Advertisement
  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Tools & Tips
Design

Quick Tip: Create a Simple, Pen Tool Free, File Icon in Illustrator

by
Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:

In the following steps you will learn how to create a simple file icon in Adobe Illustrator. It's a pretty simple tutorial that will introduce you to the basics of pixel perfect vector shape building techniques. For the starting shapes you will only need the Rectangle Tool (M), the Rounded Corners effect and some simple Pathfinder options. Next, for the coloring you will need a simple linear gradient, a bunch of flat colors and some simple blending techniques. In the final/extra step you will learn how powerful the Transform effect can be.


Step 1

Open Adobe Illustrator and hit Command + N to create a new document. Enter 600 in the width box and 300 in the height box then click on the Advanced button. Select RGB, Screen (72ppi) and make sure that the "Align New Objects to Pixel Grid" box is unchecked before your click OK.

Enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Next, you'll need a grid every 1px. Simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid, enter 1 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box. You can also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shapes. Do not forget to set the unit of measurement at pixels from Edit > Preferences > Unit > General. All these options will significantly increase your work speed.


Step 2

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 49 by 64px shape, fill it with R=210, G=212, B=214 and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 2px radius, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 3

Focus on the top, right corner of the shape made in the previous step. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 22px square and place it as shown in the first image. Fill it with none but at a 1pt, black stroke. Make sure that this new shape is selected, switch to the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-) and simply click on the top, right anchor point (highlighted in the first image). This should turn your little square into a triangle as shown in the second image. Make sure that the Direct Selection Tool (A) is still active, select the bottom, left anchor point (highlighted in the second image) and hit the Delete key from your keyboard. In the end you should get a simple, oblique path as shown in the third image.


Step 4

Select the oblique path and the rounded rectangle, open the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder) and click on the Divide button. Select the resulting group of shapes and Ungroup it (Shift + Control + G).


Step 5

Select the smaller shape made in the previous step, fill it with R=190, G=192, B=194, bring it to front (Shift + Control + ] ) and go to Object > Transform > Rotate. Enter a 180 degrees angle and click OK.


Step 6

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid) then go to Edit > Preferences > General and make sure that the Keyboard Increment is set at 1px. Select the little triangle shape edited in the previous step and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape, make a Copy in front (Control + C > Control + F), select it and move it 1px up using the up arrow from your keyboard. Select both shapes made in this step and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=210, G=212, B=214.


Step 7

Reselect the triangle shape and go again to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape, make a Copy in front (Control + C > Control + F), select it and move it 1px down using the down arrow from your keyboard. Select both shapes made in this step and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white.


Step 8

Select the bigger shape made in the fourth step and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Return to the triangle shape, select it and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 1px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape along with the copy made in the beginning of the step and click on the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black and lower its Opacity to 5%.


Step 9

Reselect the triangle shape and focus on the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance). First, replace the flat color used for the fill with the linear gradient shown in the following image then add a 1pt stroke. Align it to inside and set the color at R=210, G=212, B=214. Select this triangle shape along with the other three shapes made in the last three steps and group them (Control + G).


Step 10

Let's move to the bigger, grey shape. Select it and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape, make a Copy in front (Control + C > Control + F), select it and move it 1px up. Reselect both shapes made in this step and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. For the moment the resulting shape won't be visible, so don't worry if you can't notice any change.


Step 11

Reselect the grey shape and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1px Offset and click OK. Select the resulting shape, make a Copy in front (Control + C > Control + F), select it and move it 1px down and to the right. Reselect both shapes made in this step and click on the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white.


Step 12

Reselect the grey shape and focus on the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance). First, replace the flat color used for the fill with the linear gradient shown in the following image then add a 1pt stroke. Align it to inside and set the color at R=210, G=212, B=214.


Step 13

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 47 by 1px shape, fill it with R=198, G=215, B=235 and place it as shown in the first image. Move to the Layers panel, select this thin rectangle, drag it below the group made in the ninth step then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.


Step 14

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 1 by 60px shape, fill it with R=232 G=190 B=189 and place it as shown in the following image.


Step 15

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create two, 3px circles and place them as shown in the following image. Fill both shape with R=250, G=250, B=250 and add a 1pt stroke with the color set at R=210, G=210, B=210.


Step 16

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 49 by 3px shape, fill it the linear gradient shown below and place it as shown in the first image. The yellow zeros from the gradient image stand for Opacity percentage. Select this new shape, send it to back (Shift + Control + [ ) and lower the Opacity to 15%.


Step 17

Select all the shapes created so far and Group them (Control + G). Finally, select this new group and add a simple Transform effect (Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform) as shown in the following image.


Conclusion

Now your work is done. Here is how it should look. Try playing with the Transform effect to create multiple different stacks of paper, be it organized in a pile or all mixed up.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Looking for something to help kick start your next project?
Envato Market has a range of items for sale to help get you started.