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Universal Icon for Different Colors of Background

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Learn to create a universal icon which can be used with different backgrounds. It is an easy process but you may learn a lot by doing it.

Final Image Preview

Universal Icon for Different Colors of Background

Step 1

Start by creating a new document with 600×400 pixels. Fill layer with any background color you would like. In my case i used color #b90010.

Universal Icon for Different Colors of Background 1

Step 2

Select the Ellipse Tool to create our icon basis. Create round shape in middle of canvas with whatever color you want.

Universal Icon for Different Colors of Background 2

Step 3

After that rasterize it by going to Layer > Rasterize > Shape and apply following layer styles by going to Layer > Layer Style.

Universal Icon for Different Colors of Background 3

Universal Icon for Different Colors of Background 4

Universal Icon for Different Colors of Background 5

Universal Icon for Different Colors of Background 6

Step 4

Duplicate current layer using Ctrl+J. Clear new layer style with Layer > Layer Style > Clear Layer Style.
Go to Edit > Free Transform and transform like you can see on image below. Hold down Shift while resizing to keep transform proportionally.

How to Create Symmetrical Abstraction 7

Step 5

Now mess with the fill opacity. Set up fill opacity about 0% and apply Stroke layer style.

Universal Icon for Different Colors of Background 8

How to Create Symmetrical Abstraction 9

Step 6

Select the Brush Tool and hard round brush about 10 px to make the vertical line with any color you want.

How to Create Symmetrical Abstraction 10

Step 7

Apply Gradient Overlay layer style for this layer:

Universal Icon for Different Colors of Background 11

How to Create Symmetrical Abstraction 12

Step 8

After that merge this layer with previous one (be sure that you got all the layer styles from two layers in one layer) and change layer opacity to 35% for new layer.

How to Create Symmetrical Abstraction 13

Step 9

Then load selection of this layer with Select > Load Selection, then go to the layer under with big circle shape and press Delete button to clear selected area.

How to Create Symmetrical Abstraction 14

Remove selection with Ctrl+D and merge all layers together except the background layer. Ok, now move to the next step.

Step 10

The last thing we have to do is to add transparency in some places. After adding the transparency we will get realistic view reflection on the object from the background. For this purpose select the Polygonal Lasso Tool and make selection similar to mine on the picture below.

How to Create Symmetrical Abstraction 15

Step 11

Then hold Shift button to add more selected areas to the icon.

How to Create Symmetrical Abstraction 16

Step 12

After that we have to feather the selection borders a little bit. Use Select > Modify > Feather to feather selection about 5 pixels.

How to Create Symmetrical Abstraction 17

Step 13

Ok, then get ou the Eraser Tool (Opacity: 30%) and a soft round brush about 50 pixels to make small clean work. But please be very careful with the Eraser Tool cause if you will apply to much, the icon will not be looking good.

How to Create Symmetrical Abstraction 18

Step 14

Now, remove selection with Ctrl+D. That is it! Looks very cool, isn’t it?

How to Create Symmetrical Abstraction 19

Final Image

Let’s check how it will be looking on different colors of background.

Universal Icon for Different Colors of Background

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  • rowan

    simple and yet handy

  • http://www.scottphotographics.com/ Mike

    Looks interesting, well done!

  • http://www.alherabd.com farid

    Professional looks which i expected.

  • http://www.17ps8.com peter

    easy to follow,sir

  • http://odporny.com Odporny

    Simply the best.

  • http://www.swopper-shop.de Swopper Stuhl

    Interesting Article … nice tutorial

  • Rahul

    well done

  • http://www.facebook.com/lsy92 sarah Lee

    I used Eraser Tool to the following ‘step 13′ but selected area of Icon turned white… :( It’s too hard for me…

    • Answer

      Make sure to lower the opacity of the eraser, as well as the hardness. This will give you a softer, more natural effect.

  • Rosemary

    This part caused me a problem. What were we to do with the fill opacity of 0%? I still have a white centre although the rest is correct. Once I’ve changed the fill opacity is there something else I should do before applying the stroke style?

    “Step 5

    Now mess with the fill opacity. Set up fill opacity about 0% and apply Stroke layer style.”

  • Rosemary O’Leary

    Your step 5 results in a grey centre wheras mine is still white as in step 4. Other than that mine is the same as yours. What am I doing wrong?

    thanks