Illustrator Rotate tool: radial pattern tutorial

Looking to create an eye-catching radial pattern for a logo, crest or badge? Maybe you want to craft an intricate radial infographic, or some circular design elements. Either way, this tip for using Illustrator's Rotate tool could take days off your workflow.

In this short video, designer Luke O’Neill explains how to copy and rotate shapes in Illustrator to create an abstract radial pattern in a matter of seconds.

“Without using this technique, you'd have to painstakingly calculate the exact distance each element needs to be from the others and the center point,” he explains. “That’s a laborious process that nobody wants to go through.”

Create a quick radial pattern in Illustrator



It's easy to make stunning radial patterns in Illustrator. In the video above, Luke shows you how. He walks through the basics of the Rotate tool, before sharing a trick for quickly creating a radial effect. (Skip to 01:26 for his top tip.)

And as Luke explains, this technique works with strokes as well. “This is a pretty universal method that could be used by anyone from a graphic designer to a web designer or illustrator,” he says.

“It's fantastic for creating badges or circular logos, intricate radial infographics or rounded illustrative elements," he continues. "I've used this technique to create intricate radial infographics in the past. They would have taken hours longer – if not days – if I'd attempted it manually.”

Get creative with #10MinSkills


Tutorial: Radial pattern Rotate tool Illustrator

Luke’s quick Rotate tool tutorial is all part of our #10MinSkills campaign. We're challenging you to set aside just 10 minutes every day to learn a new vector-based skill – and to help, we’ve collaborated with some of the industry’s most exciting creatives to share their best time-saving techniques. You'll find them all in the #10MinSkills section of our blog.

Here's how it works: by repeating each technique for 10 minutes every day, you’ll quickly establish handy new habits that will speed up your workflow, helping you work more efficiently and freeing up more time for the fun part: being creative.

Be a better designer


Why is this so important? Well, because thanks to services like Instagram, anyone can be a designer at the touch of a button. That means it’s more important that ever for professional creatives to know their tools.

You need to learn your software. But software develops faster than our habits, and few of us harness the full power available at our finger tips.

We want to help change that with #10MinSkills. We'll be adding more tips, tricks and techniques to the blog over the coming weeks, so it's worth book-marking the section in your design resources.

Faster pattern creation



As well as a collection of time-saving vector techniques, you’ll also find a wealth of Illustrator plug-ins that will super-charge your workflow – whatever field you work in – on our website.

These include mirroring tool MirrorMe, with live functionality for quick and flexible pattern, fractal and kaleidoscope effects, and faster face creation; and VectorScribe – the Swiss army knife of vector editing tools.

In addition, you'll find other helpful tools for getting more out of Illustrator, such as Phantasm, for color control like Photoshop’s; Texturino, for adding and editing texture in Illustrator with the click of a button; and WidthScribe, which lets you customise the width of multiple vector strokes and taper line ends – plus a lot more.

Try a free 14-day trial here.

Meet the designer: Luke O'Neill


Luke O'Neill net mag illustration

Talented graphic designer and illustrator Luke O’Neill is art editor of Guitarist Magazine. Previously art editor of T3 magazine and Computer Arts Collection, Luke specialises in art direction, editorial design and illustration.

In his spare time he freelances for a wide range of clients, develops experimental personal projects, and produces pro design tutorials for industry websites like Creative Bloq.

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