x 2 px horizontal divider (#161B1E) followed by a 2 x 4 px vertical one (#161B1E) (3). Add some subtle shadows (color: black; Opacity: 40%) to the yellow shape’s top section and horizontal divider, making sure to position them underneath (right click > Arrange > Send Backward) (4).

Finish off the headlight by adding a 10 x 8 px ellipse (#161B1E) (5) which we will adjust by removing its bottom anchor point (6).

creating the time machines headlight

Step 30

Select and group (Control-G) all of the headlight’s composing shapes together, and then position them towards the top of the time machine, horizontal center aligning them.

positioning the headlight onto the time machine

Step 31

Add the telephone booth’s left side section, by creating a 1 x 10 px rectangle which we will color using #29537A, give a 2 px outline (#161B1E), and then group (Control-G) and align to the upper section of its main body.

creating and positioning the time machines left side section

Step 32

Finish off the icon by grabbing a copy (Control-C > Control-F) of the side section that we’ve just created and positioning it on the right side of the booth’s body.

tardis icon finished

6. Create the Sonic Screwdriver Icon

Once we’ve finished working on the first icon, we can lock its layer and move on to the second one where we're going to create the iconic sonic screwdriver from the tenth doctor.

So assuming you’ve already zoomed in on its reference grid, let’s get started.

Step 1

Grab the Pen Tool (P) and create the bottom section of the screwdriver by drawing a 12 x 12 px square, which we will color using #4B4E4F and then position 2 px from the active drawing area’s bottom edge.

creating and positioning the main shape for the sonic screwdrivers bottom section

Step 2

Adjust the square by adding two new side anchor points at 2 px from its top edge (2), and then pushing its bottom ones towards the inside by 2 px (2). Individually select the side anchors that we’ve just created, and then use the Convert Selected Anchor Points to Smooth option, slightly adjusting their curvature using the little handles (3).

Once you’re done, give the shape a 2 px thick outline (#161B1E) using the Offset Path method (Object > Path > Offset Path > and enter 2 px into the Offset value field) (4).

adjusting the main shape of the screwdrivers bottom section

Step 3

Add a 12 x 2 px rectangle (#161B1E) on top of the shapes that we’ve just created, positioning it 2 px from the bottom section of the outline.

adding the horizontal divider to the screwdrivers bottom section

Step 4

Continue adding details to the current section by creating and positioning a 4 x 2 px rectangle (#4B4E4F) on the upper edge of the larger grey shape (1). Give it the usual 2 px thick outline (#161B1E) and send it to the back (right click > Arrange > Send to Back) (2) and then add a 2 x 2 px square (#161B1E) on each side of the larger outline (3).

Finally, add a couple of horizontal and vertical highlights (color: white; Blending Mode: Soft Light; Opacity: 60%) (4) and then select and group (Control-G) all the shapes together.

adding details to the lower section of the sonic screwdriver

Step 5

Add a 10 x 6 px rectangle (#C6BABA) at the top of the section that we’ve just added details to (1), and then adjust it by adding two new anchor points so that we can push its top ones towards the inside by 2 px (2). 

Give the resulting shape a 2 px outline (#161B1E) and then send them both to the back (right click > Arrange > Send to Back) (3), adding some subtle highlights (color: white; Blending Mode: Normal; Opacity: 60%) as seen in the reference image (4). Finally, select and group (Control-G) all its composing elements.

adding the bottom connector section to the screwdriver

Step 6

Add another 8 x 2 px rectangle (#847F80) with a 2 px outline (#161B1E) above the connector segment that we’ve just created, making sure that their outlines overlap.

adding a small segment to the sonic screwdrivers bottom connector

Step 7

Give the segment an 8 x 1 px shadow (color: black; Opacity: 40%) at the top, and a smaller 4 x 1 px insertion (#161B1E) at the bottom which we will adjust by individually selecting and pushing its top anchor points towards the inside by 1 px selecting and grouping (Control-G) all the shapes afterwards.

