How can I create this optical illusion in Illustrator or other programs?


The New York Times cover with optical illusion spelling out "DO YOU SEE" as the centerpiece

My attempt:

Attempted recreation

  • What have you tried? Where did you fail? Asking for complete tutorials is not what this site is for. You need to show some effort & research.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 14, 2021 at 10:36
  • I tried above attached image which is far from original one. ends are not connected properly. Aug 14, 2021 at 11:15
  • 1
    You are close. The reason why the ends doesn't meet is that the shapes of the letters don't follow the same precise grid as the lines. You can't use a normal font, but need to construct blocky letters yourself. Try looking at the faint S in the left bottom and notice how it fits a square grid. Try drawing this on checkered paper first to understand the principle.
    – Wolff
    Aug 14, 2021 at 13:17
  • Ow, my eyes⁠...
    – Vikki
    Dec 28, 2021 at 5:06

1 Answer 1


I used coreldraw and Line width modulation program to create this effect. I am just uploading Gifs for clear explanation. You can use Halftone effect as well for white effect as well. Hope you will understand.

That is what I created using two programs

That is what I created using two programs_01

That is what I created using two programs_02

That is what I created using two programs_03

That is what I created using two programs_04

That is what I created using two programs_05

That is what I created using two programs_06

  • 1
    Thanks Abdul Qayum, you are amazing. It helped a lot. What is the name of second program you used? Anyway thanks. Aug 14, 2021 at 14:04
  • 2
    Good answer. It would be even better if you could explain what is happening in words as well. Just having GIFs with no explanation makes it a bit hard to follow imo.
    – Wolff
    Aug 14, 2021 at 14:13
  • Thanks Wolff, I will try to write answer in written as well little later. It is always convenient for me to make videos and upload but I will keep in mind your suggestion as well. Aug 14, 2021 at 14:15
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    Having written explanation isn't only more understandable, it also makes it possible to search for this question later. The worst would be if the question just says "How to make this?" followed by an image and the answer just says "This is how:" followed by a GIF. Such a question would never be seen again by anyone. For example neither this question or your answer contain the phrase "diagonal lines", which could be something people would search for if they wanted to make this effect.
    – Wolff
    Aug 14, 2021 at 14:41
  • 1
    Yes you are absolutely right. I will edit it soon with written explanation. Aug 14, 2021 at 14:47

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