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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Icon Design
Design

How to Make a Report Icon in Adobe Illustrator

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Love icon design? If so, then this is the project for you. Follow this tutorial and learn the process of creating a report icon in a minimal style and in three different versions.

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.

This tutorial is beginner friendly because we will use only basic shapes and with the help of the Align options, the Pathfinder options and the Transform options we will build these icons step by step. By the end of this tutorial, you will have the knowledge to make icons in different styles in future projects.

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, 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 Create the “Clipboard” Report Icon

The first icon is inspired by a simple clipboard icon with a clean design, and we will start to build it shape by shape.

Step 1

Grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw the first shape, which is a 160 x 178 px rectangle. While this shape stays selected, go to the Align panel and make sure to check the Align to Artboard option in the bottom right corner. Now, press Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Bottom to align it perfectly inside your 200 x 200 px artboard.

how to create and align the minimal icon to the artboard

Step 2

Give it a 12 pt Stroke and press the Align Stroke to Inside option (1). The color is not important at this point.

With the shape still selected, go to the Transform panel and apply a Radius of 30 px for all four corners to round them (2).

how to create a clipboard minimal icon

Step 3

Next, use the Rectangle Tool (M) to draw a 90 x 17 px rectangle and then press the Horizontal Align Center followed by Vertical Align Top to align it with your artboard (1).

Draw another rectangle of 90 x 20 px and arrange it right under the first one (2).

how to define the clip area for the report minimal icon

Step 4

At this point, you can delete the blue rectangle at the top because it was just a reference element.

Select the shape of the icon and go to Object > Expand Appearance in order to turn the stroke into a filled shape (1). Now, select this shape along with the pink rectangle and press Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel (2). You will obtain the basic shape of the clipboard without the clip. 

how to subtract the clip area of the report minimal icon

Step 5

Let's continue with the clip element. Draw a new rectangle of 76 x 20 px and then press Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Top to align it with your artboard (1).

Draw another rectangle of 88 x 20 px and align it in the top left corner of your artboard by pressing the Horizontal Align Left and Vertical Align Top. Keep this rectangle selected and apply a Radius of 17 px in the Transform panel in order to round the bottom right corner (2).

Create the same shape in the top right corner of your artboard, and this time, apply a Radius of 17 px to the bottom left corner of the rectangle (3).

Now, select the two beige rectangles and go to Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8). Keep the resulting compound path selected, and also select the purple rectangle and press Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel (4).

how to make a clip minimal icon

Step 6

Zoom in on the purple shape that you have obtained in the previous step and use the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-) to delete the two indicated points (1). Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and use it to select only the two top points (2); then go to File > Scripts > Round Any Corner and apply a Radius of 10. You will obtain a shape rounded at the top (3).

The Round Any Corner Script is a very useful script that allows you to round only the anchor point(s) that you want and you can download it from this tutorial 20 Free and Useful Adobe Illustrator Scripts. Follow the instructions to install it in Illustrator, and then you will be able to find it under File > Scripts.

how to round the clip minimal icon

Step 7

Draw a 76 x 18 px rectangle and arrange it right under the purple shape that you have obtained in the previous step (1). Round all four corners by 2 px using the Transform panel, and then move it 1 px upwards by pressing the Up Arrow key on your keyboard once in order to make them overlap a little (2).

While the purple and the pink shapes stay selected, press Unite in the Pathfinder panel to merge them into a single shape (3).

how to unite the clip minimal icon

Step 8

To keep this a minimal icon, we will add only a few writing elements on it. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a V-like shape as the checked symbol. Give it an 8 pt Stroke, and also select the Round Cap and Round Join options in the Stroke panel (1).

Next, draw a straight path 52 px in length. Give it an 8 pt Stroke and select the Round Cap option in the Stroke panel to obtain the rounded ends. Align this path with the checked symbol on your clipboard (2). Duplicate these two shapes to add another row on the report icon (3).

Next, draw an 18 x 18 px circle using the Ellipse Tool (L). Give it a 7 px Stroke and press the Align Stroke to Outside option in the Stroke panel. Arrange another copy of the straight path next to the circle, and this will be the third row at the bottom of the report icon (4).

how to create writing minimal icons on report icon

Step 9

At this point, the first icon is ready. Select all the writing elements created earlier and go to Object > Expand Appearance followed by Object > Expand in order to turn the strokes into filled shapes.

Select all the shapes that make up the "Clipboard" report icon and go to Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8) to merge them together although this step is optional. Now, you can color it as you wish.

final clipboard report icon design

3. How to Create the “Chart” Report Icon

The second icon is inspired by a chart, so next you will learn how to make a minimal chart icon to put on the clipboard.

