How to Create a Text File Icon

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In today’s tutorial, we’re going to take a close look behind the process of creating a text file icon, and see how easy it is to create one from scratch using just a couple of basic geometric shapes. So, assuming you already have Illustrator up and running, let’s jump straight into it!

Tutorial Details: Text File Icon

  • Program: Adobe Illustrator CS6 – CC 2019
  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Topics Covered: Compositional Construction, Shape Alignment, Grid Positioning
  • Estimated Completion Time: 20 Minutes

Final Image: Text File Icon

Step 1

As we do with all our 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: 96 px
  • Height: 96 px
  • Units: Pixels

And from the Advanced tab:

  • Color Mode: RGB
  • Raster Effects: Screen (72ppi)
  • Preview Mode: Default

Step 2

As soon as we’ve finished setting up our project file, we can start working on the actual icon by creating its main body using an 80 x 80 px circle, which we will color using #EDEFF2 and then center align to the larger underlying using the Align panel’s Horizontal and Vertical Align Center options.

Step 3

Add the main shape for the folded corner using a 24 x 24 px square, which we will color using #D3D3D3 and then align to the larger shapes top and right anchor points.

Step 4

Adjust the shape that we’ve just created by opening up the Transform panel and then setting the Radius of its bottom-left corner to 8 px from within the Rectangle Properties input field.

Step 5

Mask the resulting shape by creating a copy (Control-C) of the underlying circle, which we will paste in front (Control-F) and then with both it and the folded corner selected simply right click > Make Clipping Mask.

Step 6

Create the main shape for the dummy text lines using a 28 px wide 4 px thick Stroke line with a Round Cap, which we will color using #FF8440 and then center align to the underlying circle, positioning it at a distance of 24 px from its bottom anchor point.

Step 7

Add the second text line using a copy (Control-C > Control-F) of the one that we’ve just finished working on, which we will stack on top at a distance of just 4 px.

Step 8

Add the narrower lines using two 6 px wide 4 px thick Strokes (#FF8440), which we will vertically stack at 4 px from one another and the wider lines. Once you’re done, make sure you select (Select > Same > Stroke Color) and group all of the strokes together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

Step 9

Start working on the letter “T” by creating its foot using a 12 px wide 4 px thick Stroke line (#FF8440) with a Round Join, which we will position as seen in the reference image.

Step 10

Add the stem using a 12 px tall 4 px thick Stroke line (#FF8440), which we will align to the center of the foot so that their paths overlap.

Step 11

Create the main shape for the arm using a 16 x 4 px rectangle with a 4 px thick Stroke (#FF8440), which we will position on top of the stem as seen in the reference image.

Step 12

Finish off the icon and with it the project itself by opening up the path of the shape that we’ve just created, by first adding a new anchor point to the center of its bottom edge using the Add Anchor Point Tool (+). Select the resulting anchor using the Direct Selection Tool (A), and then immediately remove it by pressing Delete making sure to set its Cap to Round Cap. Once you’re done, don’t forget to select and group (Control-G) all of the letter’s composing shapes doing the same for the entire icon afterwards.

Great Work!

I hope you had fun working on the project, and 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!

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