I know it's a stupid enough question, but I'd like to hear from people about their approach to creating an evenly weighted line design like you see on basically half of dribbble these days. You know the ones I'm talking about. Evenly weighted design

I've tried just drawing this kind of thing but really It's just an unfamiliarity with Illustrator. I'd appreciate any input anyone has on this thanks!

Edit: Essentially what I'm asking is how to create a nice snap-to grid in illustrator that allows you to just draw along those lines. Hopefully that clears things up.

  • Hi Emmet. Could you show us what you have tried? That we can identify what your problem is and give useful advice. Thanks! – Vincent Jul 6 '16 at 15:44
  • Hey @Vincent, I've stuck in an edit to try and clarify what I'm asking. Thanks. – emmet Jul 6 '16 at 15:55
  • You can just draw your image using paths and make sure that they all have the same stroke weight. It's as easy as that. – Manly Jul 6 '16 at 16:36
  • Illustrator defaults to this kind of look. – joojaa Jul 6 '16 at 17:21

This is essentially how Illustrator draws in its default state.

A few points that may help (or may not, it depends what you want to do):

  1. Use a consistent stroke weight throughout.
  2. Set your stroke caps and corners to round.
  3. Use geometric shapes.
  4. Set a meaningful grid and turn on "Snap to Grid" (View → Snap to Grid).
  5. Use bold solid colors and a consistent stroke color.

Rounded Strokes

The rest is just creativity.

  • Fab CAI thank you, I know it was a stupid question but it's bits like the caps and corners that I didn't know to look for. Sound man. – emmet Jul 8 '16 at 13:09

A few months ago, I tried a tutorial (costs $) that helped me learn how create this style of illustration. This was at a point where I was still learning the basic Illustrator tools and how they function. The tutorial spent a lot of time on the process of developing a concept and collecting reference images. Also, some of the techniques used weren’t completely explained during the demonstration, so I ended up having to do some additional research on my own. Anyway, here’s the link to the tutorial:

Here’s a summary of what I learned from the tutorial, so you get an idea of what tools and techniques were used to create the illustration: (see my poster sample, below)

  • The instructor used a 2 pixel stroke weight for all lines in his poster example. He applied a white fill to most closed objects.

  • The rectangle, ellipses and star tools were used to build the basic shapes (though I would now use the polygon tool to build triangles, and the round rectangle tool to build pill-shaped objects).

  • The pen tool was used to construct simple lines, like the tree branches.

  • The reflect, rotate and scale tools were used to create things like a mirrored set of tree branches and the concentric circles within the two circles in the middle of the image (the scissors tool was used to cut up the circles).

  • The Blend tool was used to generate multiple tree branches, the "shading" on the mountain sides and the waves at the bottom.

  • The Pathfinder panel was used to merge/unite things like the circles that were joined together to form the clouds.

I’m sure if you search online you can find video or written tutorials that demonstrate these same techniques. Good luck!

enter image description here

  • It sounds like a sales pitch. – joojaa Jul 6 '16 at 17:10
  • It's just a summary of what I learned from the video. Should I remove the link to the CreativeLive video? – Dan Tabata Jul 6 '16 at 17:16
  • No if you dont want to. In any case the image he is asking is much simpler and besides images like this is what illustrator does by default. – joojaa Jul 6 '16 at 17:18

For this simplified style I would say that the distinguishing features are:

  • uniform stroke length
  • (near) primitive shapes
  • rounded corners

I would achieve this look by:

  1. creating my basic layout using primitive shapes
  2. rounding all of the corners the same number of pixels
  3. then, making all of the stroke widths the same
  4. next, outlining all of the strokes, and tweaking where necessary
  5. finally, filling in colors.

Make sure that you have "Scale Stroke and Effects" checked in the "Scale" dialog (ctrl-click to open).

The more complex your illustration gets, the more difficult that maintaining consistency can get. You might want to create a custom brush (or a few).

Like most things design/art related, there are multiple ways to solve this problem. The above is just one way to achieve the look you want. Collecting and studying reference material is a great place to start.

  • You don't want to scale strokes otherwise you wouldn't have consistent stroke weights – Cai Jul 6 '16 at 20:20
  • You could look at the issue either way: if you are going to scale everything, have it checked, if you are just scaling a few items have it unchecked. The main thing with this style is to make sure the strokes are all the same size. – D.Mas Jul 7 '16 at 17:05

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