Tutorial: border in Illustrator

August 7, 2008 at 7:33 am 1 comment

I saw this tutorial and thought the technique would be great for making interesting borders for different things. Here is a step by step tutorial to make something like this:

The first thing we need to do is creat the little shape that is repeated along the contour.

1. Create a new circle and set the fill to black (or any color you want). Right now you have this:

2. Go to Object -> Path -> Add anchor points. You should have this:

3. To give it the flowery border go to: Effect -> Distort & Transform -> Pucker & Bloat. A message box will appear where you can edit the settings. Here is what i used:

4. Create a new circle and fill it (I chose white) and then mover it over the shape. To make sure it’s perfectly aligned, select both shapes and click the Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons: and . If you can’t see the buttons, go to Window and check the Control toolbar. Now you should have:

5. Next we’ll convert the shape into a brush. Before doing that, I suggest resizing the shapes (hold the Shift key down while resizing so it keeps the original proportions). After that is done, bring up the Brushes toolbar (F5) and click on the options menu -> New Brush:

Select New Pattern Brush in the dialog that appears:

and then ok in the following dialog box. (you can play with the settings there, but for now the default ones are good).

6. Draw and oval and for Brush select the brush you just made. Here is how it looks for me:

The result is:

That doesn’t look too good, and it’s not what we wanted to have, so I selected the smallest Stroke value that’s possible (0.25) and this is what I have:

This is where you can see the effects of the resize we did before the New brush step. If I would have made it smaller here, the shapes would be smaller (as in the preview image).

And this concludes the tutorial. You can use this as a border for tabs, notebook pages, anything you think would look good with this. I suggest experimenting with the shapes, sizes and colors, you’ll probably end up with far more interesting things 🙂


Entry filed under: design, illustrator, tutorial.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Los Angeles Website Designers  |  January 13, 2011 at 4:08 am

    OMG! this is exactly what I needed… I needed to design a stamp emblem that has those rounded waves


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