How to Create a Purple, Spirit Day-Inspired iPhone Wallpaper in Adobe Photoshop

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

Learn how to design a purple iPhone wallpaper in honor of Spirit Day! For this tutorial, I’ll show you how to use gradient backgrounds, star brushes, and more to create an iPhone wallpaper design.

Take a Stand Against Bullying

Each year, millions wear purple on Spirit Day as a sign of support for
LGBTQ youth and to speak out against bullying. Take the pledge to go
purple! — GLAAD.org

So last year, I created this Photoshop Action to create a quick photo effect for Spirit Day.

By running the custom action, you can apply a purple filter and a few simple shapes onto any picture to show your support for the awareness. 

This time, I wanted to do something a little different.

My mind is just blown that I get access to so many lovely goodies on Envato Elements, so lately I’ve been sifting through all the background collections to find one to put my spin on.

Keep in mind, you will need a subscription for the gradient and vector items I used, but you can also play around with free stocks for this, while still using our free brush pack.

Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used in the productions of this tutorial:

Expand your collection! Paint stars, draw hair, or apply grunge effects with this free Photoshop Brush Pack of 10 essential brushes.

1. How to Set Up the Wallpaper Size

iPhone Wallpaper Dimensions

The size of your wallpaper will depend on your personal iPhone. I’ve got an iPhone 6, so we’ll just go with that.

Here are a few sizes you can consider:

Screen: 1334 x 750
Wallpaper: 1608 x 852
for iPhone 6

Screen: 1920 x 1080
(downsampled from 2208 x 1242)
Wallpaper: 2662 x 2662
for iPhone 6 Plus

Find the right wallpaper size for your iPhone. Here are some helpful links I used:

Now create a New Document (Control-N) at this size:

  • Width/Height: 852×1608 pixels
  • Resolution: 150 dpi
New Document

(I like small file sizes, so feel free to adjust the resolution as needed.)

Let’s move on to the background!

2. How to Create the Purple Background

Step 1

First, download the Gradient Backgrounds 2. These two cosmic-like backgrounds were my favorite.

Gradient Backgrounds Envato Elements

I’ll be using #16 for my wallpaper.

Wallpaper 16

Step 2

Now Copy (Control-C) and Paste (Control-V) the gradient onto a New Layer for your wallpaper document.

Rotate the gradient
  1. The image is pretty big, so we’ll need to rotate it to show off my favorite area, the orange color.
  2. Use the Free Transform Tool (Control-T) to rotate it counter-clockwise. Adjust the size if needed.

Step 3

The official Spirit Day color is similar to this purple #6f009a color.

Create a New Layer. Use the Paint Bucket Tool (G) to Fill the layer with purple. Then set the Layer Blend Mode to Hard Light and lower the Opacity to 26%.

Add a purple hard light layer

Step 4

Great! Now Duplicate (Control-J) the gradient layer. Drag the layer above the Hard Light one within the Layers panel. 

Duplicate the gradient layer

Let’s create a new background using these two gradient layers. Use the Free Transform Tool (Control-T) to help reposition this layer towards the bottom of the blue area.

Rotate the gradient copy

Step 5

Add a Layer Mask to the gradient copy.

Select the Brush Tool (B), use a Soft Round Brush with 0% Hardness and 90-100% Opacity to paint black onto the white Layer Mask. Paint away the harsh edge from the picture and keep adjusting it until you’re happy.

Apply a layer mask

3. How to Add More Texture and Color

Step 1

With the background gradients all set, we can move on to texture and color.

But first, let’s add an Adjustment Layer of Color Lookup. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Color Lookup, and select this setting:

  • 3DLUT File: 3Strip.look
Add a color lookup adjustment layer

Step 2

Let’s paint some texture using the Star Brush from this Photoshop Brush Pack.

This brush is meant to resemble tiny, far-away star dots, so we can use it to paint lots of glittery texture.

Star Photoshop Brush

Create a New Layer. Set the Foreground Color to white and paint dots all around the gradient background for texture. Vary the Brush Size to your preferences.

Paint white dots

When you’re finished, use the Eraser Tool (E) to softly erase away some stars. Start with a medium to low Opacity and increase it when needed.

Erase the dots

Step 3

Create a New Layer.

Use the Paint Bucket Tool (G) to Fill it with the same purple #5a009a color from before. Set the Layer Blend Mode to Overlay and lower the Opacity to 43%.

Add a purple overlay
Overlay will make the colors more rich.

Step 4

Let’s continue tweaking the colors until we’re happy with the result.

Design is all about patience and experimentation!

Create a New Adjustment Layer of Color Balance. Adjust the settings for the Midtones, Shadows and Highlights to the following:

Add a Color Balance adjustment layer

Then create another New Layer and Fill it with a rich purple #6f009a. Set the Blend Mode to Hue and the Opacity to 43%.

Here’s the result. Now it’s more in line with Spirit Day colors!

Before and after
Here’s a before and after comparison after applying Color Balance and a new color fill.

4. How to Make a Geometric Composition

Step 1

Use the Ellipse Tool (U) to create a large purple #690092 circle. Place it in the center of the composition.

Add a circle

Set the purple circle layer to Darken.

Create a quick Layer Mask to erase some of the lower left area of the circle. Feather it out by using a Soft Round Brush. This will help blend it into the background.

Blend the circle

Step 2

For more depth, let’s establish the foreground, middle and background sections of this composition with more geometric objects.

Use the Custom Shape Tool (U) to add a triangle shape to the bottom left side.

Right-click the shape layer and go to Blending Options. Add a pink Gradient Overlay with the following options:

  • Gradient Colors: #8c3148 to #ff5984
Add a gradient overlay

Then add another purple triangle #6102e4 to the top right side. Here’s the result:

Add more triangles

Step 3

For a little more sultry atmosphere, we’re going to adjust the lighting of this scene.

Fill a New Layer with red #720f0e. Add a Layer Mask and paint black with a Soft Round Brush to hide certain parts of the red layer away. Then lower the Opacity to 33% and set it to Multiply.

Add a red layer and mask
Take your time with Layer Masks and slowly hide the color away. Try to find balance.

Step 4

Let’s add the “sun” object for this piece. It wasn’t originally intentional, but it’ll later help to draw in the viewer.

Use the Ellipse Tool (U) to create a purple #570f9c circle. Position it towards the right side of the other.

Then Right-click to go to Blending Options. Add a Gradient Overlay with the following settings:

  • Gradient Colors: #aa9780 and #e4cbac
Add a gradient overlay

We’ll leave the final circle shape which holds the date for Spirit Day for the last steps.

For now, Duplicate the left lower triangle. Set the color to this purple #7000cc. Make it bigger before setting it to Screen. Enjoy the subtle effect!

Create a triangle effect

5. How to Finish the iPhone Wallpaper

Step 1

For the last steps of this iPhone wallpaper design, we’ll need to adjust the contrast and add a date!

Let’s start with a New Adjustment Layer of Color Lookup.

