December 1st is World AIDS Day, a day in which we further the fight against AIDS through charitable efforts and awareness. As such, I've cooked up a vector awareness ribbon tutorial that can be used not only when spreading hope in the fight against AIDS, but also for most any graphic representation of awareness ribbons you may have. Let's get creating!
If you'd like to work with a vector stock file that's similar to this tutorial, check out this AIDS Awareness Red Ribbon vector from Envato Market and follow the steps in the tutorial below to edit its appearance for alternative awareness causes.
1. Create the Ribbon
Let's start with a New Document in Adobe Illustrator CC (or whatever version of the program you're using). Using the Rectangle Tool (M), draw a small rectangle. In the Appearance panel, go to Effects > Warp > Arch and apply the following settings:
- Bend: 79%
- Horizontal: 0%
- Vertical: 12%
Expand your curved shape by going to Object > Expand Appearance. Use the Selection Tool (V) to squish the curved shape together a bit. This will form the fold of the ribbon.
Using the Pen Tool (P), start on the upper left of the curved shape and start drawing the ribbon curving downward to the right. You can make your ribbon shape a simple curved rectangle or let it flare a bit at the end, as I've done below. In total my shape has four anchor points.
Copy (Control-C) and Paste (Control-V) the left side of the ribbon. Reflect it over a Vertical axis to form the right side of the ribbon and line it up with the top curving shape in the manner you see below.
Use the Add Anchor Point Tool (+) to add an anchor point to the middle of the bottom of the left and right ribbons. Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to move the newly added anchor points inward so the ribbons are indented.
2. Render the Ribbon
Select the small curve object and open the Gradient panel in order to add a Linear Gradient to the shape. I've added five instances of three colors to the shape. They are as follows:
In the Layers panel, I placed the ribbon that goes from right to left over the other two shapes. Apply a Linear Gradient to the shape with the following colors:
Use the Gradient Tool (G) to adjust the gradient's angle. I set mine to 54.7°.
Select the third and final object and apply another Linear Gradient to it with the following colors:
Use the Gradient Tool (G) to adjust the gradient's angle. I set mine to -24.6°.
Group (Control-G) together your three ribbon shapes and in the Appearance panel go to Effects > Stylize > Drop Shadow to apply a Drop Shadow with the following attributes:
- Mode: Multiply
- Opacity: 30%
- X Offset: 20 pt
- Y Offset: -3 pt
- Blur: 6 pt
Draw a large rectangle over your Artboard and place it behind your ribbon group. Apply a Radial Gradient to the shape, going from
#353542. Use the Gradient Tool to adjust the gradient's radius as you see fit.
3. Recolor the Ribbon
Recoloring the ribbon is quite simple. Select the ribbon and go to Edit > Edit Colors > Recolor Artwork. Hit the eyedropper tool in the Recolor Artwork panel in order to make sure you can alter every color in the selected object.
Then, go through each color and apply a new hue to it. Try to stick to the same tone or shade level for each color you're replacing. So dark colors are replaced with dark colors and light colors are replaced with light colors.
Quickly and easily you can go from a World AIDS Day ribbon to a Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon or whatever sort of awareness ribbon you may need to create.
Great Job, You're Done!
Now that you've completed your awareness ribbon design, what sort of similar ribbons can you create? How about striped color combinations? Share your awareness ribbons in the comment section below!
If you'd like to work with a vector stock file that's similar to this tutorial, check out this AIDS Awareness Red Ribbon vector from Envato Market and follow the steps in the tutorial above to edit its appearance for alternative awareness causes.