Patterns? The’re cool, beautiful and really useful! Have you always wondered how they are made though? Adobe Illustrator is a great tool for this and provides amazing help with arranging, multiplying and duplicating your design elements for some fantastic results in no time.
In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to create a personalized pattern for some great looking wrapping paper !
So here you have a simple example of a summer themed wrapping paper. Being inspired by the tutorial on DigitalArts we tried to keep it simple. The key element is having a design made of multiple objects on a plain background rather than having the whole tile made of objects, so once you are going to create your pattern, making your tile harmonious becomes pretty simple. We first drew our ice lollies and ice cream, but you can create amazing wrapping papers even using simple shapes.
Step 1: Setting Up the document
Open a new document in Illustrator. The size of the document is not really important unless is too small related to the objects you are going to use on your pattern.
We start creating a 600 px by 600 px document, if you want to have more visual control of the space in your pattern we recommend you to use the grid (View > Show Grid) now you need to create a 300 px by 300 px square by selecting the rectangular shape tool, single click and you can type in the values.
The square must not have any color filling and no stroke. So we can avoid the problem of overlapping squares over the elements when we make the pattern.
Step Two: Placing The Objects
To make a pattern you need a bunch of elements, they can be simple shapes, lines or more complex objects, the only rule to follow is that they have to be vector images, you can even sketch some doodles and then convert them into vectors.
For this tutorial we chose a summer theme.
Now you can place all you elements inside the square, the order doesn’t matter, you can even overlap the elements. Then with the Selection Tool you select all the elements and click on Object > Pattern > Make.
On the options window Size Tile to Art needs to be unticked, Move Tile with Art ticked. Tile Type we use Grid, with Brick Offset: 1/2 to create a really pleasant final result. You can leave all the other options as by default.
Now you can start moving your elements, avoiding the overlap between each other, inside the tile; you can see how you can go across the edge to create a harmonious effect, you can resize any single element if you don’t need to constrain the proportions among the elements.
Once you are happy with your result you can save the Pattern you just created by clicking Done on the top grey bar.
Now you have your pattern in the Swatches Window, you can create a square (but you can apply the pattern to any shape you want) to fill the art-board of 600 px by 600 px and apply a really subtle fill color, we chose a really light teal, then you copy and paste in place the square (Ctrl C + Ctrl F on Win, Cmd C + Cmd F on Mac) this time you choose as fill color the swatch with the pattern we just made.
You can modify the pattern anytime you want by double clicking the pattern swatch in the Swatches window.