This has been bugging me for some time and i'm not sure how to approach it. I've attempted several times. I'm trying to create the lines similar to the compositions in the picture shown:

enter image description here PS - If anyone could identify the designer who made these I would appreciate it.

  • To find the designer, I suggest doing a reverse image search. Google Images has this feature; click the camera icon in the input box.
    – JohnB
    Sep 17, 2013 at 19:33
  • possible duplicate of How do I create a polygon tessellation pattern in Adobe Illustrator?
    – Scott
    Sep 17, 2013 at 20:20
  • @Scott - forgot about that answer! That's definitely a better way to make a tessellation than my answer below, but if Bill is looking for a triangular grid to use as a guide for drawing, would Smart Guides see the edges and intersections in your method? If so, then the duplicate vote is appropriate.
    – Brendan
    Sep 17, 2013 at 20:26
  • 1
    @Brendan Nope smart guides doesn't see internal pattern paths. But you can always expand the pattern to standard objects.
    – Scott
    Sep 17, 2013 at 20:40

2 Answers 2


Different answers will work here; here's something I did in a matter of about a minute.

  • Select the Polygon Tool (Click and hold the Rectangle Tool in the Tools palette if you're not sure how to get it) and click on the canvas; give a 20px radius and 6 sides and press Enter.
  • Toggle Smart Guides (Ctrl + U) and select the Line tool (\ on the keyboard).
  • Draw three line segments to yield a group of six "triangles":

    lines bisecting hexagon

  • Group these together.

  • With your group selected (and your Selection Tool activated - v on the keyboard), press Enter. Since your radius was 20px, have your hex go 40 horizontally and 0 vertically. Press Copy (not OK!): Two groups of triangles!
  • Rinse and repeat as much as you'd like.
  • To go vertically, do the same thing but select your entire row, set your horizontal value to 20 and your vertical value to 40. That vertical value will actually be a bit much; just nudge the row up: Two rows now
  • Continue to repeat, either with the Move dialog as you have been or with the mouse, using Shift and Alt to lock into alignment and duplicate as you drag: Full grid

That will give you the grid. Once you have that in place, you can draw shapes within it pretty easily!

Shape in grid

  • Thank you so much! This is so practical. Bonus points for such thorough instructions.
    – Bill Brown
    Sep 17, 2013 at 21:02
  • 1
    Great answer, Brendan. You might want to add the option to 'make guides' out of the grid by right-clicking it.
    – Vincent
    Sep 18, 2013 at 9:43

If you want to make a HUGE triangle mesh, the above solutions make the file unmanageable.

In that case I recommend

  • pressing cmd+k

  • in the "constrain angle" box, type: 30 degrees

  • then with pen tool draw lines while holding shift. (Holding shift will constrain the angle of the line to 30 degrees. draw lines for 30 degrees, minus 30 degrees, and 90 degrees and/or 0 degrees to form triangles.)

  • select the lines and press cmd-5 to make guides.

good luck

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