Published on February 19th, 2013 | by Adrien de Broglio1
Create a Retro Apple Mac Plus Icon in Illustrator
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In this Tutorial I’ll show you how to create an Old School Apple Mac Plus Icon in Illustrator using basic shapes, a lot of different gradients and rounded rectangles to replace you’re actual Macintosh HD or Computer icon.
I always like to customize my desktop with custom Icons and Wallpapers, last time I wanted to a new icon to change the Macintosh HD icon on the desktop and dock on my mac, here’s how to create this Mac Plus icon. Download the Source file if you need help:
Step 1 – Icon Base
Open Illustrator and create a new document, mine is 500x500px. We’ll start by creating the base shapes for the icon, select the Rounded Rectangle Tool, click on the canvas and create a 280x330px rounded rectangle with a 8px corner radius.
Apply a grey colour gradient on this shape, going from #919193 to #D6D6D6 with a 45° angle.
Create a new rounded rectangle, this time 270x295px with a 4px radius. apply a gradient going from #909090 to #BBBBBB with a 45° angle.
Let’s create the shape for the screen, create a new rounded rectangle, this time 235x165px with a 3px radius. apply a gradient going from #B7B7BF to #7E807F with a 0° angle.
Step 2 – Screen Part 1
In this step we’ll continue to add details on the screen, create a new rounded rectangle, this time 210x155px with a 10px radius.
Select the Pen Tool (P) and create a shape on the left part of the screen with some curves on the top and bottom like below:
Duplicate this shape, Flip it Vertically, go to Object – Transform – Reflect and select vertical, place this duplicated shape new to the other.
Let’s add more roundness on the screen, with the Pen Tool, create a small triangle on the left part of the screen pointing down like below:
Duplicate this small triangle and flip it Horizontally, same as before, go to Object – Transform – Reflect but select Horizontal this time. place the duplicated shape on top of the original:
Duplicate those two triangles shapes to place them on the right side of the screen.
Select all the shapes we created in this step and unit them using the Unite option in Pathfinder panel, Window – Pathfinder and click on Unite.
Step 3 – Screen Part 2
Add gradient on the screen shape we created in step 2 going from #292B30 to #3E4248 with a 0° angle.
Add an Inner Glow on the screen shape with a 25% Opacity and 15px Blur.
Add an other Inner Glow on the screen shape with 50% Opacity and 5px Blur.
We’ll now add the 4 corner shapes on the screen, let’s create one of those shape. Select the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a vertical oval shape, use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select and delete the bottom anchor point.
Rotate this shape and place it on the top left corner of the screen and add a light grey to dark grey gradient on this shape with a 45° angle with those colours from left to right #C0C0CA – #B3B3BB – #595959.
Duplicate this shape 3 times, place one shape on each corner and add a gradient to each of the shapes with those parameters:
Step 4 – Screen Part 3
Place the 4 small shapes we just created behind the main screen shape.
duplicate the bigger screen shape and place it in front of the small shapes, then select this duplicated shape and the 4 small corner shapes, right click and select Make Clipping Mask.
Create a white Rectangle using the Rectangle Tool (M) (Mine is Pink for the purpose of the tutorial), place it on the screen, rotate it a little on the left, then duplicate the main screen shape, place the duplicated shape in front of the rotated rectangle we just created, select both shape and like previously right click on the selected shapes and select Make Clipping Mask. Change the Transparency of this shape to 5%.
Step 5 – Bottom Part
To create the bottom part of the icon, select the Rounded Rectangle Tool and create a 265x45px rounded rectangle with a 3px corner radius.
Add a Gradient on this shape going from #969696 to #CFCFCF with a 0° angle.
Duplicate the shape we just created, change the gradient on the duplicated shape to a Black to Transparent gradient with a -90° angle. Change the Transparency to 15%. Make sure those two shapes are placed behind all the other shapes.
Step 6 – Keyboard Port
We’ve got to be able to plug a keyboard to this icon so let’s create the keyboard port, create a small rounded corner rectangle, add a light grey radial gradient on this shape, #BCBCBC to #939395.
Create a smaller rounded corner rectangle in the middle, add a dark grey to light grey linear gradient on this shape, #3F3F3F to #89898B.
Create a dark grey square using the Rectangle Tool then create two small dark grey rectangles on top of the square.
