In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to create a Nintendo Game Boy cartridge icon in Photoshop using shapes, layer styles and layer masks. After I shared this icon with the users for a free download, I thought it would be nice to write a lesson on creating this once famous icon.
Step 1. Create a new document and basic shapes.
Create a new document with dimensions of 1024 x 1024 px with transparent background. Fill the layer with white Edit> Fill> White (Edit – Run Fill – White).
Choose a tool Rounded rectangle tool (U) (Rectangle with rounded corners) with a radius of 15 px and create a shape of 690 x 865 px.
Create a new rectangle with rounded corners in the right side of the main rectangle of 100 x 825 px in size with a radius of 15 px.
Select both layers, right click and select Merge shapes (Merge shapes) or Ctrl + E.
For this merged shape, add layer styles. Bevel Emboss (Embossed) and Drop shadow (Shadow), with the parameters shown below.
Now let’s slightly change the basic form using Layer mask (Layer mask) to hide some of its parts. On the shape layer create an empty layer mask. Layer> Layer Mask> Reveal All (Layers – Layer – Mask – Show All).
Choose a tool Rectangle tool (U) (Rectangle) and create two vertical rectangles — one on each side of the base shape. Load the selection of the created rectangles, activate the layer mask on the layer with the basic shape (click on it) and fill the selection with black Edit> Fill> Black (Edit – Run Fill – Black). Then delete the layers with the rectangles.
Now let’s work on the top of the cartridge. Choose a tool Rectangle tool (U) (Rectangle) and create a horizontal shape with a size of 95 x 16 px. Duplicate the layer with the created shape 9 times to get 10 identical shapes. Place 5 pieces on each side of the cartridge with an interval of 11 px.
Merge all the created rectangle shapes into one (Ctrl + E) and load the selection.
Activate the mask of the base shape layer and fill the selection with black. Then delete the layers with the rectangles.
Choose a tool Ellipse tool (U) (Oval) and create two circles of 185 x 185 px. Place them along the edges of the horizontal stripes as shown below.
Highlight circles. While holding down the Ctrl + Shift key combination, click on the thumbnails of the layers with circles to load the selection. Activate the mask of the base shape layer and fill the selection with white. Then delete the layers with the circles.
To make the cartridge more realistic, I created rounded corners on horizontal stripes. To do this, select the tool Pen tool (P) (Pen) and draw a small triangle on the corner of the left upper band. Duplicate the triangle 3 times and place copies of the shape on the other stripes. Duplicate all 4 triangles, to do this, select all the layers with triangles and press Ctrl + J. Then press Ctrl + T (to activate the FreeTransformTool tool), then right-click and select Flip vertical (Flip Vertically). You should have 8 triangles, one for each corner of the stripes, as shown below.
Merge all the shapes with triangles into one (Ctrl + E). Then load the selection of triangles, activate the mask of the base shape layer and fill the selection with black color.
Repeat the same for the bands on the other side. Select 8 small triangles and use the tool “Free Transformation” to reflect the layer with triangles horizontally (right-click and select Flip horizontal (Flip horizontally)). Move them to the bands on the right side of the cartridge and repeat the process with the layer mask. Remove the layer with triangles.
Select Pen tool (P) (Pen) and create a small triangle on the left middle part of the base shape. Load the selection triangle, select the mask of the base shape layer and fill the selection with black color.
Repeat the same procedure on the right side. When finished, delete the triangle layer.
This is what should happen.
Step 2. Creating noise texture and background shapes
Now we have the basic form of the cartridge. Let’s add some texture to this shape. Create a new layer and fill it with white. Edit> Fill> White (Edit – Run Fill – White). Apply filter Filter> Noise> Add Noise (Filter – Noise – Add Noise) Amount (Effect) 50%, Gaussian (According to Gauss) Monochromatic (Monochrome).
For a layer with noise, create a clipping mask by clicking on the layer with the right mouse button and selecting the item Create Clipping Mask (Create clipping mask). Change Fill (Fill) layer at 3% and blending mode on Overlay (Overlap). Rename the layer to Noise1.
