How to create a post box illustration in adobe illustrator

GFX9.COM share How to create a post box illustration in adobe illustrator, you can download now.



Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In the following steps you will learn how to create a detailed post box illustration in Adobe Illustrator. For starters you will learn how to set up a simple grid using the grid and the Snap to Grid feature along with basic tools and vector shape building techniques. Next, you will learn how to add color, shading and highlights for your shapes using linear and radial gradients, a bunch of effects, and some blending techniques. Finally, you will learn how to add a subtle shadow for your post box, a simple background and some envelopes.

1. Create a New Document and Set Up a Grid

Hit Control-N to create a new document. Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, enter 600 in the width and height boxes, and then click on the Advanced button. Select RGB, Screen (72ppi), and make sure that the Align New Objects to Pixel Grid box is unchecked before you click OK.

Enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). For starters you will need a grid every 5 px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides > Grid, and enter 5 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box. Try not to get discouraged by all that grid—it will make your work easier, and keep in mind that you can easily enable or disable it using the Control-" keyboard shortcut.

You should also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shapes. Do not forget to set the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Units > General. All these options will significantly increase your work speed.

setup grid

2. Create the Starting Shapes

Step 1

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and focus on your Toolbar. Remove the color from the stroke, and then select the fill and set its color to R=204 G=12 B=11. Move to your artboard and simply create a 135 x 150 px shape—the Snap to Grid should make your work easier.

create circle

Step 2

Return to your Toolbar, replace the existing fill color with a random orange and pick the Rectangle Tool (M). Create a 115 x 30 px and a 135 x 75 px shape and then place them exactly as shown in the following image.

create rectangles

Step 3

Select the three shapes made so far, open the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder) and click the Minus Front button. In the end your red shape should look like in the second image.

slice circle

Step 4

Focus on the top side of your shape and pick the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select both anchor points, focus on the top bar and simply enter 15 px in that Corners box.

This feature is only available for CC users. The best solution to replace this effect would be the Round Any Corner script that can found in this article: 20 Free and Useful Adobe Illustrator Scripts. Save it to your hard drive, return to Illustrator and grab the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select the same anchor points and go to File > Scripts > Other Script. Open the Round Any Corner Script, enter a 15 px radius and click OK. The end result might look a bit different, but it's really not that noticeable. Feel free to try a different value for the radius. In some cases you will have to increase/decrease the value mentioned in that Corners box.

rounded coners

Step 5

Return to your Toolbar, replace the existing fill color with R=204 G=12 B=11 and pick the Rectangle Tool (M). Create a 135 x 155 px shape and place it exactly as shown in the first image. Using the same tool, create two 10 x 50 px shapes and place them as shown in the second image.

rectangles

Step 6

Reselect all the shapes made so far, return to the Pathfinder panel and click the Unite button. In the end your shape should look like in the second image.

unite

Step 7

Disable the Snap to Grid (Shift-Control-") and then go to Edit > Preferences > General and set the Keyboard Increment to 5 px.

Make sure that your red shape is selected and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and hit the left arrow button from your keyboard twice to move your shape 10 px to the left. Reselect both copies made in this step, move to the Pathfinder panel and click the Minus Front button.

Make sure that the resulting group of shapes is selected, replace the existing fill color with a simple blue (R=39 G=170 B=225) and then use the Shift-Control-G keyboard shortcut to Ungroup this fresh group. Now, select only the tinier blue shape and get rid of it using the Delete button from your keyboard. In the end things should look like in the third image.

right blue shape

Step 8

Make sure that your red shape is selected and make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select this new copy and move it 10 px to the right using the right arrow button from your keyboard. Reselect both red shapes, move to the Pathfinder panel and click the Minus Front button.

Make sure that the resulting group of shapes is selected, replace the existing fill color with that same blue (R=39 G=170 B=225) and then use the Shift-Control-G keyboard shortcut to Ungroup your fresh group. Again, get rid of that tinier blue shape, and in the end things should look like in the third image.

left blue shape

Step 9

Reselect both blue shapes and make copies in front (Control-C > Control-F). Select only the copies, replace the existing fill color with a simple grey (R=188 G=190 B=192) and then hit Control-8 to turn these two shapes into a simple compound path.

grey compound path

3. Create the Dent and the Handle

Step 1

Enable the Snap to Grid (Control-').

