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Design

How to Create a Star Wars Themed Icon Pack in Adobe Illustrator

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

Today’s tutorial is a special one, at least for me, since we’re going to get the chance to create some of the most iconic spaceships from the Star Wars universe, using nothing more than the geometric shapes and tools that we work with on a daily basis.

Oh, and don’t forget you can always expand the pack by checking out GraphicRiver, where you can find a great selection of vector spaceships just waiting to be clicked on.

That being said, put on those Chewbacca hats, and let’s jump straight into it!

1. How to Set Up a New Project File

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 (72ppi)
  • Preview Mode: Default
setting up a new document

2. How to Set Up a Custom Grid

Since we’re going to be creating the icons using a pixel-perfect workflow, we’ll want to set up a nice little Grid so that we can have full control over our shapes.

Step 1

Go to the Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid submenu, and adjust the following settings:

  • 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 and Snap to Pixel option found under the View menu, which will transform into Snap to Pixel each time you enter the Pixel Preview mode (if you’re using an older version of the software).

Now, if you’re new to the whole “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. How to Set Up the Layers

With the New Document created, it would be a good idea to structure our project using a couple of layers, 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: tie fighter
  • layer 3: millennium falcon
  • layer 4: x-wing
setting up the layers

4. How to 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 once 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 grids” 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.

create the main shape for the reference grid

Step 2

Add a smaller 120 x 120 px one (#FFFFFF) which we will position on top of the previous shape, since it will act as our active drawing area, thus giving us an all-around 4 px padding to work with.

creating the main shape for the active drawing area

Step 3

Select and Group the two squares together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut, Center Aligning them to the underlying Artboard afterwards. Create the remaining grids using two side copies (Control-C > Control-F) at a distance of 40 px from the original, Locking the current layer before moving on to the next section.

creating the remaining reference grids

5. How to Create the TIE Fighter Icon

Assuming you’ve successfully managed to create the little reference grids, move on to the next layer (that would be the second one), and let’s kick off the project by creating our first icon.

Step 1

Start working on the twin ion engine propelled spacecraft by creating the smaller section of its left solar array wing using a 5 x 40 px rectangle, which we will color using #7C6663, and then Center Align to the active drawing area’s left edge, positioning it at a distance of just 2 px.

creating the main shape for the outer section of the tie fighters left solar array wing

Step 2

Give the shape that we’ve just created an outline by creating a Copy of it (Control-C), which we will Paste in Front (Control-F) and then adjust by first changing its color to #3A2E2A and then Flipping its Fill with its Stroke (Shift-X). Set the resulting outline’s Weight to 4 px, selecting and Grouping the two shapes together afterwards using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

adding the outline to the left solar array wings outer section

Step 3

Create the thicker section using an 8 x 116 px rectangle (#AF9994) with a 4 px thick outline (#3A2E2A), which we will Group (Control-G) and then position onto the right side of the smaller wing segment.

creating the main shapes for the thicker section of the tie fighters left wing

Step 4

Add the vertical detail line using a 2 x 116 px rectangle (#3A2E2A), which we will center align to the two shapes from the previous step. Once you’re done, select and Group them together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

adding the vertical detail line to thicker section of the tie fighters left wing

Step 5

Create the wing’s thinner inner section using a 5 x 40 px rectangle (#7C6663) with a 4 px thick outline (#3A2E2A), which we will Group (Control-G) and then position onto the right side of the taller shapes. Once you’re done, select and Group (Control-G) all three sections together before moving on to the next step.

adding the thinner inner section to the tie fighters left wing

Step 6

Start working on the wing’s attachment pylon by creating an 8 x 20 px rectangle, which we will color using #5E4A49 and then position onto the right side of the shapes that we’ve just grouped.

creating and positioning the main shape for the left section of the tie fighters left wing pylon

Step 7

Adjust the shape that we’ve just created by individually selecting its right anchor points using the Direct Selection Tool (A), and then pushing them to the inside by a distance of 4 px using the Move tool (right click > Transform > Move > Vertical > + / - 4 px depending on which side you start with).

adjusting the main shape of the left section of the tie fighters left wing pylon

Step 8

Give the resulting shape a 4 px thick outline (#3A2E2A) using the Stroke method, adding a 4 x 6 px rectangle (#3A2E2A) to the center of its left edge. Select and Group (Control-G) all three shapes together, before moving on to the next step.

