Free DAM! 5 No-Cost Programs to Manage Your Digital Image Collection

Digital asset management (DAM) doesn’t have to be expensive. While it is possible to do much of the work directly in your file system, over time it is hard to stick to a method that keeps things safe and logical. DAM software helps keep everything running smoothly in your collections without hassle.
Paid DAM tools like Adobe Lightroom are feature-filled and used by clients of all sizes, but they aren’t the only choices when it comes to taming an image library. In some cases, they are also more complex a tool than you really need for the job.
In this article you’ll learn about some of the best choices for managing your image collection at no cost.
A no-cost DAM solution doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice! When choosing your DAM tool, start by considering your needs as a photographer. There are a few crucial functions your potential DAM solution should cover:
  • Import: a way to copy your image files from the camera or card onto a safe place on your hard drive in an organized way and with some basic metadata. Sometimes called “ingestion.”
  • Organize: access to EXIF and IPTC metadata fields, tags, ratings, and sorting. Collections, albums, and saved searches are also helpful.
  • Correct and Adjust: especially for RAW image files, the ability to interpret and adjust your files, either native to the application or with a managed back-and-forth with another application.
  • Export: a way to change and save files in new formats, sizes, and resolutions, or send files to another program that can.
I covered these considerations in more detail in How to Choose Asset Management Software for Your Digital Picture Archive. My preference is for tools that have an integrated way of working all in one place. A smooth way to process RAW images, especially, makes the most sense for my workflow and helps me stay organized.
The tools outlined below might have paid features, paid tiers, or be part of a non-free operating system, but they’re functionally free choices. To be included in this list the software must be available to download and install and perform all major functions at no added cost.
If you’re a Mac and iOS user, Apple Photos is a great choice. This app recently became my go-to for storing all the images I capture with my iPhone.

Apple Photos
Apple Photos has a simple and minimalist interface for managing an image collection.

Apple Photos can store images locally on your Mac or connect to the cloud and store images via Apple’s iCloud. It’s great for getting organized with features likeFavorites, keyword tagging, and even facial recognition. Tools like this are essential for taking your mobile images and making them meaningful via metadata.
Even though I’m using the app for my mobile image collection, Photos is plenty powerful for a full DSLR workflow. The Edit portion of the app let’s you do fine exposure and color corrections. It can process RAW images, apply correction, and even do spot adjustments and basic retouching.

Apple Photos Edit features
Apple Photos is free, but that doesn’t mean it’s a compromise. With adjustments to exposure, color, cropping, and clarity, it’s every bit as good as many paid options.

Apple Photos is included with OS X Yosemite and newer. If you choose to store your images with iCloud, which is optional, you may quickly need more space. Apple offers paid tiers for iCloud storage, starting at 99 cents USD per month for 20 gigabytes of storage.
I had the pleasure of recording a new short course for Tuts+: Apple Photos for Photographers. Make sure and check it out to learn all about Apple’s digital asset manager. Best of all, the course is free as well!
Picasa is a long time free favorite of mine. Picasa has the advantage of being available for both Windows and Mac. An older version is available for Linux, or you can run the latest Windows version via Wine.


Picasa’s strength is definitely as a photo browser and metadata mastery tool. With the addition of keywords and star ratings, it’s one of the easiest tools going for DAM beginners. Picasa’s image correction and RAW processing features are less advanced than Apple Photos, however. I recommend using a separate RAW processor, like RawTherapee (cross-plaform, free) for advanced work with your RAWs.
Google Photos is a new product that is rapidly gaining traction after its release in May. It’s a browser and mobile-app based solution that’s free on all platforms. Google Photos even offers unlimited cloud storage for “high quality” images (at approximately 16 megapixels). Paid storage is only necessary if you wish to preserve RAW images in the cloud.

Google Photos
Google Photos is a web and app based solution for correcting your images. Its strength is the ability to upload images to the cloud, and you can do that from either the web browser or mobile platform of your choice. Google is offering free unlimited storage for your RAW images.