Set the 3DLUT File to filmstock_50.3dl.

Add a color lookup adjustment

Step 2

Create the last ellipse. Set the color to magenta #751772.

Create the last ellipse

Add a Gradient Overlay to the ellipse. Use a colorful Yellow, Pink, and Purple preset you can find by accessing the Pastel gradients within the Gradient Editor.

Add a pastel gradient overlay

Next, add an Outer Glow with the following settings:

Add an outer glow

Here’s the result—it’s subtle, but well worth the effort.

Circle result after blending options

Step 3

Add some light for some wicked effects! Use a Soft Round Brush to paint white onto a New Layer set to Overlay.

Paint light with overlay

Step 4

For a little movement, let’s create a 3D trianglular shape that floats into the scene.

First, use the Custom Shape Tool (U) to create the purple #5a1390 triangle. Adjust the perspective with the Free Transform Tool (Control-T).

As with our previous steps, add a gradient. Use the same Pastel Gradient from before, but lower the Opacity to 30%.

Add a 3D triangle

To make this triangle 3D, first duplicate it. Delete the gradient overlay and use this triangle to set the lower base of the 3D effect. Next, use the Pen Tool (P) to connect the two triangles together by filling in the gaps with purple shapes. 

Create the 3D shape

Step 5

Now for the text.

Create the text for the date and hashtag with two new text layers. I’ll be using this Reef Font and Arial Rounded MT Bold. Set the date to white and #spiritday to pink #ff28ff.

Create the text

Right-click to go to Blending Options.

Follow these settings to create a Drop Shadow, Gradient Overlay, and Bevel and Emboss effect.

blending option settings

Here’s the result:

Text layer result

Step 6

Set the magenta circle to Soft Light.

Use one of geometric shapes from this vector shape bundle for more detail on the circle. Copy and Paste the shape onto a New Layer, and then use the Eraser Tool (E) to erase the areas where the lines are intersecting.

It may help to hide the text for this step.

Add the geometric shape

Step 7

Balance out the composition by using a Soft Round Brush to add more light and color to the scene. Use your natural intuition to help blend areas together.

Finally, brighten it with a New Brightness and Contrast Adjustment layer.

  • Brightness: 6
  • Contrast: 49
Create a brightness and contrast layer

That’s it! Check out the final result below.

Free Spirit Day iPhone Wallpaper

Get this wallpaper at full size and join us for Spirit Day! Set it as your wallpaper to show your support of this important anti-bullying mission.

Like this iPhone Mockup? Try it out!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial. Feel free to leave comments, results, and any questions below!

For more Spirit Day tutorials, check out these links:

Purple iPhone Wallpaper Design Photoshop Tutorial

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Art for All: Celebrate Diversity in Design—Volume 2

Welcome back to Volume Two of our Diversity in Design series on Envato Tuts+. Discover four talented artists with inspiring styles you’ll love.

4 Artists You Should Know: Diversity in Design

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Shyama Golden

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Biggie

I’m an artist and illustrator with a graphic design education and
background. My parents came to the US from Sri Lanka before I was born
and both worked as scientists, but encouraged me to find my own path.

I
worked as a designer for a decade
before feeling brave enough to switch over to a career in art.

Biggie by Shyama Golden
Biggie

Arundhati Roy

I’m mostly inspired by capturing a feeling of life. My favorite mediums are oil paints, digital
media on the iPad Pro, and I also like to use animation and patterns in my work.

Arundhati Roy by Shyama Golden
Arundhati Roy

Catsquatch

Catsquatch by Shyama Golden
Catsquatch

Maria

I know my
design background influences my work, especially the patterns. I try not to be 100% tied to any
particular art movement or trend that is popular at the moment. I create the things I want to see in the world, or what I feel is missing or
underrated.

Maria by Shyama Golden
Maria

Tavo Montañez

Father, teacher, and jazz lover Tavo Montañez is our second artist from Aguascalientes, Mexico.

His fluid illustrations merge his Mexican cultural influence and creative experimentation. See more in his portfolio, or follow him on Facebook.

Los Amores de Frida

My name is Gustavo Díaz Montañez (Tavo Montañez).

I am an illustrator working mostly in the editorial, publishing, and advertising industries.
My process usually involves drawing
with pencil, ink on paper, and digital coloring.

Los Amores de Frida by Tavo Montanez
Los Amores de Frida {The Loves of Frida)

Perspective Magazine: Time to Act

I’m inspired by nature in general. I love women, animals, textures,
water, and even fiction and monsters. There is a desire within me to always improve my work by finding new mediums and challenges.

Perspective Magazine Time to Act
Perspective Magazine: Time to Act

Los Amores de Frida

Los Amores de Frida
Los Amores de Frida (The Loves of Frida)

10.10

I always turn to the work of my compatriots for inspiration. There’s Saturnino Herrán,
Ernesto García Cabral, and César Moreno among others.

1010
10.10

Catalina Vásquez

Catalina is an animator and illustrator from Medellín, Colombia.

Her delightful illustrations step inside everyday life with bold patterns and textures. See more in her portfolio, or follow her on Instagram.

The Weaver

I’m Catalina Vásquez (Kathiuska) and I started learning illustration on my own during the middle of my audiovisual communication studies. I like to portray everyday life in my illustrations.

I also love moving images, so I’m now working on my second short animated film called, Jail.

The Weaver by Catalina Vasquez
The Weaver

Medellín Brand Campaign

My inspiration is in daily life. I think my work is very autobiographical
and emotional. So I like to go out and see what’s happening around me
and later, process all this information to create my stuff.

Medelln Brand Campaign by Catalina Vasquez
“Expand Your Ideas.” Medellín Brand Campaign

Girl’s Night

Girls Night by Catalina Vasquez
Girl’s Night

Medellín Brand Campaign

I’ve always felt very inspired by the UPA animation studio art style, and American cartoons.

But I also like the concept art
of shows like Mr. Magoo and the Pink Panther for when I need color palettes and inspiration. I love illustrating children’s books, so I’m a fan of artists like Isabel Arsenault, Rebecca Green, and Olga Demidova.

Medelln Brand Campaign by Catalina Vasquez
“Expand Your World.” Medellín Brand Campaign

Eunjoo Lee

Our final artist is Eunjoo Lee. She’s a Korean illustrator and textile designer from Glasgow, Scotland.

Blending her love of art history and Utopian fantasies, Eunjoo creates unique textile illustrations for indoor fabrics and more. See more in her portfolio, or follow her on Instagram.

Utopia

The inspiration behind my illustrations is about the
individualized fantasy of utopia, and how it affects personality. It’s my visual language inspired by the historical art
movement.

Utopia by Eunjoo Lee
Utopia

Korean Fairy Tale Scarf

I try to use a lot of symbols in my artwork because I’m interested in the hidden meanings behind these creative languages.

Korean Fairy Tale Scarf
Korean Fairy Tale Scarf

Haetae

Haetae by Eunjoo Lee
Haetae

Korean Traditional Costume

I’m inspired by a diverse set of visual artists. My textile design
ideas come from Vårklockor Josef Frank, Makoto Kagoshima and historical Asian textile designs.