adding the outline to the left section of the tie fighters left wing pylon

Step 9

Create the right section of the pylon, using a 6 x 12 px rectangle (#7C6663) followed by a slightly wider 14 x 12 px one (#7C6663), which we will position onto the right side of the previously grouped shapes. Once you have them in place, combine them into a single larger shape using Pathfinder’s Unite Shape Mode.

creating the right section of the tie fighters left wing pylon

Step 10

Adjust the resulting shape by individually selecting its far right anchor points using the Direct Selection Tool (A), and then pushing them to the outside by a distance of 6 px using the Move tool (right click > Transform > Move > Vertical > + / - 6 px depending on which side you start with).

adjusting the right section of the tie fighters left wing pylon

Step 11

Give the section a 4 px thick outline (#3A2E2A), making sure to select and Group (Control-G) the two shapes together afterwards.

adding the outline to the right section of the tie fighters left wing pylon

Step 12

Add the little vertical divider using a 12 px tall 4 px thick Stroke line (#3A2E2A), which we will position where the two composing rectangles meet.

adding the vertical divider line to the right section of the tie fighters left wing pylon

Step 13

Create an 8 x 20 px rectangle (#3A2E2A), which we will Center Align to the pylon’s right section, making sure to position it underneath all the other shapes (right click > Arrange > Send to Back).

adding details to the back of the tie fighters left wing pylon

Step 14

Add the little horizontal insertion lines using two 3 x 2 px rectangles (#3A2E2A), which we will vertically stack 2 px from one another, Grouping (Control-G) and then Center Aligning them to the vertical divider line’s right edge.

adding the horizontal insertions to the tie fighters left wing pylon

Step 15

Next, create a 4 x 4 px square (#3A2E2A), which we will Center Align to the vertical divider, positioning it onto its right side, at a distance of 4 px.

adding the little detail square to the tie fighters left wing pylon

Step 16

Finish off the attachment pylon by adding its top and bottom insertions using two 2 x 3 px rectangles (#3A2E2A) vertically stacked 8 px from one another, which we will Group (Control-G) and then Center Align to the vertical divider, positioning them onto its right side at a distance of just 3 px. Once you’re done, select and Group (Control-G) all of the pylon’s composing shapes, doing the same for the entire wing afterwards.

adding vertical insertions to the tie fighters left wing pylon

Step 17

Create the TIE Fighter’s right wing, using a Copy (Control-C > Control-F) of the one that we’ve just finished working on, which we will vertically reflect (right click > Transform > Reflect > Vertical) and then align to the opposite edge of the underlying active drawing area.

adding the tie fighters right wing

Step 18

Create the fighter’s rear end using a 20 x 10 px rectangle (#7C6663), which we will adjust by individually selecting and pushing its bottom anchor points to the inside by a distance of 4 px (right click > Transform > Move > Horizontal > + / - 4 px depending on which side you start with). Give the resulting shape a 4 px thick outline (#3A2E2A), Grouping (Control-G) and then Center Aligning them to the active drawing area, positioning them at a distance of 34 px from its bottom edge.

creating the main shapes for the tie fighters rear end

Step 19

Add a bottom insertion to the current section using a 6 x 3 px rectangle (#3A2E2A), which we will Center Align to the bottom edge of the larger shapes, selecting and Grouping (Control-G) them together afterwards.

adding the bottom insertion to the tie fighters rear end

Step 20

Add the ion engines using two 4 x 6 px rectangles (#3A2E2A), which we will place at a horizontal distance of 24 px from one another, Grouping (Control-G) and then Center Aligning them to the rear end’s top edge.

adding the ion engines to the tie fighters rear end

Step 21

Start working on the command pod by creating a 36 x 36 px circle (#AF9994) with a 4 px thick outline (#3A2E2A), which we will Group (Control-G) and then Center Align to the underlying active drawing area.

creating the main shapes for the tie fighters command pod

Step 22

Create the pod’s cross section using two diagonal 4 px thick Stroke lines (#3A2E2A), which we will Group (Control-G) and then Center Align to the pod’s main body.

