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.

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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!

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chevron crush

chev·ron: An inverted V-shaped pattern.

I am borderline obsessed with chevron patterns. It’s easy to see by just looking at my blog background. I have also devoted an entire Pinterest board to my Chevron crush.

In retrospect, the chevron has been a fixture in most of my life. As a young child, (I’m about to date myself here) in the 1980’s, I recall having a pastel rainbow chevron leotard for dance class, my father having a rust colored chevron puffy ski vest, my mother having a chevron stripe sweater. OMG, I just threw up a little in my mouth at those memories. More fondly, I remember my Granny and how she would crochet chevron (zig zag) blankets. It was her signature gift item. Every time my bedroom decor changed colors, and it was often, she would make me a coordinating blanket. I also spent many hours during my tween years making chevron friendship bracelets and exchanging them with my circle of friends.

The chevron pattern is a design of elegance and simplicity that has been showing up everywhere in the interior design world: on kitchen walls, backsplashes, floors, throw rugs, pillows and shower curtains. Thankfully it’s also made a big splash in the digital design world. I’ve found some beautiful holiday card designs, papers and printables.

I’m so hooked on this style, that brings an air of sophistication and modernism to everything it touches, that I feel the need to incorporate it in virtually every one of my current digital creations. I found an amazingly easy tutorial from Ashli Nixon for creating the pattern in Photoshop. If you don’t already have Photoshop, you can download a free 30 day trial of Photoshop from Adobe.

After all of that hard work, I discovered an even simpler way to create an modify a basic chevron pattern using Illustrator, thanks to an awesome tutorial from Nicole’s Classes.  Both methods are fun, but the Photoshop method is a bit more time consuming.

Needing to put my own little spin on everything, I’ve taken the basic chevron tutorial from Nicole’s Classes and adapted it to create the variations below featuring Pantone’s Fall 2012 color pallet.

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Click here for my tutorial and get your chevron on!