I have the following rasterised image (ignore the club symbols in the corners):

Shape to be traced

I'd like this to be a rotationally symmetrical vector, but there's two challenges that I as an Illustrator newbie am not sure how to overcome;

  • the hashed vertical lines near the central club symbol
  • the sheer complexity of the squiggly lines in the rest of the pattern, and keeping them exactly at 45 degrees

I've taken care of the club symbols so no need to worry about those.

Essentially I'm wondering what approach a pro would use to trace/vectorise this in the most pain-free manner?

  • 1
    It's merely duplicated pieces. The vertical with a curly on top is the same, just repeated and resized. I'd rotate the entire thing 45° to so paths were perpendicular. Manually draw/trace one corner, then rotate and copy around center. Don't redraw repetition. -- not a great Stack question, it's largely opinion based and very project specific.
    – Scott
    Commented Jun 7 at 23:32

1 Answer 1


I would use a Transform effect (in the Appearance panel) for this. What follows isn't a tutorial, just the basic steps.

  1. Add some guides to mark the centre of the artwork

  2. Draw a rectangle with no fill or stroke, to cover the top half of the design, centring the rectangle on the vertical guide, with the bottom edge touching the horizontal guide. Then group this rectangle

  3. Enter the group in isolation mode, then draw one of the curly lines with the pen tool

  4. Exit isolation mode and select the group

  5. In the Appearance panel, add a Transform effect to the group, set it to 3 copies, 90 degree rotation, and set the transform point to the bottom centre point.

  6. Enter the group and add more shapes. Basically from this point on, everything will be rotated automatically as you draw each piece.

  7. When you have finished, expand the appearance, and add a pattern fill to shapes in the middle.

Here's an example. Here I've stroked the paths red so you can see them. You can also see the transform in the appearance panel and the invisible rectangle I used to make the group.

enter image description here

  • Red and black and the geometry of the swastika! If someone has already something against you he may well pick up these points. The decoration may disturb others who love the original. It's obviously difficult to stay away from the space between the wall and the wallpaper. Commented Jun 9 at 7:01
  • 1
    @user8922027 - I will give you one thing, it could look like a swastika if I were to look at it then shut my eyes and imagine I saw something else, while pretending I'm a moron. However, to then go on and make a comment suggesting that a sacred symbol of various world religions: Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, is "disturbing" in some way is beyond the pale, and potentially offensive. Luckily for you, I don't practice any of those religions. Be careful what you say, and to whom you might say it!
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jun 9 at 12:42
  • 3
    @user8922027 the problem with this way of thinking is that any 4 pronged radial symmetry looks like a swastika
    – joojaa
    Commented Jun 9 at 12:45
  • @joojaa - precisely.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jun 9 at 12:47

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