adding the cross section to the tie fighters command pod

Step 23

Mask the cross section using a Copy (Control-C) of the pod’s fill shape, which we will Paste in Front (Control-F), right clicking and then selecting Make Clipping Mask.

masking the tie fighters cross section

Step 24

Create the pod’s viewport using a 36 x 8 px rectangle (#5E4A49) with a 4 px thick outline (#3A2E2A), which we will Group (Control-G), and then Center Align to the larger circle’s top edge.

creating the main shapes for the tie fighters viewport

Step 25

Since we want the viewport to remain constrained to the surface of the pod, we’ll have to Cut it (Control-X) and Paste it (Control-F) inside the masked cross section.

masking the tie fighters viewport

Step 26

Create the access hatch using a 12 x 12 px circle (#7C6663) with a 4 px thick outline (#3A2E2A), which we will Group (Control-G) and then Center Align to the pod’s larger body.

adding the access hatch to the tie fighters command pod

Step 27

Add some details to the hatch, by creating a 2 x 6 px rectangle (#3A2E2A) which we will center align to its bottom edge, and a 4 x 4 px square (#3A2E2A) which we will Center Align to its right edge. Once you’re done, select and Group (Control-G) all of the current section’s shapes together before moving on to the next step.

adding details to the tie fighters access hatch

Step 28

Create a 4 x 2 px rectangle (#3A2E2A) which we will Center Align to the hatch, positioning it at a distance of just 4 px.

adding the bottom detail to the tie fighters command pod

Step 29

Add the pod’s final detail using a 1 x 2 px rectangle (#3A2E2A) followed by a 2 x 4 px one (#3A2E2A), which we will Group (Control-G) and then Center Align to the hatch, positioning it onto its right side at a distance of 5 px. Once you’re done, select and Group (Control-G) all of the current section’s shapes together, doing the same for the entire icon afterwards.

adding the final detail to the tie fighters pod

Step 30

Finish off the current icon by adding the trails to the bottom section of the command pod, using a couple of 2 px thick Stroke lines (#3A2E2A). Once you’re done, select and Group (Control-G) all of its composing sections together before moving on to the next icon.

finishing off the tie fighter icon

6. How to Create the Millennium Falcon Icon

Assuming you’ve finished working on the first icon, lock its layer and then move on up to the next one (that would be the third one) where we will start working on the iconic Millennium Falcon.

Step 1

Start working on the Corellian light freighter’s left mandible, by creating a 22 x 44 px rectangle which we will color using #B58E71 and then position at a distance of 2 px from the active drawing area’s top edge and 26 px from its left one.

creating the main shape for the millennium falcons left mandible

Step 2

Create a smaller 22 x 20 px rectangle (#B58E71), which we will position below the previous shape, selecting and combining them into a single larger shape using Pathfinder’s Unite Shape Mode.

adding the bottom section to the millennium falcons left mandible

Step 3

Adjust the resulting shape by selecting its top-left anchor point with the help of the Direct Selection Tool (A) and then pushing it to the inside by a distance of 14 px using the Move Tool (right click > Transform > Move > Horizontal > 14 px).

adjusting the shape of the millennium falcons left mandible

Step 4

Give the mandible a 4 px thick outline (#3A2E2A) using the Stroke method, selecting and Grouping (Control-G) both shapes together afterwards.

adding the outline to the millennium falcons left mandible

Step 5

Create the little access holes using two 4 x 4 px circles (#3A2E2A) diagonally stacked 2 px from one another, which we will group (Control-G) and then position at a distance of 10 px from the mandible’s top edge and 2 px from its right one.

adding the little access holes to the millennium falcons left mandible

Step 6

Finish off the mandible by adding the little inner-facing segment using a 4 x 10 px rectangle (#3A2E2A), which we will position onto the right side of the larger shape, at a distance of 4 px from its top edge. Once you’re done, select and Group all of the current shapes using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

adding the inner facing rectangle to the millennium falcons left mandible

Step 7

Create the right mandible using a Copy (Control-C > Control-F) of the one that we’ve just finished working on, which we will position on the right side of the active drawing area, making sure to vertically reflect it. Once you’re done, select and Group the two sections together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

adding the millennium falcons right mandible

Step 8

Create the Falcon’s top half using an 82 x 82 px circle (#E0BFA0), which we will adjust by cutting out an 82 x 49 px rectangle (highlighted with red) from its bottom using Pathfinder’s Minus Front Shape Mode, making sure to snap the side anchor points back to the Pixel Grid.

