Using Gradients in Illustrator to Create an iPod Nano

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Gradients can allow for the illusion of 3D objects, and because Illustrator uses vectors, the objects and gradients you create can be scaled up or down without loss of quality.  Thus, Illustrator is a great tool for product design and mockups, and can be used in place of, or in conjunction with 3D software.

In this Illustrator tutorial, you’ll learn how to use gradients in Illustrator to create a pair of iPod Nanos, and how you can quickly create a variety of other objects using these techniques.

If you need more Illustrator tutorials, check these other tutorials:

Let’s get started!

Tools Used:

  • Adobe Illustrator

Final Image Preview:

final effect

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create the much loved Apple iPod Nano 5g! So let’s start off!

Body

1. So let’s start off! First, create a rectangle with the Rectangle Tool (M) and fill in the measures shown.

2. Now let’s fill the shape with a linear gradient, so with the Gradient panel fill in the shown gradient, measures are as follows –
CS stands for color stop and L stands for location

  • 1st CS – RGB = 86, 5, 41| L =0
  • 2nd CS – RGB = 196,1,95 | L = 3
  • 3rd CS – RGB = 208,0,105 | L = 5
  • 4th CS – RGB = 182,0,85 | L = 21
  • 5th CS – RGB = 192,2,98 | L = 34
  • 6th CS – RGB = 201, 4,109 | L = 42
  • 7th CS – RGB = 215, 14,120 | L =50
  • 8th CS – RGB = 255, 81, 156 | L = 72
  • 9TH CS – RGB = 255, 83, 158 | L = 74
  • 10TH CS – RGB = 201, 4, 109 | L =75
  • 11TH CS – RGB = 205, 4, 108 | L = 76
  • 12TH CS – RGB = 204, 3, 105 | L = 78
  • 13TH CS – RGB = 194, 4, 100 | L = 85
  • 14TH CS – RGB = 152, 1, 70 | L = 91
  • 15TH CS – RGB = 153, 19, 80 | L = 95
  • 16TH CS – RGB = 240, 147, 200 | L = 99

I highly suggest enlarging the gradient panel.

3. Now let’s make the clickwheel, so first draw two circles with the Ellipse Tool (L) and fill in the measures. Fill them anything but cancel off any stroke.

4. Now centrally align both the circles and with both of them selected go to Window>Pathfinder and then click on the “Minus Front” option. Now fill the newly made shape with white and again make sure that there is no stroke.

5. Now just align the shape like shown to the main image.

6. Now let’s create the options, so with tools like the Star Tool, the Type Tool and the Rectangle Tool create these shapes and then again cancel off any stroke and fill them with # 616872.

7. Then again align the shapes like shown to the clickwheel.

8. Now let’s create the screen of the iPod, so with the Rectangle Tool (M) create two rectangles with the measures shown and then give the bigger rectangle a rounded corners effect of 10 pt (Effect>Stylize>Round Corners) and then fill and stroke accordingly with the image.

9. Now centrally align both the rectangles on top of each other and then align like shown to the main body.

10. Now let’s change the colors of the screen’s border to match the reflection, so fill in it with the shown gradient.
Here are the measures –

  • 1ST CS – RGB = 3, 1, 2 | L = 0
  • 2ND CS – RGB = 2, 6, 5 | L = 18
  • 3RD CS – RGB = 25, 25, 25 | L = 38
  • 4TH CS – RGB = 55, 55, 55 | L = 56
  • 5TH CS – RGB = 60, 58, 59 | L = 77
  • 6TH CS – RGB = 9, 9, 9 | L = 78
  • 7TH CS – RGB = 3, 0, 0 | L = 100

Again enlarging the gradient panel will ease out the process.

11. Now let’s create the button at the top so make a squished rounded rectangle and fill in the shown gradient. (I’ve zoomed in that’s why it looks big, but actual size is quite small)
Measures –

  • 1ST CS – RGB = 83, 91, 94 | L = 0
  • 2ND CS – RGB = 254, 254, 254 | L = 25
  • 3RD CS – RGB = 74, 81, 84 | L = 50
  • 4TH CS – RGB = 146, 146, 146 | L = 54
  • 5TH CS – RGB = 99, 99, 99 | L = 61
  • 6TH CS – RGB = 253, 253, 253 | L = 75
  • 7TH CS – RGB = 83, 91, 94 | L = 100

12. And then align the button like shown preferably at the top.

13. Now add some text and maybe add any logo to give it a personalized feel, here I’ve added the apple logo along with the text “iPod” (Apple’s used font is Tahoma).

14. Now add a subtle drop shadow by going to Effect>Stylize>Drop Shadow and set any parameters that you prefer.

15. Now import your design to Photoshop and play with Hue to get your desired color!

Final Image

Conclusion

Use of powerful gradients always makes stuff look photo-realistic. I hope you’ve enjoyed the tut!

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