Icons aren’t the simple little things that were a few years ago. Nowadays they look more like tiny illustrations and they are pretty complex things. Although that sounds a little bit overwhelming, designing icons in Adobe Illustrator isn’t a difficult process once you’ve mastered the common techniques.
In this article you have the best 70 Adobe Illustrator icon tutorials, top tutorials to help you be the icon master you deserve to be.
How to Create an Open Book with Illustrator’s 3D Extrude & Bevel Tool
In this tutorial, we’ll explain how to create an open book mostly with Illustrator’s 3D Extrude & Bevel Tool. We’ll create open pages with graphics and add a wavy background. The book can be customized by applying your own graphics to the pages.
How to Make an Icy Cocktail
In this Illustrator tutorial, I will explain how I draw a refreshing cocktail drink in Adobe illustrator. Hope you will find this useful and inspiring to make other kinds of drinks or cocktails.
Creating a Toaster-Popping Illustration
With this tutorial, learn how to apply some effects not often used in Illustrator, like the Chrome effect, which is used to create metallic look with a realistic aspect. Also, notable in this tutorial is the use of Texturizer to create toast texture. We will also use 3D effect and the Mesh tool, which bring depth to the this illustration.
Create A Briefcase Icon
In this tutorial, I will show you 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.
Illustrating a Business Briefcase in Windows 7 Style
The new O.S. Windows 7 has improved aesthetics to make the user interface at least more appealing. There are huge ultra detailed icons for folders, devices and so on. This time we will use Illustrator CS4 to create a nice briefcase with the Windows 7 style. You need only a few basics on how to copy, paste, rotate, scale and color the shapes.
Create a Dirty Water Drop Character
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. We will use the industry-standard vector illustration tool: Adobe Illustrator. The icon we will make is from our Perspective general icon set.
Create a Cute Panda Bear Face Icon
In the following easy tutorial, I’ll show you how to create a cute panda bear face icon all from ellipses (well, actually there is one rectangle for the background). The great part about this tutorial, is that you can easily apply the techniques to other icons, illustrations, logos, or other projects.
Icon Design Tutorial: Drawing A Pencil Icon
Although we consider a basic example, the principles, conceptialization and techniques from this article can easily be applied to icon design in general. Although all tools we use in this guide are very simple and very easy to work with, your acquaintance with Adobe Illustrator is still requisite.
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.
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 Create a Golden, Vector Compass in Illustrator
In this tutorial I will take you through the steps and techniques of creating a golden compass. For this tutorial I’ve used just Adobe Illustrator and a heavy dose of ingenuity
Create a Vintage TV Set Icon in Illustrator
Make 3D Yet Flat Looking Shopping Basket Icons
Shopping for a new icon? Look no further. Learn how to create a custom shopping basket icon for your next web design project. We’ll combine 3D qualities with a flat look. You’ll need a firm understanding of Adobe Illustrators tools to complete this tutorial.
Create An Aperture Style Camera Lens Icon
In this tutorial, we’ll create a detailed camera lens similar to the one used as the logo for Apple’s Aperture photo-editing software. A camera lens is good for a software icon, logo, or just as a graphic for use in any design. Although, the image appears detailed, the process of creating it involves little more than simply layering objects with different fills and gradients to give a three-dimensional illusion.
Translucent IM Style Illustrator Icon Tutorial
The shiny and glossy image of ‘Web 2.0′ is right at home when it comes to icons. Follow this Adobe Illustrator tutorial to create a scalable vector Instant Messaging style icon with the impression of a glossy and semi-translucent surface.
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.
Create a Simple Storefront Icon
In this tutorial I will show you how to create a simple storefront icon using some rectangles, Illustrator Effects, and gradients. This icon is great for use in e-commerce sites and the techniques in this tutorial can easily be applied to other icons, illustrations, and logos.
Design A Coffee Mug Icon
Create a metallic star in Illustrator
This tutorial will show a technique to create a segmented star that, when gradient fills are applied, takes on a basic metallic appearance. A future tutorial will take these same techniques and elaborate on them to create a more realistic looking star… if you think that’s possible.
How to Turn Glasses into a Great Geek Icon
In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to make a cool, or should we say geeky, glasses icon. You should be versed in Adobe Illustrator’s tools to complete this tutorial. You’ll learn how to take creative license and create an illustration that uses a photo reference, but differs a bit in the final design.
Create an envelope icon with a satin feel
In this tutorial i will show you how using the basic tools of illustrator, ie gradient, rectangle, pathfinder and line we can create a simple looking envelope. With changing the arrow icon you will have multiple defined icons.