creating the main shape for the millennium falcons upper body

Step 9

Continue adjusting the shape by adding an 82 x 5 px rectangle (#E0BFA0) to its bottom, Uniting the two into a single larger shape using Pathfinder’s Unite Shape Mode.

adding the smaller section to the bottom of the millennium falcons upper body

Step 10

Individually select and push the resulting shape’s bottom anchor points to the inside by a distance of 8 px using the Move tool (right click > Transform > Move > Horizontal > + / - 8 px depending on which side you start with).

adjusting the bottom section of the millennium falcons upper body

Step 11

Give the upper body a 4 px thick outline (#3A2E2A), selecting and Grouping both shapes together afterwards using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

adding the outline to the millennium falcons upper body

Step 12

Start adding details to the current section by creating the center ring using a 48 x 48 px circle (#3A2E2A), which we will Center Align to the ship’s upper half, positioning it at a distance of 14 px from its top edge.

adding the center ring to the millennium falcons upper body

Step 13

Take a couple of moments and draw in the cross section using a 4 px thick Stroke line (#3A2E2A), making sure that its bottom anchor point is aligned to the center of the larger circle. Once you’re done, select both it and the circle and then Group them together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

adding the cross section to the millennium falcons upper body

Step 14

Mask the shapes that we’ve just grouped using a Copy (Control-C) of the underlying fill shape which we will Paste in Front (Control-F), and then right click > Make Clipping Mask. Then, select the masked shapes and the ship’s upper body and Group (Control-G) those together as well.

masking the millennium falcons cross section and center ring

Step 15

Create the concussion missile tubes using a 12 x 48 px rectangle (#C69F7F) with a 4 px thick outline (#3A2E2A), to the center of which we will add a group of two 2 x 40 px rectangles (#3A2E2A) at a horizontal distance of 2 px from one another. Once you’re done, select and Group (Control-G) all of the current section’s composing shapes together, Center Aligning them to the bottom edge of the ship’s upper body.

adding the concussion missile tubes to the millennium falcons upper body

Step 16

Start working on the cockpit by creating a 12 x 10 px rectangle (#C69F7F), which we will position at a distance of 18 px from the active drawing area’s top edge, and 20 px from its right edge.

creating the main shape for the upper section of the millennium falcons cockpit

Step 17

Add a smaller 12 x 8 px rectangle (#C69F7F) which we will position just below the one from the previous step.

creating the main shape for the center section of the millennium falcons cockpit

Step 18

Create another 26 x 20 px rectangle (#C69F7F), which we will position below the two smaller rectangles, making sure to right align it. Once you have all three rectangles, select and then Combine them into a single larger shape using Pathfinder’s Unite Shape Mode.

uniting the composing shapes of the millennium falcons cockpit into a single larger shape

Step 19

Adjust the resulting shape by selecting and moving some of its anchor points as seen in the reference image. Take your time, and once you’re done, move on to the next step.

adjusting the shape of the millennium falcons cockpit

Step 20

Add the cockpit’s window section, using a 12 x 10 px rectangle (#7A655C), which we will Center Align to its top edge and then Mask using a Copy (Control-C > Control-F) of the larger body as a Clipping Mask (right click > Make Clipping Mask).

adding the window section to the millennium falcons cockpit

Step 21

Give the cockpit a 4 px thick outline (#3A2E2A) using the Stroke method, followed by the two section delimiters.

adding the outline to the millennium falcons cockpit

Step 22

Finish off the cockpit by adding a 4 x 6 px rectangle (#3A2E2A) to its front section, and then drawing a diagonal 2 px thick Stroke line (#3A2E2A) in its center. Take your time, and once you’re done select and Group all of its composing shapes together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

adding the final details to the millennium falcons cockpit

Step 23

Create the Falcon’s deflector shield protectors using two 4 x 10 px rectangles (#3A2E2A), which we will place at a horizontal distance of 32 px from one another, Grouping (Control-G) and then positioning them 2 px from the bottom access holes.

