Retro Triangle Pattern Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

Retro Triangle Pattern Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

everyone Chris here from Spoon Graphics back
with another video tutorial for Adobe Illustrator. Today we’re going to use Illustrator’s powerful
vector tools to make a retro style triangle pattern, which seamlessly repeats a series
of randomly coloured shapes to cover an infinite size. Being vector artwork means the result is crisp
and sharp, and can even be resized and re-coloured to suit different applications, all without
affecting the overall quality as it would a pixel based pattern. So begin by opening up Adobe Illustrator and
create a new document. The size doesn’t really matter too much, but I’ve chosen a horizontal
A4 layout. Select the Polygon tool, then click anywhere
on the artboard to enter a specific shape size. Enter 30px for the Radius, then reduce
the number of sides to 3 to form a triangle. Drag this shape to the upper left region of
the document, then go to the View menu and turn on Smart Guides. These little green tooltips
will make it easy to accurately align and snap the shapes together. Hold the ALT and Shift keys while dragging
a copy of the triangle to the right, allowing it to snap exactly next to the original. Repeatedly press CMD+D, which is the shortcut
for Transform Again to produce a series of perfectly aligned shapes. Draw a selection around all the shapes, then
go to Edit>Copy and Edit>Paste in Place. Rotate the whole set by 180 degrees, while
holding the Shift key to constrain the angle. Move these upside down shapes sideways slightly
so they fit together perfectly with the original line. Draw a new selection around all the shapes,
then hold the Alt and Shift keys while dragging a copy vertically. Align them to the underside
of the originals. Draw another selection around all the shapes
and make another duplicate, this time copying two lines at a time. From now on the CMD+D shortcut can be used
to fill out the rest of the artboard with a series of tessellating triangle shapes. In order to create a vibrant pattern, we need
a nice colour scheme. I like to quickly search to find a nice palette to
work with. Take a screenshot to quickly paste the sample into Illustrator. Draw a little rectangle, then drag a duplicate
with the Alt key. Press CMD+D to duplicate it enough times to match the number of colours
in the palette. Use the Eyedropper tool to sample the colours
from the screenshot, holding shift to allow the colour to be picked from the image. Fill
each rectangle shape to form a series of temporary swatches, then delete the screenshot image. With the Selection tool selected, hold the
Shift key and randomly click across the artboard to add multiple shapes to the selection. Switch to the Eyedropper tool, then click
on the first colour swatch to load its appearance and apply it to this first shape selection. Go to Object>Lock>Selection, or press
the shortcut CMD+2 to lock these shapes to avoid accidentally selecting them again. Rather than manually switching back to the
Selection tool, holding the CMD key will also toggle the Eyedropper back to the selection,
which is a nice time saver. Hold both the CMD key and the Shift key and randonly select
a bunch of new shapes. Release the CMD key, which will revert back
to the Eyedropper, allowing you to sample the next colour in the palette. Don’t forget
to hit CMD+2 to Lock these shapes now they’ve been coloured. Continue selecting a series of random triangles,
then apply the next colour from the palette, and so on, until the entire design is colourised. Once you get to the last colour, simply start
again and keep alternating between the colours until there aren’t any shapes left. It can be a bit of a tedious process, especially
if you’re covering quite a large area like this. It would have been much quicker to work
with a smaller area, but you get the best results with less obvious repetition in the
pattern by putting in some hard work. Once you’ve filled all the shapes, go to Object
>Unlock All, then check for any concentrations of any one particular colour. Each shape can be individually selected and
given an alternative fill to mix up the colours to eliminate any blocks that have formed. The pattern itself is complete, but you probably
don’t want to go through the whole process again to either recreate it, or fill an even
larger area, so let’s create a pattern swatch that can be used to fill an infinite area. Select the rectangle tool, then use the Smart
Guides to find the point of one of the triangles. Extend the rectangle out and match it up to
a similar point further along the design, capturing a large portion of the artwork within
its confines. Switch back to the selection tool and draw
a selection around the entire pattern, then click the Crop button from the Pathfinder
panel to trim it down to the size of the rectangle. Currently the pattern won’t repeat because
there’s some mis-matching colours where the edge triangles have been split down the middle.
Use the Eyedropper tool to individually select and recolour the edge shapes so they’re the
same colour as those on the opposite side. Drag a copy of the pattern and snap it to
the edge of the original to test whether it repeats seamlessly. The pattern will already
repeat vertically, but a quick test will help you check for any unwanted colour blocks. Drag the pattern into the Swatches panel,
then this new swatch can be applied as the fill of any shape for it to infinitely repeat. One of the age-old annoyances of Adobe Illustrator
is the tiny white line that appears on patterns. Don’t worry though, this is just a common
visual glitch. You can see that the line disappears when you zoom in, which means it won’t show
on the final export or in the print file. The uses for patterns like this are never-ending.
They’re great for covering various types of products, creating part of a brand identity
which could be used on the backgrounds of brochures and business cards, or they simply
make nice pieces of artwork for posters or wallpapers. So I hope this tutorial helped you learn some
new techniques in Adobe Illustrator. If it did, a thumbs up to help share the video with
your friends would really help out. If you want to see more be sure to check out the
rest of my channel, or stop by at my website for loads of written tutorials and free design
resources. So as always thank you very much for watching,
and I’ll see you in the next one!

57 thoughts on “Retro Triangle Pattern Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

  1. Hey Chris! In case you didn't know, you can use the eyedropper tool on colors in a window outside illustrator so you don't have to take a screenshot! Never stop making videos <3

  2. Man, you are such a talented designer, love this channel so much, learn a lot from it ❤️

  3. Hello there mate, I have a wierd kind of issue with crop tool, after I crop the pattern to match the rectangle size it leaves this wierd kind of bar at the bottom like on this picture which kinda ruins the entire vertical of the patern, do you maybe know how to remove that bar?
    Btw thanks for the video guide, it's amazing 🙂

  4. I followed this method and the triangles do not fit in each other seamlessly. If you zoom in the tips always pop out a little even though i make sure to use shift when making the shape. I check the lines using CTRL Y and they dont intersect at every edge.
    I also tried making triangles using a hexagon and drawing a horizontal line, copying it and rotating it by 60 degrees to make the triangles and i still get the same problem.
    Any advice please?

  5. Love this design? Get the t-shirt!

  6. thank you very much for tutorial. but when i put my pattern on swatches area, it stays there only when i work in the document where i was creating thepattern. when i start to create new doc, there's no my new pattern on swatches pannel. how to save it so that i could see the pattern in any time? is it possible?

  7. Am I the only one that noticed the darker line around the red triangle? How do you get rid of this darker line to create a more seamless pattern? I get it between the hex colors CD1F35 and 009888 when they are next to each other. Working in CMYK 300dpi for print and don't want that nasty line there. Any suggestions?

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