What You’ll Be Creating
This year, Spirit Day falls on 15 October.
Millions go purple on Spirit Day in a stand against bullying and to show their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth. Observed annually since 2010, individuals, schools, organizations, corporations, and public figures wear purple, which symbolizes ‘spirit’ on the rainbow flag.
Follow along with this tutorial and create a vivid seamless pattern with fancy flat elements, symbolizing love and friendship and dedicated to GLAAD’s Spirit Day. We’ll be using basic shapes and warp effects, creating the objects and then combining them into an intricate texture, using the Pattern Tool and some other editing tools. Let’s get started!
1. Make a Coffee Cup
To start with, let’s make a nice purple
background for our future pattern.
Create a New Document of 400 x 400 px
size. Take the Rectangle Tool (M)
and make a rectangle of the same size as our Artboard (400 x 400 px), filling it with vivid purple color.
Let’s start forming a plastic cup of coffee
from a rectangle of 65 x 100 px.
We need to make the bottom part of the cup
narrower. Take the Direct Selection Tool
(A) and select the lower left anchor point. Hit the Enter key to open the Move
options window and set the Horizontal
value to 5 px, Vertical value to 0 px.
Click OK to move the point 5 px to the right.
Repeat the same for the bottom right anchor
point, but this time set the Horizontal
move value to -5 px, thus moving the
point to the left.
Now let’s add a cap by forming an 80 x 15 px rectangle on top of the cup.
And another rectangle above, of 70 x 10 px
size. Select all three shapes and head to the Align panel. Select Align to
Key Object and click Horizontal
Align Center to align the shapes.
Let’s add a paper stripe around the cup.
Put a rectangle across the base of the cup. Keeping the shape selected, go to Effect > Warp > Arc and set the Horizontal Bend value to -10% by moving the slider to the right,
making the shape slightly bent.
> Expand Appearance of the paper stripe to apply
the Arc effect. Then select both the
arched stripe and the cup base, take the Shape
Builder Tool (Shift-M) and delete the unneeded pieces outside the cup by
clicking them, while holding down the Alt
Let’s modify the base of the cup as well.
Select it and apply the Arc effect
with -5% Horizontal Bend value. Object > Expand Appearance of the
Great, now the bottom of the cup is
slightly arched, but we need to make its top part straight again. Select the
cup and take the Scissors Tool (C).
Click the upper left and upper right anchor points of the cup base, cutting off the top
line. Then just delete the unneeded line.
Let’s add a coffee-bean label to our cup.
Start by making a 30 x 35 px ellipse
using the Ellipse Tool (L). Then arm yourself with the Pencil Tool (N) and draw a
wavy vertical line across the ellipse. Select both shapes and use the Divide function of the Pathfinder panel to split the ellipse
apart. Finally, select the right part of the shape and move it a few pixels to
the right, using the right arrow key
of your keyboard.
Finish up with the cup by placing the
coffee bean in the center of the paper stripe for the logotype.
Great! Let’s move to the next element of
our future pattern.
2. Create a Love Letter Envelope
Start forming the envelope by making an 80 x 55 px rectangle and creating a copy on
top of it (Control-C > Control-F).
Select the top copy and go to Object
> Path > Add Anchor Points to create additional anchor points on each
side of the rectangle.
Take the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-) and delete the bottom left and bottom
right anchor points, leaving the one in the center, thus forming an upside
down triangle. Select the bottom anchor point of the triangle with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and drag the
point up, squashing the shape.
Let’s form a heart-shaped seal for our
Make circle of about a 20 x 20
px size, using the Ellipse Tool (L)
and holding down the Shift key.
Select the bottom anchor point with the Direct
Selection Tool (A) and Convert
it to corner with the help of the Convert
function in the top control panel, making
the bottom of the shape pointed.
Now select the upper anchor point with the Direct Selection Tool (A). Switch to
the Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C) and
drag the anchor handles up, creating a V-like shape. Drag the top anchor point
down, squashing the shape and thus forming a stylized heart.
Seal our love letter by placing the heart
stamp in the center of the envelope.
Use the same heart shape to make additional
elements, which will later help us to fill the blank spaces of our pattern. The
winged heart is a simple combination of the created shape and a group of
rounded rectangles, made with the Rounded
Rectangle Tool (it is located in the same drop-down menu as the Rectangle Tool (M) in the Tools panel).
3. Make a Yummy Apple
Take the Ellipse
Tool (L) and start forming the apple from a 75 x 75 px circle. Select the upper anchor point with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and drag it
down, making the top of the shape flatter.
Use the Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C) to position the handles of the top
anchor point, dragging them up. And do the same for the handles of the lower
anchor point, dragging them down, making them look like an upside-down letter
Finally, select both side anchor points and
move them up a little, using the up arrow key, thus making the bottom part
of the apply narrower.
If you want to make sure that you move the
anchor handles symmetrically, use the Guides,
which will help you to align the tips of the handles. Turn on the Rulers (Control-R) and simply drag the Guides down to your Artboard from the
upper ruler. Then you can easily remove the unneeded guide if you select and
delete it, or clear the guides in View
> Guides > Clear Guides.
Now let’s form the leaf from a small, even
circle. Select the top and bottom anchor points of the circle and Convert them to corners with the help
of the Convert function in the top
control panel. Squash the shape, making it thinner, and rotate the leaf, placing
it above the left half of the apple.
Add a stylized dimple to the apple by
making an arched line with the Pencil
Finally, add a stem to our apple.
small vertical stripe with the Rectangle
Tool (M) and make its bottom part narrower by moving the bottom anchor
points closer to the center of the shape with the help of the arrow keys.
Attach the stem to the apple and get ready
for the next element of our pattern!
4. Form a Shiny Diamond
Make a 75 x 18
px rectangle. Duplicate the shape (Control-C
> Control-F), grab the upper edge of the rectangle with the Selection Tool (V) by clicking and holding, and drag it down,
forming a bigger rectangle beneath the first one.
Keeping the bigger shape selected, go to Object > Path > Add Anchor Points.
Select the Delete Anchor Point Tool
(-) and delete the lower left and lower right anchor points, forming an
Now let’s modify the upper part of the
diamond. Select the top left anchor point with the Direct Selection Tool (A) and press Enter to open the Move menu. Move the point 10 px to the right by setting the Horizontal value to 10 px and Vertical value to 0 px.
Do the same for the top right anchor point, moving it in the opposite direction
by setting the Horizontal value to -10
Now let’s depict the facets of the diamond.
Take the Pen Tool (P) and make a
short line, parallel to the left side of the top shape. Continue the line,
attaching it to the bottom point of the diamond.
Press P again to start a new line and draw a straight vertical line in
the middle of the diamond, holding down the Shift key.
Finally, select the first facet line and
double-click the Reflect Tool (O).
In the Reflect options menu, select
the Vertical Axis and click Copy to make a mirrored copy of the
line. Place the copy at the right part of the diamond, making a symmetrical shape.
Let’s make our diamond shine! Draw three vertical lines on top of the diamond and Group (Control-G) them. Align the lines to the diamond
horizontally, using the Align panel.
Select the lines, take the Rotate Tool (R), hold down Alt and click in the center of the
diamond to place a pivot point. Release the mouse key to open the Rotate menu. From here, set the Angle to 360/30. This way Adobe Illustrator will automatically calculate the
needed angle value for 30 copies, so
no need to set the angle by guesswork. Click the Copy button to make a rotated copy.
And, finally, press Control-D multiple times to create all 30 copies, depicting a stylized shiny effect.
Great work! Let’s move on.
5. Draw a Vintage Key
Let’s start forming the key from its top
decorative part. Make a circle of 30 x 30
px and place a smaller one inside, creating a ring. Select both shapes and
use the Minus Front function of Pathfinder to cut out the inner circle,
making a hole in the ring. You won’t notice any difference right now, but you
will see the result of this operation a few steps later, when we’ll be
coloring our objects.
Make two more copies of the ring and
combine them into an intricate composition, placing one circle on top of two
others and making them overlap.
Use the Rounded Rectangle Tool to make a long, narrow shaft for the key. Add
two smaller rounded rectangles at the bottom of the shaft, placing them
horizontally. Then select all the rounded rectangles and Unite them in Pathfinder,
merging them into a single shape.
And that’s all for the key! Let’s make the
6. Create a Music Note
Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and start forming the note from a 30 x 10 px rectangle for its top horizontal part, which is called “the beam”.
