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How to Make a House Icon in Adobe Illustrator

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to create a minimal icon pack in Adobe Illustrator using basic icon design tips and tricks.

For starters, you will learn how to set up a simple grid and how to create a rough frame for each icon design. Using basic tools and techniques along with the Appearance panel, you will learn how to create the three versions of the house icon design. You’ll learn how to work with basic tools and effects, how to easily create and save patterns, and how to add subtle shading. Before we start, you can download the house icon PNG files and take a closer look at what you’re about to create.

For more inspiration on how to adjust or improve your icon design, 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 box and 340 in the height box, and then click that More Settings button. Select RGB for the Color Mode, set the Raster Effects to Screen (72 ppi), and then click Create Document.

Enable the Grid (View > Show Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap to Grid). You will need a grid every 1 px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid, and enter 1 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. Now that you’re set, let’s learn how to make icons.

set up grid

2. How to Create the Frames for Each Minimal Icon

Step 1

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and focus on your toolbar. Remove the color from the stroke and then select the fill and set its color to a random red.

Hold the Shift key and create a 72 px square. Make sure that it stays selected, open the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance), and lower the Opacity to around 20%.

square

Step 2

Make sure that your square stays selected and open the Transform panel (Window > Transform). Focus on the X and Y input fields to numerically place shapes on your artboard. Enter the settings shown in the following image, and in the end your shape should be placed as shown below.

transform panel

Step 3

Make sure that your square is still selected and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Drag the Move-Horizontal slider to 206 px, enter 2 in the Copies box, and click OK.

Focus on the Layers panel (Window > Layers), expand the existing layer, and simply lock your shape to make sure that you won’t accidentally select/move it. You’ll only need these red squares as frames for your icons.

lock frame shape

3. How to Create the First House Icon Design

Step 1

Focus on the left-red square and pick the Rectangle Tool (M). Create a 58 x 37 px shape, fill it with R=244 G=215 B=171, and place it as shown in the following image.

rectangle tool

Step 2

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 58 x 4 px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Fill this new rectangle with black (R=0 G=0 B=0), lower its Opacity to 60%, and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

Add a copy of this rectangle (Control-C > Control-V), place it as shown in the second image, and lower its Opacity to 40%.

blending mode

Step 3

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 12 x 32 px shape. Fill it with R=203 G=104 B=45 and place it as shown in the first image.

Focus on the top side of this new rectangle and switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select both anchor points, go to the control panel, and enter 6 px in that Corners box.

Reselect this brown shape and add two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 2 px to the right. Select both copies and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower its Opacity to 30%, and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

door shape

Step 4

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create an 8 x 10 px shape. Fill it with R=249 G=169 B=15 and place it as shown in the first image.

Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the top anchor points of your yellow shape, and enter 4 px in that Corners box.

Reselect your yellow shape and add two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 2 px to the right. Select both copies and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with black, lower its Opacity to 30%, and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

window shape

Step 5

Pick the Rounded Rectangle Tool, create a 16 x 4 px shape, and set the roundness of the Corners to 1 px. Fill this new shape with R=233 G=181 B=115 and place it as shown in the first image.

Using the same tool, create a 12 x 2 px shape and place it as shown in the second image. Fill it with R=244 G=215 B=171 and lower its Opacity to 50%.

rounded rectangle tool

Step 6

Pick the Rounded Rectangle Tool, create a 72 x 4 px shape, fill it with R=233 G=181 B=115, and place it as shown in the first image.

Using the same tool, create a 58 x 2 px shape, fill it with R=244 G=215 B=171, and place it as shown in the second image.

rounded rectangle tool

Step 7

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 74 x 29 px shape. Fill it with R=205 G=51 B=1 and place it as shown in the first image.

Focus on the top side of this new rectangle and pick the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select the left anchor point and drag it 14 px to the right, and then select the right anchor point and drag it 14 px to the left.

Move to the bottom side of this red shape, select both anchor points, and enter 2 px in the Corners box.

trapezoid

Step 8

Make sure that your red shape is still selected and add two copies in front (Control-C > Control-F > Control-F). Select the top copy and move it 4 px up.

Select both copies made in this step and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel. Fill the resulting shape with R=255 G=101 B=51 and lower its Opacity to 40%.

minus front

Step 9

Using the Rounded Rectangle Tool, create a 40 x 4 px shape, and place it as shown in the first image. Fill it with black, lower its Opacity to 30%, and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 46 x 6 px, fill it with R=205 G=51 B=1, and place it as shown in the second image. Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the top anchor points of this new rectangle, and enter 5 px in the Corners box.

roof top

4. How to Create the Second House Icon Design

Step 1

Select all the shapes that make up your first house icon and duplicate them (Control-C > Control-V). Move the copies to the middle red square and place them exactly as shown in the second image.

Select the ten shapes highlighted in the second image and simply delete them. In the end, you should be left with the five shapes shown in the third image.

second icon

Step 2

Select the two shapes highlighted in the first image and replace the existing fill color with R=41 G=32 B=97.

Select the three shapes highlighted in the second image, apply a 4 px stroke, and set its color to R=41 G=32 B=97.

dark stroke

Step 3

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 70 x 27 px shape, and place it as shown in the first image. Fill it with R=205 G=51 B=1 and then add a 4 px stroke and set its color to R=41 G=32 B=97.

Focus on the top side of this new rectangle and pick the Direct Selection Tool (A). Select the left anchor point and drag it 12 px to the right, and then select the right anchor point and drag it 12 px to the left.

Move to the bottom side of this trapezoid shape, select both anchor points, and enter 2 px in the Corners box.

roof stroke

Step 4

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 46 x 6 px shape, and place it as shown in the following image. Fill it with R=205 G=51 B=1 and then add a 4 px stroke and set its color to R=41 G=32 B=97.

Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the top anchor points of this new rectangle, and enter 5 px in the Corners box.

roof top stroke

5. How to Create the Third House Icon Design

Step 1

Once again, select all the shapes that make up your first house icon and duplicate them (Control-C > Control-V). Move the copies to the right-red square and place them exactly as shown in the second image.

Select the seven shapes highlighted in the second image and simply delete them. In the end, you should be left with the seven shapes shown in the third image.

third icon

Step 2

Select the three shapes highlighted in the first image and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

Select all the shapes that make up this third image, change the fill color to R=41 G=32 B=97, and then click the Unite button from the Pathfinder panel.

change color

Step 3

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create three 72 x 2 px shapes, and place them as shown in the first image.

Select these thin rectangles along with the dark-blue house icon and click the Minus Front button from the Pathfinder panel.

minus front

6. How to Add a Background to the Final Icon Design

Step 1

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create an 860 x 350 px shape. Fill this new rectangle with R=245 G=245 B=245, make sure that it covers your entire artboard, and then send it to back (Shift-Control-[).

clear frame

Step 2

Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create an 860 x 350 px shape. Fill this new rectangle with R=255 G=248 B=228, make sure that it covers your entire artboard, and then send it to back (Shift-Control-[).

background

Congratulations! You’re Done!

Here is how your minimal icon pack should look. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and learned a few things about how to make icons. Don’t hesitate to share your final result in the comments section. Remember that you can easily download the house icon PNG files and use them however you wish.

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 icon design.

how to make icons