I also look up to modern artists too, such as Picasso, Miro, Kiki Smiths, and lots of others.

Korean Traditional Costume
Korean Traditional Costume

Celebrate Diversity! Send Us Your Favorite Artists!

Help us find more incredible artists from different backgrounds to share with our audience! Tweet me your recommendations at MelloNieves or use the hashtags #artforall and #tutsplusdesign on Twitter and Instagram. You never know, we may just feature you in our next article!

I’d like to extend a warm thank you to all the artists who participated in
this feature. Feel free to see more of their work in the links below:

How to Draw a Hamburger and a Hot Dog in Adobe Illustrator

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use the Mesh Tool in Adobe Illustrator to create a hot dog and a hamburger!

If you want to skip the tutorial and just use these items in your work, you can purchase the Hot Dog and the Hamburger from GraphicRiver!

Hot Dog
the Hot Dog
Hamburger
the Hamburger

1. How to Create a Hot Dog Mesh

Step 1

Let’s start off by drawing the top bun with Gradient Mesh.

Create an orange rectangle—the color is #CF6822.

Next, grab the Mesh Tool (U). By clicking, create nodes, which in turn create a Mesh Grid. When you have four rows and four columns of mesh, grab the edges of the rectangle and move them to make the shape rounder. It should resemble the top half of a bun.

Once you’re done with the shaping, select the bottom two rows of nodes and color them with #F5CD99.

Finally, color the top two rows of nodes with #A3320E.

begin drawing the bun with mesh

Step 2

Finish off drawing the top visible half of the hot dog bun by placing more Mesh nodes and coloring them as in the screenshot below.

Always look for the nodes that are selected in each step and color them with the hex code that is present under each image.

You will need these colors:

  1. #E19843
  2. #F0AF4B
  3. #F6D4AF
  4. #DB9559
draw top mesh bun

Step 3

Begin drawing the bottom part of the bun. Follow the screenshot, as in the previous steps.

  1. #CF6822
  2. #A0330F
  3. #EDC089
draw mesh bun

Step 4

Finish coloring the bun.

  1. #F3BE5E
  2. #F9E3C0
  3. #E2A36A
  4. #8F2609
create bottom bun

Step 5

Begin drawing the sausage in the same manner.

  1. #C94D21
  2. #89190C
  3. #F9ECE8
color mesh sausage

Step 6

Add a few more touches.

  1. #D37550
  2. #6D0800
color sausage

Step 7

Change some colors on the right tip of the sausage.

  1. #A0321A
  2. #881E0E
finish sausage tip

Step 8

Color some nodes with #BD4E31.

Then, modify the nodes on the right and left tips of the sausage as indicated below.

finish sausage

Step 9

Let’s draw the mustard!

  1. #FBD020
  2. #D6560A
draw mustard

Step 10

To make it wavy, create some more Mesh nodes. Then, select every other column, alternating them, and press the Down key a couple of times, moving the nodes downwards.

Repeat until the image looks like a wavy strip of mustard.

change mustard shape

Step 11

Tweak the shape and the colors a bit more.

  1. #D98911
  2. #FFFFFF
mustard

Step 12

Now we need some shadows. Draw two shapes and fill them with #5B1B0C and #C94D21, as indicated below.

Place the smaller shape inside the bigger one.

make shapes for blend

Step 13

Change the Opacity of the big shape to 0%.

change opacity

Step 14

Next, select both objects and go to Object > Blend > Blend Options. Set the mode to Specified Steps with an amount of 30Object > Blend > Make to create the shadow.

make blend

Step 15

Create a thinner copy of the Blend. Change the Transparency of both objects to Multiply.

create copy

Step 16

Place the shadows under both buns.

place shadows

Step 17

Add the sausage in the back and the mustard strip on top.

add sausage

Step 18

Let’s draw another shadow! Use #5B1B0C and #FFFFFF.

circles for shadow

Step 19

Create another Blend like we just did in Steps 13-14.

make blend

Step 20

Place the shadow under the hot dog!

place shadow

2. How to Create a Texture

Step 1

In this optional section, we will create a texture for the meat in our burger.

You can choose to skip this one, but if you don’t, head over to my autumn tutorial and complete Steps 13-14 in the first section.

Select and isolate only the indicated cluster of paths, as indicated in the screenshot below.

isolate texture

Step 2

Clone this particular part until you create a fairly long line.

clone texture

Step 3

Group (Control-G) these elements, and then change their Transparency to Overlay and Opacity to 50%.

change opacity

3. How to Draw the Hamburger

Step 1

Begin drawing the top bun with Meshjust as we did with the hot dog.

  1. #FDCC8D
  2. #933800
  3. #D8883B
start top mesh bun

Step 2

Continue coloring.

  1. #BC681E
  2. #FFF1C6
  3. #FFBF6A
top bun

Step 3

Add some more final touches.

  1. #FFCC82
  2. #7E2403
  3. #E1C5B2
finish bun mesh

Step 4

Modify the nodes on the bottom edge to give the bun a more realistic look.

modify bun

Step 5

Draw another Blend shadow, just as we did before in Steps 12-14 of the previous section.

  • #5B1D07
  • #AA4B0B
make blend

Step 6

Place the shadow under the bun.

place shadow

Step 7

Draw the first piece of cheese.

  1. #FFE885
  2. #CB7B0E
  3. #CC7D10
  4. #FCC94E
draw mesh cheese

Step 8

Finish the cheese.

  1. #FFFBEC
  2. #FEF1B4
  3. #CF7F12
  4. #520300
finish melted cheese

Step 9

Draw the cucumber.

  1. #437000
  2. #8EA456
  3. #567902
draw cucumber

Step 10

Finish the vegetable.

  1. #8BA152
  2. #2C4500
  3. #365900
draw cucumber

Step 11

Create two copies of the Mesh side to side. Then, draw a green ellipse representing the top of each cucumber.

finish cucumbers

Step 12

Place the ingredients under the bun.

add elements to the burger

Step 13

Draw the tomato.

  1. #D10C07
  2. #FD6853
  3. #690100
mesh tomato

Step 14

Finish the tomato.

  1. #3A0000
  2. #FFFFFF
  3. #B90100
draw tomato

Step 15

Add a #A51500 top to the tomato.

finish tomato

Step 16

Begin the second piece of cheese.

  1. #FFE36C
  2. #E59000
  3. #A42B08
draw mesh cheese

Step 17

Color the cheese.

  1. #913B00
  2. #FFFFFF
  3. #FFF49B
draw cheese

Step 18

Draw the meat.

  1. #874115
  2. #340902
  3. #A6591D
draw meat with mesh

Step 19

Finish the meat.

  1. #FFE36C
  2. #E59000
  3. #A42B08
finish drawing meat

Step 20

If you made the texture before, apply it to the meat.

add texture to meat

Step 21

Draw the onion.

