Geometric Graphic Design: 8 Patterns to Power Your Next Project | DKNG Studios | Skillshare

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Geometric Graphic Design: 8 Patterns to Power Your Next Project

teacher avatar DKNG Studios, Design + Illustration

Watch this class and thousands more

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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.



    • 2.

      The Power of Patterns


    • 3.

      Dot Patterns


    • 4.

      Line Patterns


    • 5.

      Avoiding Pattern Pitfalls


    • 6.

      Pattern Strokes


    • 7.

      Overlapping Patterns


    • 8.

      Isometric Patterns


    • 9.

      Intro to Tessellations


    • 10.

      Translational Tessellations


    • 11.

      Reflection Tessellations


    • 12.

      Rotational Tessellations


    • 13.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Join powerhouse design duo DKNG Studios for an in-depth graphic design class all about creating patterns in Adobe Illustrator!

Dan Kuhlken and Nathan Goldman discovered the power of geometric pattern design after puzzling over a particularly difficult project. After lots of trial and error, at last, a graphic pattern unlocked a fresh and simple solution—and had the design team hooked! Now, they’re sharing everything they’ve learned so you can tap into the power of patterns to level up your designs and create more efficiently. 

Packed with the Illustrator tips and tricks that have made DKNG’s classes a hit with more than 125,000 Skillshare students, this class will teach you how to use standard graphic design tools to create everything from simple lines and dots to complex, eye-catching tessellations. 

Step-by-step lessons will help you:

  • Understand the principles of geometric patterns 
  • Break into the world of tessellations using the Global Edit tool
  • Troubleshoot when your pattern isn’t quite right
  • Consider color and strokes to customize your design

Plus, Dan and Nathan take you inside real-world examples, sharing the stories, experiments, and breakthroughs behind their favorite projects using patterns. 

Whether you’re looking to expand your repertoire, wow your next client, or just have fun in Adobe Illustrator, this class will change the way you approach your work. Unlock your creativity, push your technique, and take your designs into a new dimension!


To get the most out of this class, you'll need a recent version of Adobe Illustrator plus basic literacy in the program. If you're newer to Illustrator, don't worry—you'll be able to work your way up to more complex patterns by starting with the basics like lines and dots.

Meet Your Teacher

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DKNG Studios

Design + Illustration

Top Teacher

DKNG is a full service graphic design studio with a focus on the entertainment industry. We work directly with bands, venues, promoters and a range of independent and corporate clients.

Dan Kuhlken and Nathan Goldman were both drawn to music and design at an early age, but didnt combine their talents until 2005 when the duo founded a design studio with the goal of fusing these two creative avenues. The pair has found a niche in linking a personal and unique aesthetic to the worlds most talented musical artists.

With dynamically different skill sets ranging from fine art to film production, Dan and Nathan bring diverse talents and artistic perspectives to every project. DKNG strives to provide their clients with the image and recognition that they deserve. Their past client... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Introduction: I think what makes patterns captivating is that they are both aesthetic and repetitive. It's very human of us to try to find patterns in life. I think when we see it in aesthetic form, it really intrigues us. Hello, I'm Dan Kuhlken I'm one half of DKNG studios and I'm based in Los Angeles. I'm Nathan Goldman, the other half of DKNG and I'm based in Portland, Oregon. Patterns are all around us and we came to use patterns mainly as a tool for efficiency. We can work more quickly with repeating shapes. But we also came to rely on patterns just for their aesthetic value and they've become a really interesting part of a lot of our projects. Today's class is all about creating geometric patterns, simplified shapes that create a seamless swatch, that creates a whole world that you can use within your design. Everything from very simplistic like dots and lines all the way up to something more complex like a tessellation. I'll be walking you through some hands-on examples of patterns, how we use patterns in some of our actual client projects, and also how to avoid some common pattern pitfalls. If you're new to the world of patterns as we are with a lot of these examples, definitely don't be intimidated. We're going to start off with really simple approaches. You'll be able to experiment to your heart's content and make them as complex as you'd like. We're excited, you're here. Now let's get started. 2. The Power of Patterns: Welcome into the class. We're glad to have you here and today we're going to be talking about geometric patterns. Patterns can really be any type of repeating design or repeating shape. Anything that we use in our design work, we consider it a pattern if it has repetitive elements and geometric patterns, we're really just going to be focusing on using basic shapes. You're probably already familiar with seeing lots of patterns all around you and even some famous ones. Let's take a look at some examples including that tie into what we're going to be talking about in the class. This first example is a Roy Lichtenstein painting that plays on this idea of using half tone dots and we'll be creating a dot pattern like this in the class. Something completely at the other end of the spectrum is a more advanced tessellation pattern like this M. C. Escher example and Dan will be getting into some examples like this. This is another M. C. Escher example that's more of a rotational pattern and we'll be covering how to do something like that as well. Of course, there's all kinds of famous patterns in the fashion industry that you're probably aware of. Here are a few of those. Something like this houndstooth pattern is actually a tessellation and we'll explain more about what that is later in the class. Basically how the negative space from one shape occupies the positive space in the neighboring shapes. There's really no gaps at all. This is probably one of the more famous examples of a tessellation. Even something like if you'd look at an image from a newspaper super close up, you will see a pattern made up of dots. In this case, CMYK dots being used to make a color photograph of a person's face and we'll talk about how those patterns work a little bit. Even the computer screen or monitor or display that you're looking at right now has patterns involved and we'll touch on that and how it interacts with your design in the Pattern Pitfall section. Here's another example of dot patterns used in a newspaper and just how black and white dots are used to create a photograph with all different shades of gray. Even things as simple as a chain-link fence or the screen that's used for screen printing are both examples of patterns and patterns that you need to be aware of when it comes to things like moire's, which we'll talk about more in the Patterns Pitfall section. Those are just a few more well-known examples, things you might have come across and we'll touch on a lot more of those later on. Now you might be asking, if this is information that's just nice to know or can it be useful in your work? What we found is that oftentimes when we're problem-solving or trying to figure out a faster way to work in a lot of our projects, patterns are often the solution and rather than needing to place specific elements manually or just fill a large area with a repetitive design, patterns are often what we turn to. Sometimes it's just a way to get started, sometime it's a way to create the final product but either way, it's an inefficiency tool that we come back to again and again. The way we've structured this class is with real examples from our work and with each lesson, we'll be going through a different type of pattern and how we typically use it. In some cases, it's purely for efficiency's sake. You may not even realize that there is a pattern at work, but it's a way that we get the design into place. In other cases, we use patterns purely for their aesthetic value if it makes sense for that design, for a pattern to be the solution. Let's take a look at some of our own examples. In the first lesson, we are going to cover dot patterns and this is an example of a poster that we made. It was just a one-color screen print and we actually used vector dots to create this half tone feel to it to create different shades, different amounts of detail, but literally just using circular dots. Lines is another pattern that we use quite a bit to do something similar to create shading and you can see in this poster example on the left. We get different mid tones and shades and highlights of these colors, despite the fact that this poster only uses four ink colors and on the right side you can see the close up of that line pattern. We'll cover how we use that as a tool for creating shading when you have something like screen printing where you might not be able to just add more ink colors. Then we'll cover patterns strokes. Not every pattern just needs to be a fill or a large swatch. It can actually travel along paths and outlines. This project where we design playing cards was actually a perfect example of when we realized if we, for example, all the diamonds along this king's outfit, if we had to place each diamond individually and rotate each one perfectly, it would really be a challenge and be very time consuming. But on the right here you can see all this is, is a curved stroke that goes through that area and by making a diamond pattern stroke, we can just place that in there, in an automated way where we know all the geometry is perfect. We'll also be covering overlapping patterns and this fish scale, dragon scale look is going to be an introduction of when we get into more complex tessellation patterns. As you can see here, there's not really any negative space, but that's because the pattern is simply overlapping itself. This will be the introduction to creating that type of work. Similarly, isometric patterns, you can get this cube effect here and this is used just basically using angles. In this case, taking your 360 degrees, cutting it up into three pieces and you can really create all types of three-dimensional patterns using this isometric look. Then lastly, we'll get into the most complex part of the class, which is going to be about tessellation patterns. The first time we ever made a tessellation was for this Almanac project and we wanted to make this dog pattern where the negative space of one dog was actually the positive space of the neighboring dogs and that's basically what the definition of a tessellation pattern is, that there's no gaps. It's a geometric design and any gaps are filled in by the neighboring shapes, whether it's the same shape, multiple shapes. There's a lot of ways to do that. We'll get into a few examples of that later as well. If you've taken any of our other classes, you may recognize some of these types of patterns that we've covered before and we're happy that in this class we will be sharing some updated techniques. We found a few, better, faster, easier, more foolproof ways of creating some of these patterns. As far as how you approach this class, we do suggest that you take it step-by-step in chronological order because we'll be amping up the complexity as we go. But the nice thing is, with a lot of these, you can go back and spend more time on each one if you'd like. One thing that we wanted to mention is that we use Illustrator for creating these patterns because everything is editable and as you get into the early lessons, you'll start to understand things like the Global Edit tool and ways that you can really keep going back and refining your work. I would encourage you to go through each lesson step-by-step because they will build on each other. But you'll also find yourself going back to finesse things as you learn the different techniques and of course, if you find unique ways to use it in your own work or your own tips and tricks for working with patterns, please share those with us as well. That's what we're going to be getting into. Without further ado, I'm going to throw it over to Dan and he's going to get into our first pattern which is working with dots. 3. Dot Patterns: Thanks Nathan. Now we're going to talk about how to create dot patterns in Illustrator. We use dots all the time in our work, their surrounding us, in everyday life, we see them in newspapers, magazines, the CMYK process of printing this all dots. We typically use dots, both in illustrator and Photoshop. But today we're going to talk about how we use them in Illustrator specifically so they can be in vector form. We've taught this technique on a previous class in Skillshare through our 10 tips class. Back then we are still learning how to work the process, but this new technique actually cuts a couple of the steps out. There's less shapes and less steps altogether. It's a more efficient way to create the same result. Without further ado, I want to show you what a vector dot pattern looks like in one of our projects. You can see right here this is a geek poster we created. This octopus surfboard illustration is using this dot pattern that's actually all vectors. I can actually zoom in till infinity and it retains this crisp circle. If I was doing this in Photoshop, at some point it would start pixelating, so the nice thing about creating these dark patterns in Illustrator is to avoid that. Technically this could be expanded to any size you want and you wouldn't lose any resolution. You could see how something like this dot pattern can be used within art like this. By using a single color, we're actually creating this illusion of a gray tone, for example, on this surfboard. Whereas where it's not being used as just straight up the surface of the paper or a lighter color. It's almost like a way of creating different shades without actually having to use more than one color. It's nice to be able to do all of these within Illustrator and have the versatility of having everything in vector form. In order to create a dot pattern like this, all you really need to do is start off by creating a simple circle. Before we go any further, I want to go ahead and create this and turn it into a global swatch, a global color. What you need to do is just turn it into a new swatch. Make sure you have this checkmark global that will allow you to create the swatch in your swatch area. You can see right here, it has a little bit of a triangle at the bottom right. Let's say if I were to change and use these shapes in different areas of my art, and I update this swatch, all the colors will update simultaneously so that you don't have to hand-select each dot or select same color in the selection area. That's an important thing to remember. I'm going to go to purple for now and we can always update it later. Once you have your circle created and you make sure that it's a global color, you would just want to go into Object, Pattern and Make. This will start to create what looks like a pattern. The default setting is to grid these out on top of each other like a checkerboard, but what I'm going to go ahead and do is change the tile type to Brick by Row. That will allow each row to alternate. What happens here, just based off how a circle was created is that you can see we have these gaps right here, but not side-by-side. If I want the same gap to be simultaneously the same around the circle, I can change the height of the rows right here, is where you would do that. I'm just going to bring this down to as close as I can get to touching, right now it's at 1.75 inches, let's try a little bit smaller. That looks about right to me. Once you have all the circles arranged in a way that they all look they have equal spacing around it, this is where you can actually change the size of the circle and see what happens. By holding Option Shift, and I'm going to go ahead and reduce the size of the circle. You can see simultaneously all these circles around it are doing the exact same thing. Now the reason you would want to change the size of the circle is just to have a different look to your pattern. Obviously, the bigger the circle, the more space you're filling and the smaller the circle, the less space you're failing. In the world of screen printing, let's say we want a 50-percent opacity look where there's the same amount of negative space as there as positive space. It would be something around here. I'm going to go ahead and press this done button up here on the top left to see what this looks like. Automatically what happens is once you press that button, a swatch is created in your swatch panel. I'm going to go ahead and just create a shape, and fill it. You can see that it's filled with this new pattern that you just created. Now, if you want to update it from here, you can have a lot of different options. First off, if you want to change the color, you can just go into your global color, swatch you created here, that purple one, and turn on preview. If I update the color, you can see not only does it change the color on that shape that I created, but any pattern that's using that color is also updating simultaneously. Another thing you can do is go into Transform and Scale. Right now you can see it has tried to make everything 54 percent smaller, but if I turn off objects, all it's updating is the pattern inside it. You can make that pattern smaller without actually changing the size of the shape it's containing. You could do the same thing with rotation. Let's say I want to go into Object, Transform, Rotate, with transform object selected, you can see I'm just spinning around this whole thing, but if it's unselected, you're actually just spinning around the pattern itself. So you can find whatever looks good, let's say 45 degrees, looks pretty normal to me. Another way to update something without having to move the shapes is taking your white arrow tool and moving around nodes, but the pattern stays in place. This is all important things to play around with. Lastly, if I wanted to go back into that area where I can update this pattern, I don't have to start from scratch. What I can do is just double-click the swatch here, and I'm back into this dialog box where I can update the circles. Let's say I want to have a lighter look and make the circle smaller with more negative space. I can go up to the area where it says Done. Click it. I'm updating the exact same swatch pattern that I created before without having to start from scratch and create a whole new pattern. As you can see, the pattern creation tool is super versatile, very easy to use. All you really need to do is start off with a single shape and you can get to work. There's lots of different ways to update your pattern within an Illustrator. Just remember to use global colors, be able to use the scaling and rotational tool to your advantage, but the important thing is to keep experimenting and using this as a starting point. As you can see with the pattern creation tool, you can really do anything you like. I start off with a circle, you can start off with any shape you really want, but this is all a good starting point to create your first pattern in Illustrator with only just really using a single shape and a single color. Next up, we're going to be making a line pattern. 4. Line Patterns: Similar to dot patterns, there's something that also creates the same illusion of light and dark tonal looks. You can use lines, basically like hatch marks to create a similar vibe. We're going to teach how to create line patterns with an illustrator. Again, it's something that we can either create with Photoshop or Illustrator, but the benefit of this is to create it so it's completely vector. We've taught something very similar to this in a previous class with Skillshare, our 10 tips class. But this new version creates the same exact outcome with less steps. This is a more efficient way to do exactly the same thing. You can see in this project that we have here. This is an art print series where we use these lines. I'm using probably only four colors I believe in this print, but I'm creating multiple tones because where blues being used as a full opacity here, it's also being used as this hatch line look. This requires creating your own swatch to fill in these shapes, but you're technically using the same ink color in the world of screen printing. That's just kind of a more practical use of pattern creation for us. You can see that in this whole series, I'm using it throughout the whole process. I'm using it for every single color and multiple reasons, why? In order to create a line pattern similar to this, I'm going to go ahead and just create a rectangle. Now, I want to make sure that I know it's sizing here, and just so I can keep track, I'm going to make it one inch wide by, let's say, two inches tall. It's height is twice as tall as its width. You can start off with a square if you'd like to, as long as it's either a square or rectangle, this will work. Go ahead and select the object and make sure that it's using a global color so it can change its color in the future, and go into object, pattern, make. Now, what you're seeing here is the system is trying to create a pattern where the same shape is surrounding itself in a grid. What I'm going to do is change its width, so it's a little bit wider. What that's doing is creating a gap from the left to right here. Now, remember since there was one inch, if I were to make the width, let's say two inches, what I'm creating is the same amount of negative space as there is positive space. If you were to zoom out, this would be a 50 percent opacity look. I'm going to go ahead and stop there. You don't need to update the height by the way because that's going to create these gaps that aren't necessarily needed. That's kind of creating another type pattern. What you want is that a seamless gap. I'm going to go ahead and press done up here. Like we did with the dot pattern, go ahead and create a new shape, and fill it with this new swatch that you created right here. Now you have a line pattern. Just like any other pattern, just like the dot pattern, you can update all the things you'd like. What I'm going to go ahead and do for example, is change that scale so that the transform objects is unchecked. But I'm updating the sizing of these lines. It saved about 50 percent of what I created there, so everything's a little bit tighter. Same thing with rotating it. You can do a 45 degrees, which is what we're using in this art print series. Make sure that transform objects is turned off, and same goes with the wide arrow tool. If you were to use this, you can actually move its container without having to move the shape. You could see now I have this shape filled with this new swatch, but let's say I want to duplicate it and move the same shape to another spot in the art. Since I'm using transparent backgrounds, you can see that as it overlays itself, It's creating this new pattern, which could be a cool fact, but it's not something you expect to see. This is what we call a pattern pitfall and Nathan's going to touch more on that in the future later on in this class. What I'm going to do is show you how to avoid stuff like this within Illustrator by using a couple of settings. One quick solution to this problem would be to select this shape, and go ahead and Eyedrop by selecting ''I'' and selecting the shape next to it. That will make sure that this shape is using the exact same placement of the pattern that's next to it. But as I'm moving around, it does it again. This can be frustrating when you're moving within your Illustrator file. One way to avoid that is to go into transform, move, and you want to make sure that the transform patterns is turned off. This way, when I move it, the pattern stays in place, but the shape can still be transformed and moved, and nothing will actually be impeded throughout the process. I can actually go ahead and create new shapes. Let's say, another shape, a circle, and as I create it, it's using the same pattern. This is super useful when it comes to using this pattern multiple times when within art. You can see here, I'm using these line patterns throughout this whole thing, and I'm using it in such a way where I do want things to line up the same color to color. That way I don't have to Eyedrop every single time I create a new swatch, I just basically start creating new shapes as automatically making sure the placement of the pattern is in the place I want it to be. In the actual approach, we have open this rocketeer series. You can see that we're using these lines throughout the whole thing. The reason that we create art like this where we're using these line patterns is so that we can use a select amount of ink colors in the screen printing process, but keep it minimal. Right here we're using this blue, both for a solid color and a dashed color to create a 50 percent opacity look, and a 100 percent opacity look. Right here where I created this other pattern down here is this 50 percent opacity look. Now the reason I'm saying 50 percent opacity is that the positive shape is the same size as the negative shape. But just like we did with a dot pattern, I can update this swatch and have a different look altogether. If I were to double-click it, I can actually make these lines thicker if I wanted to, or thinner. I'm going to go ahead and make them thinner to create more of a let's say, 25 percent opacity look. If I had it all the way like this, it'd be 100 percent, 90 percent, like the thicker it is, the more space that's filling. I'm going to go ahead and make it thinner just to see what that looks like, and press done and it should update the pattern you already created. This is the same technique, but a lighter look using thinner lines. All of this is to say that this whole system of using the pattern creation tool, again, can be used with lines, dots, and it can be updated on the fly using global colors, scaling, transform patterns versus transform objects. But everything takes experimentation and if you want a specific look, you can tinker with it and always go back to something that you originally liked, or updated on the fly. You can see if I were to zoom in on this project, you can see with this planet, how much is going on here. We're really only using three colors that we got the yellow, we've got the red, and we've got this darker red. But with the use of these specific patterns where I'm using these lines, I'm able to use tones that actually give more variety, allows the art to have more three-dimensionality. With having this red color on top of the yellow color, but using this 50 percent opacity look, it's able to be screen printed because it's still using a full 100 percent opacity ink color, but it's giving the illusion of 50 percent. Same thing with how this darker color is going over this red color. I'm using only two colors in that interaction, but I'm getting three tones without actually having to change the opacity. I'm using the illusion of lines to create this hatch mark that's creating that 50 percent illusion. It's really versatile, and you can always update these lines to be lighter or darker depending on what look you're looking for. Again, you can update the angles of everything, but it's important to make sure that you experiment with it because once you start getting going with it, it's very fun to experiment. That's the important part with this whole class, just try it and see where it gets you. This type of pattern we use primarily for screen printing, and the reason being is that we're using a single color with another background. That's just the how the world of screen printing works. But you don't necessarily have to use it for screen printing. It's more of an aesthetic choice too. So if you want this hatch mark with whatever you're creating, go ahead and use it. As you're playing around with these patterns, you might notice that you run into a couple of problems. Nathan's going to touch upon what a pattern pitfall is, and how to solve the issue. 