Organic Spiral Pattern in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class | Helen Bradley | Skillshare

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Organic Spiral Pattern in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

teacher avatar Helen Bradley, Graphic Design for Lunch™

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

4 Lessons (26m)
    • 1. Organic Spiral Pattern Introduction A Graphic Design for Lunch Class

      1:48
    • 2. Pt 1 - Create the Touching Spirals

      10:41
    • 3. Pt 2 - Make the Pattern Swatch

      11:05
    • 4. Pt 3 - Finishing Touches Project and Wrap Up

      2:17
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About This Class

Graphic Design for Lunch™ is a series of short video courses you can study in bite size pieces such as at lunchtime. In this course you'll learn to make an organic spiral pattern in Illustrator. The design can be created in ALL VERSIONS OF ILLUSTRATOR. This is the pattern that we will make:

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Meet Your Teacher

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Helen Bradley

Graphic Design for Lunch™

Top Teacher

Helen teaches the popular Graphic Design for Lunch™ courses which focus on teaching Adobe® Photoshop®, Adobe® Illustrator®, Procreate®, and other graphic design and photo editing applications. Each course is short enough to take over a lunch break and is packed with useful and fun techniques. Class projects reinforce what is taught so they too can be easily completed over a lunch hour or two.

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Transcripts

1. Organic Spiral Pattern Introduction A Graphic Design for Lunch Class: Hello, I'm Helen Bradley. Welcome to this Graphic Design For Lunch class, Make an Organic Spiral Pattern in Adobe Illustrator. Graphic Design For Lunch is a series of classes that teach a range of tips and techniques for creating designs and for working in applications such as Illustrator, Photoshop, and Procreate. Today we're going to create an organic spiral pattern. Along the way, you'll learn some techniques for creating and working with shapes and making patterns in Illustrator. Now, because the process of doing this in earlier versions of Illustrator is really quite interesting, I'm going to show you how you can do it in any version of Illustrator. I'm not actually going to use the pattern make tool here. The reason for this is that there's so many cool tips that we can use in creating the pattern for all versions of Illustrator that I just don't want you to miss out if you're using Illustrator CS6 and CC, which you otherwise would. We're going to make this pattern in a way that you could do it in any version of Illustrator. Now, as you're watching these videos, you will see a prompt which lets you recommend this class to others. Please, if you're enjoying the class, do two things for me. Firstly, give it a thumbs up and secondly, write in just a few words about why you're enjoying the class. These recommendations help other students to say that this is a class that they too might enjoy and learn from. If you'd like to leave a comment or a question for me, then please do so. I read and I respond to all of your comments and questions, and I look at and respond to all of your class projects. If you're ready now let's get started creating an organic spiral pattern in all versions of Illustrator. 2. Pt 1 - Create the Touching Spirals: To get started with our spiral pattern, we're going to create a new document. I'm going to choose File New. At this point, it's important that you make a fixed size square document. Make it 300 pixels by 300 pixels in size. I'm using RGB color mode. I've got Allow New Objects to Pixel Grid turned off because that's going to bite you if you have that turned on, things aren't going to move as well as you would like them to. I'll just click ''OK''. This is my work area and into this I'm going to price my spirals. So I want my spirals to have a stroke but no fill. So I'm going to make sure I turn fell off and stroke can just be black for now. I'm going to the Spiral Tool and it shares a toolbar position with the Line Segment Tool, but it's a spiral tool we want. I'm going to click once in my document. I'm going to use these settings, a radius of 50 pixels, a decay of 80 percent and 10 segments and I'm also going to pick a style. It doesn't matter which style you do to start off with. I'll click ''OK''. Illustrator creates a spiral with those settings. I'm just going to move it back into the work area. Everything that you create right now has to be inside this boundary, no part of it can be over the edge. You don't want anything like this. I'm going to increase the stroke on this and I'm going to increase it to about four pixels. That'll give me a nice heavy spiral. Now, before you go on at this point, you'll need to check your Illustrator preferences. On a Mac, you click Illustrator and then choose Preferences. On a PC, Edit