adding the deflector shield protectors to the millennium falcons upper body

Step 24

Create the sensor dish using a 4 x 4 px circle (#3A2E2A), on top of which we will add a 10 x 8 px ellipse (#3A2E2A), which we will cut in half by selecting and then removing its top anchor point by pressing Delete. Group (Control-G) the two shapes, and then position them on the left side of the ship, at a distance of 4 px from the shield protector. Once you’re done, select and Group (Control-G) all of the upper body’s composing sections together before moving on to the next step.

adding the sensor dish to the millennium falcons upper body

Step 25

Start working on the Falcon’s center section by creating a 68 x 8 px rectangle (#B58E71), which we will position below its upper body.

creating the main shape for the millennium falcons center section

Step 26

Create two smaller 8 x 8 px squares (#B58E71), and position one on each side of the center section’s wider rectangle, uniting them into a single larger shape with the help of Pathfinder’s Unite Shape Mode.

creating the side sections to the millennium falcons center body

Step 27

Adjust the resulting shape by individually selecting and pushing its top and bottom outer anchor points to the inside by a distance of 1 px using the Move tool (right click > Transform > Move > Vertical > + / - 1 px, depending on which side you start with). Give the resulting shape a 4 px thick outline (#3A2E2A), selecting and Grouping (Control-G) both shapes afterwards.

adding the outline to the millennium falcons center body

Step 28

Add the vertical dividers using two 8 px tall 4 px thick Stroke lines (#3A2E2A), positioning them 4 px from the current section’s edges.

adding the vertical dividers to the millennium falcons center body

Step 29

Create three 2 x 2 px circles (#3A2E2A), which we will Center Align to the underlying wider shapes, selecting and Grouping (Control-G) all of the current section’s composing shapes together afterwards.

adding the little circles to the millennium falcons center body

Step 30

Create the ship’s bottom body using a Copy (Control-C > Control-F) of the one that we already have, which we will horizontally reflect (right click > Transform > Reflect > Horizontal), and then position below its center section.

creating the shapes for the millennium falcons bottom body

Step 31

Start working on the Falcon’s drive units by creating a 68 x 22 px rectangle (#C69F7F), which we will adjust by individually selecting and pushing its top anchor points to the inside by a distance of 22 px using the Move Tool (right click > Transform > Move > + / - 22 px depending on which side you start with). Once you’re done, Center Align the resulting shape to the top edge of the ship’s bottom body.

creating the main shape for the upper section of the millennium falcons drive units

Step 32

Create another 68 x 8 px rectangle (#C69F7F), which we will position below the shape that we’ve just adjusted.

creating the main shape for the center section of the millennium falcons drive units

Step 33

Create the drive unit’s circular section using a 96 x 96 px circle (#C69F7F), from the top of which we will cut out a 96 x 82 px rectangle (highlighted with red), making sure to snap the resulting shape’s anchor points to the Pixel Grid. Once you’re done, Center Align the shape to the underlying active drawing area, positioning it at a distance of 2 px from its bottom edge.

creating the main shape for the circular section of the millennium falcons drive units

Step 34

Unite the three shapes that we’ve just created into a single larger one, giving the resulting shape a 4 px thick outline (#3A2E2A), making sure to select and Group (Control-G) the two together afterwards.

adding the outline to the millennium falcons drive units

Step 35

Start adding little details by creating two 4 x 4 px circles (#3A2E2A), which we will place at a horizontal distance of 20 px from one another, Grouping (Control-G) and then Center Aligning them to the previously grouped shapes, positioning them 6 px from their upper edge.

adding the little circles to the millennium falcons drive units

Step 36

Create the engines’ cooling chambers using six 6 x 6 px circles (#3A2E2A), which we will position as seen in the reference image, selecting and Grouping (Control-G) them together once you have them in place.

adding the cooling chambers to the millennium falcons drive units

Step 37

Add the bottom detail lines using five 4 px thick Stroke lines (#3A2E2A), which we will position as seen in the reference image. Once you’re done, select and Group all of the current section’s shapes together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

adding detail lines to the millennium falcons drive units

Step 38

Create the ship’s smaller circular section using a 24 x 24 px circle (#E0BFA0) with a 4 px thick outline (#3A2E2A), which we will Group (Control-G) and then Center Align to the wider center section.

adding a circular section to the millennium falcons body

Step 39

Start working on the quad laser cannon by creating an 8 x 8 px circle (#3A2E2A), which we will Center Align to the larger circular section, positioning it 4 px from its top edge.

