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Illustration: Create a Set of Moving Icons

Beginner level Adobe Illustrator Adobe Illustrator

How to Set Up a New Document

As we do with all of our projects, we’ll start by setting up a New Document (File → New or Control + N) which we will adjust using the following settings:

  • Number of Artboards: 1
  • Width: 800 px
  • Height: 600 px
  • Units: Pixels

And in the Advanced tab:

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

We’re going to be creating the icons using a Pixel Perfect Workflow, so I highly recommend you take a moment and read this in-depth tutorial (http://www.freepik.com/blog/how-to-create-pixel-perfect-icons/) that will get you up to speed in no time.

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How to Set Up the Layers

Once I have my new document, I like to separate my assets using different layers, since this way I can streamline my workflow by focusing on one item at a time, which allows me to keep track of each and every shape.

So, open up the Layers panel, and let’s create a total of six layers which we will name as follows:

  • Layer 1 > background
  • Layer 2 > reference grids
  • Layer 3 > tracking app
  • Layer 4 > moving cart
  • Layer 5 > moving box
  • Layer 6 > moving truck

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The way we’re going to be using these layers within our workflow is pretty easy. We’ll want to lock all except the one that we will be working on, so we won’t move or misplace some of the shapes by accident. Then, once we’re done with the current icon, we can lock its layer and move on up to the next one.

How to Create the Reference Grids

As soon as we’ve layered our project file, we can start creating the reference grids, which will help us create our icons by focusing on consistency and size.

Step 1

Grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 64x64 px square, which we will color using #F15A24, and then position it to the center of the Artboard using the Align panel’s Horizontal and Vertical Align Center options.

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Step 2

Create another smaller 56x56 px square (#FFFFFF), that will act as the active drawing area, thus giving us an all-around 4 px padding. Group the two squares (Control + G) and then create three side copies (Control + C → Control + F two times), distancing them at 28 px from the original. Once you have all your reference grids, group (Control + G) and then center align them to the underlying Artboard.

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Once you’re done creating and positioning the reference grids, you can lock their layer and then move on to the next step.

Create the Background

Assuming you’ve successfully created the reference grids, position yourself onto the first layer, and let’s kick off the project by creating the background.

Select the Rectangle Tool (M) and create an 800x600 px rectangle, which we will color using #7FD7E5 and then center align to the underlying Artboard.

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Create the Tracking App Icon

Make sure you position yourself onto the third layer and then zoom in on the first reference grid so that we can start working on our first icon.

Step 1

Start by creating the foreground using a 52 px wide 4 px thick stroke line with a Round Cap, which we will color using #043C3F, and then center align to the active drawing area’s bottom edge.

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Step 2

Create the phone’s main body using a 36x52 px rectangle, which we will color using white (#FFFFFF), and then position onto the foreground line as seen in the reference image.

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Step 3

Give the shape we just created 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 #043C3F and then flipping its fill with its stroke (Shift + X). Set the resulting shape’s weight to 4 px and its corner to Round Join, making sure to select and group the two together using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

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Step 4

Add the screen using a 24x40px rectangle (#F9DE6B) with a 4 px thick outline (#043C3F), which we will group (Control + G) and then center align to the larger body.

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Step 5

Create the side buttons using two 4x8 px rounded rectangles (#043C3F) with a 2 px Corner Radius, which we will vertically stack at a 2 px from one another, grouping (Control + G) and then positioning them onto the phone’s right side, at a distance of 4 px from the screen’s top edge. Once you’re done, select and group all of the phone’s composing sections using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

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Step 6

Start working on the location pin, by creating its main body using a 12x12 px circle (#FFFFFF), which we will center align to the screen, positioning it at a distance of 6 px from its top edge.

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Step 7

Adjust the shape that we've just created, by selecting its bottom anchor point using the Direct Selection Tool (A), and then pushing it to the bottom by a distance of 4 px using the Move tool (right click > Transform > Move > Vertical > 4 px).

