How To: Create a Seamless Diagonal Pattern in Illustrator

Over the years, I've gotten plenty of emails about how to create a seamless diagonal pattern in Illustrator, so here we go! Illustrator comes with some default pattern brushes, but no diagonal love. Diagonal patterns are a bit more tricky to make than a simple horizontal, or vertical pattern, but with some rock-solid alignment, and some manual input into the Transform palette, you'll be making diagonal patterns in no time. You will learn to blend different geometrical patterns and figures. You will also learn to set different geometrical figures to the appropriate place by setting the appropriate dimensions. Creating the diagonal pattern is an easier process than sketching the horizontal or vertical lines. In the end, you will be able to fit the pattern of diagonal lines into a small box. Seamless refers to the continuous pattern of lines will equal gap between all the lines. Let's get started.

Seamless means the pattern that is continuous without any break or obstacle. Many beginners struggle to create seamless diagonal or other such patterns that cannot be created manually. You will be aware of different techniques in Photoshop such as rotating or aligning different shapes and blending different shapes together. Such tutorials are useful for you as a beginner if you want to excel in Photoshop generally. Such tutorials let you gain insight into all the possible Photoshop features and abilities that this program is capable of. Photoshop enables you to do things in automation with proper sequence and calibration. There is a process for each task even when you are supposed to perform the task manually.

How To: Create a Seamless Diagonal Pattern in Illustrator

1. Start with a “square” artboard.

It doesn't really matter what size but if you want to follow along, I'm using a 600px x 600px artboard.

Square Artboard

2. Create your vertical line.

Again, the size and shape are up to you here.

Vertical line

3. Align your shape to the top right corner

Here we are going to be using the Transform palette to make or shape align exactly to the upper left corner. Select your shape and in the Transform, set the “X” value to 0, and the “Y” value to 600 (or the document size you chose). The middle of your shape should now be aligned exactly to the upper left corner.

Aligning the shape

4. Rotate 45 degrees.

Next, rotate your shape 45 degrees either using your mouse and holding Shift, or right click, and enter the value in manually.

Line rotated 45 degrees

5. Duplicate your shape and align it to the opposite corner.

Now we need to duplicate or shape, and align it the same way we did above, but to the opposite corner. Again, select your new shape, and using the Transform palette, set your X value to 600 (or the document size you chose) and the Y value to 0. Now your two shapes should be aligned perfectly to opposite corners of the artboard.

Duplicated lines

6. Make a Blend between the 2 shapes.

Using the Blend tool click on 1 of your shapes, then immediately click on the other to make a blend. Then double click on the Blend tool, and you should see the ‘Blend Options” dialogue box. Set it to “Specified Steps” and then select a number that you think looks good. I recommend making this an odd number. Blend it according to the size of the size of the box that you want to sketch. Be specific about all the dimensions so that you get more accurate and precise results in the end. You should have something that resembles the image below.

Blend Options

7. Expand your blend.

Select your new blend, and then go to Object > Expand, then click “OK.”


8. Create a square to crop with.

Select the Rectangle tool, and click once on the artboard. You can now enter in the exact dimensions you want your square to be. Set it to 600 x 600px (or the document size you chose), and click “OK.”

Creating a square crop

9. Align your square to the artboard.

Select your square, and in the Align palette, make sure you have “Align to Artboard” selected.

Align to artboard

Now hit these 2 buttons to align your square exactly on top of the artboard.

Align objects

10. Crop.

Do a Select All (Command/Control + A), and then hit the Crop button in the Pathfinder palette.

Crop button


Now you have a nice, seamless diagonal pattern that can be put to use.

Finished seamless pattern

If you want to add this pattern as a Pattern Swatch, just select it, and then go to Edit, Define Pattern, and it will appear in your swatches palette. With lots of practice and creatively applying these tools in different manners will enhance your designing skills and you will be operating Photoshop like a pro.

Define pattern