Design & UX

Create a Sharp, Stylish Camera Icon in Illustrator

By Anum Khan

Mobile devices have become extremely popular, so web designers — just like software developers — are focusing in the transition to mobile apps. The popularity of mobile applications has created intense competition, and any opportunity to help your app stand out from the crowd is worth pursuing. A stylish, sharp-looking app icon is one obvious way to help your app shine in the app store and on the devices themselves. Attractive app icons can subtly lead to increased purchases, more downloads, and a more active user base.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create an appealing camera icon in Illustrator. We’ll use various shape tools, gradient tool, and different options in the effect menu to achieve the final outcome. I hope you will learn some handy tips along the way. So, let’s get started!

Final result: (Download the completed Illustrator file.)

final result2

Step 1

Create a new document in Illustrator with a 500px width and a 400px height.

Camera Icon

Step 2

Select the rounded rectangle tool and click on the canvas. Enter a 30px value for corner radius in the options window to draw the rectangle shown below. You can use any fill color for now. Set your stroke to none.


Step 3

Draw a thin rectangle using the rectangle tool to divide the previous rectangle into two portions. After that, select both rectangles by clicking the ring-shaped target present at right side of the respective layers and go to “Window” > “Pathfinder” (Shift + Ctrl + F9) and choose the “Minus Front” shape mode. Keep that group selected and go to “Object” > “Expand” to completely split them.


Step 4

Now, select the lower portion and apply following gradient on it using the gradient tool (G).

Camera Icon

Duplicate this layer, slightly increase the size of it to make a stroke, and apply following gradient to it.


Step 5

Select the top portion now and apply the following gradient to it.

Camera Icon

To make a shiny stroke around it, duplicate it, increase its size a bit, and apply the same gradient as used for the lower portion’s stroke. Now, draw a thin black rectangle below the rest of the layers to cover the gap between the camera portions.

Camera Icon

Step 6

To give your icon a 3D look, duplicate the top portion layer, place it below the rest of the layers and increase its size with the help of the selection tool (V). Apply the following gradient to it.


Step 7

Next, we’ll make the camera lens. Draw an ellipse using the ellipse tool and apply a “Silver” gradient to it. You can find this gradient by going to “Window” > “Swatch Libraries” > “Gradients” > “Metals” and choosing “Silver” from the options.

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Draw another ellipse a bit smaller than the previous one. Use #efe8df as your fill color and set stroke to none.

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Step 8

To make lens shadow, draw the darker gray ellipse shown below and apply a 2.8px Gaussian blur effect by following the path “Effect” >“Blur” > “Gaussian Blur.” Duplicate this ellipse, drag it 2-3 steps downward, and reduce its opacity to 75% in the transparency panel (Shift + Ctrl + F10).

Camera Icon

Step 9

Now, we’ll draw three ellipses over each other. Draw the first ellipse and apply a “Steel” gradient to it, which you can find in the default metal gradients. Duplicate it, change its fill color to white, and drag it downward 3-4 steps. Duplicate this ellipse, apply a “Neutral 14” gradient on it, which you can find in the default neutral gradients, and drag it downward 1-2 steps.

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Step 10

Draw a smaller ellipse above the rest, select it, and apply the following settings to achieve an inner glow (“Effect” > “Stylize” > “Inner Glow”).

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Step 11

Next, draw a circle inside the previous one, set its fill color to none, and choose a black stroke with a 1pt stroke weight.


Select the stroke layer and go to “Effect” > “Distort & Transform” > “Transform.” Apply the following settings here to make few rings.


Step 12

To make a light glow, draw the white ellipse shown below and apply a 20px Gaussian blur effect to it. After that, reduce its opacity to 40%. Duplicate and position the glow spot at some distance away from the original.

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Step 13

Now, draw a circle above the rest of the layers, apply a “Split complimentary 1” gradient to it, and add a gray 1pt stroke. You can find this gradient in the default color harmonies. After that, select this ellipse and apply the same inner glow effect ised in step 10.

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Duplicate this ellipse and hide the inner glow effect in the appearance panel (Shift + F6). Now, select it and double-click the gradient tool to open the gradient window and change the angle from 90 to 0 degrees. After that, change the blending mode of this layer to “Color Dodge” and reduce its opacity to 50%.

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Step 14

Now, draw an ellipse over the colored area, set its fill color to none, and add a black stroke with a 0.5pt weight. Select it and apply following Transform settings to get more rings. After that, reduce its opacity to 60%.

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Step 15

Make few more ellipses in different shades of gray to fill the central part of the lens. I’ve duplicated the glow layer and brought it to the top.

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Step 16

Next, we’ll create few highlights over the lens. Draw a few shapes (shown below) using the pencil or pen tool. Also, make an irregular shape in black between these highlights. Select them and collect them into a new layer. Now, apply a 2-3px Gaussian blur effect. To confine the highlights inside the lens, draw a circle and set its fill and stroke to none. Select the highlights and this new ellipse layer and go to “Object” > “Clipping Mask” > “Make.” After that, change its blending mode to “Hard Light” and reduce the opacity to 40%.


Step 17

To make the camera button, draw three ellipses of different sizes (shown below) and position them over each other to make the button. To create a highlight, duplicate the lighter blue ellipse twice and change their color to white. Drag one white ellipse 1-2 steps downward. Now, select the white ellipses and hit “Minus Front” in the pathfinder panel to create half-moon shape. Reduce this crescent shape’s opacity to 40%.


Make a shadow for the button using the same technique that we used for the lens.


Step 18

To make the viewfinder, draw few rectangles and place them over each other as shown below. Apply a “Neutral 15” gradient on the background rectangle with a 1pt black stroke.


Step 19

Now, draw a circle as shown below and apply a “Silver” gradient to it. Change its blending mode to “Color Dodge” and reduce opacity to 40%. Make highlights using pen tool and reduce the opacity to 40%.

Camera Icon

Camera Icon

Step 20

To make flash bulb, draw a rectangle and apply a “Chrome” gradient to it. Change its blending mode to “Hard Light” and set opacity to 60%. Duplicate it and change its gradient to “Chrysoprase,” which you can find by going to “Window” > “Swatch Libraries” > “Gradients” > “Gems and Jewels.” Change its blending mode to “Screen” and set opacity to 75%. Now, make an elongated ellipse with a sky blue fill color within the rectangle and apply an 8px Gaussian Blur effect to it. Change its blending mode to “Screen.” Lastly, make its shadow using the same techniques that we used for the button.


Step 21

Now, we’ll make the shadow of the icon. Draw an ellipse with a black fill color below the rest of the layers. Select it and apply an 8px Gaussian blur effect to it.

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final result2

That’s it guys. I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and learned something useful. Let me know what you think.

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