Create a Set of Flat Weather Icons

In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a set of flat weather icons in Graphic for Mac.

For starters you will learn how to setup a simple grid and how to create a cloud shape using basic tools and vector shapes building techniques.Taking full advantage of the Snap to Grid feature and using some simple stroke techniques, you will learn to create most of the icons.

Finally, you will learn how to create a flat background, how to center it and how to add a subtle shadow to your icons.

Step 1

Go to File > New (Command + N) to bring up the New Document window. Select the Grid document style, set the document units to pixels, and set the document dimensions to 600 pixels wide by 740 pixels high.

Next, we'll set up the document grid. Switch to the Grid pane in the Properties panel. If the Properties panel is not currently visible, you can easily open it using the ruler icon that lies above the Layers panel. Change the grid X Spacing and Y Spacing to 5, set the Subdivisions to 0 and enable Snap to Grid (Command + Shift + ').

Keep in mind that you can quickly enable or disable the grid and the Snap to Grid feature using the Command + ' and Command + Shift + ' keyboard shortcuts.

Step 2

Focus on the Toolbar and notice that by default the fill color is set to white while the stroke color is set to black. Click the Fill color well and set it to R=74 G=196 B=237 and then click the Stroke color well. Drag the Alpha slider to 0% and this will simply make your Stroke invisible.

Pick the Ellipse Tool (O), move to your canvas and create a 40 px circle - the grid and the Snap to Grid feature will ease your work.

Step 3

Replace the existing Fill color with R=225 G=200 B=0, make sure that the Ellipse Tool (O) is still active, create a 60 px circle and place it as shown in the first image.

Replace that yellow from the Fill color with R=44 G=164 B=15, create a 30 px circle and place it as shown in the second image.

Switch to the Rectangle Tool (M) and set the Fill color to black (R=0 G=0 B=0). Create a 60 x 20 px rectangle and place it as shown in the third image.

Step 4

Using the Move Tool (V), select all the shapes made so far, focus on the Path Tools pane from the Properties panel and simply click that Union button. You should end up with a simple, blue shape like the one shown in the second image.

Make sure that your cloud icons is selected and duplicate it (Command + C > Command + V). Select the copy, drag it down and place it roughly as shown in the second image.

Step 5

Return to your Toolbar, this time make sure that the Fill is invisible and then set the Stroke color to black (R=0 G=0 B=0).

Focus on your bottom cloud shape and pick the Ellipse Tool (O). Create a 40 px circle and place it as shown in the following image. Make sure that this new shape stays selected and focus on the Effects pane from the Appearance panel. If the Appearance panel is not currently visible, you can easily open it using the leftmost icon that lies above the Layers panel. Select the Stroke, drag that Width slider to 6 pt and set the Position to Inside.

Step 6

Pick the Pen Tool (P) or the Line Tool (L), create a 10 px, vertical path and place it as shown in the following image. Make sure that this new path stays selected and focus on the Stroke pane from the Appearance panel. Drag Line Weight slider to 6 pt and don't forget to check that Round Cap button.

Step 7

Make sure that your vertical path is still selected, pick the Rotate Tool (R) and you will notice a small cross icon in the center of your selection, that's the reference point. Simply drag it in the center of that circle and then focus on the Tool Options bar. Set the Angle to 45 degrees and then hit that Copy button seven times. In the end things should look like in the second image.

Step 8

Select the black shapes that make up your sun and duplicate them (Command + C > Command + V). Select these copies, place them about as shown in the first image and then go to the Path Tools pane from the Properties panel. First, click the Outline Stroke button and then click that Make Compound Path button. The resulting compound path will be your first icon.

Step 9

Select the original black shapes, and go back to the Path Tools pane from the Properties panel. Again, click the Outline Stroke button and the Make Compound Path button.

Step 10

Select the blue cloud that lies behind your black compound path and add a copy in the same place (Command + C > Command + Shift + V). Select this copy along with the black compound path that lies behind it, go to the Path Tools pane from the Properties panel and click that Subtract button. Select the tiny, black shape highlighted in the third image and simply remove it using the Delete key.

