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Design

How to Make a Purchase Icon in Adobe Illustrator

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

Love icon design? If so, follow this tutorial and learn how to make a minimal purchase icon in three different versions. We will use only basic shapes, and with the help of the Align options and the Pathfinder options, we will build these icons step by step. By the end of this tutorial, you will be able to apply these techniques to create other types of icons.

A minimal icon is characterized by:

  • Simplicity: minimum of shapes and elements
  • Clarity: icons should be understandable in a single glance
  • Scaling: icons should maintain sharpness and clarity at any size, especially when scaled very small
  • Excludes: complex colors, gradients, textures, and shadows

If you are hungry for more icon design, head over to GraphicRiver and you will be able to find a multitude of vector icons in different styles, shapes, and categories.

Tutorial Assets

To complete the tutorial, you will need the following assets:

1. How to Open a New Document 

Launch Illustrator and go to File > New to open a blank document. Type a name for your file, set up the dimensions, and then select Pixels as Units and RGB as Color Mode.

Next, go to Edit > Preferences > General and set the Keyboard Increment to 1 px and while there, go to Units to make sure they are set as in the following image. I usually work with these settings, and they will help you throughout the drawing process. 

how to open a new Illustrator document for icon design

2. How to Set Up the Reference Grid

Step 1

Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and type 10 px in the Gridline every field and 10 in the Subdivisions field. This will create a grid line every pixel in your document.

how to set up the grid for icon design

Step 2

Under the View menu, make sure to check Show Grid to make it visible, and also keep Snap to Grid and Snap to Point checked.

how to view the grid for icon design

Step 3

Grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a 200 x 182 px rectangle. Align its corner with the grid; then go to Object > Artboards > Convert to Artboards. This will define a new small artboard inside your document which is the size of our icon.

how to create artboard for icon design

3. How to Create the “Dollar Sign” Purchase Icon

The first icon is composed of a minimal cart icon and a dollar sign symbol, and we will go through the process of creating it path by path.

Step 1

Grab the Line Segment Tool (\), click on your artboard, and draw a 26 px path at a 0 degree Angle. Give it a 14 pt Stroke and press the Round Cap option in the Stroke panel to obtain the rounded ends.

While the path stays selected, go to the Align panel and make sure that Align to Artboard is selected. Now, press Horizontal Align Left followed by Vertical Align Top. The path will jump to the top left corner of your artboard.

how to create the handle of purchase icon

Step 2

To position the first path inside the artboard where we need it, go to Object > Transform > Move and type 7 px in both the Horizontal and Vertical fields. Hit OK.

how to align the handle of purchase icon

Step 3

Grab the Line Segment Tool (\) again, click on your artboard, and draw a 134 px path at a 108 degree Angle. Give it a 14 pt Stroke and select the Round Cap option in the Stroke panel. Grab it with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and align its top point with the end point of the first path.

how to create the back of purchase icon

Step 4

Use the Line Segment Tool (\) to draw a new path 35 px in length. Apply the same appearances as the first two paths. In the Align panel, press Vertical Align Top followed by Horizontal Align Right to position it in the top right corner of the artboard.

While the path stays selected, go to Object > Transform > Move and type -7 px in the Horizontal field and 34 px in the Vertical field. Hit OK.

how to create the top of purchase icon

Step 5

Take the Line Segment Tool (\) again and draw an 80 px path at a 72 degrees Angle. Apply the same appearances to it; then grab it with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and align its top point with the end point of the previous path.

how to create the front of purchase icon

Step 6

Draw the next path with 100 px length and apply the same appearances. Align its right point with the end point of the previous path.

how to create the bottom of purchase icon

Step 7

Now, select the path shown below and then Copy and Paste in Front (Control-F) to make a copy of it. Move it to the left along the grid lines using the Left Arrow key on your keyboard.

how to create the back edge of purchase icon

Step 8

It's time to create the wheels of the cart. Grab the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw a 52 x 52 px circle, and press the Vertical Align Bottom in the Align panel to make sure it stays at the bottom of the artboard. Align the center of the circle with the end point of the path above it (you can use a Guide line to make this job easier).

