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How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator

In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a simple coins icon in Adobe Illustrator.

For starters you will learn how to prepare a new document, how to setup a simple grid and how to create and save a pattern. We’ll start with some basic shapes, a simple piece of text and a pretty simple 3D Extrude & Bevel effect.

Next, taking full advantage of the Appearance panel and using basic blending and vector shape building techniques along with that saved pattern and some effects, you will learn how to add color, shading and highlights for your coin shapes. Finally, you will learn how easily recolor the entire coin using the Recolor Artwork option.


Final Image

As always, this is the final image that we’ll be creating:

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator

Tutorial Details

  • Program: Adobe Illustrator CS5
  • Estimated Completion Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Beginner-Intermediate

Step 1

Hit Command + N to create a new document. Enter 600 in the width box and 400 in the height box thenn 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 1px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides > Grid, enter 1 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box.

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.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 1

Step 2

Select the Rectangle Tool (M) and focus on your Toolbar. Remove the color from the stroke then select the fill and set its color to black. Move to your Artboard and simply create a 1px square, the Snap to Grid should ease your work.

Continue with the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a second 1px square. Fill it with white and place it right next to the black square, as shown in the first image.

Make sure that the Rectangle Tool(M) is still active and create a third 1px square. Place it next to the white square and make sure that it has no color set for the fill or stroke.

Select all three squares and simply drag them inside the Swatches panel (Window > Swatches) to save them as a simple pattern. Once you can see that new pattern inside your Swatches panel you can remove those tiny squares from your Artboard.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 2

Step 3

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 60px circle, make sure that it has no color set for the stroke and fill it with R=57 G=181 B=74.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 3

Step 4

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

Go to Object > Expand Appearance.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 4

Step 5

Focus on the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and drill down into the existing group until you get to the Clipping Mask. Remove it then select the entire group and hit Shift + CTRL + G four times to get rid of all those groups and subgroups. In the end you should have two green shapes. Select the darker one and make a copy in front (CTRL + C > CTRL + F).

Select this copy along with the bottom, green shape, open the Align panel (Window > Align) and simply click the Vertical Align Bottom button.

Reselect the copy made in this step and replace the dark green used for the fill with R=127 G=128 B=129.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 5

Step 6

Make sure that the grey shape made in the previous step stays selected, send it to the back (Shift + CTRL + [ )

Focus on the Appearance panel and add two new fills using the Add New Fill button (indicated by the little, blue arrow in the following image).

Select the bottom fill, lower its Opacity to 10% and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 3px offset and click OK.

Go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 3px radius and click OK.

Go back to the Appearance panel, select the middle fill, lower its Opacity to 10% and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 3px Offset and click OK.

Return to the Appearance panel, select the top fill, lower its Opacity to 25% and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 1px Offset and click OK.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 6

Step 7

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid) then go to Edit > Preferences > General and make sure that the Keyboard Increment is set to 1px.

Select the bottom, green shape and make two copies in front (CTRL + C > CTRL + F > CTRL + F).

Select the top copy and move it 1px up using the up arrow from your keyboard.

Reselect both copies, open the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder) and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Fill the resulting shape with R=127 G=128 B=129, lower its Opacity to 15% and change the Blending Mode to Color Burn.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 7

Step 8

Select the bottom, green shape and make two copies in front (CTRL + C > CTRL + F > CTRL + F).

Select the top copy and move it 3px up using the up arrow from your keyboard.

Reselect both copies and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Fill the resulting shape with R=127 G=128 B=129, lower its Opacity to 10% and change the Blending Mode to Color Burn.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 8

Step 9

Reselect that bottom, green shape and focus on the Appearance panel. First, replace that flat color used for the fill with the linear gradient shown in the following image. The white numbers from the Gradient image stand for Location percentage.

Next, you need to add a second fill for this shape using that same Add New Fill button from the bottom of the Appearance panel. Select this new fill, lower its Opacity to 20%, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and add the pattern saved in the second step.

Make sure that this shape stays selected, open the Graphic Styles panel (Window > Graphic Styles) and simply click the New Graphic Style button (indicated by the little, blue arrow in the following image).

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 9

Step 10

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). For this step you will need a grid every 1px, so go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box.

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 60px circle and place it as shown in the first image. Fill it with none, but add a 3pt stroke. Set its color to R=255 G=222 B=23, align it to inside and then go to Object > Path > Outline Stroke.

Switch to the Type Tool (T) and simply click on your Artboard to add a "V". Use the Copperplate Gothic Bold font with the size set at 35pt and the color to R=255 G=222 B=23. Make sure that this piece of text is selected and hit Shift + CTRL + O (or go to Type > Create Outlines).

Select both shapes made in this step, pick the Selection Tool (V), click on the border of the circle (it should get emphasized) then click on the Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons from the Align panel. In the end things should look like in the fourth image.

Reselect both yellow shapes and turn them into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make or CTRL + 8).

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 10

Step 11

Return to “gridline every 5px”, simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 5 in the Gridline every box.

