PALNI needed a better way to promote our vendor’s support center as the link was getting lost in the oblivion of information on our internal wikis. What better way to make it stand out than to suit it up? (minor reference to “How I met your mother”) Below, I take you step by step to create a button in Illustrator from scratch. Enjoy!
Note: This button can easily be made in Inkscape as well!
How to make the ExLibris Customer Care Button in Illustrator:
- First thing you’ll want to do is open up a new document. At this point, guessing the size is fine as you can adjust later. Then, select the rounded corners rectangle in your toolbox and draw it out.
- Layout the text of the button – this will greatly effect the size of your button. You really don’t want to make any button have a text size smaller than 10 (and that’s pretty tiny!).
- My text fit the button size but I really wanted to add some “flair” to the button so I had to expand the document a little bigger. This is really easy to do- Got to Document SetUp next to Opacity and Preferences > A pop-up window will come up, click Edit Artboards > Drag to the size of canvas you want.
- I wanted to add the ExLibris logo to the button on a banner. First thing I had to do was create the banner by using the rectangle tool in my toolbox. (Hint: hold the shift key down to make a perfect square!) I then layered the two shapes on top of each other.
- By selecting both (click on one shape then, while holding the shift key, click on the other) I opened up my Pathfinder (to the right of the screen) and selected the “Merge Shapes” icon. This turned my two shapes into one shape (easier to work with later when I want to add a drop shadow).
- To give the illusion that the banner is hanging over the edge of the button, I needed to add a tiny triangle with the pen-tool like the banner was draped over. I’ll color that a little darker as well, later.
- I really liked the rainbow look of ExLibris’ logo and wanted to bring it out more in the button by adding a rainbow outline. The first step to doing this was to add another rectangle that was slightly bigger than the original rectangle.
- With some size tweaking on both of the rectangles and by adding a gradient fill, a rainbow outline is born! I wasn’t planning on leaving the black outlines but the button didn’t look “strong” enough without them.
- Next thing is a tiny detail but one that really makes it pop – a dropshadow to the banner. I duplicated the black banner and changed the color to grey. Then tucked it behind the black banner by right clicking on the grey shadow > Arrange > Send Back. (you may have to Send Back multiple times depending on how many layers you have!)
- Almost done! To give the whole button more of a 3D effect, I added a white-to-grey gradient on the first rectangle I made (very much the same way I added the rainbox gradient to the rectangle behind it)
- Like most women, I like shiny things. 🙂 Using the pen tool, I added a highlight to the button by tracing the rectangle outline and changing the fill color to a 50% opacity white. Ohhhh… so shiny!
- With a few more tweaks, it’s ready for Saving for Web & Devices. (since this will be an online only button, there’s no need to save it for high quality print)