Copy and Paste in Front (Control-F) this circle and move it to the left to obtain the second wheel.

how to create the wheels of the cart minimal icon

Step 9

Keep the first wheel selected and go to Object > Transform > Scale. Type 45% in the Uniform Scale field and hit Copy. This will create a smaller circle inside. Repeat the same thing for the other wheel.

Now, select the first wheel again, along with the smaller circle on top of it, and press Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel. This will create a hole inside the wheel. Repeat the same thing for the second wheel.

how to cut the wheels of the cart minimal icon

Step 10

Use the Line Segment Tool (\) to draw a 90 px path and apply the same appearances. Use the grid to arrange it between the wheels.

how to make the bottom of purchase icon

Step 11

Next, take the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw an 84 x 84 px circle. Press Horizontal Align Right followed by Vertical Align Top to position this shape in the top right corner of the artboard. Use the grid to move it a little to the left by one division (10 subdivisions).

how to make a dollar icon design

Step 12

Let's continue the icon design with the dollar sign symbol. Grab the Type Tool (T) and write the letter “S” inside the circle using the Poppins Thin Font, size of 72 pt. The fill color is not important. Also, give it a 6 pt Stroke and press the Round Cap and Round Join in the Stroke panel using the same color. This will make the letter thicker and rounded at the ends.

Next, draw a vertical path about 54 px in length and position it in the center of the letter “S” to obtain the dollar sign. Give it a 6 pt Stroke and press the Round Cap option in the Stroke panel.

how to create a dollar minimal icon

Step 13

Use the Line Segment Tool (\) to draw a new path 120 px in length at a 0 degree Angle. Give it a 12 pt Stroke, move it to the center of the cart, and send it behind the circle.

how to complete the chart icon design

Step 14

Select the dollar sign and go to Object > Expand twice in order to expand the text and the stroke applied. Press Unite in the Pathfinder panel to merge them into a single shape (1).

Now, select the dollar shape along with the circle and press Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel to subtract it from the circle (2).

Before you continue and before you expand the paths, make two copies of the entire icon for later use.

how to make a dollar minimal icon

Step 15

Select all the stroked paths that make up the cart and go to Object > Expand to turn them into filled shapes. At this point, we need to make a few small adjustments. Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select only the three points indicated (1) and move them to the right by pressing the Right Arrow key on your keyboard until you can't see the blue shape inside the dollar sign (2).

Do the same thing at the bottom of the dollar sign and distort the blue shape by adding three extra points with the Add Anchor Point Tool (+). With the help of the Direct Selection Tool (A), move the point in the middle downwards until you can't see the blue shape inside the dollar sign (3).

how to adjust the purchase icon

Step 16

At this point, the “Dollar Sign” purchase icon is ready. You can select all the shapes and press Unite in the Pathfinder panel followed by Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8) to merge everything into a single compound path.

This step is optional. You can keep the shapes separate and fill them with different colors that you prefer.

final dollar purchase icon design

4. How to Create the “Plus Sign” Purchase Icon

The second icon is composed of a minimal cart icon as well, but we will change the style a little and add a plus sign symbol.

Step 1

Draw a new 200 x 182 px rectangle with the Rectangle Tool (M) and go to Object > Artboards > Convert to Artboards in order to define a new artboard inside your document. Now, grab the copy of the “Dollar Sign” purchase icon made earlier in the tutorial and Group (Control-G) all the shapes. Press Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center in the Align panel to make sure the icon stays inside the new artboard (1).

Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select only the point indicated, and move it to the right to remove the empty space up to the circle (2). Next, take the Pen Tool (P) and draw a shape as shown in the image below to cover the bottom of the cart (3).

how to make new cart icon design

Step 2

Select all the stroked paths that make up the icon and go to Object > Expand to turn them into filled shapes (1). Now, select all the blue shapes that make up the icon (without the circle) and press Unite in the Pathfinder panel followed by Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8) to merge them into a single compound path (2).

how to create new cart minimal icon

Step 3

Now, focus on the circle. Keep it selected and press Horizontal Align Right followed by Vertical Align Top to position the circle in the top right corner of the artboard (1). Besides the pink fill, also apply an 8 pt Stroke and press the Align Stroke to Outside option in the Stroke panel. Add a New Stroke at the top and select a 12 pt Stroke, and this time, choose the Align Stroke to Inside option in the Stroke panel. The colors are not important at the moment (2).

With the circle still selected, go to Object > Expand Appearance followed by Ungroup (Shift-Control-G) to get the individual ring shapes (3).

how to create a plus sign minimal icon

Step 4

Delete the pink circle because you don't need it. Select the bigger ring shape (green), go to Object > Compound Path > Release, and you will get two green circles. Delete the smaller one and keep the bigger one (2).

Now, select the cart compound path along with the green circle and press Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel to subtract it from the cart (3).

how to cut the purchase icon

Step 5

Let's complete the icon design with the plus sign symbol. Use the Line Segment Tool (\) to create a vertical path (1) and a horizontal path 34 px in length (2). Give them both a 12 pt Stroke and select the Round Cap option in the Stroke panel to obtain the rounded ends.

While both paths stay selected, go to Object > Expand to turn them into filled shapes and then press Unite in the Pathfinder panel (3).

how to make a plus sign minimal icon

Step 6

At this point, the “Plus Sign” purchase icon is ready. You can select all the shapes that compose it and press Unite in the Pathfinder panel followed by Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8) to obtain a single compound path.

This step is optional. You can keep the shapes separate and fill them with different colors that you prefer.

final plus sign purchase icon design

5. How to Create the “Arrow Sign” Purchase Icon

The last icon is composed of the same minimal cart icon, but we will make an arrow sign symbol to complete the design.

Step 1

Draw a new 200 x 182 px rectangle with the Rectangle Tool (M) and go to Object > Artboards > Convert to Artboards in order to define a third artboard inside your document. Now, grab a copy of the first purchase icon made earlier in the tutorial and align it inside your new artboard, as you did before.

Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select only the point indicated (1) and move it to the right until you meet the other end of the cart (2). Now, you can expand and create the cart compound path as you did for the previous two icons (3).

how to make new cart minimal icon

Step 2

Use the Line Segment Tool (\) to draw a path 66 px in length at a 90 degrees Angle as the tail of the arrow. Arrange it at the top of the artboard, give it a 12 pt Stroke, and select the Round Cap option to obtain the rounded ends.

Draw a V-like shape with the Pen Tool (P) as the head of the arrow. Give it a 12 pt Stroke and select the Round Cap and Round Join options in the Stroke panel (2).

how to create an arrow minimal icon

Step 3

Copy and Paste in Back (Control-B) the tail and the head paths and increase the Stroke Width to 28 pt. For visual reasons, I've changed the stroke color (1).

Now, select the black stroked paths and go to Object > Expand to turn them into filled shapes. Press Unite in the Pathfinder panel to merge them into a single shape (the black arrow shape). Next, Expand the two green paths and Unite them to obtain the green arrow shape (2).

Select the chart compound path along with the green arrow shape and press Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel to subtract it from the cart (3).

how to cut the purchase icon design

Step 4

At this point, the “Arrow Sign” purchase icon is ready. Select all the shapes that compose it and press Unite in the Pathfinder panel followed by Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8) to obtain a single compound path.

This step is optional. You can keep the shapes separate and fill them with different colors that you like.

final arrow sign purchase icon

Step 5

Here are the three artboards inside the document and the three versions that we made.

final purchase minimal icons

Congratulations! You're Done

You have successfully learned how to create three minimal purchase icons, and you can apply these techniques in future projects. 

Don't forget to share your recreations with us in the comments section below, and also leave your questions and requests there.

how to make minimal purchase icons

Expand Your Icon-Designing Skills!

Want to make more icons? Keep learning with these recommended tutorials:

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