Creating Geometric Shapes with Ease | Lindsay Marsh | Skillshare

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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

    • 1.

      Class Preview


    • 2.

      Diamond Shape and Gradients


    • 3.

      Polygon Shapes


    • 4.

      3-D Cube Patterns


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About This Class

Want to create cool geometric shapes? 

We will conquer three distinct geometric designs. 

We will start slowly and begin with a simple diamond shape. We will review how use “snap to grid” in adobe illustrator to easily create these shapes. 

Next we will cover polygon shapes and design one with a texture background. 

Lastly, we will do a 3d cube pattern that we can use as a background or texture. 

So let’s learn together!

Meet Your Teacher

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Lindsay Marsh

Over 500,000 Design Students & Counting!


I have had many self-made titles over the years: Brand Manager, Digital Architect, Interactive Designer, Graphic Designer, Web Developer and Social Media Expert, to name a few. My name is Lindsay Marsh and I have been creating brand experiences for my clients for over 12 years. I have worked on a wide variety of projects both digital and print. During those 12 years, I have been a full-time freelancer who made many mistakes along the way, but also realized that there is nothing in the world like being your own boss.

I have had the wonderful opportunity to be able to take classes at some of the top design schools in the world, Parsons at The New School, The Pratt Institute and NYU. I am currently transitioning to coaching and teaching.

