By Miss Chat*Z
What You’ll Be Creating
“Eid al-Fitr”, which is often shortened to “Eid”, is the “festival of breaking fast”. It is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims across the world, to mark the end of the month-long fasting of Ramadan.
Traditionally, Eid is the celebrated for three days, just as the first sighting of the crescent moon is spotted by the end of the Ramadan lunar month.
To celebrate, Muslims gather in the morning at the mosque to perform their Eid prayer, and then visit friends and family, have a feast, and enjoy loads of sweets to mark the end of the fasting. The celebrations are also a time of forgiveness, giving thanks to
Allah, and offering donations and food to those less fortunate.
The most popular Arabic greeting during this holiday is usually “Eid Mubarak”, which is translated in English to “blessed festival”.
In this tutorial, we’ll go through the process of creating an Arabesque Eid greeting card. We’ll be using basic shapes to design an Islamic art pattern, and will learn to tailor a font in Arabic for “Eid Mubarak”.
If you’re looking for inspiration, why not check out the many Eid designs over on Envato Market.
1. Create a New Document & Set Up
To design our greeting card, we need to have basic knowledge of Islamic art. The general construction method of any Arabesque pattern is more or less intertwined geometric shapes like hexagons, squares, octagons, triangles, stars, and circles. Creating a pattern tile is quite an interesting challenge, so as a beginner, keep it as simple as possible, and work with a grid.
I sketched out roughly the idea for the card design and a sample of the tile design I want to recreate. It’s a combination of stars, a circle, and a hexagon. So let’s get started!
Open Adobe Illustrator CC, and hit Control-N to create a new document.
Select Profile: Basic RGB.
In the Units drop-down menu, select Millimeters and enter 250 mm for Width and Height, and Name your file “Eid_Greeting“. Click OK.
Click on the Advanced button, make sure RGB, Screen (72ppi) is selected, and check Align New Objects to Pixel Grid. Click OK.
Once the file is open, View > Show Grid. Then select View > Snap to Grid.
The grid needs to be customized to the artboard, so we need to edit it. Go to Illustrator > Preferences > Guides & Grid and in the Gridline every box write 25 mm, and write 6 in the Subdivisions
2. Pattern Design
First let’s create the tile for our pattern, and then the rest is easy.
In my sketch I had two six-pointed stars in a circle and enclosed in a hexagon.
Select the Ellipse Tool (L) with Fill to None and black Stroke, hold down
the Option and Shift keys, and drag to constrain your selection. Snap the ellipse to two square subdivisions of the grid. Each square division is 25 mm, so the diameter of your circle would be 50 mm. If you select Window > Info, you can view the exact dimensions of the Width & Height of your selection.
Next we need to create the two six-pointed stars within the circle.
To make a 6-pointed
star, select the Star Tool, and click once in the center of the ellipse, to center the star and open the Star dialog box.
Make Radius 1: 25 mm (half the diameter of our ellipse), Radius 2: 8mm, and Points: 6.
Go to Window > Stroke, to open the Stroke panel.
Select Cap: Round Cap and Corner: Round Join, so the pointy ends of the star do not exceed the ellipse border.
Next with the 6-point star selected, Copy (Command-C), Paste in Front (Command-F). Then Object > Transform > Rotate. The Rotate dialogue box
will appear; make Angle: 90 degrees.
With the Selection Tool (V), select the elements of the two six-point stars and the circle, and apply a 5 pt Weight to the Stroke, from the Stroke panel.
Then select the Cap: Butt Cap, Corner: Miter Join, and apply a Limit of 4x, so the corner edges are sharp for the inner dodecagon.
Select the three objects with the Selection Tool (V).
Object > Expand. Make sure Fill and Stroke are checked, and OK.
Open the Pathfinder panel: Window > Pathfinder, and select Shape Modes: Unite, to create a compound shape.
Select the Rectangle Tool (M) with a white Fill and black Stroke, hold down
the Alt and Shift keys to constrain the selection, and draw a rectangle around the circular pattern.
Next, with the Selection Tool (V), drag over both objects to select them, and click on Pathfinders: Divide.
Take the Direct Selection Tool (A), and select the outer excess shape, then Delete.
Then with the Selection Tool (V), select our object and Object > Ungroup (Shift-Command-G ), so we can color each element separately.
Let’s color our tile pattern.
With the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the elements in the pattern you want in the same color group.
Apply a Fill color of your choice, with Stroke to None. Then group the same color fill elements together. Object > Group (Command-G).
Do the same with the rest of the elements.
Make sure that each element is grouped to its corresponding color choice, and with Stroke to None.
Select all the elements with the Selection Tool (V), and then Object > Pattern > Make. Our new pattern will automatically appear, but it needs to be edited in the Pattern Options dialog box.
Choose how to lay out the tiles. Hex by Row will place the tile in a hexagonal shape and arrange it in rows. The tiles in the row will center in horizontal alignment, with the alternate rows vertically aligned.
Next, specify the overall height and width of the tile. Change the Width to 50 mm and Height 58 mm.
You will need to experiment with various values,
smaller or larger than the height and width of the artwork, to reach the pattern you desire.
Next we need to fill the triangular space between the circular patterns.
Remove Snap to Grid so we can create a three point star in the empty triangular space. View > Snap to Grid (Command-Shift-”).
Next choose a color Fill and Stroke of 4 pt.
Select the Star Tool, and click once on the top left corner on the hexagon grid.
The Star dialog box will appear. Enter:
Radius 1: 4.5 mm
Radius 2: 1.2 mm
With the star selected, Object > Expand, with Object, Fill and Stroke selected, and click OK.
Select the Direct Selection Tool (A), and give the two elements each a different color. I kept the thick borders the same color tone.
With the Selection Tool (V), select the three-point star, hold down the Alt-Shift keys, and drag the object to the bottom left corner of the hexagon grid.
Object > Transform > Rotate, and the Rotate dialog box will open.
Make the Angle 180 degrees, and align the center to the hexagon grid corner. Click OK.
Once you are done, click Done from the bar in the Control Panel to save the New Pattern.
Once a pattern is created, it is
stored in the Swatches panel.
If you wish to edit the New Pattern again, then open the Swatches panel: Window > Swatches, and double click the swatch pattern, to edit.
File > Save (Command-S) and OK.
Select the pattern tile object we created and delete it; we no longer need it.
Once we’ve set up
our tile pattern, all we need to do is to fill our background.
Select the Rectangle tool (M), and with our New Pattern Fill draw a rectangle around the artboard.
Once you do that, take the Rectangle Tool (M), select a color Fill of your choice, and draw another rectangle around the artboard. Then Send to Back (Command-