In this tutorial, we will create a retro cassette tape illustration in Affinity Designer. If you’re into vintage or retro designs, this tutorial is for you.
Before you start, go to the following link to download the Permanent Marker font used in this tutorial.
Now, let’s create the retro cassette tape illustration.
Go to File > New and create a document with the following properties. Select Web. Set the document size to 1000 px by 1000 px. Then, check Create Artboard.
Grab the Rectangle tool from the Tools Panel. Draw a rectangle and set the fill color to black.
Now, take the Rectangle tool again and draw a rectangle on top of the previous rectangle we created. Set the fill color to white.
Next, select both rectangles. Go to the Toolbar and select Align Center from the Alignment Panel to align both rectangles to each other from the center.
Select the black rectangle. Go to the Context Toolbar and set the Corner to Rounded. Then, set the Percentage to 5%.
After that, select the white rectangle. Go to the Context Toolbar and set the Corner to Rounded with a Percentage of 5%.
Grab the Rectangle tool again. This time draw a rectangle in the center of the white rectangle. Set the fill color to black.
With the rectangle still selected, go to the Context toolbar. Set the Corner to Rounded. Set the Percentage to 3%.
Next, go to the Tools Panel and select the Ellipse tool. Draw an ellipse off to the side of the tape. Hold CTRL + Shift while drawing the ellipse so that is has the same width and height.
Then, with the ellipse selected, press Shift + X to change the fill color to the stroke color.
Go to the Stroke Panel and set the Width of the stroke to 10 pt.
In the Stroke Panel, set the Style of the ellipse to Dash Line Style. Next, adjust the Width of the stroke to 14 pt. Then, go to the Dash and set the second box to 2 to add space between the dashed lines.
Take the dashed ellipse and place it on the black rectangle that’s on top. Set the stroke color to white.
Now, grab the Ellipse tool. Draw an ellipse over the dashed ellipse. In the Stroke Panel, change the Style back to Solid Line Style. Then, in the Swatches Panel, set the stroke color to the following color #BEBEBE.
Grab the Ellipse tool again. Draw a small ellipse inside of the dashed ellipse. Make the fill color of this ellipse white.
Select all 3 of the ellipses. Press CTRL + G to group them together.
With the ellipse group still selected, press CTRL + J to duplicate the group. Or, right click on the group and select Duplicate.
Now, select the duplicated group. Hold Shift and drag the group to the right of the original ellipse group.
Next, select both ellipse groups. In the Layers Panel, drag the groups inside of the black rectangle that they’re already on.
Grab the Rectangle tool. Draw a rectangle between the two ellipse groups.
With the rectangle still selected, go to the Context toolbar, and set the Corner to Rounded. Then, set the Percentage to 3%.
Go to the Tools Panel and select the Ellipse tool. While drawing the ellipse, hold CTRL + Shift so that the width and height of the ellipse will be equal. Set the fill color of this ellipse to black. Place it on top of the left group of ellipses.
With the ellipse still selected, hold CTRL + Shift. Then, with the Move tool, drag a copy of the ellipse to the right.
Make the ellipse on the left slightly bigger so that the top and the bottom touch the white rectangle (hold CTRL + Shift while resizing the ellipse.)
Select the main rectangle of the tape. Change the fill color to #202020 to make it a lighter shade of black.
Now, select both of the big ellipses and the small white rectangle between the ellipses (Hold Shift to select more than one object). Then, go to the Toolbar and select Divide from Boolean Operations Panel.
After that, select the two bigger parts of the ellipses and delete them.
In the Layers Panel, select the rectangle that’s housing the 2 ellipse groups. Set the fill color to the same color as the main big rectangle #202020.
Grab the Rectangle tool from the Tools Panel. Draw a rectangle on the bottom part of the tape. Set the stroke color to #2E2E2E. Then, set the fill color to #282828. Go to the Stroke Panel and set the Width to 2 pt.
Select the rectangle. Go to the Context toolbar and select Convert to Curves.
Then, with the rectangle still selected, grab the Node tool from the Tools Panel (Press A for the shortcut). Now, grab the top left node of the rectangle and drag it slightly to the right. After that, grab the top right node and drag it slightly to the left.
Select both nodes (hold Shift to select them both). Grab the Corner tool from the Tools Panel. Then, in the Context toolbar, set the Radius to 5 px.
Now, grab the Ellipse tool. Draw an ellipse on the rectangle we just drew on the left side. Make sure you get rid of the stroke. Set fill color to #3B3B3B.
Select the ellipse. Hold CTRL + Shift and drag a copy of the ellipse to the right side.
Then, take the Ellipse tool again. Draw two smaller ellipses beside the ones we just created.
Let’s add a background color to our retro cassette tape illustration before we finish it. Grab the Rectangle tool. Draw a rectangle that covers the entire artboard. Then, give the rectangle a fill color of your choosing. I chose the following color #5CD4FC.
With the rectangle still selected, go to the Toolbar, and select Move to Back to place the rectangle behind our cassette tape.
After that, select the white rectangle piece that’s in the middle. Give it the same fill color as our background #5CD4FC.
Grab the Rectangle tool. Draw a rectangle over the center part of the tape. Set the fill color to #3B9E82.
With the rectangle still selected, go to the Layers Panel, and drag the rectangle above the white rectangle.
Now, grab the Rectangle tool again. Draw a thin rectangle on the white part of the tape at the top. Set the fill color of the rectangle to #808080.
Press CTRL + J to make a duplicate of this rectangle. Then, hold Shift and drag the duplicated rectangle slightly down below the original one.
After that, go to the Tools Panel and grab the Artistic Text Tool. Place it on the left part of the tape, and type the letter B. I used Arial Regular for the font. This represents the B-side of the tape.
With the Artistic Text tool still active, type 90. Place it under the green rectangle. Use the same font that you used for the letter B (Arial Regular).
Grab the Arrow tool from the Tools Panel. Draw an arrow on the bottom part of the white rectangle in the middle. Set the fill color of the arrow to the same color as the green rectangle #3B9E82. In the Context toolbar, go to Ends and set the left end to None. If the arrow doesn’t show, select Move to Front from the Toolbar.
Finally, grab the Artistic Text tool again. Type 80s Mix Tape on the small rectangles we created at the top of the tape. Go to the Font Family and change the text to the Permanent marker font you downloaded.
Congratulation! You’ve just created a retro cassette tape illustration. For more Affinity Designer tutorials, check out this article on how to create a donut illustration.