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Photoshop Tutorial: Design the Mac OS X Leopard Folder

Learn how to create the popular Mac OS X Leopard Folder icon using Photoshop in just Ten Easy steps. Comes with a PSD, useful brushes and custom shapes!

Note

Before you begin reading this tutorial, I highly recommend that you learn how to use the "Pen Tool". If you’re not an experienced photoshoper you might want to read this tutorial as it goes over basic "Pen Tool" skills.

Step 1: Create a New Document

Create a new Photoshop document with the dimensions of 512 x 512 pixels and a transparent background. This is the perfect size for the icon we are trying to make.


Step 2: Setup

Enable the Grid by going to View > Show > Grid. Also enable Snap by going to View > Snap. Enabling Snap makes it easy for us to draw precise shapes using the pen tool.

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Also, set the Pen Tool to "Shape Layers" like shown below:

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Step 3: Create A Shape

Grab the Pen Tool and make a Shape similar to the one below and name it "Folder_Top". If you have any difficulty in creating this shape, you may download this custom shape I made and use it instead.

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Step 4: Add Style to "Folder_Top"

Double click on "Folder_Top" to activate Blending Options and apply Gradient Overlay using #a0c0d9 as the foreground color and #8cb2ce as the background color. Be sure to click on Reverse.

Now let’s add some Stroke to "Folder_Top". Use the color #80adcf and lower down the Opacity to 80%. Also, add Bevel and Emboss to "Folder_Top". Use the settings shown below:

Step 5: Create Another Shape

Now that we’ve created the top half of the folder, it’s now time to create the bottom half.

Hide "Folder_Top" and create a new Shape like the one shown below and name it "Folder_Bottom". Again, if you have any problem in doing so, you may use this custom shape I made.

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Step 6: Add Style to "Folder_Bottom"

Note

This time we are using a different foreground and background color because we want "Folder_Bottom" to stand out and look different from "Folder_Top".

Double click on "Folder_Bottom" to activate Blending Options and apply Gradient Overlay using #b2cbde as the foreground color and #79a5c6 as the background color. Again, be sure to click on Reverse.

Now let’s add some Stroke to "Folder_Bottom". Use the color #80adcf and lower down the Opacity to 80%. Also, add Bevel and Emboss to "Folder_Bottom". Use the settings shown below:

Now make "Folder_Top" visible. Your resultant image should look something like this:

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Step 7: Add More Styling to "Folder_Bottom"

Now that we’ve added Gradient Overlay and Stroke to "Folder_Bottom", it’s time to get more precise so that we have a realistic feel.

So let’s add some Noise. Duplicate "Folder_Bottom". Rasterize the new layer by simply double clicking and selecting the respective option. Name this layer "Folder_Bottom_Noise". Also, be sure to turn off any layer style on "Folder_Bottom_Noise".

Now select the Magic Wand from the Toolbox and click inside "Folder_Bottom_Noise", selecting the folder shape like shown below:

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Fill the selection with #79a5c6 using the Paint Bucket Tool. Then go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise. Use the settings shown below:

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Once you have successfully added noise to "Folder_Bottom_Noise", lower down the opacity of the layer to 15%.

Now let’s add some more detail to the folder. Duplicate "Folder_Bottom". Rasterize the new layer by simply double clicking and selecting the respective option. Name this layer "Folder_Bottom_Sketch". Again, be sure to turn off any layer style on "Folder_Bottom_Sketch".

Now select the Magic Wand from the Toolbox and click inside "Folder_Bottom_Sketch", selecting the folder shape like shown below:

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Fill the selection with #79a5c6 using the Paint Bucket Tool. Then go to Filter > Sketch > Graphic Pen. Use the settings shown below:

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Once you have successfully added the sketch effect to "Folder_Bottom_Sketch", lower down the opacity to 10%.

And finally, create a new layer and name it "Folder_Bottom_Scatter". Grab the Lasso Tool and create random scatter like shown below:

Tip

You might want to hold down the Shift button while drawing the scatter.

