Peel Back Sticker With Page Curl or Dog Ear Effect in Illustrator

Peel Back Sticker with Page Curl Effect
Sandra Trainor

Creating a page curl effect is a handy skill, particularly for marketing and advertising-related graphic design. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to create a peel back sticker with a page curl, or dog-eared page, effect using Adobe Illustrator CC. Note that this page curl effect can also be made using CS6 or other recent versions.

The process outlined below will start with creating a new document and using the Rectangle tool, Pen tool, and Type tool. Then we'll add color to both shapes and text, choose a font, make changes to the font's size and style, and rotating text. You'll find that the techniques used to make this graphic are ones that can then be applied to the making of various types of graphics.

To follow along, continue through each of the steps until you reach the end and have a completed graphic.

01
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Create a New Document

New Document
Text and images © Sandra Trainor

To create a new document in Illustrator, choose File > New. Here we've named the file "sticker" and made it 6" x 4." Then, click OK.

02
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Create a Square

Create a Square
Text and images © Sandra Trainor

From the Tool ​panel, choose the Rectangle tool, then click and drag to create a large rectangle over most of the artboard. 

03
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Save File

Save File
Text and images © Sandra Trainor

To save your progress, choose File > Save, then click Save. A dialog box will appear. For most projects, you can keep the default settings and click OK.  

04
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Add Color

Add Color
Text and images © Sandra Trainor

Now make the rectangle a color. In the Tools panel, double click on the Fill box to open the Color Picker. There, you can either choose a color in the Color Field or type in numbers to indicate a color. Here we typed in the RGB fields 255, 255, and 0, which gives us a bright yellow. Then click OK.

05
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Remove Stroke

Remove Stroke
Text and images © Sandra Trainor

Here is where you could change the stroke color by double-clicking on the Stroke box in the Tools panel and choosing a color in the Color Picker, but in this case, we don't want a stroke. To remove the one given by default, ​click on the Stroke box, then on the None button just under this. 

06
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Draw a Line

Draw a Line
Text and images © Sandra Trainor

From the Tools panel, select the Pen tool. To make a line where you want the sticker to peel back, click above your rectangle and again to the right of it.

07
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Divide the Rectangle

Divide the Rectangle
Text and images © Sandra Trainor

Now divide the rectangle so that it becomes two pieces. From the Tools panel, choose the Selection tool and click on your drawn line to select it, then hold down the shift key as you click on the rectangle.

This will select both the line and the rectangle. Next choose Window > Pathfinder, click on the Divide button, then on the Minus Back button to remove the corner piece.

08
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Draw the Peel Back

Draw the Peel Back
Text and images © Sandra Trainor

Now you'll want to draw a shape for the peel back. With the Pen tool, click on the top of the rectangle where it was divided to create a point, then click and drag below this to create a curved line. Hold down the shift key as you click on the last point made, then click and drag on the right side of the rectangle where it was divided to create another curved line, as shown.

To complete your shape, click on the first point made. 

09
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Add Color

Add Color
Text and images © Sandra Trainor

Just as you added color to the rectangle, you will now add color to your drawn shape. This time in the Color Picker, we typed into the RGB color fields 225, 225, and 204 for a cream color.

This would be a good time to again save your progress. You can choose File > Save, or use the keyboard shortcut of "Command + S" on a Mac or "Control + S" if using Windows.

10
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Add a Drop Shadow

Add a Drop Shadow
Text and images © Sandra Trainor

With the drawn shape selected, you will then choose Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Click to place a check in the box next to Preview, which allows you to see how the drop shadow will look before committing to it.

To recreate the look we created, choose Multiply for the Mode, 75% for the Opacity, make both the X and Y Offsets 0.1 inches, make the Blur 0.7, keep the default color black, and click OK.