Google Photos is targeted at consolidating images from many devices. You can upload photos quickly and easily, whether they’re already stored on your computer, or automate uploads as they’re captured on iOS or Android. Later on, you can download your images if you wish to leave Google Photos.
Integration between Picasa and Google Photos is limited, for the moment. Google Photos lacks the organizing power and control of Picasa, for now, so even though Picasa hasn’t received a major update in several years it’s still the preferred choice.
The Linux philosophy is about the right tool for the job. This means that a complete imaging workflow requires a few separate steps on Linux. The benefit is that this option is completely free, in both the dollars and the freedom senses of the word.
Rapid Photo Downloader has one job: to move your pictures from card and camera onto your hard drives. It can rename, create backups, and sort photos into folders as you download. It is very fast and easy to use.
digiKam is the most mature free photo organizer for Linux. It can do all the complex organization work you can throw at it. gThumb and Shotwell are also capable options, and more polished to look at, but they lack the nuanced DAM options found in digiKam.
Of particular importance, digiKam has the option to write information to XMP sidecar files. These little text files allow your files to move back and forth between organization in digiKam and RAW processing programs while retaining your important metadata.
While digiKam does have a built-in RAW converter, it’s not the most user-friendly.
RawTherapee is a strong choice for processing RAW images. It works on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Even though the name may lead you to believe that this app is a RAW processor only, RawTherapee has features for browsing and adding metadata to your images such as star ratings and color labels.

RawTherapee has precise controls for exposure and color correction. However, there are also features to tidy up your metadata and tag images with markings such as star ratings and color labels. After you apply those, you can always filter your images based on those tags and find just the images you’re looking for.
Another choice is darktable, which is both an image manager and RAW processor. An open source project, darktable is available for both Mac and Linux. Windows support is planned in the future.

It’s hard to ignore the influence of Adobe’s Lightroom on darktable. The interface is laid out to separate the organization features in the lighttable portion of the app, with RAW processing features available in thedarkroom section.

The lighttable portion of the application is all about organizing, tagging, and reviewing your images. After the lighttable portion of the application is a full-featured RAW processor, the darkroom. This part of the app includes crop and rotation features as well as powerful tools for corrections to exposure and color.

RAW processing in darktable
The darkroom portion of the application is a powerful RAW processor for adjusting the look of your images, including the exposure and color appearance of the images at precise levels.

Finally, darktable includes tethering support. When you want to import images during the capture process and not pay a dime for it, darktable is a solid choice.
XnViewMP is cross-platform photo manger. It’s free for home use and an inexpensive option for commercial users.


Like darktable, XnViewMP’s interface is a bit overwhelming. It is a full-featured organizer and powerful, once you get your head around it. XnViewMP doesn’t have a built-in RAW processor. The aforementioned cross-platform RawTherapee is a good choice here, too.
Also, although the older XnView program is still available for download, the newer MP version is the one to go for.
Hopefully this article has helped you realize that effectively managing your digital assets doesn’t have to be expensive or complex. The keys are:
  • Import
  • Organize
  • Correct and Adjust
  • Export
The five free choices outlined in this article are all great ways to get started with taming a large digital library and bringing organization to a collection of any size.
What are your shoestring DAM tools of choice? Let me know how you manage your images without breaking the bank.
  1. Check out my Apple Photos for Photographers course here on Tuts+.
  2. How to Choose Asset Management Software for Your Digital Picture Archive
  3. How to Add Keyword Tags to Your Photos with Picasa
  4. Dive deep with Digital Asset Management for Everyone series.

How to Find Out Exactly What Your Target Clients Want—Then Sell It to Them

Pitching and selling to clients can be such a chore for freelancers because, usually, we just want to focus on the work we do best, whether it’s design, web development, programming, photography, or writing. Sales and marketing require such a different way of thinking compared to working on our respective crafts, that we tend to put it off or do it haphazardly.
The good news is that there’s a way to do most of the “heavy lifting” beforehand so that sales, marketing, and pitching become so simple that it will just come natural to you. The way to do it is through market research. It might seem intimidating, but there’s a way to do market research without having to crunch numbers, conduct surveys, or get extra help. It’s simple if you just think of it as “understanding your target clients better”.
Without market research, a freelancer is just guessing at what her target clients want. She may even be offering them services they're not interested in. By looking at their needs, rather than the message or services you're trying to push, it'll be easier for a freelancer like you to position yourself and stand out from competitors that don't do the same kind of legwork. You’ll end up spending less time and effort on your proposals, and you’ll know exactly what type of copy to put on your website.
Here’s how to get started:
In a previous tutorial, we showed you how to identify target clients who are a best fit for your working style and business goals. It’s better to start this exercise having a specific target market in mind so that your efforts are focused and your results are accurate for your target clients.
Once you have a specific target market, it’s time to come up with the right questions to ask them. You only really need two types of questions: The problem question and the goal question. 
The problem question asks your target market about their problems, pains, frustrations, or any barriers or obstacles they are facing, or any reservations or hesitations that they might feel. The goal question, on the other hand, asks them about their aspirations, their desires, or the ideal scenario that they want to have in their lives or business.
Asking the problem question could be as simple as asking “What’s the biggest problem you have in your business right now?”. But you can also try the following approaches and tailor them to your specific market and services:
  • “Which parts of launching and maintaining a website keep you up at night?”
  • “If there was a business problem you wish you could eliminate overnight, which is it?”
  • “What’s the most challenging thing you’ve experienced when hiring photographers?”
The goal question is just a version of “What are your most important goals?” Here are more specific questions derived from that:
  • “If you could achieve only a single thing with your real estate firm this year, what would it be?”
  • “Think about your ideal mission for your law firm. What would it look like if it were to exist now?”
  • “If there was one thing that could considerably push your business way ahead of your competitors, what would it be?”
We’ve covered these questions somewhat in a previous post on preparing for client negotiations, which you can refer to if you need more examples.
Knowing the answers to these two questions can help you learn much more about your potential clients than what most job ads will tell you. While job ads can list the task description and the qualifications the clients need, they won't tell you what the goals of the business are, what their problems are, and what they are willing to pay for.
Now that you know the questions to ask, where do you ask them? Here are some suggestions:
The main benefit to using Quora is that it’s easy to ask questions to specific audiences—that’s what the platform is built for. You can search for topics that your target market could be watching and post your question under a topic that your target market will likely be following. If you’re targeting small businesses, post underthe Small Businesses topic. If you build tools and websites for accountants, you can post under the Accountants or Certified Public Accountants topics.
You can also search Quora for existing questions that were already answered by your target market. For example, if you create websites for real estate agents, you can do a search on “problems real estate agent” and the results will show a series of Q&As where real estate agents talk about their problems. 

Quora real estate agent problem questions
Quora real estate agent problem questions.Quora real estate agent problem questions.

You can also post questions in LinkedIn Groups that your target market joins or follows. This option works best if your target markets are professionals and businesses, rather than individual consumers. Usually, you can even find regional and local groups if you’re targeting clients in a specific area.
For those unfamiliar with reddit, it hosts many communities known as “subreddits”. If your target market is tech savvy, it’s likely they’ll have a subreddit for their field, profession, or type of business, but the amount of activity varies. You can post your questions in subreddits relevant to your audience, or search for existing discussions. For example, all a wedding photographer has to do is search “photographer” in theweddingplanning subreddit and a lot of threads about raves, rants, and questions on wedding photographers will show up. 

Reddit weddingplanning subreddit photographer search
Reddit weddingplanning subreddit, photographer search.

Just keep in mind that before you post your question, look through the subreddit’s community guidelines to make sure that you’re not violating them.
Remember online message boards? Some industries and professionals still use them for networking and shoptalk. 
For example, if you’re a designer who wants to create websites for restaurants, you can look for different food industry message boards, such as the Food Service forums. By entering “website” in the search bar, you’ll see the discussions and questions that restaurant owners have when it comes to having their own website. When searching for “goals”, you’ll find this thread of restaurant owners listing their goals for the new year

FoodService Forums threads
FoodService Forums: "website" search.

Do these kinds of detailed searches in message boards, and you’re likely to find goals and problems worth noting down. Even if you do find a board that’s mostly inactive, you can search through the archives to see if you can find any problems or goals there.
As you find or initiate more discussions with your target clients, you'll see repeating words and phrases which they use to describe their goals and problems. Take note of these phrases because you can repeat them in your site copy, cover letters, or sales pitches (more on that later). 
When you gather various online communities where your target market hangs out, note and count the goals and problems you see in their answers or in the existing discussions you find. To track it efficiently, use the worksheet attached to this lesson or save it in a document. You’ll need this later as you make your market research report.
Once you’ve noted several problems and goals—five to seven of each is enough—it’s time to create a guide that you can easily refer to when pitching, writing copy, or trying to book a new client. This guide can be as simple or as detailed as you want. The most essential part of the guide is to list the top three goals and the top three problems according to your tally. Here’s a link to a sample marketing research reporton small business owners:

Personally, I like making my market research guides a bit more detailed by adding some key quotes I found during my research. These quotes are usually the most emotionally charged or powerful, since the more emotion someone puts into expressing their problems or goals, the more important it is. These can come in handy when you’re stuck writing copy or are unsure how to phrase the problems and goals when you refer to them.
Now that you know your target market's top goals and problems, it's time to convert those goals and problems into a part of your marketing strategy—whether it’s your website copy or email pitches.
Using the sample report attached to this tutorial, we can see that a major goal among small business owners is increasing sales, and a major problem is their limited resources and their worry about ROI. A typical designer might just say something like “We design beautiful websites for your business” on their homepage. But a designer who did her homework can say instead, “We help small businesses build websites that increase sales” or “Affordable websites for small businesses”.
Here are examples of photographers, designers, and writers who have done a good job of addressing their target market’s goals and problems via their site copy:

ZeroZen above the fold
ZeroZen above the fold.

Design and marketing studio ZeroZen targets small businesses. Their copy above the fold mentions phrases like “reach new customers and make more money”, “in 10 minutes or less”, and “affordable”, hitting most of the problems and goals listed in the sample report.

Shoot2sell photography sales copy
Shoot2sell photography sales copy.

Rather than letting their copy say that their photography is “gorgeous”, shoot2sellemphasizes that the properties they photograph sell faster than others.

DesignSpectacle testimonial highlights
DesignSpectacle testimonial highlights.

The testimonials highlighted by DesignSpectacle address their ability to listen to clients, their trustworthiness, attention to detail, and that their design work brings in successful results for their clients. These testimonials specifically mention common business problems and goals, instead of just generic praise.
You don’t need to hire a research firm or conduct statistically significant surveys just to answer the question, “What do clients want?” By doing the above exercise, you’ll know the answer for sure because you’ve done the hard work of finding out. When you apply it to your pitches, proposals, and copy, you’re effectively demonstrating to clients your deep understanding of what they really want—and that deeper connection makes you stand out from the other freelancers who just focus on making the sale.
Graphic Credit: Target icon designed by Chris Kerr from the Noun Project.

Full-Frame vs. Crop-Sensor Cameras for Macro Photography

It’s a long-discussed topic: full-frame or crop-sensor camera, which is best? Well, there are a number of variables to consider, and some might surprise you! In this article I’ll look at some of the key ones and how they benefit (or don’t!) macro photography.
Long before digital cameras came along, most popular film SLR cameras captured an image that was 36mm by 24mm. When digital cameras were invented it just wasn’t very affordable to give the camera a sensor of that size, so they made a smaller version. This smaller image-capture area became known as a "crop-sensor" camera, and the old standard 35mm format became "full-frame."
Nikon has two sensor sizes: full-frame (marked with an FX) and crop (DX); and Canon has three: full-frame, 1.3x and 1.6x
For demonstration purposes in this article, I’ll use the Nikon D800 (FX) and Nikon D90 (DX) and specify the lens used for each picture.
If you think about putting the same lens on both a full-frame and a crop-sensor camera, the results would obviously differ. The crop-sensor would appear ‘larger’; that is, more magnified. I say appear larger because it’s not actually magnified, the field of view is just restricted. When you display the full and crop images at the same size (as below) you get a cropped-in view with the smaller sensor.

d800 and d90 comparison
D800 (left) and D90 (right) with a 12-24mm lens attached.

So let’s take a look at how the decision to use a full-frame or crop-sensor camera plays out in macro photography.
Sensors consist of light gathering spots called photosites. Understanding the difference between a photosite and a pixel fuses my brain, but the best way I’ve seen it expressed is this: ‘photosite is to sensor as pixel is to picture. The photosite collects light, which creates an electrical signal. An analogue-to-digital converter takes that electrical signal and turns it into a digital value (or a bit of math, in other words) that represents the amount of light that hit each photosite. We call this value a pixel. So, you can think about a photosite in terms of the amount of light captured on your sensor and a pixel in terms of what you view as the output (the picture).
A camera with a larger sensor can take on more light—more information—which is why full-frame cameras usually take better quality images than crops. If two cameras have the same amount of photosites but two different sensor sizes, the one with the larger sensor usually produces better pictures. 
As described above, a larger sensor generally means better low light performance when using high ISOs (if other variables are the same), and if you’re zooming in to capture a small object (and probably using a large aperture) then that’s a definite boon for macro.  
Bigger light sensors capture more light so you’ll generate less noise. The photosites are generally larger on a full-frame sensors, too, and that means each photosite can receive more light. More light means less amplification is needed to produce an acceptable image, which in turn means less noise.
If a crop-sensor appears to magnify the image, and we know that macro photography is all about close-ups, then this is obviously going to be a distinct advantage. Landscape photographers tend to prefer full frame cameras because you can get wider field of view in the image. Wildlife photographers often prefer a crop sensor as you get a more narrow view out of your lens’ focal length.

