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Today we're going to learn how to make 3 Christmas badges with Adobe Illustrator. We'll do this with various vector shapes and give them a retro look. A very functional and communicative design. Are you ready? Let’s go!

1. Prepare the new document

The first step is to create a new document on Adobe Illustrator (File>New) with these values:

  • Dimensions: 800x600px
  • Color mode: RGB
  • Resolution: 72ppp
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2. Choose the color palette

Select the colors we're going to use. Create a folder in the swatch panel. Go to Panel>Swatch>New color group with the selected swatches. 2

3. Create the background

Start by creating a cream colored background with the Rectangle tool that covers the whole artboard. We'll make sure that it’s aligned with the artboard using the Align panel.

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4. Determine the shape of the badges

On this occasion, we're going to make three round Christmas badges, se we'll start by making three white ellipses. Center them with the artboard.

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5. Create the ribbons

The ribbons are meant to add to the aesthetic of the badges. We'll create one for each badge and later on we'll add a text on top.

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*Tip*

To create an arch from the rectangle, we'll use the option Effect>Warp>Arc

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Step 1

We'll make the basic structure of the ribbons with three rectangles;  a fill color in red and a brown stroke color.  We'll give the stroke a 3pt width.

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Step 2

Let's make the ribbon endings. We do this by adding an anchor point centered on the vertical line with the Add Anchor Point Tool.

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Step 3

With the Direct selection tool we'll select the anchor points we've just created and drag them inside the ribbon, and that’s how you get the endings.

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6. Add text

//The fonts used in this tutorial were downloaded for free at fontsquirrel.com//

Step 1

Add the label text. The font used is Arvo, and we'll use a brown color.

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*Tip*

To create a text with different shapes we'll use the Type on a Path Tool. This tool will be really helpful to adapt the text to the badge.

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7. Add text on top of the ribbons

We'll repeat the same thing we did in the previous step, using Type on a Path Tool on the curved ribbons. Once again I’m using Arvo, but this time in white.

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8. Add a custom text

For this part we'll use a different font and we'll play around with it to make our badges more attractive. 

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Step 1

Let's use the Open Sans Bold font. Apply color (red, green and yellow). Expand to convert the text into a shape.

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Step 2

Duplicate the words on top (CTRL+C CTRL+F) and move the one that’s underneath down a little bit  and darken it slightly. To the one on the top we'll apply Object>Path>Offset Path. This way we add depth and dimension to our letters.

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Step 3

We'll add the text that’s left using the England Hand font and Arvo.

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9. Adding Christmas elements

Let’s make our images more attractive and christmassy. To keep it looking unified, we'll use a 3 pt brown stroke (the same as we used for the text and ribbons)

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Step 1- The reindeer

We'll start with an ellipse. Modify the anchor points to create the shape of the face. Do the same for the ears and go to Pathfinder>Unite.

9-1a

We'll create the horns with the Pen Tool. Use a 6pt stroke width and rounded caps. Expand to make it a shape and again: Pathfinder>Unite. Finish the nose and eyes with the Pen Tool. Finally, apply color with Object>Live paint>Create

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Step 2- The branch

We'll start again with the ellipse. Modify the anchor point to give it a leaf shape and we'll duplicate the shape as many times we need (CTRL+C CTRL+V). We'll make the branch with the Pen tool, apply color Object>Live paint.

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Step 3- The candy cane

Make the structure with the Pen tool.  Give it a 20pt width stroke and expand the object. Apply the details with the Pen Tool. Use a 3 pt stroke width and finish by adding the color with Live paint.

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Step 4- The bow

We'll make the structure with basic geometric shapes, rounded caps and add the final details with the Pen tool. Apply color.

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Step 5 - The mistletoe

Repeat the previous steps: Ellipse, Pen tool and Live paint.

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Step 6

Once we’ve got all the elements, distribute them on each badge and add the final details. It’s important to have everything expanded (Object>Expand), make every text a shape, every stroke a fill and finally group (Object>Group) to use the badges as you wish.

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And we're done! Merry Christmas everyone!

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