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Level: Beginner

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1. Class Preview: Do you want to see how I create geometric shapes? We will conquer three distinct geometric designs. We'll go slowly and start with a simple diamond shape. Will review how to use the snap different feature an adobe illustrator to easily create these shapes. Next, we'll cover polygon shapes and design one with a cool textured background. Lastly, we'll do a three D Q pattern that we could use is a background or texture, so let's learn together. 2. Diamond Shape and Gradients: So as we're creating different shapes and illustrator, I wanted to go over something that's really popular right now, and that's geometric shapes. And these could be easily built by using a grid system. So you're just some quick examples, like kind of created an illustrator just now the simple geometric shapes can look really need. So I'm going to show you exactly had a creek that so I have our grid shown. I went up to view and there's a good high grid. Get a good view and show grid kind of show you how I pulled that up. And here's kind of the trick. So I'm taking my pen tool, and I'm just gonna trace a simple box trying to be as precise as I can. But do it quickly, so you'll notice how it's not a very good square. I did the best I could the eyeball it, but it's not perfect. I want a perfect square, especially when I'm making geometric shapes. So I'm actually gonna go up and click on Snap to Grid. So you see that option right here? It's right under hide grid. I got a snap to grid. So now I'm gonna take my pin tool. So now it's gonna snap it along the grid. So I'm gonna go ahead and click once, and it's gonna actually Onley select certain options that are on the grid. So really helps you to be more precise. So if I want to do a perfect triangle, click here. Click your real quick and it'll automatically snap to the point. So now when I do a path, go ahead and zoom in a little bit. You could see how it it's really an excellent triangle. So any time you want to be precise, that snap to grid is very important. Sometimes when I'm doing war curves and loose shapes, the snap to grid can kind of get annoying. So I actually unclip kit, and then I'm able to kind of be more creative in terms of curbs. But when I'm doing precise shapes, I love snap to grid. Um, so we can create triangle this way. Look how how easy it waas because it's snapping to the grid for me. I'm gonna do it opposite triangle. And there you go. Very simple. Could do a diamond with a click right here. Just do all for port corners. And it's a simple is that so when a practice little bit By doing this diamond shape, I just went ahead and copied and pasted from the local. I did before. And so I'm just gonna use this as a guide to go ahead and sketch the South. So I'm gonna grab the pin tool. And just as a reminder, I have my snap to grid set on that's gonna help us here. I think it's Ah, four squares up. So I'm gonna click in the middle here, and I'm just gonna create a diamond shape. I'm gonna go up two squares kind of diagonal, go across and then two squares back down here to kind of make it symmetrical. And I'm actually gonna go ahead and switch this to let me go ahead and make this a solid color. I think it's on sort of radiant right now, So I'm gonna go in my color panel here. I'm just gonna pick kind of a random color spit green, and I got to go over here and I'm gonna toggle the stroke. Something click that toggled a stroke and let me go to my stroke option panel and let's go ahead and increase the thickness. Just a tad. That's pretty cool. But I want to add a little bit of geometry, a little bit of three d nous by adding a couple of triangles. We're gonna go back and grab Arpin Tool, and I'm just gonna simply make two triangles. And the great thing about snap the point is, it does all the work for you. So I'm just gonna kind of move it around till I get a nice angle. I'm gonna complete my shape and see the circles. I'm completing my shape. Let's do it again on the other side, let's do another triangle. So I'm really just making three shapes put together to make, um, this diamond. So we're running into a little problem here. When we go ahead and zoom in, you'll notice how we have these little sharp edges. It's not very flattering. We want to have that be smooth. So let's go ahead. I'm just gonna drag and select all my selection tool. And when you go over to your stroke panel, I'm gonna go and pull it out seeking could see what option panel I'm talking about. If you go over to corner and you click on rounded corner round join. You'll notice it will actually change the corners from sharp to round and notice how it has a nice appearance. Now it kind of gets with those jagged, sharp edges. So let's go and pull it back and put the round, so that looks much better. Go ahead and drag that back over and something happened with our shape here. I don't think I did it quite right. I think I need toe pull that down a little bit, so no problems. You take my direct selection tool, grab this anchor point and let's see it's snapping two grids. It's gonna automatically bring it down to that point. And so there's my diamond shape, so that's neat. But I want to have it have a shiny appearance like this over here. See how it has that kind of greedy int. This is a great lesson ingredients. So before I'm able to right now, it's set on stroke so I can change the solid color. That's no problem, but what if I want to add a radiant? So now that we've kind of done all this, we no longer need the grid and we don't need to have the snap two point on because that's gonna bother us as we start doing some other work. So I gotta go up to view Let's go ahead and hide the grid. Go back up and we're gonna take snap to grid off just for the moment. So now we're ableto freely moving around. There's no snapping to the points or to the grid eso I want to change us to a cool metallic look. So right