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Design

How to Create Flat Design Headphones in Adobe Illustrator

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

I love headphones, and this tutorial is inspired by the Audiotechnica M50X. As you'll see, we'll be creating this with basic shapes in Adobe Illustrator. So if you're a lover of headphones and good music, this tutorial is for you!

Get inspiration from the many flat design vector illustrations over on GraphicRiver.

Let's start!

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

Press Control-N to make a New Document. Set the Units to Pixels, and enter 800 x 600 for the width and height of the document. Then in the Advanced options, select RGBScreen (72 ppi), and make sure to activate the Align New Objects to Pixel Grid box before clicking OK.

Activate the Grid (View > Show Grid) and Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). You'll need a grid every 10 px, so simply press Control-K to go to Preferences, and in Guides & Grid set Gridline every to 10 and Subdivisions to 4. Don't worry—the grid will help you work in an easy way, and it can also be enabled or disabled by pressing the keyboard shortcut Control-".

You can activate the Info panel (Window > Info) in order to have a preview of the size and position of your shapes. Remember to set the measuring unit to Pixels from Edit > Preferences > Units. This will greatly increase the speed of your work.

Set Up a new document of 800 x 600 px set the Grid and Units to Pixels

2. How to Create the Headphones

First things first—let’s start with one earpad so we can duplicate it and then create the headband for our headphones. Make sure to turn on the Grid so that you can work with greater precision and ease.

Step 1

Start by creating the earpad with a 46 x 132 px rectangle using the Rectangle Tool (M). Select #84EDFF as the fill color and no color for the stroke fill.

In the Transform panel, enter 14 px as the right-side corner radius and 2 px as the left-side corner radius.

A 46 x 132 px rectangle with round corners in the Transform panel

Step 2

Duplicate the rectangle (Control-C > Control-F) and change its Width to 36 px with the Selection Tool (V). Select #40BDD1 as the fill color and change the right-side corner radius to 10 px.

Setting the Width to 36 px with Selection Tool

Step 3

Duplicate the last rectangle (Control-C > Control-F) and change its Width to 24 px. Select #47D2E9 as the fill color and change the left-side corner radius to 6 px.

Duplicating the rectangle and changing its width

Step 4

Next to the earpad, create the speaker base using a 4 x 128 px rectangle, and use #5B5B5F as the fill color; then set the right-side corner radius to 2 px.

Adding a base for the earpad using a 4 x 128 px rectangle

Step 5

Now create the housing using a 24 x 80 px rectangle. Select #363434 as the fill color and change the left-side corner radius to 2 px

Adding a housing of 24 x 80 px rectangle

Step 6

Add some depth to the housing duplicating (Control-C > Control-F) the previous rectangle and changing its Height to 58 px. Change the fill color to #3B3939.

Duplicating the rectangle and changing its width from Transform panel

Step 7

Repeat the previous step and change the rectangle’s Height to 50 px. Change the fill color to #444242.

Repeating the previous step

Step 8

Now create the support for the speaker’s hinge using a 20 x 16 px rectangle. Select #4D4A4A as the fill color and change the left side radius to 8 px.

Duplicate the rectangle (Control-C > Control-F) and move 2 px downwards using the arrow of your keyboard. Change the fill color to #3B3B3B and send it backwards (Object > Arrange > Send Backward).

Adding the support for the speakers hinge with a 20 x 16 px rectangle

Step 9

Create a 8 x 42 px rectangle for the small headband on the speaker/housing. Set the lower corner radius to 4 px and select #5B5B5F as the fill color. 

Duplicate it (Control-C > Control-F) and change the fill color to #3B3B3B. Move the rectangle downwards 2 px, and send it backwards (Object > Arrange > Send Backward).

And now a small headband on the speaker with 4 px corner radius

Step 10

Continue with the small headband using a 8 x 10 px rectangle. Select #444242 as the fill color and place the rectangle as shown in the image below.

Another piece small over the headband using a 8 x 10 px rectangle

Step 11

Now create a hinge using a 16 x 16 px ellipse with the Ellipse Tool (L). Select #5B5B5F as the fill color and place the ellipse as shown in the image below.

Duplicate the ellipse and change its size to 12 x 12 px from the Transform panel. Change the fill color to #444242.

Adding a hinge with a 16 x 16 px ellipse and another of 12 x 12 px

Step 12

Continue drawing the headband’s support using a 16 x 18 px rectangle. Change the fill color to #444242. Select chamfer corners for the lower corners and set the radius to 4 px. Send the rectangle to the back (Object > Arrange > Send to Back).