  1. #FAF5C8
  2. #3D1506
  3. #FFFFF2
  4. #E9E1AC
  5. #E3CC98
draw onion

Step 22

Add the ingredients to the burger.

add elements of burger

Step 23

Finally, draw the bottom bun.

  1. #FBCE73
  2. #EB9626
  3. #A75C1D
  4. #A0780D
draw bottom bun with mesh

Step 24

Finish the bun.

  1. #945D1B
  2. #F9DC9B
  3. #EB982A
  4. #B5681B
draw bun

Step 25

Draw the seeds for the bun.

  1. #ECB369
  2. #FBEDAC
  3. #FAC781
draw seeds with mesh

Step 26

Finish drawing the seeds.

  1. #FDE5A1
  2. #D89748
  3. #C4711E
  4. #E5A75B
draw seeds

Step 27

Add seeds on top of the burger.

add seeds

Step 28

Grab the shadow we created for the hot dog and place it under the burger!

add shadow

Awesome Work, You’re Now Done!

Thank you for following along, and please feel welcome to post your result in the comments. I’ll be looking
forward to seeing it!

In this tutorial, you learned how to
create a pair of fast food items using the Mesh Tool.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and learned how to use some useful
tools for the future! Check out some of my other vector tutorials on my instructor profile.

You can purchase these items (Hot Dog, Hamburger) as well as other similar designs in my portfolio on GraphicRiver.

Hamburger
Hamburger
Hot Dog
Hot Dog

My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #42

My name is Mason Ellwood, and I’m currently working on Flatiron School’s Online Full Stack Web Development Program. Each week, I’ll be writing about my experience, what I’m learning, and tips on learning to code.

So as you all know I finally started learning Javascript! Which is amazing and has helped me out at work immensely. But like all things that you begin to learn for the first time, it becomes a real pain in the butt until you slowly grasp how everything fits together. But I have been amazed at how quickly those pieces are fitting together once I grasped my first OO programming language. How all these pieces fit together and everything is connected in a sense to complete a task.

My time that I have to spend through The Flatiron School so far has taught me to think of things in a different way. How to think of things at a larger scale to complete a task and bring that skill in a tangible form to the workplace.

So for this first lesson, I will give a brief overview of Javascript and we will go through what I have learned together as I am going over it. So you can better understand how I have gone from writing zero Javascript to hopefully being proficient in the language.

As you probably already know, Javascript is the universally accepted language of the internet. As far as a developer standard you should know how to use it.

JavaScript is a dynamic, untyped, and interpreted programming language; it is prototype-based and supports both object-oriented and functional approaches.” – The Flatiron School

If you have never written any Javascript go ahead and open up your console and we will try it out together. To open up the console simple right-click anywhere on this screen and select Inspect. Go to the top of the dialogue box and select Console. This area that you are now it is considered a sandbox. If you are using a mac press Command + K and it will clear the screen for you.

In this sandbox environment, you are now able to write and execute code directly in this environment. If you have been following along in my previous posts this is very similar to the IRB environment. A sandbox if you think of like a sandbox, it is an open area where you can do or make anything you can think of, with some limitations.

Remember how we could play in sandboxes as kids: building castles, moats, and shaping an entire world without worrying about the consequences outside of that world? In programming, sandboxes work the same way: they’re environments that we have complete control over, but whose contents don’t spill into the outside world.)” – The Flatiron School

Inside this Sandbox environment type alert(“Hello World”); And check out the response. You should be given the response below.

This should give you a popup window that prints out the information added to the screen.

Congratulations you have officially written your first lines of Javascript!

A large part of programming is experimentation — we come up with a hypothesis (how we think something should work) and test it with code.” – The Flatiron School

Javascript is a means of completing a task, and with you as the developer thinking about how things should be done without a clear picture to how it should be done. There are endless possibilities to doing the same thing with Javascript, but it is your job as the developer to chose that path.

Try Our New Course in Creative Typography

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

Looking to develop your creativity and hone your Photoshop and Illustrator skills with a challenging typographic project? Our new course, Creative Typography, is ideal for you.

What You’ll Learn

In this course, you will learn how to design a piece of concept-driven, typographic artwork. Graphic designer Matt Withers will share practical tips for improving your creative process, demonstrate some techniques for how to create custom lettering in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, and debunk some myths about creativity along the way.

Watch the Introduction

Take the Course

You can take our new course straight away with a subscription to Envato Elements. For a single low monthly fee, you get access not only to this course, but also to our growing library of over 1,000 video courses and industry-leading eBooks on Envato Tuts+. 

Plus you now get unlimited downloads from the huge Envato Elements library of 320,000+ photos and 36,000+ design assets and templates. Create with unique fonts, photos, graphics and templates, and deliver better projects faster.

How to Create a Rock Blast Effect Action in Adobe Photoshop

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In this tutorial you will learn how to turn your ordinary photos into energetic, rock blast photos. I will try to explain everything in so much detail that everyone can do it, even those who have just opened Photoshop for the first time.

The effect shown above is the one I will show you how to create here in this tutorial. If you would like to create the effects shown below, a rock blast with rain and rain splashes, and just using a single click, then check out my  Dark Knight Photoshop Action.

Action final results

What You’ll Need

To recreate the design above, you will need the following photo:

1. Let’s Get Started

First, open the photo that you want to work with. To open your photo, go to File > Open, choose your photo, and click Open. Now, before we get started, just check a couple of things:

  1. Your photo should be in RGB Color mode, 8 Bits/Channel. To check this, go to Image > Mode.
  2. For best results, your photo size should be 1500–3500 px wide/high. To check this, go to Image > Image Size.
  3. Your photo should be the Background layer. If it is not, go to Layer > New > Background from Layer.
Checking image size and mode

2. How to Create the Background

Step 1

In this section, we are going to create the background that will replace the original one. Go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color to create a new solid color fill layer, name it Background Color, and set the color to #262626 as shown below:

Creating a solid color fill layer named Background Color

Step 2

Now we need to add some texture to the background. Go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer and name it Background_Texture_1.

Creating a new layer named Background_Texture_1

Step 3

Press D on your keyboard to reset the swatches and go to Filter > Render > Clouds.

Adding filter render clouds to Background_Texture_1 layer

Step 4

Now press Control-T on your keyboard and set Width and Height of the layer to 150% as shown below:

Transforming the Background_Texture_1 layer

Step 5

Change this layer blending mode to Overlay, and set its Opacity to 25%.

Changing blending mode and opacity of the Background_Texture_1 layer

Step 6

Now go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer and name it Background_Texture_2. Then press D on your keyboard to reset the swatches and go to Filter > Render > Clouds. After that, press Control-T on your keyboard and set the Width and Height of the layer to 150% as shown below:

Creating a new layer named the Background_Texture_2 adding filter render clouds and transforming the layer

Step 7

Change this layer blending mode to Hard Light, set its Opacity to 50%, and drag it just below the Background_Texture_1 layer in the Layers panel.

