Tag Archives: vector

Hand of Callum: The Free Hand-Drawn Vector Font

After receiving a Wacom Bamboo tablet from my gorgeous Fiancée as a Christmas gift, I decided to give it its first real use to produce a vector pack. At first, I just wanted to do something simple but useful at the same time; that’s where a vector typeface came to mind! Read on and download the font!

The vector pack is called ‘Hand of Callum’ which I find quite suitable as it is my (capital) hand-writing. It consists of letters from A-Z and numbers from 0-9. Each letter/number is an individual letter/number (in the same .AI file) and can be reduced or increased in size, made 3D and manipulated in anyway that takes your fancy. If you want the lettering to be bolder, simply increase the stroke of each letter. The typeface is most suitable for headings, illustrations and small areas of type.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this vector pack, so get in touch using the comments section below. You can download the pack completely free of charge below. The pack can be used in your personal and commercial work.


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Free Apple iPod Vector Pack (Shuffle, Nano, Classic and Touch)

I created these Apple iPod Vectors purely for fun a few weeks back – I have no use for them whatsoever for a commercial project, so I thought I’d share them with you guys. They could be used in several different ways, such as display portfolio work in your portfolio, or simply to create an awesome poster. You can look at how many other designers have used iPhones in Web Design in one of my latest posts (‘Showcase of Apple iPhones in Modern Web Design‘) to wake the imagination tucked up away in you.

Apple iPod Vector Pack

You can use the vectors for virtually anything you want, personal or commercial, and absolutely no attribution (a link back to me) is required!

The pack contains 1 Illustrator (.Ai) file, which includes:

  • An iPod Shuffle
  • An iPod Nano
  • An iPod Classic
  • An iPod Touch

iPod Shuffle Vector

iPod Nano Vector

iPod Classic Vector

iPod Touch Vector


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How to Work with Isometrics to Create a Cube Icon in 10 Simple Steps

Illustrator has a lot of features a lot of people don’t even know about, one of them is the 3D Rotate Tool. In this beginners Illustrator tutorial you’ll be using that tool to create a cube icon in 10 very simple steps. Your outcome could be used as part of a logo design, backgrounds for stationery products, advertisements or even favicons.


Step 1: Create Your Document

I made my document using a simple web preset at 800x600px.


Step 2: Draw A Square

Select the rectangle tool and click on your empty canvas to bring up the Rectangle options. Make sure it’s square – mine is 100x100px.

How to Work with Isometrics to Create a Cube Icon in 10 Simple Steps


Step 3: Repeat The Last Step …Twice!

Repeat the last step twice, or just copy and paste the square two times.

How to Work with Isometrics to Create a Cube Icon in 10 Simple Steps


Step 4: Going Isometric…

Select one of your squares and go to Effect > 3D > Rotate. Select Isometric Top from the drop-down menu and hit OK.

How to Work with Isometrics to Create a Cube Icon in 10 Simple Steps


Step 5: Repeat The Last Step …Twice …Again!

Repeat the previous step on your other squares, this time using the Isometric Left and the Isometric Right options from the drop-down menu.

How to Work with Isometrics to Create a Cube Icon in 10 Simple Steps


Step 6: Stitching It All Up

The main shape of our cube is almost finished. Select each one of your sides and change it’s colour, it doesn’t matter what at this point. Whilst your there, remove the strokes.

How to Work with Isometrics to Create a Cube Icon in 10 Simple Steps

Select each one of your sides again and go to Object > Expand Appearance. With the strokes gone, zoom right into your sides and use the cursor keys to position them up right.

How to Work with Isometrics to Create a Cube Icon in 10 Simple Steps


Step 7: Getting That Shading Right

At the moment, our cube looks like some kind of cheesy logo. Make your mind up which direction you want your light coming from, and choose a main colour. I’ve decided my light source is going to be coming from the right, and I’m going to use a nice blue colour.