The headbands support with a 16 x 18 px rectangle over the hinge

Step 13

Create a new 12 x 20 px rectangle, and select #5B5B5F as the fill color. Set the lower corner's radius to 6 px.

Duplicate (Control-C > Control-F) the rectangle and change the fill color to #3B3B3B. Send it backwards (Object > Arrange > Send to Back) and move it downwards 2 px.

Another support over the hinge with a 12 x 20 px rectangle

Step 14

Create two rectangles, one of 4 x 26 px (#D8D9DD) for the headband strap, and another one of 12 x 20 px (#5B5B5F) as the strap support.

Duplicate the first rectangle (Control-C > Control-F) and change its Height to 2 px. Change the fill color to #AEADB3

Select everything and group it together (Control-G).

And adding a headband strap of 4 x 26 px and another support of 12 x 20 px

Step 15

Now, we’ll draw our headphones headband. Let’s begin by creating a 252 x 252 px ellipse and selecting 20 px as the stroke width. Select #84EDFF as the stroke color and delete the ellipse’s lower anchor point with the Direct Selection Tool (A).

Expand the stroke (Object > Expand...) and then slightly round the headband’s lower edges with the Direct Selection Tool (A).

Adding a 252 x 252 px ellipse for the headphones headband

Step 16

Duplicate the headband (Control-C > Control-F). Set the scale to 93% (Object > Transform > Scale..). Use #47D2E9 as the fill color.

Move the duplicated headband 6 px downwards, and then select both headbands and remove the lower remaining part with the Shape Builder Tool (Shift-M)

Some depth for the headband duplicating and change its Scale

Step 17

We are about to finish the headphones!

Now select the left speaker, duplicate it (Control-C > Control-F) and reflect it vertically (Object > Transform > Reflect...). Put it just on the right side of the headband.

Duplicating the speaker on the right side of the headband

3. How to Create a Plug Cord

Now that we have finished the headphones, it's time to draw the plug cord. Moving on!

Step 1

Let’s start with the cable entry in the right speaker. Draw it using a 14 x 20 px rectangle, and select #2B2A2A as the fill color.

Add another 8 x 16 px rectangle for the cable connector. Use #545252 as the fill color.

Drawing the cable entry in the right speaker for the plug cord

Step 2

Now, draw the cable with the Pen Tool (P), using 4 px as the stroke thickness. Use #47D2E9 as the stroke color.

Round all corners with the Direct Selection Tool (A). Then expand the stroke shape (Object > Expand...) and press OK.

Turn off Snap to Grid for a moment (Shift-Control-") to align the cable with the connector.

And now drawing the cable for the headphones with the Pen Tool

Step 3

Let’s draw the jack using a 8 x 22 px rectangle and #545252 as the fill color. Add another 2 x 8 px rectangle (#8A8686).

Add a third rectangle, this one of (#B4B5B8) 4 x 20 px, and set 2 px chamfers in the upper corners from the Transform panel.

Finally, add two 4 x2 px rectangles (#8A8686) and place them over the jack.

Drawing the jack connector using rectangles

4. How to Create a Background

And we are done with the plug cord, so now let’s finish the design by creating a nice background for our headphones.

Step 1

Let’s start by creating a musical note. To do this, use a 22 x 12 px rectangle, a 4 x 40 px rectangle and finally a 20 x 20 px ellipse. Use #003E57 as the fill color.

Link all forms and merge them together using the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Slightly round all corners with the Direct Selection Tool (A).

Creating a musical notes for the background

Step 2

Duplicate (Control-C > Control-F) the musical note four times, and rotate the copies and change their scales using the Selection Tool (V). Place them as shown in the picture below.

Then group them together and flip them vertically (Object > Transform > Reflect...) to place them on the right side of the headphone.

Duplicating musical notes in the background with Selection Tool

Step 3

Finally, create an 800 x 600 px rectangle, the same size as the canvas. Apply a radial gradient from the Gradient panel, using the following fill colors:

  • Color A: #1F3B54
  • Color B: #182D40

Remember to send the rectangle to the back of the canvas (right click > Arrange > Send to Back).

Setting a radial gradient for the background of 800 x 600 px

Awesome Work, You're Finished!

Yaaaay! We’re done! You have finished this amazing headphones illustration! It’s an incredible result, another example that you can achieve fun illustrations without much difficulty by using basic forms.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial as much as I did; hopefully, it was full of new knowledge for you. I’d like to see your design—I'll be waiting!

Final result

Color variations

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