Create School Icons

By Freepik Academy 2 weeks ago

Create the document

As with any new project, start by setting up a new document (File > New or Control + N) which we will adjust using the following settings:

  • Number of Artboards: 1
  • Width: 800 px
  • Height: 600 px
  • Units: Pixels

And from the Advanced tab:

  • Color Mode: RGB
  • Raster Effects: Screen (72 ppi)
  • Align New Objects to Pixel Grid: checked
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Quick tip:most of these settings can be triggered automatically by setting the Profile to Web, the only ones that won’t are the Width and Height of your document’s Artboard.

Set Up Some Layers

Whenever I start working on a new project I like to separate my assets on different layers, since this way I can streamline my workflow by focusing on one item at a time, which allows me to keep track of each and every shape at all time.

So, open up the layers panel, and let’s create four layers which we will name as follows:

  • Layer 1 > reference grids
  • Layer 2 > backpack
  • Layer 3 > notebook
  • Layer 4 > calculator
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The way we’re going to use these layers in our workflow is pretty easy. We’ll want to lock all except the one that we will be working on, so that we won’t move or misplace some of the shapes by accident.

Creating Our Reference Grids

As soon as we’ve layered our project file, we can start creating the reference grids, which will help us create our icons by focusing on consistency and size.

Step 1

Grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 128 x 128 px square, which we will color using #F15A24, and then position it towards the center of the Artboard using the Align panel’s Horizontal and Vertical Align Center options.

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Step 2

Create another smaller 120×120 px square, which will act as the active drawing area, thus giving us an all-around 4 px padding. Color the shape using white (#FFFFFF) and then group the two (Control + G) and create two more copies, one to the left and another to the right, distancing them at 40 px from the original.

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Once you’re done creating and positioning the reference grids, you can lock their layer, and then move on up to the next one, where we’ll start working on our first icon.

Creating the Backpack Icon

Assuming you’ve already moved on to the backpack layer, zoom in on its reference grid so that you can have a better view of what you’re going to be creating.

Step 1

Grab the Rounded Rectangle Tool and create the main shape of the backpack using a 72×100 px shape with a 4 px Corner Radius, which we will color using yellow (#F4BD5D) and then position towards the bottom section of the active drawing area, leaving an 8 px space gap.

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Step 2

Adjust the shape that we’ve just created, by opening up the Transform Panel and setting the Radius of its top corners to 36 px.

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Step 3

Give the shape an outline, by selecting it and then going to Object > Path > Offset Path where you will enter 4 px into the Offset value field, changing the resulting object’s color to #3D3232 so that it will stand out.

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Step 4

Create the lower section of the backpack, by drawing an 80×24 px rectangle (#7C7171) which we will then mask using a copy of the icon’s yellow shape.

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Quick tip:If you’ve never used the Clipping Mask before, don’t worry since the process itself is pretty simple: you first select the shape(s) that you want to mask and the shape that you want to use as a Clipping Mask, and then you right click and select Make Clipping Mask.

The reason why we’re using a Clipping Mask instead of Pathfinder’s Shape Modes is because Clipping Masks allow for a far easier and quicker adjustment process of a shape.

Step 5

Using the Rectangle Tool (M) create a 72×4 px horizontal divider (#3D3232), which we will position on top of the backpack’s lower section, since it will act as an outline.

At this point it would be a good idea to select all of the shapes that we’ve created so far, and group them together using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

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Step 6

Create the front pocket, by using a 40×24 px rounded rectangle with a 2 px Corner Radius, which we will color using a light grey (#A39999), giving it the same 4 px thick outline (#3D3232) using the Offset Path method. Once you have both shapes, position them towards the lower section of the backpack, leaving an 8 px space gap between the outlines.

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Step 7

Add a 48×8 px rectangle (#FFEAC5) towards the upper section of the pocket that we’ve just created, masking it using the grey shape from underneath and then add a 40×4 px rectangle (#3D3232) towards its bottom.

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Step 8

Since we now have the main shapes for the pocket, it’s time to start adding details to it. First, grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a 32×2 px shape (#3D3232) which we will position at 2 px from the horizontal outline that we’ve just created, horizontally aligning the two.

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Step 9

Add a 4×6 px rounded rectangle (#3D3232) with a 2 px Corner Radius to the zipper line that we’ve created in the previous step, positioning it towards its left side, making sure to group them afterwards (Control-G).

