Illustrator Tutorial: Vector Retro Television

vector retro television

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make a stylish retro television in Adobe Illustrator. You will learn how to draw basic shapes, modify them and apply gradient and gradient mesh for more realism. Hope you enjoy this illustrator tutorial.

Drawing the Television

1. Open a new document with 800x600px workspace in CMYK color mode. Select the Rectangle tool (M), and create a rectangle with this size – width: 447px, height: 300px. Apply Effect > Stylize > Round Corners and set Radius to 15px. Click OK. Fill the object with a gradient with colors from white to black. Press G and drag, to set the gradient direction.

vector television

2. Select the object, and go to the Object > Path > Offset Path, set the Offset to -2px, and press OK. Now you have to rounded rectangles. Select the second object and apply a gradient from white to black.

vector television

3. Repeat step 2, and fill the third object with gradient. We have now the television frame completed.

vector television

4. Let’s make the television’s base. It is very simple. Draw a rectangle with width: 325px, and height: 25px. Place to the bottom centerof the other objects, and send to back (Ctrl+Shift+[). Fill it with gradient, as you see in the image below.

vector television

5. Next we’re going to create the television’s face. Create a rectangle, with size – width: 95px, height: 295px. Place it to the right part of the other objects and fill it with gradient from gray to black.

vector television

6. Select the third object, and duplicate it (Ctrl+C, Ctrl+F). Now select the duplicated object and the smaller one. Go to Windows > Pathfinder, and Intersect the two objects. After that, press Expand.

vector television

7. We will now proceed with the display. Create a rounded rectangle (Rounded Rectangle Tool). I used the next sizes: width:325, height:270. Fill it with some darker gray.

vector television

8. Select the Mesh tool (M), and create some reference points on the new object. Click somewhere around the corner, and select a color for that point. You can read more about the use of the mesh tool here.

vector television

9. Create a new rounded rectangle (width: 278, height: 215px). Go to Object > Envelope Distort > Make with Warp. Select inflate from the styles list, and set the Bend to 15%.

vector television

10. Go to Object > Expand. Click OK. Fill it with a dark gray. Make a copy of the object (Ctrl+C, Ctrl+F), and put it somewhere around. We will need it later.

vector television

11. Select the Mesh Tool (M) again and create a single point. Fill it with white or light gray.

vector television

12. Now we’re going to make the speaker. Create a circle. Fill it with black. Duplicate it (Start to drag the circle to right, while pressing Alt+Shift. When the new circle is far enough from the original, release the mouse button, and the keys. Press Ctrl+D, to repeat this step). When you have a whole line of circles, select all of them and duplicate again (Now start to drag down, while holding Alt+Shift. Press Ctrl+D to repeat several times.

vector television

13. Resize the circles to fit on the control panel of the tv, and place them.

vector television

14. Create a circle (width:71px). Fill it with gradient fromt white to light gray.

vector television

15. Draw a line on the circle. Go to Object > Transform > Rotate, and set the angle of rotation to 6°. Press Copy.

vector television

16. Press Ctrl+D, to repeat this step, until you cover the circle with lines.

vector television

17. Create a circle and place it over the other circle. Fill it with gradient.

vector television

18. Duplicate the circle (Ctrl+C, Ctrl+F) and make it smaller. Fill it with gradient and rotate it to get this realistic button-like effect.

vector television

19. Create a rectangle. Fill it with gradient with colors from white to gray and rotate it.

vector television

20. Select the button, and duplicate it (Alt+Shitf+drag down).

vector television

21. Create a circle, fill it with radial gradient.

vector television

22. Create anothe circle and fill it also with radial gradient.

vector television

23. Duplicate these two circles. We now have the buttons.

vector television

24. What else do we need? The antennas of course. So, we draw a rectangle with the size we want and place it on the top of the television. Send to back (Ctrl+Shift+[) of the television.

vector television

25. Duplicate the antenna (Ctrl+C, Ctrl+F), and flip horizontal on the Windows > Transform panel.

vector television

vector television

26. We’re done with the TV. We need now proceed with the television display. It would be nice if we had a NEWS Flash. So let’s get started. We take the display that we created in step 10 and color it with a nice blue color. On the Windows > Transparency panel set the blending mode to Multiply.

