Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In today’s tutorial we’re going to take a look at the process of creating a spring-themed icon pack. We’ll follow a step-by-step approach in order to learn how to create each item using some basic geometric shapes and tools that you probably already use on a regular basis.

And before we start, don’t forget you can expand
your collection by checking out GraphicRiver, where you can find tons of spring-themed icon packs.

That being said, take a quick sip of your
favorite coffee, and let’s jump into it!

1. How to Set Up a New Document

Since I’m hoping that 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

2. How to Set Up a Custom Grid

Since we’re going to be creating each icon
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.

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

Once we’ve set up our New Document, 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 five
layers, which we will rename as follows:

  • layer 1: reference grids
  • layer 2: flower
  • layer 3: butterfly
  • layer 4: sun
  • layer 5: clover
setting up the layers

Quick tip: As you can see, I’ve colored all of my layers
using the same green value, and that’s because it’s the easiest one to view
when used to highlight your selected shapes (whether they’re closed or open paths).

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 a 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 three 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 remaining reference grids

5. How to Create the Repeating Background

As you’ve probably already noticed, each
icon has the same background, which means that we can focus our energy on
creating one instance of it, and then use a couple of copies to add it to the
remaining icons.

Step 1

Start by creating the
larger 120 x 120 px circle, which we
will color using #C3E3FC and then center align to the reference grid’s active
drawing area.

Step 2

Add the inner section using a smaller 104 x 104 px circle, which we will color using #9DCBEA and then
center align to the larger one’s body. Once you’re done, select and group both shapes
together using the Control-G
keyboard shortcut.

Step 3

Create three copies (Control-C
> Control-F
three times) of the shapes that we’ve just grouped, and then
distribute them onto the empty reference grids, making sure to position each
one onto the remaining layers, making sure to lock them back afterwards.

creating and positioning the repeating background onto the remaining reference grids

6. How to Create
the Flower Icon

Now that we have
the repeating background copies in place, position yourself back onto the
second layer, and let’s start working on our first icon.

Step 1

Start working on the flower’s smaller petal by creating a 28 x 28 px square (#E27664), which we
will position onto the reference grid’s top-left corner, leaving a 22 px gap from the active drawing
area’s edges.

Step 2

Turn the square shape into a petal by setting the Radius of its bottom-left and top-right corners to 16 px from within the Transform panel’s Rectangle Properties.

Step 3

Give the petal a highlight by creating a copy of it (Control-C) which we will paste in front
(Control-F) and then adjust by first
changing its color to white (#FFFFFF) and then lowering its Opacity to 30%. Flip the shape’s Fill with
its Stroke (Shift-X), making sure to set its Weight to 6 px and aligning
the Stroke to the Inside afterwards.

Step 4

Give the petal an outline using the Stroke
method by creating a copy (Control-C)
of its fill shape, which we will paste in front (Control-F) and then adjust by first changing its color to #253C51.
Flip the shape’s Fill with its Stroke (Shift-X), and then set its Weight
to 8 px, making sure to set its Corner to Round Join.

Step 5

Start adding details to the petal by creating a smaller 12 x 12 px square (#253C51), which we
will turn into an ellipse by setting the Radius
of its bottom-left and top-right corners to 12 px from within the Transform
panel’s Rectangle Properties.
Once you’re done, position the resulting shape towards the bottom corner of the
highlight.

Step 6

Add the smaller ellipse using an 8
x 8 px
square (#253C51) with an 8 px
Corner Radius
set for its bottom-left and top-right corners, which we will
align to the petal’s top-left corner. Once you’re done, select and group all of
its composing shapes together using the Control-G
keyboard shortcut.

Step 7

Create the top-right petal by selecting the one
that we’ve just grouped and then using the Transform Each panel (right click > Transform > Transform
Each
). Once the panel pops up, we’ll want to move the copy to the right
side by a distance of 48 px, making
sure to horizontally reflect it using the Reflect
X
option. Once you’re done, simply press Copy and your second petal should be perfectly positioned.

Step 8

Create the bottom petals by selecting the two that we already have and
then applying the same transform process, only this time push them vertically
by a distance of 48 px, making sure
to reflect them using the Reflect Y
option. Once you’re done, select and group all four petals together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

Step 9

Start working on the larger petals by creating a 36 x 52 px ellipse, which we will color using #F28D77 and then
center align to the background’s smaller circle.

Step 10

Adjust the ellipse that we’ve just created by left clicking on its top
and bottom anchor points with the help of the Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C) in order to make them pointy.

Step 11

Give the resulting shape an 8 px thick
inner highlight (color: white; Opacity: 30%), following the same
process that we used for the smaller petal.

