How to create a welcome summer greeting card in Adobe Illustrator

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In this tutorial we’re going to make a colorful summer card, using geometric shapes, effects and learning various useful tips, tricks and features of Adobe Illustrator. Let’s get started!

1. Create the Sun

Step 1

Let’s start by making a New Document that's 600x600 px in size.

Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and make a 260x260 px yellow circle.

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Step 2

Switch to the Star Tool and click the canvas to open the pop-up options window. Set the number of Points to 8 and make an orange shape, slightly larger than our yellow circle.

Press Shift+Ctrl+[ to Send the star to Back, beneath the circle. Align both shapes to center from the control panel on top and use the Live Corners to make the points rounded and smooth by dragging the circle markers with the Direct Selection Tool (A).

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Step 3

Copy the orange shape and Paste in Back (Ctrl+C > Ctrl+B). Rotate the bottom copy and change its color to a darker red-orange.

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2. Designing Summer Elements

Step 1

Use the Star Tool to make a 5-pointed orange star. You can pick the orange color from our sun, using the Eyedropper Tool (I).

Make the points of the star rounded. Duplicate the star (Ctrl+C > Ctrl+F), make it smaller and fill with a yellow color.

Place another copy on top and fill it with white.

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Step 2

Now let’s make a glass of fresh juice. Grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and make a 70x110 px shape. Select the bottom left anchor point with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and hit the Enter key to open the Move window. Set the Horizontal value to 10 px to move the point to the right. Do the same for the opposite anchor point, but this time set the value to -10 px. This way we make the bottom of the glass narrower.

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Step 3

Select the bottom of the glass with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and use Live Corners to make it rounded. Go to Object > Path > Offset Path and set the Offset value to -7 px, creating a smaller shape inside. Fill it with white.

Repeat the Offset Path once again with the same value and fill the new shape with bright green color.

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Step 4

Let’s make the glass half-empty. Select the green shape. Take the Eraser Tool (Shift+E), hold Alt and place the selection over the top half of the juice shape to delete it.

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Step 5

Let’s add a straw to our glass. Use the Pen Tool (P) to make a straw shaped line and set the Weight to 16 pt, Cap and Corner to middle positions in the Stroke panel.

Duplicate the line (Control-C > Control-F) and reduce the thickness of the line to 5 pt.

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Step 6

Send the orange straw to Back (Shift+Ctrl+[). Add a few bubbles to the juice, using the Ellipse Tool (L).

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Step 7

Now we can combine all the elements together, adding the summer elements to the sun.

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3. Render the Background for the Summer Card

Step 1

Make a sandy-yellow rectangle of 600x600 px size and Align it to the Artboard. Let’s make some water for the sea. Make a 670x130 px blue rectangle and place it at the bottom of the Artboard.

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Step 2

While still selecting the shape, go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Zig Zag. Set the Size to 10 px, Ridges per Segment to 7 and Points to Smooth, making a wave.

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Step 3

Select both the yellow background and the water shape, switch to the Shape Builder Tool (Shift+M) and hold Alt to click and delete the unneeded piece of the wave, which crosses the edges of the Artboard.

Now we can duplicate the wave a few times and make the copies a bit lighter.

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Step 4

Let’s shape some clouds. Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and make a 50x50 px white circle.

Make a couple of smaller circles and attach them to the big circle. Unite all the circles in the Pathfinder, merging them into one single shape.

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Step 5

Grab the Eraser Tool (Shift-E), hold Alt and erase the bottom half of the cloud, making the bottom of the shape flat.

Make some more clouds, varying their sizes and shapes.

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Step 6

Let’s combine our elements, building a balanced composition. Place the sun on top of the sea background and surround it with clouds. Speckle some spots around the sun, filling the empty places.

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Step 7

Finish off the card by adding some text inside the sun.

I’m using the Mission Script font. You can find lots of wonderful free fonts at https://www.fontsquirrel.com

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There You Have It! Our Summer Card is Ready!

Great job, everyone! I hope you had fun following this tutorial and discovered some new techniques that will be useful for your future designs.

Have fun and stay tuned for new tips and tricks!

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Now you can show the world what you have learned.

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