Memphis Pattern using Gradients in Adobe Illustrator

  1. Creating the main background:
    • Create a new document of size 500px by 500px.
    • Create a square (using Rectangle tool – shortcut M) with width and height 500px.
    • Align it to the center using the Align panel.
    • Change its fill color.
    • Lock it from Object > Lock > Selection (shortcut is Cmd 2 (in Mac) / Ctrl 2 (in Windows)).
  2. Creating the elements:
    • Creating the rectangle:
      • Create a rectangle using the Rectangle tool with width and height as 100px. Give it fill color.
    • Creating the semi-circle :
      • Create a circle using the Ellipse tool with width and height as 100px.
      • Now draw a rectangle using the Rectangle tool overlapping the right half part of the circle (Use the help of smart guides to ensure exact half).
      • Select both of these shapes.
      • Click on Pathfinder > Minus Front.
      • The semi-circle is ready now.
    • Creating the semi-circle with cut stripes:
      • Copy the previous semi-circle. (Edit > Copy and Edit > Paste)
      • Rotate it horizontal.
      • Draw a line using the Line tool of width 100px and angle 0°
      • Give it stroke color and set stroke weight to 5px.
      • Now Object > Expand.
      • Align the line at the top of the semicircle using the Align panel.
      • Move it few steps down (using arrow keys).
      • Click on Transform > Move. Settings – Horizontal : 0, Vertical : 8px. Click on Copy.
      • Make 4 more copies by clicking on the shortcut – Cmd D (in Mac) / Ctrl D (in Windows).
      • Select all the line and the semi-circle.
      • Click on Pathfinder panel > Minus Front.
      • Slightly rotate it and place aside.
    • Creating the zigzag element:
      • Create a line using the Line tool of length 100px.
      • Set its stroke color. Set stroke weight to 3px and Cap – rounded
      • Effect > Distort and Transform > Zigzag
      • Zigzag options: Size – 5px, Ridges – 4, Points – Smooth.
      • Object > Expand Appearance.
      • Object > Expand.
      • Create a copy (Edit > Copy, Edit > Paste in Place). Then move it down 20px (Shift + Down arrow key – twice).
      • Select both and Object > Group (optional).
    • Creating the non-filled rectangle:
      • Create a rectangle using the Rectangle tool with width and height as 100px. Give it stroke color and set fill color to none.
      • Increase stroke weight to 5px.
      • Object > Expand.
      • Optional – Reduce size to 70px from Transform panel.
  3. Adding the gradients:
    • Select the main rectangle, choose gradient as fill.
    • From the Gradient panel, choose the appropriate colors by clicking on the circle icons on the gradient bar.
    • Optional – Modify the gradient either using settings or with the Gradient tool.
    • Select all the other elements, click on Eyedropper tool and click on this rectangle. This copies the same gradient for all all. Now we can modify the individual gradients, if needed.
  4. Creating the main pattern:
    • Arrange some elements overlapping the top and the left edges of the main background.
    • Then select those on the left side.
    • Right click > Transform > Move.
    • Move Settings: Horizontal 500, Vertical 0, Click on Copy.
    • Then select those on the top side.
    • Right click > Transform > Move.
    • Move Settings: Horizontal 0, Vertical 500, Click on Copy.
    • Arrange other elements or copy some elements in the middle part.
    • Unlock the rectangle (Object > Unlock All).
    • Create another square of size 500px by 500px as background and align it to the center.
    • Make sure its fill and stroke is set to none.
    • Click on Object > Arrange > Send to back.
    • Click and drag all contents of the artboard to the Swatches panel.
  5. Test the pattern:
    1. Create a rectangle of random size and apply the pattern swatch and check.

Video tutorial: