50+ Fresh And Useful Adobe Illustrator Icon Design Tutorials
Designing an icon set may sound like an easy thing to do but in actuality it is much easier said than done. Many designers end up with a disaster, while some more matured and experienced designers successfully meet the expectations and deliver.
Generally speaking, a designer needs to learn the basic principles of icon design first, and must be aware of the significance of and function that icons perform on web sites and in user interfaces. In order to create useful and effective icons, one must know the difference between icon and logo designs; and most importantly, how to use your creativity to incorporate the characteristics we need in the icon successfully.
In the end of 2009, we had compiled a post on Illustrator Icon Tutorials, and since we have noticed that there are lots more outstanding tutorials on designing beautiful and attractive icon sets that have been shared by experienced designers all over the world. So, we have decided to bring you all another collection of Adobe Illustrator Icon tutorials.
Illustrator Icon Design Tutorials
How to make a realistic vintage typewriter in Illustrator
In this tutorial you will learn to craft your very own vintage typewriter with a realistic finish in Illustrator.
Create a Super Glue and a Paint Tube Icon
In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a super glue and a paint tube icon. These shiny icons are simple to create, we’ll cover a complete workflow, and show you techniques that will speed up your work process.
How to Create a Suitcase Icon in Adobe Illustrator
In the following tutorial you will learn to create a suitcase icon, suitable for a travel oriented site, or vacation brochure. Grab hold of your vector tools and let’s get to building.
Create simple but effective Weather Icons in adobe illustrator
In this tutorial you will learn how to create some attractive little weather icons in Adobe Illustrator.
How to Make a Detailed Printer Icon Using Illustrator
In this icon design tutorial, we will construct a desktop printer icon that is rich in detail. Ready? Perhaps you should serve yourself a cup of coffee and grab a bag of chips to pass the hunger while we draw our icon (it could take a while to finish)!
Create a Jeans Pocket Icon Using Adobe Illustrator
In this tutorial you will learn many useful and necessary techniques, such as the creation of vector texture, working with the Scatter Brush, using the Graphic Style palette, creating scuffs and creases on the fabric, using the Gradient Mesh, and more. Believe me, it’s worth your attention.
Create a Nice Award Medal Icon
In the following tutorial you will learn to create an icon of an award medal. You will use various shapes and pathfinder techniques to make this great looking icon. This illustration can be made without the use of the Pen Tool, so it’s a great tutorial for beginners. You will be proud of the results!
Syringe Icon Tutorial
In this tutorial you will learn how to create a medical syringe icon with illustrator CS5.
Create a Simple Paint Brush Icon
Here you can learn to create a quite simple paintbrush icon. For this fast tutorial you’ll use some basic tools like the Rectangle Tool, the Ellipse Tool or the Pen Tool. Then, for some neat effects you’ll need the Wrinkle Tool or the Warp for rougher effects.
Create a Tasty Burger Icon in Illustrator
In this delicious tutorial the artist will show you how to create a three-dimensional, scrumptious burger using Adobe Illustrator.
Quick Tip: Create a Shiny Shield with Illustrator
In this Quick Tip, you’ll learn how to harness the Appearance panel to make the basic structure of a shiny, beveled shield. Once the structure is in place, a few well-placed gradients are all it takes to achieve a sharp, polished look.
How to Create a Simple Cardboard Box Icon
In this tutorial you will learn how to create a simple cardboard icon using 3D Extrude & Bevel and basic gradient fills.
How to Create a Shiny Bucket Icon
In this tutorial you will learn how to make a realistic vector bucket icon. You will learn to use the 3D Revolve function, how to add realistic light effects and how to draw different objects to form a composition.
How to Create a Hyper-realistic Flashlight
In this tutorial you will learn how to create a very realistic illustration of a flashlight. This style of illustration is particularly popular for icons and technical illustrations. Although this tutorial is more advanced than others, don’t let that dissuade you from giving it a go, you will find it’s written in an easy to understand format and the results will be worth the perseverance.
Create a Shimmering Cityscape in Perspective, Using Illustrator CS5
The Perspective tools in Illustrator CS5 make it a lot easier to draw in perfect one, two or three-point perspective. Using symbols in conjunction with the Perspective tools will make quick work of this stylized cityscape.
Create a Safe Icon in Adobe Illustrator
In the following tutorial you will learn to create a safe icon. We’ll use a variety of Adobe Illustrator tools and techniques to create this icon. Learn how to make a place to stash your vector gold. It’s all about the details you put into this design to give it a bit of shine.
