How to Create Geometric Icons Using Adobe Illustrator | Kevin Moran | Skillshare

How to Create Geometric Icons Using Adobe Illustrator

Kevin Moran, Illustrator & Designer

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14 Lessons (1h 11m) View My Notes
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. The Project

    • 3. Sketches & Exploration

    • 4. File Setup

    • 5. Illustrating The Compass

    • 6. Illustrating The Wrist Watch

    • 7. Illustrating Conversation Bubbles

    • 8. Illustrating The Book

    • 9. Illustrating The Plant

    • 10. Illustrating Stack Ca$h

    • 11. Illustrating The Globe

    • 12. Illustrating The Camera

    • 13. Exporting Your Icons

    • 14. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

If you’ve ever wanted to create a custom icons for your personal brand or your team at work this class is for you!

Kevin Moran has used the icons to fuel opportunities in his career and build an impressive portfolio to help him create captivated illustrations beyond icons. In this class you learn how to craft small simple visuals with Abode Illustrator using the most basics tools: Rectangles, Ellipses, The Pen Tool and the ever so infamous ‘Pathfinder’.

In the class you’ll learn:
– How to create custom vector visuals from sketch to final
– How to setup clean and flawless working files
– How to clean up your workspace to work more effective, and isolate only tools necessary for the job
– How to export your icons in a variety of ways to share with clients

Don’t know how to draw at the highest level? That’s cool, Kevin can’t draw either. Follow along as he takes his subpar drawings into visuals that tell a great story.

Don't have Adobe Illustrator?.. Get your free trial here:



1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Kevin Moran. I'm a graphic designer from Toronto, Canada. In today's class, we are making a set of geometric icons using Adobe Illustrator. I've had the opportunity to work with a number of large brands and publications from around the world and I wouldn't have been able to do so if I wasn't able to make icons. I started very small, in individual, and then started collaging them and overlapping them to make them larger illustrations. In this class I will be sharing every step of my process, so you can have just a base level knowledge of Adobe Illustrator or you can be completely awesomated. I'm confident that everybody would take something from my process, that you can then take into your next vector illustration project. This class is great for anybody who wants to make their own set of icons or perhaps an icon to represent their brand. But it's also great for anybody who wants to dive a bit deeper into illustration, perhaps as a side hustle or a passion project. We will start with some preliminary sketches and exploration. Then we'll jump into Illustrator, setup our files. Clean up our workspace helps hyper-focus then I'll walk you through my process and share some tips and tricks on how to make your icons unique. I am super pumped to make icons with you, so let's get started. 2. The Project: I hope you're all as excited as I am, looking forward to this. In today's project, we'll be creating a set of eight icons. I encourage you to come up with your own theme or use case. Maybe you're preparing for a presentation that you need a set of icons to help tell your story. Or maybe you're just creating a set of visuals to help support your brand. Make this one your own. For my exercise, I'm going to be creating what seems like a random set of visuals. But I chose the set in particular because I think it gives us an opportunity to play with a variety of techniques that will equip you with the ability to build beyond the set. The tools you need for the class project today are a computer, a piece of paper, a pencil, and a copy of Adobe Illustrator. It doesn't have to be the latest copy, but if you don't have a copy of Adobe Illustrator, that's totally fine. You can use the link in the class description to get a seven-day free trial. Our exercise today will consist of four bulk steps: quick sketches, file setup, vector illustration, and then we'll export them to be used or share with clients. When you're done your set of visuals, I encourage you to post them in the project gallery so we can all take a look and give you feedback. In the first lesson, we'll be taking a look at some sketches and doing a little bit of exploration. I find it's very important part of the process because it gives us a little bit more direction and structure before we jump on the computer. See you there. 3. Sketches & Exploration: Now before I start any illustration or icon project, I always start with sketches. This is a good way to explore what the possibilities are before jumping on to the computer. So grab a piece of paper, a pencil, and let's get started. For my exercise, I'm going to be using a moleskin and a pencil, and a marker. Now whether you're using a plain piece of paper or a sketchbook like me, I always start by drawing a few bounding boxes, no matter how many icons there are. This serves as a bit of a guide on how big and the dimensions that each icon will fit in the space. Outside those boxes, or in my case, on the left side of the paper, I explore what the possibilities are and what the icon could look like. I'm not the best drawer, so this is just very preliminary. It doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to give you a good idea of where we're going with each image. As we move on to the second icon, I'll do the same thing. This one's going to be a watch. I can already tell that this is going to be outside the bound box. So trying to think of a way to keep it within a square look and feel. This will work. Once I'm done. I like it. I move it over to my square side and I fill that in. Again, these don't have to be perfect. We will go over each of our drawings with a darker marker just so it is a bit stronger on the paper and it does look a little bit more bolder. Now, when it comes to a discussion icon, this one here is something that I'm used to drawing. It could look like maybe it does on a mobile phone or maybe two overlapping shapes with just triangles on the end that look like someone's talking, I like the round one. Again, I'm just going to draw it again inside my box over here. Now, a book can go a number of different ways. I've drawn lots of books in my career, but I like to get a little bit more creative and maybe it's angled a little bit, and this is how I tend to draw them a lot. There could be a label on the top. Again, it doesn't look like a book right now. Once we are in Illustrator, it'll look a lot better, and it doesn't have to be perfect. So I'm going to go with the angled look, this one here will have a bookmark coming out of it. Now, for growth, we're going to be drawing a plant. I'm a big plant enthusiast myself. There's a number of different plants we could draw. But as an icon, people who weren't plant-enthusiast maybe they don't know the different species and all that stuff. Maybe we need to make something a bit more generic. But I do like this heart look here. Let's go with our heart. When we're in Illustrator, we can go ahead and change the pattern styling if we don't like it, we can always change our minds when we are in Illustrator. This is just giving us a brief guide of it. The next one will be talking about profit. Now, drawing a bill is, it can be drawn several different ways depending on what country you're from. Maybe you want it to look a particular way. I'm going to draw mine to look like a standard American bill. Maybe put a face on it of president or something, but we'll add stacks to it. For those of you who don't know, I think a stack is $1,000, I believe. I'm not quite sure. That looks great. So for global, we're going to be drawing a simple globe line. I'm not sure if you have ever seen those easily recognizable or we can draw with landmasses. This is South America, North America, this is Europe up here, and this is Africa. I like to get the line because I think a lot of people will recognize that a lot more. Let's just move this over to our boxes. For the last one, is going to be a fun one for press. We're going to be making a picture of a camera. There's a few different ways to draw a camera depending on what year it is. I think that's really old maybe it's got lines here. We use a star-shaped. Let's do that. It could represent the bill itself. Just a little different, same, same but different. It will put these lines here and maybe the flash is above and there's a nice star representing that. Great. So we have our drawings ready. The next thing we'll do is just go over it with a marker. Totally optional by the way. This is just great for when you are scanning it or taking a picture and maybe scanned and turn out perfect. This is a great way to ensure that you can't see all the lines, and you can easily do a quick trace over this image. So we have our sketches ready. I have taken mine on my phone. Go ahead and upload them into the computer. In the next lesson, we're going to be setting up our art files and preparing for the illustration process. 4. File Setup: All right. So we're on the computer. I have my sketch loaded up on my desktop here, and we're ready to jump into Illustrator. So open up Illustrator and go to "Create new", and we're going to be working in pixels and the dimensions of our project are going to be 1,600 by 12 high and this is going to be a landscape setup. We want to switch this to RGB. We're going to be making our icons for screens and for digital purposes. If you're going to be creating your icons for print, you can leave yours on CMYK. Let's go "Create", and the first thing we're going to do is clean up our workspace. There's lots of widgets and gadgets going on, on the right here. A lot of them we probably won't be using for our project today, so let's remove everything to simplify what we're seeing to help us hyperfocus on our project. So the very first thing I like to do is remove all the colors from our swatch library. There's no need for all of these to be in here. Maybe I'm a bit particular, so I'd like to just delete all of those first and then I'd like to clean up my workspace. The five toolbar windows, I like to have living on my space are Align, Artboard, Color, Layers, and Pathfinder. So let's go ahead and create our own workspace. Go to New Workspace, I'm going to name mine Kevin's Workspace. You can name yours whatever. You can even name yours Kevin's Workspace, if you want. Go "Okay", and let's start grabbing our tools. So let's grab Align. Go up to Windows again and grab Artboards. Drag that over to our left toolbar and then go to Color, for color it's check mark already. Where is it? Where is it? There it is. Let's drag that over here. Layers, I saw that down here. Let's drag that over and Pathfinder, there it is. Pathfinder is right here. Let's drag that over and then you can just grab everything by the name and exit or you can just drag it out like this. You can even leave it if it doesn't bother you at all, maybe it's enough that you're seeing everything that you need on the left-hand side, but I'd like to get rid of all the stuff again just to make sure I'm only seeing what I need to see. Exit, exit, and exit. Perfect. So we've cleaned up our workspace. Next thing we need to do is get our sketch onto the screen. So let's go over to our layers here, name this Sketch, and then go up to File, Place and bring our image into our file. It's gigantic, so let's use our zoom tool to step away and just scale this down to work. It gets size a better size, at least. Awesome, and next thing we want to do is embed our image into our AI file. You don't have to do it, but I've had a number of incidents where I couldn't find the sketch after or I had not labeled by sketch appropriately like I had done with this project. So I'd like to embed it, so it stays within my Illustrator file and it lets me refer to it whenever I need it in the future. So go up to the top here and hit "Embed" and with that now embedded, another thing I'd like to do is to dumb down the look of it by adding a white box above it. So using my rectangle tool, I'm just going to draw a white box above and change the transparency to 80 percent, great. So that will allow us to draw on top of this sketch and still see some nice dark lines on top. So we have that there. Let's lock up our sketch layer and let's now add another layer called Guides. What we're going to be doing is adding a series of boxes here that's going to be a lot like our sketch. It'll help us maintain the dimensions of each icon across the board, and it'll just serve as a bit of a spacing and guide within our artboards. So let's use our rectangle tool now by hitting "M" and clicking once on the Artboard and we're going to change the dimensions to 225 by 225. Now it's going to create a white box on screen, so we can't really see this. Let's flip this to stroke and let's just add any color that will help us to see it a bit better. Blue looks good. Now, what we're going to be doing is copying this four times across the top and then we're going to have four icons that are going to live along the bottom. So grabbing this square and holding down Shift and Option, we're just going to copy it, a nice safe distance apart, and then let go and let's do it one more time here and you're seeing some pink lines, they're showing up telling me the distance between everything. If you're not seeing that, go to View here, and make sure you have Smart Guides selected. This is going to be very helpful as we're walking through our exercise. So let's grab that set of boxes now and doing the same thing, holding Shift and Option, let's copy it again down, and now we can select all of these and hit "Command G" to group them and center them using our line tool up here. Perfect, looks great, awesome. Stepping back a bit, let's lock that up, and let's create another layer here. That's going to be the layer that we're working within to create our icons and we're going to name this one Artwork, enter there and then let's go down to our artboards here and make sure that we're naming this artboard, Full Set. This is going to be helpful when we are exporting at the end of this project. All right, so we're almost done. The very last thing we need to do is also the most important thing, let's save our file. So go ahead and hit "Command S". Let's save it on our desktop with our sketch Skillshare Icons. Okay, so we're now ready to start illustrating. So in the next lesson, we're going to jump right into it. As mentioned before, what we're going to be doing is drawing over here on top of our sketch and then moving our finalized icons into their respective squares. See you in the next lesson. 5. Illustrating The Compass: Okay. So we're ready to start illustrating. The first one we're going to be tackling is a compass. So using a zoom tool, let's get a little bit closer here. This looks like a bunch of circles with a diamond in the middle. So choosing our ellipse tool, hit L. From the middle, let's hold shift and option to draw out from the center. We still have blue selected. Let's go ahead and change our stroke color to something we like. Let's change to black and let's step up our stroke a little bit to five. I say five, if you think that's too bold, go ahead and keep it a little bit smaller. Great. The circle is making the circle we drew look terrible. So we already know we're a step up here, so let's take that same ellipse, and copy it in front. Control+C, Control+F. With that in front, let's scale that one from the middle again, shift and option held down, and get it above our next circle. Now, next thing we should do is draw this little ring that we have on top. The way that I would do this is just copy and pasting, again, the outer circle. Control+C, Control+F. Grabbing it from the bottom here, holding shift, I'm going to bring it up across, just bring it over the top here so it does stay aligned here. That looks pretty good so far. Let's now draw our diamond or direction diamond in the middle. Choose the rectangle tool M. From the middle, again, holding Shift and Option, let's bring this out. What we're going to do is, let's get a little bit closer. We're going to be rotating this now from one edge holding down shift. So we have a nice 45-degree angle here. And with this now rotated, let's go to our pathfinder tool and hit unite. And what this is gonna do, it's going to let us scale it in a different direction now and we can get it very sharp on the top and the bottom, More like a diamond shape. Now we can resize this appropriately. Again, I'm holding down option to make sure it's scaling from the middle. Let's now draw a circle in the middle using our ellipse tool. But let's make this filled. So we have the same stroke right now, let's switch this over to fill. This already looks pretty good. Next thing we need to do is just rotate it so our ring is over on the right here. So grabbing everything, let's hold down shift and just rotate it to the right again, just having it on a very nice 45-degree angle. Let's go grab these two pieces in the middle here. Holding down shift again, just rotate it back. So we have this pointing this way, and this pointing this way. That looks pretty good. Let's step back a bit. Now that we're done this one, we're going to take it onto the art board and refine it further. So selecting all of this, let's hit command G to group it. Then stepping back even more, we can just drag it with Option+Shift onto our art board and size it within our square appropriately. So one thing that I like to do is make our stroke a lot bolder than this. Going into an isolating by double-clicking that group of objects, let's select everything except for our fill here and play with the stroke weight again. Let's just jack it up a little bit. I think it looks good. All right. Let's hit Escape to exit our isolation. There we have it. We have our first icon in the bag. The compass looks great. In the next lesson, we'll move on to our watch icon. 6. Illustrating The Wrist Watch : We're ready to move onto our watch. Now, let's get a little bit closer here. A lot like the compass, we're going to see a circle right in the middle, so let's choose our ellipse tool again, and again scaling it from the middle, let's hold Shift and Option. Let's start drawing that top end here. Let's open our Rectangle Tool, and lining our cursor up with the middle of that circle, let's again just bring out holding Option this time to have a more free-flowing rectangle. Let's get it just to line up right there. With our direct selection tool, hitting A, let's just click this bottom edge of our rectangle and delete it. Awesome, I think we can scale this down a little bit more so it meets our sketch there, cool. Now we're going to draw this rounded