How to Design Delicious Background in Adobe Illustrator

Hi everybody. In today’s tutorial, we are going to design a delicious background in Adobe Illustrator. There are some tricks you would learn from this video:

  1. How to use graphic styles panel to quickly generate patterns from a single object
  2. How to use Width Tool to create variable stroke profile
  3. How to use Blending Mode for highlights

Create a background in Adobe Illustrator

Step 01. Background

Once you’ve created a new 1280x1024px document in Adobe Illustrator, let’s create a rectangle with the size of an entire canvas using Rectangle Tool (M).

Bring up the Color Picker and set a Fill color to #fbc870.

Background color

Step 01. Create a Waffle Pattern

Bring up the Rectangle Dialog box by clicking once on the canvas with the Rectangle Tool(M). Set a Width and Height to 52px to render a square and click ok.


Bring up a Graphic Style Panel by going to Windows>Graphic Styles. Head on to the Graphic Style Library Menu on the bottom left. Select an Additive Graphic Style to show them on the panel. Choose “Grid for Small Objects” holding Alt/Option key.

Additive graphic styles

It will give you a rectangular grid with 9 copies of the square on the top and on the right. Moreover, it is a Live Effect, that means we can change it easily to suit our needs and the size of our background. But now, we need to rotate an original square at the angle of 45 degrees.

Set up the Waffle Gradient

Keep the original square selected and navigate to the Gradient Panel. Choose a Linear Gradient and set these colors for the Gradient Stops:

  1. #f9bf60 on the left
  2. #e08b1f on the right

Set an Angle of the Gradient to the 90deg.

Set up a gradient

Size up the Waffle Pattern

Now, let’s size up our pattern by going to the Transform Effect inside the Appearance Panel.

Appearance Tranform Effect

Click on the first Transform Effect to show the Transform Dialog Box. Increase a Number of Copies to 16 and set the Horizontal Move Value to 85px.

Transform Effect 1

Open a second Transform Panel and set the Vertical Move value to -85px. Set a Number of Copies to 12. Click ok to apply changes.

Second Tranfroms dialog box

Now we have a kind of chess pattern. Let’s fill the “gaps” by going to the Effect>Distort and Transform>Transform. Set the Horizontal and Vertical Move values to 42.5 and -42.5px respectively. Set a Number Of Copies to 1.respectively.

Waffle background

Step 03. Cover it With a Chocolate

Draw a wavy line using Pencil Tool. Set a Fill Color to #1c0200 delete a Stroke. Create two duplicates using Ctrl/Cmd+C & Ctrl/Cmd+F shortcuts.

Create Wavy line

Select the first duplicate and Swap Fill and Stroke. Increase the Stroke Weight up to 62px. Grab a Width Tool to make adjustments to the width profile as shown in the picture below.

Thick and Thin tool

Keep this stroke selected and navigate to the Gradient Panel to apply these parameters:

  1. Stroke: “Apply Gradient Across Stroke
  2. Midpoint Position: 32%
  3. The color of the Left Gradient Stop:  #000
  4. The color of the Right Gradient Stop: #240A06

Colors of the stroke gradient


Select the second duplicate and head on to the Gradient Panel. Set a default black to white gradient and change the value of Angle to -90deg. Push the Midpoint to the Location of 65%. Visit Transparency Panel and change the Blending Mode to Screen to render black color to transparent. Set the value of the Opacity to 20%.

Gradient of the second duplicate

Step 04. Final Touches

Duplicate the last object (Ctrl/Cmd+C & Ctrl/Cmd+F) and “Swap Fill and Stroke“. Grab the Scissors Tool and slice the stroke as shown in a picture.


Stroke Profile #1

Introduce the Width Profile #1 into a Stroke Width Dropdown. Increase the Stroke Weight to 62pt.
We are done! If you have any question or suggestions, leave them in the comments. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel and join my mailing list to receive more tutorials like that.

Hangry for more illustrator wisdom, try this tut:

  1. How to Create Space Illustration in Adobe Illustrator
  2. How to Design a Logo in Adobe Illustrator

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