Illustrator Tutorial: Banner Design

Follow this video tutorial to create a set of three banner/ribbon designs. Written instructions are below the video.

1. Create a new document and artboard from File > New. Choose “Web” settings. A recommended document size is 700 by 700 pixels.

banner-tutorial12. Make sure your colors are set to white fill and black stroke. In the Stroke panel, set your stroke width to 2 points and the Cap and Corner style to Round.

3. Use the Rectangle tool to create a horizontally oriented rectangle. Copy and paste that rectangle by going to Edit > Copy and then Edit > Paste, or by using the keyboard shortcuts: Control+C and Control+V (Windows) or Command+C and Command+V (Mac).

4. Drag the right edge of the new rectangle in to make it more of a square shape. Zoom in so you can see the points on the new square shape. With the Pen tool, draw a new point on the left side of the square. Use the Direct Selection tool (white arrow) to drag that new point inward while holding shift.


This video shows Step 4 in more detail:

5. Move the square shape so it fits behind the main rectangle. Right-click the square and select Arrange > Move to Back.

6. Change the fill from white to none. Use the Line tool to draw a diagonal line between the corner of the square and the corner of the rectangle.

7. Group the new line and the square shape by selecting both and going to Object > Group. Or you can use shortcuts: Control+G (Windows) or Command+G (Mac). Put the newly grouped shape behind the rectangle with Arrange > Send to Back.

8. Copy the square shape by dragging it while holding Shift+Alt (Windows) or Shift+Option (Mac). This will create a duplicate that’s exactly aligned with the original shape. Right-click the new shape and select Transform > Reflect. Choose a “Vertical” transform. Line up the new shape with the rectangle so you have a symmetrical banner.

9. Click on your artboard with the Text tool and type a single word in all caps. The tutorial uses “BANNERS” but you may also choose your name or a word related to your blog topic. Use a simple font like Arial or Helvetica, and adjust the size so it fills most of the banner rectangle.

10. Select the entire banner, including the text, and group it. (Object > Group). You should now have a basic banner on your artboard.

11. Make a copy of your basic banner. This is very important! Go to Effect > Warp > Arc. Select the “Preview” checkbox and adjust the amount of arc so it doesn’t look too warped. When you like the amount of effect, click OK.

12. Use the Direct Selection tool to adjust the corners of the ribbon ends to make the ribbon look more natural. You should now have two banners on your artboard: the original basic one and the new arc banner.

13. Once again, copy your original basic banner. With the new copy selected, go to Effect > Warp > Flag. Adjust the amount of Bend and hit OK. You should now have three banners on your artboard.

banner-tutorial314. For each of the three banners, select a new fill and stroke color. For example, change the edges and the text to white and the banner fill to blue.

IMPORTANT: It may help to Ungroup your banners to select colors, but first select each banner and go to Object > Expand Appearance to make the warp effects permanent.

15. Save your file into a folder you’ve created for Illustrator tutorials.