edge that serves as the end of our watch band. The way we're going to be doing this is with our Pen Tool, so hitting P for Pen Tool, let's click once down here and holding down Shift, let's come all the way out here. Click again to make a 45-degree line, and let's hit Enter to end to that shape. Now, with that selected, let's go ahead and jack up the weight of this puppy to almost look the same as that top rectangle that we did. I think 35 should do the trick. Then, opening up our Stroke panel, let's make sure that we're rounding off the caps there, so hit Round Cap and then come back to our art board here. With that still selected, let's expand this, go up to Object and Expand. Make sure Fill and Stroke are selected, and hit "Okay". Instead of a line, it's now a filled object, so with that now serving as our band, what we could do is take our Eyedropper Tool and steal the styling that we have down here so we can see it a bit better above our top band. Let's line it up with our sketch a little bit more, and with this one selected, we're now going to chop off the top of that. Let's choose our Rectangle Tool make sure that we're lining it up with the top part of this band and just drag right over. Oops, that was a bit too big, drag right over. Select them both, and now let's go to our Pathfinder and choose Minus Front. One thing to remember there is the shape on top will be removing from the bottom shape. Now, with that drawn there, we can go ahead and just select it, and with our arrow key, we can just nudge it over slightly so it meets up perfectly here. One thing that I'm seeing is it does look a little bit big so we can scale this back a little bit. I'm going to use the left edge here and hold Shift down so it maintains its proportions. I'm going to also nudge it just over again with our arrow keys. Now I'm seeing a very sharp line here that I don't want, so let's double-click the shape to isolate it, and with our Pen Tool, we'll add a few incisions here and along here. Then I can just, with my Direct Selection Tool, hitting A, I can just grab this edge and delete it so we're getting rid of that harsh edge that was there. We can even go as far as to get really close in here, add an incision right here, backing up a little bit, and then just using again our Direct Selection Tool. We can go ahead and just select this anchor, hit Delete, and then hit this anchor and hit Delete. We have a nice, clean edge here. Now we can hit Escape to exit our isolation and we can back up a bit. I think that looks really good. One thing that I think would make this a little more unique is if we just added a little bit of a rounded edge above here. What we could do is, when you get a little bit closer, using your Direct Selection tool, you can just go ahead and hit this top corner here and you'll see a little circle showing up, you can just grab that and make it a little bit round here. Now, let's step back a bit, looks pretty cool. Next thing we want to do is just get this reflected down at the bottom here. There's a few ways that we can do this, the first way is, obviously, we just take this, we use Shift and Option and rotate it, and then we can just go ahead and line that up, hope for the best, and then use our Align Tool to center it a bit more, but let's delete that. This is the way that I like to do it, which is very unique, and I don't know if too many people do this, but I usually take a circle or the center point of what the illustration is, I Control C, Control F to paste it in front, and then I drag it out so it covers the area around the object. Then I grab whatever I need to reflect, copy it, and again Control C, Control F to bring it to the front. With that still selected, I'll grab the outer edge of the circle that I just created, and holding down Shift, I'll then start rotating them together until they reach the spot that I want them to be in. Now that's perfectly aligned top and bottom, I can now delete this circle and I have both bands reflecting each other around the circle. It's looking pretty good right now. Let's go in and add our details to the clock. What I would do is choose our Rectangle Tool, and getting it right here in the middle, I'll just drag it out, and I'm not going to hold anything down to make it a perfect square, because I'm going to delete this top edge with our Direct Selection Tool. I'm going to make one longer than the other. I don't know what time this is, but one longer than the other. Then I'm going take my Ellipse Tool and add a circle in the middle here as well. I think that looks pretty good. I think it's ready to be moved onto our art board. Let's go ahead, step back, select all of these, hit Command G to group them. Again, stepping back a lot more, let's drag it onto our art board by holding Shift and copying it. We'll leave the originals off the art board again so we can refer to them after if we have to step back and get some old stuff, and let's scale it up to fit within our guided box. I think that looks pretty good. Let's further refine this one. Let's double-click here. Using Y, our Magic Wand Tool, let's go ahead and click on the stroke here. It's going to select all the stroke, and using I with those still selected, let's go ahead and steal the same stroke weight from our compass. We're getting a little bit closer. I think that another thing we want to do is select our circle here, and steal and inherit the circle from there. I think that looks pretty good. This circle makes them a cohesive set now. Now we have the watch done, and now we'll be moving on to our next icon. 7. Illustrating Conversation Bubbles: Okay, two icons, they're looking great. Let's move on to our speech bubble or discussion bubbles. Let's get a little bit closer here, and choose our ellipse tool, L. From the middle, holding Shift and Option, let's bring it out to the edge here. These pointy areas are just going to be triangles that are going to be added to this circle. So let's choose our rectangle tool, M, and try to get it down the center here, but more importantly, getting it lined up along the bottom here. Let's bring it out to here. If you don't think that that's lined up, go ahead and select both of them and with our Align tool, let's hit Vertical Align Bottom. Yeah, it's perfect. Let's edit the shape with our pen tool. Let's go ahead and select this. With our pen tool, let's just delete this left top ledge and make it a triangle. Looks good, and select both of these now. With our pathfinder, let's go ahead and unite them. Now, let's do the same thing down here, and holding down Option, let's copy it over. Let's scale it down. With that still selected, let's go ahead and hit O, Enter, to reflect it. You're going to get this dialog box. It's going to show up. Make sure you have preview clicked on. You can reflect anything you want. You can do it on an angle, you can do it horizontally. We are going to be doing this one vertically. Let's choose, OK and it's looking pretty good. Obviously, next thing we have to do is delete this lower edge here. So let's copy our first bubble, command+C, command+F, in front. Let's select the back bubble and go ahead and minus front. It's looking pretty good. Next thing we want to do is group them and migrate them onto our report. So let's select both of them, hit command+G, step back a little bit. Again, holding down Option as we are dragging, let's bring them in here. You get this to line up at the top of those edges. Selecting them both, let's hit our eye drop tool and steal the styling from that one. Okay, we're ready to move forward. In the next lesson, we'll be taking care of our book icon. 8. Illustrating The Book: We're ready to start illustrating our book. Let's use our Zoom tool to get a little bit closer here. You can already see in my sketch I've drawn out a few circles here. They're going to serve as guides before I even did it there. I think we can take that same approach here in Illustrator. Go ahead and choose your Ellipse Tool. Again, holding down Shift and Option, let's bring it out to the edges of our sketch here. Size it if we need to, a little bit more. Cool. Then with our Direct Selection tool, let's just grab this right edge and delete it. With that done now, we're going to make this weird shape that looks like a rounded off rectangle. Let's choose our Pen tool. Click this top anchor here and holding down Shift, let's go the edge of the book here, holding down Shift again, letting our smart guides tell us when it's lined up, and then coming back, and closing that one off again. That's going to create