A couple of weeks ago I designed a logo for a cupcake shop owner but unfortunately the client opted for a different design proposal. However I really enjoyed the outcome of this design and I had so much fun in the process that I’ve decided to convert it into a small and simple tutorial for all willing to give it a go!
Above is the final design we will be recreating in Illustrator, so let’s get to it and start by jumping right into Adobe Illustrator. This design will be done in three major steps, the background circle badge appearance, the cupcake illustration and finally the banner going across the logo with the name of the company.
So first off let’s grab the Ellipse Tool and create a perfect circle by holding on the [Shift] and [Alt] key down while dragging out to the side with the mouse, thus keeping the circle proportioned and centered. Next we’re going to give it a stroke of 8pt with a color of #C9C4A8. For the fill color we’re going with a dark gray of #333.
Now let’s duplicate this oval object by selecting it and pressing [Ctrl + C] and [Ctrl + F]. This is going to copy and paste the new object directly on top of the selected object. Once that’s done we’re just going to reduce it’s size by grabbing the object’s bounding box and dragging it inward while maintaining the [Shift] and [Alt] keys down. All right now we’re going to take care of the stroke so let’s give it a color of #E8CBC5 and a weight of 2pt. Open up the “Stroke window” and give it a dashed line with 12pt dashes.
This is a part of the design where you can get really creative. The Star Tool we’ll be using for the inner motif can give some really cool results. However, for simplicity’s sake, I kept the inner motif really straightforward and conservative in this tutorial, but there’s always room for expansion on your end at this point. Anyways grab the Star Tool and click once anywhere on the Art Board. In the dialog box insert the following parameters: radius 1 200px, radius 2 170px and points 20. Now let’s center the star with the circles and give it a stroke of 6pt and the same color we used for the dashes, #E8CBC5.
For the shadow we’re just going to duplicate the star object and “send it backwards” by right clicking on the object and selecting Arrange->Bring to Front. While the object is still selected, increase its’ size just a tiny bit and give it a color of #1A1A1A which is really just a dark gray. Now nudge the object down a few spaces by selecting the object and hitting the Down Arrow key a couple of times.
Now we’re going to take care of the cupcake illustration. First comes the paper container holding the cupcake. We’ll start with a rectangle as our base for this and modify the object until we get it just right. Grab the Rectangle Tool and click anywhere on the Art Board. In the dialog box enter the following parameters: width 290px and height 145px. Give the rectangle a fill color of #84C2CF.
To transform the shape into a trapezoid, with the Direct Selection Tool, select the bottom left corner of the object and nudge it four times to the right using the Right Arrow key while holding down the [Shift] key to give you the extra spacing. Repeat this step with the right bottom corner as well.
For the paper container’s round bottom we’ll use the Ellipse Tool to create, guess what? An oval! sort of makes sense doesn’t it? Anyways start to draw out the oval from the center of the bottom edge of the trapezoid (this is where smart guides come in handy) while holding down the [Alt] key to keep it all centered. Drag the oval until you reach the border of the trapezoid shape. Select both objects and using the Pathfinder Tool, click on unite to add to shape area.
For the stripes on the container we’ll use a very simple technique which consists of using symmetry and the Pathfinder Tool. We’ll start by drawing two shapes which will represent the stripes, just on one half of the container, using the Pen Tool. Give the shapes a fill color of #AED6E0. Now, select both shapes and group them together using [Ctrl + G].
Duplicate the compound shape with the famous [Ctrl + C] and [Ctrl + F] technique and reflect the design by right clicking on the newly pasted shape and selecting Transform–>Reflect. In the dialog box select Vertical and click OK. Now click on the object and slide it to the right of the original shape, while holding the [Shift] key to keep it aligned, until it snaps with the original object’s right side. Select both objects and use the unite function of the Pathfinder Tool to add to the shape area.
