How to create a shape in Illustrator

Tip by sketchoptimist on September 21, 2017

Knowing how to create a shape in Illustrator is a fundamental part of graphic design and illustration. It is the beginning of all conceptualization since so many designs will depend on shape creation. 

So, how do we create a shape in Illustrator?

Well, let’s start by opening the program. 

Since Illustrator is such a powerful program, a book can be written on the topic. As you learn more about shapes, you will learn more and more complicated ways to create shapes.

But, if you are just starting out, here is how to get the ball rolling.

Go to the main Tools panel on the left and select the Rectangle icon. If you hover over it, the name will appear. 

When you select it, you will notice that there is a miniature little triangle on the bottom right of the icon. Click that little thing and more items will appear from the shape menu list. It should look like this:

You can make polygons, ellipses, rounded rectangles with this shape tool, since all of those options are there listed in the menu.

Next, after you draw your shape, simply clicking on the artboard will lead a dialog box to open (because you are working with this tool and it is still active). The box will prompt you to input the heigh and width of the shape you want. But, if you just want it to be the same as the shape you drew, you just click okay because those dimensions are immediately registered. 

Next, if you know what you want your design to look like, you can just copy paste your shapes into a pattern (if that’s what you are aiming for) or add in more shapes (like circles). By selecting the Ellipse shape from the drop-down menu.  

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