illustrator chevron stripe tutorial

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The chevron pattern is a design of elegance and simplicity that has been showing up everywhere. I have created an easy tutorial showing how to create your own chevron pattern in Illustrator. Be careful, obsession with chevrons can spread like wildfire!

If you don’t already have Illustrator, you can download a free 30 day trial of Illustrator from Adobe. All keyboard shortcuts provided are for CS5 on a PC, they may vary slightly for other CS versions or Mac platform.

  1. Open Illustrator and create new document (CTRL + N) 12 inches by 12 inches.chevron_screenshot_1
  2. Turn on your Rulers (CTRL + R) and Grid (CTRL + ). Now snap to grid (SHIFT + CTRL + ).
  3. Set the stroke and fill colors to their defaults of Black and White (D).  default-colors
  4. Now change the fill to no color.                                                                   no-fill
  5. Select the Pen Tool (P) from the tools pallet, starting one row above the art board (document) bounds, click on the top left corner then click on the bottom right corner. chevron_screenshot_5Continue to click diagonally on each 1″ square intersection until the row is completed. Then continue down to the next row, with a straight line. Keep clicking on each square intersection until you close the path. chevron_screenshot_5b
  6. Using the Selection Tool (V), select your stripe by clicking on it, hold down CTRL + ALT and drag it straight down to duplicate. Release the mouse button when the duplicate stripe is in the correct position.chevron_screenshot_6
  7. Select your first stripe  and change the stroke and fill colors using the color picker. chevron_screenshot_7
  8. Now select and change both the stroke and fill colors of your second stripe as mentioned above.
  9. Select all on active board (ALT + CTRL + A), hold down CTRL + ALT and drag your stripes straight down to duplicate. Release the mouse button when stripes are in position.chevron_screenshot_9
  10. Duplicate (CTRL + D) the pair of stripes until the pattern fills the art board.chevron_screenshot_10
  11. Save as (SHIFT + CTRL + S) an AI file.

Ta-da! That’s your basic chevron stripe. Easy wasn’t it?

But that’s not all, you can make variations, endless variations, limited only by your imagination.

chevron_pattern_2chevron_pattern_3chevron_pattern_4

To get your chevron stripe pattern from Illustrator to Photoshop, for use in your digital creations, do the following:

  1. With Illustrator already open on your screen, open Photoshop and then the PSD document of your choice.
  2. In Illustrator, select all on active board (ALT + CTRL + A).
  3. Drag it from Illustrator to Photoshop.
  4. Use as you wish.

What are you waiting for? It’s time to get your chevron on!

subway art for babies

Perhaps I’m a bit late to the party, but I’m totally hooked on Subway art. I’m not talking about subterranean graffiti, which can be awe inspiring in its own right, but rather the artful positioning of typography in poster form. Traditionally, these signs, with a black background and cream letters take their cue from the scrolls used on subways and buses in the 1950’s and 1960’s to announce the next stop along the route.

Digital Subway inspired typography art is red hot in the design world right now. Don’t believe me? Go to Pinterest and never look back. Many hours can disappear in the blink of an eye while browsing the thousands of word arrangements based on themes, quotes and song lyrics. There is a printable out in cyberspace for literally every occasion – no kidding.

But if there is something you have been looking for and can’t find or you’ve found it but it’s not quite what you want, you can create your own. Which is right up my alley! You can create your typographic art in a variety of programs, including: Word, Power Point, InDesign, Photoshop, the list goes on and on. Being a Photoshop junkie myself, it’s naturally my go to.  As always, you can download a free 30 day trial of Photoshop from Adobe. I found great tutorial from It Works For Bobbi on how to create your own word art in Photoshop using guides, grids, and rulers – which I highly recommend.

I created this poster in the traditional Subway style, utilizing a black background with white text.  It’s based on the light rail route in my neck of the woods.  Can you guess the metropolitan area?

The answer is Minneapolis, MN. I used Roadway, a basic sans serif font that is modeled after municipal street signs.  I scaled and kerned the daylights out of it.  I think it turned out quite nicely.  Next, I will have to put a little age and wear on it, to give it that vintage look.

Now, to take a crack at the other version of this popular art form. This modern version of Subway art can take many shapes, utilize a rainbow of colors and numerous font sizes and styles.  I intend to use it to solve my current dilema, I need a baby shower gift for a friend, but there is no gift registry! I hate when people do that!!

Now back to my predicament…I need something cool and out of the ordinary…something that represents the here and now.

Got it! Sorry, no pink baby clothes for you little miss!! I’ve decided to create a unique, custom typographic art piece for this sweet baby girl. Modeled after a birth announcement, it has all of those important details on display. I sincerely hope that her parents choose to hang in up in her room and not throw it in the garbage.

Here is my little creation, incorporating the Pantone Fall 2012 color pallet and featuring a subtle chevron patterned background.

To give them a bit more oomph, I want to have both of these projects printed on canvas, instead of paper. Hey, it’s Cyber Monday! I know I can get an awesome deal on a canvas print from a number of online retailers. Canvas is expensive otherwise! I don’t feel like spending upwards of $50 on each piece.

Job well done. Awesome deal found, prints ordered. Now, I just have to wait, albeit impatiently, for them to arrive.

Get working on your own Subway art gallery today!