that weird shape. There's another way that we can't be creating this, which is just by drawing a rectangle and using our Direct Selection tool to cover these two and just again using that circle like we did with the watch. That's totally fine as well. Be aware that iPad, some wonky issues that have taken place that includes a lot of just anchor points that I didn't know that were along this edge here. Use it to your advantage if you want to be working really quick. But I've had issues myself in the past, so I don't usually do that. Let's go back and select our shape here, and do the same thing along this top edge. Let's hold down Shift and Option, and just drag it up to the top here so it meets up with our sketch. Then with our Direct Selection tool, let's just grab these two points down here and delete them. Great. Next thing we want to do is just create a little bit of a connection between the two without connecting it to the bottom shape to make it one shape. Let's choose our Pen tool. Click this anchor point here, bring it down, hit Enter to end that pen drawing, and then do the same thing with this edge here, and let it meet the middle of that shape and hit Enter again. Awesome. Next thing we want to do is round off the inside of this book, so it looks like a bunch of rounded pages. Using our Ellipse tool, let's have it lined up with the center here. Again, just scaling from the middle Shift Option and just bringing it out. Now with that shape living above this one, let's select them both, go to our Pathfinder and hit minus front so it has a nice rounded edge to it. But what we're noticing is, and let's get a little bit closer, there's some weird stuff going on here. What we want to do first is solve this top one. Let's isolate this top shape. Double-click it. I'm already seeing we can connect this over here. Using our Pen tool, let's connect this, holding down Shift, and hit Enter. We see these two overlapping. We have a nice hard edge here and we could do the same thing along the bottom so we don't have this one so sharp at the bottom. We want it to be nice and flush on the edge here. Let's use our Pen tool, line it up with our bottom line. Just holding down Shift, let's create a line and hit Enter. That looks pretty good. What we could do is just take any box right now and go optically, grab it and pull it down here. We can see that it needs a little bit more. We could change this to a fill. We could see that they can go a little bit more. Let's use our Direct Selection tool and just bring it out to meet that edge and then delete that shape, it just served as a guide, we don't need it anymore. Let's hit Escape to exit the isolation. I think this looks really good. Next thing we need to do is draw our bookmarks. Choosing a rectangle tool, making sure that it is up at the top edge here, it's lined up at the top edge here. Let's bring it down and just draw it out here. To make it look almost like a snake's tongue, let's go ahead and add an anchor point right in the middle here. Choosing our Pen tool, let's go along this line here and then intersect it with the middle. After we've made that click, we can just use our arrow tool to bump it up just a few points here. Awesome. Let's hit Escape. Let's back up a little bit there. That looks pretty good. Now, we can further refine this after we see are whole set. I know that we might add some lines here, but I think we're ready to move this one onto our art board. Go ahead and select this, Command G to group it. Let's step back a little bit more. Then holding down Option while grabbing it and dragging it, let's pull it into this square here. Let's get a little bit closer. With this selected, we can just use our Eyedrop tool to steal the same stroke weight here, and then we can scale it out. I already see it's a little bit fatter than I was anticipating, so let's bring it down from this top edge, holding Shift. Then using our Direct Selection tool, we can select this entire top half. Then using our arrow, we can just bump it up a little bit. If you want, you can hold Shift and hit the arrow for bigger jumps. It looks pretty good. Actually, we can make it a lot skinnier. Let's now scale it back this way. Again, just grabbing half of it with our Direct Selection tool and just nudging it out here. I think that's a lot more of the shape that I was expecting for the book. Our book is done, let's move onto our next icon. 9. Illustrating The Plant : We're back, we're moving on to our fifth icon, which is our cool plant. Let's get a little bit closer here. For the plant, we're going to start with the base here of, I think, a terracotta planter, choosing our rectangle tool, and then creating the top half here, let's select that same rectangle we already created, hit Control C, Control F to copy and paste it in front, and then grabbing the lower edge here. Let's just drag it up to the top, make it meet with our sketch line, and then grabbing the side here holding option, let's bring it out here. Awesome. It almost looks like one of those Super Mario tunnels that he's always popping out of. Let's use our direct selection tool to make it a little bit more angled. Grab that bottom edge, and just nudging in with our arrow key. Do the same thing on the left side too. Now if you don't know whether or not you nudged it enough on both sides, and you're not sure if maybe it's uneven, a good way to check this by selecting the shape that you think is a little bit uneven in question, and just hitting O, Enter, and what that's going to do, it's going to bring up our Reflect tool, and you can hit "Preview" on and off just to take a better look at it, and see what it looks like from the other side, and we're already seeing that we missed an edge here so let's now go back, and put one more nudge there selecting it again, and hitting O, Enter, and let's hit our preview. Yeah, looks good now, great. Now what we're going to do is draw our leaves, and have them leading into the center of our pot here. So to draw these heart style leaves, I'm going to do a lot like we did with the book, and zoom in here a little bit more, and using the Ellipse tool, let's draw a circle here using our direct selection tool to then delete this right edge, and then using our pen tool to draw that rectangle with a rounded edge on the left side. Now that we've created that, let's go ahead, and copy this using Shift and Option, we could drag it up, and then rotate it from any edge. Now, with those just haphazardly on top of each other, we can select both of them, go to our Align tool, and align right, and align bottom, and make sure you do have a "Selection" chose there, and not "Artboard". If you do have Artboard, you're going to lose these two shapes, and they're going to go missing. With that done now, let's go ahead and unite them with our Pathfinder tool, and it looks pretty good. One thing I am seeing though is that maybe this is a little bit too high on both sides so let's use our direct selection tool, and just nudge them in, great. With that done now, all we have to do is draw our lines. Now this is going to be a bit of a weird one because it's not really lining up with our sketch very well so we're going to have to use our imagination here. Let's use our pen tool. Come to the top edge of our leaf, and holding down Shift, let's bring it up to the top here until we see it intersect with our lower rectangle. There it is, great. Then still holding down Shift, let's bring it down to the top edge of our pot. Let's hit Enter to end that pen shape, and then using our direct selection tool, let's go ahead, and choose the top edge here, and we're going to see our rounded corner widget, let's just drag this out to be a little bit more rounder. That looks great, let's step back a little bit, looks pretty dope. Let's grab both leaf and stem now, and holding down Shift and Option, let's just drag it over until it meets the middle, and hit O, Enter to reflect it. Looks pretty cool. One thing I want do is have them just a little bit off, and not so lined up with each other. Maybe this one here goes down a little bit, but we'll have to definitely bring in again with our direct selection tool to make this line up. All right, that looks pretty good. Now let's move it onto our artboard with our selection tool, let's grab it all, and hit Command G to group it. Let's step back, and drag it onto our artboard, holding down Option, and copying it because, again, we want to retain what we were doing there just in case we have to revert back, and let's go closer, and let's scale this out to fit