How to Create a Moon Emoji Icon in Adobe Illustrator CC

Not too long ago, we saw how easy it is to create a cute little Earth emoji. Today, we’re going to be adding to the project by learning how to create a moon emoji icon for the sleepy man in the moon.

So, assuming you’ve already poured yourself a fresh cup of coffee let’s jump straight into it!

Tutorial Details: Moon Emoji Icon

  • Program: Adobe Illustrator CS6 – CC 2018
  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Topics Covered: Design Theory, Compositional Construction, Shape Alignment, Grid Positioning
  • Estimated Completion Time: 25 Minutes

Final Image: Moon Emoji Icon

Step 1

As always, let’s kick off the project by setting up a New Document by going to File > New (or using the Control-N keyboard shortcut), which we will adjust as follows:

  • Number of Artboards: 1
  • Width: 128 px
  • Height: 128 px
  • Units: Pixels

And from the Advanced tab:

  • Color Mode: RGB
  • Raster Effects: Screen (72ppi)
  • Preview Mode: Default

Quick tip: most of the indicated settings can be automatically triggered if you set the document’s Profile to Web, the only one that you’ll have to manually adjust being the Artboard’s Size (Width x Height).

Step 2

Start working on the actual icon, by creating the background using a 120 x 120 px circle, which we will color using #3D4763 and then position to the center of the underlying Artboard as seen in the reference image.

Step 3

Start working on the satellite by creating the main shape for its body using a smaller 64 x 64 px circle, which we will color using #C1CDE5 and then center align to the underlying background.

Step 4

Create the main shape for the top highlight using a copy (Control-C > Control-F) of the planet’s main shape, which we will push to the bottom by a distance of 4 px using either the directional arrow keys or the Move tool (right click > Transform > Move > Vertical > 4 px).

Step 5

Open up the duplicate’s path by selecting its bottom anchor point using the Direct Selection Tool (A) and then immediately removing it by pressing Delete. Then, using the Pen Tool (P) close the resulting shape’s path by drawing a new line for its upper section as seen in the reference image.

Step 6

Set the resulting shape’s color to white (#FFFFFF), lowering its Opacity level to 40%, making sure to mask it afterwards using a copy (Control-C) of the Moon’s main body, which we will paste in front (Control-F) and then with both shapes selected simply right click > Make Clipping Mask.

Step 7

Next, create the eyes using two 8 x 8 px circles with a 4 px thick Stroke (#3D4763), which we will adjust by removing their upper halves, making sure to set the resulting paths’ Cap to Round. Once you’re done, horizontally distance the two at 4 px from one another, grouping (Control-G) and then positioning them as seen in the reference image.

Step 8

Add the mouth using a 4 x 4 px circle (#3D4763), which we will position below the left eye at a distance of 8 px, making sure to select and group (Control-G) all three shapes together afterwards.

Step 9

Create the blush spots using two 8 x 6 px ellipses (#3D4763), which we will adjust by lowering their Opacity to 28%, and then position onto the sides as seen in the reference image. Once you have the shapes in place, select and group (Control-G) all of the planet’s composing sections together before moving on to the next step.

Step 10

Add the hands using two 12 x 16 px rectangles with a 4 px Stroke (#5FD6D6) and a Round Cap, which we will adjust by opening up their paths, and then setting the radius of their outer corners to 8 px using the Live Corners tool. Once you’re done, position the resulting shapes underneath the larger planet (right click > Arrange > Send Backward), making sure to select and group all its composing shapes together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

Step 11

Quickly add the shadows using a copy (Control-C) of the planet’s hands and body, which we will paste in back (Control-B) and then adjust by setting their color to #3D4763, making sure to push them to the bottom by a distance of 4 px for the hands and 8 px for the main body.

Step 12

Grab the Pen Tool (P) and using a 2 px thick Stroke (#F0F4FC) with the Cap and Join set to Round, draw the two 4 x 4 px z letters, positioning them onto the right side of the mouth as seen in the reference image.

Step 13

Finish off the icon and with it the project itself by adding the little sun using an 8 x 8 px circle (#FFDA66) with a 20% Opacity for its outer glow, on top of which we will add a smaller 4 x 4 px one (#FFDA66). Once you’re done, group (Control-G) and position the two onto the upper right section of the background, making sure to select and group (Control-G) all of the icon’s composing shapes before hitting that save button.

Great Work!

As always, I hope you had fun working on this little project and if you have any questions feel free to post them within the comments section and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!

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