Hey guys, in this Tip from the quick tips series, we’ll learn how to create a simple pattern in Illustrator using basic shapes. Create more patterns using the techniques from this Illustrator Tutorial.    

By Supercolor, on September 25, 2012, under Illustrator Tutorials

Final Result Preview


Step 1 – THE New Document and Backgrounds

Let’s Start by opening Illustrator and create a new document, I choose 500x500px. Next we’ll need to create two background shapes, for every pattern you need to create a shape of the size of your pattern without any fill or stroke, for this pattern we’ll also create a colour background.

Select the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 500x500px square the size of the canvas, make sure this shape is without fill and stroke.


Next duplicate the square layer and fill the new shape with a night blue colour.


Step 2 – Star

Now let’s create the shapes, I wanted to create a stars pattern, so I created a star using the Star Tool (in the same sets of tools than the Rectangle Tool), we this tool create a star shape with a 5pt stroke, I’m using Illustrator Cs6 so I used a custom stroke, but if you’re using a previous version just create a simple stroke.


Expand the object, Object – Expand, then we’ll simplify the star shape, this will delete some anchor points, Object – Path – Simplify.


Then we’ll use a tool I use a lot, the Live Paint Bucket Tool (K), make sure the star shape is selected and with Live Paint Bucket Tool, paint in white inside the star.


Step 3 – Pattern

Duplicate and resize the star shape a few times and place the stars on the canvas, then you can change the colour of some stars using the Live Paint Bucket Tool (K) again.


In a pattern you need to put some object on the edges because it’s going to repeat itself, so duplicate the star shape 4 times and place a star at each corners of the canvas. Make sure the distance between those shapes is the size of the canvas, so if you place a star in the top left corner, the other star in the top right corner as to be at a 500px distance in this case. The best thing is the place the centre of the shape on the corner of the canvas.


I also added two stars on the sides, like before they have to be the same distance as the size of the canvas.


Now we have a pattern we like, we’ll need to save it, select all the objects and the backgrounds, when that’s done, drag all those selected elements into the Swatches window, this will automatically create a pattern.


You can now use this pattern on any objects in Illustrator; I often create patterns for backgrounds or to put it on text. I hope you enjoyed this quick tip and learned a few tricks.

Feel free to leave us a comment and share your patterns.