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Illustration: Create a Mexican Food Icon Set

Beginner level Adobe Illustrator Adobe Illustrator

How to Set Up a New Document

As we do with all our projects, we’re going to kick things off by creating a New Document by heading over to File → New (or by using the Control + N keyboard shortcut) which we will adjust as follows:

  • Number of Artboards: 6
  • Spacing: 48 px
  • Columns: 3
  • Width: 96 px
  • Height: 96 px
  • Units: Pixels

And from the Advanced tab:

  • Color Mode: RGB
  • Raster Effects: Screen (72 ppi)

Before we start working on the actual icons, I wanted to point out that each and every one of them was created using a Pixel Perfect Workflow, so I recommend that you take a couple of moments and read this in depth tutorial which will get you up to speed in no time.

01.png

How to Set Up the Layers

As soon as we’ve finished setting up our project file, we need to take a couple of moments and structure it, so that we can separate our icons from the actual reference grids and streamline our workflow. To do this, simply open up the Layers panel, and then create a total of two layers which we will rename as follows:

  • Layer 1 > reference grids
  • Layer 2 > icons

02.png

How to Create the Reference Grids

Once we’re done layering our document, we can add the little reference grids which will give our icons a small protective padding surface, while helping us maintain consistency.

Step 1

Grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and create the main reference surface using a 96x96 px square which we will color using #F15A24, and then position to the center of the first Artboard using the Align panel’s Horizontal and Vertical Align Center options.

03.png

Step 2

Add another smaller 88x88 px square (#FFFFFF), which will act as the active drawing area, that will give our icon an all-around 4 px protective padding. Once you’re done, select and group the two shapes together using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

04.png

Step 3

Add the remaining reference grids using a copy (Control + C) of the one that we’ve just finished working on, which we will paste (Control + F) onto the empty neighbouring Artboards. Take your time and once you’re done, make sure you lock the current layer before moving on to the next step.

05.png

How to Create the Tortilla Chips Icon

As soon as we’ve finished setting up the reference grids, we can position ourselves onto the second layer (that would be the top one), where we will zoom in on the top-left Artboard and then start working on the first icon.

Step 1

Create the main shape for the little background using an 88 x 88 px circle, which we will color using #FFE45C, and then center align to the underlying Artboard using the Align panel’s Horizontal and Vertical Align Center options.

06.png

Step 2

Start working on the left chip by creating its main body using a 22x22 px square, which we will color using white (#FFFFFF), and then position at a distance of 12 px from the active drawing area’s left edge, and 28 px from its top one.

07.png

Step 3

Adjust the shape that we’ve just created by removing its top-left anchor point by simply clicking on it using the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-), and then selecting its bottom-right one using the Direct Selection Tool (A) and pushing it to the outside by a distance of 10 px using the Move tool (right click → Transform → Move → Horizontal: 10 px & Vertical: 10 px).

08.png

Step 4

Create the dipped tip using a 14x14 px square (#C16C27), which we will align to the resulting shape’s bottom-right anchor point, and then adjust by cutting out a 16x16 px circle from the center of its top-left anchor point using Pathfinder’s Minus Front Shape Mode.

09.png

Step 5

Mask the resulting shape using a copy (Control + C) of the larger underlying triangle, which we will paste in front (Control + F) and then with both of them selected simply right click > Make Clipping Mask.

10.png

Step 6

Decorate the chip using a couple of 2x2 px circles (#C16C27), following the reference image as your main guide. Take your time and once you’re done, select and group all of them together using the Control + G keyboard shortcut, before moving on to the next step.

11.png

Step 7

Give the larger shape an outline using the Stroke method, 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 #C16C27, making sure to set its Width to 4 px and its Corner to Round Join afterwards. Once you’re done, select and group all of the chip’s composing shapes together using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

12.png

Step 8

Finish off the icon, by adding the second chip using a copy (Control + C → Control + F) of the one that we’ve just finished working on, which we will reflect both horizontally and vertically (right click → Transform → Reflect → Horizontal & Vertical), and then positioning it onto the background’s right side as seen in the reference image. Once you’re done, don’t forget to select and group (Control + G) all of the icon’s composing shapes before moving on to the next one.

