How to Create a Rubber Stamp in Illustrator

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Adobe Illustrator is the preferred software program for many graphic artists. The program is responsible for many of the logos and graphics you see on a daily basis. Illustrator is a powerful tool for creating art from scratch, even for people who are not naturally good artists away from the computer. Creating a rubber stamp using Illustrator is a good way to familiarize yourself with some of the fundamental elements and capabilities of this software.

Setting up a Frame

  • Open Illustrator and create a new file by selecting “File > New” from the application menu. Set the desired size for your artboard and click “OK.”

  • Select the “Rectangle Tool” from the Tools Panel to the left of your workspace. Alternatively, you can select the “Ellipse Tool,” nested beneath the “Rectangle Tool” if you would like an oval or circular stamp.

  • Click and drag a rectangle diagonally from top-left to bottom-right on the artboard. The classic rubber stamp shape is a rectangle that is wider than it is long.

  • Select the “Selection Tool” from the Tools Panel to the left of the workspace and click on the rectangle you made to select it for alteration.

Alterations and Text

  • Open the “Appearance” palette to the right of your workspace. Click on “Stroke” and set the weight to 4.5. Click on the color swatch square to the right of “Stroke” and choose a dark red swatch, or whichever color you would like your stamp to be. Make sure the fill is set to none, denoted by the diagonal red line swatch.

  • Bring up the “Effects” menu from the application menu at the top of the screen and select “Stylize > Round Corners.” Check the “Preview” box and set the figure in the “Radius” field to 25 pixels, or adjust as desired. This method has an advantage over using the “Rounded Rectangle Tool” because it allows you to customize how rounded your corners are.

  • Select the “Type Tool” from the Tools Panel and set your character settings in the Tool Options Panel above your workspace as desired. A good font to consider is “Stencil,” which has an authentic rubber stamp look. Set the fill to the same color you set the stroke for your rectangle and set the stroke to none in the “Appearance” palette. Click once inside your rectangle and type out the text you want in your stamp.

Setting Up the Stamp

  • Choose the “Selection Tool” from the Tools Panel and click on your text. Hold down the Shift key and click on the rectangle as well.

  • Select “Window > Align” from the application menu and bring up the “Align” palette to the right of your workspace. Set the “Align To” drop down to “Align to Selection” and click on your rectangle. Return to the “Align” palette and click on the “Horizontal Align Center” and “Vertical Align Center” icons below the “Align Objects” heading. This will center your text inside your rectangle.

  • Select “Object > Group” to group your rectangle and your text. Hover your mouse just outside one of the corners of the bounding box around the rectangle until you see a curved, double-sided arrow. Click and in a clockwise motion to rotate your stamp. This is optional, but gives a spontaneous look to the artwork.

  • Select “Effects > Blur > Gaussian Blur” and set a radius of 1 pixel in the resulting dialogue box. This adds a bit of an aging effect to the stamp.

  • Select “File > Save As” from the application menu. Name your stamp file, choose a location for it on your computer and select your desired file type from the “Format” drop down.

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References

  • Photo Credit Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images
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