Step 12

Add the outline using an 8 px thick
Stroke (#253C51) with the Corner set to Round Join.

Step 13

Start adding details to the petal by creating a 12 x 12 px ellipse (#253C51), which we will center align to its main
body, positioning it at a distance of 24
px
from its top anchor point.

Step 14

Adjust the circle by first pinching its top anchor point using the Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C), and then
pushing it to the top by a distance of just 2
px
(right click > Transform >
Move > Vertical > -2 px
).

Step 15

Add the small insertion using an 8
x 12 px
ellipse (#253C51) which we will center align to the petal’s top
edge, adjusting it afterwards by pinching its top and bottom anchor points
using the Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C).
Once you’re done, select and group all of the petal’s composing shapes together
using the Control-G keyboard
shortcut.

Step 16

Create the bottom petal by selecting the one that we already have, and
then using the Transform Each
function (right click > Transform
> Transform Each
) by pushing the copy 52 px down and then horizontally reflecting it.

Step 17

Create the remaining petals using a copy (Control-C > Control-F) of the two that we have, which we will
rotate using the Rotate tool (right click > Transform > Rotate >
90º
). Once you have them in place, select and group (Control-G) all four petals together, as we did with the smaller
ones.

adding the larger side petals to the flower icon

Step 18

Add the flower’s center section using a 30 x 30 px circle (#EAC778) with an 8 px thick outline (#253C51) which we will center align to the
larger background.

Step 19

Start adding details to the flower’s center section by creating four 12 x 12 px circles with a 4 px thick Stroke (#253C51), which we will distribute along the larger
circle’s anchor points.

Step 20

Finish off the current section, and with it the icon itself, by creating
four 4 x 4 px circles (#253C51) which
we will distribute to the center of the stroke circles that we’ve just created
in the previous step. Once you’re done, select and group (Control-G) all of the section’s composing shapes together, doing
the same for the entire icon afterwards.

7. How to Create
the Butterfly Icon

Assuming you’ve
managed to finish the first icon, lock its layer and then move on up to the
next one (that would be the third one), where we will start working on our
second icon.

Step 1

Create the upper section of the butterfly’s left wing using a 48 x 48 px square, which we will color
using #253C51 and then position towards the active drawing area’s top-left
corner, at a distance of 12 px from
its outer edges.

Step 2

Adjust the shape that we’ve just created by setting the Radius of its bottom-left corner to 28 px and its top-right one to 48 px from within the Transform panel’s Rectangle Properties.

Step 3

Give the resulting shape an 8 px thick
inner highlight (color: white; Opacity: 30%), making sure to align its
Stroke to the inside.

Step 4

Create an 8 x 8 px circle (#253C51)
which we will position to the top-left corner of the wing, at a distance of 8 px from its top edge, and 6 px from its left one.

Step 5

Next, create a slightly smaller 6
x 6 px
circle (#253C51) and position it onto the wing’s bottom-right
corner, at a distance of 8 px from
its right edge and 6 px from its
bottom one.

Step 6

Add the wing’s thicker ring using
a 28 x 28 px circle with an 8 px thick Stroke (#253C51), which we will center align to the larger circle
that we created two steps ago.

Step 7

Create the thinner ring using a 48
x 48 px
circle with a 4 px thick
Stroke (#253C51), which we will
center align to the smaller fill circle.

Step 8

Group the two rings together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut, and then mask them using a copy (Control-C) of the underlying wing,
which we will paste in front (Control-F)
and then right click > Make Clipping
Mask
.

Step 9

Give the wing an 8 px thick
outline (#253C51) and then select and group all its composing shapes together
using the Control-G keyboard
shortcut.

Step 10

Create the wing’s bottom half by selecting the top one and then using
the Transform Each function (right click
> Transform > Transform Each
) where we will want to vertically move
it by a distance of 58 px, making
sure to horizontally reflect it using the Reflect
Y
option. Once you’re done, select and group the two sections together
using the Control-G keyboard
shortcut.

Step 11

Create the right wing by selecting the two halves that we’ve just
grouped and then using the Transform
Each
function again, only this time horizontally move the copies by a distance of 60 px, making sure to vertically
reflect it using the Reflect X
option. Then, once you’re done, select and group both wings together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

Step 12

Grab the Pen Tool (P) and
draw the butterfly’s legs and antennas using a 4 px thick Stroke (#253C51)
with a Round Cap. Take your time,
and once you’re done move on to the next step.

Step 13

Finish off the butterfly, and with it the icon itself, by adding its
little head using a 14 x 14 px circle
(#253C51) which we will center align to the antennas’ bottom section. Once you’re
done, select and group (Control-G)
all of the butterfly’s shapes together, doing the same for the entire icon
afterwards.

finishing off the butterfly icon

8. How to Create
the Sun Icon

Assuming you
already know the drill, make sure you’re on the right layer (that would be the
fourth one) and then zoom in on the next reference grid and let’s get started.