13.png

How to Create the Taco Icon

As soon as we’ve finished working on our first icon, we can move on to the neighbouring Artboard, where we will gradually build the little taco one.

Step 1

As we did with the first one, we’re going to start by creating the background using an 88x88 px circle, which we will color using #FFE45C and then center align to the larger Artboard.

14.png

Step 2

Create the main shape for the folded tortilla using a 48x32 px rounded rectangle with a 4 px Corner Radius, which we will color using white (#FFFFFF) and then center align to the underlying Artboard.

15.png

Step 3

Adjust the shape that we’ve just created by opening up the Transform panel, and then setting the Radius of its top corners to 24 px from within the Rectangle Properties.

16.png

Step 4

Decorate the resulting shape using a couple of 2x2 px circles (#C16C27) which we will position as seen in the reference image. Once you’re done, make sure you select and group all of them together using the Control + G keyboard shortcut, before moving on to the next step.

17.png

Step 5

Give the larger shape a 4 px thick outline (#C16C27), selecting and grouping all of the folded tortilla’s composing shapes together afterwards using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

18.png

Step 6

Add the tasty meat, using two groups consisting of a larger 16x16 px circle (#C16C27), followed by two smaller 8x8 px circles (#C16C27), which we will position onto the sides of the taco so that they overlap as seen in the reference image.

19.png

Step 7

Finish off the icon, by pushing the shapes that we’ve just created to the back of the taco’s main body (right click → Arrange → Send Backward), making sure to select and group (Control + G) all its composing sections, doing the same for the entire icon afterwards.

20.png

How to Create the Tequila Shot Icon

We are now down to the last icon of our first row, so assuming you’ve already positioned yourself onto the next Artboard let’s jump straight into it!

Step 1

Create the background using an 88x88 px circle, which we will color using #FFE45C and then center align to the underlying Artboard.

21.png

Step 2

Add the main shapes for the glass’s upper lip using a 20x6 px rectangle (#FFFFFF) with a 4 px thick outline (#C16C27) with a Round Join, which we will group (Control + G) and then position as seen in the reference image.

22.png

Step 3

Create the lower body using a 20x26 px rectangle (#FFFFFF) with a 4 px thick outline (#C16C27) with a Round Join, which we will group (Control + G) and then position on top of the lip’s bottom edge, so that they overlap as seen in the reference image.

23.png

Step 4

Add the curved section using a 20x14 px rectangle (#C16C27), which we will adjust by cutting out a 20x16 px circle from the center of its top edge, giving the resulting shape a 4 px thick outline (#C16C27). Once you’re done, group (Control + G) and then position the two on top of the lower body, center aligning them to its bottom edge.

24.png

Step 5

Start working on the sliced lemon, by creating its main body using a 48x40 px ellipse (#FFFFFF), which we will cut in half by selecting its top anchor point using the Direct Selection Tool (A) and then immediately removing it by pressing Delete. Close the resulting path using the Control + J keyboard shortcut, positioning the adjusted shape as seen in the reference image.

25.png

Step 6

Add the curved inner detail line using a 36x28 px ellipse with a 4 px thick Stroke (#C16C27), which we will position as seen in the reference image.

26.png

Step 7

Grab the Pen Tool (P), and use it to draw the wall lines separating the carpels using three 4 px thick Strokes (#C16C27), making sure to group (Control + G) and mask them afterwards using the shape from the previous step (desired shapes selected → right click → Make Clipping Mask).

27.png

Step 8

Select and group all of the detail lines together using the Control + G keyboard shortcut, making sure to mask them afterwards using a copy (Control + C → Control + F) of the larger underlying body.

