A Chevron Pattern in Illustrator

Follow the steps in the video or written tutorial to make a chevron pattern in Illustrator CS6 and earlier versions of Illustrator. Who doesn’t love a chevron? They look great in vertical formation too. Vary your color combinations, make a collection and save them as a swatch library for all your chevron pattern needs!

Chevron pattern steps:

With the rectangle Tool, create a 2×2″ square with a color fill and no stroke.

Turn on Smart Guides (command/control u) and draw a smaller rectangle aligned to the top left corner of the square, exactly half the width of the square and as tall as you want the chevron stripe to be.

With the White Arrow tool, hold shift and select the 2 right side anchor points of the rectangle and drag them downward together to create half of the chevron stripe.

Duplicate the half-chevron stripe (copy, paste in front) and drag the left bounding box handle of the copy all the way to the right side of the square, using Smart Guides to keep the alignment exact.

Merge the 2 halves of the chevron using the Shape Builder tool or the Pathfinder You may want to keep a copy of the original 3 shapes off to the side for later editing.

Group the 2 shapes and drag them to the swatches panel (version CS5 and earlier) or choose Object> Pattern> Make (in CS6).

The video tutorial continues with methods for editing the chevron pattern unit to create variations on the pattern.

chevron-pattern-illustratorAfter creating a collection of patterns on your swatches panel, to save them as a swatch library, first delete any swatches from your color panel that you don’t want in your chevron pattern library. Click the Library button at the bottom of the panel and choose Save Swatches… Name the library and you can retrieve it from any other Illustrator file in the same library menu under the heading User Defined. Swatches are stored on your system in this user swatches directory path.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this chevron pattern tutorial. What other kinds of patterns would you like to create in Illustrator?


  1. Shabnum Amin Khan says:

    Thanks for this useful tutorial.

  2. Laura – I love this tutorial!!! I just found your new website. I’ve been a fan for awhile and have taken several of your classes, but have taken a brief break from designing and about to jump back in with both feet. Love what you do!!! Keep it up!!!

  3. I absolutely love your method of instruction. Your classes are very fluid and easy to follow. I also enjoy the tone of your voice and the pace at which you speak. I have taken a couple of your classes and have the printed materials close by for reference. Thank you so much for providing such wonderful videos.

  4. Thank you very much for this, I really enjoy the way you explain things!

  5. Great tutorial! Thanks for posting!

  6. Thanks guys! I appreciate the comments!

  7. I’ve tried this a bunch of times and there is always a line when I populate a rectangle with the pattern. Can you please advise?

  8. Thanks for sharing!!! Fabulous tutorial.

  9. Francis says:

    Nice tutorial. You saved me some real time today. I am now a subscriber.