now it's on stroke, and so a great thing to do to be able to apply Ingredient Let's go and go to our radiant panel. This is our grading panel. I'm gonna click on whatever's on the default Grady in, which is usually like a black to white. It's already kind of have a metallic Grady int set up, but usually by default, it said on this Grady int right here, look good right here. This is what you'll see when you click on the radiant panel, and if you want to add different Grady INTs, you can go over to your swatches. Already have some letter loaded that I've created on their son by default. It's loaded Um, but if he ever wanted to load some defaults, watches, that's a really neat gold kind of grainy, and I loaded in, but you go down here to your libraries menu and let's go ahead and bring in Let's bring in , Go down Big Radiance and you can't see it's off the screen. But I'm just gonna click on color combinations, and so you have a wide a range of default radiance that we can use. I want to bring in some metallics, so I'm gonna go back down to Radiant. I think there's one that says, Metals, There we go when you play around with this and oh, that's a nice copper. I like that one. So what I want to do is have the Grady int all be. See how it's treating. It's applying ingredient to each one of these shapes, but in different directions so you can kind of see where the shapes overlap. I wanted to be one continuous shape. Looks like it's one line design. We're gonna go ahead and select it all, and I'm gonna go ahead and select my Grady int tool over here and notice how I have kind of a no sign. Can't do it. Sign right there, right next to my arrow. Um, how to prevent that is I need to outline the stroke. And so that's gonna be a very simple process, is something you're gonna have to memorize. You go to object, go down to path an outline stroke. That's how you can find that. So when I outlined the stroke here, it's gonna make it an object instead of a stroke. Now it's Phil. Eso What's great about this is I have the power to add the Grady in only one direction. So I'm gonna go back and select my Grady int tool, and that's with a click of drag to be able to apply the Grady int. And you can click and drag a different angles to kind of let the grating it load in a different way. So I usually like to do kind of an angle from left to right. If I were to do a straight left to right, it looks a little fake, but if I add a little angle to it looks a little more realistic going to do a tight radiant . We can kind of see the transitions that are very harsh or a smooth grain which could be very long click and drag, which is what I want to go for so you could see how it looks like all one continuous shape . It doesn't look like it's three triangles put together, so that's great. 3. Polygon Shapes: So let's continue to make some fun geometric shapes. So I have my grid shown to view show grid, and I actually want to take for this particular shape I'm getting ready to do. I'm actually gonna take snap to grid all So I'm gonna click it off and I'm gonna grab one of my favorite shapes. And that's the polygon tool that's gonna create a simple polygon. And I just have a simple stroke. Two point stroke. And the reason I took snap to grid off is this Polygon does not fit perfectly in this grid system, and it's off a little bit. It's not a perfect square, so I'm just taking it off so it doesn't get in the way of snapping two points that are not even on the shape. Okay, so what are my favorite things to do? Let me go ahead and grab the pin. Tool is this has six different points and what looks really cool Geometric shapes is doing other shapes inside that are divisible by the amount of different points. So if there's six different points that make up this shape or six sides Ah, what's divisible by 63 so that would be a triangle. So let's try to do a couple of triangles in this piece. And I like to rotate my polygon a little bit. So I'm gonna go to object. Transform, and I would have rotated just by 90 degrees. So has the points on the top. I just think it looks cooler that way. So now I'm gonna do every other point and make a triangle, so I'll start with this point. Skip that one. Go to this point just like that. And, um, there's the trick I need to select. All need to go over to my stroke panel and do. Let's see, is it round caps are actually it's ground join. So right here on corner, take away the sharp edges that don't look very clean. So let's continue. Can it kind of player on Let's do the opposite side. So let's do the three remaining corners that are not selected yet, so that's kind of a neat shape. Ah, we can continue to play around with other options. Um, so let's do some random corners here, so let's do maybe an ex between this top corner, this bottom one, this kind of experiment here so that's kind of a neat shape. I can select everything. I'm gonna hold down, shift and de select this outside Pentagon polygon shape. And I'm gonna make this a little bit skinnier because all this this thought stroke. Wait, It's just too thick. So I make. If I make the insides a little bit smaller, let's say 1.5 points. It looks a little cleaner, so you have a thick outside border with more thin strokes on the inside. I feel I can get away with more detail. If the strokes air a little bit, then a little bit more thin. So that's kind of one shape we created. I can select all go to object Path outlined my strokes, just grouping them together. And there we go. Let me add a little bit of a little texture. Get my Grady int. I think this one look better. Gold. I might have to work on my gold a little bit. Let's zoom out, go ahead and grab this dark background. I think that's gonna look the best going to send that to the back. There's our little shape. I can go in and detail my ingredients. Do an angle that that looks better and there's a cool shape and actually what I might do, I would go back and maybe make the lines just a hair skinnier on the inside. So there's one shape done