been trying to work this out from Google links but getting no where.

I haven't used Adobe illustrator for a while to custom draw anything, but have a client needing a pattern like this one:

line pattern

Essentially lines fanning out, going thin to thick with the same spacing. I had them all the same distance and thickness arcing around. They drew up this sketch tho of lines that get wider as they go along.

Can anyone give me a tutorial on how to do this please....?

Update: Tried using the Blend tool. Sort of worked, but the lines are not stepping with equal distance. Is there a way to adjust this? enter image description here

  • Anyone? I see someone gave me a -1 but didn't have anything to add. Good one.
    – Mick
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 2:15
  • Welcome to GD. The only reason why I could imagine someone downvoted your question is because you are asking for a tutorial and that is not the purpose of GD. You should post what you have tried and where you are having issues. I would vote up because it is a good question but I'm biased because I think you loose my vote for not showing effort so that is why I am not giving you a vote.. The community tends to like to see what effort you have tried so I would suggest making an edit with that and remove the line "can anyone give me a tutorial" and I would be more prone to help you, too.
    – user9447
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 2:18
  • Thanks for the advice. Ive tried using lines with a non uniform stroke added, grouped the lines then applied a warp using the effect / warp / arc distortion. Kind of works but the lines are not unformed all the way around.
    – Mick
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 2:40
  • Then tried drawing one line, with the variable thin to thick stroke, adding an ellipse to the side of it, then using the rotate and copy options selected the middle of the circle and copied the lines around. Then deleted out the middle circles. The lines follow the arc but again this is not uniform and the lines don't match the sketched image
    – Mick
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 2:42
  • Do you mind editing your question be clicking the edit link above and add screenshots with an example.. If you need help posting the pics just ping me and I will edit it further.
    – user9447
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 2:42

2 Answers 2


Thats a bit mean, the poor fella has got no idea - take two lines of different arching radius and use the Blend Tool to create say 15 steps between them, this will show you the transformation in 15 steps between one line and the other. Then try different line/brushes to enhance thickness at one end. Blend tool tut then "expand appearance" You may only need to use a section of your pattern so may need to create a clipping mask. _ so that you fullfill your end of the bargin, please follow up with screen shots and progress report

  • Added an update above. Kind of worked. Not quite right tho.
    – Mick
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 4:54
  • Yeah, (copy pattern) expand appearance on your duplicate pattern use the align tool to space out those end points but use the direct selection (white arrow) You might have to do this bit manually to get the right result
    – Mark Read
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 5:06

Intro and motivation

This is a general answer as how I would approach the problem at hand. Using the situation in the question as the use case. This way the answer is a bit more generally applicable.

Laying out a mass of shapes

Laying out a mass of shapes with precision is time consuming. The tools that can help you are the Blend tool, Transform again, Transform each, Align, Custom Brushes and Symbols.

After analysis of the case seems that Blend tool, Transform again and Custom Brushes may come into question. At first you should not discount any method.

Deconstruct the problem

One tool might not be enough. For example the lines that don't hit the bottom, and part of the shapes cut of by some invisible shape? Same applies to the other side.

enter image description here

Image 1: One possible deconstruction

An alternative view would be to think that there's no black lines but rather a solid black shape cut by white lines a top. The later view could make it easier to design equally spaced gaps.

In either any don't assume there's one tool that can solve the problem. You might need to cut shapes once you get the lines in right place. Or you might use multiple blends to make several parts of the fan shape, so one blend is right side of a line and the other is the left side.

Try many ways

Try several approaches until you get it, you might not succeed with the first try. And after trial you know better what the tools work and can make a better assumptions and trials.

And in the worst case scenario its still not a big job to draw them all manually with a line sued as a ruler stick moved about. Its just about 30 lines or 60 line sides if you need to manually do the stroke (you can merge them with no need to draw connecting segments). Which is not such a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

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