Changing blending mode and opacity of the Background_Texture_2 layer

Step 8

Now, while the Background_Texture_2 layer is selected, Control-click on the Background_Texture_1 layer to select both layers together. Go to Layer > New > Group from Layers to create a group from the selected layers, and name it Background Textures.

Creating a group from selected layers named Background Textures

Step 9

Set the Opacity of this group to 59%.

Changing opacity of the Background Textures group

3. How to Cut the Subject From the Background

Step 1

In this section, we are going to select the subject and cut it from its original background. Select the Background layer and hide all other layers except this one. Then go to Select > Color Range and, using the Eyedropper Tool, click anywhere over the yellow background of the photo and set the Fuzziness to 100 as shown below:

Making a selection of the subject using color range

Step 2

Now press Control-Shift-I on your keyboard to inverse the selection, Right-click on the currently selected layer and choose Duplicate Layer to duplicate it. Then drag this new layer to the top of the Layers panel, go to Layer > Layer Mask > Hide Selection, name it Subject, and show all layers.

Creating the new layer using selection named Subject

Step 3

Alt-click on the currently selected layer mask to open mask view, choose the Brush Tool (B), pick a soft brush, and brush where needed so the subject area is completely white and the background area is completely black. After you’ve finished, Alt-click on this layer mask again to close mask view.

Refining layer mask of the Subject layer

Step 4

Now Right-click on the currently selected layer mask and choose Apply Layer Mask.

Applying layer mask of the Subject layer

4. How to Adjust Subject Lighting and Contrast

Step 1

In this section, we are going to work on subject lighting and contrast. Press Control-J on your keyboard to duplicate the Subject layer, go to Filter > Other > High Pass, and set the Radius to 20 px as shown below:

Adding filter other high pass to the Subject copy layer

Step 2

Now press Control-Shift-U on your keyboard to desaturate this layer, change its blending mode to Overlay, set its Opacity to 87%, and name it Subject Contrast.

Changing blending mode and opacity of the Subject Contrast layer

Step 3

Select the Subject layer, press Control-J on your keyboard to duplicate it, and drag this new layer to the top of the Layers panel. Then go to Filter > Other > High Pass and set the Radius to 30 px as shown below:

Adding filter other high pass to the Subject copy layer

Step 4

Now press Control-Shift-U on your keyboard to desaturate this layer, change its blending mode to Screen, set its Opacity to 82%, and name it Subject Highlights.

Changing blending mode and opacity of the Subject Highlights layer

Step 5

While this layer is selected, go to Image > Auto Tone and then Image > Auto Contrast to apply some automatic adjustments to this layer. Then Right-click on this layer, choose Blending Options, and use the settings below:

Changing blending options of the Subject Highlights layer

5. How to Create Rocks

Step 1

In this section, we are going to create rocks that we are going to disperse in the next section. Select the Subject layer, press Control-J to duplicate it, and drag this new layer to the top of the Layers panel. Then hide all other layers except this one, go to Filter > Pixelate > Crystallize, and set Cell Size to 30 as shown below:

Adding filter pixelate crystallize to the Subject copy layer

Step 2

Now press Control-Shift-U to desaturate this layer, and go to Image > Auto tone and Image > Auto Contrast to apply some automatic adjustments to it. Then go to Select > Color Range and, using the Eyedropper Tool, click anywhere over your subject to make a selection of parts with the selected tonal range and set Fuzziness to 5. Then go to Select > Select and Mask and use the settings below:

Making a selection using color range and refining it

Step 3

Select the Subject layer and press Control-J on your keyboard to create a new layer using a selection. As this is the first rocks layer we have created, name it R_1.

Creating new layer using selection named R_1

Step 4

Now we are going to create more rocks layers, so we are just going to repeat the same process. Select the Subject copy layer again, and go to Select > Color Range. Using the Eyedropper Tool, click anywhere over your subject to make a selection of parts with the selected tonal range, and set Fuzziness to 5. Then go to Select > Select and Mask and use the settings below:

Making a selection using color range and refining it

Step 5

Select the Subject layer and press Control-J on your keyboard to create a new layer using a selection and name it R_2.

Creating new layer using selection named R_2

Step 6

Now you can repeat this same process as many times you want, depending on how many rocks layers you want to create. I have repeated this process 13 times more, so I have 15 rocks layers in total. For some parts I was changing Shift Edge settings to 50%, but feel free to change any Select and Mask and Color Range settings as well.

Creating more rocks layers

Step 7

Right-click on the Subject copy layer and choose Delete Layer. Then select the R_1 layer and Shift-click on your last rocks layer (in my case this is the R_15 layer) to select all rocks layers. Then go to Layer > New > Group from Layers to create a new group from the selected layers, and name it Rocks.

Creating a group from selected layers named rocks

Step 8

Now select the Subject layer, press Control-J on your keyboard to duplicate it, and then drag this new layer to the top of the Layers panel. Show this layer, go to Filter > Pixelate > Crystallize, and set Cell Size to 50 as shown below:

Adding filter pixelate crystallize to the Subject copy layer

Step 9

Now press Control-Shift-U to desaturate this layer, and go to Image > Auto tone and Image > Auto Contrast to apply some automatic adjustments to it. Then go to Select > Color Range and, using the Eyedropper Tool, click anywhere over your subject to make a selection of parts with the selected tonal range, and set Fuzziness to 5. Then go to Select > Select and Mask and use the settings below:

Making a selection using color range and refining it

Step 10

Now select the Subject layer and press Control-J on your keyboard to create a new layer using a selection. As this is the first large rocks layer we have created, name it LR_1.

Creating new layer using selection named LR_1

Step 11

You can repeat this same process as many times you want, depending on
how many large rocks layers you want to create. I have repeated this process
13 times, so I have 14 rocks layers in total. For some parts I was changing Shift Edge settings to 50%, but feel free to change any Select and Mask and Color Range settings as well.

Creating more large rocks layers

Step 12

Now Right-click on the Subject copy layer and choose Delete Layer. Then select the LR_1 layer and Shift-click on your last large rocks layer (in my case this is the LR_14 layer) to select all large rocks layers. Then go to Layer > New > Group from Layers to create a new group from the selected layers and name it Large Rocks.

Creating a group from selected layers named Large Rocks

Step 13

Select the Subject layer, Control-J on your keyboard to duplicate it, and drag this new layer to
the top of the Layers panel. Show this layer, go to Filter > Pixelate > Crystallize, and set Cell Size to 80 as shown below:

Adding filter pixelate crystallize to the Subject copy layer

Step 14

Now press Control-Shift-U to desaturate this layer, and go to Image > Auto tone and Image > Auto Contrast to apply some automatic adjustments to it. Then go to Select > Color Range and, using the Eyedropper Tool, click anywhere over your subject to make a selection of parts with the selected tonal range, and set Fuzziness to 5. Then go to Select > Select and Mask and use the settings below:

Making a selection using color range and refining it

Step 15

Select the Subject layer and press Control-J on your keyboard to create a new layer using a selection. As this is the first very large rocks layer we have created, name it VLR_1.

