Illustrator Tutorial: Background Design


This is a great tutorial in which I encourage you be as creative as you want to be. It is an intermediate illustrator tutorial. We will be creating a background design that you can use for your websites, business card designs and even stationery designs.

Here is a picture of the background design that we will be creating:

Final background design

At the end of this tutorial, there is a detailed video that will guide you through the steps briefly outlined below.

Step 1: Creating a background with a gradient

Open a new Illustrator document that is 1200px by 900px. Choose your rectangle tool (M) and draw out a rectangle that covers the entire stage. Remove the stroke on your rectangle so that you only have a solid fill. Go to Window -> Gradient to open your Gradient dialogue box. With your rectangle background selected, create an orange to yellow linear gradient. Set the angle to -90 so that the gradient moves from the top to the bottom of your stage.

Here is an image of how your background should now look:

Step 1:  Background design

Step 2: Using the Pen tool, Gradients and the Screen blending mode to add an effect to your background design

Using the pen tool (P), draw a shape on your stage. Again, open the Gradient dialogue box (Window -> Gradient) and change the gradient of your shape so that it is yellow and black. Open the Transparency dialogue box (Window -> Transparency). Select the Screen blending mode. Play with the angle of your gradient until you are happy with what you have come up with.

Repeat this step again with another shape.

Your background image could look something like the picture below. It is really up to you, your creativity and the shapes that you create. Be creative and have fun!

Step 2:  Background design

Step 3: Using the Blend tool to add a wave to your background design

I can’t encourage you enough to be as creative as you want to be with this step. You are going to be creating a simple wave on your stage that you can change and alter as you see fit.

Select your Pen tool (P) and draw out a random path on the stage. Set the stroke to yellow. Select your Pen tool again and draw out another random path on the stage, this time setting your stroke to orange. In the main menu, go to Object -> Blend -> Blend Options… Select ‘Specified Steps’ and set it to ‘20’. Click OK. With your two paths selected, go to Object -> Blend -> Make and there you have it, a wave.

Have fun with this techniques. Change the colours of the strokes to change the look of your wave. Play with the waves transparency (Window -> Transparency) until your wave blends well with your background. Create as many waves as you would like until you are happy with your design.

Here is a video that takes you through this tutorial step-by-step:

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