Tutorial: How To Create A Reusable Dynamic Badge Effect In Illustrator CS4

Tutorial: How To Create A Reusable Dynamic Badge Effect In Illustrator CS4

In this tutorial I will explain how to make a Shamrock Badge for St. Patrick’s Day using the Appearance Palette in combination with some simple effects. The result will be a reusable dynamic badge effect. You are welcome to try this with any shape or colors.

Step 1

Draw a circle with the Ellipse Tool (L) 100 px by 100 px. With the Direct Selection Tool (A) select the bottom point of the circle and move it down about 40 px. Copy (command/control + C) and Paste in Front (command/control + F) the shape. With the Rotate Tool (R) selected place the anchor point at the bottom point of the duplicated shape, hold down Shift, then drag the top end of the shape until it locks into a 45 degree position.

Vector Shamrock Badge Tutorial Step 1

Step 2

With both shapes selected, go to the Pathfinder Palette and select the Unite function. Now Copy & Past in Front, like in step one. Again, with the Rotate Tool (R), place the anchor point at the bottom point of the duplicate shape and rotate the shape until it is just barely overlapping the first shape. Repeat this once more until you have something like this.

Vector Shamrock Badge Tutorial Step 2

Step 3

Select all three shapes and hit Unite in the Pathfinder Palette. You should now have one clover shaped path. If your path has a small whole in the middle, just select it with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and hit Delete. Reduce the clover shape’s size by going to Object > Transform > Scale. Set the Uniform option to 65% and click OK. Your shape should look something like this.

Vector Shamrock Badge Tutorial Step 3

Step 4

Give it a green Fill. Open the Appearance Palette. Click the Palette Option Button located at the top right of the palette and select Add New Fill. Give the new Fill a color of light green and place it underneath the first Fill in the Appearance Palette’s stacking order. With the new Fill attribute selected from the Appearance Palette, go to Effect > Convert to Shape > Rounded Rectangle. Select the Relative option and set the Extra Width and Height to 40 px and the Corner Radius to 30 px.

Vector Shamrock Badge Tutorial Step 4

Step 5

Now give the shape a 10 pt Stroke with the same color of dark green as the top Fill. With the Stroke attribute still selected, give it the same Rounded Rectangle effect as in Step 4. (Note: when adding effects to a single attribute of a shape be sure to have that attribute selected in the Appearance Palette otherwise the effect will apply itself to the entire shape and not just the one attribute.)

Vector Shamrock Badge Tutorial Step 5

Step 6

Create a new Stroke in the Appearance Palette. Place it under the first Stroke and give it a color of light gray. Set the Stroke to Dashed with a Dash Size of 4 pt and Gap of 6 pt. Set its size to 2 pt and give it a Rounded Cap.

Vector Shamrock Badge Tutorial Step 6

Step 7

With the new Dashed Stroke attribute selected, go to Effects > Path > Offset Path. Set the Offset to -4 px and the Joints to Round.

Vector Shamrock Badge Tutorial Step 7

Step 8

Add another Stroke similar to the one in Step 6. Give it that same Rounded Rectangle Effect as in Step 4. Then offset its path like in Step 7, but this time set the Offset to -12 px.

Vector Shamrock Badge Tutorial Step 8

Step 9

Give both gray Strokes a Drop Shadow (Effects > Stylize > Drop Shadow). Set the Mode to Overlay, Opacity to 100%, X Offset to 0 px, Y offset to 1 px and Blur to 1 px. Remember to have the Stroke attribute selected from the Appearance Palette before adding the effect.

Vector Shamrock Badge Tutorial Step 9

Step 10

Now, with the original dark green Fill selected from the Appearance Palette, go to Effects > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Set the Mode to Normal, Opacity to 30%, X Offset to 0 px, Y offset to 1 px and Blur to 1 px.

Vector Shamrock Badge Tutorial Step 10

Step 11

Now, select the light green Fill from the Appearance Palette, go to Effects > Stylize > Inner Glow. Set the Mode to Normal, Opacity to 30%, Blur to 20 px and make sure the Edge option is selected.

Vector Shamrock Badge Tutorial Step 11

Step 12

With the entire shape selected, go to Effects > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Set the Mode to Normal, Opacity to 30%, X Offset to 0 px, Y offset to 2 px and Blur to 2 px.

Vector Shamrock Badge Tutorial Step 12

Step 13

To finish off the badge, add one more Fill in the Appearance Palette and put it right to the top of the stacking order. Give it a Rounded Rectangle Effect like in Step 4, but set Relative Height and Width to 45 px and Corner Radius to 35 px. Give it a Linear Gradient at 90 degrees with black at both ends. Give the black swatch on the left an Opacity of 0%. Then set the Transparency mode of the new FIll to Overlay.

Vector Shamrock Badge Tutorial Step 13

Conclusion

In order to make the styling of this shape reusable, simply drag the shape to the Graphic Styles Palette, create a new shape, select the style from the palette and there you have it Ð a reusable dynamic badge effect. It will even work on editable text. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, enjoy!

Vector Shamrock Badge Tutorial Step 14