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 115 x 45 px shape, set the fill color to R=0 G=148 B=68 and place it as shown in the first image. Select your grey compound path, make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F) and bring it to front (Shift-Control-]). Select this copy along with your green rectangle, and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Make sure that the resulting shape stays selected and simply replace the existing fill color with the linear gradient shown in the following image. Keep in mind that the blue number from that Gradient image stands for Location percentage.

main dent shape

Step 2

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 115 x 10 px shape, place it as shown in the first image and fill it with the linear gradient shown below. Focus on the top side of this new rectangle and switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select the left anchor point and drag it 10 px to the right, and then select the right anchor point and drag it 10 px to the left. In the end your rectangle should turn into a trapezoid as shown in the second image.

trapezoid

Step 3

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 10 x 45 px shape, set the fill color to R=247 G=148 B=30 and place it as shown in the first image. Focus on the bottom side of this new rectangle and grab the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select the left anchor point and simply drag it 10 px up as shown in the second image.

orange shape

Step 4

Reselect your bigger red shape and make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F). Select it along with your orange shape and click the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Focus on the top side of the resulting shape, switch to the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-) and simply click on the anchor point highlighted in the second image to remove it. In the end things should look like in the third image.

adjust orange shape

Step 5

Make sure that your orange shape is still selected, replace the existing fill color with the linear gradient shown in the following image and then make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F). Select this copy, drag it to the left and place it as shown in the second image. Make sure that this copy stays selected and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check the Vertical box and then click the OK button. In the end things should look like in the third image.

edit and multiply orange shape

Step 6

For this step you will need a grid every 1 px, so go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box.

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a two 7 px circles, set their fill color to R=134 G=2 B=1 and make sure that you're placing them as shown in the first image.

Switch to the Rectangle Tool (M), create two 5 x 7 px shapes, pick a random blue for the fill color and place them as shown in the second image. Make sure that both rectangles remain selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 2.5 px Radius and click OK.

Reselect the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 25 x 5 px shape, place it as shown in the third image and use that same blue for the fill color. Make sure that this new rectangle is selected and simply hit Shift-Control-X (or go to Effect > Apply Last Effect) to add that same Rounded Corners effect applied for the previous blue shapes.

handle main shapes

Step 7

Reselect your three blue rectangles and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Make sure that the resulting shapes are selected and click the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel.

handle highlight

Step 8

Disable the Snap to Grid (Shift-Control-") and then go to Edit > Preferences > General and set the Keyboard Increment at 1 px.

Make sure that your blue shape is still selected and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 1 px up using the up arrow button from your keyboard. Reselect both shapes made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Select the resulting shape and simply replace the existing fill color with R=134 G=2 B=1.

handle highlight

Step 9

Make sure that your blue shape is selected and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -1 px Offset and click OK. Duplicate the resulting shape (Control-C > Control-F), select the copy and move it 1 px up using that same up arrow button from your keyboard. Reselect both shapes made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Make sure that the resulting shape stays selected and open the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance). Replace the existing fill color with a simple white (R=255 G=255 B=255) and then click that "Opacity" piece of text to open the Transparency fly-out panel. Change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and lower the Opacity to 30%.

ABCD

Step 10

Make sure that your blue shape stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. First, select the fill and replace the existing color with R=154 G=2 B=1. Move to the stroke, set the color to R=144 G=2 B=1, align it to inside and make sure that the Weight is set at 1 px.

Keep focusing on the Appearance panel, make sure that the entire path is selected (simply click that "Path" piece of text from the top of the panel) and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the attributes shown in the left window, click OK and then add the other two Drop Shadow effects indicated in the following image.

handle shading

Step 11

Reselect all the shapes that make up your handles and simply hit Control-G to Group them. Make sure that this new group is selected and place it roughly as shown in the second image.

handle position

Step 12

Reselect your biggest red shape, make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F) and bring it to front (Shift-Control-]). Make sure that this copy stays selected, lower its Opacity to 50%, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and then replace the existing linear gradient with the radial gradient shown in the second image. Keep in mind that the yellow zero from the Gradient image stands for Opacity percentage.

dent shading

4. Create the Top Side

Step 1

Enable the Snap to Grid (Control-'). Return to gridline every 5 px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 5 in the Gridline every box.

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 115 x 10 px shape, set the fill color to R=247 G=148 B=30 and place it as shown in the first image. Select your grey compound path, make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F) and bring it to front (Shift-Control-]). Select this copy along with your orange rectangle and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Ungroup (Shift-Control-G) the resulting group, get rid of the tiny orange shapes and keep the large one.

top side

Step 2

Disable the Snap to Grid (Control-').