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Step 8

Pinch the resulting shape’s bottom anchor point using the Anchor Point Tool (Shift + C) to make it pointy, giving it a 4 px thick outline afterward.

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Step 9

Add a 4x4 px circle (#043C3F) to the center of the pin, selecting and grouping all of its composing shapes together using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

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Step 10

Finish off the phone’s interface and with it the icon itself, by adding the little button using a 12x4 px rounded rectangle (#043C3F) with a 2 px Corner Radius, which we will position at a distance of 4 px from the screen’s bottom edge. Once you’re done, select and group (Control + G) all of the phone’s composing sections, doing the same for the entire icon afterward.

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Create the Moving Cart Icon

Assuming you’ve finished working on the first icon, lock its layer and then move on up to the next one (that would be the fourth one) where we will start working on the little moving cart.

Step 1

Start by creating the foreground line using a 52 px wide 4 px thick stroke (#043C3F) with a Round Cap, which we will center align to the active drawing area’s bottom edge.

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Step 2

Draw the cart’s main body using a 4 px thick stroke (#043C3F) with a Round Cap, using the reference image as your main guide. Take your time, and once you’re done move on to the next step.

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Step 3

Adjust the shape of the path that we’ve just created by selecting its top-left corner using the Direct Selection Tool (A) and then setting its Radius to 8 px using the Live Corners input field.

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Step 4

Start working on the boxes, by creating the main shapes for the bottom one using a 16x16 px square (#F9DE6B) with a 4 px thick outline (#043C3F) with a Round Join, which we will group (Control + G), and then position onto the cart’s lower section at a distance of 4 px from its right edge.

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Step 5

Add the visible section of the seal using a 4x6 px rectangle (#043C3F) which we will center align to the larger square’s top edge, making sure to select and group all three shapes together afterward using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

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Step 6

Create the smaller box using a 12x12 px square (#FFFFFF) with a 4 px thick outline (#043C3F), on top of which we will add the seal using a 4x4 px square (#043C3F). Select and group (Control + G) all three shapes together, positioning them on top of the larger box as seen in the reference image.

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Step 7

Start working on the wheel by creating a 16x16 px circle (#FFFFFF) with a 4 px thick outline (#043C3F), which we will position onto the foreground at a distance of 14 px from the active drawing area’s left edge.

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Step 8

Finish off the wheel and with it the icon itself, by adding the smaller 8x8 px circle (#043C3F) to the center of the shapes that we’ve just created selecting and grouping (Control + G) all three of them together afterward. Once you’re done, select and group (Control + G) all of the cart’s composing sections, doing the same for the entire icon before moving on to the next one.

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Create the Moving Box Icon

Make sure you’re on the right layer (that would be the fifth one), and then let’s start working on our third icon.

Step 1

As always, kick things off by creating the foreground line using a 52 px wide 4 px thick stroke (#043C3F) with a Round Cap, which we will center align to the active drawing area’s bottom edge as seen in the reference image.

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Step 2

Start working on the box by creating its main body using a 32x32 px square (#FFFFFF) with a 4 px thick outline (#043C3F) with a Round Join, which we will group (Control + G) and then position onto the center of the foreground.

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Step 3

Draw the box’s side flaps using two diagonal 4 px thick stroke lines (#043C3F), starting from its top edge and going all the way to the outer edges of the active drawing area.

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Step 4

Add the little seal segment using an 8x8 px square (#043C3F), which we will center align to the box’s top edge.

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Step 5

Take a couple of moments and draw the little up-facing arrow using two 4 px thick stroke lines (#043C3F) with a Round Cap and Join, which we will then group (Control + G) and position as seen in the reference image. Once you’re done, select and group (Control + G) all of the box’s composing sections before moving on to the next step.

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Step 6

Create the main shape for the folded T-shirt using a 12x8 px rectangle (#FFFFFF) with a 4 px thick outline (#043C3F) with a Round Join, which we will position on top of the box, at a distance of 4 px from its left edge

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Step 7

Add the neck cutout using a 4x4 px circle (#043C3F), which we will center align to the fill rectangle’s top edge selecting and grouping all three shapes together with the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

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Step 8

Start working on the lamp by creating its base using an 8 px tall 4 px thick stroke line(#043C3F) with Round Cap, which we will position onto the box at a distance of 6 px from the T-shirt right edge.