Quick Tip: How to Create a Simple 3D Lollipop Icon
In the following tutorial you will learn to create a lollipop icon. By using some simple shapes and the Distort & Transform function, you will see just how easy it is to make a great looking icon.
Make a Headphones Icon Using Adobe Illustrator
In this tutorial you will learn how to create a realistic image of headphones using simple and understandable techniques. It turns out that to get a good result there is no need to do it in a complex way. This tutorial is easy for any beginner to complete.
Make a Mailbox Icon Using Adobe Illustrator
Attention! This icon was not created solely for educational purposes. You can see the working process of real designing! We are going to use various professional techniques to create this icon, and artist will give you many useful tips along the way.
How to Use the Perspective Grid to Create a Modern TV
In this tutorial you will learn how to create your own modern TV on a stand. Using the Perspective Grid in Illustrator CS5 as the basis of your work you will learn how to quickly create a product illustration with perfect perspective.
Create a Modern Style Icon with a Professional Finish
If you want to learn how how to create a professional level Hard Drive icon with shading and lighting the techniques, then we have an awesome tutorial for you.
How to Use the Opacity Mask to Make High Gloss Icons and Reflections
The Opacity Mask is a somewhat hidden feature in Adobe Illustrator. Mask work like Photoshop’s alpha channels to obscure parts of your artwork. In this Quick Tip, you’ll learn how to use Opacity Masks to make reflections and highlights on a vector icon.
How to Create a Stylish Wireless Phone
In this tutorial you will learn how to make a great looking Wireless Phone. You will be using Offset Path and various gradients to create a three dimensional phone with realistic highlights and reflections.
The Perfect Diamond
In this tutorial you will learn how to cut a perfect diamond.
Vector Retro Television
In this tutorial, you will be shown how to make a stylish retro looking television in Adobe Illustrator. You will learn how to draw basic shapes, modify them and apply gradient and gradient mesh for more realism. Hope you enjoy this illustrator tutorial.
How To Create a Colorful Logo Style Icon in Illustrator
Follow this step by step to create a vibrant and colourful logo style icon graphic. This style of abstract three dimensional shape has become a popular trend in the world of logo design. Today we’ll look at how to build the graphic in Illustrator using a range of tools and techniques.
Create a Simple Trunk Icon
In the following tutorial created by Andrei Marius, you can learn to create a simple trunk icon. This detailed Illustrator tutorial uses some Extrude & Bevel 3d effects, gradients, offsets, and other techniques that can be easily applied to other icons ans illustrations.
Create a Dirty Water Drop Character Icon
Did you know that 3.575 million people die each year from water-related disease? Moreover, 884 million people lack access to safe water supplies; approximately one in eight people. That’s pretty crazy! To spread the awareness about The Water Crisis, you can create the following Illustrator icon and learn more about the crisis at Change.org.
Quick Tutorial: Create A Sleek Bevel Styled Icon With Just a Few Illustrator Tools
I love simple and sleek looking icons. I love them even more when they’re easy to make, and completely versatile as a foundation for a ton of other icons. With a little practice, you can probably whip out some really beautiful icons in under a few minutes!
Create A Briefcase Icon
In this tutorial, you will be shown how to create a briefcase icon with rectangles, ellipses, and gradients. This briefcase icon is great for web designs and user interfaces. Moreover, you can easily apply these techniques to other icons, logos, and illustrations.
How to make a Calendar icon
This tutorial is for any and all of those users out there interested in icon development. In this tutorial you are going to learn how the folks at DryIcons made the Calendar Icon from their most popular icon set “Coquette”.
Create a Windows Vista Icon
In this video we will go from the very start of the process to the very end of the process of duplicating the “my computer” icon for Windows Vista and making it all vector.
Vector coffee cup tutorial Illustrator
In this tutorial you will learn how to make a realistic looking vector cup of coffee.
Simple Skull Vector Icon
In this tutorial you will learn how to create an easy, light skull vector icon.
Create a vector stop watch icon
In this tutorial you will learn how to create a vector stop watch icon in Adobe Illustrator. The tutorial is covering all the steps needed to create a great looking, realistic stop watch. Only the basic tools in Illustrator such as Ellipse, Rectangle, Gradient and transformations are used to achieve the result you see here.
