Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

Since this week is all about love, we’re going to continue the theme and create a “Share the Love” icon pack to explore the different ways in which you can express
your feelings in the digital era. 

We’re going to be creating
all three icons using basic geometric shapes combined with some of the primary
tools that you probably already work with on a daily basis.

So, without wasting any more time, grab a
cup of that sweet coffee and let’s get started!

Oh, and before I forget, you can always
expand the project by checking out GraphicRiver, where you can find tons of love-themed icons.

1. How to Set Up a New Document

Since I’m pretty sure you already have
Illustrator up and running in the background, bring it up and let’s set up a New Document (File > New or Control-N)
using the following settings:

  • Number
    of Artboards:
    1
  • Width:
    800
    px
  • Height:
    600
    px
  • Units:
    Pixels

And from the Advanced tab:

  • Color
    Mode:
    RGB
  • Raster
    Effects:
    Screen (72ppi)
  • Preview Mode: Default
setting up a new document

Quick
tip:
some of you might have noticed that the Align New Objects to Pixel Grid option
is missing. That’s because I’m running the new CC 2017 version of the
software, where great changes have been made to the way Illustrator handles the way shapes snap to the underlying pixel grid.

2. How to Set Up a Custom Grid

Since we’re going to be creating the icons
using a pixel-perfect workflow, we’ll want to set up a nice little grid so that we can have full control
over our shapes—that is if we’re running the older version of the software.

Step 1

Go to the Edit > Preferences > Guides &
Grid
submenu, and adjust the following settings:

  • Gridline
    every:
    1 px
  • Subdivisions: 1
setting up a custom grid

Quick
tip:
you can learn more about grids by reading this
in-depth piece on how Illustrator’s Grid System works.

Step 2

Once we’ve set up our
custom grid, all we need to do in order to make sure our shapes look crisp is
enable the Snap to Grid option found
under the View menu, which will
transform into Snap to Pixel each
time you enter Pixel Preview mode.

Now, if you’re new to the whole
“pixel-perfect workflow”, I strongly recommend you go through my how to create
pixel-perfect artwork
tutorial, which will help you widen your technical skills
in no time.

3. How to Set Up the Layers

With the New Document created, it would be
a good idea to structure our project using a couple of layers, since this way
we can maintain a steady workflow by focusing on one icon at a time.

That being said, bring up the Layers panel, and create a total of
four layers, which we will rename as follows:

  • layer 1: reference grids
  • layer 2: phone sharing
  • layer 3: email sharing
  • layer 4: im
    sharing
setting up the layers

4. How to Create the Reference Grids

The
reference grids (or base grids)
are a set of precisely delimited reference surfaces, which allow us to build
our icons by focusing on size and consistency.

Usually, the size of the grids determines
the size of the actual icons, and they should always be the first decision you
make on you start a new project, since you’ll always want to start from the
smallest possible size and build on that.

Now, in our case,
we’re going to be creating the icon pack using just one size, more exactly 128 x 128 px, which is a fairly large
one.

Step 1

Start by locking all
but the reference grid layer, and then grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 128 x 128 px orange (#F15A24) square, which will help define the
overall size of our icons.

creating the main shape for the reference grid

Step 2

Add another smaller 120 x 120 px one (#FFFFFF) which will
act as our active drawing area, thus giving us an all-around 4 px padding.

creating the main shape for the active drawing area

Step 3

Group the two squares composing the
reference grid using the Control-G keyboard
shortcut, and then create two copies at a distance of 40 px from one another, making sure to align them to the center of
the Artboard.

Once you’re done, lock
the current layer and move on to the next one, where we’ll start working on our
first icon.

creating and positioning the reference grids

5. How to Create the Phone Sharing Icon

With the document all set up, let’s kick
off the project by making sure that we’re on the right layer (that would be the
second one) and then zooming in on the first reference grid so that we can have
a better view of our icon’s shapes.

Step 1

Start working on the
left phone by creating its body using a 56
x 94 px
rounded rectangle with an 8
px Corner Radius
, which we will color using #C4CEE8 and then position in the underlying active drawing area’s bottom-left corner, making sure to leave a
4 px gap for its outline.

Step 2

Give the shape
that we’ve
just created an outline, by creating a copy of it (Control-C) which we will paste in front (Control-F) and then adjust by changing its color to #2B3249, and
then setting its Weight to 8 px.

Once you’re done,
select and group both shapes together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

Step 3

Start working on the
phone’s display by creating a 32 x 58
px
rectangle, which we will color using #8195C1 and then horizontally center
align to the two shapes that we’ve just grouped, at a distance of 12 px from the top edge of the fill
shape’s visible surface.

Step 4

Give the display an 8 px thick outline (#2B3249) using the Stroke method, selecting and grouping (Control-G) both shapes together
afterwards.

Step 5

Create the phone’s
bottom circular button, using an 8 x 8
px
circle which we will color using #2B3249 and then center align.

Step 6

Turn on Pixel Preview mode, and using the Pen Tool (P) draw in the front-facing
speaker unit, using a 12 px wide, 4 px thick Stroke with a Round Cap,
which we will color using #2B3249 and then center align to the visible surface
of the phone’s upper section.

Step 7

Create the phone’s
power button using a 12 x 4 px rectangle,
which we will color using #2B3249 and then position onto the larger outline, at
a distance of 12 px from the active
drawing area’s left edge.

Step 8

Adjust the shape that
we’ve just created by setting the Radius
of its top corners to 2 px from
within the Transform panel’s Rectangle Properties, selecting and
grouping (Control-G) all of the phone’s
composing shapes together afterwards.

Step 9

Create the second
phone using a copy (Control-C >
Control-F
) of the one that we’ve just finished working on, which we will
reflect both horizontally and vertically (right
click > Transform > Reflect > Horizontal / Vertical
), and then
position onto the right side of the active drawing area, aligning it to its top
edge.

creating and positioning the phone sharing icons second phone

Step 10

Start working on the
little heart by creating a 20 x 20 px circle,
which we will color using #ED664C and then position onto the left phone’s display, at a distance
of 9 px from its top edge and 6 px from its left edge.

Step 11

Continue working on the
heart by creating two more 20 x 20 px circles
(#ED664C), positioning one on the right side so that it ends up overlapping the surface of the first one by 4 px,
and the last one at the bottom, so that it overlaps the surface of the other two by 8 px.

Step 12

Once you have all three
circles in place, select and then unite them into a single larger shape using Pathfinder’s Unite Shape Mode.

uniting the three circles into a single larger shape

Step 13

Adjust the resulting shape
by removing the center anchor points created during the uniting process, by
simply clicking on them using the Delete
Anchor Point Tool (-)
.

Step 14

Continue adjusting the
new shape by selecting its anchor’s handles and dragging them so that you get a
nice curvature on each of its sides. Once you’re done, give the resulting shape
an 8 px thick outline (#2B3249) with
a Round Join, selecting and grouping
both shapes together afterwards.

Step 15

Since we’ll want the
heart to remain within the visible surface of the phone’s display, we’ll have
to mask it using a 24 x 50 px rectangle
(highlighted with yellow), which we will center align to the display. Then,
simply select both the heart and the rectangle, right-click and select Make
Clipping Mask
, making sure to group it and the left phone together using the
Control-G keyboard shortcut.

Step 16

Finish off the icon by creating a copy of
the masked heart and then center aligning it to the right phone’s display,
making sure to flip it vertically (right
click > Transform > Reflect > Vertical
).

Once you have it in
place, group (Control-G) it along
with the phone, doing the same for all of the icon’s composing sections
afterwards.

6. How to Create the Email Sharing Icon

Assuming you’ve
already moved on up to the next layer (that would be the third one), zoom in on
the second reference grid and let’s get started.

Step 1

Create the envelope’s
main body using a 96 x 64 px rectangle,
which we will color using #ED664C and then center align to the underlying
active drawing area, at a distance of 4
px
from its bottom edge.

Step 2

Adjust the shape that
we’ve just created by setting the Radius
of its bottom corners to 8 px from
within the Transform panel’s Rectangle Properties.

Step 3

Give the resulting shape
an 8 px thick outline (#2B3249)
using the Stroke method, only this
time set its Corner to Round Join, making sure to select and
group (Control-G) both shapes
together afterwards.

Step 4

Create the envelope’s
upper section using a 96 x 64 px rectangle,
which we will color using #BF402E and then center align to its bottom section,
positioning it so that its lower half overlaps it.

Step 5

Turn the shape that
we’ve just created into a diamond by adding a new anchor point to the center of
each of its edges using the Add Anchor
Point Tool (+)
, and then removing its corner ones (highlighted in the
reference image) using the Delete Anchor
Point Tool (-)
.

Step 6

Give the resulting
shape an 8 px thick outline (#2B3249)
making sure to set the Stroke’s Corner to Round Join, selecting and grouping (Control-G) the two shapes together afterwards.

Step 7

Select the Pen Tool (P) and draw in the envelope’s two diagonal detail lines using an 8 px thick Stroke
(#2B3249) with a Round Cap.

Step 8

Create the letter’s
main body using a 64 x 80 px rounded
rectangle with an 8 px Corner Radius,
which we will color using #F4E9E9 and then center align to the underlying
active drawing area, at a distance of 4
px
from its top edge.

Step 9

Give the shape that
we’ve just created an 8 px thick
outline (#2B3249), selecting and grouping both shapes afterwards using
the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

Step 10

Quickly unlock
the previous layer, and create a copy (Control-C)
of the heart that we’ve masked and paste it back (Control-F) onto the current layer,
center aligning it to the envelope’s letter, positioning it at a distance of 8 px from the fill shape’s visible
surface.

