How to Create a Moon Emoji Icon in Adobe Illustrator CC

Tutorial Details: How to create a moon emoji icon

how to create a moon emoji icon - moon emoji icon adobe illustrator tutorial

Final image: Moon emoji icon

  • Program: Adobe Illustrator CS6 – CC 2018
  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Topics Covered: Design Theory, Compositional Construction, Shape Alignment, Grid Positioning
  • Estimated Completion Time: 25 Minutes

Not too long ago, we saw how easy it is to create a cute astronaut vector in Adobe Illustrator. Today we’re going to continue our space discovery by learning how to create a moon emoji icon. In just 30 minutes, you'll learn how to design a sleepy little man in the moon.

So, assuming you’ve already poured yourself a fresh cup of coffee, let’s jump straight into it!

Step 1

As always, let’s kick off our project by setting up a New Document by going to File > New (or using the Control-N keyboard shortcut), which we will adjust as follows:

  • Number of Artboards: 1
  • Width: 128 px
  • Height: 128 px
  • Units: Pixels

And from the Advanced tab:

  • Color Mode: RGB
  • Raster Effects: Screen (72ppi)
  • Preview Mode: Default

how to create a moon emoji icon - moon emoji icon adobe illustrator tutorial

Quick tip: most of the indicated settings can be automatically triggered if you set the document’s Profile to Web. The only one you’ll have to manually adjust is the Artboard’s Size (Width x Height).

Step 2

Start working on the actual icon by creating the background using a 120 x 120 px circle, which we will color using #3D4763. Then, position this to the center of the underlying Artboard (as seen in the reference image below).

how to make a moon icon

Step 3

Step 3 is one of the most important steps when learning how to create a moon emoji icon; this is when you design the moon itself!

Start working on your sleepy satellite by creating the main shape for the moon's body. You'll do this by using a smaller 64 x 64 px circle, which we will then color using #C1CDE5. Center align to the underlying background.

moon illustration tutorial

Step 4

Create the main shape for the top highlight using a copy (Control-C > Control-F) of the planet’s main shape, which we will push to the bottom by a distance of 4 px, using either the directional arrow keys or the Move tool (right click > Transform > Move > Vertical > 4 px).

moon illustration tutorial

Step 5

Open up the duplicate’s path by selecting its bottom anchor point. You can do this using the Direct Selection Tool (A), and then immediately remove it by pressing Delete. Then, using the Pen Tool (P), close the resulting shape’s path by drawing a new line for its upper section (as seen in the reference image).

moon emoji icon tutorial

Step 6

Set the resulting shape’s color to white (#FFFFFF), lowering its Opacity level to 40%. Be sure to mask it afterwards using a copy (Control-C) of the Moon’s main body. We will paste this in front (Control-F), and then with both shapes selected, simply right click > Make Clipping Mask.

how to make a moon emoji in adobe illustrator cc

Step 7

Next, create the eyes using two 8 x 8 px circles with a 4 px thick Stroke (#3D4763). We will adjust these by removing their upper halves, making sure to set the resulting paths’ Cap to Round.

Once you’re done, horizontally distance the two at 4 px from one another, grouping (Control-G) and then positioning them (as seen in the reference image below).

how to create a moon emoji icon

Step 8

You're over halfway there! The next step in learning how to create a moon emoji icon is the mouth.

Add the mouth using a 4 x 4 px circle (#3D4763), which we will position below the left eye at a distance of 8 px, making sure to select and group (Control-G) all three shapes together afterwards.

moon emoji tutorial

Step 9

Create the blush spots using two 8 x 6 px ellipses (#3D4763), which we will adjust by lowering their Opacity to 28%, and then position onto the sides as seen in the reference image.

Once you have the shapes in place, select and group (Control-G) all of the planet’s composing sections together before moving onto the next step.

moon icon tutorial

Step 10

Add the hands using two 12 x 16 px rectangles with a 4 px Stroke (#5FD6D6) and a Round Cap. We will adjust these by opening up their paths, and then setting the radius of their outer corners to 8 px using the Live Corners tool.

Once you’re done, position the resulting shapes underneath the larger planet (right click > Arrange > Send Backward). Be sure to select and group all its composing shapes together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

moon icon adobe illustrator tutorial

Step 11

Quickly add the shadows using a copy (Control-C) of the planet’s hands and body. We will paste this copy behind (Control-B) and then adjust it by setting the color to #3D4763. 

Be sure to push the the shadows to the bottom by a distance of 4 px for the hands and 8 px for the main body.

moon emoji icon

Step 12

Grab the Pen Tool (P). Then, using a 2 px thick Stroke (#F0F4FC) with the Cap and Join set to Round, draw the two 4 x 4 px z letters. Position them onto the right side of the mouth (as seen in the reference image).

how to create a moon emoji icon

Step 13

Finish off the moon emoji icon by adding a little sun. Use an 8 x 8 px circle (#FFDA66) with a 20% Opacity for its outer glow.

On top of this circle, we will add a smaller 4 x 4 px circle (#FFDA66). Once you’re done, group (Control-G) and position the two onto the upper right section of the background.

Don't forget to select and group (Control-G) all of the icon’s composing shapes before hitting that save button.

how to create a moon emoji icon

Great work! You now know how to create a moon emoji icon!

As always, I hope you had fun working on this little project! Now that you officially know how to create a moon emoji icon, what other icons will you create?

how to design a moon emoji icon

About the author

Andrei Stefan is just another coffee addict/pixel grinder, creating colorful projects one pixel at a time. You can follow him here.

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