Duplicate the trapezoid shape underneath the stripes using the same method we’ve applied all along and bring it to the top of the stacking order by right clicking on the pasted shape and selecting Arrange–>Bring to Front. Select it once again along with the stripes. With both objects selected, using the Pathfinder Tool, click on crop. Now wait till you see this, just like magic your stripes should be precisely cut to match your underlying paper container shape. How you like them apples? But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves we’ve still got a fair amount of work cut out for us left.
The final finishing touch on the paper container will consist of an oval placed behind the the bottom portion of the trapezoid object, although not really trapezoid anymore… After that’s done you can go ahead and give it the same color as the stripes,#AED6E0, and group the object by selecting all of its’ elements and pressing on [Ctrl + G]. We’re not going to worry about the top portion of the paper container, due to the fact that the icing portion will take care of the rounded edge at the top.
The icing is a really simple process which consists of a few steps. Start off by drawing the main shape of the icing with the use of the Ellipse Tool. Three ovals should normally get the job done. Well I don’t get it, the round bottom looks nothing like the one in the example?! Clever remark there Sherlock! This is why we’ll use the Pathfinder Tool yet again to cut out a section of the bottom of the two overlying ovals so that it matches the bottom underlying oval’s bottom edge. Huh, that made sense right? Aargh, a picture is worth a thousand words right? So just take a look below.
Draw out a rectangle going through the bottom half portion of the underlying oval using the Rectangle Tool. Select both the newly created rectangle and one of the two overlying ovals, which one doesn’t really matter as we’ll repeat this same process for the other. With both shapes selected, use the Pathfinder Tool and click on Minus Front to subtract from the shape area. Repeat this same process for the other overlying oval. Once that’s done select all three remaining shapes and click on unite using the Pathfinder Tool to add to the shape area.
Duplicate the shape using the [Ctrl + C], [Ctrl + F] technique we’re accustomed to now and give the pasted result a fill color of #E8CBC5. Reduce the shapes size by dragging inward on the object’s bounding box while maintaining the [Shift] and [Alt] keys pushed down. Now nudge the design a bit to the left using the Arrow keys as to give the appearance of a thicker stroke on the right part of the shape.
Finish off the icing with the Pen Tool by drawing two shapes, connecting the inner shape’s edges with the outer area shape, giving a simple illusion of swirls.
For the cherry on top of the icing we’re going to use all the techniques we’ve been using so far. Starting with the Ellipse Tool draw a circle by clicking anywhere on the Art Board and entering the following parameters: width 80px and height 80px. Give it a color of #D78995. For the shading effect just duplicate the oval with [Ctrl + C] and [Ctrl + F] and give it a color of #C74366. Duplicate it once more, decrease the new object’s size and nudge it to the left. Now select both overlying objects and use the Minus Front function of the Pathfinder Tool to cut out a big portion of the shape, leaving you with a crescent shape. Reduce the final shape’s size as well to give a little padding with the main underlying circle and rotate the object to give the impression of the cherry tilting to one side. The shine effect is simple enough. draw a oval with the Ellipse Tool and give it a color of #E8CBC5, then rotate it and place it on the main cherry’s shape. For the cherry’s stick thingy* sticking out on the top, (I know, I’m embarrassed I don’t know what it’s called, and googling something you can’t really describe all that well is kind of difficult. I did find twig, but I’m guessing that’s kind of inappropriate as to what I’m referring to. I’m open to suggestions here!) well just be creative and draw something out that resembles the stick thingy* (or CHERRY STEM, thanks to Igor from the comments section =D), and place an oval at it’s base using the same color as the shading, #E8CBC5. Finally group the entire cherry object and place it on top of the icing shape.
