In today’s tutorial, I’ll be showing you 5 easy steps to make a chevron pattern in Adobe Illustrator.
You can watch the full video below, or scroll down for written directions.
You don’t need the pen tool to create chevron in Illustrator, and this is good news, my friends! Why? Because it is notoriously difficult to get things perfectly straight, equidistant, and symmetrical with the pen tool. In fact, the pen tool is known to induce headaches. Seriously.
So how will we make perfect chevron without it?
To create a chevron pattern, we’ll use a combination of the Line Segment Tool, the Zig Zag Effect, and the Blend Tool.
For this tutorial I’m using Illustrator Creative Cloud (which is a fancy way of saying that I’m using a cloud-based Illustrator with all the latest & greatest features), but creating chevron is a simple process that you can do in any version of Illustrator. Depending on which version you’re using, it may take you a few additional steps. Also remember that certain tools or features might be located in slightly different places.
How to Create Chevron Pattern in Illustrator
How to Create Chevron in Illustrator Step #1: Draw out two straight lines
In the toolbar, choose the Line Segment Tool. Hold down the Shift key while you drag out a line to keep it perfectly straight/level.
After you have your line, make sure it’s selected and hold down Shift + Alt (Option) to drag out an identical line. Drag it to the bottom of your artboard. Now you have one at the top and one below. Next we’ll make them zig-zags.
How to Create Chevron in Illustrator Step #2: Create the zig zag shape
With both lines selected, from the top menu bar, choose Effect > Distort & Transform > Zig Zag. Make sure Preview is checked so you can see how the settings are affecting your lines.
- Size affects the height of the line.
- Ridges per Segment will give us more or fewer zig-zags.
- Make sure Corner is selected; otherwise you’ll have wavy lines.
Play around with the settings until you like what you see, then click OK.
At this stage, if you want the lines to be heavier or thinner, you can adjust the stroke up or down until you reach the desired thickness.
How to Create Chevron in Illustrator Step #3: Create the chevron pattern
Now we’re going to fill up the space between our top and bottom line with more zig-zags to create the chevron pattern. This is simple to do using the Blend Tool.
In the top menu bar, choose Object > Blend > Blend Options.
In the Blend Options Menu, choose Specified Steps from the Spacing drop-down menu, and for Orientation: Align to Page.
The number you put into the box will be how many chevrons appear between the top and bottom line. For my chevron pattern, I entered 20, but don’t worry. You can always go back and edit this later.
Press OK. Don’t worry— your pattern will not appear yet. To fill in the pattern, go again to Object > Blend > Make
How to Create Chevron in Illustrator Step #4: Adjust the Chevron pattern
Now you can use your Direct Selection Tool to fine-tune your chevron pattern. To change the distance between each line, click on the bottom line and hold the Shift key (to keep it straight) while you drag up and down until it looks exactly how you want it. Add to or subtract from the number of chevrons by returning to Blend Options and adjusting the number you typed in the field in Step #3.
How to Create Chevron in Illustrator Step #5: Change Colors & Make Final Adjustments
Make final adjustments by changing the color of your Chevron or changing the stroke to make the lines thicker or thinner. Any changes you make will apply the same effect to all chevrons in the pattern.
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