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Step 10

Next, create two 2 px tall rectangles (#3D3232) of different lengths (8 px and 4 px) which we will distance at 2 px from one another, and then position towards the lower-right corner of the front pocket.

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Step 11

Finish off the backpack’s front pocket, by adding a 10×8 px rounded rectangle with a 2 px Corner Radius followed by a slightly wider 20×8 px one, which we will color using #3D3232 and then distance at 2 px from one another, making sure to position them towards the upper section afterwards.

Oh and before you move on to the next step, don’t forget to select all the pocket’s composing shapes and group them together using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

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Step 12

With the front pocket all finished, we can focus on the area surrounding it, and start adding details to that as well.

So, select the Rectangle Tool (M) and create two 8×2 px shapes (#3D3232) positioning one on each side of the pocket, leaving a 4 px gap between them and the thicker horizontal outline.

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Step 13

Once you’ve added the two detail lines, you’ll have to create another 72×2 px rectangle (#3D3232) which we will position underneath the pocket’s outline, at a distance of 2 px.

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Step 14

With the Rectangle Tool (M) still selected, create two 2×4 px shapes (#3D3232) positioning both underneath the horizontal line that we’ve just created, one on each side of the backpack.

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Step 15

Add the straps by creating two 8×4 px rectangles (#3D3232) distanced at 32 px from one another, which we will position towards the bottom section of the backpack.

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Step 16

Start working on the left side pocket, by creating a 6×28 px rectangle (#D8A14A) which we will adjust by setting the Radius of its left corners to 2 px from the Transform Panel. Give it a 4 px outline (#3D3232) using the Offset Path method, and then position the two shapes leaving a 16 px space gap between them and the bottom section of the active drawing area.

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Step 17

Create the upper section of the side pocket using a 14×8 px rectangle (#FFEAC5) which we will mask using the yellow shape from underneath. Add another 6×4 px rectangle (#3D3232) underneath it which will act as an outline and then select and group all of its composing shapes using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

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Step 18

Create the second side pocket, by grabbing a copy of the one that we’ve just created (Control + C > Control + F) and positioning it onto the other side of the backpack, making sure to adjust it by flipping it vertical (right click > Transform > Reflect > Vertical).

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Step 19

Move a few pixels towards the upper section of the backpack, and using the Rectangle Tool (M) create a 32×4 px shape (#3D3232) which will act as the zipper line, making sure to distance it at 12 px from the front pocket.

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Step 20

Create the zipper slider using a 4×6 px rounded rectangle (#3D3232) with a 2 px Corner Radius, which we will position towards the right side of the shape that we’ve created in the previous step, leaving a 4 px space gap.

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Oh, and since both shapes are part of the same section, select and group them (Control + G) so that they won’t get separated by accident.

Step 21

With the secondary zipper in place, grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 16×6 px shape (#FFEAC5) which will act as the backpack’s name tag. Give it the usual 4 px outline (#3D3232) and then position the two shapes above the zipper, at a distance of 8 px from it.

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Step 22

Add a little 12×2 px rectangle (#3D3232) towards the center of the name tag, and then select all its composing elements and group them together (Control + G).

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Step 23

Finish off the backpack icon, by adding the top handle which we will create using a 28×24 px rounded rectangle (#3D3232) with a 12 px Corner Radius from which we will extract a smaller 20×16 px one with an 8 px Corner Radius using Pathfinder’s Minus Front Shape Mode.

Once you’ve added the handle, select and group all of the icon’s elements together (Control + G) and then lock the current layer so that we can move on up to the third one and start working on our second icon.

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Creating the Notebook Icon

Assuming you’ve already positioned yourself onto the correct layer, zoom in on its reference grid, and let’s get started.

Now, as you’ve probably noticed, the second icon is actually composed out of a notebook and a pen, which is why we will start by creating the last of the two.

Step 1

Grab the Rectangle Tool (M) and create the main body of the pen using a 4×76 px shape, which we will color using a dark grey (#7C7171). Give it a 4 px thick outline using the Offset Path method, and then position the two towards the lower-left corner of the active drawing area leaving a 4 px gap towards the bottom, and a slightly larger 6 px one towards the left side.

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Step 2

With the main shapes in place, create the lower end using a 8×4 px rectangle which we will color using #3D3232.