Make sure that your yellow compound path is still selected and go to Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel. Enter the properties shown in the following image, click OK and go to Object > Expand Appearance.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 11

Step 12

Focus on the Layers panel, select the group made in the previous step and hit Shift + CTRL + G three times.

Select only the shapes that make up that yellow "V" and Group them (CTRL + G).

Keep focusing on the Layers panel and turn off the visibility of this new group by clicking on that little eye icon.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 12

Step 13

Duplicate the visible, yellow shapes (CTRL + C > CTRL + F). Select these copies and click the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with white.

Duplicate (CTRL + C > CTRL + F) that dark green shape. Select this copy along with the white shape made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=39 G=170 B=225.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 13

Step 14

Disable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). Reselect the blue shape and make two copies in front (CTRL + C > CTRL + F > CTRL + F).

Select the top copy and move it 1px up using the up arrow from your keyboard.

Reselect both copies and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower its Opacity to 20% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 14

Step 15

Reselect the blue shape and make two copies in front (CTRL + C > CTRL + F > CTRL + F).

Select the top copy and move it 3px up using the up arrow from your keyboard.

Reselect both copies and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower its Opacity to 10% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 15

Step 16

Reselect the blue shape and make only one copy in front (CTRL + C > CTRL + F).

Select the top copy and move it 1px down using the down arrow from your keyboard.

Reselect both copies and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower its Opacity to 25% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 16

Step 17

Select the remaining, green shape and replace the green with the linear gradient shown in the following image.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 17

Step 18

Focus on the visible, yellow shapes. Select the bottom path and simply add the graphic style saved in the ninth step.

Keep focusing on this thin path, go to the Appearance panel and add a third fill. Select it, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and add the linear gradient shown in the following image. Remember that the white numbers from the Gradient image stand for Location percentage while the yellow zeros stand for Opacity percentage.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 18

Step 19

Select the top, thin, yellow path and replace the yellow with the linear gradient shown in the following image.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 19

Step 20

Select the remaining yellow path and make two copies in front (CTRL + C > CTRL + F > CTRL + F).

Select the top copy and move it 1px down.

Reselect both copies and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Ungroup (Shift + CTRL + G) the resulting group, remove the bottom path and then fill the remaining shape with white and change its Blending Mode to Soft Light.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 20

Step 21

Select the remaining yellow path and make two copies in front (CTRL + C > CTRL + F > CTRL + F).

Select the top copy and move it 1px up.

Reselect both copies and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Ungroup (Shift + CTRL + G) the resulting group, remove the bottom path and then fill the remaining shape with black, lower its Opacity to 50% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 21

Step 22

Select the remaining yellow path and replace the yellow with the linear gradient shown in the following image.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 22

Step 23

Focus on the Layers panel and turn on the visibility for that group of yellow shapes made in the twelfth step.

Select the "V" path, replace the yellow with the linear gradient shown in the first image then make two copies in front (CTRL + C > CTRL + F > CTRL + F).

Select the top copy and move it 1px down.

Reselect both copies and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Turn the resulting group of shapes into a compound path (CTRL + 8), fill it with the linear gradient shown in the third image, lower its Opacity to 75% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 23

Step 24

Select the remaining yellow shapes, click the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel then hit CTRL + 8. Fill this new compound path with the linear gradient shown in the following image.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 24

Step 25

Reselect that "V" path and duplicate it (CTRL + C > CTRL + F).

Select this copy along with the compound path made in the previous step and hit the Vertical Align Bottom button from the Align panel. Make sure that only the shape made in this step is selected.

Focus on the Appearance panel and replace the existing linear gradient with R=127 G=128 B=129.

Move to the Layers panel, drag this grey path below the two shapes that make up the "V" and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the left window (in the following image), click OK

Go again to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the right window (in the following image) and click OK.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 25

Step 26

Enable the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). For these final steps you will need a grid every 1px, so go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and enter 1 in the Gridline every box.

Select all the shapes made so far and Group them (CTRL + G).

Duplicate this new group (CTRL + C > CTRL + F) and focus on the Layers panel. Open this new group and simply remove the bottom shape.

Reselect the entire group copy and drag it a few pixels up and to the left as shown in the second image. Again, the Snap to Grid option will ease your work.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 26

Step 27

Repeat the technique mentioned in the previous step, add some new coins and randomly move them to the left or to the right.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 27

Step 28

Finally, you can easily recolor your coins using the Recolor Artwork option. Select your coins and go to Edit > Edit Colors > Recolor Artwork. Go to the Edit section, check the Recolor Artwork box and the Link harmony colors button, adjust the Brightness slider then drag the color handles roughly as shown in the following images.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 28
How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 28
How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator 28

And We’re Done!

Here is how it should look. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and can apply these techniques to your future projects.

How to Create a Coins Icon in Adobe Illustrator

Author:

I'm a self taught vector artist who is making a living doing something that he likes. I spend most of my time working in Adobe Illustrator, trying to avoid the Pen Tool. You can find all my vector experiments at this little website dedicate to Illustrator VforVectors.com.


  • Fiverr.com/pcbisly

    Vrament très très cool ce tutorial !
    Awesome tutorial ! Exactly what i was looking for ! Alish, French ;)