with him up here. If anyone is curious about how I added that cool gold texture and the intro of this video, I'm gonna show you how really quickly. I'm in photo shop and I just dragged my little geometric shape from illustrator to photo shop and I have this little texture I found online. I'm dragging it over top and then the layer system. I'm just moving my shape above it and I'm gonna get the selection tool gonna get the let's seals to the Magic Wand Tool. And I was going to select our shape goto our shape layer number selected in shape and make sure it's all selected right. I was gonna go down to my gold texture layer, copy and paste. Go ahead and remove a couple layers and Walla. So let's try a different variation of the same polygon shape. Some good crowd the polygon tool hold down shift and already have it on stroke, which is great gonna go up to transforms. Gonna rotate it 90 degrees. Were you to the similar steps that we just followed with? The other one grabbed my pen tool. And I have I have is actually to snap the point. I don't have it to snap to grid and I'm gonna destroy awesome simple triangles. And there's my 1st 1 And here's my 2nd 1 and I'm just going to draw a couple of points here . So I'm gonna drawn X across Just doing an X on this center. What looks like a rectangle shape right here in that area. Too strong it x connecting those corners. So here's the trick. I'm going to select all of these elements and I'm gonna grab my shape, Builder, tool. And you can also do the same thing with the Pathfinder tool. If you have an older version illustrator, that does not have the shape builder tool. So I have my shape older tool selected. I'm gonna go ahead and hold down. I'm on a Mac. I'm gonna hold down option and go ahead. And I believe it's the old key. If you're on the windows and I'm just deleting this an inner diamond shape to create kind of a very unique shape. So I'm gonna make my outside border are my polygon if I can locate it to make that a little bit thicker of a stroke and I got a select all and they gotta go and make sure I have our own around joins elected Perfect. So there's one option for a shake when we go ahead and make that group that apply a little bit of a Grady into it. Outline the stroke path, outlined strokes. And now I can apply the Grady int across the whole thing. I'm gonna go ahead and grab my dark, great texture appear. Send it to the back, and I got a whole another variation. I just created two different, very unique geometric shapes. Go ahead, make that this color as well. They could just keep experimenting, and you can create a whole line of different um, shapes that you can apply and use with logos or backgrounds. This one would be make a neat background texture. I've made that a little bit larger and let me make that a light gray. See how that works. That could be a neat background texture for power coin or social media graphic. This adds a little element. Make a little screen women brighter, or better yet, I could make it white and apply transparency to it. 4. 3-D Cube Patterns: So now we're gonna try something a little more complicated, and we're gonna create a three D cube kind of look and make it a really neat background pattern. So this is kind of the cube book that we're gonna go for with kind of the diagonal lines on one panel. So I'm gonna grab my once again polygon tool, and I'm gonna flip it rotated 90 degrees and I want to make sure the left side. So this left side matches up with the grid on the right side, The top and bottom don't matter right now. I'm gonna, uh, grab my pen tool. And I'm just gonna sketch out my three d cube. It looks like I'm almost making a diamond. You know, assess the top of my cube and these are the left and right sides of my cube. I'm just making a couple of boxes to make our shape perfect. So we just made a three D cube just like that. So now when I try to add some kind of effect of one of these panels, So I decided to go with kind of a diagonal lines because I haven't seen that yet, so Ah, quick way to do that as I'm gonna straw align using the grid tool just like that. And I get a copy and paste to make it a little skinnier. Get a copy and paste on each row to like it. Probably about 15 or so. So once I get three, I can copy and paste. Speed it up. Speed it up. I didn't have to be perfect, cause we're gonna use our A line tool to make sure they're all lined up. That's probably good enough. Go and select just this. Great. So we're gonna make sure these air all lined up with their align tool gonna go up top. Where can bring up my line tool by going to window, And I'm gonna line them all to the top, and I want to make sure they're evenly distributed. So Ah, the space here is the same as the space here, so I'm gonna click on horizontal distribute center. So now I know there's equals facing between the lines. I'm group in these guys together, and this is how I'm gonna apply it to just that one panel to make it tall. Get the angle I like, which will probably be. Maybe from this corner down to this corner, make sure we're staying precise. So you notice how this line hits this right angle and comes up and hits that right? Right angle. That's perfect. I might want to make this just ever so slightly bigger. Maybe 1.5. They're gonna just thickness, make sure it's the right amount. I'm gonna use the shape builder tools. I'm gonna go ahead and make sure all my elements are selected. Look over here to my shape. Older tool. I'm gonna hold down option key. And I believe it's the old key. If you're on a windows and I'm just gonna subtracts or all these elements I don't need and leave this panel with the diagonal lines so I can actually gonna go back and make it easier on myself and only have the lines extend to where I need them to be. Okay. And I'm gonna grab that Schapelle the tool. Hold down option key. Get that minus sign. And I'm just going to subtract people elements we don't need do groups. I might need to select those individually. I don't want to select