Create a Detailed Camera with Photo Icon
This tutorial will show the intermediate Adobe Illustrator artist how to make a sleek web 2.0 style icon. You should have a basic understanding of Adobe Illustrator tools before you begin this tutorial, as the tutorial moves at a rapid pace.
Create a simple paint brush icon
Hi there. 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 and Rougher effects.
Create a Vector Film Slate Icon
In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create a vector film slate icon. The tutorial uses some basic shapes, some gradients, and even a blend. Moreover, you can easily customize this tutorial with your own logo or typography.
Create a Tasty Burger Icon in Illustrator
In this delicious tutorial I’ll show you how to create a three-dimensional, scrumptious burger using Adobe Illustrator.
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.
How to Create a Vector Safari Compass in Illustrator
The Safari browser from Apple has a great little icon that works well in small formats while also displaying quite a lot of intricate details when viewed in large format. Navigate through this Adobe Illustrator tutorial to draw up your own vector Safari inspired compass in Adobe Illustrator.
Craft a Delicious Chinese Food Icon
This tutorial will demonstrate how to craft a delicious Chinese food icon set. This tutorial requires a generous command of Adobe Illustrator’s tools. Let’s dig into this yummy icon design tutorial, which includes numerous vector illustration techniques.
Create An Awesome Space Rocket Avatar in Illustrator
How to Create an Hourglass Icon in About an Hour
With simple shapes, gradients, and vector textures, this simple tutorial will show beginning illustrators how to create an hourglass icon. There is a whole lot you can do without the Pen Tool. We’ll be using Illustrator CS4 for this tutorial, but those of you with older version should be able to follow along as well.
How to Make a Delicious Vector Orange in 9 Decisive Steps
Learn how to create a semi-realistic vector orange with simple shapes, tools, and multiple effects. This tutorial is possible for a beginner to complete, though is aimed at an intermediate Illustrator user.
How to Create a Vector Smiley Icon
Have you ever wanted to make your own set of emoticons? Using the basic techniques brought about on this tutorial, you can easily create your own set of emoticons.
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.
Illustrate a Fun Magnify Zoom Icon
In this tutorial, we’ll create a unique Magnifying Glass shown enlarging a selection of text. We’ll work primarily with the pathfinder and basic shape tools to cut out our shapes for this illustration, though the pen tool will also be used. We color the elements along the way using various gradients.
Syringe Icon Tutorial
How to Make a Vector Military Cap Icon
This tutorial will show the intermediate-to-advanced Adobe Illustrator artist how to make a realistic military style cap icon using predominately gradients, blends, and the Gradient Mesh Tool. We’ll be using a photo reference to base this illustration on, though utilizing creative judgement throughout the process.
Create a band-aid icon
Here is another simple tutorial on how to create a band-aid icon. You start with a simple rectangle and some warp effects. After you expand this shape you will use a linear gradient, a nice pattern and a strokes. Finally, using basic tools and some simple effects you will create the smaller components.
How to Create a Transparent Battery Icon
In this tutorial, we’ll create a detailed icon of a battery similar to the one used for the iPhone touch. The battery “fuel” color can be changed as well as the “fuel” level, allowing the icon to be used to create a battery or power meter for applications, or simply as a graphic in any type of design.
Iconshock tutorial: Ace of Hearts
This card is a nice irony isn’t it? It’s the icon for games in Super Vista style. The symbol of love as part of a game appeared in the deck of cards towards the end of the 15th century and now we will glorify the crude facts of a divine ideal with the aid of Illustrator CS4.
Make a 3D Vector Film Roll, Drawn In Perspective
In this tutorial, I’m going to share with you how to draw a realistic film roll, drawn in perspective. You should already be familiar with using the Pen Tool, Ellipses and Gradients.
Icon Design Tutorial – Designing a New Icon In Illustrator
Vector printer tutorial Illustrator
How to Create an Alarm Clock Icon
With simple shapes and gradients, this easy tutorial will show you how to create an alarm clock icon. We’ll be using Illustrator CS4 for this tutorial, but those of you with older version should be able to follow along as well.
Illustrator Tutorial: Vector Darts on Bullseye
In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make an attractive darts illustration in Adobe Illustrator. You will learn how to draw basic shapes, modify them and apply gradients to crate the vector darts. Apply this technique to your marketing and advertising materials to illustrate precision and concepts.
Icon design tutorial: How to make a Calendar icon
In this tutorial we’re going to show you how we made the Calendar Icon from our most popular icon set “Coquette”.