creating the shape for the millennium falcons quad laser cannon

Step 40

Add the actual cannons using two 2 x 7 px rectangles (#3A2E2A), which we will place 2 px away from one another horizontally, Grouping (Control-G) and then positioning them over the top half of the previous shape.

adding the cannons to the millennium falcons circular section

Step 41

Create a smaller 4 x 4 px square (#3A2E2A), which we will position so that its upper half overlaps the larger circle. Once you’re done, select and Group (Control-G) all of the cannon’s composing shapes together.

adding the small rectangle to the millennium falcons quad laser cannon

Step 42

Take a couple of moments and draw the trapezoidal detail line using a 2 px thick Stroke (#3A2E2A). Once you’re done, select and Group (Control-G) all of the current section’s composing shapes together, doing the same for the entire icon afterwards.

adding the trapezoidal detail line to the millennium falcons circular section

Step 43

Finish off the icon by drawing the little trails at the back of the Falcon using a couple of 2 px thick Stroke lines (#3A2E2A), making sure to Group (Control-G) them afterwards. Once you’re done, select both the trails and the ship and Group (Control-G) those together as well.

finishing off the millennium falcon icon

7. How to Create the X-Wing Starfighter Icon

We are now down to our third and last icon, so assuming you’ve already moved on to the next layer, zoom in on the reference grid and let’s finish this.

Step 1

Start working on the Rebel fighter’s left wing by creating a 42 x 14 px rectangle (#AF9994), which we will position at a distance of 10 px from the active drawing area’s left edge and 32 px from its bottom one.

creating the main shape for the x-wings left wing

Step 2

Create a smaller 42 x 8 px rectangle (#AF9994), which we will position below the previous one, Uniting the two into a single larger shape with the help of Pathfinder’s Unite Shape Mode.

uniting the x-wings two rectangles into a single larger shape

Step 3

Adjust the resulting shape by selecting its bottom-left anchor point, which we will reposition using the Move Tool (right click > Transform > Move > Horizontal > 34 px > Vertical > 6 px), making sure to remove the center-right anchor point once you’re done.

adjusting the shape of the x-wings left wing

Step 4

Give the wing a 4 px thick outline (#3A2E2A) using the Stroke method, selecting and Grouping (Control-G) the two shapes together afterwards.

adding the outline to the x-wings left wing

Step 5

Add the wing’s left insertion, using a 4 x 8 px rectangle (#3A2E2A), which we will adjust by individually selecting and pushing its right anchor points to the inside by a distance of 2 px (right click > Transform > Move > Vertical > + / - 2 px depending on which side you start with).

adding the small insertion to the x-wings left wing

Step 6

Take a couple of moments and draw in the “y”-shaped detail lines using two 4 px thick Strokes (#3A2E2A), making sure to select and Group (Control-G) all of the current shapes together afterwards.

adding the detail lines to the x-wings left wing

Step 7

Start working on the laser cannon by creating an 8 x 22 px rectangle (#7C6663) with a 4 px thick outline (#3A2E2A), which we will Group (Control-G) and then position on the left side of the wing.

creating the main shape for the x-wings left laser cannon

Step 8

Add the small rectangular insertion using a 4 x 4 px square (#3A2E2A), which we will align to the larger section’s left side, positioning it at a distance of 2 px from its bottom edge. Once you’re done, select and Group all three shapes together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

adding the rectangular insertion to the x-wings left laser cannon

Step 9

Create the cannon’s smaller upper section using an 8 x 6 px rectangle (#DDC0BA) with a 4 px thick outline (#3A2E2A), which we will Group (Control-G) and then position on top of the previous section.

creating  the main shapes for the upper section of the x-wings left laser cannon

Step 10

Create the cannon’s back end using an 8 x 4 px rectangle (#3A2E2A) followed by another 4 x 4 px one (#3A2E2A), which we will vertically stack, Group (Control-G) and then position below the larger sections.

adding the back end to the x-wings left laser cannon

Step 11

Start working on the cannon’s front section by creating an 8 x 6 px rectangle (#3A2E2A), which we will adjust by individually selecting and pushing its top anchor points to the inside by a distance of 2 px (right click > Transform > Move > Horizontal > + / - 2 px depending on which side you start with). Position the resulting shape on top of the cannon’s upper body, making sure to Center Align the two.