5. Avoiding Pattern Pitfalls: You just saw a couple of different ways to make simple dot and line patterns and those are new ways that we've learned to do it in order to make sure they're full proof and we don't get any weird tiling effect going on with those patterns. Now, there are certain issues that you should be aware of that can happen with patterns. Some are just natural occurrences like moire patterns where you just need to be aware of different layers, how your patterns are going to layer on top of each other or on things like a display or if they're being screen printed. Then there's other things in the computer that you can watch out for to make sure that your patterns don't have any glitches or issues as you make them. In this lesson, we're going to first take a look at some hands-on examples of different issues that can occur with patterns and then we'll jump into the computer and take a look at how you can make sure that your patterns are working correctly there as well. First up we're going to take a look at moire patterns. Moire patterns get their name from a French word which I guess came from textile design where two similar patterns were overlaid on top of each other and created a new third pattern. With these transparencies, we can take a look at an example of that. These are both the exact same line pattern. You can see that once we start to put them on top of each other, all kinds of crazy things start happening and that's basically the result of patterns that either are the same or very similar to each other that are either at a slightly different angle or slightly different positioning. This looks cool but obviously you don't always want this effect to happen. One place that this happens often is with screen printing. For that, we're going to take a look at a example of CMYK printing. If you were to look at a close-up of one of our posters or other posters that use half tone dots, you'll often see these four colors; cyan, magenta, yellow, and black being used to create all types of complex layered images. It's important to think about the angle that these dots overlay because again, we could get moire patterns. If we were to just start printing these dots all on top of each other, we can get weird blurry arrangements. Now, there's really no way to avoid having a moire pattern here. The solution is to print at specific angles. I just put this together as an example of some common angles that are used in screen printing and these lines are either 15 or 30 degrees apart, that's the standard. What I'm going to try to show here is if instead of just stacking our dots perfectly on top of each other, if we start to line these up in a perfect grid according to these angles, we're going to get something called a Rosetta pattern. What a Rosetta pattern is is basically just a specific moire and you can see it happening here, these circular shapes are starting to appear where these dots overlap each other. The idea there is that if you have to have a moire in your work, why not make it look as good and unnoticeable as possible? This is just one way that you can use moires to look a little bit better specifically if you're dealing with screen printing. One last note on moires, you can have fun with it and be intentional. This is a book called Poemotion by Takahiro Kurashima and it's really cool. It basically has a similar piece of transparency with black stripes and it has been designed in such a way that as you move it over the patterns, you see some really cool animated shapes. This is something we have not delved into yet but feel free to experiment if you want to get into the world of moires. Now that we've taken a look at some examples of pattern pitfalls and specifically moire issues in the physical world, now we're going to jump into the computer and take a look at some issues you can avoid there. In the first couple of lessons, Dan showed you some efficient ways to make dot and line patterns and the reason we create the patterns in those ways now is that it's really full proof. You can't really get stuck with glitches when you build the pattern with the fewest simplest elements possible and then make any changes after the fact. A way that we used to make patterns was more by cutting and pasting pieces together and sometimes you would run into trouble with that. This is an example where on the left and right side here I have examples of two dot patterns that look other than the color pretty similar at the moment. But if we were to start zooming in here, it changes the story a little bit. You can now see at a certain resolution that our pattern on the right is not quite perfect. There's these gaps going on and the reason for that is I would suspect that our geometry from the shape that we created that from wasn't perfect. I'm going to compare these two. I've just switched into outline mode here which is Command Y in Illustrator. If we zoom way in on the shape that we used to create this pattern, you can see there's an ever so slight gap on the left side of the pattern there. When I'm not in outline mode, it's invisible but what's going on is there's actually just a transparent shape in the back that's not quite the right size. In contrast, this pattern that's in blue. If we zoom in there and also look Command Y outline mode, we can see that there is no transparent shapes, nothing in the background to cause any issues and that's why the version on the left here is tiling perfectly. Now, I knew that that was the issue going into it so I was able to troubleshoot it. Another technique that you can use to check your work a bit is by using the Pathfinder tool. For example, if I couldn't really tell what was going on, I could expand the pattern in the Pathfinder window, use divide and then once I get in there I could see exactly how things are being broken up. Again, that little gap there would reveal itself. It can also be helpful just to double check your work if you assume that everything did go correctly. Again, you can expand it. Use Pathfinder again to break things up and now what I'm actually going to do is go into this correctly made version of the pattern and just select all of the same fill color. If I select ''Inverse'', that's going to delete everything that wasn't there. Now I know that I'm just dealing with the blue shapes. Then my last step is going to be to unite them in the Pathfinder here. Now what I can do again is go in with Command Y and I can see to double-check my work that I really just have clean shapes here. There's no gaps, there's no lines in the tiling. For example, if this was a pattern that I was going to have printed as a textile or something, I would want to make sure that it's fully expanded. It's not a live pattern anymore so that nothing can go wrong in the production process. I would say that would be a final step to making sure that your pattern is full proof, is actually seamless, and is ready to go. One last note, one other thing that's different about these two patterns that Dan has already mentioned is the importance of using global colors. The pattern on the left I was smart enough to have the foresight to use global colors in advance. If I double-click my blue swatch, I can make adjustments to it and that color will change on the fly. This black version on the right, I didn't do that so you would have to go through all those steps of expanding it before you can change the color. Remember to use global colors, remember to check your work using outline mode and the Pathfinder and you should be able to troubleshoot any issues with patterns that aren't lining up perfectly. Now that we've covered a few simple patterns and you know what the few things to look out for like moires and how to troubleshoot some issues, this will also come in handy as we now move into things like pattern strokes and even more complex patterns. I'm sure you will find some issues along the way so this will be a way to check your work. From there, let's go ahead and move into pattern strokes. 6. Pattern Strokes: Now that we've learned a little bit about pattern pitfalls, I want to talk about a new type of pattern. It's not a swatch or a fill but it's actually a stroke. Within the brush tool in Illustrator, you can create a pattern stroke. I have this deck of cards out to show you these face cards that we designed, and it uses pattern strokes throughout the design. I have the file open in Illustrator, I want to show you how it's done. Right here, I have each face card opened up and you can see that we have all these little details going on. As I zoom in, you can actually see that these are live strokes. This is just a repeating pattern of diamonds, for example, going around a circle. Or this is a little bit more ornate, where it's creating multiple shapes, but it's still going around a shape that's creating basically what we call a pattern stroke. The way this is created is not making a swatch within the pattern creation tool, it's actually using a tool within the brush set. The reason we use pattern strokes is really just based off efficiency. Within each of these face card designs, they're using a variety of pattern strokes. The reason we decided to use this technique was to basically make it so that we don't have to individually move, let's say the spade down this path and turn it every single time it goes down. Actually, it will allow you to just create one shape and it will automatically rotate it in a way that you'd like it. It really saves you some time. What we'll be teaching in this lesson is how to create a pattern stroke similar to this diamond shape right here. These are just repeating diamond shapes going down this path, the circular path. It's the simplest, starting off with the square. We've taught a bit more complex version of this in a previous class, but since then, we've actually learned how to do this with as few steps as possible in a more efficient way. What I'm doing is creating a square, I am just rotating on its side so it turns into a diamond. You just want to make sure that's using a global color. This will allow you to update its color both as shaped form and as it's being used within a stroke, later on. Go ahead and select this shape and you want to go to "Window", "Brushes," and you want to go to this little hamburger icon in the top right click "New Brush," and go to "Pattern Brush. " You can see what happens here is it starts lining this up to create a pattern stroke. I can allow for more spacing by updating this area right here. Right here, it's at zero percent, let's see what 50 percent looks like. It just adds that spacing. In previous versions, previous ways of making this, I've had to create a transparent box around it, but then update it every single time I want to make a change to the pattern. This allows you to give it spacing on the fly. Let's say if I want to give it more, it could be 75 percent if I want to give it less, it could be 25 percent. Let's see what 50 percent looks like, and these are all little extra options you can play around with. I usually don't do the stretch to fit because what happens is it stretches the shape as it's turning around a corner. What I usually click is "Add Space to Fit." You can see the difference that happens here is that it doesn't stretch the shape, but it just adds more of a buffer around the shape. Go ahead and select "Okay." You can see that the pattern stroke has been added to your brushes. Now what I'm going to do is just go ahead and create a shape, let's say a circle for now. Make sure it's in stroke form and I'm going to select this brush. Right now, it's aligning these diamonds all the way around the circle here. It's warping them and it's based off scale, which is