Step 11

Reselect your blue cloud, make the Fill invisible and then focus on the Stroke pane from the Appearance panel. Set the color to black, drag the Line Weight slider to 6 pt, set the Position to Inside and check that Round Join button.

Step 12

Reselect your cloud shape, go to the Path Tools pane and click the Outline Stroke button. Select the resulting path along with the set of shapes that make up that half of a sun and return to the Path Tools pane. Start by clicking the Union button and then move to the bottom of the pane and click that Make Compound Path button. The resulting compound path will be your second icon.

Step 13

Select the remaining cloud shape, make the Fill invisible and focus on the Stroke pane. Set the color to black, drag the Line Weight slider to 6 pt, set the Position to Inside and check the Round Join button. Make sure that this shape stays selected, focus on the Path Tools pane from the Properties panel and click that Outline Stroke button. The resulting compound path will be your third icon.

Duplicate this third icon (Command + C > Command + V), select the copy, drag it to the right and place it roughly as shown in the following image.

Step 14

Return to your Toolbar, make sure that the Fill is invisible and then set the Stroke color to R=74 G=195 B=237. Focus on your right cloud shape and pick the Pen Tool (P) or the Line Tool (L).

Create a 30 px, vertical path and place it as shown in the first image. Select this tiny, new path and focus on the Stroke pane. Drag Line Weight slider to 6 pt and check the Round Cap button. Switch to the Rotate Tool (R) and focus on your Tool Options bar. Set the Angle to -25 degrees and simply click that Rotate button. In the end things should look like in the second image.

Step 15

Reselect the oblique path made in the previous step, right click anywhere on your canvas and go to Copy Style.

Reselect the Pen Tool (P) or the Line Tool (L), create a 20 px, vertical path and place it as shown in the first image. Make sure that this new path stays selected, right click anywhere on your canvas and this time go to Paste Style. This will simply copy the attributes from your first oblique path and paste them unto the path made in this step.

With your vertical path still selected, pick the Rotate Tool (R) and move to the Tool Options bar. Set the Angle to -25 degrees and click that Rotate button.

Reselect the Pen Tool (P) or the Line Tool (L), create a 25 px, vertical path and place it as shown in the third image. Make sure that it stays selected, use again the Paste Style command and then rotate it -25 degrees.

Step 16

Reselect the three, oblique paths and focus on the Path Tools pane. First, click the Outline Stroke button and then move to the bottom of the pane and click that Make Compound Path button.

Step 17

Make sure that your blue compound path is still selected and add a copy in the same place (Command + C > Command + Shift + V). Select this copy and focus on the Effects pane.

Make the Fill invisible and then select the Stroke. Drag the Width slider to 4 pt, set the Position to Outside and then click the color well that stands for your Stroke. Drag the Alpha slider to 100% and set the color to R=153 G=0 B=0.

Make sure that your red shape stays selected, move to the Path Tools pane and simply click that Outline Stroke button.

Step 18

Select your red compound path along with the black shape that lies behind it, focus on the Path Tools pane and click that Subtract button.

Step 19

Using the Move Tool (V), select all the shapes highlighted in the first image and go to the Path Tools pane. First, click the Union button and then move to the bottom of the pane and click that Make Compound Path button. The resulting compound path will be your fourth icon.

Step 20

Duplicate your cloud shape (Command + C > Command + V), select the copy, drag it down and place it roughly as shown in the following image.

Step 21

Return to your Toolbar, make sure that the Stroke is invisible and then set the Fill color to R=74 G=186 B=237.

Focus on the cloud shape copy made in the previous step and pick the Rounded Rectangle Tool (Shift + M). Move to the Tool Options bar and drag that Corner Radius slider to 3 pt. Create a 5 x 25 px rounded rectangle and place it as shown in the first image. Make sure that this new shape stays selected and switch to the Rotate Tool (R). Return to the Tool Options bar, set the Angle to 45 degrees and then click that Copy button three times.

