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Design a Sleek Google+ Icon (Plus Free Google+ Icon Set Download)

Design a Sleek Google+ Icon (Plus Free Google+ Icon Set Download)

Final Image

Here is a preview of the image that we are going to be creating:

Find Us on Google+

You can now connect with FanExtra/PSDFAN at Google+. If you’re not lucky enough to have an invite yet hopefully Google will be releasing the next batch soon :) .

Connect with FanExtra at Google+

Step 1

We’re going to be creating our icon at 128X128 (although you can use this tutorial to create an icon of any size).

Start by creating a new document (128X128px). Then lay out some guides:

Vertical Guides:

0px, 32px, 64px, 96px, 128px

Horizontal Guides:

0px, 20px, 128px

Step 2

Now go to image>canvas size. Increase your canvas size to 600px wide, 400px high.

Your guides will remain central.

Now create a new layer called ‘background’. Fill your canvas with a radial gradient ranging from ffffff to eeeeee.

Step 3

Now use your guides to create a rounded rectangle shape in the center of your canvas (128X128px).

Ensure that your fill color is 343434 and your shape radius is 20px.

Step 4

Now rasterize this layer (layer>rasterize>layer).

Duplicate it a total of 4 times. This will mean you now have 5 rounded rectangle layers.

Call your first layer ‘icon bottom’
Call your second layer ‘icon top 1′
Call your third layer ‘icon top 2′
Call your forth layer ‘icon top 3′
Call your fifth layer ‘icon top 4′.

Now use your marquee selection tool and your guides to cut away parts of each layer. For your ‘icon bottom’ layer cut off the top 20px of your icon. For the ‘icon top 1′ layer cut off all but the top 32X20px area, and so on for the other segments at the top of your icon.

You can see your five layers isolated below:

Step 5

Now go to the blending options for your ‘icon bottom’ layer.

Apply a bevel and emboss and gradient overlay blending option:

Bevel and Emboss Blending Option Settings:

Style: Inner Bevel
Technique: Smooth
Depth: 1000%
Direction: Up
Size: 5px
Soften: 0px
Angle: 90
Highlight Opacity: 0%
Shadow Mode: Multiply
Shadow Color: 000000
Opacity: 15%

Gradient Overlay Blending Option Settings:

Blend Mode: Normal
Opacity: 100%
Gradient: 1d1d1d to 292929
Style: Linear
Angle: 90

Step 6

Now make your ‘icon top 1′ layer visible and apply an inner shadow and color overlay blending option:

Inner Shadow Blending Option Settings:

Blend Mode: Multiply
Color: 000000
Opacity: 15%
Angle: 90
Distance: 5px
Choke: 0%
Size: 0px

Color Overlay Blending Option Settings:

Blend Mode: Normal
Color: f23a3f
Opacity: 100%.

Step 7

Now make your other ‘icon top’ layers visible. Right click on your ‘icon top 1′ layer in your layers palette and click ‘copy layer styles’. Then right click on your other ‘icon top’ layers and click ‘paste layer styles’.

This is a quick and easy way to apply your inner shadow blending option to each layer. Now you simple want to change the color in the color overlay blending option for your 3 top layers.

Icon Top 2 Layer Color Overlay: 5988f5
Icon Top 3 Layer Color Overlay: 5fb816
Icon Top 4 Layer Color Overlay: ffc000

Step 8

Now select the entire rounded rectangle shape using your preferred selection method.

With this selection in place create a new layer called ‘radial gradient’.

Drag out a radial gradient (white to transparent) from the top-center of your icon. Then change this layer’s blend mode to ‘overlay’ and reduce it’s opacity to 30%. This should provide a nice lighting effect and give a bit of extra depth to your icon.

The images below show the effect at ‘normal’ blend mode 100% opacity, and then at ‘overlay’, 30% opacity:

Step 9

Now we want to paste in the small ‘g’ from the Google logo to use as an outline.

However, in order to make it usable for our icon we need to get a good selection of the letter.

Paste the letter into a new document and go to select>color range. Then using your eye dropper tool click on the blue part of your letter. Then up the fuzziness to 200. You should get a nice selection of only the blue part of your letter.

Now paste your ‘g’ back into your original document, and position it just left of center in the dark gray area.

Then go to blending options for this layer and apply a color overlay blending option:

Color Blending Option Settings:

Blend Mode: Normal
Color: ffffff
Opacity: 100%

Step 10

Now simply use your type tool to type out a ‘+’ symbol to the right of your ‘g’ letter. Use your guides to position it correctly:

And We’re Done!

You can view the final outcome below. I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and would love to hear your feedback on the techniques and outcome.

This icon actually scales really well, as you can see from a range of the standard icon sizes below:

FREE Icon Set Download:

As a special bonus to this tutorial we’re distributing the icon set absolutely free. We hope that with the popularity of this great new service than many of you will be able to use this icon set on your blogs or profiles:

Remember to Connect With Us!

Remember, you can connect with us if you have a Google+ account:

Connect with FanExtra at Google+

Download Source File for this Tutorial

About the Author:

Tom is the founder of PSDFAN. He loves writing tutorials, learning more about design and interacting with the community. On a more interesting note he can also play guitar hero drunk with his teeth.

Leave a comment


  1. Fazreen says:

    The step is simple and well explained..Might give it a try..

  2. Adrian says:

    Nice tutorial, Fresh about google+ :)

    • Tom says:

      Thanks Adrian! I know Google+ is really new but I know a lot of people are enjoying it so far, so I wanted to provide them with a cool icon set :) .

  3. Su Hall says:

    Pretty darn cool! LOL I want to give this one a try! Thank you!

  4. Ryan says:

    never used the color range before. What other selection tool will work for selecting the g from the image? Thanks Tom. Hope to see more such tuts from you.

    • Tom says:

      I think the color range is the best option for this image. You could really use any selection method. However, if using the magic wand tool you’d have to up your tolerance so that your selection ignores the subtle drop shadow on the letter. The color range just seemed much quicker than the lasso or pen tool.

  5. Great tutorial, its really easy to follow (I don’t know how to use Photoshop), Ty so much for sharing.

    BTW I noticed that this site doesn’t have the +1 button… they should use yours (poke them if needed lol).

  6. LiMoO says:

    Thanks for this helpful tutorial. Google+ growing more and more

  7. Wulfi says:

    I was surprised when I saw this tut, as I didn’t know that you could make icons from PS. Reading through the tut I’m still not any wiser though. It’s very nice to be able to create something looking like an icon, but how do you end up with an .ico-file?

  8. Chandu says:

    hanks for this Awesome tutorial.

  9. Hey, thanks for the walkthrough. I’ve seen sooo many Google+ icons out there but not many guides that actually walk you through making them.

    Here’s a set using a similar technique (Glossy+)

    Hope you might consider checking it out. Thanks for the tutorial!

  10. Richard says:

    Very nice tutorial !
    Useful tips for a beginner like me :)

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