something that you can play with within the stroke tool. I'm going to go into window, stroke, and have that open here. You can see I've at one point, if I want to, I can make it like half the size and it warps it less by making it smaller. That's one way of updating this. Another way of updating would be to double-click this pattern right here and you can change the spacing on the fly like we talked about before. Let's say if I want to give it more spacing so it warps less, I'll go to 100 percent, see what that looks like. I'll give this prompt after saying apply the strokes or leave the strokes, we're going to go ahead and apply it. That gave it more space, which makes it so it warps a little bit less. Since we used a global color to create the stroke, if I were to go into that swatch and double-click it, you can see, as long as I have preview on, I can update this color on the fly. Not only does it change the color that I'm using for the shape, but it also changes the stroke that's using that color, which is a cool technique with global colors. Another thing to keep in mind is that you can have this wrap around more than just geometric shapes. It could be a more organic process. Let's say I have something like this going on that's a little bit more like an S curve and I want to use that same pattern. Right now again, we're dealing with pretty large sizing, but all this can be updated and I'm going to go ahead and pull out my strokes again, let's see here and make it 0.5 point versus one point and you can see that I'm able to move around a curve that's a bit more organic and on the fly changes. What's nice about this process is that you're creating an actual pattern, but it's moving around a stroke rather than filling in a shape. That path could be as simple as a circle, or it could be more complex like an S curve or any shape that you desire. But the nice thing is that all of this is live and you can update it on the fly. That's the basis of creating a pattern stroke, but you can get pretty complex with this. You can see that within these face cards, we're using lots of different types of shapes. It's not just diamonds or just the shapes of suits. Here's an example of a couple other patterns that we've created where if you imagine it repeats on itself, you can use it along an axis similar to what we just created. Right here, just a couple of different ideas that you can play around with. Feel free to just make your own shapes and see what happens when you turn it into a stroke. It takes a bit of push and pull in experimentation, but it's totally worth it if you can come up with something completely original. You can see that the variety is just limitless. With all these face cards within these playing card designs, we use pattern strokes multiple times. The reason we used it so much was, is a timesaver to create as much detail as possible well, without having to individually move individual shapes around an access, we just create one shape that wraps around a single circle or a square, whatever shape we decide. But the accumulation of it creates this illusion of detail. You can see from card to card that we get a huge variety of options with only, just a couple shapes only using strokes and fills. Now that you know how to make a pattern stroke using a simple shape, go ahead and experiment with that and push it even further. Use more complex shapes to make more complex strokes. Now next up is overlapping patterns. 7. Overlapping Patterns: Now we're going to talk about a new type of pattern called overlapping patterns. It's a segue into tessellations, but it's not quite a tessellation. What makes it unique is that it's using literally overlapping shapes to create a new pattern. We're going to create something that's similar to fish scales or dragon scales, and I'm going to show you how to do that in Illustrator now. You can see on our artboard, we have this scale texture/pattern that we created specifically for this class. We actually haven't had the opportunity to create this for a client yet, but as you can see, it's a pretty common look, where we're having these shell shapes overlapping each other. The way it's created is similar to what we were doing before with the dots, but they're all intermingling with each other rather than being separate. I created this target shaped to create this pattern. I'm going to show you step-by-step how this is created. I'm going to go ahead and just create a small circle, and I'm going to color it blue. Then I want the circles that are going to be going around it to have the same, similar amount of space. This is around 100 pixels, I'm going to go ahead and copy and paste it behind itself, which is Command C and Command B, and I'm going to make it, let's say 200 pixels. Right now you can't really see what's going on because it's the same color, but I'm going to change its color. That's what just happened there. I'm going to do that one more time and copy and paste it behind itself, make it 400 pixels. Sorry, let's make it 300, that seems a little big, and change its color again. You can see I'm having a similar look to what I created before. Again, once you have a grouping like this before you jump into creating a pattern, make sure you convert this all to a global color. This will allow you to change the colors throughout the patterns and the shapes when you're using your design. I'm going to go ahead and do that now, and you'll want to make sure it says Convert Process to Global. What will happen is it creates a little folder here in your swatch area where all three colors are turned into global colors. I can go ahead and change this color, for example, to a lighter blue. I can change this one, and so on. They all have the option of changing in the future and I'll show you that later on. I'm going to go ahead and grab this whole thing. It doesn't have to be grouped or anything like that, just grab all three shapes. I'm going to go into Object, Pattern, Make. Now we have this familiar dialogue area, this toolkit that we use for creating patterns, and it does what it does naturally, which is to create this checkerboard look of everything butted up against each other. What we're going to do is play around with the towel type. I'm going to go brick by row again, and rather than keeping things separate, what I'm going to do is actually literally overlap things. I'm going to go ahead and change the height right here. You can see as I do it slowly just by pressing the down arrow, everything's starting to now merge into each other, and eventually, it's going to start overlapping itself. Just by changing that, we're turning that circle into fish scales. I'm also going to tighten it up a little bit. On the width and actually making that a little smaller. I'm going to go ahead and see what that looks like as a swatch. I'm going to press "Done", and I'm going to create a new shape over here and fill it with my new swatch. It's similar to what I created before, but you can see it could use a little bit of tweaking. What's nice is that we can go into the swatch recreated and update it. I'm going to go ahead and double-click it. I want this middle teardrop shape to be a little bit more present, so I'm going to play around with the width and height there. I'm going to go ahead and tighten things up, but also spread things out. You can just play around until the math looks right. Right now I'm trying to make sure that these two shapes intersect in this corner here. We see enough of this clam-like scale shape right here, so every color is represented equally. Press "Done". You can see it automatically changes. Then again, remember that you can update things beyond that, you can change its scale by making sure Transform Objects is turned off, but the scale of the patterns is being changed, so you can make any size you like. You could change its angle. Make sure that Transform Objects is turned off. You can also change its color. I'm going to go ahead and change these blue colors and you're going to see that by using global colors, I'm able to change any shape that uses those colors as well as the pattern using those colors. I'm going to click on the lightest blue for example, and you can see everything updates globally. That's overlapping patterns. It's pretty much the same process as the dot pattern, except using multiple shapes and the only difference is they're overlapping each other. They're merging into each other rather than keeping them separate. You can do this with any shape you really would like. I use circles just to create that scale effect, but overlapping could be really with any shape you prefer, so go ahead and experiment and play around with something other than circles if you like. Or just play around with this and see if you can make it any more unique. Next up, we're going to talk about isometric patterns. 8. Isometric Patterns: Now we're going to finally jump into tessellations and I'm going to start off with a pattern called an isometric pattern. Technically, it's a tessellation, but it's a gateway into more complex tessellations. You've seen it before if you've ever taken our isometric class where we created a grid of these diamond shapes using a hexagon shape. There's a quick and easy way to turn that into an actual pattern using Illustrator. As you can see, we created this pattern in this file here, and it's using this cube repeating itself in a grid. I changed the colors here to show a light source. It has a bit of a three-dimensional look, which is cool. But what makes it technically a tessellation is that there's no gaps, there's no overlapping, everything pieces together like a puzzle piece. You want to create this shape first to get to this step. I'm going to show you how to do that real quick. You're going to go into your shape area and you're going to select polygon and you want to make sure that you have six sides which will turn into a hexagon. Right now I have it colored as one color. I'm going to go ahead and turn it onto its side. With the line segment tool, I'm going to start breaking it up into pieces. I'm just going to start connecting nodes to their opposite side. As you can see, if I were to grab everything, we have everything's split up into these like little triangle pie pieces. I'm going to go ahead and go to the Pathfinder and break that up using the divide. Then I'm going to change the colors of certain facades. On this side, I'm going to turn it to a slightly darker color and then this one will be even darker. So similar to what I created here and it's still in a bunch of pieces, but you can clearly see that it's a cube now by just turning one side into a lighter side and one side to a darker side and having that three shades going on. Once you have this isometric cube created, let's go ahead and size it evenly, so that it is 100 pixels tall, and I'll explain why in a second. Once you have it selected and you have it sized, you're going to go into object, pattern, make. You can see it grids itself out automatically. In order to create this isometric pattern, we want to shift each row again using this Brick by Row technique. We want these rows to line up with this corner here. Now, you could just play around with the height and get pretty close. But you can see there's not perfect math on how to get that right. The trick is that you want it to be 75 percent of its height. This is why I decided this is going to be 100 and the height is actually going to be 75. That will allow this to be as tight as possible with no gaps, no overlapping. The trick to know this is, it's also the size of one facade. Like the height of this facade is actually 75 pixels tall. It's just the way this math works with hexagons broken up like this. It's just an important thing to remember that 75 percent of the height is also the gap they're going to be reducing it down to so that it can actually line up like this. That's the basis of it. You basically just need to press done at that point. Like always, go ahead and create a new shape to see what it looks like. Just like anything else, you can change the scale of this, the rotation of it. I did not change all this to global colors. In order to change this out, I'll have to manually go in and change those colors. But before you get started, remember, always turn everything to global colors in case you