Create a 3D Push Pin using Illustrator in 10 simple steps

In this tutorial, we will see how to create a realistic 3D push pin in Adobe Illustrator with 10 simple steps.

Lets get started.

1. Set the Fill to none and choose a nice bright Stroke color. I have used the shade #D7DF23 of green. Using the Pen tool (P), draw paths similar to these:


This shape will be the head of the pin.

2. Go to Effect > 3D > Revolve… In the 3D Revolve Options window, turn on the Preview, set the Offset to 0pts and Surface to Plastic Shading.

3d revolve options

3. To give an angle to our push pin, hold down the cube illustrated in the window and revolve it until you get a perfect angle, like this. Else you can enter the values for X, Y and Z axis in the boxes.

3d revolve options - rotation

To modify the highlight, click on More Options and change the Highlight Intensity (100%) and Highlight Size (95%). Also play around with other Light options.

4. Now we will draw the tip of the pin. Choose a light shade of grey as the Stroke color. I have used #F1F2F2. Then with the Pen tool, draw a path like this;


5. Go to Effect > 3D > Revolve… In the 3D Revolve Options window, turn on the Preview. The Revolve Options that were set earlier will now be applied to this shape (unless you have made any changes to the settings).

bottom 3d

6. Now move this tip just below the pin’s head and send it behind the head (Object > Arrange > Send to Back). See below;


7. Next we will create a shadow of the pin. For that select the entire push pin, right click and say Group (or CTRL + G). Then create a copy of the pin. Hold down ALT and drag a copy. Then Object > Expand > Appearance.

expanded appearance

8. To get rid of the 3D effect, open the Pathfinder palette – Window > Pathfinder. Under Shape Modes, choose Unite. This would flatten the pin.


9. Now we will rotate and skew the shadow and place it below the push pin at a correct angle.

pin shadow

10. Next we will add a gradient to the shadow to make it look realistic.


Our push pin is ready.

pushpin with shadow

Filed Under: Adobe IllustratorFeatured


About the Author: Minal is a freelance web and graphics designer. She specializes in designing Logos, Stationery, Graphics and Icons as well as website templates using graphical tools like Photoshop, Illustrator and Expression Web. Twitter @saffronstroke

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