How to Create a Computer Peripherals Icon Set in Adobe Illustrator

Post pobrano z: How to Create a Computer Peripherals Icon Set in Adobe Illustrator

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In today’s
tutorial we’re going to learn how to create a set of four computer peripherals,
using the same body as the central structure to which we will add all the key features that make each object stand out. As always, we’re
going to rely on the use of some basic geometric shapes, combined with the
power of the Align panel.

That being said, grab that old coffee mug, and let’s get started!

Oh, and before I forget, you can always expand the project by checking
out GraphicRiver where you can find
tons of computer-themed icons.

1. How to Set Up a New Document

Since I’m hoping that you already have
Illustrator up and running in the background, bring it up and let’s set up a New Document (File > New or Control-N)
using the following settings:

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

And from the Advanced tab:

  • Color
    Mode:
    RGB
  • Raster
    Effects:
    Screen (72ppi)
  • Preview Mode: Default
setting up a new document

Quick
tip:
some of you might have noticed that the Align New Objects to Pixel Grid option
is missing. That’s because I’m running the new CC 2017 version of the
software, where great changes have been made to the way Illustrator handles the way shapes snap to the underlying Pixel Grid.

2. How to Set Up a Custom Grid

Since we’re going to be creating the icons
using a pixel-perfect workflow, we’ll want to set up a nice little grid so that we can have full control
over our shapes—that is if we’re running the older version of the software.

Step 1

Go to the Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid submenu, and adjust
the following settings:

  • Gridline
    every:
    1 px
  • Subdivisions: 1
setting up a custom grid

Quick
tip:
you can learn more about grids by reading this
in-depth piece on how Illustrator’s Grid System works.

Step 2

Once we’ve set up our custom grid, all we
need to do in order to make sure our shapes look crisp is enable the Snap to Grid option found under the View menu, which will transform into Snap to Pixel each time you enter Pixel Preview mode.

Now, if you’re new to
the whole “pixel-perfect workflow”, I strongly recommend you go through my how
to create pixel-perfect artwork
tutorial, which will help you widen your
technical skills in no time.

3. How to Set Up the Layers

With the new document created, it would be
a good idea to structure our project using a couple of layers, since this way
we can maintain a steady workflow by focusing on one icon at a time.

That being said, bring up the Layers panel, and create a total of five
layers, which we will rename as follows:

  • layer 1: reference grids
  • layer 2: tablet
  • layer 3: mouse
  • layer 4: keyboard
  • layer 5: midi
    controller
setting up the layers

4. How to Create the Reference Grids

The
Reference Grids
(or Base Grids)
are a set of precisely delimited reference surfaces, which allow us to build
our icons by focusing on size and consistency.

Usually, the size of the grids determines
the size of the actual icons, and they should always be the first decision you
make when you start a new project, since you’ll always want to start from the
smallest possible size and build on that.

Now, in our case, we’re going to be
creating the icon pack using just one size, more exactly 128 x 128 px, which is a fairly large one.

Step 1

Start by locking all
but the reference grid layer, and then grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 128 x 128 px orange (#F15A24) square, which will help define the
overall size of our icons.

creating the main shape for the reference grid

Step 2

Add a smaller 120 x 120 px one (#FFFFFF) which will
act as our active drawing area, thus giving us an all-around 4 px padding.

creating the main shape for the active drawing area

Step 3

Group the two squares composing the
reference grid using the Control-G keyboard
shortcut, and then create three copies at a distance of 40 px from one another, making sure to align them to the center of
the Artboard.

Once you’re done,
lock the current layer and move on to the next one where we’ll start working on
our first icon.

creating and positioning the remaining reference grids

5. How to Create the Repeating Body

As I’ve already pointed out, we’re going
to create all four icons using the same body, onto which we will
gradually add the key features that give them their “identity”. That
being said, make sure you’re on the right layer (that would be the second one)
and then zoom in the first reference grid so that we can have a better view of the shapes.

Step 1

Start by creating a 112 x 100 px rounded rectangle with an 8 px Corner Radius, which we will
color using #60677C, and then center align to the underlying active drawing
area, at a distance of 4 px from its
bottom edge.

creating and positioning the repeating bodys main shape

Step 2

Give the shape that
we’ve just created an outline using the Stroke
method, by creating a copy of it (Control-C
> Control-F
) which we will adjust by first changing its color to #2B3249,
and then flipping its Fill with its Stroke (Shift-X), making sure to set its Weight to 8 px afterwards.

adding the outline to the repeating bodys main shape

Step 3

Using the Pen Tool (P) draw a 16 px tall 8 px thick Stroke line
(#2B3249) starting from the center of the outline’s top edge, and going all the
way to the outer limit of the active drawing area. Once you’re done, you
can select and group all three shapes together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

adding the little cable segment to the repeating bodys main shape

Step 4

Now that we have our repeating body, all
we have to do is create three copies of it (Control-C > Control-F three times), and position one onto each
of the empty reference grids.

Once you have them
all in place, you can start locking the layers so that you can keep your focus
on the first icon.

creating and positioning the repeating body copies onto the empty reference grids

6. How to Create
the Tablet Icon

The first icon
that we’re going to tackle is the little graphics tablet, so make sure you’re
on the right layer (that would be the second one) and then zoom in on its
reference grid so that we can get started.

Step 1 

Create the tablet’s display using an 80 x 60 px rectangle, which we will color using white (#FFFFFF) and
then center align to the repeating body, at a distance of 12 px from its top edge.

creating and positioning the main shape for the tablet icons display

Step 2

Give the shape that we’ve just created an 8 px thick
outline (#2B3249) using the Stroke
method, selecting and grouping the two together afterwards using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

adding the outline to the tablet icons display

Step 3

Using the Pen
Tool (P)
, draw three 8 px thick
diagonal Stroke lines (#2B3249),
which we will adjust by lowering their Opacity
to just 20%. Once you’re done, select and group them together (Control-G) center aligning them to the underlying display afterwards.

adding the reflection lines to the tablet icons display

Step 4

Start working on the tablet’s first button, by creating a 16 x 16 px square (#BAC0CE) with an 8 px thick outline (#2B3249) which we
will group (Control-G) and then
position onto the left side of the display, at a distance of 16 px from the larger outline’s top
edge.

creating and positioning the main shapes for the tablet icons top-left button

Step 5

Create the second left-sided button using a copy (Control-C > Control-F) of the one that we’ve just made, which we
will position underneath, making sure to change the fill shape’s color to white
(#FFFFFF) once we have it in place. Once you have both buttons, group them (Control-G) since we’ll be using them to
create the right-sided ones.

creating and positioning the tablet icons second left-sided button

Step 6

Create the right-sided buttons using a copy (Control-C > Control-F) of the ones
that we’ve just grouped, which we will position onto the opposite side of the
tablet’s display.

creating and positioning the tablets right-sided buttons

Step 7

Finish off the icon by adding the little pen,
which we will create using a 40 px wide
8 px thick Stroke line (#2B3249) with a Round
Cap
, which we will center align to the tablet’s lower section. Once you’re
done, don’t forget to select and group all of the icon’s composing shapes
together using the Control-G
keyboard shortcut.

finishing off the tablet icon

7. How to Create the
Mouse Icon

Assuming you’ve already moved on up to the next layer (that would be the
third one) and locked the previous one, zoom in on the second reference grid and
let’s start working on the mouse icon.

Step 1

Create the mouse’s main body using a 44 x 68 px rectangle, which we will
color using white (#FFFFFF) and then center align to the underlying repeating
body’s main fill shape.

creating and positioning the mouse icons main shape

Step 2

Adjust the shape that we’ve just created by
setting the Radius of its top Corners to 4 px and its bottom ones to 22
px
from within the Transform panel’s
Rectangle Properties.

adjusting the corner radius of the mouse icons main shape

Step 3

Create the left-click button using a 22 x 20 px rectangle, which we will
color using #BAC0CE and then align to the larger shape’s top-left corner.

creating and positioning the main shape for the mouse icons left button

Step 4

Give the mouse an 8 px thick outline (#2B3249) using the Stroke method, making sure to position it on top of its two fill
shapes (right click > Arrange >
Bring to Front
).

adding the outline to the mouse icons main shape

Step 5

Add the bottom button delimiter line using a 44 px wide 8 px thick Stroke (#2B3249) which we will center align to the mouse’s body, positioning it at a
distance of 12 px from the outline’s
top edge.

creating and positioning the main shape for the mouse icons bottom button delimiter

Step 6

Finish off the icon by adding the vertical
detail line separating the mouse’s two buttons, which
we will create using a 36 px tall 8 px thick Stroke line (#2B3249). Once you’re done, group (Control-G) all of the mouse’s composing
shapes together, doing the same for all of the icon’s sections afterwards.

finishing off the mouse icon

8. How to Create
the Keyboard Icon

I’m guessing that
by now you already know the drill, so make sure you’re on the right layer (that
would be the fourth one) and zoom in on the third reference grid so that we can
get started.

Step 1

Start working on the top row’s first key by creating a 14 x 14 px square (#FFFFFF) with an 8 px thick outline (#2B3249) which we
will group (Control-G) and then
position towards the repeating body’s top-left corner, at a distance of 6 px from the larger outline.

creating and positioning the main shapes for the keyboard icons first key

Step 2

Create the top row’s remaining keys by selecting the one that we’ve
just made and then dragging it to the right side while holding down the Alt (to create the copy) and
Shift keys (to drag in a perfect
straight line), to create the first instance. 

