When creating illustrations, I have seen recently there is this new rounded edges trend going on in the design world like in this image here

New Rounded Edge Trend

and I was wondering if anyone knew how to do this with the pen tool in illustrator, because I can easily make shapes like rectangles have curved edges in illustrator but I don't know how to make the end of the pen tools line rounded. As well does anyone know what this trend is called?

  • 1
    There's many ways to make something rounded - what is the object you're trying to make rounded constructed as? What have you tried?
    – Ryan
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 13:29
  • 1
    This answer on another question possibly solves your problem: how can I increase my workflow of making cloud shapes?. That's how I'd create the trailing lines on the left, anyway
    – JohnB
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 13:31
  • Thanks @JohnB, I had an idea about that technique but I am more interested in creating that rounded reflection within the egg yolk, with the pen tool. Because I am able to easily make edges curved for rectangles by pulling the handles within illustrator but I want to know how to making a curved rounded edged object with the pen tool (sorry if I am explaining this really bad)
    – Ashen Page
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 13:40
  • 2
    I would still use the same technique for the reflections. It's just a single stroked path with round end caps
    – JohnB
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 13:43
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    This answer should better explicitly show you how: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/a/37002/8708
    – JohnB
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 13:44

3 Answers 3


There are actually many ways to accomplish rounded shapes....

  • You can draw circles at ends of rectangles and use Pathfinder or the Shape Builder Tool.

  • You can use Effect > Stylize > Round Corners

  • You can use VectorScribe from Astute Graphics (third party $$ plug in -- See note below).

  • You can use thick strokes with round end caps.

  • And then, of course, you can use the pen tool to pull Bezier handles creating curves.

enter image description here

NOTE The above is all done in Illustrator CS6. Although the same procedures also work in newer versions of the application. The stock installation of Illustrator CC2014 also has rounding options which are similar to the VectorScribe plug in. See below. (Wonder where Adobe got the idea?)

enter image description here

Which method you use depends greatly upon construction and desired appearance.

  • Nice answer. I suggest to complete your encyclopedic answer by adding "round any corner script" and CAD tools fillet command. ;)
    – hsawires
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 17:05
  • 1
    @hsawires While I agree those are methods worth mentioning, I don't personally have any experience with either. I use the methods above. You can edit this answer to add those if you'd like, or supply your own answer with those methods. I make no claim that this answer covers absolutely everything possible :)
    – Scott
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 17:07
  • Thanks, for anyone still trying to create this effect here is a tutorial youtube.com/watch?v=IsbeqtIIt7I
    – Ashen Page
    Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 14:05

The small trick with Pen Tool is to use it with Shift. This is related to the question as-is. There are a lot of ways to make the shapes you mentioned.

You place the Point in every place where the curve changes its direction. When you press Shift you get straight lines and dragging the handles will create nice round curves - as on this 1 minute picture.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Uh... care to explain that a bit more, Ilan? How do I use shift with the pen tool to achieve this effect?
    – Vincent
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 14:46
  • @Vincent Is it not straightforward? OMG... I will add this explanation $)
    – Ilan
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 14:47
  • Not indeed if you haven't tried it. Now the answer is also legible to people who don't have much experience with the pen tool. Thanks!
    – Vincent
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 15:08

You can use the round corner script too. I think the best way is to use directly the rounded rectangle tool.

  • 2
    You may actually want to show/explain how to do this and why you think its best in the context. Stackexhange tends to frown uppon short answers like this because they have linoted or no value. Its more like a comment now, and you still need a few more points to comment. Edit pöease.
    – joojaa
    Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 7:53
  • i think is the best, or one of the best, becuse you can simply draw it like a shape-->round rectangle tool. when you cast, by clicking on the artboard with left mouse, you can set corner radius gobally. the effect "round corner" (effects--> stylize--> round corners) is not so "sharp", i think.
    – FlexArt
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 1:05
  • Dynamic vector tool (i think is in vector scribe packet) is good too, because it works like a direct selection tool, so you can dynamically set your corners imgur.com/a/m4Moh
    – FlexArt
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 1:14
  • @FlexArt you can edit your answer to include this information instead of adding as a comment
    – Luciano
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 7:58
  • sorry, when i was editing, 5 minutes has passed.
    – FlexArt
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 20:03

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