Step 1

Start by creating a 74 x 74 px square,
which we will color using #D8AD56 and then center align to the larger
background.

creating and positioning the main shape for the back section of the sun icon

Step 2

Give the shape that we’ve just created a slightly thinner 6 px inner highlight (color: white; Opacity: 30%), making sure to align its Stroke to the inside.

adding the highlight to the back section of the sun icon

Step 3

Add the 8 px thick outline (#253C51)
with a Round Join, selecting and
grouping all of the current section’s shapes together afterwards using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

adding the outline to the back section of the sun icon

Step 4

Create a larger 104 x 104 px square, which we will color using #C99136 and then
center align to the larger background.

creating and positioning the main shape for the center section of the sun icon

Step 5

Turn the square into a diamond by adding a new
anchor point to the center of each of its edges using the Add Anchor Point Tool (+), removing all the corner ones afterwards
using the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-).

Step 6

Give the resulting shape a 6 px thick
inner highlight (color: white; Opacity: 30%), making sure to align its Stroke to the inside.

adding the highlight to the center section of the sun icon

Step 7

Finish off the current section by adding the 8 px thick outline (#253C51), selecting and grouping (Control-G) all its composing shapes
together afterwards.

adding the outline to the center section of the sun icon

Step 8

Start working on the sun’s circular section by creating a 74 x 74 px circle which we will color
using #EAC778 and then center align to the larger background.

Step 9

Give the circle an 8 px thick inner highlight (color:
white; Opacity:
40%), making sure to set its Stroke
to the inside.

Step 10

As we did with all the other shapes, give the circle an 8 px thick outline (#253C51) using the Stroke method.

Step 11

Finish off the current section, and with it the icon itself, by drawing
in a couple of 4 px thick diagonal Stroke lines (#253C51) with a Round Cap. Take your time, and once you’re
done, select and group (Control-G)
all its shapes together, doing the same for the entire icon afterwards.

finishing off the sun icon

9. How to Create
the Clover Icon

We are now down to
our fourth and last icon of the bunch, so without wasting any more time, make
sure you’re on the right layer (that would be the fifth one) and let’s finish
this. 

Step 1

Start working on the clover’s repeating leaf by creating a 30
x 30 px
circle, which we will color using #8FDB95 and then position onto
the active drawing area’s top-left corner, at a distance of 8 px from its top edge and 23 px from its left one.

Step 2

Create a second 30 x 30 px circle
(#8FDB95), which we will position so that it ends up overlapping the bottom-left
section of the first one.

Step 3

Adjust the two circles by selecting their bottom-right intersecting
anchor points with the Direct Selection
Tool (A)
and then removing them by pressing Delete. Unite the resulting paths into a single larger shape by pressing
Control-J once, and then drawing in
the bottom-right corner using the Pen
Tool (P)
.

Step 4

Give the resulting shape an 8 px thick
inner highlight (color: white; Opacity: 30%), making sure to align its
Stroke to the inside, and setting its Corner to Round Join.

Step 5

Add the leaf’s outline using an 8
px
thick Stroke which we will
color using #253C51, making sure to set its Corner to Round Join.

Step 6

Finish off the leaf by drawing the 4
px
thick diagonal Stroke lines
(#253C51) with a Round Cap,
selecting and grouping (Control-G) all
its composing shapes together afterwards. Take your time, and once you’re done, move on to the next step.

Step 7

Create the right leaf by selecting the one that we’ve just grouped and
then using the Transform Each
function (right click > Transform
> Transform Each
) to push a copy of the left one to the right by a
distance of 59 px, making sure to
vertically reflect it using the Reflect
X
option.

Step 8

Create the remaining leaves by selecting the two that we have and then
using the Transform Each function
again, only this time position the copies to the bottom at a distance of 59 px, horizontally reflecting them
using the Reflect Y option.

Step 9

Create the clover’s center section using a 22 x 22 px square, which we will color using #253C51, and then
center align to the larger background.

Step 10

Finish off the icon, by removing a 6 x 6 px circle (highlighted with red)
from the center of each of the square’s sides using Pathfinder’s Minus Front Shape Mode. Once you’re done, select and group (Control-G) all of the clover’s shapes
together, doing the same for the entire icon afterwards.

finishing off the clover icon

Hurray! We’re
Done!

Great job! It might have been a long journey, but I believe the end
result makes it all worthwhile. On that note, I hope that you’ve managed to keep up
with each and every step, and most importantly learned something new along the
way.

finished project preview

Go to original Source
Author: Andrei Stefan

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