Illustrator Tutorial: Create a Travel Plastic Suitcase

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suitcase-illustrator-tutorial

By Bao Nguyen

In this tutorial we’ll be creating a travel plastic suitcase in Adobe Illustrator. For starters you’ll learn how to create the main shape using several tools, basic vector shape building techniques along with masking techniques and some simple effects. Next, adding shadows and highlights to our suitcase to make it more glossy and three-dimensional. Let’s get started!

Create a New document

  1. Launch Illustrator and then press (Ctrl + N) to create a New Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, enter 900 in the width box and 680 in the height box then click on the Advanced button. Select RGB, Screen (72ppi) and make sure that the Align New Objects to Pixel Grid box is unchecked before you click OK.

Create the Main Shape

2. Pick the Rounded Rectangle Tool from the Toolbox, simply click on the artboard to bring up its options. Enter the data like you see in the first image and click OK. Now pick the Direct Selection Tool (A), select bottom-left anchor point highlighted with black and move it 13px Next select bottom-left anchor point highlighted with blue and move it 5px to the right. Focus on the fourth image, pick the Pen Tool (P) and click on the point highlighted with blue to add new anchor point for the red rectangle created in this step. With the help of the Direct Selection Tool (A), click on the newly added anchor point, then hold mouse and drag it to the direction of the blue arrow. Keep working with the Direct Selection Tool (A), adjust the handles of the anchor point you just moved as shown in the last image.

3. Focus on the first image, pick the Pen Tool (P) and click on two points highlighted with black to add two new anchor points for the red rectangle. Reselect the two newly added anchor points and click on the “Cut path at selected anchor points” icon from the Properties This make the red rectangle becomes two paths. Select the right path and replace the existing stroke color with blue. Now select the remaining red path and go to the Object > Transform > Reflect… Check the Vertical and click on the Copy. Keep the copy selected, hold down the Shift and click on the blue path. Release the Shift and click on the blue path again (to fixed its position). Then open the Align panel (Window > Align) and click on the Horizontal Align Right button. Next select and remove the blue path. Now select the two red paths, right click on the artboard and select the Join section from the drop-down menu. Finally right click on the artboard again, then select the Join section.

4. Select the red object created in step 3, remove its stroke and fill this object with the linear gradient as shown in the first image. Keep the resulting shape selected and go to the Object > Path > Offset Path… Enter a 3px Offset and click OK. Then replace the existing fill color of the newly created shape with very dark grayish violet (#414042).

5. Focus on the first image, select four anchor points highlighted with red and click on the “Cut path at selected anchor points” icon from the Properties This make the shape created in step 4 becomes four parts. Select two parts as shown in the third image and remove them. Now focus on the fifth image, select two anchor points highlighted with red and move them 3px up. Continue focus on the next to last image, select the left anchor point highlighted with magenta and move it 3px to the right. Next select the right anchor point highlighted with magenta and move it 3px to the left.

6. Select the cyan shape created in step 4 and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it. Still having the copy selected and go to the Effect > Texture > Patchwork… Follow the data like you see in the first image and click OK. Keep the resulting shape selected and go to the Effect > Stylize > Feather… Enter a 5px Radius and click OK. Change the Blending Mode of the resulting shape to Multiply and then reduce its Opacity to 50%.

7. Pick the Pen Tool (P) and create a red object like you see in the first image. Once your object is drawn, remove its stroke and fill this object with the linear gradient as shown in the second image. Keep the resulting shape selected and go to the Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur… Enter a 5px Radius and click OK. Then hide the resulting shape behind the shape created in step 6. Now with the help of the Pen Tool (P) and the Gradient Tool (G), create a bright cyan shape like you see in the fifth and the sixth image. Next apply a 5px Gaussian Blur effect for the newly created shape. Finally change the Blending Mode of the resulting shape to Soft Light.

8. Focus on the first image, draw a curved path with the Pen Tool (P) and give it a 2px pale cyan Stroke (#b9f1ff) for the moment. Make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of the newly created path and move the copy 9px Replace the existing stroke color of this copy with vivid orange (#f1921f) and then change the Blending Mode to Multiply. Now select the two curved paths created in this step and apply a 3px Gaussian Blur effect for them.

9. With the help of the Pen Tool (P) and the Gradient Tool (G), create a shape like you see in the first and the second image. Once your shape is drawn, send it to back (Ctrl +Shift +Left Square Bracket). Now pick the Pen Tool (P) and create a yellow curved path as shown in the next to last image. Change the stroke weight of the newly created path to 3px and replace the existing stroke color with very dark blue (#181819). Then apply the Width Profile 1 for the resulting path.