adding details to the small segment from the screwdrivers bottom connection

Step 8

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create the screwdriver’s handle using a 12 x 46 px rectangle (#C6BABA) which we will adjust by setting the Corner Radius of its bottom corners to 2 px and then giving it a 2 px outline (#161B1E).

creating and positioning the main shapes for the sonic screwdrivers handle

Step 9

Add a 12 x 2 px rectangle (#FFFFFF) at the top of the handle’s fill shape, which we will turn into a highlight by lowering its Opacity to 60%.

adding the top highlight to the sonic screwdrivers handle

Step 10

Add the slider’s track using a 2 x 20 px rectangle (#161B1E) in the center of the handle, which we will align to its upper section.

adding the slider track to the screwdrivers handle

Step 11

Create the slider button using a 4 x 6 px rectangle which we will color using #847F80, give a 2 px outline (#161B1E) a 2 x 2 px circle (#161B1E) in its bottom half, and a highlight (color: white; Blending Mode: Soft Light; Opacity: 80) grouping (Control-G) and positioning them underneath the track that we created in the previous step.

creating and positioning the slider button onto the sonic screwdriver

Step 12

Finish off the handle by adding an 8 x 2 px shadow (color: black; Opacity: 40%) underneath its button, and some vertical highlights (color: white; Opacity: 60%) on its right side, selecting and grouping (Control-G) all its composing shapes afterwards.

adding highlights to the sonic screwdrivers handle

Step 13

Start working on the screwdriver’s top connector by creating a 12 x 6 px rectangle which we will color using #847F80 and then position above the handle’s outline.

creating and positioning the main shape for the screwdrivers top connector

Step 14

Adjust the shape that we’ve just created, by adding two side anchor points at a distance of 2 px from its bottom edge (1), and then individually selecting and moving its top ones towards the inside by 2 px (1). Give the resulting shape a 2 px thick outline (#161B1E) (2), a 14 x 2 px horizontal divider (#161B1E) (3) and a couple of vertical and horizontal highlights (color: white; Blending Mode: Soft Light; Opacity: 80%) (4) selecting and grouping (Control-G) all its shapes afterwards.

adding details to the sonic screwdrivers top connector

Step 15

Using almost the same process, create another section using a 10 x 6 px rectangle (#847F80) as your starting point. Add a set of shadows (color: black; Opacity: 40%) instead of the horizontal highlights, and also add a small 4 x 1 px rectangle (#161B1E) towards its bottom section, which we will adjust by pushing its top anchor points towards the inside by 1 px, grouping (Control-G) all the shapes afterwards.

creating the bottom facing connector for the screwdrivers extension section

Step 16

Start working on the screwdriver’s head by creating a 12 x 18 px rounded rectangle with a 1 px Corner Radius which we will color using #C6BABA and then position above the segment from the previous step.

creating and positioning the main shape for the sonic screwdrivers head

Step 17

Adjust the shape that we’ve just created by cutting out a 10 x 12 px rounded rectangle with a 3 px Corner Radius from its lower section using Pathfinder’s Minus Front Shape Mode, giving the resulting shape a 2 px thick outline (#161B1E).

adjusting the sonic screwdrivers head

Step 18

Give the screwdriver’s head a couple of horizontal and vertical highlights (color: white; Opacity: 60%) and then add a 4 x 8 px rectangle (#161B1E) in the center of the empty space, selecting and grouping (Control-G) all its composing shapes afterwards.

adding finishing touches to the screwdrivers head section

Step 19

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 10 x 1 px shape (#847F80) with a 2 px thick outline (#161B1E) and a 4 x 1 px subtle shadow (color: white; Blending Mode: Soft Light; Opacity: 80%), grouping (Control-G) and positioning them above the screwdriver’s head.

adding the small segment holding the sonic screwdrivers lens

Step 20

Create the enhanced emitter lens using a 6 x 6 px circle (#3579B7), with a 2 px outline (#161B1E) and a 1 px thick circular highlight (color: white; Blending Mode: Soft Light; Opacity: 60%) which we will select and group (Control-G) afterwards.