and Preferences. You'll go to General. You want to make sure that this option is deselected, Scale, Strokes and Effects. You don't want it selected because if it is selected, then when you make your spirals different sizes, you're stroke is going to adjust accordingly and we want it consistent with stroke all the time. Disable this option and set your keyboard increment at this stage to about half a pixel. That's a pretty good value and click ''OK''. Now we're going to duplicate this spiral and we can do it a number of ways. We can click on the Spiral Tool, click on the document and click ''OK. That's going to create another spiral, or we can select the first spiral or any of the others and hold Alt or Option on the Mac as we drag a duplicate away and you want a few of those spirals. I'm thinking probably about five going in this direction. Then go and select your spiral tool again, click on your document, change the style and click ''OK'' and that'll give you a series of spirals that all go in the other direction. Then you want to select the spiral with the selection tool and then hold Alt or Option as you drag a duplicate away and you want a few duplicates. Now right now I'm putting them over the edge, but I know I have to bring them back in shortly. Finally, I'm going to create some really small spirals. So I'm going back to my spiral tool, and this time I'm going to set my radius to a small value of about 25. I probably want a couple of less segment, so I'll select eight and click ''OK''. That's the smallest spiral. Again, I'll choose the selection tool and then Alt or Option drag a few of these spirals away and then I'll go and create it going in the opposite direction. Click on the Spiral Tool, click on the document, reverse the direction, and then go and get a few duplicates of this. We now have the spirals that we're going to start to work with. What we want to do is we want to move these spiral so that they're touching each other. I've just moved this one down here so it's overlapping the end of this one, and now it's touching this one. These are all looking pretty good. I'm going to select this one and rotate it. Now I can also resize that if I wish, but I'm just going to pull it down into this position. I can also nudge it just using the keyboard arrows. That's why we set the nudge up to about 0.5 of a pixel so these things would move nicely. I'm just going to move this around, but making sure that nothing crosses this edge here. If it's going to cross the edge, I'm going to move it in or I'm going to knock an end of it. Well this one is going over the edge, let's look at this one. I'm going to the direct selection tool. I'm going to select over the very last anchor point here and just press Delete. Now it's less one anchor point and it's fitting in the document, so it's critical that everything is inside the edges of this document. This is a bit of a zen process. It takes a little bit of time to do, but what you're going to do is attack every single spiral and just rotate it and make sure that you size it and place it so that at its end, this end over here is over the top of another line, so that's buried in that line. You want to do a bit of rotation because you don't want all your spirals to look exactly the same. I'm just going to work at this because as I said, it's a fairly zen process. It will take some time to do and I'll stop when there is something that I want to talk to you about. But otherwise I'm going to continue to work and just fill this document with spirals. Here I want to stop and have a look at this spiral. You can see this spiral is coming around, but it's not quite meeting this spiral here. Well, I can go to the direct selection tool and select this point, and I can move it. I'm moving just the point using the arrow keys. Having moved it, I can now adjust its handle just to continue the spiral shape. Sometimes you may need to do that just to make sure you're spirals line up. Also look at this spiral. You see that the center of it is really tight in comparison to these other spirals. Well you can again go to the direct selection tool, locate the inner most anchor point here and again press Delete just to open up the middle spirals. Now I've got my spirals in position and they're all inside the edge of this art board. There are none of them that are even touching the edge of the art board, and certainly none of them over the edge. I've also got a good mix of really large spirals and really small ones. So I'm ready to go ahead to the next step. In the next video, we're going to start working with making our pattern from the spirals. 