How To Create a Hexagonal Geometric Pattern in Adobe Illustrator

Hello everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics back with another video tutorial for Adobe Illustrator Today we're going to create a simple geometric pattern using a bunch of hexagons and a nice colour scheme, finished off with some subtle textures

I've done a couple of tutorials based on this style of artwork in the past, but I've since been enlightened about a couple of third party scripts that alleviate the tedious process of manually applying the colours, which is the technique I showed in my previous videos So before you start, you'll want to grab the RandomSwatchesFill script, and my free pack of concrete subtle grunge textures Links to both are down in the description area To install the script, navigate to the Illustrator directory On a Mac that's via the Applications folder, or navigate to Program Files on Windows

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Head to Presets and through to Scripts, then drop the downloaded JS file in there Quit and reboot Illustrator and you're ready to rock First create a new document for your geometric design If you're creating your artwork as a poster, you might want to set up a document at a specific print size, but if you're just having fun, selecting pixels is handy just to be able to work in nice rounded numbers I'm using a document size of 3000x2000px

Click and hold the Rectangle tool to access the Polygon tool from its group Click somewhere in the upper left region of the document to create a shape at a specific size Enter 100px as the radius and 6 sides to make it a hexagon Hold the Shift key and drag the corner handle to rotate the shape by 90 degrees Give the shape a black fill and clear out its stroke, then go to Object > Path > Offset Path

Enter 10px, then give this new offset shape a random colour fill Go to the View menu and check that Smart Guides are active These will help you accurately snap and align the shapes in the following steps Drag a selection around both shapes to select both the hexagon and its offset shape, then hold the ALT key and drag a copy to the side Use the Smart Guides to snap it perfectly to the side of the first shape

Use the shortcut for Transform Again, which is CMD or CTRL and D to repeat this duplication step 7 times to create a series of aligned shapes Next we need to create a copy of the full row However if you try and snap them into place as you would expect, for some reason Illustrator doesn't acknowledge those particular points, so it makes it difficult to align them exactly There is a little trick we can use though! Select one of the coloured offset shapes, then select the Scissors tool Give the top and lower right points a snip, then drag a selection across the entire row and try dragging a duplicate while holding the Alt key again

This time the smart guides take notice of those points and allow you to align the shapes based on their positions Snap the second row into place to continue the tessellation of the hexagon pattern Select and delete the end shape on the second row, then draw a selection around the two rows and make another copy, this time just dragged vertically The CMD+D Transform Again shortcut can now be used to fill out the rest of the document About 6 times should fill the available space

Select All with the CMD or CTRL and A shortcut then use the Smart Guides to align the pattern centrally to the document Click one of the coloured shapes, then go to Select > Same > Fill Color We only needed these offset shapes to align the pattern, so they can now be deleted Next we need a nice colour scheme for the design I like to quickly find something on ColourLovers, take a screenshot of the palette and paste it into the document to work from

Activate the eyedropper tool and load a sample of the first colour as a fill, then click the New Swatch icon from under the Swatches panel Repeat the process with all the other colours in the palette, then delete the screenshot Click the first swatch, then shift and click the last swatch and create a custom group, just to keep them nicely organised Select all the hexagons with the CMD+A shortcut, then choose a number of colours from your custom palette, but save one for use as the background Click the first one, then shift click the last one to highlight them all

This is where the custom script comes into play Previously I used the slightly tedious technique of manually selecting a bunch of shapes and adding a coloured swatch fill, but the RandomColourFill script does all the hard work in a split second With the hexagon shapes and your chosen swatches selected, head to File > Scripts > RandomColorFill The script will automatically change the fill colour of all the shapes based on your swatch selection Select the rectangle tool and draw a shape from the top left to bottom right of the artboard, using the Smart Guides to snap exactly to the corners

Add the leftover swatch you chose as the background, then right click and go to Arrange > Send to Back Usually I'd switch over to Photoshop for texturing, but there's no reason why we can't do it in Illustrator, so to keep this an Illustrator only tutorial and cover some different techniques to my previous videos, let's import the textures directly Select All and press CMD+G to group everything Under the Transparency panel, click the Make Mask button to create an Opacity Mask Head to File > Place, then choose one of my concrete subtle grunge textures

Now Illustrator is a primarily a vector application so it defaults to 72ppi as its on-screen resolution Because we're working in pixels instead of a physical measurement like millimetres or inches things get a bit weird with the sizing These textures are actually 3000x2000px 300ppi, so it's safe to resize them back up, then export the artwork at 300ppi later Rotate the texture by 90 degrees to fit the proportions of the artboard, then use the Align panel to centre them up, making sure to check the Align to Artboard setting Since this texture is being placed inside an opacity mask, it uses the white to black tones to erase the artwork

Reduce the opacity to around 40% to reduce the effect Click the thumbnail square on the left in the Transparency panel to exit out of mask mode back into normal editig mode, then go to File > Place and choose a different texture Resize, rotate and align this texture, then change the blending mode to Multiply with 30% opacity to add some dark grainy tones to the artwork The final result is a simple geometric pattern that looks really cool with a nice muted colour scheme with subtle grungy texturing The use of that handy script made the process of making fun patterns like this much easier, but you might want to check out some of those older videos for more ideas for pattern designs using different shapes

You'll be able to whizz through the tutorial much faster with this new technique! So I hope you enjoyed this latest video tutorial for Adobe Illustrator I'm super proud that this channel has almost reach the big 100,000 subscriber milestone, so a thumbs up on the video and a share with your friends would be a big help to push towards that goal As always thank you very much for watching, and I'll see you in the next one!

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