Then select all the screwdriver’s composing sections and group (Control-G) those as well.

creating and positioning the lens onto the sonic screwdriver

Step 21

Start working on the wooden stand by creating a 28 x 92 px rectangle (#D69A72) with a 2 px outline (#161B1E) which we will align to the center of the underlying drawing area, making sure to position them both underneath the screwdriver itself (right click > Arrange > Send to Back).

creating and positioning the main shapes for the screwdrivers wooden stand front section

Step 22

Create a slightly larger 36 x 100 px rectangle, color it using #B77855, and then give it a 2 px outline as well (#161B1E), positioning them underneath the other two shapes of the stand (right click > Arrange > Send to Back).

adding depth to the wooden stand

Step 23

Add a 36 x 2 px lighter rectangle (#D69A72) at the top edge of the stand’s outer section, and another 36 x 2 px darker one (#995C3D) at the bottom.

adding the lighter and darker sections to the screwdrivers wooden stand

Step 24

Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw four diagonal rectangles (#161B1E) in the corners of the stand to give it a sense of depth.

adding the four diagonal rectangles to the screwdrivers stand

Step 25

Add the stand’s extensions holding the device, by creating a 20 x 4 px rectangle (#4B4E4F) with a 2 px outline (#161B1E), a top-facing highlight (color: white; Blending Mode: Soft Light; Opacity: 60%), one 2 x 2 px circle (#161B1E) to each side, and a 24 x 2 px shadow (color: black; Opacity: 40%) underneath its outline.

Group (Control-G) the shapes, and then create a copy (Control-C > Control-F) which we will position 50 px from the original, grouping (Control-G) and then vertical center aligning them to the underlying stand.

creating and positioning the sonic screwdrivers stand extending arms

Step 26

Finish off the stand and the icon itself by adding a 28 x 2 px horizontal highlight (color: white; Blending Mode: Soft Light; Opacity: 80%) to the front section’s top, a vertical 2 px wide one towards its right side, and a small shadow (color: black; Opacity: 40%) underneath the device’s head section.

Finally group (Control-G) the stand’s elements, and then the entire icon, locking the current layer afterwards.

sonic screwdriver icon finished

7. Create the Dalek Icon

We are now down to our third and last icon, which is the iconic Dalek robot that appeared numerous times during the show's lifespan. That being said, make sure you’re on the last layer, and zoom in on its reference grid so that we can get started.

Step 1

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 64 x 12 px shape (#4B4E4F) which we will adjust by adding two side anchor points at 4 px from its top edge, pushing the upper ones towards the inside by 4 px. Give the resulting shape a 2 px thick outline (#161B1E) and then position both shapes at the bottom of the active drawing area.

creating and positioning the main shapes for the daleks bottom section

Step 2

Start adding detail to the base by adding a 64 x 2 px horizontal divider (#161B1E) at the top (2), and a 64 x 2 px highlight (color: white; Blending Mode: Soft Light; Opacity: 60%) right under it (3). Add three 2 px wide vertical dividers (#161B1E), tilting the upper section of the side ones towards the inside (4), and two pairs of vertical highlights between them (5).

Finally, select and group all the composing shapes together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

adding details to the daleks base

Step 3

Create the Dalek’s lower body using a 54 x 52 px rectangle (#88A2A8) which we will adjust by adding two side anchor points to both its top and bottom edge, pushing the top ones towards the inside by 8 px. Give the resulting shape a 2 px outline (#161B1E) and then position both shapes at a distance of 52 px from the active drawing area’s top edge, sending them to the back of the base (right click > Arrange > Send to Back).

creating and positioning the main shapes for the daleks body

Step 4

Add a 40 x 2 px shadow (color: black; Opacity: 40%) towards the body’s upper section, leaving a 2 px empty space gap, and then mask it using a copy of the underlying shape as a Clipping Mask (both shapes selected > right click > Make Clipping Mask).