10. With the help of the Pen Tool (P) and the Gradient Tool (G), create a shape like you see in the first and the second image. Now focus on the third image, draw a curved path with the Pen Tool (P) and give it a 1px very dark blue stroke (#181819) for the moment. Then apply the Width Profile 1 for the resulting path.

11. We will continue with the wheels. With the help of the Ellipse Tool (L) and the Gradient Tool (G), create a 13 by 13px dark grayish orange ellipse. Next pick the Pen Tool (P) and create a red object as shown in the third image. Once your object is drawn, remove its stroke and fill this object with the linear gradient like you see in the fourth image. Now select the newly created shape, pick the Rotate Tool (R), then hold down Alt and click on the center of the circle created in this step. In the Rotate dialog box, enter a 24 degrees Angle and click Copy. Then press (Ctrl +D) thirteen times to get the results like you see in the last image.

12. Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a 30 by 30px red ellipse, then place it to the position as shown in the first image. Now select all objects as shown in the second image and go to the Object > Transform > Scale… Check the Uniform, enter a 84% in the Scale box and click Copy. Press (Ctrl +G) to group the copies and then move this group 3px Focus on the fourth and the fifth image, replace the existing fill colors of the objects of the newly created group. Finally reselect the group you just edited and then send it to back (Ctrl +Shift +Left Square Bracket).

13. Select the bigger red ellipse and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it. Keep the copy selected and go to the Object > Path > Offset Path… Enter a 5px Offset and click OK. Replace the existing stroke color of the newly created ellipse with blue and then move it 3px up. Keep this ellipse selected, hold down Shift and click on the copy of the bigger red ellipse. Then open the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder) and click on the Minus Front button. Finally remove the stroke of the resulting object and fill it with the radial gradient as shown in the last image.

14. Before you continue, select the group created in step 12 and press (Ctrl +Shift +G) to ungroup it. Next select the remaining two red ellipses, then open the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder) and click on the Minus Back Remove the stroke of the resulting object and fill it with black (#000001). Finally hide the resulting shape to back (Ctrl +Shift +Left Square Bracket).

15. Pick the Pen Tool (P) and create a red curved path like you see in the first image. Change the stroke weight of the newly created path to 2px and replace the existing stroke color with dark grayish yellow (#a6a59e). Next apply the Width Profile 1 and a 3px Feather effect for the resulting path.

16. Select all objects of the wheel and press (Ctrl +G) to group it, then place this group to the position like you see in the first image. Next send the newly created wheel to back. Now with the help of the Selection Tool (V), double-click on the wheel. Select the ellipse as shown in the third image and press (Ctrl +X) to cut it. Next, double-click on the anywhere outside of the wheel and press (Ctrl +F) to paste the ellipse was cut in this step. Still having this ellipse selected and go to the Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow… Follow the data as shown in the last image and click OK.

17. Select all objects created from beginning step 9 to this time and press (Ctrl +G) to group them. Make sure that the newly created group is still selected and go to the Object > Transform > Reflect… Check the Vertical and click Copy. Next drag the copy to the right and place it as shown in the second image.

18. It’s time to draw the handles. First of all, we’ll create the top carry handle. With the help of the Pen Tool (P) and the Gradient Tool (G), create a shape like you see in the first and the second image. Continue with the Pen Tool (P), create two red objects as shown in the third image. Once your objects are drawn, remove their strokes and then fill them with the linear gradient as shown in the last image. Now select and group (Ctrl +G) all shapes created in this step. The top carry handle is done!

19. Next come the side carry handle. Select the top carry handle and go to the Object > Transform > Rotate… Enter a -90 degrees Angle and click Copy. Then place the newly created group to the position like you see in the second image.

20. We will continue with the side bumper. Pick the Rounded Rectangle Tool from the Toolbox, simply click on the artboard. Enter the data like you see in the first image and click OK. Remove the stroke of the newly created rectangle and then fill it with the linear gradient as shown in the second image. Keep the resulting rectangle selected and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it. Next place the two rectangles created in this step and place them to the positions like you see in the next to last image. Finally send these rectangles to back (Ctrl +Shift +Left Square Bracket).

21. We will continue with the trolley handle. With the help of the Rectangle Tool (M) and the Gradient Tool (G), create a 5 by 134px rectangle, then place it to the position as shown in the first and the second image. Make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of the newly created rectangle, then drag the copy to the right and place it as shown in the last image. Don’t forget to hold the Shift key on the keyboard for straight dragging.

