Illustrator Tools & Techniques
In the Victorian Era in the 1800s, a motley group of styles all coexisted at the same time in the same place. Natural design met "oriental exoticism," right next to Futurism and Celtic patterns. The result was many different (some might say... questionable) decorative combinations.
A room in the Victorian Era might be decorated with many, many different designs, mixed in an almost eclectic way; it was considered acceptable to use in the same room, and at the same time, a Simple Greek and a Heavy French design.
Sometimes though — *a lot* is just what you need in a design.
For this tutorial we will use Illustrator to create a classical Victorian geometric pattern design often used on hallways floors (and some ceilings). You'll be able to apply the same technique I'll show you here on any other Victorian designs as well.
Open Illustrator and make a new 600 x 600 px file.
Select the Rectangle Tool (M) and be sure to have the Fill set to #000000 and the Stroke to none.
Click once over the canvas. Set the new rectangle values to 300 px in Width and Height and click OK.
Set the Fill color to #c6c8ca.
Again, and with the Rectangle Tool still selected, click once over the canvas. This time set the new rectangle values to 100 px in Width and Height and click OK.
In the top toolbar be sure to have the Alignment set to “Artboard”. With the Selection Tool (V) select both squares and click on the horizontal and vertical center alignment icons in the top toolbar.
With the Rectangle Tool still selected and with the fill color set to #c6c8ca, click once over the canvas and set the new rectangle values to 5 px Width and 300 px Height.
Copy (Ctrl+C) and Paste (Ctrl+F) the new rectangle and place them in the inner side of the small square as shown.
Select both rectangles. Copy (Ctrl+C) and Paste (Ctrl+F) the rectangles and rotate them 90º. Place them in the inner side of the small square as shown.
Leave these squares aside for a moment. Make another 2 squares at 100 x 100 px and place one next to the other as shown.
Select the Pen Tool (P) and make a triangle inside the last square as shown. Be sure to snap the anchor points to the square angles and center.
Duplicate and reflect the recently created triangle and place it as shown.
Select both triangles and the gray square. Duplicate the whole group 3 more times and place it as shown.
Place the first design next to this new group as shown.
Pick the Selection Tool (V) and select all the elements.
Double click on the Rotation Tool. Set the rotation angle to 45º and click OK.
With all the elements selected, go to Object > Pattern > Make. In the Pattern Options Panel, click on the “Pattern Tile Tool” icon.
Click and drag over the left line of the bounding box until you reach the intersection as shown.
Now, click and drag the bottom line of the bounding box until you reach the intersection as shown.
Click the “Done” button in the top toolbar.
Select and delete all the elements.
Set the Fill Color to #ede9dc and make a new 600 x 600 px square.
Copy (Ctrl+C) and Paste (Ctrl+F) the new square.
Go to Window > Swatches. Click on the new created pattern to apply it to our front square.
Right click over the square and from the dropdown menu choose Transform > Scale. Set the Scale to 30%, be sure to only check the Transform Patterns option and click OK.
If you wish to change the pattern color, simply double click on the pattern in the Swatches Panel, edit the colors and click Save. All the changes will be applied to your pattern and updated in the Swatches Panel.