Create icons can be made a lot easier when using a Grid. Illustrators grid is easy to set up, your creations can snap to the grid making icon create a quick and easy task. See how easily this abstract shower head icon can be created.
Set up the grid structure that will appear behind the artwork. Go to Preferences > Grids & Guides. I use millimeters as they are base10 so easy to create content in units of 10. Set the Guideline every at 10mm. Set the subdivisions as 10.
To turn the underlying grid on your document, choose View > Show Grid. Choose Snap to Grid so the shapes will snap to the grid automatically.
Start you creation by creating a rectangle 10 units wide, 2 units high. Below that create a rectangle 6 units wide, 2 units high. Repeat both shapes again.
When you see the grid, you will notice that the main guides are a bit bolder and the subdivision are a bit lighter. This gives you a good idea of the block of 10 units and makes it easy to use that as a reference when creating.
Create a rectangle 46 units wide, 5 units high. Create another rectangle 46 units wide , 3 units high 2 units down from the upper rectangle.
Create "drips" using rectangles that are 2 units wide. Make each one a varied height to create the water drip effect. Start them 2 units in from the edge.
Add a 3 unit wide, 2 unit high rectangle at the far left between the two large rectangles. Make the lower large rectangle 50 units wide (2 units longer on each side).
Select all the shapes and use the Unite mode in the Pathfinder Panel to join them together as one unit.
Select the lower edges of the drips with the Direct Selection Tool to activate the Corner Widgets. Pull the corners in to round them.
Select the ends of the longest rectangle with the Direct Selection Tool and pull in the Corner Widgets.
Select upper left and right corners of the largest rectangle with the Direct Selection Tool and pull in the Corner Widgets.
Select the right end of the inside slit with the Direct Selection Tool and pull in the Corner Widgets.
Select the top ends of the water drips with the Direct Selection Tool and pull in the Corner Widgets.
Select the outer ends of the threaded part with the Direct Selection Tool and pull in the Corner Widgets.
Select the inner ends of the threaded part with the Direct Selection Tool and pull in the Corner Widgets.
Select the line segment at the right middle and delete the line with the Direct Selection Tool. In the Stroke panel, round (hot dog) the ends of the stroke.
Add a few circles 2 units x 2 units. Increase the stroke weight and add a color to the stroke. Done!
This is a simple and quick way to create a cool halftone vector in Illustrator then edit it with Envelope Distort and the Bloat, Pucker, Twirl, Scallop, Wrinkle and Warp tools.
Create a rectangle and fill it with a black to white gradient in the Swatches Panel.
Choose Window > Gradient to pen the Gradient Panel. Click on the black color stop to open the swatch panel and choose 90% gray. Having the gradient go to black will create a hard edge at the end of the gradient once it is turned into a halftone.
Choose Effect > Pixelate > Color Halftone. Since the gradient is black and white, the angle will not make a difference. Set the radius to 20. A lower numbered radius will create odd shapes when the halftone is created.
This will create a halftone effect.
To trace the effect and turn it into a vector, it has to be Rasterized first. Choose Object > Rasterize. Set the Color Mode to grayscale, resolution to Custom and 600 ppi and Background to Transparent. Click OK.
A larger rasterized file will give you this warning. It may take a bit of time to process the halftone as an image but will yield a better result.
Open the Image Trace Panel from the Window Menu. Set the Mode to Black and White. Threshold to 128 (the middle), Paths at 50%, Corners at 75%, Noise at 25% and click the IGNORE WHITE check box at the bottom.
In the Properties panel (top) or the Control Bar (bottom) click the Expand button to convert the traced image into a vector shape.
Add a color fill to the halftone.
To distort the halftone, choose Object > Envelope Distort > Make With Warp… Choose from a list of warp modes.
Adjusting the warp type and setting will result in some fascinating results.
To Edit the warp options, choose Object > Envelope Distort > Envelope Options…
There are several warp effects that can be used.
To further edit the halftone once you are done with the distort, choose Object > Envelope Distort > Expand. This will convert it back to an editable vector shape.
Choose from a list of Editing tools. Double-click on any of the tools to open the specific tool dialog box.
This is the Bloat Tool options. Set the size of the brush and the options.
Apply the specific edit tool (in this case the Bloat Tool) to the gradient to create interesting shapes.
The fun is limitless with the Envelope Distort features.