Select the top side, and fill it with a colour of your choice. Open up the Colour Guide (Window > Colour Guide) and from the drop-down menu select shades.

How to Work with Isometrics to Create a Cube Icon in 10 Simple Steps

Select the right side, and using the colours now in your colour guide, select a colour lighter than your original. Do the same with the left side, but this time selecting a darker colour. You might want to play about with the different shades to see what you come up with.

How to Work with Isometrics to Create a Cube Icon in 10 Simple Steps


Step 8: Adding Some Depth

Grab the Pen Tool and make a custom shape round the bottom left side of your cube (in my case, the darkest area). I’m using a bright red just to show you my shape. Repeat the step on some other areas of your cube.

How to Work with Isometrics to Create a Cube Icon in 10 Simple Steps

Looks like a complete mess, uh? Not to worry, this is where the Pathfinder comes in. Select the left side of your cube, copy it and place it in place (Cmnd/Ctrl+F). With the shape still selected hold the shift key and select the first custom shape to select both objects at once. Open the Pathfinder window (Pathfinder > Window) and click Intersect. This should cut the edges away. Change the custom shape to black, and lower the opacity to about 5%.

How to Work with Isometrics to Create a Cube Icon in 10 Simple Steps

Repeat the steps again with all your other shapes – remember to use white with a low opacity for highlights.

How to Work with Isometrics to Create a Cube Icon in 10 Simple Steps


Step 9: Adding Some Text…

Our cube is now becoming a little more 3D like. To add something a little more interesting I’m going to add the word ‘CUBE’ in the corner of one side.

Select the Type Tool and in your chosen font type a word of your choice. I’m using the font ‘American Typewriter’. With that done, select your word and go to Type > Create Outlines. With it still selected, go back to Effects > 3D > Rotate, select Isometric Left from the drop-down menu and hit OK. With that done, go to Object > Expand Appearance. Change your words colour to white and it’s opacity to about 70%.

How to Work with Isometrics to Create a Cube Icon in 10 Simple Steps


Step 10: Adding A Back Shadow

Select all 3 of your original sides by holding the shift key down and selecting each individual side. Duplicate them by copying and pasting. Manually convert the shapes to B&W by selecting different shades of grey.

How to Work with Isometrics to Create a Cube Icon in 10 Simple Steps

Reselect the grey cube and go to Object > Group. Stretch the cube whilst holding the shift key to make it bigger. Select all of your shapes and objects used in your original coloured cube and go to Object > Group.

How to Work with Isometrics to Create a Cube Icon in 10 Simple Steps

Select the grey cube and align it to the centre (both horizontally and vertically), make sure ‘Align To Artboard’ is selected when doing this. Do the same for your colourful cube. Lower the opacity of the grey cube, and there you have it, your very own simple cube from scratch made in just 10 simple steps.

How to Work with Isometrics to Create a Cube Icon in 10 Simple Steps

If you like this tutorial, and want to see more simple beginners tutorials like this please let me know by commenting below! You could also promote it using one of the many buttons below or subscribe to the Circlebox feed so you don’t miss any future posts!

Create a Simple Vector Creature in Illustrator

This tutorial ‘Create a Simple Vector Creature in Illustrator’ was one of the biggest hits on my old blog over at blog.callumchapman.com – because of that, I’ve decided to post here at Circlebox Blog too! You’ll learn several different techniques and tools in this tutorial, and at the end of it should have a cute little creature that you can scale up and down to any size!

In this tutorial you’ll be making a ‘fluffy’ creature similar to that of above using several different Illustrator tools.


Step 1: I always find it best to sketch up your own ideas when following tutorials like this – that way you can really get stuck in, using techniques you learn on your own ideas. Scan or take a photo of your sketch and save it on your computer.

Step 2: Now it’s time to set up a new document. I used an A4 page (size doesn’t really matter as Illustrator works in vector images, allowing you to scale the image up and down), using RGB at 300dpi. After you’ve set up the file, place your scanned image into your document – if you double click on the layer, you can lower the transparency and lock the layer in one go, this’ll save you from accidentally clicking on your scanned image later on. As I want my creature to fit in a circle shape, I drew a couple of circles using the ellipse tool to work around later on.