Make sure that your orange shape is selected, make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F), move it 1 px up and then duplicate it (Control-C > Control-F). Select this new copy and move it 1 px up. Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown below and lower its Opacity to 15%. Remember that the blue numbers from the Gradient image stand for Location percentage while the yellow ones stand for Opacity percentage.

top side highlight

Step 3

Make sure that your orange shape is selected and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 1 px up. Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black (R=0 G=0 B=0), lower its Opacity to 50% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

top side shading

Step 4

Make sure that your orange shape is selected and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 1 px to the left. Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower its Opacity to 40% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

top side shading

Step 5

Make sure that your orange shape is selected and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 1 px to the right. Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower its Opacity to 40% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

top side shading

Step 6

Reselect your orange shape, focus on the Appearance panel and simply replace the existing fill color with the linear gradient shown in the following image.

top side color

5. Create the Main Body Shapes

Step 1

Enable the Snap to Grid (Control-').

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 115 x 100 px blue (R=28 G=117 B=188) shape and place it as shown in the first image. Using the same tool, create a 115 x 45 px orange (R=247 G=148 B=30) shape and place it as shown in the second image. Finally, create a 115 x 5 px green (R=0 G=148 B=68) shape and place it exactly as shown in the third image.

body shapes

Step 2

Switch to gridline every 1 px, so go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box.

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create two 115 x 1 px black shapes and place them right below your green and orange rectangles as shown in the following image.

body shading

Step 3

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create two 1 x 145 px black shapes and place them as shown in the following image.

body shading

Step 4

Reselect all four thin black rectangles and click the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Make sure that this new shape stays selected, lower its Opacity to 20% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

body shading

Step 5

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 113 x 1 px white shape and place it as shown in the following image. Make sure that this new rectangle stays selected, lower its Opacity to 30% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

body highlight

Step 6

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 115 x 1 px white shape and place it as shown in the following image. Make sure that this new rectangle stays selected and lower its Opacity to 10%.

body highlight

Step 7

Return to gridline every 5 px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 5 in the Gridline every box. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 115 x 5 px black shape and place it as shown in the following image. Make sure that this new rectangle stays selected, lower its Opacity to 15% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

body shading

Step 8

Select your blue rectangle, focus on the Appearance panel and simply replace the blue with R=194 G=2 B=1.

body color

Step 9

Select your orange rectangle, focus on the Appearance panel and simply replace the orange with the linear gradient shown in the following image.

body color

Step 10

Select your green rectangle, focus on the Appearance panel and simply replace the green with the linear gradient shown in the following image.

body color

6. Add Some Text

Step 1

Pick the Type Tool (T) and open the Character panel (Window > Type > Character). Select the Calibri font, make it Bold and set the size at 20 px. Simply click on your artboard, add the "MAIL" piece of text, set its color to R=179 G=2 B=1 and then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the attributes shown in the left window (in the following image), click OK and then add the other Drop Shadow effect indicated in the following image.

text

Step 2

Make sure that the Type Tool (T) is still active, focus on the Character panel and decrease the font size to 6 px. Simply click on your artboard, add the "Collection Time 5:30 pm" text, set its color at R=164 G=2 B=1 and then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click OK.

text

7. Add Color, Shading and Highlights for the Right Leg

Step 1

Select your grey compound path and simply remove it using the Delete button from your keyboard. Disable the Snap to Grid (Control-').

Make sure that your right-hand blue shape is selected and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 1 px to the left. Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower its Opacity to 25% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

leg shading

Step 2

Make sure that your right-hand blue shape is selected and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 2 px to the left. Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower its Opacity to 20% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

leg shading

Step 3

Make sure that your right-hand blue shape is selected and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 3 px to the left. Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower its Opacity to 15% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

leg shading

Step 4

Make sure that your right-hand blue shape is selected and make two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 1 px to the right. Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with the linear gradient shown in the following image and change its Blending Mode to Soft Light.

leg highlight

Step 5

Make sure that your right-hand blue shape is selected, make a copy in front (Control-C > Control-F), move it 1 px to the right and then duplicate it (Control-C > Control-F). Select this fresh copy and move it 1 px to the right. Reselect both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower its Opacity to 15% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

leg shading

Step 6

Select your right-hand blue shape, focus on the Appearance panel and simply replace the blue with the linear gradient shown in the following image.

leg color

8. Create Several Bolts

Step 1

Enable the Snap to Grid (Control-'). Switch to gridline every 1 px, so go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box.

