How to Create a Gameboy in Adobe Illustrator

I think every kid back in the 90′s was fascinated for Nintendo and their products, great part of us had Super NES during this age. But I got to say that what actually blow my mind at that time was the Gameboy. Nowadays younger people may look at this handheld console and just see a boring 8-bit resolution, but back in the days this was every kid dream.

How to Create a Gameboy in Adobe Illustrator

Today I will teach you to build this vector image from scratch, I hope you guys enjoy and learn some good tricks on making realistic layouts on Adobe Illustrator. Just in case you need some additional help, you can find my contact information on the bottom of this post.

Final Result

First let’s see what result we’re expecting at the end of this tutorial.

instantShift - Create a Gameboy in Illustrator

Create a Cool Gameboy in Illustrator

Background

Let’s begin by open Adobe Illustrator and create a canvas with the followings settings: Width – 28 cm , Height – 28 cm, CMYK, 72 ppi.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Background

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Background

Using the rectangle tool (M), create perfect square that fits over the canvas (hold shift while creating it). Then, using the gradient tool (G) go to the gradients panel and set the colors like these on the screens bellow. Remember to adjust the gradient range using the previous tool.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Background

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Background

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Background

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Background

Now create another rectangle by duplicating previous one by selecting it with the selection tool (V) and using alt + left arrow. Now go again to the gradient panel and create the radial gradient with the same settings as the screen bellow.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Background

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Background

Go to the transparency panel and use the blending mode called soft light, then your gradient should blend with the one bellow and make the desired effect. After this, create a new layer (command/ctrl + L) to make the gameboy.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Background

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Background

Body

Using the rounded rectangle make the following shape as seen on the settings of the screen bellow, this will be the body of our console.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

So, now let’s adjust the lower right diagonal by using the pencil tool (N), then adjust the vector points using the direct selection tool (A) and erasing the useless points with the pen tool (P), just mouse over each point and it will indicates a minus symbol.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

On the upper left diagonal and on the upper right diagonal you’re going to edit the vector points to make future creases of the console, use the pen tool (P) for this task.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

Now, let’s add some volume to it by adding a linear gradient on it, as you can see on the screen bellow, it’s about balancing the values of grey and it on right place.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

I decided to add a shadow on the body bottom, using the ellipse tool (L) I made this shape and added a black and white gradient. Using the gradient tool (G) I adjusted the range and shape of it.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

Also, to make it look like a shadow i had to adjust the blending mode on the transparency panel to Multiply.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

Now you may note that the the borders seem a bit flat and without volume, so let’s add some simple lights to make them pop. Using the rounded rectangle tool make this shape on the left side of the body, add a black and white linear gradient.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

Then go to the transparency panel and use the soft light blending mode. Now to get the shade without making the white part of it bright you got to access the gradient panel and set the white color on 0% opacity, you can see this option by double-clicking on it.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

I did basically the same thing on the light I made on the top of the Gameboy, the only difference was the gradient direction.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

You may note I did it a bit offset as it’s not align with the top, this was necessary to give the desire effect on it, If you look at it on a far distance you will understand it.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

Don’t forget to use 0% opacity on the gradient as we did previously.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

Remember the lower right diagonal we adjust on the previous steps? Okay, so let’s get back to it and make another light gradient over it, use the pen tool (P) to trace over this part.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

As you can see, again I did it a bit offset and not align to give the idea of light. Anyway, add this gradient using the 0% opacity setting on one color as we did before.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

Your lights should look like these:

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

Gameboy got some creases on the top and at the bottom, so here you’re going to basically make a rounded rectangle and three rectangles with the settings bellow.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

Adjust it using the selection tool (V) like this:

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

Then let’s add some gradient to give them volume, I used basically the same set of gradient on all of them but I adjusted them on different directions using the gradient tool (G) as you can see on the picture bellow:

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

This detail is not necessary for the final image, but as a perfectionist I decided to include the “phone” text and icon on it. If you’re going to do it too, don’t forget to outline your text using command/ctrl + shift + O so you can use the gradient properly.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

Now let’s do the same procedure on the top creases, create the rectangles and the rounded rectangle.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

As you can see I used pretty much the same gradient set.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

Again, I insert the text on it and the arrows, but don’t bother on doing it with you’re not willing to, this is not as necessary as you may think.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

Here are some additional creases I made using the rectangle tool as plan on the original structure, this one uses a different gradient set as you’re going to see further.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

Also made this horizontal crease using the rectangle tool, pay attention to the gradient direction set it using the gradient tool (G).