3. Pt 2 - Make the Pattern Swatch: We're now ready to turn this set of spirals into a repeating pattern. To do so, we're going to start by resetting an Illustrator preference. On the Mac, you'll go to Illustrator choose Preferences and General. On the PC, Edit, Preferences and then General. What you're going to do is reset the Keyboard Increment to half the width of your document. Now you remember we started with a 300 pixel by 300 pixel square. We did that for a really good reason. Firstly, it's a square and secondly it's a known value. So what we're going to do is set the Keyboard Increment to half of 300 pixels, which is 150 pixels. So just type in 150 px. That's all you need to do at this point and click Okay. Now, what's going to happen or what we just did was we set the arrow keys to move a 150 pixels every time we hit them. So any shape that we select now and click the arrow key, for example, this one here. Let me just select it with the Selection tool and press the arrow key, and it's just shot 150 pixels to the right. Now you want to make sure that you don't do that until you're ready to take this step. What you're going to do is you're going to select over everything. So go to the Selection tool and select everything. Now press the left arrow key and everything has moved 150 pixels to the left, and then tap the down arrow key. So everything has moved a 150 pixels down. So it's going to be in the bottom corner of the document. That's exactly where it should be. Now choose Edit Copy, Edit Paste in place. So we've got a second set of these spirals, exactly on top of the first, and press the up arrow key twice. What that does is it takes the duplicate of the spiral pattern that puts up in the top corner of the document, Edit Copy, Edit Paste in place. It's critical that you use paste in place at this point and then tap the right arrow key twice. You've got a duplicate of this shape now over on the right, and we're going to do it once more. Edit Copy, Edit Paste in place, and then press the down arrow key twice. If you've ever made patterns in Photoshop using the Offset Filter, this is pretty much what we're doing. We're just doing the same as you would do if you were using the Offset Filter in Photoshop. So now we can click away from this. Before we go ahead and finish this spiral pattern off, we need to reset that Keyboard Increment, otherwise, if you forget to do that and come back to Illustrator in a couple of days time, you're going to wonder what on earth is happening. So let's go back and reset that, Edit, Preferences, General and go back and set our Keyboard Increment to what it was before, mine was 0.5 pixels, and click "Okay". So now we're ready to finish off our spiral pattern. But before we do so, let's have a look and see what we can't do. What we can't do at this stage is mess with anything that is over the edge of this artboard. So for example, you don't want to mess with this shape or this shape here because it's over the edge of the artboard. But what you will want to do is fill in these little gaps. You can say that there's a shape here that's not attached, so we'll need to fix that and this one here, and this one here and this one here. But we're just going to fill in these little bits in the middle here to finish off our pattern. As I was doing when I was creating the original shape, I can borrow some of the shapes. So I'm just going to select this shape here and I'm going to Alt drag a duplicate of it away and rotate it and use it to start filling in these areas. So at this point, we're going to do exactly as we have been doing all along and this time just fill in these middle areas. When we're done with that, we'll come back and have a look at finishing off the pattern. So I'm going to speed up the video here because it's just repetitive work. I'll come back when I've done the filling in the middle bit. In this instance, I just want to extend this line, but I'm a little bit worried that I don't want to move the shape out of alignment. So I'm going to click the Pen tool here. I am going to click and drag on the end of the path here. I'm going to click and drag here. So I've added an extra point to my line. I'll press Control or Command zero to go back out. I'm going to press "Esc" to stop drawing with the Pen tool. Now this shape wasn't actually over the edge at the top of the document, but I didn't want to affect its basic shape, so I just added a little bit of extra in there using the Pen tool. When you think that you've finished your pattern, just have a good look at your artboard. What you want to make sure is that none of these spirals have tails that are not attached to something else. This one doesn't matter because it's over the edge of the artboard. Anything that is actually inside the artboard does matter. So I've now fixed up my spirals and everything is looking just perfect. I'm going to Rectangle tool. I'm going to click once on my document. What I want to do is to create a rectangle that's 300 pixels by 300 pixels, exactly the size of my artboard. I'll click "Okay". Now it's got a Stroke on it, so I'm going to set it to no Stroke and no Fill, but you can see it still selected and that's really important because we need to place it in the exact correct position. So I'm going to the Align panel. You can get the Align panel if it's not in your tools over here by choosing Window and then