Eureka! Create Your Own Gold Icon Vector

Preview In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a simple ingot gold icon vector in Adobe Illustrator. In the first steps you will learn how to set up a simple grid and how to create a pixel perfect group of shapes. Using a basic 3D effect you will learn how to create the main ingot shapes. Finally, you will learn how to add color and subtle shading using basic blending and masking techniques, a bunch of linear gradients and the Appearance panel.

Tutorial Details

  • Program: Adobe Illustrator CC
  • Difficulty: Beginner-Intermediate
  • Topics Covered: Basic Tools & Effects, Blending & Masking techniques and the Appearance panel
  • Estimated Completion Time: 1 hour

Final Image

As always, this is the final image that we’ll be creating – your own gold icon vector!

Step 31

Step 1

Hit Control + N to create a new document. Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, enter 600 in the width and height box 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 5px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides > Grid, enter 5 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box. Try not to get discouraged by all that grid, it will ease your work 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 while making this gold icon vector.

Step 1

Step 2

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and focus on your Toolbar. Remove the color from the stroke then select the fill and set its color at R=209 G=211 B=212. Move to your Artboard and simply create an 80 x 40px rectangle, the Snap to Grid should ease your work. Focus on the top side of this rectangle and switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select the left anchor point and drag it 10px to the right then select the right anchor point and drag it 10px to the left. In the end your rectangle should turn into a trapezoid as shown in the second image.

Step 2

Step 3

Make sure that your trapezoid is still selected and make a copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select this copy and simply drag it 80px to the right as shown in the first image. Reselect one of your trapezoids and make a new copy in front (Control + C > Control + F). Select it and place it exactly as shown in the second image. Once again, the Snap to Grid will ease your work. Reselect all three shapes created so far and simply hit Control + G to Group them.

Step 3

Step 4

Make sure that your group of shapes is still selected and go to Effect > 3D > Extrude& Bevel. Click the More Options button, enter all the properties shown in the following image then click OK.

Step 4

Step 5

Reselect your group of shapes and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Make sure that the resulting group of shapes is selected and simply hit Shift + Control + G three times.

Step 5

Step 6

Focus on the shapes that make up the top ingot of your gold icon vector. Select the shape that makes up the top side of the ingot gold icon vector and simply replace the existing fill color with R=39 G=170 B=225. Select the shape that makes up the right side of your ingot gold icon vector and replace the existing fill color with R=255 G=194 B=53. Select the shape that makes up the left side of your ingot and replace the existing fill color with R=0 G=148 B=68.

Step 6

Step 7

Focus on the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and simply turn on the visibility for the three, colored shapes. Select the shape that makes up the bottom side of your top ingot gold icon vector, replace the existing fill color with black (R=0 G=0 B=0) then make it invisible. Select the remaining two shapes that are part of your top ingot and simply remove them using the Delete button from your keyboard.

Step 7

Step 8

Focus on the shapes that make up the other two ingot gold icon vectors and simply repeat the techniques mentioned in the last steps.

Step 8

Step 9

Focus on the Layers panel and turn on the visibility for all your shapes. Select the blue, the yellow and the green shapes that make up your top ingot and Group them (Control + G). Move to the Layers panel, simply double click on this new group and rename it “top“. Return to your artboard, select the colored shapes that make up the bottom, right ingot and Group them (Control + G). Move to the Layers panel and rename this new group “right“. Select the three, colored shapes that make up the bottom, left ingot, Group them (Control + G) and name this new group “left“.

Step 9

Step 10

Set the fill color at R=246 G=229 B=195, pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and simply click on your artboard to open the Rectangle window. Enter 610 in the Width and  Height boxes then click the OK button. Next, you need to center this new shape, so open the Align panel (Window > Align). Set the aligning to Artboard (open the fly out menu and go to Show Options if you can’t see the Align To section as shown in the following image), make sure that your shape is selected then simply click the Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons. Also, hit Shift + Control + [ to send this shape to back. In the end your square should cover the entire artboard as shown in the following image.

