Blend Patterns in Illustrator

    ●   This tutorial creates elegant patterns that make beautiful backgrounds.

Learn About:

Pucker and Bloat Stroke and Fill Blend Modes

  •   It is part of the Free Trade and CD Cover Design Projects.

Other People's Work:

Here are examples of work inspired by this tutorial.

Step #1: Open Your Project in Illustrator ~

Open YOUR PROJECT in Illustrator



… (Remember: all these tutorials are intended to be
applied to YOUR PROJECT) …

… and make a New Layer.

new layer

Step #2: Stroke and Fill ~

Set the Fill Color to fill color none

… leave the stroke color or change it to match your color scheme.

Step #3: Ellipse Tool ~

Get the Ellipse Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (L) …

… and, holding Shift (⇧)shift key while you drag, make a perfectly round circle.

Step #4: Add Anchor Points ~

Go to: Object > Path > Add Anchor Points

add anchor points

… repeat the Add Anchor Points step until you have the desired number of points, approximately 3 or 4 times.

Step #5: Pucker & Bloat ~

Next, with the shape still selected, go to: Effect > Distort & Transform > Pucker & Bloat.

Hit the Preview check box and raise the slider to approximately 10 or until you get the shape like this …

Step #6: Copy the Shape ~

Click the shape and copy it or hit the keyboard shortcut letters: Cmd(⌘)+C

… then hit the keyboard shortcut: Cmd(⌘)+F, which pastes the shape ON TOP of the other …




… (you can't see it - but it's there!) …

… hold Alt (⌥)/Option+Shift(⇧) and squeeze the shape down to the center …

alt option key keeps the shape centered andshift keykeeps it proportional - squeezing all sides at once.

Step #7: Select Both Shapes ~

Select both shapes by dragging a box around them with the the Selection Tool selection tool

Step #8: Blend Options ~

Go to: Object > Blend > Blend Options

… select Specified Steps and set the number of specified steps to approximately 5 or whatever you want …

Step #9: Blend ~

Then go to: Options > Blend > Make or hit the keyboard shortcut: Alt (⌥)/Option alt option + Cmd(⌘) cmd key +B

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Step #10: Colors ~

Now get the Direct Selection Tool direct selection tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (a) …

… click on the inner line …

select inner line

… and change the color of the stroke from your Swatches for this project.

Do the outer ring too! Try different stuff! Make something interesting!

blend pattern example

Step #11: Colors ~

Go to: Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow and try the other effects also …

Step #12: Transparency and Opacity ~

Click Transparency or go to: Window > Transparency

… and change the Blending Mode until you get something you like.

Also, experiment with lowering the Transparency (if necessary …)

Last Step: Save and Attach ~


Attach it!

  •   ALWAYS save your projects using the following naming convention:

  •   DO NOT name your project any other way - Improperly named projects will not receive credit and you will be sad.

  •   NEVER leave your work on the desktop or depend on a flash drive - instead, save your work in a folder you can find later - preferably on a virtual drive where it can be backed up.

Other Resources: http://www.vectorguru.com/tutorials/009_certificate_and_diploma_pattern.html