want to change the color of this pattern. If you ever want to change the pattern itself, remember you can always go back and double-click the swatch. This specific look of isometric cubes all lined up together has a very unique look, has three-dimensional qualities to it. Obviously, if you change these colors, you can lose a bit of that three-dimensionality, which is also an aesthetic choice, but it also has a practical use as well. We teach a class in Illustrator for isometric illustration. In that portion of the class we showed how to create a grid system using the same shape, this cube repeating itself into a grid. This is actually a quick way to do the exact same thing. Once you have a swatch like this, all you have to really do is select it. You can update its scale to show more cubes. I'm just going to keep these cubes large for the sake of seeing it on screen. Go ahead and expand it. You'll see that when you select inside all these shapes now are expanded. I also want to go into the Pathfinder area and select trim. That'll make sure that you can literally see all these shapes. A quick and easy way to turn this into an actual grid system that you can illustrate on top of is just to press "Command 5". What that does is it takes everything that was there and it's no longer fills and now everything's been turned into a guideline. This is a really quick and easy way to just start illustrating, let's say an isometric city by using these as guides. Rather than using cubes, I can make like more shapes other than a cube, I can make little skyscraper but this is a great start to an isometric illustration to use as a guideline system. That's isometric patterns. You can see that's very versatile. It goes as far as making something as for an aesthetic choice all the way to creating a grid system for isometric illustration. Technically, that was a tessellation, but we haven't even gotten into the world of tessellations really. That's just the tip of the iceberg. It's getting at really exciting and Nathan's going to introduce the world of tessellations now. 9. Intro to Tessellations: Now that you've tried isometric patterns, that was the gateway into what we're going to get into now, which is tessellations. It's a crazy thing to wrap your head around, but I think once you get the hang of it, you'll be able to experiment and add all kinds of fun details and try all different types of tessellations. You may notice I have some crazy stuff here in front of me. We're going to start by doing some hands-on demos to try to understand exactly how tessellations work. To define what a tessellation is, it's basically a pattern that doesn't overlap itself at all and does not have any gaps either. Basically, just puzzle pieces interlocking with each other perfectly. Again, a tough concept to figure out how you're going to design that. Now, let's take a look at how to create one. The first style of tessellation that we're going to talk about is a translation tessellation and also called a glide tessellation because it basically just means that the shapes are going to slide over next to each other. Let's say the first thing to remember about making a tessellation is whatever shape you start with. In this case, we're just starting with a square. Whatever you do to one side of that shape, you're going to need to do something equal and opposite to the other. In this case, I removed this triangle shape from the left side, adding it back into the right. Then, as you can see, I'll just do the same thing on the shape next to it. Now you can see how we're creating, following that rule of tessellation of not having any overlap, not having any gaps. Everything is going to nest together perfectly like a puzzle piece. From there you can keep doing the same types of changes. Again, if you wanted to pull these pieces out from the bottom, again, you'd have to replace it on the top side. By always doing that opposite and matching technique, you're always going to end up with tessellations that can tile perfectly with each other. We often find that starting in the physical realm like this is a lot easier than just jumping into the computer because it's a bit easier to wrap your head around. I'm using these plastic tangram toys to do this example, but you can just as easily cut out your own out of paper. Again, use that same technique of if you cut a piece off, make sure you make the same change to the opposite side where you tape it back on. Then what you can do is cut out that shape and use it as a template and start drawing your pattern. Next up, let's jump into look at how a reflection tessellation is made. This is very similar to what we just did with translation, but we're going to have rows that alternate going in different directions. Here I have my top row of squares pointing to the left and my bottom row of squares pointing to the right. The other thing that's different that we're going to do is when we remove a piece, rather than just placing it directly above like we had done previously, we're going to flip it. From here, this triangle is going to come flip to the other side or reflect, just thus the name of this style. Here again, I will reflect. Then up at the top here, because remember these are now already facing in the opposite direction. It'll reflect to the opposite side, so from left to right there. Then same thing here, from left to right. What's cool is that even though we've got things going in different directions and we're flipping back and forth. All of these are still going to end up nesting perfectly with each other. It's still the same basic rules here that whatever you do to one side, make sure you do it to the opposite. Whether you're going in a single direction or reflecting back and forth, as long as you're consistent with how you move your pieces, again, you'll end up with something that tessellates perfectly. Now that we've covered reflection tessellation, next step we're going to look at the third and final kind we're covering in the class, which is rotational tessellation. For a rotational tessellation, surprise, you've actually done this a little bit already in this class. The isometric pattern that you already made with Dan is essentially a rotational tessellation. I'll show you how. These shapes probably looked familiar with the 120 degree angles again. Basically, what a rotational tessellation is gonna do is rather than moving side to side or up and down, it's going to rotate along an axis. If we were to imagine that we're starting with these three pieces stacked up on top of each other, you would make whatever changes you want to your shape, for example. Now it's going to rotate around like this and nest into itself there. Same thing with this example, rotate around, nest in. This is obviously the most simple example of a rotational tessellation. But as Dan will get into, he'll show you how to add details to this shape. Then very quickly you'll be able to also see how once you've drawn the shape, you can convert that to using the pattern tool. Then it will be very simple for you to just start adding on more and more of these shapes as you go. Eventually, you'll have a fully rotated tessellation pattern. Hopefully, those physical examples help make a little sense out of what tessellations are, how they work. We encourage you to try some physical examples like that before you jump into the computer. But once you're ready, next up, Dan will show you how to make a translation tessellation in Illustrator. 10. Translational Tessellations: Thank you Nathan for explaining tessellations. I know it's a daunting subject, especially when it comes to creating it yourself. Hopefully, we'll come up with a couple of simple tools to show you an illustrator on how to create your first tessellation. So to start you off, we're going to create your first translation tessellation, which means that all the shapes you are creating, are all facing the same direction, either left, right, up, or down, but they're all going in the same orientation. You can see we have on our screen some real-life examples of translation tessellations. Right here we have a Pegasus all going in the same direction. But what makes it a tessellation is that the shapes that it creates from its perimeter are allowing the exact same area for the next Pegasus to sit in like a puzzle piece. Here's another example. Rather than going left to right, this is a translation tessellation going up and down of these bugs and their legs are what are intermingling to make it work. Then here's another example of some birds. This one's slightly at an angle, but technically it is a translation because they're all going the same direction. So a very simple tessellation is a chevron pattern, which you can see here. I'm going to show you how to create that using the tools that we use to create tessellations and how to even take it further to show that it doesn't have to be in this grid system, we're using just blocks on top of each other, but more like a brick system. Let's start off by just showing how this is created. I know that you probably are saying to yourself right now, I'll just create that shape and repeat itself. That's fine, but the way you wouldn't want to make this so that you have the option of updating it later is using the global edit tool. I'm going to go ahead and just start off with a square and I'm going to give it a color. Then I'm going to go ahead and copy it so that it's right next to itself and give it another color so you can see the difference. By the way, when I copy it, I'm just holding down Option and Shift to bring it to the other side, but it's the same shape I'm repeating itself. You also want to keep repeating this so that you are creating a grid system similar to a checkerboard deck. I mean a board, so something like that. Now, if I were to select this shape for example, and by the way, before I jump in, let's go ahead and turn this into global colors. Easy thing to forget and you can see it created a folder system, these two colors. Later on, I can change it. Once you have this checkerboard look created, you want to go ahead and just select the center square and go into the select area and Start Global Edit. This will be grayed out if it thinks that there's no other shapes in your entire file that are identical, but it knows that there's other squares, for example, in this file. They don't have to be near each other, it just knows that there's squares somewhere in this file that are identical to the one you created originally. I'm going to go ahead and Start Global Edit and you can see that if I were to update the square that I have selected, all the other ones that are highlighted in blue will do the same. Now the Global Edit tool is super useful just beyond tessellations. It's something we've discovered that's useful in the world of tessellations, but in the world of illustration, if you were to create, let's say, a leaf on a tree and you want to change that leaf on any area inside the illustration that's using that leaf, all you have to really do is update one and all the other leaves change using this tool. So it saves you a bunch of time if you're using repetitive shapes or repetitive illustration, it does it even beyond just like a single shape, you can use it with groups. But for the sake of this class, what we're going to do is use it for tessellation creation. Right now, I only have four nodes to really choose from and that's not super helpful when it comes to tessellations because we're probably going to want to make this a little bit more complex. What I'm going to do is have the selected the center one and I'm going to go into Object, Path and add anchor points. What this will do is it's going to add an anchor point to the side here. Now what's happening is that we have some overlapping here. I can't really see what's going on underneath and one easy way to see what you're doing is to give the opacity of the shape you're working on like let's say 50 percent opacity, and now we can see through the shapes. Right now I can see that if I were to pull or push one side, the other side will do the same with the one that's a separate color. But what needs to happen or this to be a tessellation technically, is there can't be any overlapping. So I have to also take the other side of the shape and move it forward as well, and