Make a thin vertical stripe for the stem of
the note. Select both shapes and click the beam while holding
down Alt to make it a Key Object. Head to the Align panel and align the stem to the
left side of the beam.
Add another stem in the right side of the
note, aligning it to the right side of the beam.
Finally, attach two 15 x 15 px circles to the bottom of the stems, forming the so-called
“heads” of the note.
Let’s skew our note a little. Take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and select
the whole right side of the note by clicking and dragging the selection frame
above the needed part of the object.
Hold down the left mouse key and move the
selected part of the note up, making the shape skewed.
Awesome! Let’s continue and color our
7. Apply Bright Colors to the Created Items
We’ll be using a limited range of colors for our palette,
consisting only of purple and yellow colors and their lighter and
Apply the colors to the cup, and let’s make
it a bit more detailed. Select the base of the cup and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Set
the Offset to -5 px, creating an additional shape
inside the cup. Fill it with lighter yellow color, adding dimension to our flat
Now let’s color the envelope, using the
same technique to make it more detailed. Use the Offset Path function to make additional shapes inside the rectangle
base and inside the heart stamp.
As for the top triangle part of the
envelope, duplicate it (Control-C >
Control-F) and move the copy up a bit. Then select both triangles and use
the Shape Builder Tool (Shift-M),
holding down Alt to delete the
unwanted piece outside the envelope.
Let’s move to our diamond and make the
facet lines a bit thicker, setting the Stroke
weight to 4 pt in the top
control panel. Object > Expand
Appearance to turn the lines into objects. Color the base of the diamond
with yellow shades and apply a very dark-brown color to the facet
lines. Set the Blending Mode to Screen, thus making the facet lines
Color other items of our set, using the Offset Path function and adding minor
details, such as tiny circle highlights, making the elements look fancy.
8. Render a Fancy Seamless Pattern
Now that all the items are ready, let’s
combine them into an intricate seamless texture!
Let’s hide the Artboard for a while in View > Hide Artboards (Control-H),
so that nothing distracts us from our pattern. Select all the elements and go
to Object > Pattern > Make.
Now that you’ve entered pattern creation
mode, head to the Pattern Options
window and set the Width and Height of the Tile to 400 x 400 px
(which is equal to the size of our Artboard). Leave all other options as
default (make sure that the Tile Type
is set to Grid).
Start placing the objects inside the Tile Edge, rotating them and combining them into a nice balanced composition with no gaps or blank spaces.
Set the Copies value to 7 x 7 in the Pattern Options menu and
zoom out to have an overall look at your pattern. The dimmed copies around the Tile edges will help you to find the empty spots and minor flaws, as you move the
objects around. Those copies will move together with your real elements, showing
a live preview.
Finally, when you’re happy with the
composition, return to normal mode by double-clicking anywhere outside the Tile Edge. Now you can find the pattern you created in the Swatches panel. Let’s apply it to a shape!
Switch the Artboard back again in View > Show Artboards (Control-H). Select the purple background rectangle that we made in our very first step, and resize it to 800 x 600 px in the control panel on top.
Create a copy on top (Control-C >
Control-F) and apply our seamless pattern by selecting it from the Swatches panel.
Let’s make some final adjustments!
Firstly, we’ll make the scale of the elements a bit smaller.
Keeping the pattern shape selected, double-click the Scale
Tool (S) to open the Scale
options window. Set the Uniform
value to 75% and uncheck all the
boxes, except for the Transform Patterns
checkbox. Click OK to apply the
Now double-click the Rotate Tool (R) and from here, set the Angle to 20 degrees. Check only the Transform Patterns box and click OK.
Go Purple for Spirit Day!
Great job! Our intricate seamless
pattern for Spirit Day is ready! I hope you’ve enjoyed following this tutorial
and learned some new tips and tricks about forming the objects from basic shapes and
combining them into a texture.
Have fun, be creative, and don’t forget to
check out some other tutorials dedicated to Spirit Day:
- Transform a Stock Photo Into an Airbrushed and Stenciled Illustration in Adobe Photoshop
- Create a Purple Monochrome Portrait for Spirit Day in Adobe Illustrator
Read more here:: Design a Spirit Day Seamless Pattern in Adobe Illustrator