28.png

Step 9

Give the lemon slice a 4 px thick outline (#C16C27) with a Round Join, making sure to select and group all of its composing shapes afterwards using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

29.png

Step 10

Finish off the icon, by casting the hard shadow onto the shot glass, using a copy (Control + C) of the lemon’s main body and outline, which we will paste in front (Control + F), and then adjust by first setting the fill shape’s color to #C16C27, pushing them to the bottom-right corner of the Artboard by a distance of 4 px using the directional arrow keys.

Once you have the shapes in place, mask them using a copy (Control + C → Control + F) of the glass’s lower body, making sure to position them beneath the lemon (right click → Arrange → Send Backward). Finally, select and group (Control + G) both the lemon and the glass together, doing the same for the entire icon afterwards.

30.png

How to Create the Pepper Icon

Assuming you’ve already positioned yourself onto the second row, zoom in on its first Artboard and let’s start working on our next icon.

Step 1

As we did with all the other icons, start by creating the background using an 88x88 px circle, which we will color using #FFE45C and then center align to the underlying Artboard.

31.png

Step 2

Add the main shape for the pepper’s body using a 32x32 px circle, which we will color using white (#FFFFFF), and then position at a distance of 20 px from the active drawing area’s right edge, and 28 px from its top one.

32.png

Step 3

Adjust the shape that we’ve just created by selecting its left anchor point using the Direct Selection Tool (A) and then pushing it to the outside by a distance of 24 px horizontally and 6 px vertically (right click → Transform  Move  Horizontal: -24 px & Vertical: -6 px). Adjust the transition between the anchors, by re positioning some of the handlesendpoints as seen in the reference image.

33.png

Step 4

Give the resulting shape a 4 px thick outline (#C16C27) with a Round Join, making sure to select and group the two together afterwards using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

34.png

Step 5

Create the pepper’s calyx using an 8x12 px ellipse (#C16C27), followed by the pedicel using the lower-right quarter of a 16x16 px circle with a 4 px thick Stroke (#C16C27), which we will position as seen in the reference image, making sure to stack them underneath the larger body. Once you’re done, select and group (Control + G) all of the pepper’s composing shapes before moving on to the next step.

35.png

Step 6

Start working on the salt shaker by creating its lower body using a 12x22 px rectangle (#FFFFFF) with a 4 px thick outline (#C16C27) with a Round Join, to the center of which we will add the label using a 4x10 px ellipse (#C16C27). Select and group all three shapes together using the Control + G keyboard shortcut, positioning them onto the pepper's left side.

36.png

Step 7

Add the cap using a 12x6 px rectangle (#FFFFFF), which we will adjust by setting the Radius of its top corners to 4 px from within the Transform panel’s Rectangle Properties. Give the resulting shape a 4 px thick outline (#C16C27) with a Round Join, followed by the holes using three 2x2 px horizontally stacked at 1 px from one another, making sure to select and group all of them together afterwards using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

37.png

Step 8

Finish off the icon by adding the hard shadow using a copy of the shaker’s main fill shapes and outlines, which we will adjust by changing their color from white to #C16C27, and then push to the bottom-right by a distance of 4 px, making sure to mask them afterwards using a copy (Control + C  Control + F) of the pepper’s fill shape. Once you’re done, select and group the shaker and the pepper together using the Control + G keyboard shortcut, doing the same for the entire icon afterwards.

38.png

How to Create the Burrito Icon

Position yourself onto the next Artboard, and let’s start working on icon number five, the burrito.

Step 1

Create the background using an 88x88 px circle, which we will color using #FFE45C and then center align to the underlying Artboard.

39.png

Step 2

Create the burrito’s main body using a 64x32 px rounded rectangle (#FFFFFF) with a 4 px Corner Radius, which we will center align to the underlying Artboard.

40.png

Step 3

Adjust the shape that we’ve just created by opening up the Transform panel, and then increasing the Radius of its left corners to 16 px.