adding the cone section to the x-wings left laser cannon

Step 12

Create the arm section using a 4 x 8 px rectangle (#3A2E2A) on top of which we will add a taller 2 x 16 px rectangle (#3A2E2A), which we will Group (Control-G) and then vertically stack on the smaller cone.

adding the arm section to the x-wings left laser cannon

Step 13

Finish off the laser by vertically stacking a 6 x 2 px rectangle (#3A2E2A) followed by a 2 x 2 px square (#3A2E2A) and another larger 4 x 4 px one (#3A2E2A), to the tip of which we will add a 2 x 8 px rectangle (#3A2E2A). Select and Group (Control-G) all of the arm’s composing shapes together, doing the same for the entire laser afterwards.

adding the tip to the x-wings left laser cannon

Step 14

Start working on the ship’s engine by creating a 12 x 10 px rectangle (#5E4A49) with a 4 px thick outline (#3A2E2A), to the top of which we will add a 12 px wide 2 px thick Stroke line (#3A2E2A). Select and Group (Control-G) all three shapes together, positioning them at a distance of 2 px from the wing’s left side.

creating the shapes for the upper section of the x-wings left engine

Step 15

Create the engine’s center section using a 12 x 12 px square (#DDC0BA) with a 4 px thick outline (#3A2E2A), to the center of which we will add a 2 px thick detail line (#3A2E2A). Group (Control-G) all three shapes together, and then position them below the previous section.

adding the center section to the x-wings left engine

Step 16

Add the connecting segment using an 8 x 6 px rectangle (#3A2E2A), which we will position below the previous section.

adding the connecting segment to the x-wings left engine

Step 17

Start working on the engine’s rear end by creating an 8 x 8 px square (#7C6663) with a 4 px thick outline (#3A2E2A), on top of which we will add a smaller 4 x 2 px rectangle (#3A2E2A), which we will Center Align to the square’s right edge. Group (Control-G) all three shapes together, positioning them underneath the connecting segment.

adding the upper section to the rear end of the x-wings left engine

Step 18

Add the engine’s back section using an 8 x 14 px rectangle (#DDC0BA) with a 4 px thick outline (#3A2E2A), to the bottom of which we will add a 2 x 3 px rectangular insertion (#3A2E2A), followed by a 4 x 4 px one (#3A2E2A) positioned on its left edge. Group (Control-G) and then position all of the current section’s shapes below the smaller engine part.

adding the rear end to the x-wings left engine

Step 19

Finish off the engine, and with it the wing itself, by adding the top cone section which we will create using a 12 x 6 px rectangle (#3A2E2A), which we will adjust by individually selecting and pushing its top anchor points to the inside by a distance of 2 px (right click > Transform > Move > Horizontal > + / - 2 px depending on which side you start with). Position the resulting shape on top of the engine, selecting and Grouping (Control-G) all of its composing shapes together, doing the same for the entire wing afterwards.

adding the cone section to the x-wings left engine

Step 20

Create the ship’s right wing using a Copy (Control-C > Control-F) of the one that we’ve just finished working on, which we will position on the opposite side of the active drawing area, making sure to vertically reflect it afterwards (right click > Transform > Reflect > Vertical).

creating and positioning the x-wings right wing

Step 21

Start working on the X-wing’s nose by creating an 8 x 10 px rectangle (#7C6663), to the bottom of which we will add a smaller 8 x 2 px rectangle (#7C6663), which we will combine into a single larger shape using Pathfinder’s Unite Shape Mode. Center Align the resulting shape to the underlying active drawing area, positioning it 2 px from its top edge.

creating the main shapes for the x-wings nose

Step 22

Adjust the shape by individually selecting and pushing its top anchor points to the inside by a distance of 2 px (right click > Transform > Move > Horizontal > + / - 2 px depending on which side you start with). Give the resulting shape a 4 px thick outline (#3A2E2A), followed by a 2 x 6 px rectangle (#3A2E2A) to the center of its top edge, making sure to select and Group (Control-G) all its current shapes together afterwards.