Step 1

Draw a new 200 x 200 px square and define a second artboard inside your document by going to Object > Artboards > Convert to Artboard. Make a copy of the report icon and remove the writing from the inside. Align this compound path with the new artboard by pressing Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center in the Align panel (1).

Use the Ellipse Tool (L) to draw a small 16 x 16 px circle and arrange it in the middle of the clip (2). Select only the bottom point of the circle with the help of the Direct Selection Tool (A) and press Delete on your keyboard to delete it. Now, select the two end points of the path with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and press Control-J on your keyboard to close back the shape. You will obtain a half circle (3).

Select the shape of the icon along with half circle and press Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel to create a hole (4).

how to create the clip hole for report minimal icon

Step 2

Grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a 13 x 65.5 px rectangle; then apply a Radius of 4 px to the bottom corners to round them (1). Make three copies of this shape and arrange them in a row inside the icon (2).

Next, grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw the tail of an arrow as shown in the image below. Give it an 8 pt Stroke and select the Round Cap and Round Join options in the Stroke panel (3). Continue with the tip of the arrow and apply the same settings (4).

how to make a chart minimal icon

Step 3

Select only the tail of the arrow and then Copy and Paste in Back (Control-B) to make a copy of it. Increase the Stroke Weight to 16 pt and select the Bevel Join option in the Stroke panel (1). Go to Object > Expand to turn the stroke into a filled shape (2).

Select the four yellow rectangles and go to Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8); then select them along with the expanded orange tail and press Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel (3). Select and delete only the top yellow segments, and the chart is ready (4).

how to create a chart minimal icon

Step 4

Select the blue arrow and go to Object > Expand to turn the strokes into fills. Now, select all the shapes that make up the chart and go to Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8). Make sure it is aligned in the center of the icon by pressing Horizontal Align Center in the Align panel (1).

To keep this a minimal icon design, we will draw only two straight paths under the chart having 80 px in length. Give them an 8 pt Stroke and select the Round Cap option in the Stroke panel to obtain the rounded ends (2).

how to create writing minimal icons for report icon

Step 5

Expand the two lines at the bottom of the icon; then select all the shapes that make up the "Chart" report icon and go to Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8) although this step is optional. At this point, the icon is ready, and you can color it as you wish.

final chart report icon design

4. How to Make the “Two Pages” Report Icon

For the third icon, we will create a "two pages" minimal design filled with just a few writing lines to keep things simple.

Step 1

Grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a new 200 x 200 px square and define a third artboard inside your document by going to Object > Artboards > Convert to Artboards.

Still using the Rectangle Tool (M), draw a 160 x 178 px rectangle and give it a 12 pt Inside Stroke as you did for the first report icon. In the Transform panel, apply a Radius of 30 px to all four corners in order to round them. Make sure that this shape is aligned with your new artboard by pressing Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Top in the Align panel.

how to create a first page minimal icon

Step 2

While the rounded rectangle stays selected, go to Object > Transform > Move and enter 16 px in both Horizontal and Vertical fields. Hit Copy and you will get a second shape (1). Increase the Radius in the Transform panel from 30 px to 42 px, but only for the bottom right corner (2).

You can move the second shape up to the edge of the artboard, but I find that this makes the icon a bit bulky.

how to create a second page minimal icon

Step 3

Expand the second rounded rectangle to turn the stroke into a filled shape, and this will be the second page of the report icon (1). Next, take the Pen Tool (P) or the Line Segment Tool (\) and draw a straight horizontal path following the bottom inner edge of this rectangle and a straight vertical path following the right inner edge (2).

Now, select the shape of the second page along with one of the paths and press Divide in the Pathfinder panel. Keep the resulting group selected, and also select the other path and press Divide again. This will cut the page along those lines, and you can Ungroup (Shift-Control-G) and delete the shapes that you don't need. Keep only the segment in the bottom right portion of the icon (3).

how to make the two pages icon design

Step 4

Let's create the writing elements on the first page. Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to draw a small 31 x 31 px square and arrange it in the upper left corner of the page. Give it an 8 pt Stroke (1). Switch to the Pen Tool (P) or the Line Segment Tool (\) and draw two straight paths 46 px in length next to the square (2). 

Finally, draw four straight paths 100 px in length at the bottom of the page and give them an 8 pt Stroke as well (3). To create a different look, this time let's not round the ends of these lines.

how to create writing minimal icons on report icon

Step 5

Select the square and all the lines and go to Object > Expand to turn the strokes into filled shapes. Now, select all the shapes that make up the “Two Pages” report icon and go to Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8), although this step is optional.

final two pages report icon design

Step 6

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

final clipboard chart pages icon design

Congratulations! You're Done

You have successfully learned how to create three minimal report icons, and now 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 report icons

Expand Your Icon-Designing Skills!

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

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