Designing Icons Through the Paths

Designing Icons Through the Paths

Paths are important when you draw shapes or use the pen tool. You will also need to use paths at any time that you want a customized design. You can begin by drawing a few shapes using the shape tool.

Read ahead to find out how you can use paths to create various icons, which can be very useful when designing your blog.

What Are Paths?

When you draw a square or an ellipse, you will see four corners around each shape. These are anchor points that define the path of each shape. You can also pick custom shapes like hearts or spades. All of these will also have a path attached.

There will be multiple anchor points on these complicated shapes. There will be a path icon available for each of these on the path tab. You will see this located right next to the layer tab on the right-hand side corner of your Photoshop window.

(Source : Google Images)

How Can You Edit Paths?

You can go ahead and edit paths using the pen tool from the left side of the Photoshop window. You can use Command + to zoom in so that you can focus on the anchor points in any one shape.

(Source : Google Images)

With the pen tool, you can hover above the anchor points. You will notice a minus sign next to the tool. If you click on the anchor point, that particular point will be deleted. Now, you can see a couple of handles appear around the shape.

These are called the transform handles. You can edit them by pressing down the command key and then dragging one of the transform handles. As you drag it, you will notice the lines around the shape move. The color in shape will fill the newly created line if you release the pen tool.

You can spin these transform handles to fit any shape you like. You can also press them down or stretch them out to get just the right shape you like. You can go ahead and use Command + Z if you want to undo any point that you dragged.

At times, you may need multiple transforms handled simultaneously so that you can change the entire shape. You can do this by selecting Command and clicking on one anchor handle. Now with Command, also click on Shift. You can go ahead and select multiple handles.

Once you have the selected handles, drag one of them in the direction you want your shape to shift. The entire shape will move upward so that you now have a new design.

You can Step Backward or Step Forward as you like to undo or redo any changes you make. Do note that all of these shapes are vectors. This means that you can scale them up as big or small as you like without losing resolution.

You can also manipulate the free transform handles to get sharp angles instead of soft curves. You can do this by holding the Option key down and clicking on the transform handle to make it into an anchor point and then move it as you like.

Designing a Bolt Icon

You can now go ahead and learn how to create an icon. Click on the shape tool and select Shape. A shape is a filled-in element that also has a path.

(Source : Google Images)

You can now click on the space before you create an anchor point. You can click to create many anchor points. When you want a sharp angle of about 45 degrees, click on shift and then on the screen. The shape will be filled in with color. You can continue with 6 anchor points to create a lightning bolt.

You can now select your anchor points and move them around to get the perfect lightning bolt for you.

Designing Other Icons

A lightning bolt icon needs only a few anchors that you can manipulate. However, using an already existing shape and manipulating it is a better idea than starting from scratch with many other icons.

(Source : Google Images)

Use the shape tool to create the desired shape. A circle is a good place to begin. It is a versatile shape that you can edit as you like. To get a perfect circle, hold down the shift key as you drag and place the shape.

You can use the space bar and move the created perfect circle before you place it. Now you can place it just where you like. You will now see the four anchors on the circle. You can use the Command and Shift keys to select all the anchors.

You can use the Option key and then click on the anchor points to create an edge instead of a curve. When you click the topmost point, you will get a water drop shape. You can pull this top anchor up to get the perfect water drop.

(Source : Google Images)

Suppose you find it difficult to get a perfectly square shape, press shift and move to drag it up. This will create a straight line for the upper tip of the drop.

You can also go ahead and do this by using a rectangle. With this, you can create a chat or a talking box.

How to Finish Creating Icons?

As you go ahead and create and finish your shapes for a logo, you will also add several anchor points. How can you do this?

If you simply click on a line on the shape, you can go ahead and create a new anchor point. If you are making a rectangle, you can go ahead and say add three anchor points on the bottom longer line. You can take the centre anchor point among the three and drag it down to the side.

With this, you will have a chat box option ready for you. You can also go ahead and experiment with layer styles and pathways to create new icons. You can do this to create a page, for instance.

Don’t forget about picking the right colors, too!


You now know how you can design icons using pathways. You can take a few shapes and manipulate the anchor points with the pen icon. When you have this in place, you can go ahead and begin to experiment with layer styles and other tools to get the best out of your icons.

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