How to Create a Distinguished Personal Diary Icon

In this tutorial we are going to create a stylish personal diary icon using Illustrator CS4. Gradient is at the core of this tutorial and we will be taking look at it in close detail. You will also learn how to use the opacity mask to create drop reflections and shadows.

Step 1

Create a new 1024px by 768px web document. Draw a 360px by 550px rectangle with 10px rounded corners. This will be the main cover for the diary. With the rectangle selected, open gradient panel (Control + F9). Click on the default grayscale gradient. Your rectangle will be filled with default black and white. Double-Click on the white swatch in the gradient slider, the color panel will open. Click on the panel option (in the top right corner of the panel) and choose RGB from the list. K slider in the color panel will be replaced by RGB sliders. Assign the color R=96, G=56, B=19.

Step 2

Keep the black slider unchanged. Add a slider in the middle of the gradient by clicking anywhere between the two sliders on the color strip. Change its color to R=42, G=18, B=0, set the location to 81.6%, change the type to radial. Set the aspect ratio to 178.86.

Step 3

To create a flap for the diary create a rounded rectangle (130px by 633px with a corner radius of 10px). Draw your rectanle to the right of the first rectangle. Fill the gradient with following parameters, (Refer End of step.) 1st Slider R=0 G=0 B=0. Location 0. 2nd Slider R=42 G=18 B=0. Location 18.3%. 3rd Slider R=142 G=88 B=43. Location 68.8%. 4th Slider R=165 G=113 B=54. Location 86.2%. 5th Slider R=96 G=56 B=19. Location 100%. Type = linear. Angle = 0, Aspect ratio = 4.With the rectangle still selected apply the warp effect, Effects > Warp > Arc upper. Apply the following settings a. Style = arc upper b. Vertical c. Bend = 22%. Make sure the outline is set to none.

Step 4

Apply the warp effect to the flap rectangle. Choose Effects > warp > arc upper. Assign following settings – a. Style = arc upper b. Vertical c. Bend = 16%. Make sure the outline is set to none.

Step 5

Create a 136px by 550px rounded rectangle. This will make the shadow of the flap. Apply vertical upper arc warp effect with bend set to 5%. Send it behind flap rectangle using Control + Left Square Bracket. Assign the color R=27, G=14, B=18. Move it few pixels to left.

Step 6

Create a rectangle 92px by 36px. Assign the following gradient.

Step 7

Create another rectangle 86px by 30px. Assign the following gradient.

Step 8

Create a 43px by 30px rectangle, it should be about half the size of the earlier rectangle.

Step 9

To create a lock button, draw an ellipse and assign following gradient.

Step 10

Create another ellipse and place it beneath the earlier ellipse. Assign the following color.

Step 11

Create a copy of the lock base, and send the copy below the lock base. Assign the color R = 59, G = 35, B =20.

Step 12

To make the strap, create a 186px by 23px rectangle on the main cover. Assign the following gradient on a 180 degree angle.

Step 13

Create one more rectangle and place it below the strap, this will be the shadow. Color the strap R = 27, G= 14, G= 10. Change the opacity (located in the transparency panel) to 50%, blending mode = Multiply. Send it behind the strap.

Step 14

The left side of the strap is ready, to create the right strap, make a 72px by 23px rectangle. Place the rectangle on the right of hook. Keep the rectangle selected, take the eye-dropper tool (I) from the toolbar. Click on the flap using the eye-dropper tool. This will pick gradient from the strap. The right strap rectangle will be filled with a similar gradient. From gradient panel, change the angle to 0.

Step 15

Create a 71px by 40px rectangle. Send it behind the earlier rectangle and assign R = 27 G = 14 B = 10. Change the opacity to 50% Blending mode = Multiply.

Step 16

We have created the design of diary. In this section we will create threading for it. Select the cover page rectangle. Choose Object > Path > Offset Path. Set the following values Offset = -10px. From stroke panel choose weight = 1pt, turn on the dashed line, set the dash value to 7pts, color = R = 198, G = 156, B =109. Similarly create threading for the flap rectangle with same parameters.

Step 17

Add the text "Personal Diary 2010" (or what ever you may like it to be). Change the color to R = 242 G = 179 B = 27.

Step 18

Create a copy of the text and send it behind the origional. Assign R = 23 G= 15 B = 11. Move it few pixels to the top left.

Step 19

Create another copy and send it behind the first text, but above the shadow. Move it few pixels to bottom right.

Step 20

Now we will arrange the composition and make a reflection. Create a rectangle of the size of the artboard. Assign a radial gradient with the following parameters. 1st slider = R = 33 B = 33 G = 33. Send it to the back using Control + Shift + Left Square Bracket.

Step 21

Creating Reflection. Select the diary and all its components. Group the diary using Control + G. Create a copy, place it below the diary and reflect it horizontally using Object > Transform > Reflect.

Step 22

Use the rectangle tool to create a rectangle over the copied diary, fill with a black and white linear gradient with white color on top. Make the rectangle smaller than the diary.

Step 23

Open the transparency panel (Shift + Control + F10). Select the diary and the rectangle. Click the options icon on the transparency panel, choose Create Opacity Mask. Being a white and black gradient, the rectangle acts as mask, the area under the white is reveled and area under black gets hidden, the gray area fades.

Step 24

Create a circle and fill it with a radial black and white gradient.

Step 25

Using the free transform tool, scale the gradient.

Step 26

Change the blend mode to Multiply.

Step 27

Send the shadow behind the diary, but keep it above the reflection.


This completes the Icon. To take this tutorial further you can try to create a pencil or pen icon to accompany your creation or you can simply try and recreate the icon with different colors to make a set. Enjoy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *