Graphic Design: Make Christmas Badges

Intermediate level Adobe Illustrator Adobe Illustrator

Prepare the new document

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

  • Dimensions: 800x600 px
  • Color mode: RGB
  • Resolution: 72 ppi

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. 


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.



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.


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.


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


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 3 pt width.


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.


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.


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.


*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.


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.


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. 


Step 1

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


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.



Step 3

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


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)


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.


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



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.


Step 3 — The candy cane

Make the structure with the Pen tool.  Give it a 20 pt 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.


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.


Step 5 — The mistletoe

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


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.


And we're done! Merry Christmas everyone!

What do you think of this tutorial?


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!

Tut Details

Intermediate level 1h 289 views