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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Icon Design

How to Make a Blog Icon

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In today’s tutorial, we’re going to tackle another icon design project, by taking a close look at the process of creating a blog icon.

No matter whether you're an experienced designer or just starting out, we're going to see how easy it is to create a blog icon, using nothing more than a couple of basic geometric shapes that we’re going to adjust here and there.

So, if you've always wanted to design your own blog icon, but never knew exactly where or how to start, this should be a great way to kickstart your creative journey.

1. How to Set Up a New Project File

As with every new project, we’re going to kick things off by setting up a proper New Document, by heading over to File > New (or by using the Control-N keyboard shortcut), which we will adjust as follows:

  • Profile: Web
  • Number of Artboards: 1
  • Width: 128 px
  • Height: 128 px
  • Units: Pixels

And from the Advanced tab:

  • Color Mode: RGB
  • Raster Effects: Screen (72 ppi)
  • Preview Mode: Default

Quick tip: most of the indicated settings will be automatically triggered once you set the Profile to Web, the only ones that you will have to manually adjust being the Width and Height of the Artboard.

setting up a new document

2. How to Set Up the Layers

Once we’ve finished setting up our document, we need to take a couple of moments and structure the project using a couple of layers, so that we can separate our icon from our reference grid.

To do this, simply open up the Layers panel and then create two layers using the Create New Layer button, naming them as follows:

  • bottom layer: reference grid
  • top layer: icon
setting up the layers

3. How to Create the Reference Grid

As soon as we’ve finished layering our document, we can focus on building the reference grid, which will help us define the actual size of the icon, while allowing us to add a small protective padding to the finished design.

Step 1

Select the bottom layer, and then create the reference surface (the base size) using a 64 x 64 px square, which we will color using #F15A24 and then position in the center of the underlying Artboard using the Align panel’s Horizontal and Vertical Align Center options.

creating the main shape for the base grid

Step 2

Add the active drawing area using a smaller 56 x 56 px square, which we will color using white (#FFFFFF) and then center align to the larger underlying one, which will result in an all-around 4 px padding.

creating the main shape for the active drawing area

Step 3

Once you have both shapes in place, select and group them together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut, making sure to lock the current layer before moving on to the next step.

locking the reference grid layer

4. How to Create the Blog Icon

Now that we’ve finished setting up our project file, we can begin working on the actual icon, which we will gradually build one shape at a time.

Step 1

Grab the Ellipse Tool (L), and create the background using a 56 x 56 px circle, which we will color using #FF8A3B and then center align to the underlying Artboard.

creating the background

Step 2

Add the main shape for the chat symbol using a 28 x 20 px rounded rectangle with a 4 px Corner Radius, which we will color using white (#FFFFFF) and then position at a distance of 12 px from the active drawing area’s left edge and 16 px from its top one.

creating the main shape for the chat symbol

Step 3

Create a smaller 8 x 8 px square (#FFFFFF), which we will position below the rounded rectangle so that their paths overlap as seen in the reference image.

creating the smaller shape of the chat symbol

Step 4

Adjust the shape that we’ve just created by selecting the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-) and then simply clicking on its bottom-right anchor point in order to remove it.

adjusting the shape of the smaller square

Step 5

Unite the chat symbol’s two composing shapes into a single larger one, by first selecting them both and then using Pathfinder’s Unite Shape Mode.

uniting the composing shapes of the chat symbol

Step 6

Turn the resulting shape into an outline by first flipping its Fill with its Stroke using the Shift-X keyboard shortcut, and then opening up the Stroke panel and setting its Weight to 4 px and its Corner to Round Join.

turning the chat symbol into an outline

Step 7

Next, we’re going to start working on the pencil by creating the cutout using a 40 x 20 px rectangle. Color it using #FF8A3B, and then add a new anchor point to the center of its bottom edge using the Add Anchor Point Tool (+).

adding a new anchor point to the pencil cutout

Quick tip: I’ve isolated the shape so that you can have a better view of the adjustments, but feel free to position it outside of the Artboard so that you can carry them out more easily.

Step 8

Select the shape’s bottom anchors using the Direct Selection Tool (A), and then push them to the top by 5 px using either the directional arrow keys or the Move tool (right click > Transform > Move > Vertical > -5 px).

adjusting the shape of the pencil cutout

Step 9

Rotate the resulting shape clockwise using a 45° angle (right click > Transform > Rotate > -45°), and then position it in the chat symbol’s top-right corner, as seen in the reference image.

rotating the pencil cutout

Step 10

Adjust the size of the cutout by giving the shape an outline using the Stroke method. To do this, simply create a copy (Control-C > Control-F), which we will then adjust by increasing the Weight of its Stroke from 4 px to 10 px. Once you’re done, make sure you select and group the two shapes together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

adjusting the thickness of the pencil cutout

Step 11

Finish off the icon, and with it the project itself, by adding the pencil using a copy (Control-C) of the shapes that we’ve just grouped, which we will paste in front (Control-F) and then adjust by setting their color to white (#FFFFFF). Once you’re done, make sure you select and group (Control-G) all of the icon’s composing shapes before finally hitting that save button.

finishing off the blog icon

Awesome Job!

As always, I hope you had fun working on the project but most importantly managed to learn something new and useful in the process.

That being said, if you have any questions, feel free to post them within the comments section and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!

finished project preview

Grow Your Icon-Building Skills!

Always wanted to learn more about icons, but never knew exactly where to start?! Well, today's your lucky day since I took the time to put together a list of tutorials and articles that should get you started in no time!

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