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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Icon Design
Design

How to Make a Filter Icon

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Always wanted to learn how to create a filter icon, but never knew exactly where to start?

Well, if that’s the case then you’re in luck, since in this video I’m going to walk you through the entire process and show you how to create two variations of the same icon using Adobe Illustrator.

If you're new to icon design and feel like learning more about how to make icons, then this minimal icon project should be a great starting point!

Also, don't forget you can always expand your icon library by heading over to GraphicRiver, where you'll find a great selection of vector icons.

You can view this video and many more on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube Channel.

How to Make a Filter Icon in Adobe Illustrator

Assuming you already have the software running in the background, bring it up and let's get started!

Step 1

As with every new project, we’re going to start by setting up a new document. Head over to File > New, or use the Control-N keyboard shortcut, which will bring up the following window.

Here, we’ll want to set our Profile to Web and increase the Number of Artboards to 2, positioning them 32 px from one another. Moving on down, we’re going to set both the Width and Height of our Artboards to 32 px.

setting up a new document

Step 2

As soon as we hit OK, we can start working on our little project by opening up the Layers panel and creating a secondary layer, naming them both so that we can separate our icons from our reference grids.

setting up the layers

Step 3

Position yourself on the bottom layer, and let’s create the main shape for our reference surface using a 32 x 32 px square, which we will color using a dark orange (#F15A24), making sure to center align it to the left Artboard afterwards.

creating the main reference surface

Step 4

Add the active drawing area using a 28 x 28 px square, which we will color using white (#FFFFFF) and then position in the center of the previous shape, making sure to select and group both of them together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

Quick tip: while basic, this reference grid will give us an all-around 2 px protective padding, which should prevent our icon from being clipped when used by other people.

add the active drawing area

Step 5

Once you’re done, create a copy (Control-C) of the resulting grid and then paste (Control-F) it onto the secondary Artboard.

adding the second reference grid

Step 6

As soon as we’ve finished setting up the grids, we can lock the current layer and then move on up to the second one, where we will start working on the actual icons.

locking the layers

Step 7

Position yourself on the first Artboard, and then create the upper section of the funnel-shaped symbol using a 24 x 12 px rectangle, which we will color using a dark grey (#4D4D4D) and then position at a distance of 2 px from the center of the active drawing area’s top edge.

creating the upper section of the first icon variation

Step 8

Add the funnel’s lower body using a 6 x 12 px rectangle (#4D4D4D), which we will position below the previous one, so that their inner-facing paths overlap.

creating the lower section of the first icon variation

Step 9

Next, we’re going to adjust the shape of the larger rectangle by individually selecting its bottom anchor points using the Direct Selection Tool (A) and then dragging them to the inside so that they end up overlapping those of the smaller shape.

adjusting the upper section of the first icon variation

Step 10

Adjust the lower shape by selecting its bottom-right anchor point and then pushing it to the top by 4 px using the directional arrow keys.

adjusting the lower section of the first icon variation

Step 11

Once you’re done, select both shapes and combine them into a single larger one by opening up the Pathfinder panel and using its Unite Shape Mode.

uniting the shapes of the first icon variation

Step 12

Give the resulting shape an outline by creating a copy (Control-C), which we will paste in front (Control-F). Flip its Fill with its Stroke using the Shift-X keyboard shortcut, and then open the Stroke panel and set its Weight to 4 px and its Corner to Round Join.

As soon as we’ve added the outline, we can select and group the two together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

adding the outline to the first icon variation

Step 13

Since we’re pretty much done working on the first icon, we can position ourselves on the second Artboard, where we will build our second one.

Start by creating the main shape for the center dial using a 4 x 28 px rounded rectangle (#4D4D4D) with a 2 px Corner Radius, which we will center align to the underlying Artboard.

creating the center slider

Step 14

Add the knob using a smaller 8 x 4 px rounded rectangle (#4D4D4D) with a 2 px Corner Radius, which we will position 8 px from the previous shape’s top anchor point.

Once we have both shapes in place, we can select and then group them together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

adding the knob to the center slider

Step 15

Create the left and right sliders using two copies (Control-C > Control-F twice) of the one that we’ve just finished working on, which we will then align to the side edges of the active drawing area.

adding the side sliders

Step 16

All we have to do now is horizontally reflect the two copies, by first selecting them both and then right-clicking and going to Transform > Reflect > Horizontal.

Since at this point we’re pretty much done, we can select and group (Control-G) all of the icon’s composing shapes so that they won’t get separated by accident.

finishing off the second icon variation

Great Job!

As always, I hope you had fun watching this video and most importantly managed to learn something new and useful during the process!

Further Expand Your Icon-Building Skills!

Just finished going through this quick tutorial, and feel like learning more?

Well, if that's the case, you're in luck, since I took the time to put together this little list that should keep you going for the following days!

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