vector television

27. Select the Polygon tool (Click and hold the Rectangle tool, in the toolbox. You’ll see the fourth tool in the flyout.). Click on the Artboard to display the Polygon dialog box. Enter 150 for the radius, and 3 for the sides. Press OK.

vector television

28. Resize the triangle and rotate it with 180°. Or Flip Vertical (Windows > Transform panel).

vector television

29. Go to the Effects > Distort & Transform > Transform. Enter 15 in the Angle field, and 7 in the copies field. Click on the bottom center square on the reference point locator (the small grid of squares just above the Random checkbox) and click OK.

vector television

30. Now we have the light ray effect, we needed, we just have to rotate, and place it to the right place.

vector television

31. Color the light rays to blue and set the blending mode to Multiply in the Transparency panel. Select the blue rounded rectangle, and duplicate it (Ctrl+C, Ctrl+F) and send to the front (Ctrl+Shift+]).

vector television

32. Select the rounded rectangle from the top and the light rays. Go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make. So we have the lightrays effect, we only need a text. Select the Type Tool (T) from the toolbox and click on the Artboard. Now type the text you want. Fill it with white, and place it on the TV’s screen. We’re done.

vector television

Using these basic steps, with some little changes it’s very easy to create different style retro TV’s. Just by playing with different colors, control panels you can easily create a whole set!

vector televisionvector television

If you like to use the retro television for your projects, you can purchase these stock files at a discount with istockphoto promo code!

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About The Author: Ordog

I'm a webdesigner from Transylvania, working in Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw, i just love vector illustration :) Owner of

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+Add Comment13 Comments

  1. Gravtar for Kayla
    Kayla November 15th

    This was hard but I had to do it..

  2. Gravtar for ordogz
    ordogz November 15th

    🙂 I hope, you like the result and you will use these technics to make your work more easier.

  3. Gravtar for Marc
    Marc November 24th

    I’m sorry, I’m Marc, I’d like to bring something from and to vector diary


  4. Gravtar for Mike
    Mike January 6th

    Ordog, that’s seriously a cool TV! Well done and nice job on the tutorial.

  5. Gravtar for ordogz
    ordogz January 6th

    Thank you, Mike. Feedbacks like this give me more energy to continue working… 🙂

  6. Gravtar for Lexi
    Lexi January 20th

    Next time it would be nice to know the color numbers and placement of arrows on the gradient so we can copy it extact. Also a viewing of where you put your mesh points before you modified them would be helpful as well! Thanks.


  7. Gravtar for ordogz
    ordogz January 21st

    You’ve right Lexi. I wanted to show you the posibilities, so you can experiment with these tools, to get a similiar or even better result. If you need, i will send you some images with the location of the mesh points and the gradients, just send me a mail 🙂

  8. Gravtar for Lexi
    Lexi January 21st

    I can thankfully figure it out, but for future tutorials, those are things to consider. 😀

  9. Gravtar for Kevin
    Kevin December 29th

    Couldn’t follow the tutorial because there were too many ambiguous pronouns and nouns. For example:

    “Select the third object, and duplicate it (Ctrl+C, Ctrl+F). Now select the duplicated object and the smaller one. Go to Windows > Pathfinder, and Intersect the two objects. After that, press Expand.”

    Is this the third rectangle? The knob panel? The TV base? What is the “smaller one”?

    I’m stuck with a large rectangle protruding out of the ends of my screen.

  10. Gravtar for Ordog Zoltan
    Ordog Zoltan January 3rd

    Kevin, you’ve right. Here i made an image for you, maybe this will help you.
    Here is the image:
    As i wrote in the tutorial, the duplicated object is the number 1, and the smaller is the 2. After this step, the smaller object will have a rounded corner.
    If you need other explanation, please ask me.

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  12. Gravtar for Sajid
    Sajid August 16th

    Hi dear this sajid here from INDIA

    I am seen your tv design, very very good work you done

    I like it..

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