that will allow for there to be no gaps. The trick with tessellation is that any movement you make, the opposite sign needs to do exactly the same thing in the same fashion. These is the same rules when it comes to going on the top. Like, let's say if I want to move the shape up here, I also have to move this shape right here. So the world of tessellations can get really complicated at this point where you can add more and more anchor points and really tinker around with what you have here to make, let's say something more complex than a chevron shape. But for the sake of just showing you the basis of how the Global Edit tool works and creating tessellations, I'm just going to create this chevron shape for now. One thing to keep in mind too is that you want to start off with these hard angles. But then when it comes to creating a more personalized look, you can also use rounding, but you have to remember to do the same rounding to the other side. The best way to do this within this type of format is just to remember your corners up here. Right now I'm just going to make an easy 40 pixels and then I'm just going to select this one right here and make it 40 pixels. You could try to update both corners simultaneously, but what happens is it won't really allow you to because of how Global Edit tool works. It thinks that you're trying to exclude one shape as you're touching more than one node. Unfortunately, in the world of Global Edit, it only allows you to touch one node at a time. So that's one of those things that illustrators has currently, maybe it might be available in our future update, but it's just tinkering around one node at a time. Remember that as you're creating this. Once you have your corners all situated using the same parameters throughout, I'm going to go ahead and make both of these rounded at 40 pixels so that everything's even. You can go ahead and make it go back to 100 percent opacity. As long as you can see that there's no gaps in your design, everything's been filled and block together like a puzzle piece, all I have to do is click outside and your tessellation is complete. This is a super simple tessellation right now. It's simply just a Chevron that's been updated so it has rounded corners. But the point of it is that you can repeat this over and over again to create a pattern and it would block into a seamless look. Translation tessellations don't have to just be made originally from blocks that are on top of each other like a checkerboard, you can use them so that are more kind of on a brick formation where they alternate rows, row by row. So in order to make something similar to this very simple tessellation using fish, all it really needs to do is start off with rectangles that alternate each row and I designated them to all be different colors, but they're all the same shape that's been repeated. This is important when you're using the Global Edit tool so that it understands that the shape that you're changing is the same throughout. I'm going to use this orange one as my starting point and I'm going to go into Select, Start Global Edit. Again, it doesn't have any more nodes than what you're seeing on the corners here. But I'm going to go ahead and add some. I'm going to go into Object, Path, Add Anchor Points. This allows me to have a bit more variety to work with. If I were to bring down the center of node, for example, then I would want to update the other sides as I go. Again, before I even get into that, make sure you're out of 50 percent opacity so they can see through the shapes. So since I brought that down and everything shifted, what's happening is that there's actually two motions I have to take after that to complete the shapes. Rather than the other system where it's like one push equals one pull, this is more like one push equals two pulls. So it's a little bit more complex, but the same process. I want to turn this into a fish, a quick and easy way would just be to move this shape up here. I'm simultaneously creating that head and a tail. We have to remember to do both the front and back to make that work. So just a couple of easy steps starting with a rectangle, you're able to create this tessellation of fish that are gridded out in a specific way that start with a brick formation rather than a checkerboard look. If you want to even go further to add a little bit more customization to this, you don't have to be stuck using just one shape. This is where it gets really interesting using the Global Edit tool, you can create, let's say an eyeball and all the fish will get an eyeball when you draw on top of this shape that you've created. One thing to remember though is that you need to group what you created so that you can go back and change this in the future because if I don't group it and I started Global Edit, let's say of just the shape of the fish, it's only going to update the shape of the fish, but not the eyes. So I'm going to go ahead and select both shapes and group them. Then I'm going to click out and let's say I want to tinker around with this a little bit more, all I'll have to do is select that group and go into Select, Global Edit and it remembers that all these fish have an eye and a body. So I can update the eye if I want, and I can also update the shape of the body and everything will change simultaneously. This is something that basically has a lot options. I would start off simple, but it is limitless when it comes to the shape of things. You can really go deep into this. You can see that the same process is used for creating these things with these more complex animals. But it really starts off with a basic shape to make sure that they all links up using this grid system and the more anchor points you add, the more there's this push and pull, it really just takes experimentation. So start off simple and go as complex as you like. Once you get the hang of a translation tessellation, let's move into a more complex version of this pattern creation. It's called a reflection tessellation. 11. Reflection Tessellations: The next step in the world of tessellation creation is a reflection tessellation. It's similar to the first one, but the only difference is that each row is changing its orientation. We created something like this using that theory with this dog patch Almanac can. You can see where we have these dogs lined up. Each row is changing its orientation. First row, the dogs are going in one direction, and then on the other row, the dogs are going in the other direction. What makes it a tessellation and I'll show you on the screen is how the movement of a positive shape creates the negative shape of another. Let's say the head here is also the body shape of the dog above it, or for example the tail of a dog is also creating the color of the dog next to it. Any push creates a pull and it's the same process as I was showing you earlier, but the only difference is that the orientation changes from row to row. Here's a couple examples of other work that's using the same process. Here's some birds row by row. They're changing directions. The white ones are all looking to the right and the blue ones are all looking to the left, but they're all interlocking like puzzle pieces. This one's very complex which is a man riding a horse, but any negative space he create, creates the positive space for the horse around it. It's again a perfect tessellation where there's no gaps. What we're going to be showing you today is example of a reflection tessellation in a much more simple context. In order to create this arrow pattern where each arrow is changing its direction row by row. It's as simple as starting off with a rectangle as well. I'm going to go ahead and create one where the width of the rectangle is twice as wide as its height. Let's make it 300 by 150 for example. I'm going to go ahead and duplicate it so it's right next to itself, change its color so I can see what's going on. Then I'm going to go ahead and also create another row up here where it's creating this brick patterns. It's halfway in between them. I'm going to change their colors too, so we can just easily see what we're doing. Now, the thing that we just did was we repeated this rectangle over and over again, but they all have the same orientation, meaning they're facing left to right or right to left. What we really want to do here is make sure that the row above and below our original row is changing its orientation. I'm going to go ahead and click on the ''Reflection Tool'', and I want to make sure that I have preview on. I'm using the vertical reflection, meaning that it's changing its access from this vertical center point here. That means that they change from going from one direction to the opposite. Now they're facing the opposite direction as the row in the middle. Once you have your rows ready and you want to make sure that the top and bottom rows surrounding this middle row are changing their orientation, we're going to go ahead and select this middle rectangle and go into start global edit. Let's go ahead and give it a couple more anchor points. I'm going to go to path, add anchor points, and I'm going to go ahead and also update its opacity so I can see through all the shapes. All you need to really do since I have these extra nodes here is it's only really just two steps to get these arrows and it's deceptively very simple. I'm going to go ahead and grab this node up here and move it to the center of this rectangle up here. Then I'm going to move this bottom node from that same rectangle and move it down to this central point here. What that did was it broke up this rectangle so that it turns itself into an arrow shape, but simultaneously creates arrows above here, they're all pointing in the opposite direction. When I go back to 100 percent opacity and click out of here, you can see I created this arrow pattern. What's nice about this pattern is that you don't have to use so many colors technically, since they're all meeting up at this tangent point, this whole row could be the same color, and this whole row can be the same color. It's an easy pattern that can only use two colors, and it's great. If you're printing on something and technically is a one-color print. But it's always easy to use as many colors as you can to differentiate the shapes in the beginning and then you can always simplify it from there. That's the basis of a reflection tessellation where one row is facing one direction and the other row is facing another. This whole brick formation I created to create these arrows is the initiation to any of these types of tessellations. I'm going to go ahead and just bring it back to where it was, where it's just the simple brick formation. To show you how simple it starts and how complex it can get, I'm going to go ahead and move over on my screen here. This is our pattern we created for Almanac where these dogs are using this reflection tessellation format. They are basically starting off as bricks and they change their orientation and the fact that the rows are shifting each time. You can see the middle point of this dog is the beginning point of the dogs above and below it. Right here is the live file that I had ready to go where we tinkered and tinkered and tinkered until it basically we got these dogs shapes to work well. This is where it was and where ended up. But again, it started off with these basic bricks. To show you how it works, still I can select this middle dog, go to the global edit, and if I were to zoom in on a specific aspect of this, let's say I want to change this dog's ear up here. Again, you also want to make sure that these are 50 percent, but so you can see what's going on. Every time I changed this dog's ear, the other part is down here. You have to just remember that it's still push and pull all the way through to the end when you're creating this final file. Let's say I want this look more like a Doberman Pinscher vibe going on. I have to make sure that every dog's part on the ear and on the other part where it's like underneath its armpit are changing simultaneously. What's happening is, Illustrator is smart enough to know that in the pattern that I created, this is basically the same thing, but in a clipping mask, it's updating these dogs as well so they now all have larger ears because it knows that all these are