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Design

Quick Tip: Create a Simple Razor Blade Illustration in Adobe Illustrator

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:

In the following steps you will learn how to create a simple razor blade illustration in Adobe Illustrator. For starters you will learn how to setup a simple grid. Next, using basic tools and effects along with some basic vector shape building techniques you will learn how to create the main razor blade shape. Moving on you will learn how to add some shading and highlights using the Appearance panel, a build-in pattern and some basic blending techniques. Finally, using two built-in brushes and some blending techniques you will learn how to create simple blood splatter.


1. Create a New Document and Setup a Grid

Hit Control + N to create a new document. Enter 600 in the width box and 500 in the height box then click the Advanced button. Select RG, Screen (72ppi) and make sure that the Align New Objects to Pixel Grid box is unchecked before you click OK.

Enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). For starters you will need a grid every 5px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides > Grid, enter 5 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box. You should 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 to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Units > General. All these options will significantly increase your work speed.

razorBlade

2. Create the Razor Blade Shape

Step 1

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and focus on your Toolbar. Remove the color from the stroke then select the fill and set its color at R=137 G=147 B=150. Move to your Artboard and simply create a 220 x 110px rectangle, the Snap to Grid should ease your work.

razorBlade

Step 2

Keep the Rectangle Tool (M) active, set the fill color at R=251 G=176 B=65, create a 15px square and place it as shown in the first image. Make sure that this new shape stays selected and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the properties shown in the left window (in the following image), click OK and go again to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the properties shown in the right window (in the following image) and click OK. In the end things should look like in the second image.

razorBlade

Step 3

For the following steps you will need a grid every 2px. So, go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 2 in the Gridline every box. Make sure that the Rectangle Tool (M) is still active and that the fill color is set at R=251 G=176 B=64. Create a 24 x 8px shape, place it as shown in the first image and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 4px radius, click OK then add the two Transform effects (Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform) shown in the following image.

razorBlade

Step 4

Make sure that the Rectangle Tool (M) is still active and that the fill color is set at R=251 G=176 B=64. Create a 6 x 32px shape, place it as shown in the first image and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 3px radius, click OK and go to Effect > Warp > Bulge. Enter the properties shown in the following image, click OK then add the two Transform effects (Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform) shown in the following image.

razorBlade

Step 5

Make sure that the Rectangle Tool (M) is still active and that the fill color is set at R=251 G=176 B=64. Create a 28px square, place it as shown in the first image and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 5px radius, click OK and go to Object > Transform > Rotate. Enter a 45 degrees angle, click OK then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.

razorBlade

Step 6

Make sure that the fill color is still set at R=251 G=176 B=64 and pick the Ellipse Tool (L). Create a 28px circle and place it as shown in the first image. Grab the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 170 x 12px shape and place it as shown in the second image.

razorBlade

Step 7

Select one of those orange shapes and go to Select > Same > Fill Color to select all orange shapes. Once you have that selection go to Object > Expand Appearance. Move to the Layers panel (Window > Layers), select the resulting group of shapes, open the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder) and click the Unite button. Make sure that your orange shapes are still selected and turn them into a simple Compound Path (Control + 8 or Object > Compound Path > Make).

razorBlade

Step 8

Select the orange compound path and the grey rectangle created so far and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Next, you'll need the Round Any Corner script. You can find it in the Vectortuts+ article 20 Free and Useful Adobe Illustrator Scripts. Save it to your hard drive, return to Illustrator and grab the Direct Selection Tool (A). First, select the four anchor points highlighted with red circles (in the second image) and go to File > Scripts > Other Script. Open the Round Any Corner Script, enter a 4px Radius and click OK. Continue with the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the four anchor points highlighted with green circles and go to File > Scripts > Other Script. Open the Round Any Corner Script, enter a 3px Radius and click OK. Finally, select the anchor points highlighted with blue circles and go to File > Scripts > Other Script. Open the Round Any Corner Script, enter a 1px Radius and click OK. In the end things should look like in the third image. Move to the Layers panel, double click on the existing shape and name it "razorBlade". Select this "razorBlade" and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F), you'll need it later.

razorBlade

3. Add the Blades

Step 1

Set the fill color at R=237 G=28 B=36, pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 198 x 6px shape. Place this new shape in the top side of the razor blade (as shown in the following image) and lower its Opacity to 30%. Make a copy of this thin rectangle and drag it to the bottom side of your razor blade, as shown in the first image. Select both shapes made in this step and turn them into a Compound Path (Control + 8 or Object > Compound Path > Make). Select this new compound path along with the "razorBlade" copy (made in the previous step) and click the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Move to the Layers panel, select the newly created group and simply hit Shift + Control + G to Ungroup it.