Step 10

Step 11

Reselect the square made in the previous step, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill using the Add New Fill button (pointed by the blue circle in the following image). Make sure that this new fill stays selected, open the Gradient panel (Window > Gradient) and simply click on the gradient thumbnail to add the default black to white linear gradient. Keep focusing on your Gradient panel, select Radial from the Type drop-down menu then move to the gradient colors. Select the right slider and set the color at R=196 G=154 B=108 then select the left slider, set the color at R=246 G=229 B=195 and lower its Opacity to 0%. Grab the Gradient Tool (G), move to your Artboard and stretch that radial gradient as shown in the following image. Make sure that your square is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel and simply click on that “Opacity” piece of text that stands for your new fill. This should open the Transparency fly-out panel and you will need to lower the Opacity to 50% and change the Blending Mode to Multiply.

Step 11

Step 12

Make sure that the black shape that makes up the bottom side of your top ingot gold icon vector stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. First, select the existing fill, change its Blending Mode to Soft Light and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 10px Radius and click OK. Return to the Appearance panel and add a second fill for this shape using that same Add New Fill button. Select the newly added fill, lower its Opacity to 10%, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 1px Offset, click OK and return to the Appearance panel. Make sure that the top fill is still selected and simply duplicate it using the Duplicate Selected Item button (pointed by the blue circle in the following image). Focus on this new fill, open the existing Offset Path effect, increase the Offset to 3px and click OK. Get back to the Appearance panel, make sure that the entire path is selected (simply click on the “Path” piece of text from the top of the Appearance panel) and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 5px Radius and click OK.

Step 12

Step 13

Select the two blue shapes that make up the top side of the bottom ingots and duplicate them (Control + C > Control + F). Focus on the Layers panel, select these fresh copies and simply drag them outside the groups, above your shape with multiple, black fills. Make sure that both copies made in this step are selected and simply hit Control + 8 to turn them into a simple compound path. Select it and replace the existing fill color with white (R=255 G=255 B=255).

Step 13

Step 14

Reselect your white compound path along with the black shape with multiple, black fills, open the Transparency panel (Window > Transparency) and simply click the Make Mask button. Focus on the Layers panel and make sure that this masked shape is placed immediately below your “top” group. In the end this should look like the second image.

Step 14

Step 15

Select the other two black shapes, open the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder) and simply click the Unite button.

Step 15

Step 16

Make sure that the black shape made in the previous step stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. First, select the existing fill, lower its Opacity to 20%, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 1px Offset and click OK. Return to the Appearance panel and add a second fill for this shape using that same Add New Fill button. Select the newly added fill, lower its Opacity to 15%, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 3px Offset, click OK then return to the Appearance panel and add a third fill for your shape. Select the new fill, lower its Opacity to 10%, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 5px Offset, click OK then return to the Appearance panel and add a fourth fill. Select this new fill, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 10px Radius, click OK then return to the Appearance panel and add one final fill. Select it, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 10px Offset, click OK and go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 15px Radius and click OK. Get back to the Appearance panel, make sure that the entire path is selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 5px Radius and click OK.

Step 16

Step 17

Focus on the shapes that make up your top ingot gold icon vector. Select the shape that makes up the top side of the ingot and simply replace the existing fill color with R=255 G=204 B=63. Make sure that this shape stays selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill using that same Add New Fill button. Select this new fill, change its Blending Mode to Soft Light and replace the existing color with the linear gradient shown in the following image.

Step 17

Step 18

Keep focusing on the shapes that make up the top ingot. Select the one that makes up the right side of the ingot gold icon vector and simply replace the existing fill color with R=255 G=214 B=73. Add a second fill for this shape, select it, change its Blending Mode to Soft Light and replace the existing color with the linear gradient shown in the following image.