within our space. With that still selected, let's use our eye drop tool to steal the stroke weight that we have on our compass. Now we can get a little bit closer and further refine it. We can double-click to isolate it, and let's see we could do here. We could do is bring this out a little bit more, maybe this one's a little bit smaller. Maybe this goes down a little bit more. Actually, think this looks pretty good. Exit, all right. Ready to move onto our next icon. 10. Illustrating Stack Ca$h: We're moving on to our next icon, which is our money. Let's get a little bit closer there. Let's go ahead and choose our rectangle tool and just drawing it above our sketch here, making sure it's meeting our lines. Then with that selected, let's hold down Shift and Option to have it meet that lower edge here as well. If you got to get a little bit closer to help you illustrate this one, zoom in a bit further. What we should do now is make this inner edge of our bill, and I'm going to do this a very simple way, it might be very simple to you, but I find it is very effective. Let's copy and paste this rectangle in front. Then, with that selected, let's double-click it to isolate the one rectangle. Using our Direct Selection Tool, we can then nudge all of these edges in with our arrows on our keyboards. Taking our Direct Selection and just using a [inaudible] box and dragging it over this right edge, let's now nudge it in. Do the same thing for the left edge, and then top and bottom. Great. Let's hit Escape to exit our isolation mode and let's choose our Ellipse Tool to draw a circle right down the middle here. It can meet the top and bottom of this inner edge. It looks pretty cool. Next thing we want to do is draw our stacks. Using our Pen Tool, let's draw a line right across that bottom rectangle. With that, hit Enter to end that pen line and let's double-click it to isolate it down. Let's hold Shift and Option to drag one to the top edge, then one to the bottom edge with the same copy technique, and then do it a few more times. I'm going to do it. With those drawn here, let's select all of those. Go up to our Align panel and vertically distribute them. It looks pretty good. Now, backing up here, let's take a look. This looks pretty cool, let's go back to our left side of the sketch. There's some other cool things we could do with the top here. What we want to do is let's group this right now, Command G, and then what we could do is just copy it to this part of the sketch and start playing around with other bill options. The first one we could do is it looks like some rounded edges here. We can't really see it beyond the sketch. But if we delete this circle here, and then choosing our Ellipse Tool again, what we could do is just draw a circle over this top corner here, do the same thing down at the bottom, copy and paste it, do a drag and copy there and then knock it out. Selecting this circle, Arrange, Bring to Front, and let's knock this one out of there. Grabbing this left edge, let's bring it in and then with that still selected, we can just hit Delete there. Let's reflect this to get it over here. Now, it's the same technique that we did with our watch, so copy and then paste in front. Then selecting the outer edge, holding down Shift and selecting that and hitting O Enter, that will just reflect it over, hit "OK". Looks pretty good. Now we can draw a president's face in there. Now, I'm just going to use the Pen Tool. Holding down Shift, I'm just going to guess it. I don't even know if that looks good. Doesn't look like a nose. Let's bring it out a bit more. Just delete this. I don't know if that looks like a person either. You know what we could do? Let's just pen tool all of this. Now it looks a bit like a president. That's one option, or we could just draw a circle right down the middle here. That looks pretty good. Now, let's copy this over again to explore more options, because I think that we've got some cool stuff here. What if it was simple, and we just did two circles along the sides. We brought this out to that even edge here, deleting both of these, and then we just draw some ellipses along the sides like that. Let's take a step back. I'm really starting to dig this one. Let's grab this option here, and let's copy it onto our art board, somewhat centered within there. With that still selected, let's go ahead and use our Eyedropper Tool and steal the same stroke weight as our plant, and let's scale it out. Cool. I'm spotting an opportunity here. We have our stacked money here with the paper. We can do the same stacked paper within our book. Let's go closer, and let's select some of those lines, same space that we had in between there. Copy C, and then Escape. Let's go closer to the book now, enter that isolation, and then Control V to drop that on there. Let's see how that fares out for us. That's pretty close. I think that we can get away with just condensing it up and bringing it over a little bit. Now we don't need the top and the bottom lines. Using our Direct Selection Tool, we can just delete those and still having your Direct Selection Tool, let's bring these in to meet this left edge. Let's step out. It looks good. We're starting to have a really sweet, cohesive set here. Let's move onto our next icon. 11. Illustrating The Globe : We're back, we're drawing the globe now. Go ahead and zoom in and get a little bit closer, and then let's draw an ellipse here, hit L. From the middle holding down Shift and Option, let's bring it out to the edge of our sketch here. Next thing we want to do is get these lines in the top and the bottom that are arched. What we could do is selecting that same circle, holding down Shift and Option, let's drag this to the top. Let's take that outer edge here, let's copy and paste it. With that circle still selected, let's choose the top circle here, and go to our Pathfinder, and hit "Intersect". That's going to make a shape out of the two overlapping areas. Now to get this exact same eyeball shape down at the bottom here, let's just do the same reflect technique that we did with some of the other icons. Command C, Command F to bring it to the front. Let's select the shape on the outer edge and hit O, Enter. This time we're going to do a horizontal reflect, so go ahead and hit "Horizontal" and hit "OK". Great. Now we're going to draw our lines across and up and down. So choosing our pen tool, let's go to the edge here. Get it on this edge, and make sure we're getting it centered within. Holding down Shift to bring it to the right edge here, and then copying that and pasting it in front, and holding down Shift, let's rotate it. Now it's starting to look a little bit like a basketball, so we need those other two lines in the middle. So let's copy our outer edge, Control C, Control F, and from the right or the left edge, let's hold Option and bring it in. I think, that looks really good, let's select that all, Command G to group it. Stepping back a bit, we can now copy this onto our board. Let's size it appropriately here, and then using our eye drop tool, let's steal the stroke weight, step back. Our set is really coming together. Let's move on to our last icon. 12. Illustrating The Camera: We're onto our last icon which is our camera. Let's use our zoom tool to get a little bit closer there. Now holding down Shift and Option, let's draw an ellipse out and see if they'll line up with the edges here. Let's now Command+C, Command+F to copy and paste another ellipse in front, and just bring that down slightly. Cool. Now let's draw our outer edge of the body here. using our rectangle tool hitting "M", making sure that our smart guides are lining us up at the top edge here. Let's just draw one out to the other side. Once we have that drawn, it's better to be safe than sorry. Let's select all of these here, go to our align tool, make sure we can do a horizontal align, and then a vertical align to make sure it is completely centered. Looks good, great. Next thing we want to do is draw these two design lines that we have there. Having that same rectangle selected, let's Command+C, Command+B to copy it onto the back. What we're going to do is going to bring this down slightly and have it meet up with this edge here. Now, what we need to do is knock out the middle of this. Let's use this ellipse subtracted. Command+C, Command+F to bring it to the front. With that still selected, hold down Shift and select the lower rectangle. Come to our Pathfinder, let's knock it out, and it knocks it out. Make sure that you have the circle above the rectangle. Because