Then, once you’re
done, select and group them both using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

Step 11

Mask the two shapes that
we’ve just grouped by creating a copy (Control-C)
of the envelope’s upper section, which we will paste in front (Control-F) and then adjust by removing
its top anchor point. Then close up the path so that it follows the width
of the envelope itself.

Step 12

Now, as you can probably already see, we’ll
need to isolate the mask by double-clicking on it, and then add a copy of the
pocket outline’s downward-facing section in order to correctly mask the surface of
the letter.

Once you’re done, you
can then select the masked shapes and the envelope’s upper section and group (Control-G) them so that they
won’t get separated by accident.

Step 13

Select the Pen Tool (P) and, using a 4
px
thick Stroke (#2B3249), draw
the front section of the arrow, making sure to set the Cap and Corner of the
head section to Round.

Take your time, and
once you’re done, select and group the two paths using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

Step 14

Draw in the back
section of the arrow using a 28 px wide
4 px thick Stroke (#2B3249) which we will position between the active
drawing area’s left edge and the letter’s outline.

Step 15

Create the little fletches using a 12 x 12 px square, which we
will color using #EAA74E and then center align to the arrow’s back section, at a
distance of 2 px from the active
drawing area’s left edge.

Step 16

Adjust the shape that we’ve
just created by adding a new anchor point to the center of each of its side
edges using the Add Anchor Point Tool
(A)
, and then selecting and
pushing them to the right by a distance of 6
px
using the Move tool (right click > Transform > Move >
Horizontal > 6 px
).

Step 17

Finish off the
icon by giving the resulting shape a 4
px
thick outline (#2B3249) with a Round
Join
, grouping (Control-G) and
then sending them both to the back of the arrow’s back section (right click > Transform > Arrange
> Send to Back
).

Once you’re done, don’t
forget to select and group all of the icon’s composing sections using
the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

7. How to Create the IM Sharing Icon

We’re now down to our third and last icon,
so assuming you’ve already moved on up to the last layer, zoom in on its
reference grid and let’s finish this.

Step 1

Create the left text
box’s main body using an 88 x 68 px rectangle,
which we will color using #C2A6DD and then position in the top-left corner of
the underlying active drawing area, leaving a 4 px gap around it for its outline.

Step 2

Adjust the shape that
we’ve just created by setting the Radius
of its top and bottom-right corners to 8
px
from within the Transform panel’s
Rectangle Properties.

Step 3

Switch over to Pixel Preview Mode (Alt-Control-Y) and then using the Add Anchor Point Tool (+) add a new
anchor point to the text box’s bottom edge, positioning it at a distance of 20 px from its left side.

Step 4

Continue adjusting the
shape by selecting its bottom-left anchor point using the Direct Selection Tool (A), and then pushing it to the bottom by 16 px using the Move tool (right click > Transform >
Move > Vertical > 16 px
).

Step 5

Give the resulting
shape an 8 px thick outline (#2B3249)
with a Round Join, and then select
and group both of them together using the Control-G
keyboard shortcut.

Step 6

Create a copy (Control-C) of the little heart from one
of the previous icons, and then paste (Control-F)
it onto the current layer, center aligning it to the text box’s body.

adding the little heart to the center of the left text boxs body

Step 7

Create the
little dots using three 6 x 6 px circles at a distance of 2 px from one another,
which we will color using #2B3249, group (Control-G), and then position onto the bottom-right corner of the text box, leaving a 4 px gap around them.

Once you’re done, select and
group all the shapes that we’ve created so far using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

Step 8

Create a copy (Control-C > Control-F) of the left
text box’s fill and outline, and align them to the underlying active drawing
area’s bottom-right corner, making sure to horizontally flip them afterwards (right click > Transform > Reflect
> Horizontal
), changing the fill shape’s color to #9F88BA.

Step 9

Turn on Pixel Preview mode (Alt-Control-Y) and draw the little
text lines using an 18 px wide, 4 px thick Stroke line (#2B3249) followed by another 34 px wide, 4 px thick
line at a distance of 4 px from it.
Group (Control-G) the two shapes and
then position them at a distance of 8 px
from the text box’s left and bottom edges.

Step 10

Finish off the icon by selecting and
grouping (Control-G) all of the
right text box’s composing shapes together, sending them to the back afterwards
(right click > Arrange > Send to
Back
).

Oh, and don’t forget to group
all of the icon’s composing sections as well since you don’t want them flying
around.

finishing off the im sharing icon

It’s a Wrap!

There you have it—a nice little icon pack that you can use to share your love
with that special someone. I hope you’ve managed to follow each and every step
and had as much fun as I did during the process.

finished project preview

Go to original Source
Author: Andrei Stefan

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