Advertisement
  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Illustration
Design

Quick Tip: How to Create a Simple Hanging Sign in Adobe Illustrator

by
Difficulty:BeginnerLength:MediumLanguages:

In the following steps you will learn how to turn simple hanging sign illustration in Adobe Illustrator. For starters you will only need a simple rectangle. Taking full advantage of the Appearance panel we will add colors, highlights and some simple shading for this rectangle. Once you have your main piece we'll create the rest of the shapes using basic tools and effects along with some simple vector shape building techniques.



1. Create a New Document

Hit Command + N to create a new document. Enter 600 in the width box and height boxes 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). For starters you'll need a grid every 5px. 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 > Unit > General. All these options will significantly increase your work speed.


2. Create the Frame to the Sign

Step 1

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 400 by 250px shape and fill it with the linear gradient shown below. Make sure that this new rectangle stays selected and open the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance). Select the existing fill from the Appearance panel and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK. Move to the Layers panel, double click on the shape made in this step and name it "main".

Step 2

Make sure that the shape mode in the previous step is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a a 3pt stroke. Select it, set the color at R=200, G=200, B=200, align it to inside and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -16px Offset, click OK and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter an 8px radius, click OK and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.


3. Add Refinement via the Appearance Panel to the Screen

Step 1

Make sure that "main" is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill using the Add New Fill button (pointed by the blue arrow in the following image). Select this new fill, drag it in the top of the Appearance panel, add the linear gradient shown below and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -19px Offset, click OK and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 5px radius and click OK.

Step 2

Make sure that "main" is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel, select the fill added in the previous step then hit the Add New Fill button. Select this new fill, set its color at R=29, G=67, B=122 and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -20px Offset, click OK and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 5px radius, click OK and go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.

Step 3

Make sure that "main" is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel, select the fill added in the previous step and hit the "Duplicate Selected Item" button (pointed by the blue arrow in the following image). Obviously, this will add a copy of the selected fill. Select it, remove the existing Inner Glow effect then replace the flat color with the radial gradient shown below. The yellow zero from the gradient image stands for Opacity percentage.

Step 4

Make sure that "main" is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel, select the fill added in the previous step and hit the "Duplicate Selected Item" button. Select this newly created fill and replace the radial gradient with a flat black. Also, lower its Opacity to 5%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.

Step 5

Make sure that "main" is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add three new strokes using the Add New Stroke button (pointed by the blue arrow in the following image). Drag these new strokes in the top of the Appearance panel and set their color at R=209, G=211, B=212. Select the bottom one, lower its Opacity to 25%, set the weight at 5pt and align it to inside. Move up to the next stroke, lower its Opacity to 25%, set the Stroke Weight at 3pt and align it to inside. Finally, select the top stroke, lower its Opacity to 75%, set the Stroke Weight at 1pt and align it to inside.

Step 6

Reselect your "main" shape, focus on the Appearance panel, make sure that no fill or stroke is selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 10px radius, click OK and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the first window, click OK then add the other two Drop Shadow effects shown in the following image.


4. Create the Wire to Hang Your Sign

Step 1

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 200 by 90px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Set the fill color at none, but add a 3pt Stroke Weight and set its color at R=147, G=149, B=152. Make sure that this new rectangle stays selected and go to Object > Path > Add Anchor Points. Switch to the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-) and simply click on the two anchor points highlighted in the second image to remove them. In the end your shape should look like in the third image. Make sure that it is selected and go to Object > Path > Outline Stroke. Send the resulting shape to back (SHIFT + CTRL + [ ).

Step 2

Select the shape made in the previous step, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill using the Add New Fill button. Select this new fill and use the linear gradient shown in the first image. Remember that the yellow zero from the gradient image stands for Opacity percentage. Keep focusing on this shape, return to the Appearance panel and add a third fill using that same Add New Fill button. Select this new fill and use the radial gradient shown in the second image.

Step 3

Reselect the shape edited in the previous step, focus on the Appearance panel and add a new fill. Select it, set the color at white, lower its Opacity to 25% and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1px Offset and click OK. Return to the Appearance panel, make sure that no fill or stroke is selected then add the two Drop Shadow effects shown in the following image.

Step 4

For the following step you will need a grid every 1px. So, go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 4 by 10px shape, fill it with the linear gradient shown below and place it as shown in the following image.

Step 5

Make sure that the shape made in the previous step stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. First, add two strokes using that Add New Stroke button. Select the bottom one, set the color at white, make it 0.5pt wide and align it to inside. Move to the next stroke, set the color at R=167, G=169, B=172, make it 0.25pt wide and align it to inside. Keep focusing on the Appearance panel, make sure that no fill or stroke is selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 2px radius, click OK and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the left window, click OK and go again to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the right window and click OK.

Step 6

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 2px circle and place it as shown in the first image. Fill it with the linear gradient shown below and lower its Opacity to 75%. Continue with the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 6px circle, place it as shown in the second image and set the fill color at R=130, G=130, B=130. Send this new shape to back (SHIFT + CTRL + [ ) and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 5px radius and click OK.


5. Add Your Message

Using the Type Tool (T), add you white pieces of text. Use the text properties shown in the following image then set the Blending Mode at Soft Light. Here is the "PwMarker" font and here is the "Marker SD Italic" font.


6. Create a Simple Textured Background

Step 1

Finally, let's add a simple background. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a shape the size of your Artboard, Send it to Back (SHIFT + CTRL + [ ) and set the color at R=239, G=245, B=249. Add a second fill for this new rectangle, select it and use the radial gradient shown in the following image.

Step 2

Reselect the shape made in the previous step, focus on the Appearance panel and add a third fill. Make it black, lower its Opacity to 15%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Sketch > Note Paper. Enter the data shown below and click OK. Keep focusing on the Appearance panel and add a fourth fill for this shape. You will need a built in pattern for this new fill. Move to the Swatches panel, open the fly-out menu and go to Open Swatch Library > Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Textures. This should open a new window with a simple set of built-in pattern. You will only need the "Diamond" pattern. Make sure that your background rectangle is still selected and return to the Appearance panel. Select that fourth fill, add the "Diamond" pattern, lower its Opacity to 10%, change the Blending Mode to Multiply and go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.


Conclusion

Now your work is done. Here is how it should look. Feel free to use a different set of colors for those blue fills that make up the "main" shape. I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and can apply these techniques in your future projects.


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.