that top box to delete that Oops. I'm gonna wait till I get that red line. Here we go, shaving everything. All the excess stuff. There's one right there. Perfect. So there's my cube and we'll be ready to make a pattern out of it next, so we can simply take this shape. We can group it already, have it grouped, and we can make a seamless pattern out of it. But I think I'm going to do something a little bit more unique and interesting. But I wanted to show you really quickly how you did, how you can make it seamless pattern out of the shape, just in case you're interested. So you go down the object pattern and make you'll be able to kind of adjust certain patterns. Um, so it's doing nine by nine. You could do a couple different arrangements that look pretty cool just depending on. Well, look, you're wanting to go for that one's need because it creates triangles within the squares within the Cube. So that's kind of neat. Um, but I'm gonna go ahead and click on grid. So do you done appear at the top and the now our pattern is saved, so let's go ahead and zoom out and I'm gonna create a square, go ahead and load my pattern in And there's our little seamless pattern We're going to something different. Let's go ahead. Delete that. I have all this junk over here was going to lead all that to do to do to do we no longer need the grid for what we're doing. So we're gonna hide Grid is getting in the way Geisel amusing back in we're gonna manually create our pattern. So I'm gonna go ahead and select all it's already grouped. If I ever want to change my pattern, I'm gonna need to outline stroke because it's good of the thickness is gonna change when I make it smaller And it's also gonna get thinner If I make it bigger, let's go to path Let's outlined the strokes Perfect. Now I'm ready to go I could make it smaller without the lines or the stroke getting thicker on me So I'm just gonna eyeball. I'm gonna zoom in here for these first couple ones. I'm sure I have it pretty precise. Although it doesn't have to be perfect. You don't want to be a computer. We want to create something that's week, but it helps to not have too much overlapping elements. So it's amount to 300 now. Now that I have four boxes, I can group those together copy and paste. When the UN group those I want to keep him ungroomed just because just in case I need to edit them individually later. I'm just mainly creating my little pattern copying, paste, copying and pasting. We're laying a scream out. Keep doing it. You'll see why we're doing this manually. I think you can have a little bit more troll are designed a little bit when we start to experiment with different options for a pattern. See a little cool pattern coming together. We can even group larger elements about 100%. This is where we can be a little more creative. We don't have toe. Have the pattern be perfect all the way. We can have it. Maybe intersect here. So you noticed how I did that? Let me see, man who does how I haven't almost coming together. I could do that again down here. Maybe they're almost coming together. And each time I do this each time I practiced, this always has a different and unique pattern to it. You never know which way which way I'm going to do it. Maybe that be appear. They come together in a different way, but they don't quite touch. Maybe they do touch. But maybe only in two spots who, maybe just barely touching on that side when we line it up looks better to the I. When they were lined up like that, we'll zoom out. Let's actually apply our background texture to this. I gotta grab this color. Go ahead and expand this out as far as we want. We can make this a horizontal instead of a portrait. It's kind of going with the flow. You can kind of see our pattern coming together here and even copy and paste. Another little element. Haven't come over here of something over here. I'm just gonna draw a couple of quick boxes just so I don't get distracted by everything outside of the art board. Here we go. I like that a lot. It's coming together, so I want to screen all this back, produce the opacity on all of these. So I'm gonna go ahead and drag select a mall. Un select my little borders I just created and un select my background. Perfect. And I'm gonna reduce Instead of reducing the opacity, I think I might just make it a darker gray color And let me group of all like that I want something in between these two swatches. So I'm just gonna do it by hand, a little darker where I could just take the eyedropper tool and sample my background gray Make it lighter that way. Ooh, that's perfect. Contrast. Let's bring my little white borders out. Let's say we want to add a little gold player So let's kind of select a random box and make it gold. I'm just gonna grab one and apply a gold radiant, maybe one that's a little bit more of a copper color. Bring this to the front and I'm gonna make that Grady in a little more smooth. So I'm gonna do a long stretch. Maybe not quite as long. Perfect. So now I'm gonna do this randomly throughout the piece. I don't know if I'm gonna like this, but I'm just trying new things to find out what works I need to UN group. All these might be better to still select all and on group. So now I can kind of select one at random. I don't want to select too many. I want to bring it to the front. So it's at the top layer going to a long ingredient. Perfect. This adds a little spice, something a little different to the pattern. Maybe. Grab that one. Maybe this top one, maybe one up top and maybe one at the bottom when we make sure those air on the top layer right click, bring the front. So if we made a seamless pattern, we wouldn't be able to do all these custom things to our background. So that's why I like to do it manually. Takes a little wild, a set of everything up perfectly. But you have more control over your design toe. Add unique elements just like this. We could even do one next to each other. I'm just gonna play around and experiment with this and see what I come up with.