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 3 px blue (R=39 G=170 B=225) circle and place it as shown in the first image. Duplicate (Control-C > Control-F) this tiny circle and make sure that the Ellipse Tool (L) remains active. Create a 2 px white circle and place it as shown in the second image. Select this new circle along with that blue copy and click the Intersect button from the Pathfinder panel. Make sure that the resulting shape stays selected, lower its Opacity to 70% and change the Blending Mode to Overlay.

bolt

Step 2

Reselect your blue circle, replace the existing fill color with the radial gradient shown below, and then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and click OK.

bolt color

Step 3

Reselect the two shapes that make up your tiny bolt and Group them (Control-G). Multiply this new group (Control-C > Control-F) and spread the copies as shown in the second image.

multiply bolt

9. Create the Other Three Legs

Step 1

Reselect the groups that make up the bolts along with all the shapes that make up the right leg of your post box and simply Group them (Control-G). Make sure that this new group stays selected and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Drag the Move-Horizontal slider to -103 px, check the Reflect X box and enter 1 in the Copies box, and then click the OK button.

left leg

Step 2

Return to gridline every 5 px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 5 in the Gridline every box.

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 10 x 35 px shape, fill it with the linear gradient shown below and place it as shown in the first image. Using the same tool, create a 5 x 35 px black shape and place it as shown in the second image. Make sure that this new rectangle stays selected, lower its Opacity to 20% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

back leg

Step 3

Reselect the two rectangles that make up the back leg and Group them (Control-G). Make sure that this new group stays selected and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Drag the Move-Horizontal slider to -95 px, check the Reflect X box and enter 1 in the Copies box, and then click the OK button.

back leg

10. Create the Lock

Step 1

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 5 px circle, set the fill color to R=66 G=68 B=81 and place it as shown in the following image. Make sure that this tiny new shape stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. First, select the existing fill and add the two Drop Shadow effects shown in the following image. Next, select the stroke, set the color to black, align it to outside and then lower its Opacity to 30% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

lock

Step 2

Switch to gridline every 1 px, so go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 1 x 3 px shape, set the fill color to R=46 G=48 B=61 and place it as shown in the following image.

lock

11. Add Subtle Shading and a Simple Background

Step 1

Return to gridline every 5 px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 5 in the Gridline every box.

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 10 x 15 px shape, place it as shown in the first image and pick a random orange for the fill color. Focus on the top side of this new rectangle and pick the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select both anchor points and simply drag them 10 px to the left.

long shadow

Step 2

Make sure that your orange shape is still selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Replace the existing fill color with the linear gradient shown in the following image, lower its Opacity to 20% and then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 3 px Radius and click OK.

long shadow

Step 3

Switch to gridline every 1 px, so go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box.

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 10 x 1 px black shape, lower its Opacity to 15% and place it as shown in the first image. Select this new, thin rectangle along with the blurred shape and Group them (Control-G). Make sure that this new group is selected and simply send it to back using the Shift-Control-[ keyboard shortcut.

subtle shadow

Step 4

Make sure that the group made in the previous step stays selected and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Drag both Move sliders to -15 px, enter 1 in the Copies box, click the OK button, and then go again to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Drag the Move-Horizontal slider to -100 px, check the Reflect X box, enter 1 in the Copies box and then click the OK button.

long shadow

Step 5

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 165 x 20 px black shape and place it as shown in the first image. Focus on the top side of this new rectangle and pick the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select the left anchor point and drag it 25 px to the right and then select the right anchor point and drag it 25 px to the left. This should turn your rectangle into a simple trapezoid as shown in the second image. Make sure that it stays selected and simply send it to back using that same Shift-Control-[ keyboard shortcut.

main shadow

Step 6

Make sure that your black trapezoid is still selected, lower its Opacity to 10% and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 10 px Radius and then click OK.

main shadow

Step 7

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a shape the size of your artboard, send it to back (Shift-Control-[) and fill it with the radial gradient shown in the following image.

background

Step 8

Finally, you can learn how to create some envelopes in this detailed tutorial: Create a Detailed Envelope Illustration in Adobe Illustrator. If you're not in the mood to follow another tutorial, you can simply download the attachment and copy the envelope from that Ai file.

envelopes

Congratulations! You're Done!

Here is how it should look. I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and can apply these techniques in your future projects.

final product



submit to reddit


Similar content