Creating new layer using selection named VLR_1

Step 16

You can repeat this same process as many times you want, depending on
how many very large rocks layers you want to create. I have repeated this process 9 times, so I have 10 rocks layers in total. For some parts, I was changing Shift Edge settings to 50%, but feel free to change any Select and Mask and Color Range settings as well.

Creating more very large rocks layers

Step 17

Right-click on the Subject copy layer and choose Delete Layer. Then select the VLR_1 layer and Shift-click on your last rocks layer (in my case this is the VLR_10 layer) to select all very large rocks layers. Then go to Layer > New > Group from Layers to create a new group from the selected layers and name it Very Large Rocks.

Creating a group from selected layers named Very Large Rocks

Step 18

Now, to make this part look more like rocks, Right-click on the R_1 layer, choose Blending options, check Bevel & Emboss, and use the settings below:

Changing blending options of the R_1 layer

Step 19

Go to Layer > Layer Style > Copy Layer Style to copy this layer style, and then select each of the rocks layer and go to Layer > Layer Style > Paste Layer Style to paste this layer style to every rocks layer. Feel free to use the Control and Shift buttons to make multiple selections and paste this style to more rocks layers at once.

Changing blending options of other rocks layers by copying and pasting layer style

Step 20

Now Right-click on the each of rocks layers and choose Rasterize Layer Style. Feel free to use Control and Shift buttons to make multiple selections and rasterize the layer style of more rocks layers at once.

Rasterizing layer style of the rocks layers

Step 21

Select each of the rocks layers and press Control-Shift-U to desaturate it. Then show all layers again.

Desaturating rocks layers and showing all layers

6. How to Disperse Rocks

Step 1

In this section, we are going to disperse rocks that we have created. Select the R_1 layer, press Control-T on your keyboard, and change Width and Height to 114% as shown below:

Transforming the R_1 layer

Step 2

Now you can repeat this method to transform as many rocks layers as you want. Feel
free to use different transforming values. Here is my result:

Transforming more rocks layers

Step 3

To add some depth to the effect, we are going to blur some of the rocks layers. Select one of the rocks layers and go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and set the Radius to 5 px as shown below:

Adding filter gaussian blur to LR_5

Step 4

You can repeat this method to blur as many rocks layers as you want. Feel
free to use different gaussian blur settings. Here is my result:

Adding filter gaussian blur to more rocks layers

Step 5

Now we are going to make some final changes to the rocks by moving some of them, removing unnecessary rocks, and duplicating some of the layers to create more rocks.

  • If you would like to move some rocks, select that rocks layer, choose the Move Tool (V), and click and drag anywhere inside the canvas to position them as you like.
  • If there are some rocks you would like to remove, select that rocks layer and go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All to add a blank layer mask to this layer. Then while the layer mask is selected, choose the Brush Tool (B), pick a soft brush, set the foreground color to #000000, and brush over the rocks you want to remove.
  • If you would like to transform some rocks, select that rocks layer, press Control-T on your keyboard, and change the Width and Height to transform them as you like.
  • If you would like to blur some rocks, select that rocks layer, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and set the Radius as you like.

Here is my result:

Making final changes to the rocks layers

Step 6

Select the Rocks group and then Control-click on the Large Rocks and Very Large Rocks groups to select all rocks groups at once, and then drag them to the top of the Layers panel.

Moving Rocks Large Rocks and Very Large Rocks groups to the top of the Layers panel

7. How to Add Lighting and Focus

Step 1

In this section, we are going to work on overall lighting and focus. Select the Rocks folder, go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer, and name it Darken Edges.

Creating a new layer named Darken Edges

Step 2

Now press D on your keyboard to reset the swatches, go to Edit > Fill, and set Contents to Foreground Color, Blending to Normal, and Opacity to 100% as shown below:

Filling layer with foreground color

Step 3

Press Control-A to make a selection of the canvas, and go to Layer > Layer Mask > Hide Selection to create a layer mask that hides the selected area of the layer. Then click on the link icon between this layer thumbnail and the layer mask to unlink them.

Adding layer mask and unlinking it

Step 4

Now, while this layer mask is selected, press Control-T on your keyboard and set the Width and Height to 89% as shown below:

Transforming the layer mask

Step 5

While the current layer mask is still selected, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to 180 px as shown below:

Adding filter gaussian blur to layer mask

Step 6

Set the Opacity of this layer to 83%, and then go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer and name it Light Source.

Creatinga new layer named Light Source

Step 7

Now press D on your keyboard to reset the swatches, go to Edit > Fill, and set Contents to Foreground Color, Blending to Normal, and Opacity to 100% as shown below:

Filling the Light Source layer with foreground color

Step 8

Press Control-A to make a selection of the canvas, and choose the Marquee Tool (M)Right click anywhere inside the canvas, choose Transform Selection, and set the Reference Point Location to top middle and Height to 50%.

Transforming a selection

Step 9

Now go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection to add a layer mask that reveals the selected part of the layer, Right-click on it, and choose Apply Layer Mask. Then go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur, set Angle to 90 and Distance to 1450 px as shown below:

Adding filter motion blur to Light Source layer

Step 10

Right-click on this layer, choose Blending Options, check Gradient Overlay, and use the settings below:

Adding gradient overlay style to Light Source layer

Step 11

Change this layer Opacity to 50% and Fill to 0%.

Changing opacity and fill of the Light Source layer

Step 12

Now select the Subject layer, Right-click on it, choose Blending Options, check Gradient Overlay, and use the settings below:

Adding gradient overlay style to Subject layer

Step 13

Select the Subject Highlights layer and set its Opacity to 31%.

Changing opacity of Subject Highlights layer

8. How to Make the Final Adjustments

Step 1

In this section, we are going to make final adjustments to the design. Select the Light Source layer, press D on your keyboard to reset the swatches, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map to create a new gradient map adjustment layer, and name it Overall Contrast.

Creating new gradient map adjustment layer

Step 2

Change this layer blending mode to Overlay and set its Opacity to 41%.

Changing blending mode and opacity of the Overall Contrast layer

Step 3

Now go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels to create a new level adjustment layer and name it Overall Brightness.

Creating new levels adjustment layer

Step 4

Double-click on this layer thumbnail, and inside the Properties panel enter the settings below:

Changing properties of the Overall Brightness layer

Step 5

Now go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color to create a new solid color fill layer, name it Overall Color, and set the color to #455665 as shown below:

Creating new solid color fill layer

Step 6

Change this layer blending mode to Color, and then go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Saturation to create a new saturation adjustment layer and name it Overall Saturation.

Creating new saturation adjustment layer

Step 7

Double-click on this layer thumbnail and inside the Properties panel enter the settings below:

Changing properties of the Overall Saturation layer

Step 8

Now press Control-Alt-Shift-E on your keyboard to make a snapshot and press Control-Shift-U to desaturate this layer. Then go to Filter > Other > High Pass and set Radius to 2 px as shown below:

Adding filter other high pass to Layer 1

Step 9

Change this layer blending mode to Hard Light and name it Overall Sharpening.