if it's the other way around, you'll see something different happen. Next thing we want to do is just delete any unnecessary overlapping lines that we have here. With those two shapes still selected, let's double-click them to enter isolation mode. With our direct selection tool, let's just create a box down the middle here to grab any anchor points and lines that we don't need, and delete. That's it. Escape to escape that mode. Looks really good. Next thing we want to do is draw this little circle here. I think it's a little flash head. We can take this circle here and just copy it up at the top here, holding down Shift and Option, and then just scaling it back a bit. Once we get it into a good spot, we can just delete one of the edges here. It's a bit too harsh. We could do is let's enter isolation mode for this. Let's zoom in a bit more and let's just grab by the bottom edge holding down Shift and having it not cut right directly in the middle of the circle. Let's now create a rectangle, draw above it, having it lined up at the top of our camera. Then selecting both, let's hit "Minus Front." Again, we don't need this overlapping edge here, so let's use our direct selection tool to delete that. I love it. Great. Now, what we need to do is just add our flash here. So let's exit isolation mode. Let's go over to our tools panel here, and we'll select our star tool. It's not too popular. It doesn't even have a shortcut. We'll come back over here, select the center of our shape and just click once, and this dialogue box will show up and this is a bit confusing to most people. It will be a bit of a trial and error right now when we are exploring with it, but what you need to know is that Radius 1 is the edges of the star that are on the inside that point inwards, and Radius 2 are the edges of the star that point outwards. Let's play around with this a bit more. Let's jack this up to eight points, and we'll leave the Radius 2 at 50, but let's make Radius 1, 32 pixels. That's pretty good. I think we could try one more time, so let's delete that. With our star tool still on hand, let's click the top here again, and let's make this 30 now. That's a lot better. Great. Let's double-click this now because we know we don't need this bottom edge here. Using our direct selection tool, let's create a marquee box over the bottom here and just delete it. Hit "Escape", back up a bit. That looks really good. Let's move this onto our artboard now. Selecting all of the shapes and hitting "Command+G", backing up a bit more and just dragging this onto our artboard, holding down Option, and then just scaling it into place. Now that that's selected, let's hit our eye drop tool and steal the stroke weight from our globe. This looks good. One thing that I think that we could do is steal the dots from our compass or our watch here. Let's steal it from our compass Control+C to copy it, and then go closer on our camera here, entering the group and just hitting "Command+V". We can just add a little dot here that makes it look like a more modern camera. That looks pretty cool. It's like a little dimple for the camera. Let's step back here, take a look at the full set. We can make some further refinements here once we are looking at all of them. What I'm seeing here is this line can go here. Maybe nudge this. All right, we have our set of eight icons. It looks great. Go ahead and save your file by hitting "Command+S". We are almost wrapping this one up. But this file itself is not good to be sharing with clients and colleagues. We are going to be diving into that in the next lesson where we will prepare these for a variety of different use cases. 13. Exporting Your Icons: We've reached the final stretch. We have an amazing set of visuals that we can use for a variety of situations. Now what we have to do is prepare these visuals to work for those situations. The first thing we want to do is copy what we have here. Let's take a step back and take a look at what we have currently in our file. We have some of our working stuff off to the side including our sketch. I'm sure that when we hand this off to colleagues or clients they're not going to care about all the stuff over here, so we have to first off remove that. The second thing we want to do is make sure that we are expanding all of these visuals to make sure that they can't be tampered with down the road; when we are scaling them. I'll show you an example here. If this was scaled by a developer or a client, we don't want it to get out chunky like this. We want it to retain its same stroke width and overall proportion, so it doesn't get distorted when they are working with these visuals. Let's go ahead and save this one out. But before we do so let's delete our sketch layer, and then back up a little bit and then delete everything off the board. Then let's zoom in a little bit more. Let's go Save As, and save this one as -EXPORT. It's saving on our desktop right next to the original file. Now we have a working version that we can mess around with and prepare them for all those different situations we want them to work for. There's a few things to consider when you are finalizing things here. The first thing you want to think about is the background color. What color are these icons going to be living on top of? Is it going to be a dark background or a light background? We have to make sure it works for those purposes. The second thing we want to think about is file type requirements. If you're using this for social media or you're handing this off to a developer, there is going to be some specification around the kinds of file types that they're expecting. The third thing we want to consider is the overall dimensions, what size do these need to be saved at? There's a number of ways we can export them at different sizes, and we'll get into that a little bit later. First thing we want to do is expand everything we have on the screen here. With our artwork layer selected and our guides locked up let's go ahead and hit "Command A" or you can just grab everything on the screen, and then come up to Object and hit "Expand". It's going to ask you Fill and Stroke, you say Okay. What we're going to see is all of our strokes have now been turned into filled objects, which is exactly what we wanted. That's great. Next thing we want to do is go ahead and create a rectangle and just cover everything here. It's going to be black, that's totally fine. Let's go ahead and just Control or right-click it and send it to the back so it's behind our icons. Then with our Eyedropper Tool, let's just select the artboard here and make it white. Very weird what we're doing now, but the next step will make sense. With everything there including our white box, let's hit "Command A" again to select everything on the screen. Then come to our Pathfinder here, let's hit "Merge". With that now combining everything and flattening everything on top of each other, let's go ahead and enter the group that is created for us. Click once on that rectangle we made, and hit "Delete". Then let's go ahead and hit "Escape". Let's lock up this artwork layer and then add two layers. Let's create. This one's going to be called Dark BG, which means dark background. The next one's going to be called Light BG. Again, BG stands for background. Let's create different color backgrounds here. Using our rectangle on our light background layer, let's create one background. It's in front of our artwork layer, which is totally fine. So let's go ahead and just choose a color, that color looks pretty cool. Let's lock that up and then drag it behind our artwork. We're already seeing what we did with the white folder. That's what Merge did for us, it filled every object here with a color. Next what we want to do is go to our dark background. Choosing our Rectangle Tool let's fill the artboard and just make this one black. Again, let's drag it behind everything here and lock it up. Great. Let's unlock our artwork layer again. Looking at this thing, everything looks great except for up here, I'm seeing that this is filled. Personally, I don't want the compass ring to be filled because it just doesn't serve the purpose. I think it should be a see-through, so I'm going to delete that there. But everything else looks great. I like how it looks filled on a colored background, but how does it look like with just stroke? Let's create a layer for that as well. Let's duplicate our artwork layer. Before we lock this one up, let's put fill on that layer. Lock that up and make that invisible. Then with our copy here, let's just