A quick way to create unique geometric shapes in Adobe Illustrator

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Start firing up Adobe Illustrator, designers! Today, we’re sharing a simple technique for creating unique, geometric shapes almost instantly. Using the effects that live under Adobe Illustrator’s Distort & Transform tool, we’re going to show you how to generate complex forms that you can use in branding projects, graphic designs, illustrations, and more! Let’s jump straight into it.

Distort & Transform → Zig Zag

To achieve cool shapes with sharp or soft edges, draw a simple circle, then apply the Zig Zag effect under Distort & Transform:

  1. Create a circle using the Ellipse Tool
  2. Effect → Distort & Transform → Zig Zag (make sure the shape is selected)
  3. Move the sliders around until you get your desired effect and configuration

Pro tip: Alternate between ‘Smooth’ and ‘Corner’ points within Zig Zag to get either round or sharp edges. Toggling between ‘Relative’ and ‘Absolute’ options will also change the shape’s overall form. Keep experimenting until you get something cool!


Distort & Transform → Pucker & Bloat

To create expressive twinkling stars and floral-like forms, start with either a simple square or circle, then apply the Pucker & Bloat effect:

  1. Create either a perfect circle or square using the Ellipse/Rectangle Tools
  2. Effect → Distort & Transform → Pucker & Bloat (make sure the shape is selected)
  3. Toggle the slider from left to right to experiment with different forms

Pro Tip: Move the slider towards Pucker to give the object a pinching effect (great for twinkling stars). Move the slider towards Bloat to inflate objects (like the flower-like formations below).


Keep Experimenting!

The possibilities are endless with these two tools. Try experimenting with different fill strokes and layering on multiple objects to create even more dynamic shapes. To help you get those creative juices flowing, here’s how other designers like to play with unique shapes and forms in their own compositions:

  1. pattern animation web icon pattern art motiongraphics animation pattern design motion design motion identity cuphead branding pattern design character illustration

  2. Smoothies smoothies bottle identity illustrator illustration pattern packaging logodesign logo visual identity branding

  3. Data ! Lands ! story abstract shapes content science information infographics data dataviz

  4. UI Concept for Mobile App screen layout icon mobile typography poster vector ui color design

  5. PSA! typography pattern illustration type womxn queer women protest planned parenthood pro choice abortion

  6. Fun Biz 1.3 concessions fair stamp circle mark logo identity brand badges design graphic

  7. Stay Home! Quédate en casa! Restate a casa! medical gara home comission illustration design covid-19 restate a casa im staying home me quedo en casa corona virus covid19 stay home

  8. A team ui infographic minimal color icon symbol vector logo animation love graphic character illustration

  9. Wine & Flowers logo typography branding brand icon vector illustration flat clean design

Row 1:
Tristan Kromopawiro,
Script & Seal.
Row 2:
Nino Lekveishvili,
Cody Paulson for Malley Design.
Row 3:
Miguel ‘Gara’ Alvarez,
Lucia Pham,
Gonzalo Moreira.


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