I'm trying to create something similar to this example:

example sprial

What tool should I use, or is it just squares and circles attached together? Great if you know a tutorial for this effect.

6 Answers 6


That kind of tight, uniform spiral is called an Archimedean spiral (aka Archimedes spiral). They can't be made by the regular spiral tool which only makes expanding (logarithmic) spirals.

enter image description here

There are two ways to make them I know of:

  • A method using art brushes described on vector guru:

    1. Take as many parrallel lines as you want loops
    2. Nudge one end of the lines up by the gap between the lines
    3. Group them and turn them into an art brush
    4. Apply the art brush to a circle of the appropriate size
    5. If you want to fix the spiral and edit individual segments, Object > expand
  • A script by Hiroyuki Sato

  • great answer, unfortunately vector guru gives me only 1 path to modify. Thank you for identifying the name of this spiral, it helped me to find a solution to the problem!
    – Igor-G
    Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 12:57
  • @Igor-G after creating and applying the artbrush, choose Object > Expand Appearance and you'll have the full spiral shape. It won't be a path, it'll be a spiral shape.
    – Scott
    Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 22:05

I have a published a script that can do this, and more. The script can be found in my scripts bundle.

This script allows you to graph any mathematical function. The GUI is a bit rough along the edges at writing of this message but I'm planning to overhaul that some day.

Here's how you do a linear spiral with the script:

  1. launch the script. You can do this double clicking or by drag and dropping the jsx file into illustrator.
  2. Fill in the following values:


    archimedean spiral

    Image 1: Settings in the dialog window. Offsets are optional so the image is not in top corner.

  3. Press Ok. You should get:

    enter image description here

    Image 2: Result.

You can do plenty of other mathematical shapes too. Hope this helps somebody. Feedback and bug reports welcome.

enter image description here

Image 3: Ideas for other graphs you can do.


Which part are you referring to? If it's the spiral, don't use the spiral tool. You'll want a linear/Archimedean spiral for that. You can find a tutorial on creating those here: http://vectorguru.com/tutorials/013-archimedean-spiral-in-illustrator.html

If it's the circled segments of the spiral, just split your spiral into individual paths and give them circular caps (under the 'Stroke' menu).

If it's neither of these, please clarify and I will try to help/analyse. :)


Spirals in Inkscape

The default spiral in Inkscape can be nicely shaped according to our needs. It is three parameters that control our spiral:

  • Turns: number of turns a spiral takes
  • Divergence: relative change of distance between lines
  • Inner radius: relative size of the innermost circle

Below are some examples for various settings (inner radius always at 0.1, radial fading gradient for stroke color):

  • Turns 8.00 Divergence: 1.00

    enter image description here

  • Turns 8.00 Divergence: 4.00

    enter image description here

  • Turns 8.00 Divergence: 0.50

    enter image description here

  • Turns 24.00 Divergence 1.00

    enter image description here


I have found a tutorial from lynda.com: http://blog.lynda.com/2012/08/14/dekes-techniques-drawing-a-perfect-spiral-in-illustrator/ No need for extra scripts and gives a lot of control(more paths) not like a circle in the vector guru.

They are suggesting using Polar Grid tool, by using arrows up,down and right,left we can add or remove the circles(up/down) and spokes(right/left), then select bottom half of all the circles using "A". Cut and 'paste in front', select all the circles and ungroup twice, to break all the connections. then select the bottom half of all the circles again and move it by one increment. This will create 2 spirals that looks like this:2 spiral

the unselect all and select just one of the spirals by shift select all the paths and delete or group... this will look like this:spiral



I stand corrected; I was a little too fast there. What you want is, as @user568458 and @rpauldesign points out, an Archimedian spiral. I will however let this answer stand, as it might be useful to someone some day. And the last bit on the bottom is still valid.

The spiral tool:

enter image description here

Duplicate the first spiral, and then use the scissors to divide into the black objects. The square mesh I suspect are simply that. Create dotted lines and distribute with the distribute-options:

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.