I am new here and a beginner graphic designer. I am trying to learn how to generate a pattern like below:

enter image description here

My question is:

Is there any way to do this in Adobe Illustrator?

In the image above, I am looking for learning:

  1. Randomness in a specific set of colors, or shades/tints of a color.
  2. Randomness in a specific set of angles.

Appreciate your help. Thanks.

Disclaimer: I don't own the image above.

4 Answers 4


I started with creating a circle (50pt diameter) and using a few lines and the Shape Builder Tool, I broke it into 4 equal pieces:

circle broken up into 4

Then used Transform effects (Effect → Distort & Transform → Transform) to move the shape 50pt and create a bunch of copies.

Now Expanded with Object → Expand Appearance and ungrouped everything.

I now have a bunch of individual paths:

bunch of copies of that broken up circle

To get all the randomness, will require a use of various illustrator scripts, they are all available and I will try to link to them all.

Applying random color was easy enough, using the script from this answer, I just selected my group of colors and ran the script.

colors applied

In your example, there are some pies (that's what I'm gonna call them) which are not there. To apply that randomly, I used the script Random Select by André Berg.

Simply set an amount to select (I did 20%) and delete the selected objects.

after deleting some pies

Now for the rotation; in your example, everything is done in 90° increments, so I used the same random selection script (this time on 25%) and then rotated by 90°.

In order to rotate the individual paths and not the entire selection, you have to use

Right click → Transform → Transform Each Alt+Shift+Ctrl+D

I then repeated this a few times (Random Select → Transform Each → Rotate 90°)

final result

Now, with a bit of Illustrator scripting experience, you could actually create a script that rotates your paths by either 90° 180° 270°.

This would make it that you didn't need to randomly select and rotate a few times, just select all and run the script, then run again until satisfied with the outcome.

You can also use just one color and then use this random opacity script by Iaroslav Lazunov to make everything different tints of the same color (assuming that your background is white).

You can even do both for a nice effect.

enter image description here

  • To do the tints and cut-outs, a new layer of just single quarter-section squares can be made in white color and then rotated around the bottom-right anchor point via random transform rotation effect. A pure white square will cut out the background while a square with less than 100 opacity would make the tint.
    – Silly-V
    Nov 27, 2018 at 15:23

I usually play around with nested Transform effects on objects to create patterns.

Effects > Distort & Transform Effects >Transforms…

Illustrator has powerful scripting tools that you can use to create random patterns and colors. There are a bunch of YouTube videos and Tutorials out there explaining how to create patterns and random colors via scripts, or download already made script which can be applied to your designs.

Here are some few links that might be of help (I know add linking to answers is discouraged but I know you will find these detailed tutorials more enlightening or google search the attached titles just in case the link is broken )

Hope this can give you a head start into a deeper reading.


You can do this with or without plugins, but using a plugin might help. I've developed a plugin called Randomill that is used for exactly these kinds of scenarios. I'll detail both methods below:

Without Plugins:

  1. Create a grid of quarter circles. This can be done by drawing a circle and using the pathfinder to cut away three quarters of it, leaving only one quarter.
  2. Use a random selection script to randomly select some percentage of the grid and delete it. There are plenty of free random selection scripts out there that can do this. This is what will give the random empty spaces throughout the pattern.
  3. Use that same random selection script to repeatedly select random percentages of the grid and then rotate them by either 90, 180, or 270 degrees. This must be done several time to truly randomize the rotation of the majority of the grid.
  4. Use a free color randomizer script to randomize the colors of the grid. 'Random Swatches Fill' is one of the more popular ones.

With Plugins:

I've made a plugin called Randomill which is specifically geared towards randomizing various properties of large sets of objects in Illustrator. There's no tinkering around and finding scripts with this method. Here's how you would use it.

  1. Create a grid of quarter circles. This can be done by drawing a circle and using the pathfinder to cut away three quarters of it, leaving only one quarter. Duplicate the quarter-circle into a grid pattern.

Create a quarter circle Duplicate the quarter circle to create a grid

  1. Use Randomill's random select function to remove some percentage of the grid. I used 20% for this example.

enter image description here

  1. Use Randomill's random rotation feature to randomly rotate all the shapes from 0-270 degress with an increment of 90 degrees.

enter image description here

  1. Use Randomill's random fill color feature to dial in whatever range of colors you like and randomize it. You can use a range of colors, or a set. I used a range for this example.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Are you the creator of the plug-in? This is the second post I see your link. It is ok if you are and the plug in works, just say so.
    – Rafael
    Dec 14, 2020 at 20:35
  • If you are the creator... (again, which is fine with disclosure).... you should place system requirements where they can be seen somewhere on your website... they flash for second (AICC2019+) if you hit the "buy" button.. but then are covered and not visible.
    – Scott
    Dec 14, 2020 at 20:41
  • To reinforce what has already been said by others: if you are the (co-)creator of this plugin, please mention this in you answer, as per this help article: How not to be a spammer. Apart from that, this is a great and helpful answer.
    – PieBie
    Dec 15, 2020 at 10:00
  • 1
    Thank you for the disclosure. Nice plug in.. too bad it's only for CC2019.
    – Scott
    Dec 16, 2020 at 17:28

"Transform" Tool is very Practical tool you can use to create this kind of stuff.

Select/Create 3 Vectors in Illustrator, Select it, > Right Click > Transform > Transform Each ...

Into that change the scale,move properties if required and if you wanted to randomise pattern, keep clicking Random.

I would suggest to use this Tool: Random Pattern Pro Illustrator script

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