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Step 9

Create the shade’s main shape using a 12x12 px square (#F9DE6B) which we will position on top of the previously created path.

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Step 10

Finish off the lamp and with it the icon itself, by adjusting the shape that we’ve just created by individually selecting and pushing its top anchor points to the inside at a distance of 2 px using the Move tool (right click → Transform → Move → Horizontal → ± 2 px depending on which side you start with). Give the resulting shape a 4 px thick outline (#043C3F) with a Round Join, selecting and grouping (Control + G) the two together, doing the same for the entire lamp and icon afterward.

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How to Create the Moving Box Icon

We are now down to our fourth and last icon, so assuming you’ve already positioned yourself onto the next layer (that would be the sixth one), let’s jump straight into it.

Step 1

Create the foreground line using a 52 px wide 4 px thick Stroke (#043C3F) with a Round Cap, which we will center align to the active drawing area’s bottom edge as seen in the reference image.

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Step 2

Start working on the truck’s lower section by creating its wheels using two 12x6 px rectangles (#043C3F), which we will horizontally distance at 8 px from one another, grouping (Control + G) and then positioning them onto the center of the foreground.

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Step 3

Create the rear bumper using a 36x6 px rectangle (#FFFFFF) with a 4 px thick outline (#043C3F) with a Round Join, grouping (Control + G) and then positioning the two on top of the truck’s wheels.

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Step 4

Add the visible section of the truck’s container using a 40x18 px rectangle (#F9DE6B) with a 4 px thick outline (#043C3F) with a Round Join, which we will group (Control + G) and then position on top of the bumper.

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Step 5

Start working on the rear door by creating a 40x22 px rectangle (#FFFFFF) with a 4 px thick outline (#043C3F) with a Round Join, grouping (Control + G) and then positioning the two on top of the previous section.

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Step 6

Take a couple of moments and add the horizontal detail lines using two 40 px wide 4 px thick stroke lines (#043C3F), which we will vertically distance at 2 px from one another, grouping (Control + G) and then positioning them onto the door as seen in the reference image.

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Step 7

Create the handle using an 8x2 px rounded rectangle (#043C3F) with a 1 px Corner Radius, which we will center align to the lower empty section of the door, selecting and grouping (Control + G) all its composing shapes together once you’re done.

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Step 8

Take a couple of moments and draw the truck’s side mirrors using two 4 px thick stroke lines (#043C3F) with a Round Cap, which we will align to the door’s bottom edge as seen in the reference image. Once you’re done, select and group (Control + G) all of the vehicle’s composing sections before moving on to the next step.

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Step 9

Create the smaller left box using a 12x12 px square (#FFFFFF) with a 4 px thick outline (#043C3F) with a Round Join, to the top of which we will add the little seal segment using a 4x4 px square (#043C3F). Select and group (Control + G) all three shapes together, positioning them onto the container’s inner section at a distance of 4 px from its left edge.

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Step 10

Finish off the truck and with it the icon itself by adding the taller box using a 12x18 px rectangle (#FFFFFF) with a 4 px thick outline (#043C3F) with a Round Join, on top of which we will add a 4x4 px square (#043C3F). Select and group (Control + G) all three shapes together, positioning them onto the right side of the previous box. Once you’re done, select and group (Control + G) all of the truck’s composing sections, doing the same for the entire icon before hitting that save button.

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Congrats!

Well done! As always I hope you managed to follow each and every step of the process and, most importantly, learned something new and useful along the way.

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What do you think of this tutorial?

Discussion

In today’s tutorial, we’re going to explore the experience of moving by creating a little icon set using some of the basic geometric shapes and tools that Adobe Illustrator offers. So, as always, go grab a fresh cup of coffee and let’s get started!

Tut Details

Beginner level 55m 1,306 views

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