What You’ll Be Creating

Love
icon design? If so, then this is the project for you. Follow this
tutorial and learn the process of creating a report icon in a minimal
style and in three different versions.

A
minimal icon is characterized by: 

  • Simplicity: minimum of shapes and elements
  • Clarity: icons should be understandable in a single glance
  • Scaling: icons should maintain sharpness and clarity at any size,
    especially when scaled very small
  • Excludes complex colors, gradients, textures, and shadows.

This
tutorial is beginner friendly because we will use only basic shapes
and with the help of the Align options, the Pathfinder options and
the Transform options we will build these icons step by step. By the
end of this tutorial, you will have the knowledge to make icons in different styles in future projects.

If
you are hungry for more icon design, head over to GraphicRiver and
you will be able to find a multitude of vector icons in different
styles, shapes and categories. 

Tutorial
Assets

To
complete the tutorial, you will need the following assets:

1. How
to Open a New Document 

Launch
Illustrator
and
go to
File
> New
to
open a blank document. Type a name for your file, set up the
dimensions, and then select
Pixels
as
Units
and
RGB
as
Color
Mode
.

Next,
go to
Edit
> Preferences > General
,
set the
Keyboard
Increment
to
1
px
and, while there, go to Units
to
make sure they are set as in the following image. I usually work with
these settings, and they will help you throughout the drawing process. 

2. How
to Create the “Clipboard” Report Icon

The first icon is inspired by a simple clipboard icon with a clean design, and we will start to build it shape by shape.

Step
1

Grab
the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw the first shape, which is a 160 x 178
px
rectangle. While this shape stays selected, go to the Align panel
and make sure to check the Align to Artboard option in the bottom
right corner. Now, press Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align
Bottom
to align it perfectly inside your 200 x 200 px artboard.

Step
2

Give
it a 12 pt Stroke and press the Align Stroke to Inside option (1).
The color is not important at this point.

With
the shape still selected, go to the Transform panel and apply a
Radius of 30 px for all four corners to round them (2).

Step
3

Next,
use the Rectangle Tool (M) to draw a 90 x 17 px rectangle and then
press the Horizontal Align Center followed by Vertical Align Top to
align it with your artboard (1).

Draw
another rectangle of 90 x 20 px and arrange it right under the first
one (2).

Step
4

At
this point, you can delete the blue rectangle at the top because it was just a reference element.

Select
the shape of the icon and go to Object > Expand Appearance in
order to turn the stroke into a filled shape (1). Now, select this
shape along with the pink rectangle and press Minus Front in the
Pathfinder panel (2). You will obtain the basic shape of the clipboard without the clip. 

Step
5

Let’s continue with the clip element. Draw
a new rectangle of 76 x 20 px and then press Horizontal Align Center
and Vertical Align Top to align it with your artboard (1).

Draw
another rectangle of 88 x 20 px and align it in the top left corner
of your artboard by pressing the Horizontal Align Left and Vertical
Align Top
. Keep this rectangle selected and apply a Radius of 17 px
in the Transform panel in order to round the bottom right corner (2).

Create
the same shape in the top right corner of your artboard, and this
time, apply a Radius of 17 px to the bottom left corner of the
rectangle (3).

Now,
select the two beige rectangles and go to Object > Compound Path >
Make (Control-8)
. Keep the resulting compound path selected, and also
select the purple rectangle and press Minus Front in the Pathfinder
panel (4).

Step
6

Zoom in on the purple shape that you have obtained in the previous step and use
the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-) to delete the two indicated points
(1). Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) and use it to select
only the two top points (2); then go to File > Scripts > Round
Any Corner
and apply a Radius of 10. You will obtain a shape rounded
at the top (3).

The
Round Any Corner Script is a very useful script that allows you to
round only the anchor point(s) that you want and you can download it
from this tutorial 
20
Free and Useful Adobe Illustrator Scripts
.
Follow the instructions to install it in Illustrator, and then you
will be able to find it under File > Scripts.

Step
7

Draw
a 76 x 18 px rectangle and arrange it right under the purple shape
that you have obtained in the previous step (1). Round all four
corners by 2 px using the Transform panel, and then move it 1 px
upwards by pressing the Up Arrow key on your keyboard once in order
to make them overlap a little (2).

While
the purple and the pink shapes stay selected, press Unite in the
Pathfinder panel to merge them into a single shape (3).

Step
8

To keep this a minimal icon, we will add only a few writing elements on it. Use
the Pen Tool (P) to draw a V-like shape as the checked symbol. Give
it an 8 pt Stroke, and also select the Round Cap and Round Join
options in the Stroke panel (1).

Next, draw a straight path 52 px in length. Give it an 8 pt Stroke
and select the Round Cap option in the Stroke panel to obtain the
rounded ends. Align this path with the checked symbol on your
clipboard (2). Duplicate these two shapes to add another row on the report icon (3).

Next,
draw an 18 x 18 px circle using the Ellipse Tool (L). Give it a 7 px
Stroke
and press the Align Stroke to Outside option in the Stroke
panel. Arrange another copy of the straight path next to the circle, and this will be the third row
at the bottom of the report icon (4).

Step
9

At
this point, the first icon is ready. Select all the writing
elements created earlier and go to Object > Expand Appearance
followed by Object > Expand in order to turn the strokes into
filled shapes.

