Create a Bookcase in Adobe Illustrator

It is 2015 already, people are using their smart phones everywhere. But paper books (please use recycled paper) are classic, they never die. But when we have many books, it is important to have them organised. Even if you don’t read your books, arrange them so they will look good in your house. A room without a bookcase is a space wasted. So here is an example of arranged books, in illustration, and how to create it step-by-step.

It looks like this when finished:


Time Completion: 2 hours

Difficulty: Beginner

Tool: Adobe Illustrator CS6 (version is not a must)

Total Steps: five


Step 1

Open your Adobe Illustrator, create a new document (Cmd + n), pick your preferable size. Check out your layer window, you will see that you are on Layer 1 of newly created document. Create one big rectangle (m), change the fill colour to #fff2de or any other colours if you wish.

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 7.24.31 PM


Create a smaller rectangle (m) on the top of previous rectangle. Change the colour to yellow #fdef77. Duplicate the yellow rectangle by dragging it down while pressing alt (alt + drag) the release it under the previously created yellow rectangle. Repeat that step until the third yellow rectangle.

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 7.25.41 PM


Step 2

Now that you have your bookcase base, create a new layer by pressing new layer button.

Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 1.21.40 AM

Now we are going to create the shelf’s shadow. After Layer 2 showed up, create a smaller rectangle than previous ones, use a darker yellow colour, I use #e5d666.

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 7.29.33 PM


Click on anchor bottom-left, drag it to the right carefully. Do the same with anchor bottom-right, but this time drag it the the left.

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 7.31.06 PM

Dupclicate the shadow to the second shelf (alt + drag). Resize the second shadow so that it has half of the original height.

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 7.32.54 PM



Duplicate that smaller shadow to the bottom of the second shelf. Then right click on the new bottom shadow, go to Transform –> Reflect, choose Horizontal, click OK.

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 7.40.43 PM

Now select the shadow on the first shelf again. Duplicate it to the bottom of the third shelf. Flip it horizontally just like previous explanation.

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 7.42.44 PM

Now you see that the bookcase looks more real!



Step 3

Still on Layer 2, create the left and right side shadows. Using the same method as previous step, create a rectangle on the left side of the first shelf.

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 7.45.56 PM


Change the colour with a darker yellow than the top-bottom shadows, I use #d3c25b. And then move the top-right anchor lower, to a point where it met the top shadow’s bottom-left anchor.

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 7.49.32 PMYou know what to do next! Repeat those steps so that all sides of the bookcase are covered in shadows.

Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 1.55.37 AM


There you go, your bookcase is ready to be filled with books!



Step 4

Create a new layer. Then on newly created Layer 3, create more rectangles, this time use any colour you want. Pay attention to allocate the books, I mean the shadow perspective and stuff.

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 8.07.32 PM


Select all or several of those books (other shapes might be unintentionally selected, unselect unnecessary shapes carefully), duplicate them to the third shelf. Change their colours too!

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 8.17.41 PM


Everything else on Layer 3 are whatever you want.

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 8.53.13 PM



Step 5

Create a last new layer. This time, drag down that Layer 4 into the bottom of other layers. Then create new rectangles for the wall, the wall-floor boundary, and the floor.

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 8.58.47 PM

Well done! Don’t forget to save your picture as the last step!


Do comments me if you have questions or suggestions ;)

2 Responses

  1. ombra
    ombra March 6, 2015 at 4:16 pm | | Reply

    Cooll vaan! I have a bookcase, I think I can borrow your helps :p

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