In this tutorial we’ll be creating a simple mailbox icon in flat style, that can be used for your newsletter or website design. We’ll be modifying basic geometric shapes and using various handy functions of Adobe Illustrator. Let’s get started!
- Program: Adobe Illustrator CS6 – CC
- Difficulty: Intermediate
- Topics Covered: Shape Building, Shape Builder Tool, Objects Aligning
- Estimated Completion Time: 20 minutes
Final Image: Flat Mailbox Icon
Let’s start by making a dark background for our icon. Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and make a 600 x 600 px square filled with dark-blue color. Lock it in the Layers panel.
Create a 190 x 120 px white rectangle for the base of the mailbox.
Let’s make its top corners rounded. Take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and select top left and top right anchor points. Drag the circle marker of the Live Corners down to round the corners manually or head to the control panel on top and set the exact value in the Corners window. Let’s set the radius to 42 px.
Hold down Alt-Shift and drag the shape to the left to create a copy. Make both shapes overlap as shown in the image below.
Keeping both copies selected, take the Shape Builder Tool (Shift-M), hold down Alt and click the piece on the left to delete it.
Feel the remaining shape with blue color to show the inner part of the mailbox.
Let’s Copy (Control-C) the blue shape and Paste in Front (Control-F). Fill the top copy with a darker blue color.
Hold down Shift and drag the top copy to the right, as shown in the screenshot below.
Select both shapes and use the Shape Builder Tool (Shift-M) while holding Alt to delete the unneeded piece on the right.
Copy (Control-C) the white shape and Paste in Back (Control-B). Keeping the bottom copy selected, extend its bottom side down, increasing the height of the copy.
Fill the new shape with brown color to depict the stylized wooden surface.
Now let’s add a vertical wooden bar that will be supporting the mailbox. Make a 25 x 140 px rectangle and place it under the the mailbox, in the center.
Duplicate (Control-C > Control-F) it and make the top copy slightly smaller. Fill the bottom copy with a darker brown color, depicting a shadow.
Now let’s add a red flag to the side of our box, indicating that we have a letter to pick up. Start by creating an 8 x 120 px red rectangle.
Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a 15 x 15 px red circle. Attach it to the bottom of the red rectangle.
Add a 30 x 20 px red rectangle at the top part for the flag. We can align it to the vertical stripe by using the Align options in the control panel on top or the Align panel (Window > Align).
To do this, select both shapes and click the vertical shape once again to make it a Key Object. Now we can click Horizontal Align Left and stick everything to the left edge of the vertical stripe.
Now let’s draw a letter inside the box. Make a 75 x 50 px light-grey rectangle and place it inside the dark part of the mailbox.
Duplicate (Control-C > Control-F) the shape and squish its right side a bit. Fill the bottom copy with a darker grey color to create a shadow.
Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to add grey stripes of various length, depicting stylized text on the letter.
Let’s add a final touch to the mailbox. Duplicate (Control-C > Control-F) the white shape and make the top copy slightly darker. Take the Eraser Tool (Shift-E), hold down Alt and drag the rectangular selection over the top half of the mailbox to erase it.
Congratulations! Our Letter is Delivered!
There we have it! The flat mailbox icon is finished. We can add some simple elements to the background to make the whole composition look completed.
I hope you’ve enjoyed following this tutorial and discovered something new. Happy designing!