22. With the Pen Tool (P), create a very dark gray shape (#252525) like you see in the first and the second image. Once your shape is drawn, reselect it and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of this shape. Still having the copy selected and go to the Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow… Follow the data as shown in the third image and click OK. Keep the resulting shape selected and make a copy of it.

23. Select two rectangles created in step 21 and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of them, then bring the copies to front (Ctrl +Shift +Right Square Bracket). Select the left copy and a shape with shadow effect applied in step 22. Right-click on the artboard and select the Make Clipping Mask section from the drop-down menu. Continue select the remaining copy and the remaining shape with shadow effect applied in step 22. Then right-click on the artboard and select the Make Clipping Mask

24. Select the first shape created in step 22 and go to the Object > Path > Offset Path… Enter a -1px Offset and click OK. Then replace the existing fill color of the newly created shape with very dark grayish pink (#444243). Now focus on the third image, select four anchor points highlighted with yellow and move them 1px Finally reselect the shape you just edited and then apply a 2px Feather effect for it.

25. Pick the Pen Tool (P) and create a yellow curved path like you see in the first image. Once your path is drawn, change the stroke weight to 3px and replace the existing stroke color with dark grayish pink (#737071). Next apply the Width Profile 1 and a 2px Feather effect for the resulting path.

26. Select all objects of the trolley handle and press (Ctrl +G) to group them, then send the newly created group to back (Ctrl +Shift +Left Square Bracket). At this point your suitcase should look like in the next image:

27. Open the Character panel (Window > Type > Character), select the Ravie font, make it Regular, and set the size to 38px. Now pick the Type Tool (T), simply click on your artboard. Then add two words “Travel” and “World” and set their colors to white (#ffffff). Make sure that the Type Tool (T) is still active and add word “the”. Use the same font and color, but decrease the font size to 24px. Next place these three words to the positions like you see in the last image.

28. Pick the Pen Tool (P) and create a 7 by 44.5px blue ellipse. Next with the help of the Direct Selection Tool (A), extend the handles of the top anchor point of the newly created ellipse. Continue create two red objects with the Pen Tool (P) like in the third image. Once your objects are drawn, reselect them and go to the Object > Transform > Reflect… Check the Vertical and click Copy. Drag the copies to the right and place them as shown in the fourth image. Now select all objects created in this step, then open the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder) and click on the Unite Remove the stroke of the resulting object and fill it with white (#ffffff). Finally rotate the newly created shape an angle of about -67 degrees and then place it to the position as shown in the last image.

29. Focus on the first image, draw a curved path with the Pen Tool (P) and give it a 1px white stroke for the moment. Keep the newly created path selected and open the Stroke panel (Window > Stroke), then check the Dashed Line Enter 5px in the dash box and 5px in the gap box.

30. Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a 43 by 33px black ellipse, then place it to the position as shown in the first image. Keep working with the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a 29 by 23px red ellipse. Still having the newly created ellipse selected and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it. Then place these two red ellipses to the positions like you see in the second image. Now select all three ellipses created in this step, remove their strokes and fill them with white (#ffffff). Still having the white ellipses selected and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of them. Then drag these copies to the right and place them as shown in the last image.

31. At this point your suitcase should look like in the next image:

32. To give a more realistic look I’m going to be adding some shadows on some key places. Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a 46 by 6px red ellipse, then place it to the position like you see in the first image. Remove the stroke of the newly created ellipse and then fill it with the radial gradient as shown in the second image. Keep the resulting ellipse selected and apply a 2px Gaussian Blur effect for it. Next send the resulting ellipse to back (Ctrl +Shift +Left Square Bracket). Still having this ellipse selected and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it. Then drag the copy to the right and place it as shown in the last image.

33. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 150 by 9px red rectangle, then place it to the position like you see in the first image. Remove the stroke of the newly created rectangle and then fill it with the linear gradient as shown in the second image. Keep the resulting rectangle selected and apply a 5px Gaussian Blur effect for it. Finally send the resulting rectangle to back (Ctrl +Shift +Left Square Bracket).

34. Select and group (Ctrl +G) all objects created from beginning step 2 to this time. The suitcase is ready and looks like this:

35. We’re done with the suitcase. It’s time for the background now. With the help of the Rectangle Tool (M) and the Gradient Tool (G), create a 900 by 680px The last thing to do is place the suitcase into the newly created background.

Here is what the completed design looks like.

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