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Hello, I wanted to create something quite simple for the community, so I thought I'd go back to my realistic icon design days and apply some of my methods in AD. For this I digged out the Battlefield 3 "Accuracy ribbon" design. This was originaly made with 3D software but it's not too hard to replicate in 2D. http://battlefield.wikia.com/wiki/Ribbons/Battlefield_3?file=Accuracy_Ribbon.png The basics are: Import the ribbon image into AD and create a new artboard below it Add guidelines for the sizes of objects and where the background color bands meet Start by recreating the shapes over the original image - the background colors, then the golden circle and the rounded, long squares of the aim Try to select colors similar to what you see on the top image Play around with Outer Shadows, Inner Shadows, Bevel and layering different effects until you have the same feeling of volume Add shadows and other lighting details to the illustrationRemember that 100% black shadows on most objects feel unreal. Try to base the color of the shadows off of the object itself or off where the shadow "lands" Finally use images in Color Burn and Multiply mode inside masks to add the gritty feel to the metals and the fabric texture to the background Play around with the saturation of the colors you chose to find the right spot for added realism. Metals that have been "through war" are not polished therefore they shouldn't shine, they should be dull. Please find the final file attached. The texture images in it are for demonstration purposes only and I do not have rights over them. BF Ribbon.afdesign