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

Now let’s make the speakers using the rounded rectangle tool, use the same settings as the one bellow and place it next to the lower right diagonal.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

Rotate it a little bit using the selection tool (V), then just add a linear gradient to give some depth on it.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

Now duplicate it several times using alt + left arrow over the first shape. Don’t forget to align them correctly as the picture bellow, I know it may seem a bit hard to align on the diagonal, but do it slowly and you’ll get it.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

Here I grouped all the shapes command/ctrl + G and duplicate the group, sent it to back and change the fill to a dark grey color. I placed it a bit offset from the first group to look like a hard shadow.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Body

Screen

Hope you guys are up with everything till here. So let’s create the glass screen, using the rounded rectangle tool to create this shape on the body, use a gray fill and darker gray for the stroke.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Screen

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Screen

Now let’s adjust the lower right diagonal using the same procedure we did on the body.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Screen

This gray shape was actually the border, so let’s make the green screen using the rectangle tool (M) as the settings bellow.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Screen

Now let’s add some shades on the left border, using the rectangle tool (M) to make this shape then add a linear gradient on it.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Screen

Use the blending mode called Multiply to unite the gradient with background.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Screen

Do the same procedure with the shade on the top, just adjust correctly the direction of the gradient.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Screen

I quite like this retro design on the top of the screen, use the rectangle tool (M) to make this colorful lines.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Screen

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Screen

Then you can add the text “dot matrix with stereo sound” using the Novecento Wide font, you can get it here.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Screen

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Screen

Use the same font for the “battery” text.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Screen

Then using the ellipse tool (L), make the battery light and use the a radial red gradient, use the same settings as the one bellow.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Screen

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Screen

I duplicated the same shape and used a blur effect, you can access it on Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur, adjust it radius to 2.7 pixels.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Screen

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Screen

I added the Gameboy logo, you can download it here.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Screen

Buttons

Well, now we just need some buttons to get our Gameboy done. So the A and B button have this cavity, use the rounded rectangle tool to create it, use the same measures as the one bellow.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

Then rotate it using the selection tool (V).

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

Let’s add a radial grey gradient on it, use the gradient tool (G) to set it properly

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

Use the ellipse tool (M) to create the button.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

Let’s add this radial pink gradient and set the range as of it using the gradient tool (G) and the gradient panel as the screens bellow.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

Using the pen tool (P), make this half moon that will be a shade.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

Use the eyedropper tool (I) to copy the same gradient used on the ellipse then just adjust it to

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

I copy this half moon and rotate it on the opposite direction to make the light on the button, basically did the same procedure of copying the gradient with the eyedropper tool (I) and then use the gradient tool (G) to reposicionate it.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

To make the shadow I copied the ellipse of the button, sent it to the back and change it fill to black.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

Then I applied the same blur effect I did previously on the battery button.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

Then you can just group all the shapes using command/ctrl + G and duplicate it to make the other button.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

And so I added the “A” and “B” letters using the test tool (T), I used the neogrey font on this, you can download it here.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

Now let’s create the select and start buttons, let’s make another rounded rectangle with same measures as the screen bellow.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

Use the selection tool (V) to rotate it a bit.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

Now use the eyedropper tool (I) to copy the same gradient used on the previous button cavity, then just adjust it correctly using the gradient tool (G).

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

Create another rounded rectangle, this time make it little than the previous. Add a linear gradient as the one displayed bellow.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

So here I just did the same procedure I used to create the shadow of the A/B button, so just repeat the same formula to get his effect.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

Again I used the neogrey font for the “start” an “select” text bellow the buttons.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

So for the directional control I made this two rounded rectangles using the settings bellow. I rotate one of the 90º degrees to make a cross.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

Now let’s add two different linear gradients for each axis.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

As you can see, you have to adjust the range properly using the gradient tool (G).

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

Then I just duplicated the cross and used the Unite option on the pathfinder panel to make those two shapes one, then sent it to back of the first cross, also offset it a bit to give depth to the directional.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

Also used a different gradient on this one, adjust it as the panel bellow.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

The directional got a little round cavity, so I did it using the ellipse tool (L) and later added this round gradient using the same set of colors as the cross.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

The directional also got this little grips that you can make using the rounded rectangle tool and later adding some gradient on it as you can see on the panels bellow.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

Now I just duplicate this grips on the horizontal and rotate them to the vertical position. So adjust the gradient as the picture bellow.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

I also added this triangles using the polygon tool and setting it to 3 sides, then just duplicate and rotate it till you got this result.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

Also add the following gradient to give it some volume.

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

instantShift - Creating Gameboy Buttons

Final Result

This is the final result. I hope you enjoyed reading this tutorial.

instantShift - Gameboy Final Result

Conclusion

I hope you guys learned some good tips and tricks with this tutorial, as we know our main objective is to teach more than just to create a specific image but to facilitate and enhance your graphic abilities. See you next time pals.

Download Result Files

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