Create a Sale Tag Icon with Adobe Illustrator
In this tutorial we will be learning how to create a neat Sale tag in Adobe Illustrator. This tutorial will inform you how to simulate a look of a folded corner of the paper by using simple color gradients. Creation process is quite simple. All we have to do is to mix and match colors in order to transform a simple 2D illustration into a semi-realistic 3D illustration. It might look complicated, but actually it is not. But, let’s move from words to deeds.
We will create a square sale tag, but feel free to experiment and to create other regular and irregular shapes for the tag.
Grab the Rounded Rectangle Tool from the Tool Panel and create a rounded rectangle.
Select the Line Tool (/) from the Tool Panel and create a line as it shown on the picture below. We will use the line to divide rectangle from the previous
Select both elements and under the Pathfinder Panel hit the Divide button.
Ungroup (Shift + Ctrl / Cmd + G) the red rectangle. Select the smaller part and rotate it for 180 degrees.
As you can see, although we have created a basic shape of our sale tag, it doesn’t look like a 3D illustration at all. We have to fix that.
Get ready to use some nice color gradients and shadows. On the following pictures you can find more informations about using the gradients.
We can make this illustration more interesting if we create a nice golden frame. Under the Object select Path > Offset Path. Set the value for Offset to
Since one corner of the tag has been folded it means the part of frame for that corner wont be visible. To achieve that, select Direct Selection Tool (A)
from the Tool Panel and move the anchor points to the right side, as it shown on thepicture below.
Adjust the Stroke for the frame.
To be able to apply a golden gradient to the frame we have just created, we need to expand the green path. Under the Object select Expand.
Apply nice golden gradient
Grab the Type Tool (T) from the Tool Panel and type the word SALE (or any other word you like). Choose a nice thick font, such as Impact. To make the
letters editable you have to turn them into the shape. To do that under the right click select Create Outlines.
In this tutorial we will use a nice radial red gradient, but feel free to use other colors as well.
Let’s create a nice light reflection for the letters. Grab the Ellipse Tool (L) and create an ellipse over the letters. Set the Fill color to white (#FFFFFF).
Duplicate the letters (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + F) and create three more copies of the white ellipse. Ungruop (Shift + Ctrl / Cmd + G) the copy of the
letters. Select each letter with one of the copies of the ellipse and under the Pathfinder Panel hit the Intersect button.
Group (Ctrl / Cmd + G) new shapes we have just created and lower the Opacity to 30%
Let’s create the pin for our tag. Grab the Ellipse Tool from the Tool Panel and create an ellipse as it shown on the picture below.
Duplicate the ellipse from the previous step and move it to the right a little bit. Grab the Direct Selection Tool (A) and distort the new ellipse a bit.
Now, grab the Pen Tool (P) from the Tool Panel and create a shape as it shown on the picture below.
We will need one more (distorted) ellipse and a metal part of the pin.
Apply gred gradients to all the parts of the pin, except for the metal part.
Duplicate (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + F) the top part of the pin twice. Nudge ond of the copies to the left for 1 pixel. Select both copies and under
the Pathfinder Panel hit the Minus Front button. Set the Fill color of the new shape to #D53627. Group (Ctrl / Cmd + G) all the elements of the pin we have
Create a copy of the pin (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + F), Ungroup the copy (Shift + Ctrl / Cmd + G) and under the Pathfinder Panel hit the Unite button. Set
the Fill color of the new shape to #B3B3B3, scale it down and rotate. You can also use a non-uniform scale in order to create more realistic shadow. Place the
shadow as it shown on the picture below.
Place the pin with its shadow in the upper left corner of our tag.
There is one more thing we should include to our illustration, a shadow. To achieve a realistic look of the sale tag we will create shadow by using a Blend Tool.
Blend Tool is very powerful Adobe Illustrator feature. It will help us to create a shadow only for some parts of the tag. There is one thing we should keep
in mind. If you want to create a successful shadow with Blend Tool you have to make sure to bland the objects (paths) with the exact same number of anchor points. Only that
way each anchor point of one object (path) will have the corespondant anchor point on the other point (path).
Select the largest shape of our tag and duplicate it (Ctrl / Cmd + C, Ctrl / Cmd + F). Under the Object select Path > Offset Path. Set the value for Offset
to -20 pt.
Set the Fill color of the smaller shape to #BCBEC0 and of the larger shape to white (#FFFFFF). Select them both and under the Object select Blend > Make.
Make sure to set the value for Specified Steps to 30. This way a color transition will be really smooth.
Send the shadow behind the tag (Shift + Ctrl / Cmd + [). Now grab the Direct Selection Tool (A) and distort our shapes a little bit. In order to make
shadow visible only in some points, drag those anchor points outwards. You can also adjust the position of the handlers for some anchor points.
And...Voila! We did it!
There are many ways to use a Blend Tool. Creating a nice smooth shadow for irregular shapes is just one of them. Although Adobe Illustrator is not a 3D software it doesn't mean you shouldn't try to create a 3D illustrations. Just try to find a way to simulate a certain look. I assure you, it is possible.
Feel free to use your imagination and creativity to create something similar by using this technique. I hope you like the tutorial. If you have any questions or comments, please post them in the comments section below. I'll be glad to answer them. Thank you for following along.