d800 90mm
D800 with 90mm f/2.8 lens taken at f/8
d90 with 90mm lens
D90 with 90mm f/2.8 lens at f/8

Here I shot at the same distance, hand-held with roughly the same settings. You can see that the crop appears to get much ‘closer’ to the plant but I think the sharpness to blur ratio of the D800 is much more pleasing. You need to consider that the plant was blowing in the wind for both shots though so it was probably more luck than judgment to get anything in focus!
This obviously depends what you’re going for. Wider apertures on a full-frame camera provide a much more blurred background than a crop-sensor. This is to do with the focal length, the aperture and the distance you are from the subject: all things that are influenced by which sensor you have. If you’re looking for an artier, shallow depth of field then a full-frame works better for this. If you want everything crisp and in focus then you don’t have to stop down a crop camera as much as you would if you were using full-frame. With macro photography you could be after either look depending on your subject and your personal style.
Probably one of the least considered options but, in my opinion, one of the most important. Full-frame cameras are naturally bigger than crops and so, heavier. If you shoot macro hand-held as I do then you’ll know how difficult it can be to keep the camera steady at a long focal length, especially if you’re crouching down on the ground at the same time! The weight of the camera can really affect your ability to hold it properly and I find it much easier to compose and shoot quickly with the D90 than the D800.
Using a ‘full frame’ lens on a crop camera is fine, you’ll just see a restricted field of view; again, that apparent ‘magnification’. However, put lens designed for a crop sensor onto a full frame and you’ll get a considerable vignette around the outside, as it just won’t fill the available space. It’s still usable, you’d just need to crop your photo in post-production. It does mean you should consider which lenses you have already and whether they’re compatible with a full frame camera, should you decide to make the switch.
It’s easy to think you’re missing out on something if you have a crop-sensor camera rather than a full-frame, but it really depends what you’re using the camera for and how you use it. For macro, consider the following:
  • Crop-sensor images appear more magnified due to the restricted field of view
  • Full-frame cameras generally handle a higher ISO, and therefore low-light situations, better
  • A shallow depth of field is easier to achieve with a full-frame camera
  • Crop sensors are much lighter and therefore easier to manoeuvre and keep still
  • Lenses made for crop won’t work as intended on full frame
You can take great macro photos with a crop-sensor or a full-frame. One size sensor does not far outperform another for macro photography. But, before making the move to one or the other and buying lenses, consider the benefits and downfalls of each and make informed decisions. If you can, it’s worth borrowing the camera first so that you can try it out, test its weight and see the quality of images you can get with it.

Photoshop Errors: How to Fix Brush Lag

So you're trying to paint in Photoshop, but each stroke takes about a minute to load. And if this problem keeps up, there's no way you can see an end to the project you're working on.
There are many things that can slow down your work in Photoshop. One of them is brush lag. Brush lag makes it incredibly difficult to draw or paint, because the Brush Tool isn't matching the speed at which you're trying to draw each stroke.
So how do you solve this problem? Let's take a look at these quick solutions.

Brush Lag in Photoshop

No matter how much you think Photoshop can or should take, eventually it will slow down. And often, larger files equal a slower performance. Here are a couple of things you can do to make sure that the file size doesn't create brush lag:
  • Merge multiple layers together, or flatten often. 
  • Reduce/start with a lower document resolution. 
  • Consider saving your project over multiple .psd files.
If you're having problems with the performance of Photoshop, you can, of course, adjust the performance to the needs of your workflow. To do this:
  1. Go to Edit > Preferences > Performance.
  2. Under Graphics Processor Settings, go to Advanced Settings.
  3. Change the Drawing Mode to Basic. 
  4. Restart Photoshop to allow changes to be applied. 

Change Drawing Mode to Basic in Photoshop

Don't let this common frustration get to you. Try out these simple solutions and get back to your designs as soon as possible.
Have you ever experienced brush lag, and tried something else that worked? Let us know in the comments below! 

How to Create a Set of Food Icons in Adobe Illustrator

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Hey, everyone! Less is more, right? In this tutorial you will learn how to create three food-related icons in a unique style, using simple shapes, shadows and halftones. 
Let’s create a 600 x 300 px New Document. Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 600 x 300 px rectangle, color #958496, click twice on the layer you just created and name it "background", and click on the lock icon to lock the layer.