Changing blending mode of the Overall Sharpening layer

You Made It!

Congratulations, you have succeeded! Here is our final result:

Final result

If you would like to create an even more advanced rock blast with a rain and rain splashes effect as shown below, and just using a single click, then check out
my Dark Knight Photoshop Action.

Action final results

How to Create a Wind Rose Compass Symbol Illustration in Adobe Illustrator

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In the following steps, you will learn how to create a wind rose compass symbol illustration in Adobe Illustrator. 

For starters, you will learn how to set up a simple grid, how to center shapes, and how to create the main object using a circle and the Appearance panel. Taking full advantage of the Transform effect, you will learn how to easily multiply shapes and how to create a pretty complex compass grid using only a few paths. 

Using a simple blend, the Rotate Tool and some more Transform effects, you will learn how to create the compass needles. Using neat stroke techniques and the Appearance panel, you will learn how to create the background and some tiny details. Finally, using basic blending techniques and several raster effects, you will learn how to add a subtle texture to your final design.

For more inspiration on how to adjust or improve your final illustration, you can find plenty of resources at GraphicRiver.

1. How to Create a New Document and Set Up a Grid

Hit Control-N to create a new document. Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, enter 850 in the width and height boxes and then click that More Settings button. Select RGB for the Color Mode, set the Raster Effects to Screen (72 ppi) and then click that Create Document button.

Enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). You will need a grid every 5 px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid, and enter 5 in the Gridline every box and 1 in the Subdivisions box. Try not to get discouraged by all that grid—it will make your work easier, and keep in mind that you can easily enable or disable it using the Control-“ keyboard shortcut.

You can learn more about Illustrator’s grid system in this short tutorial from Andrei Stefan: Understanding Adobe Illustrator’s Grid System.

You should also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shapes. Don’t forget to set the unit of measurement to pixels from Edit > Preferences > Units. All these options will significantly increase your work speed.

setup grid

2. How to Create the Main Circle

Step 1

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and focus on your Toolbar. Remove the color from the stroke and then select the fill and set its color to R=226 G=228 B=243. Move to your artboard and simply create a 440 px circle—the grid and the Snap to Grid should make this easier.

Next, you need to center your shape. Open the Align panel (Window > Align) and set the alignment to artboard. If you can’t see that Align To section, open the fly-out menu from the Align panel and go to Show Options. Make sure that your circle is still selected and then click the Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons. This should bring your circle to the center of the artboard, as shown in the following image.

circle

Step 2

Make sure that your circle stays selected and open the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance). Add a second fill using the Add New Fill button and then select it.

Set the color to R=246 G=248 B=255 and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -5 px Offset and then click that OK button.

add new fill

Step 3

Make sure that your circle stays selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a third fill and select it. Set the color to R=226 G=228 B=243 and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -15 px Offset and then click that OK button.

Keep focusing on the Appearance panel and add the other three fills shown in the following image. Use the color and offset attributes indicated below.

add new fill

Step 4

Make sure that your circle is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Select the stroke, set its color to R=28 G=35 B=61 and increase the Weight to 4 px.

stroke

Step 5

Make sure that your circle is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a second stroke using the Add New Stroke button, select it and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -5 px Offset and then click that OK button.

add new stroke

Step 6

Make sure that your circle is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a third stroke, select it and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -15 px Offset and then click that OK button.

Keep focusing on the Appearance panel and add the other three strokes shown in the following image. Use the color and offset attributes indicated below. In the end things should look like in the following image.

strokes

Step 7

Make sure that your circle is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a new fill, drag it to the bottom of the panel, and select it.

Set the color to R=28 G=35 B=61, lower its Opacity to 20% and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -20 px Offset, click that OK button, and then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Drag the Move-Vertical slider to -45 px, click that OK button, and then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 15 px Radius and then click that OK button.

gaussian blur

3. How to Create the Compass Grids

Step 1

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 15 x 10 px shape, fill it with R=28 G=35 B=61 and place it exactly as shown in the first image. Keep focusing on this tiny rectangle and switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select the top anchor points and simply drag them 25 px to the right. In the end things should look like in the second image.

direct selection tool

Step 2

Make sure that your tiny, dark shape is still selected and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Drag the Move-Vertical slider to 220 px, enter 1 in that Copies box, and then click that OK button.

transform

Step 3

Make sure that your tiny, dark shape is still selected and go again to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter 11 in that Copies box, set the Angle to 15 degrees, and then click that OK button.

transform

Step 4

Using the Pen Tool (P) or the Line Tool (\), create a 20 px vertical path and place it exactly as shown in the following image. Add a 2 px stroke for this path and set its color to R=28 G=35 B=61.

pen tool

Step 5

Make sure that your vertical path stays selected and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the attributes shown in the left window (in the following image), click that OK button, and then go again to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the attributes shown in the right window and then click that OK button.

transform

Step 6

Using the Pen Tool (P) or the Line Tool (\), create a 40 px vertical path and place it exactly as shown in the following image. Add a 4 px stroke for this path, set its color to R=28 G=35 B=61, and then click that Stroke piece of text to open the Stroke fly-out panel. Move to the Profile section and select Width Profile 4 from that list.

width profile

Step 7

Make sure that your vertical path stays selected and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the attributes shown in the left window (make sure that you check the Reflect Y box), click that OK button, and then go again to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the attributes shown in the right window and then click that OK button.

transform

Step 8

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 20 px circle and place it as shown in the first image. Fill this new shape with R=226 G=228 B=243 and add a 4 px stroke. Align it to inside and set the color to R=28 G=35 B=61.

Keep focusing on this circle, pick the Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C), and simply click the four anchor points that make up your shape. This will basically turn your circle into a diamond.

diamond

Step 9

Make sure that your diamond shape is still selected and apply the two Transform effects shown in the following image.

multiply

4. How to Create the Background

Step 1

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 790 px square and fill it with R=246 G=248 B=255. Send this new shape to back (Shift-Control-[) and center it using the same commands from the Align panel.

rectangle

Step 2

Make sure that your square stays selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Add a second fill, drag it to the bottom of the panel, and select it. Set the color to R=28 G=35 B=61 and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 35 px Offset and then click that OK button.

background

Step 3

Make sure that your square is still selected and focus on the Appearance panel. Select the top fill and go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 95 px Radius, click that OK button, and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a 10 px Offset and then click that OK button.

rounded corners

Step 4

Make sure that your square is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Select the stroke and set its color to R=28 G=35 B=61 and then go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 95 px Radius, click that OK button, and return to the Appearance panel. Open the Stroke fly-out panel, set the Weight to 10 px, and check that Dashed Line box. Enter 4 px in the first dash and gap boxes, and don’t forget to check that Aligns dashes to corners and path ends… button.

dashed line

Step 5

Make sure that your square is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a second stroke and select it. Set the color to R=28 G=35 B=61 and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -5 px Offset, click that OK button, and then go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 90 px Radius, click that OK button, and return to the Appearance panel. Open the Stroke fly-out menu for this new stroke, set the Weight to 5 px, and don’t forget to check the Align Stroke to Inside button.

add new stroke

Step 6

Make sure that your square is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Select the top stroke and duplicate it using the Duplicate Selected Item button. Focus on the new stroke and simply click the existing Offset Path effect to open it. Replace the -5 px Offset with a 5 px Offset and then click that OK button. Also, open the existing Rounded Corners effect and increase the Radius to 100 px.

add new stroke

5. How to Create the Compass Needles

Step 1

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 70 x 55 px shape and place it exactly as shown in the first image. Fill this new shape with R=226 G=228 B=243 and add a 4 px stroke. Align it to inside and set the color to R=28 G=35 B=61.

