Create a Small Notebook Icon

In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a small notebook icon in Graphic for Mac.

For starters you will learn how to setup a simple grid and how to create the main shapes using basic tools and vector shape building techniques. Next, you will learn two techniques that can be used to perfectly align your shapes and paths to the pixel grid.

Taking full advantage of the Effects pane, you will learn how to add smooth shading and sleek highlights for your objects. Finally, you will learn how to add and adjust linear or radial gradients.

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 600 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 Rounded Rectangle Tool (Shift + M), focus on your Tool Options bar and set the Corner Radius to 5 pt. Move to your canvas and create a 130 x 130 px shape- the grid and the Snap to Grid feature will ease your work.

Make sure that this blue shape stays selected and go to the Alignment pane from the Properties panel. Simply click the Horizontal Centers and Vertical Centers buttons which will bring your rounded square in the center of the canvas.

Step 3

Make sure that your blue shape is still selected and add a copy in the same place (Command + C > Command + Shift + V). Deselect this new shape, return to your Toolbar and simply replace the existing Fill color with R=1 G=173 B=14.

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 130 x 100 px shape and place it exactly as shown in the first image - once again, the grid and the Snap to Grid feature will come in handy. Using the Move Tool (V) and the Shift key, select the copy of your blue shape along with the green rectangle.

Go to the Path Tools pane from the Properties panel and simply click that Intersect button. Make sure that the resulting shape stays selected and move to 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.

Step 4

Click the existing Fill, select Linear Gradient from the Type drop-down menu, set the Angle to 90 degrees and then move to the gradient color stops.

Select the left one and set its color to R=255 G=240 B=190 and then select the right one and se its color to R=235 G=210 B=160. Keep focusing on this linear gradient and simply click on the gradient bar to add a new gradient color stop. Select it, set the color to R=255 G=230 B=180 and drag it to the left until the Location tooltip shows 10%. Using the same technique add a fourth gradient slider, set its color to R=255 G=220 B=170 and drag it to 60%.

Step 5

Make sure that your gradient filled shape stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects pane from the Appearance panel and add a second Fill using the plus button from the bottom, left corner of the pane.

Make sure that your new Fill lies below the existing one and select it. Change the Type to Linear Gradient and the Blend to Multiply, set the Angle to 90 degrees and then focus on the gradient sliders. Select the left one, move it to 80%, set the color to R=255 G=230 B=180 and drag that Alpha slider to 0%. Move to the other gradient slider, set the color to R=124 G=99 B=49 and drag that Alpha slider to 40%.

Step 6

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

Enter -1 in the Y box and 0 in the other two boxes, change the Blend Mode to Soft Light and then click the color well that stands for your effect. Replace the existing color with R=255 G=255 B=255 (white) and drag that Alpha slider to 80%.

Step 7

Now, you will need a grid every 1 px. This simply means that you need to return to the Grid pane from the Properties panel and enter 1 px in both Spacing boxes.

Go to your Toolbar and set the Fill color to black (R=0 G=0 B=0). Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 130 x 1 px shape and place it exactly as shown in the following image.

Add eight copies of this thin shape and make sure that all the copies are perfectly aligned. The easiest way to add these copies would be to click and drag your selection while holding the Option and Shift keys.
Once you're done, select the bottom copy. Drag it to the bottom and place it exactly as shown in the second image.

Step 8

Using the Move Tool (V) and the Shift key, select all your thin, black shapes and simply go to Arrange > Distribute > Vertically. This should add an even amount of shapes between your selected rectangles.

Step 9

Make sure that your thin rectangles are still selected, go to the Path Tools pane from the Properties panel and click the Make Compound Path command. This will unite your black shapes into one compound path that can be selected, moved or edited way easier.

Move to the Effects pane, change the Blend to Soft Light and drag that Opacity slider to 70%.

Step 10

Return to your Toolbar, make sure that the Stroke is still invisible and set the Fill color to R=253 G=91 B=91.

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 1 x 100 px shape and place it exactly as shown in the following image.

Step 11

Make sure that your red shape is still selected, go to the Effects pane and drag that Opacity slider to 30%.

Step 12

Now, you will need a grid every 5 px. Return to the Grid pane from the Properties panel and enter 5 px in both Spacing boxes.

Get back to your Toolbar, make sure that the Stroke is invisible and set the Fill color to R=255 G=200 B=0.

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 130 x 30 px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Select this yellow rectangle along with the blue, rounded square that lies in the back, go to the Path Tools pane from the Properties panel and click the Intersect command. Make sure that the resulting shape stays selected and move to the Effects pane.