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If you have any difficulty in doing so, you may use this "scatter" brush I made. Now fill the selection with #80adcf. Once that is done, you should have something that looks like this:

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Step 8: Add More Styling to "Folder_Top"

Hide "Folder_Bottom", "Folder_Bottom_Noise", "Folder_Bottom_Sketch" and "Folder_Bottom_Scatter". Then select "Folder_Top" and Duplicate it. Rasterize the new layer and name it "Folder_Top_Noise". Make sure that any layer style is set to off.

Now select the Magic Wand from the Toolbox and click inside "Folder_Top_Noise", selecting the folder shape like shown below:

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Fill the selection with #79a5c6 using the Paint Bucket Tool. Then go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise. Use the settings shown below:

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Once you have successfully added noise to "Folder_Top_Noise", lower down the opacity of the layer to 15%.

Now let’s add some more detail to the folder. Duplicate "Folder_Top". Rasterize the layer by simply double clicking and selecting the respective option. Name this layer "Folder_Top_Sketch". Again, be sure to turn off any layer style.

Now select the Magic Wand from the Toolbox and click inside "Folder_Top_Sketch", selecting the folder shape like shown below:

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Fill the selection with #79a5c6 using the Paint Bucket Tool. Then go to Filter > Sketch > Graphic Pen. Use the settings shown below:

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Once you have successfully added the sketch effect to "Folder_Top_Sketch", lower down the opacity of the layer to 10%.

And finally, create a new layer and name it "Folder_Top_Scatter". Grab the Lasso Tool and create random scatter like shown below:

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Set "Folder_Bottom", "Folder_Bottom_Noise", "Folder_Bottom_Sketch" and "Folder_Bottom_Scatter" to Visible. Once that is done, you should have something that looks like this:

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Step 8: Add Shadow

Duplicate "Folder_Bottom" and Rasterize it. Name the new layer "Shadow_Top". Also, be sure to turn off any layer styles. Place this layer between "Folder_Bottom" and "Folder_Top_Scatter" like shown below:

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Then go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Apply the settings shown below:

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Once you’ve done that, position "Shadow_Top" like shown below: (Make sure it can be seen when "Folder_Bottom" is visible. You might also need to use the Free Transform Tool by going to Edit > Free Transform in order to change the size of "Shadow_Top" so that it looks like the image shown below)

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Then lower down the opacity of "Shadow_Top" to 30%.

Next, grab the Rectangle Tool and draw a rectangle like shown below: (Make sure that the rectangle is below "Folder_Bottom" )

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Name the shape "Shadow_Bottom" and Rasterize it. Then go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Apply the settings shown below:

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Position "Shadow_Bottom" like show below: (You might have to use the Free Transform Tool to edit the size of "Shadow_Bottom")

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Your resultant image should look something like this:

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Step 10: Add Logo

Now let’s add a logo to our folder. Create a new layer and name it "Logo". Now draw any shape you like (I’m using an "X" in this case).

Fill your shape with #7a9db8 and lower down the opacity to 80%. Then double click on "Logo" and select Blending Options. Add Drop Shadow and Inner Shadow to your shape using the following settings:

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Final Image:

Now that you have completed all steps, your image should look something like this: (If it doesn’t, then feel free to check out the .psd file included in this tutorial).

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Download the Free PSD

90 Comments

  1. Add point Subtract point
    Mattia_ITA (7 Points) February 25, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Download link not working!!

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  2. Add point Subtract point

    Photoshop tutorials, from beginner to advanced. photo manipulation, icon design, text effects, interface, layout, painting, photo effects, psd tuts, maxon cinema 4d, designing.
    http://alophotoshop.co.cc

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  3. Add point Subtract point
    Lounès (1 Point) July 29, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    hello I seek to create an icon like this, but putting a picture of a TV series, something like this you know how can I do?

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  4. Add point Subtract point
    Bushra (1 Point) July 10, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Amazing tutorials , really thanks (^_^)

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  5. Add point Subtract point
    Web Design (1 Point) April 26, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Just what i needed. Gracias!!

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  6. Add point Subtract point
    yeffrey (1 Point) March 28, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Estan muy buenos tus tutoriales .. pero no tendras en español?