the same shape. The only difference is that they change orientation and then the colors are different. But technically, as long as it's identical shape, you can use the global edit tool. The way this project came about was the CEO of Almanac reached out to us asking to make a dog themed can design. We're so used to creating these chevron shapes that hold like a pattern within this area of the can, and we thought be cool to actually make a dog pattern. We've never even approached a tessellation at this point, but we knew of it, that it existed. We knew that there was like dog, technically dog patterns using tessellations out in the world. But we thought it would be an interesting challenge to create something that's unique, that would be specific for Almanac and something that we created from scratch. We did some research and we understood the world of tessellations. We don't really understand the way they're created, and we went into just tinkering around an Illustrator using these basic techniques. Some of the first shapes we created were just pretty crude and didn't look like dogs at all. It was just playing around with understanding like, I think the legs would end up looking like this here and the head would go here. With enough tinkering, we ended up getting to a point where it actually ended up looking like a dog where we had a head and legs and a tail, and we just knew that all those individual shapes will end up having to interact with the dog next to it and below it. With enough just going back and forth and sharing the progress, we played around with those shapes and made the dogs look a little bit more friendly, understood that we wanted to stylize it in a certain way. Looked at existing art that's out there where we really liked the shape of the dog, and if it's possible to make that look the same within this pattern without screwing up the actual math and continue to push and pull. Eventually got to a point where it starts to look pretty normal. To that point, trying to figure out how to make the dogs look more specifically like a type of breed. Eventually seem like a smaller dog, and then we wanted to make it more like a larger, more friendlier looking dog. A lot of pushing and pulling to the point we ended up where we are now. But this was clearly a lot of work. What it takes is just experimenting and having someone else to look at it because you can dive into this deep and not really realize what you're doing until you take a step back. But that's what's nice about having a two-person team, we're able to check each other's work along the way. That's the basics of reflection tessellations. It's pretty easy to create something simple, but it's very fun to create something very complex. Feel free to upload whatever you create to the project gallery and would love to see what you create. Next up is rotational tessellations. 12. Rotational Tessellations: We've reached the pinnacle of tessellation creation, which is this rotational tessellation. You've learned how to create tessellations that go on in a certain direction, the alternate directions. But this one is as complex as it gets as far as complex that we've discovered. We're going to show you how to create that in Illustrator right now. You can see, I have a couple of examples of some existing patterns that are using this technique. It's definitely on the complex level. Again, like every single shape is interlocking with each other to make it technically this tessellation. But what's unique about it, is that they are all rotating around a certain axis. The easy way to show this is with the lizards or this turtle pattern, you can see with their feet that they're pinwheeling around each other here. They're following each other's path. That's what makes it a rotation. With lizards, it's a little bit more complex looking, but to give you an idea of how it's formatted. It's really only putting itself together through the shape of a hexagon. What's nice about hexagons, is that those two can rotate on themselves and interlock, like we've learned with the isometric pattern. This is a very basic version of what a rotational tessellation can look like. I'm going to show you how to get there using an actual isometric cube. Rather than just starting with the cube that you created earlier, we're actually going to just take apart one of the pieces. I'm going to go and copy and paste this diamond onto its own place. The way this works is that, just like we are dealing with squares and rectangles, you need to repeat the shape and move it in a specific orientation based of the results that you want. Since this is a rotational tessellation, we're actually going to be rotating it around this axis right here on the bottom. I'm going to go ahead, and copy and paste it. I'm going to rotate it, so that if I hold down Option and click this anchor point, I can see that it's rotating around this area. Right now, I can go ahead and let's say rotate it, so that it's close to making a match here, but the magic number is a 120 degrees. The reason being is that this is going to be three parts. If you think about a circle, which is 360 degrees, and you break that into three parts, it's technically 120 times three, so just some quick math there. I'm going to go and change its color. Then I'm going to copy and paste it again. Do the exact same thing by clicking the rotation tool and clicking that anchor point. I've already remembered from my previous input that 120 is what it wants. Now, we have the same shape rotating around the center area and going counterclockwise, you can go the other direction if you'd like. Clockwise is totally fine as long as it's rotating around some access point to create a full shape. I'm only doing this with three shapes to create a hexagon currently just for the sake of simplicity, so it can be digested easily, but this could be done with triangles, as long as you're using a shape that, as it rotates around the same axis, creates an interlocking piece that can then be interlocked around itself to create a pattern, you're in good shape to create a tessellation. It doesn't have to be three parts to create 360 degrees, as long as all parts end up creating 360 degree rotation, you're in good shape. For example, this turtle 1 is using four parts, and each time they rotate around their legs here, it's a 90 degree turn. So 90 plus 90 plus 90 plus 90 will end up creating 360 degrees. Whatever piece you choose to start with, as long as it can rotate around and make a full 360, then you're ready to start your tessellation. I'm going to go back to this cube we created. Again, everything is rotating around this axis. What I'm going to do is, duplicate all of this. I am creating that grid that we were used to seeing, that isometric grid. I'm just going to go ahead and line things up like this, just to show what happens when we get into the world of a Global Edit. I'm going to start off with this diamond right here. I'm going to go into Global Edit. We want to change its opacity, just so we can see what we're doing. I'm going to go ahead and add some anchor points. Now, you can see the anchor points are now in the center of these diamonds. What's interesting now is, when I move a shape, it's creating unexpected results because we're so used to it happening on the opposite end. But what it's actually doing is creating an opportunity to fill in that gap that is doing a rotation. So every single time I move this, it requires me to change this side over here, and it's simultaneously changing all the shapes to create this pinwheel look. The same goes for any other part of this design. So it gets as complex as you'd like. I can grab, let's say, this piece and bring it in. But then I have to also bring in this piece. Again, you can update things by using rounded corners if you'd like, so I'm going to make this corner right here, 100 pixels. But then I also have to make sure that this corner right here is round at 100 pixels. If you go ahead and want to check your work, you can bring it back to full opacity, and just see where that landed you in terms of this tessellations. You remember it started off as an isometric cube, but just with a couple of nodes and moving around, it actually ended up completely different. That was just a couple steps just to completely transform this pattern. But if you can imagine adding more nodes, and more movement, and more customization, you can get to a place where it gets as complex as this lizard. Because technically this lizard was formatted around a shape that can rotate around itself, which is a hexagon. So as you can see with rotational tessellations, the sky is the limit when it comes to complexity. Right now, just with a couple movements, I've made this interesting pinwheel look, but you can have a lot of fun with this. In order to turn a tessellation pattern into an actual usable pattern swatch, you want to have enough of a sample of your pattern, let's say right now I have a bunch of these pieces gridded out, to actually put inside a clipping mask that can be repeated into a pattern. An easy way to remember this is that, when you're creating a square to hold all of this together, I'm going to go ahead and group this. All of this is one piece. I'm going to grab a square. I'm going to start drawing over this selection, but making sure that every anchor point that I create is attaching to the same spot in every single piece. As you can see here, the corner is equal to every single spot and every single shape. Right now, the center of that pinwheel is meeting up with every single corner here. What that allows for us to do is to put this into a clipping mask. But then when I actually bring in the pattern creation tool, it'll start tiling this together. I'm going to go into, Object, Pattern, Make. Right now, it's including the stuff that's around, inside the clipping mask as part of this creation. You want to go ahead and just size the tile to the art and click this button right here. What that does is, it ends up creating this pattern. Now it knows that if it repeats that box over and over again, it will actually repeat this pattern infinitely. I'm going to go ahead and say Done, and see if that worked out. Just going to make a very large box to see how it populates. That quick rotational tessellation is now something that can be used as a swatch. Again, it still has the same parameters as all the other types of swatches. You can rotate it, scale it. If you turned it into global colors prior to making this, you can update its colors. You can always go back and update the colors on your own by updating the pattern, by double-clicking the swatch. It's the same rules as before, but this time it's in a clipping mask. That's the basis of basically turning in any of these tessellations into a usable pattern swatch, just by using a group, and putting it inside a clipping mask, and making sure that that clipping mask is located in a very specific spot. Now that you have all these different patterns to use, use them for any application you can think of. It can be wrapping paper, apparel. Any thing that uses patterns, is now usable within these swatches that you created in Illustrator. So have that in, and have fun. 13. Final Thoughts: Congratulations. You've made it through the class. We know that was a lot of patterns. With a lot of these we realized we just showed you some basic approaches to get you started but there really is a lot of pushing and pulling and back and forth you can do to get started. We look forward to seeing what you come up with in the project gallery. It doesn't have to stop there. There's so many patterns in the world and there's so much more you can experiment with. A simple Google Search of MC Escher or tessellation will open up so many doors in terms of complexity. There's things called irregular tessellations where it's actually two different shapes merging together. Let's say, fish and a bird that creates on whole new pattern. There's a lot of work out there that just requires a lot of pushing and pulling and more time put into it. The sky's the limit in terms of how much work you want to put into the project. We're still learning ourselves to one of our favorite parts of all these SkillShare classes is learning from you guys. We look forward to seeing what you come up with. Thanks for watching.