How to Create a Cardboard VR Headset Icon

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In today’s Illustrator-based tutorial, we’re going to take a close look at the process of creating a cardboard VR headset icon using nothing more than a couple of basic geometric shapes that we’re going to adjust here and there. So, assuming you already have the software up and running, let’s jump straight into it!

Tutorial Details: Cardboard VR Headset Icon

  • Program: Adobe Illustrator
  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Topics Covered: Compositional Construction, Shape Alignment, Grid Positioning
  • Estimated Completion Time: 15 Minutes

Final Image: Cardboard VR Headset Icon

How to Create a Cardboard VR Headset Icon

Step 1

As we do with all our new projects, we’re going to kick things off by creating a New Document by heading over to File > New (or by using the Control-N keyboard shortcut) which we will adjust as follows:

  • Number of Artboards: 1
  • Width: 64 px
  • Height: 64 px
  • Units: Pixels

And from the Advanced tab:

  • Color Mode: RGB
  • Raster Effects: Screen (72ppi)
  • Preview Mode: Default
Create a new document in Illustrator

Step 2

As soon as we’ve finished setting up our project file, we can start working on the actual icon, by creating the main shape for the rear section of the headset using a 48 x 36 px rounded rectangle with a 4 px Corner Radius, which we will color using #E08E0B and then horizontal center align to the underlying Artboard, positioning it at a distance of 12 px from its top edge.

Creating a rounded rectangle

Step 3

Add the front section using a 56 x 36 px rounded rectangle with a 4 px Corner Radius, which we will color using #FFDB43 and then position on top of the previous shape as seen in the reference image.

Creating a second rounded rectangle for the front section

Step 4

Switch over to the Pixel Preview mode by going to View > Pixel Preview (or by using the Alt-Control-Y keyboard shortcut), and then using the Add Anchor Point Tool (+) add three new anchor points to the shape’s bottom edge, by simply clicking on it at the indicated distances. Take your time, and once you’re done, turn off the Pixel Preview mode before moving on to the next step.

Adding three anchor points

Step 5

Adjust the shape, by selecting the bottom-center anchor point using the Direct Selection Tool (A) and then pushing it to the inside by a distance of 12 px using the Move tool (right click > Transform > Move > Vertical > -12 px).

Using the direct selection tool to move the anchor point

Step 6

Continue adjusting the shape, by converting the nose cutout anchor points to smooth using the Convert selected anchor points to smooth function, and then re-positioning they’re end points as seen in the reference image. Take your time, and once you’re done, move on to the next step.

Smoothing the nose cutout

Step 7

Add the eye cutouts using two 12 x 12 px circles, which we will color using #E08E0B and then position above the nose cutout, at a distance of 12 px from one another.

Adding circles for the eyes

Step 8

Finish off the icon and with it the project itself, by adding the subtle highlight, which we will create using two copies (Control-C) of the front section, which we will paste in front (Control-F twice), making sure to push the top most one to the bottom by a distance of 2 px using the directional arrow keys. With the shape in place, select both copies and then use Pathfinder’s Minus Front Shape Mode to create the cutout, making sure to color the resulting shape using #FFE98F. Once you’re done, make sure you select and group all of the icon’s composing shapes using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

Adding a highlight

Great Job!

As always, I hope you had fun working on the project, and most importantly managed to learn something new and useful during the process. That being said, if you have any questions feel free to post them within the comments section, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!

The finished product - a VR headset icon
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