Step 22

Select the four rounded rectangles made in the previous step, go to the Path Tools pane and click the Union button. Duplicate the resulting shape (Command + C > Command + V), select the copy and place it as shown in the second image. Reselect both shapes made in this step, return to the Path Tools pane and click that Make Compound Path button.

Step 23

Make sure that your blue compound path is still selected and make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + Shift + V). Select this copy and focus on the Effects pane.

Make the Fill invisible and then select the Stroke. Drag the Width slider to 4 pt, set the Position to Outside and then click the color well that stands for this Stroke. Drag the Alpha slider to 100% and replace the existing color with R=153 G=0 B=0.

Make sure that your red shape stays selected, move to the Path Tools pane and simply click that Outline Stroke button.

Step 24

Reselect your red compound path along with the black shape that lies behind it, go to the Path Tools pane and click the Subtract button.

Step 25

Using the Move Tool (V), select all the shapes highlighted in the first image and go to the Path Tools pane. First, click the Union button and then move to the bottom of the pane and click that Make Compound Path button. The resulting compound path will be your fourth icon.

Step 26

Make a new copy of your cloud shape (Command + C > Command + V) and place it below your sun icon roughly as shown in the following image.

Step 27

Return to your Toolbar, make sure that the Stroke is invisible and then set the Fill color to R=74 G=186 B=237.

Keep your eyes on the cloud shape copy made in the previous step and pick the Rectangle Tool (M). Create a 15 x 5 px shape, place it as shown in the first image and make sure that it stays selected. Switch to the Pen Tool (P), focus on your Tool Options bar and activate the Add Points mode. Keep focusing on your tiny, blue rectangle and add two anchor points simply by clicking in the highlighted spots.

Step 28

Keep focusing on your blue rectangle and switch to the Path Selection Tool (A). Select the top, left anchor point and drag it 15 px up and 15 px to the right. Move to the bottom, right anchor point and drag it 15 px down and 15 px to the left. In the end your blue shape should look like in the second image.

Make sure that it stays selected and focus on the Stroke pane. Drag the Line Weight to 6 pt, check the Round Join button and add the same color used for the Fill.

Step 29

Make sure that your blue shape is still selected, focus on the Path Tools pane and click the Outline Stroke button. Hit Command + Shift + G to Ungroup the resulting group of shapes and then click the Union button from that same Path Tools pane.

Step 30

Make sure that your blue shape is still selected and make a copy in front (Command + C > Command + Shift + V). Select this copy and focus on the Effects pane.

Make the Fill invisible and then move to the Stroke pane. Drag the Width slider to 4 pt, set the Position to Outside, check the Round Cap and the Round Join buttons and then click the color well. Drag the Alpha slider to 100% and replace the existing color with R=153 G=0 B=0.

Make sure that your red shape stays selected, move to the Path Tools pane and simply click that Outline Stroke button.

Step 31

Reselect your red compound path along with the black shape that lies behind it, go to the Path Tools pane and click the Subtract button.

Step 32

Using the Move Tool (V), select all the shapes highlighted in the first image and go to the Path Tools pane. First, click the Union button and then move to the bottom of the pane and click that Make Compound Path button. The resulting compound path will be your final icon.

Step 33

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 600 x 740 px shape and set its Fill color to R=74 G=196 B=237. Make sure that this rectangle stays selected, send it to back (Shift + Command + [ ) then focus on the Alignment pane from the Properties panel. Simply click the Horizontal Centers and Vertical Centers buttons to quickly center your rectangle.

Step 34

Reselect all your icon shapes, focus on the Effects pane and simply replace the existing Fill color with white (R=255 G=255 B=255).

Step 35

Make sure that all your icons are still selected, keep focusing on the Effects pane and simply check the box that stands for the existing Drop Shadow effect to activate it.

Enter 2 pt in the Y box and 0 in the other two boxes, set the Blend Mode to Soft Light and then click the color well that stands for this effect. Drag the Alpha slider to 50% and be sure that the color is set to black.

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: weathericons.idraw