Creating a RSS Icon in Illustrator

August 1, 2010

Creating a RSS Icon in Illustrator

design fashionillustration

This tutorial covers the process of creating your own customised vector RSS icon in Illustrator. Since it is in vector format, its size can be scaled up and down for future use.

The diagram given below shows the structure of the elements that makes up the icon. Illustrator works in layers. Multiple objects can also be stacked on top of one another within a single layer. By using ‘CTRL/CMD + [‘ and ‘CTRL/CMD + ]’ you can alter the stacking order of a selected object. Not only that, by pressing ‘CTRL/CMD + SHIFT + [‘ and ‘CTRL/CMD + SHIFT + ]’ you can send an object to the bottom and top of the stack respectively.

Create a rounded rectangle. Use the Up and Down keys of the cursor to adjust the roundness of the corners before releasing the mouse. Hold the SHIFT key to adjust the proportions and make it square. Click on the artboard to open a dialog box where precise measurements can be entered. Fill the shape with a vertical gradient ranging from a dark green to a lighter tone.

Press ‘CTRL/CMD + C’ to copy the shape and ‘CTRL/CMD + F’ to place it in front. Then scale down the shape a bit while holding ALT. Fill this shape with the darker orange tone used before. Press ‘CTRL/CMD + C’ to Copy the shape.

Select the smaller shape and use the Gradient Mesh Tool to add a highlight to the top left. Adjust the colour sliders to produce a brighter yellow hue.

Paste the shape we copied in the previous step using ‘CTRL/CMD + F’. The mesh can limit us from editing the shape that is why we copied the shape before adding the gradient mesh. Fill the shape with white. Using the Pen tool create a shape that covers the lower half of the white object. Then add a curve to the top. This will be used to cut away the shape to create a reflection.

Choose the white object and the new shape. Then click the Subtract from Shape Area button in the Pathfinder Window, then Expand. Change the Opacity of this shape to 20%.

To make the real RSS symbol, draw a circle (hold SHIFT) and add a black stroke. Make the circle a broad ring by increasing the stroke. Take a note of the size. Using the Direct Selection Tool, select and delete two of the four points of the circle. Now you will have a quarter of the circle. Copy this shape and move down 45degrees to the left.

For visual assistance, use the guides while scaling and aligning the shapes, if you have set scale strokes, change the stroke value of the second shape to 12pt (or the size you noted down earlier!).

Choose the pair and navigate to Object > Expand and click on Stroke checkbox to convert the strokes into complete shapes.

You can complete the symbol by adding a circle to the shape. Hold SHIFT to constrain the proportions and use guides to align with the other objects. Press ‘CTRL/CMD + G’ to group the objects and then fill with a gradient from white to a light grey.

Align the symbol with the orange background objects. Press ‘CTRL/CMD + SHIFT +]’ to order the reflection to the top of the stack.

Navigate to Effects > Stylize > Outer Glow to add some shade to the icon and you are done!

Final Image

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