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Step 3

Add some details to the pen’s body, by drawing a 2×2 px circle followed by a larger 2×8 px rectangle and another smaller 2×4 px one. Distance all three shapes at 2 px from one another, grouping (Control + G) and then positioning them towards the lower section of the pen.

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Step 4

Create the pen’s cap, by adding an 8×24 px rectangle (#A39999) with a 4 px outline (#3D3232) towards the upper section of its body, making sure that the outlines overlap.

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Step 5

Start adding details to the cap, by drawing three 8×2 px rectangles (#3D3232), distanced at 2 px from one another, which we will group (Control + G) and then position towards its upper section leaving a 2 px space gap.

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Step 6

Create the cap’s clip, by drawing a 4×18 px rectangle, followed by a smaller 2×14 px one which we will color using #3D3232, and then group (Control + G) aligning them to the first horizontal detail line.

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Step 7

Finish off the pen by adding an 8×8 px circle (#3D3232) towards the upper section of the cap.

Then select all of its composing elements and group them (Control + G) so that they won’t get separated.

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Step 8

Start working on the notebook, by creating an 84×112 px rectangle (#F4BD5D) which we will adjust by setting the Radius of its right corners to 8 px. Give it a 4 px thick outline (#3D3232) using the Offset Path method, and then position both shapes towards the right side of the pen, leaving a 4 px gap between them.

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Step 9

Using the Rectangle Tool (M) create a 10×112 px shape which we will color using #FFEAC5 and then align towards the left side of the yellow shape.

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Step 10

Add another narrower 4×112 px rectangle (#3D3232) towards the right side of the shape that we’ve just created and an even smaller 2×56 px one (#3D3232) which we will align to its center making sure to select and group (Control + G) all three shapes afterwards.

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Step 11

Add a subtle texture to the notebook, by creating twenty-eight rows of 2×2 px rectangles (#D8A14A) distanced at 2 px from one another both horizontal and vertically. Once you have all the squares in place, group them (Control + G) so that you can keep track of them, and then position the texture over the yellow section of the notebook.

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Step 12

Finish of the notebook icon, by adding the little strap which we will create by drawing a 6×112 px rectangle (#A39999) with a 4 px outline (#3D3232) onto which we will add two 1×112 px rectangles (#3D3232) towards the sides.

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Once you’re done, don’t forget to group the strap’s elements (Control + G) and then the icon’s composing shapes so that they’ll stick together.

Creating the Calculator Icon

Assuming you’ve already locked the previous layer and moved on to the last one, zoom in on its reference grid, and let’s finish the pack by creating the calculator icon.

Step 1

Using the Rounded Rectangle Tool, create the device’s main body using a 92×112 px shape (#F4BD5D) with a 4 px Corner Radius, and then give it a 4 px outline (#3D3232) aligning both shapes to the center of the underlying reference grid.

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Step 2

Create the upper section of the calculator by drawing a 100×42 px rectangle which we will color using #FFEAC5 and then mask using the yellow shape from underneath.

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Step 3

Add a 92×4 px rectangle right under the shape that we’ve just created, coloring it using #3D3232 since it will act as an outline.

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Step 4

Start working on the screen, by creating a 68×14 px rectangle (#7C7171) with a 4 px outline (#3D3232) which we will then align to the center of the calculator’s upper section.

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Step 5

Make your way down, and then start creating the actual buttons by drawing an 8×4 px rectangle (#A39999) with a 4 px outline (#3D3232). Group the two (Control + G), and then create four rows of four buttons distanced at 4 px both horizontally and vertically.

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Step 6

Change the color of the right button column to #7C7171 by selecting the fill rectangles using the Direct Selection Tool (A).

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Step 7

Remove the first two buttons from the bottom row, and then create a wider one using a 28×4 px rectangle (#7C7171), giving it the usual 4 px thick outline (#3D3232).

Oh and since we want the entire bottom row to have the same color, change the third button one’s to #7C7171, selecting and grouping (Control + G) all of them afterwards.

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Step 8

Finish off the icon, by adding a little circular 4×4 px reset button (#3D3232) underneath the screen, and two 2 px tall rectangles with different widths (6 and 20 px) distanced at 2 px from one another towards its top.

Once you’re done, select and group all of the icon’s composing shapes using the Control + G keyboard shortcut.

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Saved by the Bell!

There you have it guys, a nice looking icon pack using a pretty straightforward workflow that you can use and adapt to create similar themed items. I hope that you’ve found the steps easy to approach and most importantly learned something new and useful along the way.

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