Steps to Design A Detailed Printer Icon in Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is an excellent choice for graphic and icon creation. This flagship graphic design application is used by designers of major websites, magazines, and other media for a wide range of art and designs. If you're a website owner or graphic designer in need of a unique icon set, Photoshop is your best bet.

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A great way to learn more about creating icons in Photoshop, and make yourself a handy icon along the way, is to follow this simple step-by-step guide for creating a printer icon. Printer icons find uses on virtually any webpage or app where material can be printed for easier reading, sharing or documentation.

Preparing Photoshop

After opening Photoshop you will need to create a fresh canvas for your printer icon project. Select a square or rectangular canvas size that suits your intended purposes. Most icons will look great scaled down from 1000 pixels wide by 700 pixels tall, so choose that as a starting place if you're unsure of your project's exact needs.

Importing the Printer Image

The easiest way to create realistic printer icons is to import an image of a real printer to start off with. You can take a photo of a nearby printer, or simply download one from the web. Sites like Pexels and Pixabay contain tons of free, printer-related images that will work well for this project. Copy and paste your desired printer image onto your canvas as a new layer. You can also use the 'Insert Image as a New Layer' button from the main menu in Photoshop.

Preparing the Background

If your stock photo of a printer contains background images or designs you will likely want to remove them and insert your own background color. This will bring a more professional appearance to your icon set and help you stay within a uniform color scheme. Select the eraser tool from the left toolbox in Photoshop. Adjust the brush size to 40 pixels, or whatever size will work best for your selected image. Carefully erase all background images by manually going over the image with your eraser tool. Zoom in after clearing out the largest parts of the background and refine your brush size to a smaller size. Clear out the background bordering your printer outlines to create a smoother image. This can be done several times, zooming in more each time, to create a flawless image.

Debranding Your Printer Icon

nd logos then you should remove them. The eraser tool can perform this task, but the clone tool will actually be a better choice here. That's because the eraser tool will leave you with a white or other selected solid color where the branding was located. The Clone tool will help you fill the void inconspicuously. Select the Clone tool from your main toolbox and select your brush size. Hover your brush over an area next to the branding on your printer that you wish to clone over it with. Hold the Ctrl button down and click on the area to define the source of your cloning. Now you can simply paint over the branding using your brush as you did the eraser brush in the previous step.

Artistic Options

What you've created so far is a highly realistic, de-branded printer icon that would work well on many projects. There are several additional options, however, for customizing your icon. If you want your icon to have a less photo-realistic look, then you should apply some gradients over the main shapes of the printer. To do this use the Magic Wand tool in Photoshop and select each part of the printer as an individual component. It's advisable to stick with three or four parts at a maximum, since the icon will likely be resized and intricacy lost.

Adjust the selection borders after selecting the printer components with the magic wand to make sure the printer's parts are distinguished appropriately. This is done by simply clicking and dragging the flashing selection borders with your mouse. Use the fill tool from your main toolbox to fill each component with its own color. From the color selection box choose a gradient color scheme that suits your needs. Repeat this process for each main printer component. Consider using blur, lens flare, or other filters from the main filters menu over your entire image for added artistic flair.

Saving and Exporting your Printer Icon

Once you've got the final touches put on your new printer icon, it's time to save your PSD project. Select a name for the original PSD file and save it to a folder on your computer. You will then want to export the file as a more compatible image file type as well. Resize your project to the desired icon size for its intended use. Most small web icons will work well at 70 x 100 pixels. If you have web hosting and intend to use this icon on a website or blog then you should export it as a PNG, JPG, or ICO file, depending on your project's needs. Icons designed for the Windows operating system should be exported to ICO format.

The printer icon you've created will come in handy more often than you'd expect. Virtually everyone with web hosting has needed or will need a printer icon at some point, and having your own custom-made icon is rewarding. Making your own icons can also ensure your icon sets follow a specific style guide, which is great for organized websites, apps, and other projects.


Phong Thai Phong Thai is a Web Developer, Web Coder for 20 years with PHP, JavaScript, CSS. He is the creator of - provide thousands of free JavaScript code examples, web development tips and tricks, helpful blogging guides.

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