go BLK which is black stroke. Then entering that entire group here let's double-click on it, enter the group. Then with our Magic Wand Tool, click anywhere in the white. It selects all of the white on the screen and hit "Delete". Now hit "Escape", step back a bit. I think that looks good as well. That's great. Next thing we want to do is create another one, but we want to flip this stroke over to white. With the black stroke layer that we had there, let's go Duplicate and double-click this one and call it WHT for white and unlock that one. With that layer unlocked, let's hit "Command A" to select everything on the screen, and then change that one to white. Perfect. Make that visible underneath, that looks pretty cool too. Let's take our light background here and make that invisible. See what it looks like on the dark background. Awesome. It looks fantastic. With one of them on, let's choose this one. Next thing we want to do is start creating artboards for all of these. We still have our guides layer here, but we used it as a bit of a guide to make sure that these were all the same size. For our purposes now it's going to help us divide these into their own separate artboards, so drag in that layer above everything. They're blue, which is weird that they're blue on top of blue. But we have that unlocked, let's go ahead and select everything on the screen here. We have stroke, now let's flip it over to a fill. We can see them a little bit more. They were grouped together if you remember how we set up the file. Let's go ahead and enter that group here. Let's hit "Shift O", which is our Artboard Tool. You can see that it automatically selected the entire artboard here. What we're going to be doing is just clicking away on all of these individual squares; so they are on their own artboard without trying to delete this full set one. You're going to start seeing our artboard toolkit here starting to fill up with different layers. Let's go to our first square. Make sure that you're hovering above and you can see that you are selecting something, and again Smart Guides is going to help you do that. Select it once. It creates one artboard, let's go to the second one. Select it once. It might be tough that when you get there it my ask. Maybe you're clicking on it twice to activate the shape first, but we're going to do this for all of them. Perfect. Let's hit "Escape" to exit the Isolation Mode, and then come back to our guides layer and we can delete that one too. It says it contains artwork, we get it. Just delete it. Great. What we can do is come down to our Artboards panel here. With one click we're going to see them bring up just what is inside every artboard and we want to label them appropriately, so I'm going to label this one Compass. Next thing I'll click on this one. I'm going to name this one Wrist Watch. Next one is Bubbles or word bubbles, whatever you want to name it. This one's Book. Double-click this one; "Plant". Double-click this one; "Money". Double-click this one; "Globe". Then double-click this one; "Camera". Let's use our Zoom Tool to step out a little bit and see what we got here. Next thing we want to do, very important. Let's go ahead and hit "Save" again to make sure we're saving all of our progress and we're not losing anything. I hope you've all been saving along the way. With that in mind what we do have is a variety of different layers that we have layered on top of each other that allow us to export these in a number of different ways. Now that we have everything set-up, let's start exporting them. We can go and flick off our light background and our dark background to get these all to be white. Once we've established what we are going to be using this for and the file types that are required, we can go ahead and go to File, Export, Export As and it's going to bring up this dialog box here. It's going to already say Skillshare_Icons-EXPORT, which is going to be the initial name that it's going to save it as. But when we are saving these as individual artboards that we want to make sure that we are clicking "Use Artboards" and have all selected. But it's going to save itself as Skillshare_Icons-EXPORT- whatever we've named it in the Artboards. With that in mind, let's just change this to Icons and let's create a new folder on the desktop that we can save it within. Let's name this one Icons. Create that folder. Make sure you're choosing the file type that's required of whatever the job that's you're working for here. Maybe it's a PNG, maybe it's a JPEG. It could even be an SVG if you need it for some development purposes. I'm going to go ahead and select "PNG", so we can see what these look like with a transparent background and a white fill within. Again, make sure you Use Artboards are all selected. Let's go to Export, it's going to bring up this dialog box here that allows us to save it for different resolutions. I want to choose 72 pixels per inch because it's going to retain it at the same size that we initially set-up these artboards at, which is 255 by 255 pixels. Go ahead, and you can also choose a white background. You can choose a black background, or you can go ahead and choose a transparent background. I'm going to keep mine transparent for this purpose, and go ahead and hit "Okay". It seems like nothing happened, but we can go ahead and minimize Illustrator here. Go to the Icons folder that we just created, and basically skim through all of these. They look good. I like that. Save the full set for us, we know what that looks like. It looks great. That's one way to save it. For a number of different file types, go back into Illustrator. Let's just say we shared this with a client or we shared this from colleagues and they're like, "All I want is the compass, the plant, and the money." That's totally fine, we can make that work as well. With your Selection Tool, we can start activating all of these. It's hard to see, so let's zoom in a little bit more. You can see that when you have this one selected, it's a little bit darker. When I click this one, it gets a little bit darker around here. Same thing for all of these artboards. Still with everything locked, it's totally fine. You can see it's navigating itself around here too. If you need it, select it like this. That works as well. Let's just go back to our full set. We said what we're going to do the compass, let's say we had to adjust only the compass. Let's go up to File, Export, Save for Web, it says Legacy. What it does, it brings up this dialogue box that gives you a variety of ways to share it on the side. What's amazing about this functionality is the fact that we can change the size here. Let's say we want it 72 by 72, it scales it down. Let's say we just want it at 100 by 100, scales it up. Let's say we want it at 500 by 500, scales it up. Any size we want it to change here, we can save it at that resolution. Realizing that we're working with vector here, we will have no quality loss at all here. Go ahead and hit "Save". We have our icons here. Let's go ahead and just name this one. We're only name it at onetime, so whatever we put in this it will not give a dash. Whatever the artboard is it's just going to give us the one file name, so let's go 500 by 500-COMPASS. Let's go back and take a look at that into our Icons folder. There it is. Boom, it's really big. Let's compare that to the other compass, which is really small. Let's go ahead and save that again. That's it. We have our set of icons drawn out. We can now save these out individually using this file, or we can hand this off to clients so that they can easily use this to navigate what they need. It has properly labeled artboards, and properly labeled layers that makes it almost foolproof if they have any issues. Congratulations. Thank you for following along. I will provide these working files in the resources for this class. 14. Final Thoughts: All right, we did it. We've created an amazing set of visuals that we can use for a personal brand. We use it to support a team at work. We can even use this to fuel our passion projects and side gigs that we have going on. Please, post your projects in the project gallery so we can all take a look and give you additional feedback and encourage you to push beyond this. How can you use what you've learned in this class to create bigger, more detailed illustrations? Thank you again for joining the class and hey, let's be Internet friends. Go ahead and follow me on social media and give me a shout there if you are going to share your icons there as well. Thank you again and good luck.