Creating Trendy Abstract Patterns in Illustrator

Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand, Graphic Design & Photography

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16 Lessons (42m)
    • 1. Introduction & Overview

      0:51
    • 2. Approaches to Abstract Patterns

      1:55
    • 3. File Setup

      2:52
    • 4. Creating Pattern Elements: Line Segments

      2:43
    • 5. Creating Pattern Elements: Zigzags

      1:58
    • 6. Creating Pattern Elements: Wavy Lines

      1:38
    • 7. Creating Pattern Elements: Squiggles

      2:03
    • 8. Creating Pattern Elements: Organic Shapes

      1:08
    • 9. Creating Pattern Elements: Geometric Shapes

      1:48
    • 10. Customising Elements with Stroke Settings

      3:02
    • 11. Arranging Elements

      5:53
    • 12. Randomising Patterns

      2:23
    • 13. Creating a Repeatable Pattern

      6:51
    • 14. Colouring Patterns

      3:25
    • 15. Saving Swatches & Exporting Patterns

      1:51
    • 16. Final Thoughts & Conclusion

      1:34
83 students are watching this class

Project Description

Create your own abstract patterns in Neo-Memphis style

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Decide on what approach you want to take when designing your patterns:

  • if you just want to experiment, jump right in and start creating pattern elements;
  • if you want your elements to symbolise something or tell a story, then quickly think about your theme and think what elements would suit your best.

Think about what you want to use your patterns for, this can determine the scale of your elements, but since you'll be working in vector you can scale your elements up or down at any time.

Make sure you do some research into abstract patterns (in Neo-Memphis style) and don’t hesitate to check out our Abstract Patterns research board on Pinterest to get started.

Develop your patterns:

  • Experiment with creating a range of pattern elements using different techniques in Illustrator;
  • Experiment with arranging your patterns and randomising them;
  • Create a repeatable seamless pattern out of your elements;
  • Gather suitable colours which inspire you and apply them to your patterns.

Upload the following into you class project:

  • your patterns's arrangement & colour variants work-in-progress previews if you want to receive feedback on how to develop your patterns;
  • 1 or more final chaotic pattern;
  • 1 or more final repeatable seamless pattern;
  • a set of pattern elements (optional);
  • colour moodboard (optional);
  • previews of your patterns' applications (optional);
  • a few words about what you want to use your patterns for, your process and what you have learnt.

Research & Reference:

Abstract Patterns — our research & inspiration board on Pinterest

Trend Alert: 1980s Memphis Design — article about Neo-Memphis style on Creative Market

Memphis Group — a set of articles about the original movement on the Design Museum website

The return of Memphis — article about the return of the style on Dezeen

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