adding the shadow to the upper section of the daleks body

Step 5

Add the vertical line dividers using three 2 x 50 px rectangles (#161B1E) positioned 12 px from one another, which we will align to the shadow that we’ve just created.

creating and positioning the vertical dividers onto the daleks body

Step 6

Adjust the side dividers by individually selecting and moving their lower anchor points towards the outside by 6 px.

adjusting the daleks lower body vertical dividers

Step 7

Next, add the little spherical shapes to the Dalek’s body, using a 4 x 4 px circle (#C5D3D8) with a 2 px thick outline (#161B1E) and a top half highlight (color: white; Opacity: 60%). Take your time and create four rows of spheres, positioning them as seen in the reference image, at a vertical distance of 4 px from one another.

adding the rows of spheres to the daleks lower body

Step 8

With the spheres in place, use a copy of their outlines to create the down-facing shadows (color: black; Opacity: 40%), making sure to position them underneath (right click > Arrange > Send Backward).

adding the shadows to the daleks spheres

Step 9

Create the upper section of the Dalek’s body, using a 42 x 24 px rectangle (#C5D3D8) which we will adjust using the same process used for the lower body, only this time move the top anchor points towards the inside by just 4 px.

Give the resulting shape a 2 px outline (#161B1E) and then position both shapes above the lower body’s shadow.

creating and positioning the main shapes for the daleks upper body

Step 10

Add a 34 x 2 px rectangle (#FFFFFF) at the top of the blue shape that we’ve just created, and then turn it into a highlight by setting its Blending Mode to Soft Light while lowering its Opacity to 80%.

adding a top highlight to the upper section of the daleks body

Step 11

Next add a 36 x 2 px horizontal divider (#161B1E) right under the highlight that we’ve just created, and another slightly wider 42 x 2 px one (#161B1E) towards its bottom, leaving a 2 px gap from the larger outline.

adding the two horizontal divider lines to the upper body of the dalek

Step 12

Add a set of vertical highlights (color: white; Opacity: 60% ) under the bottom vertical divider that we’ve just created, using a 2 x 2 px square and a 4 x 2 px rectangle positioned 2 px from one another, which we will group (Control-G) and position on the right side of the body.

creating and positioning the highlights onto the daleks upper body

Step 13

Add the middle insertion by creating a 10 x 4 px rectangle (#6D8E93) which we will adjust by individually selecting and pushing its top anchor points towards the inside by 1 px. Give the resulting shape a 2 px outline (#161B1E), a top half shadow (color: black; Opacity: 40%) and then group all its composing shapes together (Control-G), positioning them above the bottom horizontal divider.

creating and positioning the middle insertion onto the daleks upper body

Step 14

Create the Dalek’s left “arm” using an 8 x 8 px square (#4B4E4F) with a 2 px thick outline (#161B1E). Add an 8 x 2 px top shadow (color: black; Opacity: 40%) and a 6 x 6 px circle (#161B1E) in the middle, and then group (Control-G) and position the shapes on the left side of the insertion.

creating and positioning the daleks left arm

Step 15

Add the right “arm”, by grabbing a copy (Control-C > Control-F) of the one that we’ve just created and positioning it towards the right side of the insertion. Then isolate the group by double clicking on it, and add a 4 x 4 px circle (#88A2A8) followed by a smaller 2 x 2 px (#161B1E) one in its center.

creating and positioning the daleks right arm

Step 16

Create the upper elements of the current section of our Dalek’s body, using an 8 x 6 px rectangle (#7E989E) with a 2 px outline (#161B1E) for the center piece, and two 2 x 6 px rectangles (#7E989E) with the same 2 px thick outline (#161B1E) for the side ones, which we will position 2 px from one another.