How to Design a Realistic Gamepad
In this tutorial, you will learn how to create an illustration of a gamepad using the Pen Tool, Gradients and Filters. You can use this illustration as the basis of an icon or for a decorative element on a larger design.
How to Draw a Glossy Yo-Yo Icon using Adobe Illustrator
Entertain yourself with this tutorial on creating a glossy yo-yo icon. You will learn how to combine different gradient and object effects to make a hyper realistic and shiny plastic surface. The result is a perfectly rendered and appealing icon that can be made in just one hour!
Create a 6-egg box (not necessarily for Easter)
In this tutorial you will learn how to create a carton containing half a dozen eggs. We will use 3D Rotate and Revolve Effects. We will also play a lot with masks. You may download the source file (created in Illustrator CS4, back-saved to CS2+).
Create a yummy vector cupcake
In this tutorial you will learn how to create a tasty looking vector cupcake treat.
Design a 3D Digital Clock Icon with Illustrator
This tutorial will explain how to create a glossy and stylized digital clock from scratch in Adobe Illustrator composed of basic shapes and nifty gradients. We will make a vector icon that will be scalable to any size by taking advantage of designing icons and graphics using a vector-based application like Illustrator.
Create a 3D Shipping Package Box Icon in Illustrator
This icon design tutorial will discuss how to create a shipping box/parcel box icon from scratch using Adobe Illustrator. We will use the 3D Extrude & Bevel effect, the Pen Tool for drawing simple shapes, several panels like the Transparency Panel and the Gradient Panel, and other fundamental Illustrator features.
Vector printer tutorial Illustrator
In this tutorial you will learn how to make a realistic vector printer in Adobe Illustrator.
Create a Gift Box Illustration
In this next tutorial you will learn how to create an illustration of a gift box. You will be shown how to use the rectangle tool and the star tool to create a pattern and a symbol. For the box and the bow shapes you will use the 3D Extrude&Bevel effect, the Map Art option plus some Warp effects and Pathfinder options.
Create a Laptop Icon
In the following tutorial you can learn to create the icon of a laptop. Once you’ve created the basic shapes, it’s easy to continue with the other components. Give it a try and you might learn some interesting stuff about the role of Smart Guides and Rectangular Grid Tool.
Create a Neat Price Tag
In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a nifty little price tag. First, for the basic shape, the grid and the Snap to Grid will significantly ease your work. Then, for the rest of the illustration you’ll use the Pathfinder options, multiple gradients and strokes plus some basic effects and brushes.
Create a Cute and Simple Hippo Face
In the following tutorial you’ll learn to create a simple hippo face. It’s made with simple tool like the Ellipse Tool, the Rectangle Tool and the Rounded Rectangle Tool. Also, for some discrete details I added some basic effects like the Inner Glow or the Gaussian Blur.
How to Make an Opulent Chair Icon
In this tutorial, you will learn how to make a chair icon using gradient mesh, the pathfinder tool and the appearance panel. Don’t let this tut deceive you, with a bit of imagination you can create an entire collection of soft furnishing icons in minutes with a few easy tricks.
How to Illustrate a Marvelous Violin Icon
If you want to learn how to create a marvelous violin icon, then we have an awesome tutorial for you. This tutorial covers how basic shapes and a solid understanding of perspective and volume work together to quickly build a successful icon.
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.
Create a Stylized First Aid Icon in Illustrator
In this tutorial we’ll use a combination of craft and Illustrator’s 3D tools to create a first aid icon. You can use the techniques you learn in this tutorial to create realistic rounded box icons of your choice. This works well for complex icons at large sizes and scales down nicely.
Design a Stylish Wallet Icon in Illustrator
In this simple tutorial you will be shown how to create the wallet icon from the Cute Little Factory’s Women’s Icons using Adobe Illustrator CS4.
Reflections Done Right – Creating a Money Roll Icon
Cash-in when you follow this tutorial for creating accurate and logical reflections. Learn how to use shading and masking to create an illustration that’s worth the look.
Create a Classic Calendar Icon
Here you’ll learn to create a classic calendar icon. It’s a pretty simple and fast tutorial. You only need to know how to use the basic tools and some effects like the Inner Glow, the Drop Shadow, the Transform effect, the Rounded Corners effect or the Warp effect.
About the Author
Aquil Akhter is a web graphic designer and has been working in this field for 8 years. He also runs the blog webdesigncore.com, which focuses on free web resources and inspiration for designers and developers.