Make sure that the duplicate’s outline overlaps the original one’s, and then simply press Control-D four times, which will repeat the last action and thus create the remaining duplicates,
grouping (Control-G) all the row’s
buttons together afterwards.

adding the remaining keys to the keyboard icons top row

Step 3

Create the second row of keys using the same Alt-Shift-Drag method, only this time repeat
the process by pulling down on the mouse until the copy overlaps the original’s outline.

adding the keyboard icons second row of keys

Step 4

Start working on the third row’s first key by creating a 20 x 14 px rectangle (#FFFFFF) with an 8 px thick outline (#2B3249) which we
will group (Control-G) and then
position underneath the shapes from the previous step, left aligning it to
them.

creating and positioning the main shapes for the keyboard icons third row key

Step 5

Create the spacebar using a 44 x
14 px
rectangle (#FFFFFF) with an 8
px
thick outline (#2B3249), which we will group (Control-G) and then position onto the
right side of the previously created button.

creating and positioning the main shapes for the keyboard icons spacebar

Step 6

Add the third row’s last button using a copy (Control-C > Control-F) of its first one, which we will position
onto the opposite side of the spacebar. Once you’re done, group (Control-G) all of the row’s shapes
together, doing the same for all the buttons afterwards.

finishing off the keyboard icons third row of keys

Step 7

Create the trackpad using a 28 x 20 px rectangle (#BAC0CE) with an 8 px thick outline (#2B3249), which we will group (Control-G) and then center align to the
lower section of the keyboard, positioning it at a distance of 12 px from the smaller buttons that we’ve just grouped.

creating and positioning the main shapes for the keyboard icons trackpad

Step 8

Finish off the icon, by adding the little
fingerprint reader using a 12 px wide
8 px thick Stroke line (#2B3249) which we will position onto the repeating
body’s bottom-right corner, at a distance of 20 px from the trackpad. Once you’re
done, select and group all of the icon’s composing shapes together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

finishing off the keyboard icon

9. How to Create the Midi Controller Icon

We are now down to our fourth and last icon, so make sure you’re on the
right layer (that would be the fifth one) and let’s wrap things up!

Step 1

Create the first out of the three adjustment
knobs, using an 8 x 8 px circle
which we will color using #2B3249, and then position onto the repeating body’s
top-left corner, at a distance of 8 px from
its left side and 6 px from its
top.

creating and positioning the main shape for the midi controller icons first adjustment knob

Step 2

Create the remaining knobs using two 8 x 8 px circles (#2B3249) which we
will vertically stack on the one from the previous step, distributing them at a
distance of 6 px from one another.
Then, once you’re done, don’t forget to select and group them
together using the Control-G keyboard
shortcut.

adding the remaining adjustment knobs to the midi controller icon

Step 3

Create the volume slider using a 12
x 28 px
rectangle (#FFFFFF) with an 8
px
thick Stroke (#2B3249) on top
of which we will add a 12 px wide 8 px thick state indicator line (#2B3249),
which we will position in its bottom section. Group (Control-G) all three shapes together and then position them onto
the right side of the adjustment knobs, at a distance of 8 px.

creating and positioning the main shapes for the midi controller icons volume slider

Step 4

Start working on the little D-pad buttons by
creating a 14 x 14 px square (#BAC0CE)
with an 8 px thick outline (#2B3249)
which we will group (Control-G) and
then position onto the right side of the volume slider, at a distance of 14 px.

creating and positioning the main shapes for the midi controller icons first d pad button

Step 5

Finish off the first row of D-pads by adding two
copies of the one that we’ve just made, using the Alt-Shift-Drag method, making sure to select and group (Control-G) all three of them
afterwards.

adding the first row of d pads to the midi controller icon

Step 6

Create the second row of pads using a copy (Control-C > Control-F) of the one
that we’ve just finished working on, which we will position just underneath,
selecting and grouping (Control-G)
them both together afterwards.

adding the second row of d pads to the midi controller icon

Step 7

Start working on the controller’s keys by creating a 16 x 44 px rectangle (#FFFFFF) with an 8 px thick outline (#2B3249), which we
will group (Control-G) and then
align to the bottom edge of the repeating body, at a distance of 8 px from its left edge.

creating and positioning the main shapes for the midi controller icons first key

Step 8

Create the remaining keys using four copies (Control-C > Control-F four times) of the one that we’ve just
made, which we will distribute along its right side.

adding the midi controller icons remaining keys

Step 9

Finish off the keyboard, and with it the icon itself, by adding a 16 x 22 px rectangle (#2B3249) to the
center of the first two set of keys, selecting and grouping all of them
together afterwards. Then, once you’re done, don’t forget to select and group (Control-G) all of the icon’s composing
shapes as well.

finishing off the midi controller icon

Awesome Work, You’re Done!

There you have it—a nice and easy tutorial on how to create your
very own computer peripherals using nothing more than some simple shapes and
tools. I hope you’ve managed to keep up with each and every step and most
importantly learned something new along the way.

finished project preview