An Illustrator Diagonal Stripe Pattern Tutorial

My latest video tutorial demonstrates how to make an Illustrator diagonal stripe pattern that repeats on a grid. You’ll learn to make a single repeat unit of diagonal stripes from scratch that you could then use on a website background or in any other grid repeat application. To simply rotate a striped pattern fill inside Illustrator, check out my tutorial on transforming patterns.

The simplest diagonal repeating stripe you can make begins with a square repeat unit and a stripe on a 45 degree angle from one corner to the opposite corner. However in this tutorial, I demonstrate working with a rectangle and a stripe at a shallower angle, this way you’ll learn how versatile it can be to size your repeat unit for any angle you want to create.

Illustrator diagonal stripe pattern

Above, I’m showing a couple of different stripes and the shape of the repeating rectangle (in green) that will create the repeat.

When you view the tutorial, you’ll see how I use this basic rule to create a repeat in recent Illustrator versions using Illustrator CS6 and CC. Later in the tutorial (6:30), I demonstrate the method for making the diagonal stripe repeat pattern in Illustrator CS5 and earlier versions.

The final result is a multicolored diagonal stripe pattern like this:

illustrator diagonal stripe pattern finished

Here are some of the keyboard shortcuts I use in the process of making this Illustrator diagonal stripe pattern:

Smart guides: (a must for seamless precision!) command/control u

Change the keyboard increment in Preferences to a number that divides evenly into the size of your repeat unit. To open preferences: command/control k. A helpful shortcut for making multi-colored stripes that repeat seamlessly.

For duplicating a stripe while moving it the distance of the keyboard increment: hold option/alt (to copy) while tapping the arrow key once.

Here’s a tip not covered in the video tutorial: Once you have created a single rectangular unit of your Illustrator diagonal stripe pattern, you can export it via File > Save for Web, but first, convert that rectangle that defines your repeat unit to an artboard by using the commands under Object > Artboards, then export the artboard.