Final step for the cupcake illustration is the sprinkles, and with what you’ve accomplished so far this is a piece of cupcake, literally! Am I the only one hungry at this point? Anyways grab the Rounded Rectangle Tool draw a small rectangle and copy and paste a few copies of it. Scatter them around and rotate them in all sorts of different angles just to give them a random appearance. Alternate their fill colors as well between light blue #84C2CF and dark pink #D78995. Once done, and you’ve got something that you like, group the objects together and place them on the top portion of the icing. Reassemble the four grouped elements (container, icing, cherry and sprinkles) in the correct manner, and when you’ve achieved something that suits you, select all four of them and group them into one single object. Center the cupcake illustration with the badge object and you should now have in front of you a lovely cupcake illustration ready to be devoured.
Don’t go licking the screen just yet! We’ve still got one major step before reaching “Cupcake Jubilee” status. Did you get it? (cricket’s chirps) Killer audience here…
We’ll make the main part of the banner using symmetry and the Pathfinder Tool, same technique we implemented with the paper container’s stripes. So start off by drawing a half banner with the help of the Pen Tool, make sure to hold down the [Shift] key when drawing the straight line on the right, this is important as we’ll be reflecting a copied version of this shape to give us the final output. Once done let’s do just that and copy and paste the shape using [Ctrl +C] and [Ctrl + F] to make sure the newly created shape stays aligned with the original one. Reflect the object by right clicking on it and selecting Transform->Reflect. In the dialog box select Vertical and click OK. Slide the shape to the right while maintaining the [Shift] key pressed down, until its’ left border “snaps” with the original shape’s right border. Same technique we’ve used before, nothing new to you at this point. Finally select both objects and click on the Unite function of the Pathfinder Tool to create one single shape.
Using the Pen Tool draw one edge of the banner. Select the object and in the Gradient window apply the following settings. for the first color use this value #F0EBCE and use this for the second color value #C9C4A8. Click on the first color’s slider and enter 50% for the “Location”, this will move the first color’s start position halfway to the right. Jump up to the Angle setting and type in 25. We are using a gradient here to give us some depth on the banner for a subtle 3D effect.
Duplicate the object as we’ve already done it numerous times and reflect it with the same settings as before. Place the new object on the other end of the banner and select all three objects.
Now we’re just going to add another effect of depth to the banner by duplicating the three previously selected objects and nudging them twice downwards with the use of the Bottom Arrow key. The objects still selected, give them a fill color of #E0ABA1 and send them backwards in the stacking order by right clicking on them and selecting Arrange–>Send to Back.
Select all the of the banner shapes and group them together with a little [Ctrl + G] magic. Now place the banner object on top of the previously grouped badge and cupcake illustration to adjust the size as necessary.
Once you’re satisfied with the outcome, double click on the banner object to enter the grouped elements. with the Pen Tool draw two strokes across the top and bottom of the main banner object. Give them a stroke width of 5pt and a color of #C9C4A8.
Select the bottom stroke we’ve just created and duplicate it. Nudge it up a couple of times with the Up Arrow key and grab the Type on a Path Tool. With your cursor click on the newly created path and start typing. For the font color use #D78995. I used the Lobster 1.4 font by Pablo Impallari, which is really awesome by the way and works well here. You’ll realize that the font used on this design can drastically change it’s final outcome, so feel free to experiment however you want to.
The final steps to complete this design is to duplicate the text and give it a fill color of #C74366. Then nudge the design up and to the left once with the use of the ARRROW keys, giving a little letterpress effect to the type.
Now it’s your turn to be creative! Unfortunately I can’t release the source files for this logo anymore as it is now available on BrandCrowd’s website for sale.
“the-the-h that’s all Folks!”, as a certain highly underrated pig character would put. Give yourself a pat on the back cause this was some serious design work. Well I did most of the work, you guys kinda stood there nodding and clicking… Oh well it’s still something you can be proud of! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, mainly because, well, self-motivation can only get you so far, am I right HA HA! Wow I felt kind of alone on that one… Ahem, anyways I really enjoyed creating this tutorial and I hope you guys liked it as well.
Feel free to click on any of the ugly icons below and thanks for reading this far!