To create a shape like the one in the image below, which option would you use and why?

enter image description here As you can see option "A" only uses anchor points at the peaks and then uses broken handles to achieve the curve in between points. Option "B" also uses anchor points at each peak but with no handles, so an extra anchor point with handles is needed in the middle to achieve the curve.

Personally I have found that option B is the faster technique even though it requires more anchor points. Option A requires a lot of finessing of the handles to get the curves just right. But which option would you use?

  • Makes absolutely no difference. Although B may offer a bit more control.
    – Scott
    Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 23:29
  • @Joonas - I don't think that's the same question. The OP seems to already know how to use the pen tool efficiently, but rather is asking which of the two options we would use and why.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 10:45
  • @BillyKerr, I thought that was exactly what the other question was about. The only difference I can see in that question is that OP says he is a beginner, but I don't see how that changes the question given he provides two examples that are exactly like these and asks which of the two methods is better and why... So what exactly is the difference?
    – Joonas
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 20:00

2 Answers 2


You can do it any way you want. There are no graphic design police.

Using as few anchors as possible is a little trickier, but more efficient in terms of file size. It's certainly a skill you should learn. However, it shouldn't make much difference really, especially when the design is fairly simple anyway. An additional 8 anchors is neither here nor there.

Best not to obsess over this kind of thing. I've seen people spend far to much time trying to get a complex curve right with as few anchors as possible, when it would be easier to simply add another anchor in the middle for more control.

Also note that using fewer anchors does matter much more in some specific areas, such as in font design, or in a complex design where having too many anchors would increase the file size of an SVG, etc.


Version B comes out nearly automatically if you draw curves on the fly:

Phase one:

"Hmm it's perfect until this. I click a node to keep it. Then I'll continue straight downwards and then to the right":

enter image description here

Phase two:

"Just now it should point to the right. I think a second and decide then how I continue":

enter image description here

But if one draws at first a polyline and then smoothens it with the anchor type conversion tool, he can make more A-type solutions:

enter image description here

That's because he can work along an existing path and has a possiblity to feel proud after reducing unnecessary nodes which easily create unwanted bumps and twists.

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