Guilloché Patterns in Illustrator

    ●   Guilloché patterns consist of repetitive swirling shapes and they are easy to do in Illustrator.

Learn About:

Pucker & Bloat Blending Modes Swatches

  •   This tutorial is part of the Free Trade Project and CD Cover Project.

Other People's Work:

Here are examples inspired by this tutorial.


Step #1: Open Your Project in Illustrator ~

Open YOUR CURRENT PROJECT in Illustrator



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

… make a New Layer

… and drag that layer just above your background layer.

Step #2:  Draw a Circle ~

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

… hold + pull from the center to create a perfect circle.

Step #3:  Stroke Weight ~

Apply a 0.5 Stroke Weight to your shape and remove no fill the fill.

stroke weight

Step #4:  Pucker ~

With the circle selected, go to: Effect > Distort & Transform > Pucker & Bloat

… and change it to around 90 or so.


Step #5:  Distort and Transform ~

Then go to: Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform, set the number of copies, click Preview so you can see what you're doing …

… and adjust the angle to get an effect you like.

Step #6:  Scale and Random ~

Now try adjusting the Horizontal Scale

… and try Random, too.

Step #7:  Keep going ~

There's no exact settings, just keep trying different adjusts until you get something you like

Step #8: Expand Appearance ~

Go to: Object > Expand Appearance to turn the design into a single object.

Step #9: Clipping Mask ~

Get the Pen Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (p) …

… draw a box the same size as your larger shape.

Step #10: Selection Tool ~

Get the Selection Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (v) …

Step #11: Select Both Shapes ~

Select both shapes by Shift + Clicking them.

Step #12: Clipping Mask ~

Then go to: Object > Clipping Mask > Make or hit the keyboard shortcut: Cmd(⌘)+7

Step #13: Blending Modes ~ 

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 ~

Save your work as -]

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.