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  7. Add point Subtract point
    แจกเพลง (1 Point) February 3, 2010 at 12:01 am

    thanks for sharing. So mush124

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  8. Add point Subtract point
    ฟังเพลงออนไลน์ (1 Point) February 2, 2010 at 1:36 am

    thanks for sharing. So mush117

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  9. Add point Subtract point
    โหลดเพลงฟรี (1 Point) February 1, 2010 at 2:53 am

    thanks for sharing. So mush112

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  10. Add point Subtract point
    โหลดเพลงmp3ฟรี (1 Point) January 30, 2010 at 11:25 am

    great i never seen before.

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  11. Add point Subtract point

    Definitely one of the best tutorials I’ve seen on the web! Thanks! Love it!

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  12. Add point Subtract point

    How did you do the X for the logo? Which font did you use it looks great? Thanks so much, love the tutorial! You’re are on of the best designers ever!

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  13. Add point Subtract point

    Nice tutorial – shows how to create the graphic image. But how do I associate it with an actual Mac OS X directory?

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  14. Add point Subtract point
    cypherbox (1 Point) September 16, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Nice and very easy to follow tuts! love it.

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  15. Add point Subtract point

    great and easy tutorial. Though some things were missing but it was very easy to figure out how ;) Was a bit hard because my Transparent background wasn´t matching up with the rulers and the grids. It was like a couple of pixels to much so the lines was confusing. But anyway, thanks man!

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  16. Add point Subtract point
    Sam Logan (1 Point) September 9, 2009 at 5:19 am

    Great tutorial, one of the best that I have seen in a while. It looks 100% and was very easy to follow.

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  17. Add point Subtract point

    thank you taking time to write this, it’s very very very useful for me! thanks

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  18. Add point Subtract point

    Aah, sweet tutorial mon. I like those easy-to-do-but-still-looking-great-thingish. (btw, you have two step 8).

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  19. Add point Subtract point

    Great tutorial. Their are similar tutorials on how to create the Mac folder and logo, but this has to be one of the best I’ve come across.

    I did something similar on my website at http://www.knrdesigns.com you can check it out if you’d like.

    Keep up the good work!

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  20. Add point Subtract point
    pinkalong (1 Point) August 30, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    great Tutorial! nicely written. clear and to the point. I also like the fact that you included the images of the tools.
    I will keep this link for a while and use it often. thanks love the site as well.

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  21. Add point Subtract point

    thank you very much for this tutorial.
    usefull and clear!

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  22. Add point Subtract point

    Very nice. The shape looks perfect, but the only thing that could be improved upon would be the texture of the folder… something more like paper instead of ink splattering.

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  23. Add point Subtract point

    Great tutorial Shashank! Hope you’ll contribute some more tutorials in the future :)

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  24. Add point Subtract point
    Alexis Brille (1 Point) August 25, 2009 at 4:44 am

    Awesome! Very nice.

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  25. Add point Subtract point
    goldfish300 (1 Point) August 24, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    there is a picture missing after Fill the selection with #79a5c6 using the Paint Bucket Tool. Then go to Filter > Sketch > Graphic Pen. Use the settings shown below:

    http://www.tutorial9.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/leopard-folder/Graphic%20Pen.png
    plz reupload again

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  26. Add point Subtract point
    Callum Chapman (1 Point) August 24, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Lovely tutorial and great outcome!

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  27. Add point Subtract point
    LBrother (1 Point) August 24, 2009 at 7:03 am

    Nice, short icon tutorial!

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  28. Add point Subtract point

    nice tut! on the last button you wrote DOWNLAOD instead of DOWNLOAD. the biggest green button ever!:P

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  29. Add point Subtract point
    Erik Thorne (1 Point) August 24, 2009 at 3:57 am

    I’m really bad at drawing shapes so instead of using the pen tool to make the folder shape, I viewed a folder with cover flow (in finder) and took a screen shot of it (I made the window large so the image is high quality). then I just selected the black and deleted it.

    Great tutorial, I have been looking for to make one of these for a while, I can now make a customized folder set! :D

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    • Add point Subtract point

      That’s cheating! (I kid!)

      This is a pretty excellent tutorial, simple and effective, and a nice insight into how to make things as if they’re designed by what is constantly hailed as one of the most design forward computing companies.

      Thanks for taking the time to write this!

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