adding the outline to the x-wings nose

Step 23

Create the fighter’s main body using a 16 x 46 px rectangle (#DDC0BA), followed by a smaller 16 x 44 px one (#DDC0BA), to the bottom of which we will add an even smaller 16 x 6 px rectangle (#DDC0BA). Select and Unite all three rectangles into a single larger shape, positioning it below the ship’s nose.

creating the main shapes for the x-wings body

Step 24

Adjust the shape of the ship’s body by pushing its top anchor points to the inside by a distance of 4 px (right click > Transform > Move > Horizontal > + / - 4 px depending on which side you start with), and its bottom ones by just 2 px (right click > Transform > Move > Horizontal > + / - 2 px depending on which side you start with). Once you’re done, give the resulting shape a 4 px thick outline (#3A2E2A), selecting and Grouping (Control-G) the two together.

adding the outline to the x-wings body

Step 25

Add the bottom horizontal divider using a 16 px wide 4 px thick Stroke line (#3A2E2A), followed by a 6 x 4 px rectangle (#3A2E2A) positioned in the center of its bottom edge.

adding the horizontal divider line to the bottom of the x-wings body

Step 26

Create another 12 px wide 4 px thick divider line (#3A2E2A), which we will position at a distance of 18 px from the body’s top edge.

adding the horizontal divider line to the upper section of the x-wings body

Step 27

Connect the divider that we’ve just created to the ship’s nose using a 4 x 4 px square (#3A2E2A) on top of which we will add a 2 x 18 px rectangle (#3A2E2A), which we will Group (Control-G) and then position above the horizontal line.

adding the vertical divider segments to the upper section of the x-wings body

Step 28

Add the small insertion using a 4 x 2 px rectangle (#3A2E2A), which we will Center Align to the top divider line, positioning it 4 px below it.

adding the small rectangular insertion to the x-wings upper body

Step 29

Start working on the X-wing’s cockpit by creating an 8 x 16 px rectangle (#3A2E2A) stacked on top of a smaller 8 x 4 px one (#3A2E2A), which we will Unite and then position below the rectangular insertion, at a distance of just 2 px.

creating the main shapes for the x-wings cockpit

Step 30

Adjust the resulting shape, by individually selecting and pushing its top and bottom anchor points to the inside by a distance of 2 px using the Move tool (right click > Transform > Move > Horizontal > + / - 2 px depending on which side you start with).

adjusting the shape of the x-wings cockpit

Step 31

Add the little windows using two 2 px wide rectangles (2 x 4 px; 2 x 1 px > #7C6663) vertically stacked at 2 px from one another, which we will Group (Control-G) and then position at a distance of 3 px from the cockpit’s bottom edge. Once you have them in place, select and Group all three shapes together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

adding the windows to the x-wings cockpit

Step 32

Create the main shape for the deflector shield generator using a 6 x 26 px rectangle (#6B5451), which we will adjust by setting the Radius of its top corners to 3 px from within the Transform panel’s Rectangle Properties. Give the resulting shape a 4 px thick outline (#3A2E2A), Grouping (Control-G) and then positioning them below the cockpit, at a distance of just 4 px.

creating the main shapes for the x-wings deflector shield generator

Step 33

Take a couple of moments and add some details to the current section using a couple of rectangles (#3A2E2A). Once you’re done, select and Group (Control-G) all of its composing shapes before moving on to the next step.

adding the little detail rectangles to the x-wings deflector shield generator

Step 34

Add the little droid using a 6 x 6 px circle (#ABBDCE) with a 4 px thick outline (#3A2E2A), which we will group (Control-G) and then Center Align to the top of the deflector shield. Once you’re done, select and Group (Control-G) all of the main body’s composing shapes together, doing the same for the entire ship afterwards.

adding the little droid to the x-wings main body

Step 35

Finish off the icon by adding the little trail lines using a couple of 2 px thick Stroke lines (#3A2E2A), making sure to Group (Control-G) them once you have them in place. Take your time, and once you’re done, select and Group all of the icon’s composing sections using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

finishing off the x-wing icon

May the Force Be With You!

Our journey has finally come to an end, young Padawans, and worth it it was.

I hope you started out the tutorial as excited as I was when I first created these iconic spacecraft, and ended it on the same note, maybe even learning something new and useful along the way.

Star Wars Icons Adobe Illustrator Tutorial
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