Illustrator Tutorial: How to Create Premium Vector Badges

Have you ever wondered how Inky gets such top quality deals? He has great partners, such as the guys from Design TNT. Actually, due to the fact that their Super Premium Badge Bundle Badgezilla has become so popular, we received many request to show how it was designed. So we thought it would be awesome to give you a little insight into the process of researching and creating this amazing product.

Badges have been around for quite some time now in both digital and print media and they don’t seem to be going “extinct” anytime soon. Since the downfall of the glossy and gradient trends, retro and vintage have settled in the design world and they’re here to stay. Part of the reason behind the omnipresence of badges is their incredible versatility, and this is also the reason they have been used constantly in various ways, long before the Internet even existed.

Many of the elements we see today in the design of badges are rooted in 19th century advertisements. Their “complex simplicity” and visual appeal were widely used to attract attention towards a certain quality of an advertised product. And because of their versatility I mentioned earlier, they were easily translated into the modern design while retaining their retro feel. Badges are used as logos or advertisements, on posters or packaging, in online shops or blogs. Their use is practically unlimited.

We promoted the Super Premium Badge Bundle Badgezilla because although badges are omnipresent, it’s hard to find a set tailored specifically for your needs. And even the good ones come in packs of 5 to10 items, leading you to just buy a dozen packs you’ll barely use. Making them yourself is clearly not an option, that’s the reason you’re looking for templates in the first place. Besides, it takes too much time and effort, and as you know, time spent does not get any refunds.

We searched for all the trends in use of badges, all the categories they are used for – from sales to food and drinks, sports and more –so our product would be the only one you need in order to have a lifetime supply of beautifully designed and useful badges you can customize as you wish.

Needless to say, after acquiring this product you will never have to buy another set of badges EVER. But you’re probably skeptical about this and think this is just another average product, nicely wrapped up with beautiful images, just to please the eye. NO. This is not an average product! Read further and see the entire process a badge goes through before ending into your gallery.

The process of designing a badge for whatever purpose can be broken down into two big sections: typography and shape design. Both have to be carefully considered in order to create a badge that conveys its message with ease.


Choosing what typefaces to use depends on the style or personality of your badge. If you want to go for an all-out retro look, a script or slab-serif font will do wonders. But you don’t have to limit yourself to these, mixing and matching retro and modern fonts can create a very interesting design as well. What you should always keep in mind is visual hierarchy. Choosing a heavier font weight or a larger size for the most important words in your badge will make them pop out. In order for those words to maintain that position, use neutral typefaces for the other words (e.g., for radial texts).


Badges aren’t all about text, else they wouldn’t be badges at all. They come in all shapes and sizes, and most are based on circular designs, but polygonal ones are common as well – pentagon, hexagon, etc. Shield-shaped badges are also trendy, inspired by heraldic design elements. Other elements such as stars, circles and lines are used to complete the typographic part and give them that “something” extra.

Let’s take one of our badge designs and retrace the steps taken to create it.

Difficulty: Beginner

Requirements: Adobe Illustrator CS2 or newer

Estimated Completion Time: 15 minutes

Step 1: Open a new file in Adobe Illustrator. To get to the desired result above we start off with a simple star-shape. You can play around with the number of points and size of the radius, but for this example I used a number of 37 points, and 42pt and 38pt for the radiuses.

Step 2: After we have our basic star-shape, we’ll need another one with a slightly larger inner radius and of a lighter blue color.

You should now have these two basic shapes that you need to align both vertically and horizontally, and bring the first star on top of the second.

Step 3: Afterwards, select the lighter shape underneath and rotate it -5 degrees.

Step 4: The next step is to give our first star-shape a bit of roundness to its points so with it selected go to Effect>Stylize>Rounded Corners and go for value around 2pt. Apply Object>Expand Appearance to it.

Step 5: Create an inner circle with no fill and white 1pt stroke. Align it horizontally & vertically to the two shapes and then copy it to the front(CTRL+C, CTRL+F) and give it a slightly smaller stroke weight (0.5pt).

Step 6: Now let’s add the inner radial text. Create another copy of the smallest circle and select the Type on a Path Tool. With the tool selected, click on the new circle and type in your text.

I used the font Geared Slab, with a size of about 6pts and leading of 100pts, and then rotated the path so that my type covers the upper half of the badge. Open the tool options by double clicking on the icon or by pressing Enter with the tool selected and use these settings so that your text is aligned to its center.

Step 7: Now copy the text and rotate it so that it covers the bottom half. The only problem is that our text is mirrored, so to fix that, open the Type on a Path Options again and check the “Flip” checkbox. Then rotate and adjust the position of both paths with text in order to align them perfectly.

Step 8: Next we need to add the central type, I used Mission Script, to create a contrast between the typefaces used. I also added two white circles at each end to complete the structure of type.

Step 9: Our badge looks pretty good already, but it’s still missing something. Let’s add some little stars above and below our central text.

Resize the star to fit your needs and copy it two times like in the image below. Group them (CTRL+G), copy the group and move the center star below the other two

Step 10: Almost done, now just add two line segments of 0.75 pt above and below “Premium”, for a better definition of the word and we’re done.

You can now use this badge in any way you want, either in web or print. You can change the text to suit your needs or add graphic styles to create an even more detailed badge. Or you can go ahead and get the Super Premium Badge Bundle Badgezilla and never have to do this ever again.

About the author: Ioana Șopov is an illustrator and graphic designer with over 4 years of experience in her field. She has worked with brands like Vodafone and collaborated with numerous ad agencies like Ogilvy and Cohn&Jansen JWT. Check out her work on Behance and keep in touch on Twitter.

11 Comments Illustrator Tutorial: How to Create Premium Vector Badges

  1. dlv April 24, 2013 at 6:05 am

    It’s really an interesting and useful tutorial !

    thanks for share it,
    have a nice day !

  2. Amy April 24, 2013 at 7:10 am

    Thanks so much for this tutorial! Very helpful and easy to follow!

  3. Rasika-Sri Lanka April 24, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Thank you very much for this tutorial. You have explained it very clear. Hope to get more lessons from you.
    Thanking you again, good luck, bye…..

  4. redtrk April 24, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Very useful, Thank You!!

  5. Dheo Mariano April 24, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Thank so much for inspiring tutorial…..i will practice it and hope to learn more from you..

  6. KzooKid April 25, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    Great tutorial, thanks! I look forward to seeing more of these, it’s great to see how to make something and get some ideas of how to use it. Very cool indeed.

  7. Jorge Corrales April 27, 2013 at 6:48 am

    Great tutorial, sweet, simple and direct. Really usefull too, I have learn more from you. Thank you guys !!!

  8. Jorge Cherniak September 10, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Bravo! Imana, muy bonito, saludos de Argentina.

  9. Fred Studden September 10, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Top Class for a great tutorial, very easy to follow each step, hope to see some more of the same. Thanks.

  10. Cliping path service October 25, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Wow! What a really good premium vector badges tutorial this is. This post is too damn good. I really love it and the way you’ve composites your writing is just fabulous. Keep it up, mate!

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