Graphic Design: Create a Polygonal Background

Beginner level Adobe Illustrator Adobe Illustrator

Create and prepare the document

Step 1

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

  • Dimensions: 800x600 pixels
  • Color mode: RGB
  • Resolution: 72 ppi
  • Activate the “Align new objects to pixel grid” option


Step 2

With the Rectangle Tool, draw a shape in a flat color that completely fills the Artboard with color. Choose the color that you want to be the main color of the abstract background. Ensure that the layer is centered using the Align panel, aligning it to the center of the artboard. Lock this layer to make it easier to work with.


Create polygons and make a design with them

Step 1

In a new layer, use the Polygon tool to create a regular polygon with strokes and without a fill. With the Pen tool, draw lines from the corners of the polygon to the center. Lastly, select the polygon and the lines and group them (Control + G).


Step 2

Copy and paste the shape to duplicate it. Keep the original polygon outside of the Artboard so that you're able to come back to it when needed. Work with the copy of the polygon. Use the Direct Selection Tool to select any corners you’d like and move them in order to make the shape irregular.


Step 3

Copy and paste the original polygon again. Repeat the process to make the shape irregular, but this time, join some of the corners to the irregular polygon you've already created. Repeat this process over and over, making new polygons that are distorted and joining them to the corners of the ones that are already made. Don’t worry too much about the final result, just keep going.


Step 4

When the Artboard is covered, select all the polygons and group them. When you’ve finished, use the rectangle tool to create a rectangle with stroke and without a fill that goes around the group of objects.


Colors and effects

Step 1

Create a folder in the Swatches panel with the different colors we're going to be using on our polygons (3 or 4 colors of a similar luminosity are enough). Select all the strokes and click on Object > Live Paint > Make and begin coloring each triangle with a color from the pallette.


Step 2

When all the triangles are colored, remove the stroke so that you're left with the color that you just applied. Expand live paint by clicking on Object > Live Paint > Expand.


Step 3

Copy the triangles and paste them into a new layer in the same position using Ctrl + F. With the new triangles selected, apply a gradient by clicking on Window > Gradient. Choose a linear gradient and apply it to the fill. A black and white gradient will appear; leave the opacity of the white at 0%.


Step 4

Without deselecting all the shapes with gradients, apply an effect to the layer by clicking on Window > Transparency, choosing the color Overlay option and reducing opacity by around 10% or 20%.


Step 5

So that the design is tighter and more compact, create a new layer and, using the Rectangle tool, create a shape that is the same size as the Artboard and center it to the vertical and horizontal axis.


Step 6

Apply a gradient to the fill of this shape as you previously did, but this time, choose a radial gradient. Again, click on Window > Transparency, choose Color Burn and reduce opacity by 10% or 20%.


End result

And there you have it! A very attractive and handy design that you can use in many different ways. I hope you found this tutorial helpful and interesting. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to write to us in the comments section and we’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.


See you soon!

What do you think of this tutorial?


Today we’re going to make an abstract background from basic shapes using Adobe Illustrator. This is an image which could be very useful for you in future projects. It’s not necessary to have extensive knowledge to get good results, so… let’s get to it!

Tut Details

Beginner level 20m 6,871 views


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