Create a Flat Notebook Illustration

In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a flat notebook illustration in Graphic for iPad.

For starters, you will learn how to setup a simple grid and how to create the main, pixel perfect shapes using the Snap to Grid feature along with some basic tools and vector shape building techniques. Taking full advantage of the Effects pane, you will learn how to add subtle shading and highlights for your shapes.

Finally, you'll learn how to to easily align shapes and paths to the pixel grid and how to work with layers.

Step 1

From the Documents Browser, tap the plus button at the top-left corner of the Titlebar and choose the Grid document style.

Focus on the right side of the Titlebar and tap the Settings icon. Go to the Canvas pane, set the Width and Height to 600 px, select Pixels for the base unit, and make sure that the Pixel-Align Strokes feature is disabled, for now. When this setting is enabled, stroked objects are offset slightly to ensure that the stroke is drawn aligned to the pixel grid which guarantees a crisp look.

Next, you need to setup the document grid. Tap again that Settings icon and switch to the Grid & Rulers pane. Make sure that the Snap to Grid feature is enabled and keep in mind that this is where you should come whenever you wish to enable or disable the grid or the Snap to Grid. Finally, open that Grid Settings pane, enter 5 px in both Spacing boxes and 0 lines in the Subdivisions box.

Step 2

Focus on the Toolbar and notice that by default the Fill color is set to white while the Line color is set to black. Tap the Fill color well and set its color to R=65 G=84 B=115 and then tap the Line color well. Drag the Alpha slider to 0% and this will simply make your line invisible.

Pick the Rounded Rectangle Tool, focus on the newly opened Tool Options pane and drag the Radius slider to 5. Move to yor canvas and simply create a 155 x 195 px shape - the grid and the Snap to Grid feature will ease your work.

Step 3

Set the Fill color to black (R=0 G=0 B=0) and pick the Rectangle Tool. Create a 5 x 195 px shape and place it exactly as shown in the first image.

Using the Move Tool, select this new rectangle along with that rounded rectangle and focus on the right side of the Titlebar. Simply tap that middle icon, go to the Combine pane and tap the Subtract button.

Step 4

Make sure that your shape stays selected, focus on the right side of your Titlebar and tap the leftmost icon. Go to the Effects pane and simply tap the existing Stroke. Set the Width to 1 pt, tap the Inside Alignment button and then tap the color well that stands for your Stroke. Replace the existing color with R=59 G=79 B=110 and make sure that the Alpha slider is set to 100%.

Step 5

Make sure that your shape stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects pane and simply check the box that stands for the existing Drop Shadow to activate it.

Enter 1 in the Y box and 0 in the other two boxes and then click the color well that stands for this effect. Replace the existing color with R=45 G=65 B=95 and make sure that the Alpha slider is set to 100%.

Step 6

Make sure that your shape stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects pane and add a second Drop Shadow using the plus button from the bottom, right corner of the pane.

Select this new effect, enter 2 in the Y box and 0 in the other two boxes and then click the color well. Set it to R=34 G=54 B=85 and drag the Alpha slider to 15%.

Step 7

Make sure that your shape stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects pane and add a third Drop Shadow using that same plus button. Select it and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 8

Using the Rectangle Tool, create a 145 x 185 px shape and place it as shown in the following image. Make sure that it stays selected and focus on the Effects pane.

Tap the color well that stands for the Fill and then tap the Gradient Fill and the Linear buttons. Set the angle to 0 degrees and then move to the gradient sliders. Tap the left one and set its color to R=245 G=245 B=242 and then tap the right one and set its color to R=235 G=235 B=232.

Return to the Effects pane, tap the cogweel icon that stands for one of those inactive effects and then go to Remove. This will simply delete your effect. Use the same technique to delete the rest of those inactive effects. It' not something that will change the look of your shape, but it will help you organise the effects to come.

Step 9

Make sure that your gradient filled rectangle stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects pane and add a Drop Shadow effect. Select it and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 10

Make sure that your gradient filled rectangle stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects pane and add a second Drop Shadow. Select it and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 11

Make sure that your gradient filled rectangle stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects pane and add a third Drop Shadow. Select it and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 12

Make sure that your gradient filled rectangle stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects pane and add an Inner Shadow effect. Select it and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 13

Make sure that your gradient filled rectangle stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects pane and add a second Inner Shadow. Select it and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 14

Make sure that your gradient filled rectangle stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects pane and add a third Inner Shadow. Select it and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 15

Make sure that your gradient filled rectangle stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects pane and add a fourth Inner Shadow. Select it and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 16

Make sure that your gradient filled rectangle stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects pane and add a fifth Inner Shadow. Select it and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 17

Make sure that your gradient filled rectangle stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects pane and add a sixth Inner Shadow. Select it and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 18

Move to your Toolbar, set the Fill color to R=65 G=85 B=115 and make sure that the Line is invisible. Pick the Rounded Rectangle Tool and set the Radius to 1.