razorBlade

Step 2

Disable the Grid (View > Hide Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid), you won't need these anymore. Select the top, red shape, increase its Opacity to 100% and replace the red with the linear gradient shown in the first image. Move to the bottom, red shape. Increase its Opacity to 100%, replace the red with the same linear gradient, but use a 90 degrees angle.

razorBlade

The white numbers from the Gradient image stand for Location percentage.

4. Add Shading and Highlights

Step 1

Select your "razortBlade" shape and open the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance). Select the existing fill and replace that flat color with the linear gradient shown below. Make sure that the fill is still selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.

razorBlade

Step 2

Select "razorBlade", focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill using the Add New Fill button (pointed by the little, blue arrow in the following image). Select this new fill, lower its Opacity to 20%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply and add the radial gradient shown in the following image. Make sure that "razorBlade" stays selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a third fill. You will need a built-in pattern for this new fill. Go to the Swatches panel (Window > Swatches), open the fly-out menu and go to Open Swatch Library > Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Textures. A new window with a set of built-in patterns should open. Get back to the Appearance panel, make sure that the third fill is selected, add the "Dashed Lines" pattern, lower its Opacity to 10% and change the Blending Mode to Overlay.

razorBlade

The yellow zero from the Gradient image stands for Opacity percentage.

Step 3

Make sure that "razorBlade" is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a 2pt stroke, align it to inside and set the color at R=188 G=189 B=192. Keep focusing on the Appearance panel and add a second stroke for your "razorBlade" shape using the Add New Stroke button (pointed by the little, blue arrow in the following image). Select this new stroke, make it 1pt wide, set the color at R=137 G=147 B=150 and align it to inside.

razorBlade

Step 4

Make sure that "razorBlade" stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Add a new fill, drag it in the bottom of the Appearance panel, set the color at R=137 G=147 B=150, lower its Opacity to 35% and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 1px Offset and click OK. Get back to the Appearance panel and add a new fill. Drag it in the bottom of the Appearance panel, set the color at R=137 G=147 B=150, lower its Opacity to 15% and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 3px Offset and click OK. Return to the Appearance panel and add one last fill. Drag it in the bottom of the Appearance panel, set the color at R=137 G=147 B=150, lower its Opacity to 5% and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 5px Offset and click OK. In the end things should look like in the following image.

razorBlade

5. Add Some Blood Splatter

Step 1

Open the Brushes panel (Window > Brushes) and hit the "D" key from your keyboard to load the default attributes (white fill and black stroke). Focus on your Toolbar, remove the color from the stroke and set the fill color at R=237 G=28 B=36. Open the fly-out menu of the Brushes panel, go to Open Brush Library > Artistic > Artistic_Ink and a new window with a bunch of brushes will open. Pick the Paintbrush Tool (B), select the "Fire Ash" brush (pointed by the little, blue arrow in the following image) and draw a simple path as shown in the first image. Select it and go to Object > Path > Outline Stroke. Select the resulting group of shapes and turn it into a simple Compound Path (Control + 8 or Object > Compound Path > Make).

razorBlade

Step 2

Make sure that your red compound path stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the fill, lower its Opacity to 70%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.

razorBlade

Step 3

Set the fill color at R=290 G=30 B=45. Return to the Artistic_Ink panel and select the "Ink Drop" brush. Make sure that the Paintbrush Tool (B) is still active and simply click once on your Artboard. Select this new, tiny path, place it as shown in the first image then go to Object > Expand Appearance. Select the resulting group of shapes, rotate it a little, lower its Opacity to 90% and change the Blending Mode to Multiply.

razorBlade

6. Add a Simple Background

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a shape the size of your Artboard, fill it with R=250 G=250 B=250 and send it to back (Shift + Control + [ ). Make sure that this new rectangle stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Add a second fill and use the radial gradient shown below. Return to the Appearance panel and add a third fill. Select it, set the color at black, lower its Opacity to 4%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the properties shown in the following image, click OK and you're done.

razorBlade

Congratulations! You're Done!

Here is how it should look. Feel free to use a different brush to create the blood splatter. I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and can apply these techniques in your future projects.

razorBlade
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