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  1. Design & Illustration
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Design

How to Create a Mountain Rescue Unit Badge in Adobe Illustrator

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:MediumLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In the following steps you will learn how to create a mountain rescue unit vector badge in Adobe Illustrator. For starters you will learn how to set up a simple grid and how to create the main badge shape. Using basis vector shape building techniques and some warp effects, you will learn how to create the rest of the shapes. Moving on, you will learn how to add some subtle shading and a flat background. Finally, you will learn how to add text and how to easily bend it.

For more inspiration on how to adjust or improve your final badge, you can find plenty of resources at GraphicRiver.

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

Hit Control-N to create a new document. Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, enter 850 in the width and height boxes, and then click that More Settings button. Select RGB for the Color Mode, set the Raster Effects to Screen (72 ppi), and then Create Document.

Enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). 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 can learn more about Illustrator's grid system in this short tutorial from Andrei Stefan: Understanding Adobe Illustrator's Grid System.

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.

set up grid

2. How to Create the Main Shape

Step 1

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and focus on your Toolbar. Remove the color from the stroke and then select the fill and set its color to R=87 G=158 B=214.

Move to your artboard and simply create a 310 x 70 px shape—the grid and the Snap to Grid should make it easier.

ellipse tool

Step 2

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 310 x 255 px shape, and place it as shown in the first image. Make sure that it stays selected and go to Object > Path > Add Anchor Points.

Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the anchor point highlighted in the first image, and drag it 115 px down as shown in the second image.

add anchor point

Step 3

Select both shapes made so far, open the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder), and click the Unite button.

pathfinder

Step 4

Make sure that your shape is still selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 25 px Radius, click OK, and then go to Object > Expand Appearance.

rounded corners

3. How to Create the Smaller Shapes

Step 1

Make sure that your blue shape is still selected and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 25 px Offset and click OK. Fill the resulting shape with red and don't forget to send it to back with Shift-Control-[.

Reselect your blue shape and go again to Object > Path > Offset Path. This time, enter a -15 px Offset and click OK. Fill the resulting shape with yellow.

expand appearance

Step 2

Select your red and yellow shapes and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

offset path

Step 3

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 200 x 100 px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Select this rectangle along with the red shape and click the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=246 G=40 B=17.

intersect

Step 4

Select your blue shape and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -15 px Offset, click OK, and fill the resulting shape with R=32 G=43 B=63.

offset path

Step 5

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 320 x 155 px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Select this new rectangle along with the darker blue shape and click the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Make sure that the resulting shape is filled with R=32 G=43 B=63.

intersect

Step 6

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 360 x 85 px shape. Fill it with R=246 G=40 B=17 and place it as shown in the following image.

red rectangle

4. How to Create the Mountains

Step 1

Using the Pen Tool (P), create a sharp mountain outline roughly as shown in the following image. Once you're done, fill this shape with R=248 G=232 B=217.

mountain shape

Step 2

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 50 px circle and place it as shown in the first image. Select your mountain shape and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 5 px Offset, click OK, and bring the resulting shape to front (Shift-Control-]).

Select both shapes made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=248 G=232 B=217.

sun

Step 3

Using the Pen Tool (P), create several sharp shapes as shown in the first image. Fill them all with R=153 G=196 B=230.

pen tool

5. How to Create the Bent Shapes

Step 1

Select your red rectangle and go to Effect > Warp > Arch. Enter the attributes shown below, click OK, and then go to Object > Expand Appearance.

warp arch

Step 2

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 360 x 85 px shape. Fill it with R=32 G=43 B=63, place it as shown in the first image, and then go to Effect > Warp > Arch. Enter the attributes shown below and click OK. Expand your selection (Object > Expand Appearance) and then send it to back (Shift-Control-[) .

warp arch

6. How to Add Strokes, Shading, and a Background

Step 1

Select your blue shape and focus on the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance). Select the stroke, set the color to R=248 G=232 B=217, and then open the Stroke fly-out panel. Increase the Weight to 15 px and check the Align Stroke to Inside button.

stroke

Step 2

Make sure that your blue shape is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a second stroke using the Add New Stroke button and select it. Set the color to R=32 G=43 B=63 and the Weight to 10 px.

add new stroke

Step 3

Select all the shapes made so far and add copies in front (Control-C > Control-F). Make sure that only these copies are selected and click the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel.

Send the resulting shape to back (Shift-Control-[) and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the fill, set the color to R=32 G=43 B=63 and lower its Opacity to 15%, and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -30 px Offset, click OK, and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the attributes shown below, click OK, and then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 20 px Radius and click OK.

gaussian blur

Step 4

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create an 860 px square. Fill it with R=248 G=232 B=217, make sure that it covers your entire artboard, and don't forget to send it to back (Shift-Control-[).

background

7. How to Add Text

Step 1

Pick the Type Tool (T) and open the Character panel (Window > Type > Character). Select the Balatype font and set the size to 70 px.

Simply click on your artboard and add the "HIMALAYA" piece of text. Place it as shown in the following image and set the color to R=248 G=232 B=217.

character panel

Step 2

Make sure that your piece of text is still selected and go to Effect > Warp > Arch. Enter the attributes shown below and then click OK.

type tool

Step 3

Pick the Type Tool (T) and focus on the Character panel. Use the same font and set the size to 35 px.

Add the "RESCUE UNIT" text and set its color to R=248 G=232 B=217. Place this new piece of text as shown in the following image and go to Effect > Warp > Arch. Enter the attributes shown below and then click OK.

warp arch

Step 4

Pick the Type Tool (T), add the "EVEREST" piece of text, and set its color to R=248 G=232 B=217. Place this new piece of text as shown in the following image and go to Effect > Warp > Arch. Enter the attributes shown below and then click OK.

warp arch

Step 5

Pick the Type Tool (T) and focus on the Character panel. Use the same font and set the size to 100 px. Add a little "+", set the color to R=248 G=232 B=217, and place it as shown in the first image.

Return to the Character panel and set the size to 30 px. Add the "19" and the "69" pieces of text and place them as shown in the last two images.

cross

8. How to Add Some Fir Trees

Finally, download the attachment from this tutorial: How to Create a Wintry, Snow Background in Adobe Illustrator. Open that christmas tree.ai document and copy the shape inside your badge document.

Change the fill color to R=32 G=43 B=63 and then create about seven copies. Spread these copies roughly as shown in the first image and then send them behind that red shape.

christmas tree

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. Don't hesitate to share your final result in the comments section.

Feel free to adjust the final design and make it your own. You can find some great sources of inspiration at GraphicRiver, with interesting solutions to improve your design.

final product
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