creating and positioning the main shapes for the daleks upper elements

Step 17

Add a 2 px tall highlight (color: white; Blending Mode: Soft Light; Opacity: 80%) to each of the elements that we’ve just created, a 4 x 2 px rectangle (#161B1E) towards the upper section of the center piece, and a set of 2 x 2 px circles (#161B1E) towards its bottom, individually grouping (Control-G) each of the three sections afterwards.

adding details to the daleks upper elements

Step 18

Take your time and add some subtle shadows (color: black; Opacity: 40%) underneath the three elements that we’ve just added details to, and a 4 x 4 px highlight (color: white; Opacity: 40%) towards the center of the current body section.

adding highlights and shadows to the upper section of the daleks upper body

Step 19

Finish off the current section by drawing the side elements (#161B1E) using the Pen Tool (P), and once you’re done select and group all its composing shapes using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

adding the side decorative elements to the daleks upper body

Step 20

Start working on the robot’s neck, by creating a 30 x 14 px rectangle (#4B4E4F) which we will adjust using the same process used for both sections of the body, only this time we’re going to push its top anchor points towards the inside by just 1 px. Give the resulting shape a 2 px outline (#161B1E) and then position both shapes above the body, making sure to send them to the back (right click > Arrange > Send to Back).

creating and positioning the main shapes for the daleks neck

Step 21

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), add two 38 x 2 px horizontal dividers (#161B1E) positioned 2 px from one another and from the bottom edge of the neck’s outline.

adding the horizontal dividers to the daleks neck

Step 22

Next, add two 2 x 10 px vertical dividers (#161B1E) positioned 8 px from one another, and place them in the center of the neck, aligning them to the bottom edge of its outline.

adding the vertical dividers to the daleks neck

Step 23

Add some details to the horizontal dividers by creating six 2 x 1 px rectangles (#161B1E) which we will position 2 px from the vertical ones.

adding details to the daleks neck horizontal dividers

Step 24

Finish off the neck section by adding three 30 x 1 px shadows (color: black; Opacity: 40%) which we will position as seen in the reference image, selecting and grouping (Control-G) all the shapes afterwards.

adding the horizontal shadows to the daleks neck

Step 25

Start working on the robot’s head by creating a 34 x 28 px ellipse (#C5D3D8) which we will cut in half by removing its bottom anchor point. Give the resulting shape a 2 px thick outline using the Offset Path method, and then position them both above the neck section.

creating and positioning the main shapes for the daleks head

Step 26

Give the head a 2 px thick highlight, by creating a copy (Control-C > Control-F) of the blue shape and subtracting a 30 x 24 px ellipse from it. Color the resulting shape using white (#FFFFFF) and then lower its Opacity to 60%.

adding a highlight to the daleks head

Step 27

Create the enclosure holding the “eye” using a 10 x 6 px rectangle (#161B1E) which we will adjust by pushing its top anchor points to the center by 2 px. Add an 8 x 8 px circle (#161B1E) towards its top edge and a 4 x 1 px rectangle (#161B1E) above it.

Once you’re done, position all three shapes towards the upper section of the head, leaving a 4 px space gap from the bottom.

creating and positioning the enclosure for the daleks eye

Step 28

Finish off the eye by adding a 4 x 4 px circle (#66A2C6) on top of the one that we’ve created in the previous step, giving it a top half highlight (color: white; Blending Mode: Soft Light; Opacity: 60%) and then selecting and grouping (Control-G) all its composing shapes afterwards.

adding finishing touches to the daleks eye

Step 29

Add a 6 x 2 px rectangle (#161B1E) at the bottom of the head, and a 2 x 2 px circle (#161B1E) positioned 2 px from both its left and right side.

creating and positioning the small insertion and screw onto the daleks head

Step 30

Finish off the icon by drawing the head’s two horns using the Pen Tool (P) with the fill color set to (#161B1E). Once you’re done, group all its composing shapes using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

dalek icon finished

All Done!

I’m going to be honest, it was a longer journey than I initially expected, but with some patience I’m sure you’ll get there.

That being said, I hope you’ve found the steps easy to approach and most importantly learned something new during the process.

all icons finished
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