The other day I was looking at the AI Vault web site. I ran across a tutorial on creating an envelope icon. It’s a great tutorial and relatively easy to do. However, the tutorial is targeted for Illustrator users.
Looking over the tutorial, I wondered if I could follow the steps to recreate the icon in PowerPoint. So I went through the Illustrator tutorial and came up with the image below. It was easy to do and only took a few minutes.
Obviously the steps are a bit different and since PowerPoint is not as robust as Illustrator, you have some limitations. However, with all that said, it proves that PowerPoint can be an effective graphics tool when building your rapid elearning courses.
Another benefit to this exercise is learning to use PowerPoint in new ways. While you may never need this envelope icon, if you practice building it, you will learn how to use PowerPoint’s features. And you’ll have an experience that you can rely on for future design ideas.
Here’s a quick tutorial where I walk through the process of creating the icon in PowerPoint.
1. Create the envelope.
- Create a rectangle
- Add a radial fill.
- Color the border a bit darker than the gray you use for the fill.
2. Create the envelope flap.
- You can draw the flap and create a curved tip like the original tutorial. I chose to use a PowerPoint shape to speed things up. You could use a triangle or a shape with a rounded edge.
- Fill flap with a linear gradient fill. Light on the bottom, dark on top.
- To create the flap’s shadow, duplicate the flap shape and size it down a bit. Then fill with solid gray. Place it behind the flap.
3. Create envelope lines.
- Instead of drawing the lines individually, I just used a triangle shape.
- Place the triangle under the flap shapes.
- Use no fill color and then color the lines to match the envelope line and thickness.
4. Create the arrow.
- You could just use one of the default arrows, but you don’t get that swish.
- I started with a default arrow. Then I edited the points to create more of a swish look. I filled the arrow with a linear gradient.
- To add the highlight, I used some default shapes. I filled them with white and made them about 60% transparent.
I used a partially transparent oval that has a gradient fill to make my shadow under the envelope. Put them all together and you have a nice envelope icon. When you’re all done select the objects, group them, and save as an image.
- Save as PNG to maintain the transparency.
- Save as EMF to keep it as a vector so you can scale it up or down.
As I said earlier, even if you don’t need the icon image, get in the habit of practicing these types of tips. They’ll help you become more fluent with PowerPoint. And as we all know, when it comes to rapid elearning, the more you know about PowerPoint, that much better you’ll be able to make your courses.
Now it’s your turn. Find a tutorial and give it a go. If you do create something, make a quick Screenr video and post it to the comments section. If you find a cool tutorial, send it my way. I’ll see what I can do for another blog post. Also, feel free to share your comments by clicking on the comments link.
If you liked this post, you might also find these interesting:
- 5 Easy Tips to Whip Your Slides Into Shape
- How Walt Disney Would Use PowerPoint to Create E-Learning Courses
- See How Easily You Can Design a Consistent Look for Your E-Learning Courses
Upcoming E-Learning Events
- We'll be adding events for 2017 soon. If you'd like to see one of our workshops in your area just let me know.
- Mar 20 (Orlando). Want to learn to build courses with the right look & feel? Join David Anderson at his all day workshop on Graphic Design Essentials for Non-Graphic eLearning Designers.
- Mar 22-23 (Orlando). Come by the booth at Learning Solutions and say hello.
- April 13 (Minneapolis). Variables Made Easy with Articulate Storyline. Limited seats, so sign up now.
- April 13 (Minneapolis). Articulate User Meet Up. Details coming soon.
- April 14 (Minneapolis). PACT Meeting: Facing Today's Instructional Design Challenges.
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Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.
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Lots of cool elearning examples to check out and find inspiration.