41.png

Step 4

Create the main shapes for the lower folding section using the upper half of a 48x40 px ellipse (#FFFFFF). Add a couple of 2x2 px circles (#C16C27), followed by a 4 px thick outline (#C16C27) with a Round Join, grouping (Control + G) and then positioning them onto the larger body as seen in the reference image.

42.png

Step 5

Create the top folded section using a copy (Control + C  Control + F) of the one that we’ve just finished working on, which we will horizontally reflect (right click  Transform  Reflect  Horizontal) and then align to the larger body’s top edge.

43.png

Step 6

Select and group (Control + G) the two folded sections together, masking (desired shapes selected → right click  Make Clipping Mask) them afterwards using a copy (Control + C  Control + F) of the larger underlying body.

44.png

Step 7

Add the meat using a larger 16x16 px circle (#C16C27), on top of which we will stack to smaller 8x8 px ones (#C16C27), positioning them as seen in the reference image. Once you’re done, make sure you select and group all three of them together using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

45.png

Step 8

Finish off the icon, by adding the 4 px thick outline (#C16C27) to the burrito’s main body, making sure to select and group (Control + G) all of its composing shapes together, doing the same for the entire icon afterwards.

46.png

How to Create the Guacamole Bowl Icon

We are now down to our sixth and last icon, so assuming you’ve already positioned yourself onto the remaining Artboard let’s wrap things up!

Step 1

As we did with all the other icons, we’re going to start by creating the background using an 88x88 px circle, which we will color using #FFE45C and then center align to the underlying Artboard.

47.png

Step 2

Add the main shape for the sliced avocado using a 24x24 px circle, which we will color using white (#FFFFFF), and then position at a distance of 12 px from the active drawing area’s left edge and 36 px from its top one.

48.png

Step 3

Adjust the shape that we’ve just created by selecting its top anchor point using the Direct Selection Tool (A) and then pushing it to the outside by a distance of 8 px using the Move tool (right click  Transform  Move  Vertical  -8 px).

49.png

Step 4

Give the resulting shape a 4 px thick outline (#C16C27) followed by the seed using a 12x12 px circle (#C16C27), making sure to select and group all three of them together afterwards using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

50.png

Step 5

Start working on the bowl by creating its main body using a 48x40 px ellipse (#FFFFFF), which we will adjust by removing its upper half, positioning the resulting shape as seen in the reference image.

51.png

Step 6

Add the horizontal detail line using a 48 px wide 4 px thick Stroke (#C16C27), which we will position at a distance of 4 px from the larger body’s upper edge, making sure to mask it afterwards using a copy (Control + C  Control + F) of the bowl (desired shapes selected → right click  Make Clipping Mask).

52.png

Step 7

Give the bowl a 4 px thick outline (#C16C27) with a Round Join, making sure to select and group all of its composing shapes together using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

53.png

Step 8

Add the spoon’s handle using a diagonal 4 px thick Stroke line (#C16C27) with a Round Cap, followed by the guacamole section using an 8x8 px circle stacked on top of a larger 16x16 px one, which we will position as seen in the reference image. Once you have the shapes in place, select them and the bowl and group them together using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

54.png

Step 9

Finish off the icon and with it the project itself, by adding the hard shadow using a copy (Control + C  Control + F) of the bowl’s main body and outline, which we will push to the bottom-right side of the Artboard by a distance of 4 px, making sure to group (Control + G) and mask them afterwards (desired shapes selected → right click  Make Clipping Mask) using a copy (Control + C → Control + F) of the avocado’s fill shape. Position the resulting shadow underneath the bowl, and then select and group (Control + G) it, the bowl and the avocado together, doing the same for the entire icon afterwards.

55.png

Great Job!

As always, I hope you had fun working on this little project and most importantly managed to learn something new and useful along the way. That being said, if you have any questions feel free to post them within the comments section and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!

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Discussion

Welcome back to another in depth Illustrator tutorial in which we’re going to learn how to create a Mexican themed icon set from start to finish using nothing more than a couple of basic geometric shapes that we will adjust here and there. So, assuming you already have the software running in the background, bring it up and let’s get started!

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