Focus on the top, right corner of the existing shapes, create a 5 px rounded square and place it as shown in the first image. Make sure that this tiny shape stays selected, focus on the left side of your Titlebar and tap that paperclip icon to open the Edit pane. Use the Copy and Paste commands to duplicate your selection. Using the Move Tool, select the newly made copy and place it as shown in the second image. Once again, the grid and the Snap to Grid feature will ease your work.

Create a bunch of new copies and arrange them in a perfectly aligned column as shown in the second image. Pick the Path Selection Tool, focus on the newly opened Tool Options pane and activate the Add to Selection mode. This mode will allow you to easily select or add new shapes to an existing selection.

Move to your canvas, select all the rounded squares made in this step, go to the Combine pane and tap the Make Compound Path button. This will turn your selected shapes into a simple compound path that can be selected and moved much easier.

Step 19

Make sure that your compound path is still selected and focus on the Effects pane. Activate the existing Drop Shadow and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 20

Make sure that your compound path is still selected and keep focusing on the Effects pane. Activate the existing Inner Shadow and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 21

Using the Pen Tool or the Line Tool, create a 110 px, horizontal path and place it as shown in the following image. Tap and hold with a second finger while dragging to create a perfect line.

Make sure that this new path stays selected and focus on the Effect pane. Be sure that there is no color set for the Fill and then select the Stroke. Drag the Width slider to 1 pt and set the color to R=31 G=120 B=181.

Step 22

Now, if you choose to export your design as an image you will notice that your horizontal line looks pretty blurred. This simply happens because the stroke applies to that line is not perfectly aligned to the pixels grid. To fix this issue, just go back to the Canvas pane and enable that Pixel-Align Strokes feature. Nothing will change inside your Graphic document, but you'll be able to notice the difference when you export your design as an image.

Step 23

Duplicate your horizontal path and drag the copy 10 px down. Keep multiplying this path, make fifteen new copies and place them in a perfectly aligned column as shown in the first image. Make sure that you're always leaving a 10 px gap between these paths.

Once you're done, reselect the Path Selection Tool and activate that Add to Selection mode. Select all your horizontal paths, focus on the Combine pane and tap the Make Compound Path button. Make sure that this new compound path is selected, go to the Appearance pane and drag that Opacity slider to 30%.

Step 24

Using the Pen Tool or the Line Tool, create a 170 px, vertical path and place it as shown in the following image. Make sure that this path stays selected and focus on the Appearance pane. Drag the Opacity slider to 50%, make sure that there is no color set for the Fill and then focus on the Stroke. Set the Width to 1 pt and the color to R=255 G=85 B=84.

Step 25

Select all the shapes made so far, go to the Arrange pane and tap that Group button. Grouping these shapes will make it a lot easier for you to select and move them at once.

Make sure that your group is still selected, switch to the Rotate Tool and focus on that newly opened Tool Options pane. Set the Angle to 180 degrees and then tap that Copy button. This will simply create a horizontally flipped copy of your group.

Step 26

Now, you will need a grid every 1 px. This simply means that you need to return to the Grid and Rulers pane, open that Grid Settings pane and enter 1 px in both Spacing boxes. Make sure that only your flipped group is selected and drag it to the right as shown in the following image. Tap and hold with a second finger while dragging to easily move your selection on only one axis (horizontally or vertically). Leave a 3 px gap between your two groups - once again, the grid and the Snap to Grid feature will ease your work.

With your flipped group still selected, go to the Arrange pane and this time tap the Ungroup button. Keep focusing on these shapes, select only that gradient filled rectangle and go to the Effects pane. Select the existing Inner Shadow effects one by one and simply inverse the X Offset attributes.

Step 27

Go to your Toolbar, make sure that the Line is invisible and set the Fill color to R=169 G=198 B=217.

Using the Rectangle Tool, create a 600 px square and make sure that it covers your entire canvas. Go to the Arrange pane and drag the Order slider to the left to send your square in the back.

Step 28

Go to your Toolbar, make sure that the Line is still invisible and set the Fill color to R=45 G=45 B=50.

Focus on your top rounded squares and pick the Rounded Rectangle Tool. Create a 21 x 1 px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Duplicate this thin , rounded rectangle, select the copy and place it 2 px below the original one. Pick the Path Selection Tool, make sure that the Add to Selection mode is active, seelct both shapes made in this step and simply turn them into a new compound path.

Select this new compound path, make a copy and place it 10 px below the original one. Create a bunch of new copies and place them in a perfectly aligned column as shown in the third image. Once you're done, reselect the Path Selection Tool and be sure that the Add to Selection mode is still active. Select all compound paths made in this step and turn them into one compound path.

Step 29

Make sure that the compound path made in the previous step is still selected and focus on the Effects pane. Activate the Drop Shadow effect and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Finished Design

Congratulations, you've finished the tutorial!

Hope you've enjoyed learning some of the techniques and processes presented in these steps. As always, feel free to adjust the final design and make it your own.

Graphic File: flatnotebook.idraw