Step 3: Before getting stuck in, I dragged a guide from the vertical ruler to the centre of the workspace. Now select the pen tool, and begin tracing round your monster. When tracing, I always find it easier to use a 1px black stroke. If your creature is symmetrical, start and end your line at the centre guideline.

Step 4: Once half your creature has been traced, copy the path and paste it in place. Flip (reflect) vertically, and nudge the path to the right to connect it to form the full body shape of your creature.

Step 5: You might notice that sharp corners are overlapping each other where you have joined your two paths. To fix this, select both of your paths and click the Round Cap option in the Stroke window – this will give the ends of your paths a round, smooth edge.

Step 6: The next job is to join your two paths together to create one shape. To do this, expand both the objects (Object > Expand). This makes them easier to work with, and allows us to merge the two shapes together. To do this, use the Merge tool in the Pathfinder window (Window > Pathfinder).

Step 7: Now we have the main shape of our creature created, we can begin making the objects/shapes to use as it’s features. Drag a guide from the horizontal ruler to the place where you want your eyes to sit (remember to make use of guides, they only take a second to create, but can help you out a lot when it comes to positioning objects). Draw a circle (hold the shift key to keep the circle in proportion) and place it on the guide you just made. Copy the circle and paste it in place, use the cursor keys (you can hold shift to nudge the object further) to place it in line with your other eye.

Step 8: I used the same technique as above to create the mouth, after drawing the circle, I stretched it sideways to make the circle into an oval shape (because we are working with vector images, stretching shapes you created in Illustrator will not become distorted).

Step 9: Drag some more guides out to determine where the top and bottom of the shoes are going to start and stop. Using the pen tool, start drawing one of the shoes, making sure you make good use of the shift key to produce straight lines and clean curves. Copy the single shoe and paste it in place, reflect it vertically and use the cursor keys to nudge the shoe next to the other.

Step 10: It’s now time to unlock the tracing layer, and either delete or move the contents. I tend to keep my sketch in the document for reference until my design is complete. Select the main outline of your monster and fill it with a colour or gradient of your choice. Make sure the outlined is aligned to the centre of your workspace, and temporarily group your eyes, mouth and shoes/feet to align them to the centre of the workspace, too.

Step 11: Once the basic shapes are in place, it’s time to start adding some detail. I made the eyes up from a number of different circles using the ellipse tool, and added a stroke to the eyes and mouth using a colour slightly darker than my creatures body colour.

Step 12: Change the colour or add a gradient to your creatures shoes (I used a dark grey to black gradient). Copy the shoes/feet, and paste them in place – change this pair of shoes to a slightly darker colour (I used black). Create a long oval shape over the base of the shoes, select it and the pair of shoes beneath and subtract the shape from the area using the ‘Subtract from shape area’ tool in the Pathfinder window. This should leave you with a ‘sole’ at the bottom of your shoes. To add a little more depth, use the pen tool to create some reflections at the top of the shoes.

Step 13: To jazz my creature up a little bit, I’ve decided to add some detail to it’s body. To do this I created several different circles. To apply them to the body, I moved his features aside and randomly placed the circles over his body. I changed the circles to white, and played around with their transparency and blending modes to get them how I wanted. Before placing my creatures features back to their correct position I changed a few bits, such as removing the main body stroke and replacing it with a bigger version of the main body by positioning it below all other objects – this allowed me to make my DIY ‘stroke’ thicker at the top than the bottom.

That’s it, my first Illustrator tutorial! My creatures name is called Frankie, kindly named by my Fiancée! Keep an eye open for creatures similar to Frankie, as I have an A3 page full of ideas that I’m planning in turning into a personal project called ‘Fluffballs’ – I’ll keep you updated!

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