How to Create an Arabic background in Adobe Illustrator

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Today we're going to learn how to create a geometric Arabic mosaic background in Adobe Illustrator. It might seem a bit complicated but as you'll see it’s not complicated at all, because we'll be working with basic geometric shapes. We just need to make tiles and create a repetition pattern. A really easy, useful and attractive style, let’s go for it!

1. Preparing a new document

The first step is to prepare a new document in Adobe Illustrator (File>New) with these values:

  • Dimensions: 800x600px
  • Color mode: RGB
  • Resolution: 72ppp

And we'll activate the option “Align New Objects to Pixel Grid”

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2. Create a base guide

We'll make two small pieces that fit into each other like a puzzle. The first thing we need to do is determine the size of both pieces and  create a size guide with the Pen tool- I recommend you do this in a separate layer and lock it so we can use it without it bothering us.

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3. Create the first piece

STEP 1

We'll start with an eight point star using basic geometric shapes; grab the Rectangular marquee and make a square and a diamond shape with the same size and stroke (the stroke color doesn’t really matter because we can change it later) with no fill color. Then we'll paste one on top of the other and apply Merge, from the Pathfinder. Once we’ve got the first star, we'll create another inside.

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STEP 2

Since we now have the main element of our composition we can copy and paste it (CTRL C+CTRL V) four times and place everything inside our guide.

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4. Creating the second piece

STEP 1

We'll create the same star as we did in the previous steps, but this time instead of putting another star inside, we'll put in a circle with the Ellipse tool.

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STEP 2

Once we’ve got the star with the circle, we'll place it in the middle of our guide and we'll start adding geometric elements around our design. To do this we'll have to work with the Pen Tool, Polygon and Pathfinder. We need to have in mind that the shapes need to fit with each other to get the effect of the arabic mosaic.

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STEP 3

We'll make sure our pieces fit each other.

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STEP 4

Let's group the pieces (CTRL G) and Expand them. In pathfinder>combine.

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5. Apply color

STEP 1

Create a color palette that fits in the arabic style. Then, we'll determine the number of colors we're going to use and in the swatch palette we'll create a folder with those colors so we can access them easily.

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STEP 2

We'll color our design as we like with Object>Live paint>make.

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5-2b

6. Compose

Start duplicating (CTRL C+ CTRL V) and fit the pieces until you cover the whole workspace.

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Trick

While the piece we want to duplicate is selected, press ALT+Shift to duplicate it and move it horizontally or vertically with more precision.

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STEP 1

When we have all our workspace covered, apply Combine from the pathfinder.

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STEP 2

Now let’s get rid of the part of the design we don’t want so it just covers our Artboard. We'll do this by creating a rectangle the same size as the Artboard, on top of our design and we'll make sure that it’s perfectly aligned.

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Then we'll select everything and apply Crop from the pathfinder.

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7. Delete the stroke

Let’s remove the grey strokes. With the Direct Selection Tool, we'll select a part of the design that's grey and click on Select>Same>Fill color (this will select the fillings with the same colors) and delete.

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8. Add final effects

To finish we'll add some effects to get a perfect design; Select everything and apply Effect>Stylize>Outer glow.

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And we're done! A beautiful background that you can use for whatever you want! I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and found it useful!

Until the next time!

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