Make sure that your rectangle is still selected and go to Object > Path > Add Anchor Points. Pick the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-) and simply click the four anchor points highlighted in the first image to remove them. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the top-middle anchor point, and drag it 195 px up. In the end, your shape should look like in the second image.

add anchor points

Step 2

Using the Line Tool (\), create a 225 px vertical path and place it as shown in the following image. Add a 4 px stroke for this path and set its color to R=28 G=35 B=61.

line tool

Step 3

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 30 x 5 px shape, fill it with a random yellow, and place it as shown in the first image. Keep focusing on this new rectangle and switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select the right anchor points and drag them 45 px up.

Reselect the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 5 px square, fill it with a random yellow, and place it as shown in the third image. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the right anchor points, and drag them 10 px up. In the end things should look like in the fifth image.

yellow rectangle

Step 4

Focus on your Toolbar and simply double click the Blend Tool to open the Blend Options window. Select Specified Steps from the Spacing drop-down menu and enter 18 in that box. Reselect your yellow shapes, replace that fill color with R=28 G=35 B=61 and then hit Alt-Control-B to create a new blend. In the end, things should look like in the second image.

blend tool

Step 5

Select your blend along with the other two shapes that make up your compass needle and Group them (Control-G). Make sure that your group is selected and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Set the Angle to 90 degrees and enter 3 in that Copies box. Don’t forget to check that middle-bottom reference point, and then click that OK button.

group

Step 6

Using the Pen Tool (P) , create a simple path as shown in the first image and fill it with R=246 G=248 B=255. Add a copy of this shape in the same place (Control-C > Control-F) and select it. Replace the existing fill color with R=28 G=35 B=61 and then pick the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-) and remove the anchor point highlighted in the second image.

Reselect the first shape made in this step and add a 4 px stroke. Align it to outside and set the color to R=28 G=35 B=61. Select both shapes made in this step and Group them (Control-G).

delete anchor point

Step 7

Make sure that the group made in the previous step is still selected and pick the Rotate Tool (R). Hold the Alt key from your keyboard, click exactly on the bottom anchor point to set the center point in that spot, and the Rotate window will open. Set the Angle to -90 degrees and then click that OK button. Be sure that your newly made group remains selected and simply hit Control-D twice. In the end, things should look like in the third image.

center point

Step 8

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 170 px circle and place it as shown in the first image. Fill this new shape with R=28 G=35 B=61, lower its Opacity to 60% and then go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 15 px Radius and then click that OK button. Make sure that this blurred shape stays selected and send it behind the needles using the Control-[ keyboard shortcut.

gaussian blur

6. How to Create the Compass Center

Step 1

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a 90 px circle. Fill it with R=226 G=228 B=243 and center it. Add a 4 px stroke and set its color to R=28 G=35 B=61. Duplicate the stroke, select the copy, and go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -20 px Offset and then click that OK button.

circle

Step 2

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 40 px circle and center it. Add a 2 px stroke for this new shape, set its color to R=28 G=35 B=61 and then open that Stroke fly-out panel. Focus on the Profile section and select Width Profile 1. Make three copies of this circle (Control-C > Control-F) and squeeze them gradually as shown in the following image: 30 px, 20 px and 10 px.

width profile

Step 3

Using the Pen Tool (P) or the Line Tool (\), create a 10 px vertical path and place it exactly as shown in the following image. Add a 2 px stroke for this path, set its color to R=28 G=35 B=61 and then open the Stroke fly-out panel. Check the Round Cap button and then move to the Profile section and select Width Profile 4 from that list.

Make sure that your tiny path is still selected and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the attributes shown in the following image (make sure that you check the Reflect Y box) and then click that OK button.

round cap

Step 4

Make sure that your tiny path is still selected and go to again to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click that OK button.

transform

7. How to Add the Text

Step 1

Pick the Type Tool (T) and open the Character panel (Window > Type > Character). Select the Milkshake font and set the size to 50 px. Simply click on your artboard and type the text. Add the four letters shown in the following image and set their color to R=28 G=35 B=61.

type tool

Step 2

Make sure that the Type Tool (T) is still active, return to the Character panel, and set the size to 30 px. Add the other four pieces of text shown in the following image and use the same color.

character panel

8. How to Add a Grungy Texture

Step 1

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create an 810 px square and center it. Fill this new shape with R=229 G=207 B=170 and focus on the Appearance panel.

Select the fill, lower its Opacity to 50%, change the Blending Mode to Soft Light, and then go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 110 px Radius, click that OK button, and then go to Effect > Sketch > Note Paper. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click that OK button.

note paper

Step 2

Make sure that your 810 px square is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a second fill and select it.

Set the color to R=67 G=43 B=15, lower its Opacity to 50%, change the Blending Mode to Color Burn, and then go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 105 px Radius, click that OK button, and then go to Effect > Path > Offset Path. Enter a -6 px Offset, click that OK button, and then go to Effect > Sketch > Note Paper. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click that OK button.

note paper

Step 3

Make sure that your 810 px square is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a third fill and select it.

Set the color to black (R=0 G=0 B=0), lower its Opacity to 50% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and then go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 110 px Radius, click that OK button, and then go to Effect > Artistic > Film Grain. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click that OK button.

film grain

Step 4

Make sure that your 810 px square is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add a fourth fill and select it.

Set the color to black, lower its Opacity to 50% and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and then go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 110 px Radius, click that OK button, and then go to Effect > Sketch > Graphic Pen. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and then click that OK button.

graphic pen

Step 5

Make sure that your 810 px square is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance panel. Add one final fill and select it.

Replace the color with the linear gradient shown in the following image, change the Blending Mode to Color and then go to Effect > Stylize > Rounded Corners. Enter a 110 px Radius and then click that OK button. Keep in mind that the yellow zero from the Gradient image stands for Opacity percentage.

linear gradient

Congratulations! You’re Done!

Here is how it should look. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and can apply these techniques in your future projects. Don’t hesitate to share your final result in the comments section.

Feel free to adjust the final design and make it your own. You can find some great sources of inspiration at GraphicRiver, with interesting solutions to improve your design.

final product