Have you ever tried to create borders and frames? There are many ways to create them, but my favorite is using a pattern brush in Illustrator.
These patterns are easy to create and you can add the designs on any type of shape. You can also scale them and change the colors without losing quality.
In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to create 4 geometric pattern brushes in Illustrator. I’m using Adobe Illustrator CC, but you can also use CS6 or older versions that support pattern brushes.
These are the 4 geometric brushes that we are going to make:
How to make a seamless pattern brush in Illustrator (video)
I’ve recently started a new YouTube channel where I will show you how to use Photoshop and Illustrator to create seamless patterns, brushes, and graphics for your blog, business, or social media. Please subscribe to Elan Creative Co’s channel if you want to see more video tutorials.
My channel is only one month old and I’m still very new at this and very nervous, so please excuse my mistakes 🙂
Here’s how to make a geometric pattern brush in Illustrator. Scroll down for the step by step tutorial.
How to make simple pattern brushes in Illustrator
We are going to start by drawing the graphics. The first brush is a simple string of stars. The second one is made of stars and dots. So using the Star Tool, draw a star.
For the second brush, draw a star using the Star Tool and a circle using the Ellipse Tool (L). Hold down the Shift key while you draw to create a perfect circle.
How to turn your graphics into brushes
To open the Brushes panel, go to Window > Brushes.
Use the Selection Tool (V) to select the star and drag it into the Brushes panel.
This will open up the Pattern Brush Options panel. This menu will help you create the brush.
From this menu, you can rename the pattern brush, scale it, and change the spacing between graphics. I increased the spacing to 10%.
The pattern brush is composed of 5 tiles. The Side Tile is the main pattern, there are two Corner Tiles, a Start Tile, and an End Tile. Illustrator auto-generates corner tiles, but they don’t always look great, so we will create our own custom corners.
From the Pattern Brush menu, you can also change the way the graphics are arranged on the path. I usually use Approximate Path.
If you want to be able to recolor your brush, change the Colorization Method to something other than None. I usually use Hue Shift.
Press Ok to save the brush.
To use the brush, draw a circle using the Ellipse Tool or a path using the Brush Tool or the Curvature Tool. Click on the path using the Selection Tool and then go to the Brushes menu and select your new brush.
You can resize and recolor the brushes by changing the stroke size and color.
I’m going to use the same method to make the second brush. So use the Selection Tool to select the 4 stars and dots and drag them into the Brushes panel.
Change the scale and spacing if they are too large, change the Fit settings to Approximate Path and the Colorization Method to Hue Shift. Click Ok to save it.
This is how the second brush looks:
How to make custom corners
These brushes look great on curved paths, but if you use straight lines, the corners don’t always look great. So let’s create custom corners for the first brush.
Select the star using the Selection Tool and go to Object > Pattern > Make. This will open the Pattern Tool. Press Done to save the pattern.
Double-click on your Stars Brush from the Brushes panel to open the pattern brush options.
Click on the little arrows next to the Outer Corner Tile and Inner Corner Tile and choose the new pattern from the list. This will change the auto-generated corners to your custom corners. Press Ok to save.
You can now use the brush with straight lines and rectangles.
How to create a complex geometric pattern in Illustrator
The last two brushes are just as easy to make, but there are a few things you need to do to have a seamless brush.
Let’s draw the patterns. Use the second pattern and add a line on top to create the third brush. You can draw using the Line Segment Tool (\) with the stroke set to black. Hold down the Shift key to create a straight line.
To create a seamless pattern, the line has to be a little bit larger than the graphics because Illustrator will merge the edges of your graphics to create the pattern brush.
For the fourth brush, duplicate the stars and dots and drag them on top of the line. Also, remove the fill color of two of the dots and set the stroke to black.
To create the pattern brushes, select each pattern and drag it to the Brushes panel. The settings are similar to the simple geometric brush, but make sure the spacing is set to 0. If the spacing is larger, you will have a dotted line instead of a seamless pattern.
Let’s test the brushes:
You can use pattern brushes to create borders and frames for logos, badges, cards, or even graphics for your blog.
Do you use pattern brushes in Illustrator? What other Illustrator tutorials do you want to see?