We’re co-publishing a tutorial with LogoCore student @YesqArts to explore how to create a geometric star logo within illustrator. You will learn new techniques about rotating objects on a specific anchor point, cleaning up complicated geometry, and tricks involving offset paths! If you like this tutorial, you should apply to the Masterclass!
Step 1.0 – Creating The Document
Create a new Illustrator document that is 150px by 150px.
Click and hold the Ellipse Tool from the left toolbar and select the Star Tool. Left-click on your document and a dialog window will pop up with options to generate a new star shape. Set the First Radius to 40px, set the Second Radius to 15.280px, set sides to 5, and then click OK. You should see a new star shape appear in your document!
You can read this tutorial if you’re curious about why we choose those specific values for the triangle.
You can optionally align the star to the center of your document’s artboard. Open the Align panel by going to Window > Align. Click the Align To icon and select Artboard. Afterward, select your star shape and select both of the Align Middle icons from the Align Objects row.
Step 2.0 – Rounded Stroke
Select the star, click on the stroke (X) icon in the left toolbar, and then choose a random color. You should see a thin colored stroke appear around the star.
With the star still selected, navigate to the Stroke Panel by clicking the text ‘Stroke’ from the top toolbar. You should see a small dialog box pop up with options to change the properties of the star’s stroke.
Increase the Stroke Weight to 9px, choose a Rounded Cap for the cap options, select Round Join for the corners, and then choose Align Stroke To Outside from the bottom row in the dialog.
Step 3.0 – Expand Appearance
Go to Object > Expand Appearance to transform the star’s stroke into an editable shape. With the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the original star shape and delete it.
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Step 4.0 – Merge
Open the Pathfinder menu by going to Window > Pathfinder. Then select the remaining stroke shape with the Selection Tool (V) and select Merge from the Pathfinder menu.
Step 5.0 – Double Stroke
Open the Appearance Panel by going to Window > Appearance.
From the bottom menu of the Appearance panel, select Add New Fill. Afterward, select the newly generated fill in the Appearance layers, click the Effects Icon from the bottom menu, then go to Path > Offset Path, and set a 9px offset.
Create another fill, drag it to the bottom of the layer hierarchy within the Appearance panel, choose a different color for the fill, and then add an Offset Path effect with an 18px offset.
Step 6.0 – Divide & Delete
With the star selected, go to Object > Expand Appearance to transform the star’s appearance properties into an editable shape.
Open the Pathfinder menu by going to Window > Pathfinder, and then select Divide. This function will separate all of the star’s overlapping strokes into separate shapes.
Select both the original star shape and the second offset path with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and then delete the shapes.
Select all of the shapes on your document with the Selection Tool (V) and click on Merge from the Pathfinder menu.
Step 7.0 – Rectangle
From the left menu, use the Rectangle Tool (M) to draw a rectangle that connects the first outline to the second outline on the top-left of the star. The rectangle should have a height of 9px.
The first rectangle from the top must have a width that fully overlaps both of the star’s offset paths.
Step 8.0 – Duplicate Rectangle
Select the new rectangle and create a copy by going to Edit > Copy, Edit > Paste in Front. Move the new copy upwards 9px. Create another copy of the rectangle and move it down 9px.
Step 9.0 – Pentagon
From the left menu, use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a hexagon inside of the star. Place the hexagons in the exact position of the star’s inner vertices.
Select your completed pentagon shape, go to Object > Path > Average, choose Both, and select OK. This will generate an anchor point that is located in the exact center of the star. We’ll use it in the next few steps to clone shapes around the star by rotating around this center anchor point.
Step 10.0 – Rotational Symmetry
Select all three rectangles and go to Object > Group.
Select the rectangle group and the anchor point generated in the center of the star.
Go to Object > Group, then Edit > Copy, and finally Edit > Paste in Front. This will create a duplicate of the rectangle and the anchor point.
From the left toolbar, select the Rotate Tool (R), and while holding ‘ALT’ on your keyboard, -left-click on the isolated anchor point that was left in the star. If done properly, the rotate menu will pop up on your screen when you Alt-click on the triangle’s anchor point. Input 72 degrees as the angle and press Copy.
Create a new copy of the rotated rectangle group. Then go to Object > Transform > Transform Again (Ctrl+D). Repeat this process until you have five overlayed rectangle groups on the star.
Step 11.0 – Divide
Select all of the shapes in the document and click Divide from the Pathfinder menu.
Use the direct selection tool to delete certain shapes based on the reference below.
Step 12.0 – Clean Up
Select all of the shapes in the document and navigate to Object > Path > Clean up. Check the boxes for Stray Points, Unpainted Objects, Empty Text Paths and then click OK. This function will remove all of the empty shapes from the selection that were generated from dividing shapes in the previous steps.
Select all of the shapes again, open the Pathfinder menu, and select Unite under the shape modes row.
Step 13.0 – Offset Path
Select the new merged shape, go to Object > Path > Offset Path, input 2px for the offset value, and then select OK.
Select all of the shapes again and go to Object > Expand Appearance. Afterward, open the Pathfinder menu and select Unite. You should now have a fully completed star shape!