Before you start developing your icon, you must first have a clear vision of how your icon will look. For a moment, step away from your computer and try to visualize your idea. Sketching on a piece of paper is very helpful in order to determine the design direction of the icon you are developing.
How to Create a Recycling, Paper Bag Icon
In this tutorial, we’ll explain how to create an eco-friendly paper icon with simple shapes and gradients. This tutorial is great for beginners to get started with icon design, as this is a fairly simple icon to create.
Create a Yummy Ice Cream Icon with Mesh Objects and Blends
In this tutorial, we’ll explain how to create a fun icon made up of mesh object and blends. This is a fairly easy tutorial, although you should be familiar with the mesh tool.
Create A 3D Vector Book Icon
We use icons every day, but usually they are made by others. So when we know exactly what we need, it is better if we make our very own icon. Here is how to make a 3D book icon, that we can use more times, with some modifications.
How to Draw A Realistic Vector Light Bulb From Scratch
In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how I build a light bulb from scratch in Illustrator. We’ll use numerous shapes and effects to create this illustration. I’ll take you through each step in creating this bulb.
How to Create A Realistic Chef’s Knife in Illustrator
If you love cooking, then this tutorial is just for you! Learn how to create a realistic chef’s knife by using simple paths and gradients. We’ll use relatively easy techniques to give an object volume, control the lighting, and make it look super sharp.
Make a Handy 3D Vector Calendar Icon
Learn to make a handy calendar icon to use on your blog, website, or print projects. We’ll use Illustrators Path and 3D tools to create this design. Also, a simple page curl effect will be demonstrated as well.
Illustrator Tutorial: realistic camera icon
In this occasion, we will be working on Adobe Illustrator.We are going to make a very realistic camera icon, so fasten your seatbelts and let’s go.
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. It’s a great starting point for budding icon designers or people who have previously used Photoshop for their creations and will teach you a few useful techniques to get you started with Adobe Illustrator.
Illustrator Tutorial: How to Draw a Vector Kiwi
Ever wonder how to make a vector kiwi in Adobe Illustrator? Well I did and here is what I came up with. In this tutorial, I will teach you how to do it using illustrator effects like Texturizer, Pointillise, Grain and Film grain. Hope you can learn some new stuff in this tutorial.
How to Create a Fun Circus Tent Icon
Roll up, roll up! In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a simple circus tent icon. You may discover some interesting things about the magic of Warp effects. Warp effects are often overlooked in digital illustration, but as you can see, they make some really nice results.
Create a clean envelope icon
In the following tutorial I will show you how to create a clean envelope icon. Give it a try and you might learn some new stuff about working with grid and the transform effect. You will also need some linear gradients, strokes, Opacity Mask, Pathfinder options plus some simple effects and techniques.
How to Create a Hyper-realistic Flashlight
In this tutorial you will learn how to create a hyper-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.
Icon tutorial: video projector
When you’re starting to learn how to create realistic objects in Illustrator you usually take a real life picture for inspiration and begin drawing it. On this tutorial we will offer a better solution for you to practice your skills in Illustrator. Throughout the whole post we will learn how to make a real object with Adobe Illustrator, in this case, we have selected an old film projector, such as the early 20th century.
How to Create an Energy Saving Bulb in Illustrator
Here we’re showing how to create an energy saving bulb with the help of the Illustrator’s Mesh Tool. At the beginning it could be quiet hard to work with, but if you get used to it, it’s fairly simple.
Realistic vintage vector tutorial
Illustrate a Pair of Sweet Gradient Mesh Cherries
In this tutorial, we’ll explain how to create a pair of cherries solely with the Gradient Mesh tool. If you’re not familiar with the Gradient Mesh tool, then this is a great tutorial to learn how to start using it. You can create artwork with a semi-realistic to very realistic look with that tool. It can take effort to master, but it’s worth your time.
Create a Fun Icon of Frozen People on Ice – Part I
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a fun, vector icon of a people symbol, frozen in an ice cube, from scratch. We’ll explore the usefulness of Adobe Illustrator’s 3D tools. The whole creation can be divided into two different parts. Part I: The ice cube, and Part II: The people icon. We’ll start with the ice cube in Part I. Then we’ll create the people icon and integrate them together in Part II.
Illustrator tutorial: create a 6-egg box
In this tutorial you will learn how to create a 6-egg box (full of eggs). We will use 3D Rotate and Revolve Effects. We will also play a lot with masks.
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 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. We’ll detail our icon with a red shipping stamp (that we will draw ourselves), packing tape, and shadows/highlights.
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 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.