Background image

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 130 x 130 px circle (fill color #8EA5B2, stroke color #4444442 pt—please always use these stroke parameters in this tutorial). Hold Alt and drag the mouse to the right, to duplicate the circle. Press Control-D to transform again. You should have three identical circles.
Three circles
Create a 147x147 px circle (fill color #EFEAE6). Using the Stroke panel, make all strokes rounded and Align Stroke to Outside.

Align stroke to outside

Place the circle you just created in the middle of the first blue circle and, using the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the upper point and hit Backspace to delete it. Using the Align panel, with both shapes selected, click on the blue circle to make it active and click on Horizontal Align Center.

Aligning objects

Using the Pen Tool (P), create a shape as shown in the picture below and drag it a little below the center.


Create a circle, using the same stroke parameters, around 20 x 20 px and, using the Direct Selection Tool (A) as before, delete the right anchor point as shown in the pictures below. 

Anchor point
cup handle

Let's create a shadow. Select the cup shape and use Alt to duplicate it next to the art board.
Now use the Pen Tool (P) to create a shadow shape as shown in the picture, and make it 5% black. Using the Pathfinder panel, click on Intersect to separate the shapes.
Now you have a shadow. Place it on our Tea icon.


Let's create the tea bag. Select the Pen Tool (P) and draw a line about 20 px long starting from the cup's upper edge.
For the tea bag, create a 15 x 17 px rectangle shape (fill color #EB9696, keep the stroke the same as everywhere else, and don't forget to Align Stroke To Outside).

tea bag

Using the Add Anchor Point Tool (+), create three points on the bottom of the tea bag and with the Direct Selection Tool (A) click in the middle and drag it up a little.

Anchor point tool

Create a shadow for the tea bag the same as for the cup, using a slightly darker shade for the shadow color.

Tea bag shadow

Using the Pen Tool (P), create two lines about 25 px long, place them as shown in the picture, and group them (Control-G). With the grouped lines and the blue circle selected, go to the Align panel and click on Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Distribute Center. 

Grouped lines

Follow the same process with the grouped lines for all three circles.

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 75 x 57 px circle (the same color and stroke as for the cup). Place it in the middle of the second blue circle—this will be our hamburger icon.
Take the Line Segment Tool (\) and create a line like this.

Line segment tool

With the smaller circle and the line selected, open the Pathfinder panel.


Take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and delete every point under the line, including the line itself. Round the corners using the handles.


Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 50 x 7 px rectangle (fill color #EB9696, keep the stroke the same as everywhere else, and don't forget to Align Stroke to Outside). Make the corners round.

Round corners

Create a shadow the same way as for the tea bag, using the same fill color.
Use the Pen Tool (P) to create a line about 50 px long. Go to Effects > Distort & Transform > Zig Zag.

effects zig zag

Make the size 1 pxRidges per segment 7, Points Smooth, and then selectPreview to see if you are happy with result and click OK.

ZIG ZAG preferneces

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 50 x 8 px rectangle (the same color and stroke as for the cup).
Using the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the points and with the left and right arrows make it look like a trapezoid. Round the corners a little.

Trapeze with rounded corners

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), create a 66 x 66 px ellipse using the same white color and stroke. Take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and delete the upper point. 

Soup bowl
With the Direct Selection Tool (A) select both upper points; right click and selectJoin. Using the Pen Tool (P), create two lines about 27 px long, and with both selected, go to the Zig Zag effect again and choose 4 Ridges for segment.

Using the Pen Tool (P) create a shape like this:

Create the bowl design

Fill it with the same red color as we used before.
Create a shadow for the bowl the same way as for the tea bag, using the same fill color.

Shadow for bowl

Ok, we are almost done!
Using the Ellipse Tool (M), create a 0.3 px circle (fill color #2D2A2D) and just drag it into the Swatch panel. Click twice on your new swatch and click Done.
That's basically it! Create a circle and fill it with halftone pattern and place it behind your icons. As for the hamburger icon, Control-C / Control-F to copy and paste in front of the selected object, lose the stroke and fill in with halftone pattern. Go to the Transparency panel and, with both shapes selected, choose 40%.

Go to Transparency panel and with both shapes selected choose 40

That's it! Hope you learned how to create icons and halftone swatches and will be able to create something new on your own! See you in the next tutorial!

Final product image


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