Create 4 small stripes using the Rectangle Tool on the bottom of the main square.
Create two trapezoid shapes using the Pen Tool (P) one on the top part, the other on the bottom part of the usb port. duplicate the bigger rounded rectangle we created at the beginning of this step, place the duplicated shape on top of the others, select this shape and the 2 trapezoid shapes, right click on those shapes and select Make Clipping Mask.
Add a Black to Transparent gradient on the two trapezoid with the parameters below, change the transparency of both shapes to 15% and place the Keyboard port on the right part of the icon bottom part.
Step 7 – Brightness Symbol
Let’s create the small Brightness symbol on the left of the bottom part of the icon. Select the Ellipse Tool (L) and create small circle with a 0,5px dark grey stroke.
Select the Rectangle Tool (M), create a small rectangle with a dark grey colour on top of the circle.
Duplicate the small rectangle we just created and place the new one on the bottom of the circle.
Select both small rectangles, duplicate them and rotate the duplicated rectangles 90°, Object – Transform – Rotate.
Select the 4 small Rectangle, duplicate them and rotate the duplicated rectangle 45°.
Place the Brightness Symbol on the left of the bottom part of the icon.
Step 8 – Floppy Disk Drive
In this step we’ll create the Floppy Disk Drive for our icon, select the Rounded Rectangle Tool and create 2 shapes like below:
Select those 2 shapes and merge them using the Unite option in the Pathfinder panel.
Create a small rounded rectangle merges with a thin long rectangle in the middle of the previous shape, add an Inner Glow in this new shape with a 25% Opacity and 5px Blur.
Duplicate the shape we just created then create a dark grey rectangle, place this dark grey rectangle under the duplicated shape, select both shapes, right click on them and select Make Clipping Mask.
Add an Inner Glow on this new Clip Group with 50% Opacity and 5px Blur.
Create a black vertical rectangle on the right side of the main shape, like before duplicate the smaller merged rounded rectangle+rectangle shape, place the duplicated shape on top of the new black rectangle, select both shapes, right click on them and select Make Clipping Mask. Change the Opacity/Transparency to 25%.
Add a small black circle on the right bottom part of the main shape. place this Floppy Disk shape on the bottom right of the screen.
Step 9 – Vintage Apple Logo
Let’s add the small vintage apple logo on this mac, add the apple logo (save the png file below to help you trace it):
Create 5 different color horizontal stripes using the Rectangle Tool.
Place those stripes behind the apple logo, select all those shapes (stripe+apple logo), right click on them and select Make Clipping Mask. Change the Transparency of the Clip Group to 75%
add the apple logo again, place it behind the original one, move it a little on the bottom right and change it’s Transparency to 20%. Place the logo on the left side of the icon.
Step 10 – Mac Plus Shadow
Select the Ellipse Tool (L), create a thin horizontal oval shape on the bottom of the icon, place it behind the icon and change its transparency to 25%.
Add a Gaussian Blur Filter on this shape, Effect – Blur – Gaussian Blur with a 20px radius.
Step 10 – Mac Plus Highlights
Let’s add some highlights to add more details on this icon, first duplicate the bigger rounded rectangle shape around the screen and the smaller rounded rectangle shape of the main part of the icon, place them on top of the other shapes. Use the Minus Front option in the Pathfinder panel to cut out from the smaller shape in the bigger shape.
Select the Ellipse Tool (L), create an oval shape on the top part of the screen, add a white to transparent Radial gradient on this shape. duplicate this shape and place the new one on the bottom part of the screen.
Bring to front the cut out shape we modified at the beginning of this step, select the three shapes (cut out shape+the two oval gradient shapes), right click on them and select Make Clipping Mask.
Repeat the same process, but this time duplicate the two big rounded rectangle shapes, bring them to front, use the Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel. duplicate one of the radial gradient oval shape, place the duplicated shape on the bottom part of the icon. place this shape under the shape we just cut out, right click on them and select Make Clipping Mask.
Save your new mac icon as a PNG file so you can use it in your dock or as an icon on your desktop.
That’s it for this Tutorial! I hope you’ve learned a few tricks and techniques creating this nice old school Apple Mac Plus icon and that it’ll look nice on your desktop. Feel free to leave a comment and download the Source Files if you need help.