Create a Nuclear Symbol Icon

In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a simple nuclear symbol in Graphic for Mac.

For starters, you will learn how to setup a simple grid and how to easily center your main shapes using the commands from the Alignment pane. Next, you will learn how to slice your shapes and how to create the actual symbol.

Finally, you will learn how to create a gradient filled background and how to add subtle details for your final symbol.

Step 1

Go to File > New (Command + N) to bring up the New Document window. Select the Grid document style, set the document units to pixels, and set the document dimensions to 600 pixels wide by 600 pixels high.

Next, we'll set up the document grid. Switch to the Grid pane in the Properties panel. If the Properties panel is not currently visible, you can easily open it using the ruler icon that lies above the Layers panel. Change the grid X Spacing and Y Spacing to 10, set the Subdivisions to 0 and enable Snap to Grid (Command + Shift + ').

Keep in mind that you can quickly enable or disable the grid and the Snap to Grid feature using the Command + ' and Command + Shift + ' keyboard shortcuts.

Step 2

Focus on the Toolbar and notice that by default the Fill color is set to white while the Stroke color is set to black. Click the Fill color well and set it to R=28 G=28 B=28 and then click the Stroke color well. Drag the Alpha slider to 0% and this will simply make your stroke invisible.

Pick the Ellipse Tool (L), move to your canvas and create a 220 px circle- the grid and the Snap to Grid feature should make it easier. Holding the Shift key while clicking and dragging will create a perfect circle.

Make sure that this shape stays selected, move to the Alignement pane from the Properties panel and simply click the Horizontal Centers and Vertical Centers buttons to easily center your selection.

Step 3

Set the Fill color to R=225 G=170 B=0 and make sure that the Ellipse Tool (O) is still active.

Create a 180 px circle, make sure that it stays selected and center it using the same Horizontal Centers and Vertical Centers buttons from the Alignment pane.

Step 4

Set the Fill color to R=1 G=152 B=246 and make sure that the Ellipse Tool (O) is still active. Create a 140 px circle and center it.

Step 5

Set the Fill color to white (R=255 G=255 B=255) and make sure that the Ellipse Tool (O) is still active. Create a 40 px circle and center it.

Step 6

Set the Fill color to R=219 G=65 B=0 and make sure that the Ellipse Tool (O) is still active. Create a 20 px circle and center it.

Step 7

Using the Move Tool (V) and the Shift key, select the blue circle along with the white one, focus on the Path Tools pane from the Properties panel and click the Subtract button. In the end your blue shape should look like in the second image.

Step 8

Set the Fill color to R=0 G=90 B=150, pick the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 120 x 100 px shape and place it exactly as shown in the first image.

Focus on the bottom side of your new rectangle and switch to the Path Selection Tool (A). Select the right anchor point and simply hit the Delete (or Backspace) key to remove it. Select the remaining, bottom anchor point and drag it 60 px to the right. In the end your rectangle should turn into a simple triangle as shown in the second image.

Step 9

Make sure that your triangle is still selected and switch to the Rotate Tool (R). Focus on your triangle and you should notice a little cross right in the center of the shape, that's the reference point. Drag it above the bottom corner of your triangle and then focus on the Tool Options bar. Set the Angle to 120 degrees and then simply click that Copy button twice.

Step 10

Select your three triangles, focus on the Path Tools pane from the Pathfinder panel and simply click the Make Compound Path button.

Step 11

Select your compound path along with the other blue shape, focus on the Path Tools pane from the Properties panel and click the Intersect button.

Step 12

Reselect your three blue shapes along with that tiny, orange circle, focus on the Path Tools pane from the Pathfinder panel and simply click the Make Compound Path button. Make sure that your newly made compound path is selected, focus on the Toolbar and simply replace the existing Fill color with R=29 G=29 B=29.

Step 13

Focus above the Layers pane and simply click the leftmost icon to open the Appearance pane. Select the compound path made in the previous step, go to the Effects pane from the Appearance panel and simply check the box that stands for the existing Drop Shadow to activate it.

Enter 1 in the Y box and 0 in the other two boxes, change the Blend Mode to Soft Light and then click the color well of your Drop Shadow. Set the color to white (R=255 G=255 B=255) and then drag that Alpha slider to 70%.

Step 14

Make sure that your compound path is still selected and keep focusing on the Effects pane. Activate the existing Inner Shadow and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 15

Select your yellow circle, focus on the Effects pane and select the existing Stroke. Set the Width to 1 pt and the Position to Inside and then click the color well of your Stroke. Replace the existing color with R=180 G=135 B=5 and make sure that the Alpha slider is set to 100%.

Step 16

Select your dark circle and focus on the Effects pane. Activate the existing Drop Shadow and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 17

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 600 px square, make sure that it stays selected and focus on the Effects pane.

Focus on the Fill and select Radial Gradient from the Type drop-down menu. Set the angle to 0 degrees and then move to the gradient sliders. Select the left one and set its color to R=45 G=45 B=45 and then select the right one and se its color to R=25 G=25 B=25. Send this shape to back using the Shift + Command + [ keyboard shortcut and don't forget to center it.

Finished Design

Congratulations, you've finished the tutorial!

Hope you've enjoyed learning some of the techniques and processes presented in these steps. As always, feel free to adjust the final design and make it your own.

Graphic File: nuclearsymbol.idraw