Design a Stylish Wallet Icon in Illustrator

In this simple tutorial I’ll show you how to create the wallet icon from my Women’s Icons using Adobe Illustrator CS4.

Final Result

Here’s the finished wallet icon blown up and at its native size of 128×128 pixels.
Final result.

Soundtrack: “Money” by Pink Floyd

There was no other choice! Enjoy this 7/4 gem from “Dark Side Of The Moon”.

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Step 1

For once I want to make an easy tutorial for beginners so let’s create the icon at the intermediate size of 128×128 pixels: the icon is bigger than normal yet we won’t need to be extremely detailed.

Create a 120×64 px rectangle and add the Rounded Corners effect choosing 4 px for the radius. Fill the rectangle with a vertical yellow gradient. Remember to give all your shapes whole-number dimensions, no commas allowed. The same goes for their coordinates: make sure each object lies on the pixels, not across them. Doing so will avoid antialiased (blurred) edges and the icon will look crisp.

Step 2

Copy and paste in front the rectangle (Command+C, Command+F). Load an animal skin pattern from the Patterns palette and apply it to the rectangle. In the Transparency palette set the mode to Overlay and the Opacity to 25%. Now our wallet is made from (fake, of course) yellow crocodile skin. It doesn’t get more stylish than this.

Step 3

Draw stitches on the wallet with a simple light brown path. Make the stroke dashed and adjust the dash length and spacing to get a satisfying result.

Step 4

Draw the top metal edge (a simple rectangle) and fill it with a black and white gradient to simulate reflections on chrome. Also add a drop shadow to the edge with the eponymous effect. Use 0 px for the X offset so the shadow is cast downward.
Don’t forget to place a fake Italian designer’s logo on the wallet!

Step 5

Draw the closing latch with an angled stroked path and expand it. Fill it with the usual chrome gradient (adjusted for this particular shape). Mirror the second latch and make it slightly taller. Add the two little beads that snap together and shut the wallet. They’re made with three concentric circles.


Finished! That was easy, wasn’t it? Behold the beautiful icon. See how crisp it is at its target size? That’s because we kept all lines exactly on the pixels and not across them.
Think about how many other realistic objects can be drawn with just a few clever steps!
Final result.

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7 Very Welcome Comments:

  • Alan says:

    Another great tutorial Andrea, I’m now starting to get into using Illustrator.

  • Great tutorial. I dont really like the closing latch though. It doesn’t fit the look of the rest of the wallet.

  • Scratchy says:

    Thanks dear, i m getting into illustrator because of u:)

  • sriganesh says:

    very nice tuts! my suggestion is the the both sides of the b/w gradient below the drop shadow makes it stand alone. bottom drop shadow is ok, but the other sides not so good. –
    but your finish and pattern(skin) on wallet is great- !

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