Duplicate the noise layer and rename it to Noise2. Invert the colors on this layer. Image> Adjustments> Invert (Image – Correction – Inversion). Change Fill (Fill) layer by 7%. Choose a tool Move Tool (V) (Move) and use the arrows on the keyboard to move the layer 2x down and 2x to the right.
Choose a tool Rounded rectangle tool (U) (Rectangle with rounded corners), Radius 15 px and create a shape of 748 x 625 px, color # 847a82. Move the layer below the base shape layer.
Create another shape on top of the cartridge with a size of 748 x 168 px, radius 15 px, color # 8e838c. Move the layer with the new shape below all the layers with the shapes.
Step 3. Creating the bottom triangle
In this step, we will create a triangle on the bottom of the cartridge from several shapes. Choose a tool Ellipse tool (U) (Oval) and create two circles of 15 x 15 px with an interval of 85 px between them.
Select Rectangle tool (U) (Rectangle) and create a horizontal rectangle between the circles.
Select Custom shape tool (U) (Arbitrary shape). On the top toolbar in the shape set, select the rounded triangle. This shape is available in the default shape set. Sign3 (Znak3). Create a triangle.
Combine all created shapes into one. To do this, select all the layers with shapes, right-click and select Merge Shapes or Ctrl + E.
Then apply layer styles to the merged shape. Bevel Emboss (Embossed) and Color overlay (Color overlay) with the parameters shown below.
Step 4. Create a background sticker
Select Rounded rectangle tool (U) (Rectangle with rounded corners). Create a figure in the center of the cartridge with dimensions of 585 x 520 px, radius 15 px, color # 847b82. Apply layer styles Bevel Emboss (Embossed) and Inner shadow (Inner shadow) with the parameters shown below.
Step 5. Creating circles
In this step, we will create two circles that should be placed behind the sticker in order for our cartridge to become more realistic. Select Ellipse tool (U) (Oval). Create a circle measuring 52 x 52 px and color # 837b81. Apply the following layer styles:
In the center of the circle, create a smaller circle with a size of 15 x 15 px and the color # 7f787d. Apply layer style Inner glow (Internal glow).
In the center of the two circles created, create another one – the size 2.5 x 2.5 px and color # 979196. Place all three circles in the new group.
Then create another circle below. Select Ellipse tool (U) (Oval). Create a circle with a size of 22 x 22 px and color # 837b81.
Add a few layer styles to create a beautiful metallic effect.
Step 6. Creating text
Let’s create the top of the text cartridge. Select Ellipse tool (U) (Oval) and create two circles measuring 160 x 160 px. Next with the tool Rectangle tool (U) (Rectangle) draw a rectangle between the circles. Merge all three shapes into one by right-clicking and selecting Merge Shapes. For clarity, I chose a pink color, you, in turn, change the color to # 877c85.
Add layer B stylesevel Emboss (Embossed) and Inner shadow (Inner shadow) with the parameters shown below.
For the text I used two fonts. The first Pretendo from Urbanfonts.com and the second system Arial. For the first part of the text, I wrote the word “Supercolor” in Pretendo font and added the following layer styles:
For the second part of the “TUTS” text, I used the Arial Bold Italic font. Apply the same layer styles as the first word.
To finish the text, I wrote “TM” in Arial Bold and applied the same layer styles.
Step 7. Work on the sticker
To finish the work on the cartridge, you can add an image for the sticker. Select Rounded rectangle tool (U) (Rectangle with rounded corners) and create a shape measuring 555 x 495 px in color # 827a80. Apply layer style Drop shadow (Shadow).
In order to add your own sticker, open any Image in Photoshop and move it to the working document above the layer with the sticker. Create a clipping mask from the layer with a picture. To do this, right-click on it and select the item Create Clipping Mask (Create clipping mask.)
The final result.
As a result, we got an image of the once famous Game Boy cartridge, which can be used as an icon or even printed on a T-shirt!