Step 13

Select the Fill, set the Type to Linear Gradient and the Angle to 90 degrees and then move to the gradient color stops. Select the left one and set its color to R=180 G=115 B=57 and then select the right one and se its color to R=210 G=145 B=87. Keep focusing on this linear gradient and simply add another two gradient color stops. Select the left one, set the color to R=150 G=85 B=27 then drag it to the left until the Location tooltip shows 10%. Select the other new color stop, set the color to R=180 G=115 B=57 then drag it to the right until the Location tooltip shows 90%.

Step 14

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

Enter 3 in the Y box and 0 in the other two boxes, change the Blend Mode to Soft Light and then click the color well that stands for this effect. Make sure that the color is set to black and drag that Alpha slider to 15%.

Step 15

Make sure that your brown shape stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects pane and add a second Drop Shadow using that same plus button. Select this new Drop Shadow, make sure that it lies below the existing effect and then enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 16

Make sure that your brown shape stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects pane and add a third Drop Shadow. Make sure that this new effect lies below the other two Drop Shadows and then enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 17

Make sure that your brown shape stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects pane and activate the existing Inner Shadow. Enter 1 in the Y box and 0 in the other two boxes, select Overlay from the Blend Mode drop-down menu and then click the color well that stands for this effect. Set the color to white and drag that Alpha slider to 20%.

Step 18

Make sure that your brown shape stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects pane and add a second Inner Shadow. Make sure that it lies below the active effects and then enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 19

Make sure that your brown shape stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects pane and add a third Inner Shadow. Make sure that it lies below the active effects and then enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 20

Make sure that your brown shape stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects pane and add a fourth Inner Shadow. Make sure that it lies below the active effects and then enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 21

Make sure that your brown shape stays selected and keep focusing on the Effects pane. You must add a new Inner Shadow, but first you need to remove one of those inactive effects because you've reached the limit of twelve effects, strokes and fills for one shape.

Simply right click that Outer Glow effect and then go to Remove. Now, you can add that fifth Inner Shadow effect. Make sure that it lies below the other active effects and then enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 22

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 600 px square and go to the Effects pane. Focus on the Fill, select Radial Gradient from the Type drop-down menu, set the Angle to 0 degrees adn then move to the gradient color stops. Select the left one and set its color to R=75 G=195 B=238 and then select the right one and se its color to R=4 G=126 B=167.

Make sure that your square stays selected and move to the Alignment pane from the Properties panel. Simply click the Horizontal Centers and Vertical Centers buttons to bring your square in the center of the canvas. Finally, send your square to back using the Shift + Command + [ keyboard shortcut.

Step 23

Focus on your Toolbar, make sure that the Stroke is invisible and set the Fill color to R=255 G=225 B=175. Pick the Rounded Rectangle Tool (Shift + M), move to your Tool Options bar and make sure that the Corner Radius is set to 5 pt.

Create a 130 px rounded square and bring it in the center of your canvas using the same Horizontal Centers and Vertical Centers buttons from the Alignment pane.

Step 24

Focus on the Layers panel and expand the existing layer. Select the rounded rectangle made in the previous step and simply drag it in the bottom of the layer, right above the square that makes up your background.

Make sure that your rounded square stays selected and focus on the Effects pane. Activate the existing Drop Shadow effect and enter the attribute shown below.

Step 25

Make sure that your rounded square stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects pane and add a second Drop Shadow. Select this new effect and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 26

Make sure that your rounded square stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects pane and add a third Drop Shadow. Select this new effect and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 27

Make sure that your rounded square stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects pane and add a fourth Drop Shadow. Select this new effect and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 28

Make sure that your rounded square stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects pane and add a fifth Drop Shadow. Select this new effect and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 29

Make sure that your rounded square stays selected, keep focusing on the Effects pane and add a sixth Drop Shadow. Select this new effect and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 30

Make sure that your rounded square stays selected and keep focusing on the Effects pane. Remove that inactive Inner Shadow effect and then add a seventh Drop Shadow. Select it and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 31

Make sure that your rounded square stays selected and keep focusing on the Effects pane. Remove that inactive Outer Glow effect and then add an eighth Drop Shadow. Select it and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 32

Make sure that your rounded square stays selected and keep focusing on the Effects pane. Remove that inactive Inner Glow effect and then add one final Drop Shadow. Select it 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: NotebookIcon.idraw