11
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Hide Layer

Hide Layer
Text and images © Sandra Trainor

To open the Layers panel, go to Window > Layers. Click on the small arrow next to Layer 1 to reveal its sublayers. You'll also click on the eye icon next to sublayer for the path that you want to hide, which is your drawn peel back shape.

12
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Add Text

Add Text
Text and images © Sandra Trainor

Click on the Type tool in the Tools panel, then click on the artboard and type your text. Here we used "TAKE AN EXTRA 30% or 20% or 15% OFF" using upper and lower case where appropriate.

You'll then press escape. By default, the text color is black, which you can change later.

To create another area of text, click on the Type tool again. This time, we entered the text behind the page curl: we typed "PEEL TO" then pressed return to go to the next line and typed "REVEAL" then press escape.

13
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Move and Rotate Text

Move and Rotate Text
Text and images © Sandra Trainor

With the Selection tool, click and drag the text behind the page curl ("PEEL TO REVEAL" in our design) to the upper right, where the rectangle was cut away.

Double-click on the extended handle and move your cursor toward a corner of the bounding box until you see a double arrow curve. Then drag to rotate the text.

14
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Adjust the Font

Adjust the Font
Text and images © Sandra Trainor

With the Text tool, click and drag over the text to select it. Then choose Window > Character. In the Character panel, you can change the Font and Font size to whatever you like by clicking on any of the small arrows to bring up your options.

Here we made the font Arial, the style Bold, and the size 14 pt.

15
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Change Font Color

Change Font Color
Text and images © Sandra Trainor

With the text still selected, click on the small arrow next to the Fill color in the Options bar to bring up alternative colors and choose a bright red. The color can't be seen when the text is highlighted, so click off of the text to see how it looks. 

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Center Text

Center Text
Text and images © Sandra Trainor

For this design, we wanted the text to be centered. To center your text, click and drag over the text to again select it, choose Window > Paragraph, or click on the Paragraph tab next to the Character panel. In the Paragraph panel, click on the align center button. If necessary, you can also use the Selection tool to reposition the text.

17
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Edit Text

Edit Text
Text and images © Sandra Trainor

Here is your opportunity to make changes to the rest of your text.

For this design, we used the Text tool to place the cursor after the word "EXTRA" and pressed return. This divided the text into two separate lines. To make it three lines, we placed the cursor after the "30%" and pressed return again.

To change font and size, highlight all the text to select it, and make your selections in the Character panel. Here we changed the font to Arial Black and make the leading (space between lines) 90 pt.

In the Paragraph panel, we also chose to click the button that justifies all lines, and in the Options bar, we changed the color to a bright blue.

After making your edits, you can click away from the text to see how it looks so far.

After review, we decided to highlight just the top line to select it, and in the Character panel changed its size to 24 pt. We then highlighted the second line and changed its size 100%. To select 100%, you must type into the value field, since the highest visible option is 72%. We then highlighted the last line and make it 21%.

18
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Scale Text

Scale Text
Text and images © Sandra Trainor

Next, you'll scale the text. Though we liked the proportions of the lines of text in relation to one another, we wanted to make the whole a little bigger. To accomplish this change, use the Selection tool to click on the text, then choose Object > Transform > Scale, and with the Uniform option selected, type in your value—we chose 125%—then click OK. Then, click and drag the text to position it further to the left. 

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Make Final Adjustments

Make Final Adjustments
Text and images © Sandra Trainor

Now for final adjustments. In the Layers panel, click on the empty box to the left of the hidden path to reveal the eye icon and make the path visible. Also in the Layers panel, click and drag this sublayer above the other sublayers, which will place the peel back shape in front of the text on the artboard.  

For this design, we wanted the top line of text to remain where it was but have the second and third lines of text further to the right. To make this change, select the Type tool, place the cursor in front of the second line, and press tab, then do the same to the third line. If you want, you can also click and drag over a single line of text to select it and tweak the leading in the Character panel.

Once you like how everything looks, choose File > Save, and you're done! You now have a peel back sticker with page curl effect ready for use.