Step 18

Step 19

Keep focusing on the shapes that make up the top ingot. Select the one that makes up the left side of the ingot and simply replace the existing fill color with R=255 G=194 B=53. Add a second fill for this shape, select it, change its Blending Mode to Soft Light and replace the existing color with the linear gradient shown in the following image.

Step 19

Step 20

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid) and enable the Smart Guides (Control + U). Using the Pen Tool (P), create a simple path across the left side of the shape that makes up the top side of your top ingot as shown in the following image. For the moment add a simple black stroke for this path and make sure that there is no color set for the fill.

Step 20

Step 21

Using the same tool and technique mentioned in the previous step add another two paths as shown in the following image. Make sure that you’re always drawing these paths from the outside to the inside of your ingot.

Step 21

Step 22

Disable the Smart Guides (Control + U). Make sure that all three paths are selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the existing stroke, replace the existing color with white, change its Blending Mode to Overlay and go to Effect > Blur Gaussian Blur. Enter a 5px Radius, click OK then return to the Appearance panel and simply click on the Stroke piece of text to open the Stroke fly-out panel. Set the Weight at 4px and check the Width Profile 4 from the Profile section.

Step 22

Step 23

Make sure that your three paths are still selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second stroke using the Add New Stroke button (pointed by the blue circle in the following image). Select this new stroke, replace the existing color with R=255 G=250 B=188, lower its Opacity to 40%, change the Blending Mode to Overlay and open the Stroke fly-out panel. Set the Weight at 2px and check the Width Profile 4 from the Profile section.

Step 23

Step 24

Reselect the group of three shapes that makes up your top ingot gold icon vector and duplicate it (Control + C > Control + F). Select this copy and simply click the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Make sure that this newly created shape stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Remove the top fill using the Delete Selected Item button (pointed by the blue circle in the following image) then select the remaining fill. Set the color at black, lower its Opacity to 30% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light. Move to the Layers panel, simply double click on the shape made in this step and rename it “recolor“.

Step 24

Step 25

Make sure that your “recolor” shape stays selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a 1px stroke. Select this thin stroke, lower its Opacity to 30%, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and replace the flat color with the linear gradient shown in the following image.

Step 25

Step 26

Make sure that your “recolor” shape stays selected, focus on the Appearance panel, select the existing stroke and make three copies using that same Duplicate Selected Item button. Focus on the new strokes, select the bottom one, lower its Opacity to 20% and increase the Weight to 3px. Move up to the next new stroke, lower its Opacity to 10% and increase the Weight to 5px. Finally, select the top stroke, lower its Opacity to 5px and increase the Weight to 7px.

Step 26

Step 27

Reselect your “recolor” shape, make sure that the entire path is selected and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 5px Radius and click OK.

Step 27

Step 28

Select all the shapes that mke up your top ingot gold icon vector and Group them (Control + G). Move to the Layers panel, rename this new group “topIngot” then duplicate it (Control + C > Control + F). Select this fresh copy and click the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Make sure that the resulting shape stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Set the fill color at white, make sure that there is no other fill or stroke then go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 5px Radius and click OK.

Step 28

Step 29

Reselect the white shape and the “topIngot” group made in the previous step and simply click the Make Mask button from the Transparency panel. In the end things should look like in the second image.

Step 29

Step 30

Focus on the group of shapes that make up your right ingot and simply repeat the techniques and effects used for the top ingot. Once you’re done, you will have to make only one little change for the shape that makes up the left side of this ingot. Simply replace the existing linear gradient with the one shown in the following image.

Step 30

Do the same thing with the shapes that make up your left ingot gold icon vector and you’re done.

Step 31

And We’re Done!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this gold icon vector tutorial and I hope you can apply these techniques in your future projects.

Final Image

Andrei Marius

Author: Andrei Marius

Andrei Marius is a self taught vector artist who is trying to make a living doing something that he likes. He spends most of his time working in Adobe Illustrator, trying to avoid the Pen Tool. You can find most of his vector experiments at this little website dedicate to Illustrator VforVectors.

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