Select
all the shapes that make up the “Clipboard” report icon and go to Object >
Compound Path > Make (Control-8)
to merge them together although this step is optional. Now, you
can color it as you wish.

3. How
to Create the “Chart” Report Icon

The second icon is inspired by a chart, so next you will learn how to make a minimal chart icon to put on the clipboard.

Step
1

Draw
a new 200 x 200 px square and define a second artboard inside your
document by going to Object > Artboards > Convert to Artboard.
Make a copy of the report icon and remove the writing from the
inside. Align this compound path with the new artboard by pressing
Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center in the Align panel
(1).

Use
the Ellipse Tool (L) to draw a small 16 x 16 px circle and arrange it
in the middle of the clip (2). Select only the bottom point of the
circle with the help of the Direct Selection Tool (A) and press
Delete on your keyboard to delete it. Now, select the two end points
of the path with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and press Control-J on
your keyboard to close back the shape. You will obtain a half circle
(3).

Select
the shape of the icon along with half circle and press Minus Front in
the Pathfinder panel to create a hole (4).

Step
2

Grab
the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a 13 x 65.5 px rectangle; then apply
a Radius of 4 px to the bottom corners to round them (1). Make three
copies of this shape and arrange them in a row inside the icon (2).

Next,
grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw the tail of an arrow as shown in the image
below. Give it an 8 pt Stroke and select the Round Cap and Round Join
options in the Stroke panel (3). Continue with the tip of the arrow
and apply the same settings (4).

Step
3

Select
only the tail of the arrow and then Copy and Paste in Back
(Control-B)
to make a copy of it. Increase the Stroke Weight to 16 pt
and select the Bevel Join option in the Stroke panel (1). Go to
Object > Expand to turn the stroke into a filled shape (2).

Select
the four yellow rectangles and go to Object > Compound Path >
Make (Control-8)
; then select them along with the expanded orange
tail and press Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel (3). Select and
delete only the top yellow segments, and the chart is ready (4).

Step
4

Select
the blue arrow and go to Object > Expand to turn the strokes into fills.
Now, select all the shapes that make up the chart and go to Object >
Compound Path > Make (Control-8)
. Make sure it is aligned in the
center of the icon by pressing Horizontal Align Center in the
Align panel (1).

To keep this a minimal icon design, we will draw only two straight paths under the chart having 80 px in length. Give
them an 8 pt Stroke and select the Round Cap option in the Stroke
panel to obtain the rounded ends (2).

Step
5

Expand
the two lines at the bottom of the icon; then select all the shapes
that make up the “Chart” report icon and go to Object > Compound Path >
Make (Control-8)
although this step is optional. At this point, the icon is ready, and you can color
it as you wish.

4. How
to Make the “Two Pages” Report Icon

For the third icon, we will create a “two pages” minimal design filled with just a few writing lines to keep things simple.

Step
1

Grab
the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a new 200 x 200 px square and define
a third artboard inside your document by going to Object >
Artboards > Convert to Artboards
.

Still
using the Rectangle Tool (M), draw a 160 x 178 px rectangle and give
it a 12 pt Inside Stroke as you did for the first report icon. In the
Transform panel, apply a Radius of 30 px to all four corners in order
to round them. Make sure that this shape is aligned with your new
artboard by pressing Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Top
in the Align panel.

Step
2

While
the rounded rectangle stays selected, go to Object > Transform >
Move
and enter 16 px in both Horizontal and Vertical fields. Hit Copy
and you will get a second shape (1). Increase the Radius in the
Transform panel from 30 px to 42 px, but only for the bottom right corner
(2).

You can move the second shape up to the edge of the artboard, but I find that this makes the icon a bit bulky.

Step
3

Expand
the second rounded rectangle to turn the stroke into a filled shape, and this will be the second page of the report icon (1). Next, take
the Pen Tool (P) or the Line Segment Tool () and draw a straight
horizontal path following the bottom inner edge of this rectangle and
a straight vertical path following the right inner edge (2).

Now,
select the shape of the second page along with one of the paths and
press Divide in the Pathfinder panel. Keep the resulting group
selected, and also select the other path and press Divide again. This
will cut the page along those lines, and you can Ungroup
(Shift-Control-G)
and delete the shapes that you don’t need. Keep
only the segment in the bottom right portion of the icon (3).

Step
4

Let’s
create the writing elements on the first page. Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to
draw a small 31 x 31 px square and arrange it in the upper left
corner of the page. Give it an 8 pt Stroke (1). Switch to the Pen
Tool (P)
or the Line Segment Tool () and draw two straight paths 46 px in length next to the square (2). 

Finally, draw four
straight paths 100 px in length at the bottom of the page and
give them an 8 pt Stroke as well (3). To create a different look,
this time let’s not round the ends of these lines.

Step
5

Select
the square and all the lines and go to Object > Expand to turn the
strokes into filled shapes. Now, select all the shapes that make up
the “Two Pages” report icon and go to Object > Compound Path >
Make (Control-8)
, although this step is optional.

Step
6

Here
are the three artboards inside the document and the three versions that we made.

Congratulations!
You’re Done

You
have successfully learned how to create three minimal report icons, and now you can apply these techniques in future projects. 

Don’t forget to share your recreations with us in the comments section below, and also leave your questions and requests there.

Expand
Your Icon-Designing Skills!

Want to make more icons? Keep learning with these recommended tutorials:

Go to original Source
Author:

Diana Toma

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