• Program: Adobe Illustrator CS6 CC-2015
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Tag: Christmas, label, badge, ribbon, brand, New Year, winter, celebration, seasons, holidays.
  • Estimated time: 60 minutes

Today we are going to learn how to do 3 Christmas badges with Adobe Illustrator. We will make it with various vector shapes and with a retro look. A very functional design and useful to communicate.

Are you ready? Let’s go!

1. Prepare the new document

The first step is to create a new document on Adobe Illustrator (File>New) with this parameters:

  • Dimensions: 800x600px
  • Color mode: RGB
  • Resolutions: 72ppp


2. Choose the color palette

Determine the color we are going to use. Create a folder in the swatch panel. Go to Panel>Swatch>New color group with the swatches selected.


3. Create the background

Start by creating a cream color background with the Rectangle tool that covers the whole artboard. We make sure that it’s aligned with the artboard using the Align panel.



4. Determine the badges shapes

In this occasion, we are going to do three round Christmas badges, se we star doing three white ellipses. Center them with the artboard.


5. Create the ribbons

The ribbons are meant to help with the communication and aesthetic of the badges. We will create one for each badge and later on we will add a text on top.



To create an arc from the rectangle, we will use the option Effects>Warp>Arc


Step 1

We will make the basci struccture of the ribbons with three rectangles with a fill color in read and a stroke color brown.  We give the stroke a 3pt width.


Step 2

We make the ribbons endings. We do this adding an anchor point centered on the vertical line with the tool Add anchor point.


Step 3

With the Direct selection tool we will select the anchor points we have just created and drag them inside the ribbon, and that’s how you get the endings.


6. Add text

//The fonts used in this tutorial were downloaded for free at fontsquirrel.com//

Step 1

Add the label text. The type used is Arvo, and we will use a brown color.



To create a text with different shapes we will use the Type on a Path Tool. This tool will be really helpful to adapt the text to the badge.


7. Add text on top of the ribbons

We repeat the same thing we did on the previous step, using Type on a Path Tool on the curved ribbons. Once again I’m using Arvo, but this time in white.


8. Add a custom text

For this part we will use another type and we will play around with it to add more attractive and personality to our badges.


Step 1

We will start writing the words with the type Open Sans Bold. Apply color (red, green and yellow). Expand to convert the text in to a shape.


Step 2

Duplicate the words on top (CTRL+C CTRL+F) and we move the one that’s underneath a little bit down and we darken it a bit. To the one on top we apply Object>Path>Offset Path. This way we add depth and three-dimensionality to our letters.



Step 3

We add the text that’s left using the type England hand and Arvo.


9. Adding Christmas elements

Let’s make our images more attractive. To keep and unified look, we will use a 3 point brown stroke (the same as we used for the text and ribbons)


Step 1- The reindeer

We start with and ellipse. Modify the anchor points to create the face shape. We make the same thing with the ears and we go to Pathfinder>Unite


We create the horns with the Pen Tool. 6pt stroke width and rounded caps, expand to make it a shape and again: Pathfinder>Unite. We finish the nose and eyes with the Pen Tool. Finally we apply color with Object>Live paint>Create



Step 2- The branch

We start again with the ellipse. Modify the anchor point to give it a leave shape and we duplicate that shape as many times we need (CTRL+C CTRL+V). We make the branch with the Pen tool, apply color Object>Live paint.


Step 3- The candy cane

We make the struccture with the Pen tool. We give it a 20pt width stroke and expand the object. Apply the details with the Pen Tool. Stroke width 3pt and we finish by adding the color with Live paint.


Step 4- The bow

We make the struccture with basic geometric shapes, rounded caps and add final detail with thePen tool. Apply color.


Step 5- The mistletoe

Repeat the previous steps: Ellips, Pen tool and Live paint.


Step 6

Once we’ve got all the elements, distribute them on each badge and add fina details. It’s important to have everything expanded (Object>Expand), make every text a shape, every stroke a fill and finally group (Object>Group) to use the badges as you wish.


And we are done! Merry Christmas everyone!