Align, drop down the fly out menu choose Show Options, choose Align to artboard and then center this rectangle as square over the artboard. Now it's at the top of the last stack. If we were to look in the last pallet here and open up this layer, you can see the rectangle at the very top of the stack. It needs to be at the very bottom. The quickest way to get it there is with it's still selected, choose Object, Arrange, Send to Back, and that jumps it all the way to the bottom of the last stack. I just don't recommend trying to move it there yourself because there's so many objects on this layer that are just going to get in the way as you do that. So now that we've done that, let's just zoom out, being careful not to disrupt anything as we go. I'm going to select over everything. So I'm going to the Selection tool. I'm going to select over this entire set of objects. I'm going to open up my swatches panel and I have all swatches visible. So I went here and selected Show all swatches so I can see the default pattern swatches that Illustrator gives us. What I'm going to do is drag and drop this pattern in right next to the other pattern swatches. This is my spiral pattern. I'm going to move the artboard out of the way. I'm just going to create a rectangle here. You don't actually have to do it on top of the artboard, you can just do it anyway you like. I'm going to select the Fill. I am going to my swatches panel. I am just going to click on my swatch and there is my spiral pattern. I'll choose Object, Transform, Scale. I'm going to turn off transform objects. So I don't want to re-size the rectangle, I just want to re-size the pattern. That's going to take this down to 50 percent so we can see how it's repeating. So this is our pattern. If there are any elements in the pattern that you don't like at this point, you can go back to your pattern swatch over here and make some changes to it. So if I don't really like this little area in here, I can fix it. So what I'm going to do is just go in here. I'm just going to delete this one. I think it's just a little bit extraneous. I'm just going to bring this one down, but I need to be really careful because I don't want to upset this. So let's go and see how we can do that being really, really careful. I am just going to grab the Pen tool here, just drag it down and drag it here. Hopefully, that's been careful enough. It's a little bit perilous this bit. Let's just zoom back out and let's see how we go with this. Again, this time selecting over this entire set of pattern paces with the no Fill, no Stroke rectangle at the back and just drag and drop it into the swatches panel. Select my rectangle and click to fill it with this pattern. I was careful enough, this pattern looks just fine. So you will be able to readjust your pattern, but just make sure that you're very, very careful about what you operate on within this artboard because that is your pattern pace. 4. Pt 3 - Finishing Touches Project and Wrap Up: Once you've created your pattern filled shape, if you want to change the color of the pattern, you can do so very easily. With the shapes selected, I'm going to choose Recolor Artwork. You'll see a little dash between the blacks here and you want to click on that until it becomes an arrow. Then you can double-click this color picker here and choose a different color. I'm going to choose a purply blue for my pattern and I'll click "Okay" and it's immediately recolored. If I want to add a solid color behind it, I can do so. With the pattern filled shape selected, I'm going to the appearance panel, and I'm just going to click here on "Add New Fill." This adds a second fill identical to the first. This is the one at the very top and this is the one at the very bottom. I want to go to the bottom one because I want my fill to be behind my spirals. I'm just going to open up the panel here and just choose a white fill for this shape. There you have creating your own organic spiral pattern in Illustrator. Your class project is going to be to create an organic spiral pattern like this for yourself and post an image of your pattern in use as your class project. I hope that you've enjoyed this class and that you've learnt lots and lots of things about working with Illustrator in making your own organic style patterns. As you are watching these videos, you will have seen a prompt which lets you recommend this class to others. Please, if you enjoy the class, do two things for me. Firstly, give it a thumbs up, and secondly, write in just a few words why you enjoyed this class. These recommendations will help other students to see that this is a class that they too might enjoy. If you'd like to leave a comment or a question, please do so. I read and I respond to all of your comments and questions. I look at and respond to all of your class projects. My name is Helen Bradley. Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of Graphic Design for Lunch, and I look forward to seeing you in an upcoming episode soon.