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  2. Adobe Illustrator
Design

How to Create a Set of Lumberjack Patterns in Affinity Designer

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:MediumLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In today’s tutorial, we’re going to take a close look at the process of creating a set of lumberjack patterns using nothing more than some basic geometric shapes that we’re going to adjust here and there in Affinity Designer.

Also, don't forget you can always expand your library by heading over to GraphicRiver, where you can find a great selection of vector assets.

That being said, grab a fresh cup of that sweet coffee, and let’s jump straight into it!

1. How to Set Up a New Project File

We’re going to start by setting up a New Document by heading over to File > New (or by using the Control-N keyboard shortcut), which we will adjust as follows:

  • Type: Web
  • Document Units: Pixels
  • Create artboard: checked
  • Page Width: 720 px
  • Page Height: 720 px
  • DPI: 72
setting up a new document

2. How to Set Up the Artboards

Once we’ve created the document, we need to take a couple of moments and structure our project using a couple of Artboards, one for each variation, so that we can maintain a clear and steady workflow.

Step 1

Start by selecting the default Artboard from within the Layers panel, and then create two copies by simply right clicking > Duplicate (or by using the Control-J keyboard shortcut twice), which we will then rename as follows:

  • first artboard: first pattern variation
  • second artboard: second pattern variation
  • third artboard: third pattern variation
setting up the artboards

Step 2

Since we don’t want the Artboards to overlap, we’ll first select all three of them from within the Layers panel (making sure to start with the bottom one) and then open up the Arrange panel. Here we’re going to use the Align Horizontally > Space Horizontally option, making sure to uncheck Auto Distribute and enter a custom value of 360 px.

distancing the artboards

Step 3

Once you have the Artboards in place, quickly lock each and every one of them using the little lock button, so that you don’t move them around by accident.

locking the artboards

3. How to Create the First Pattern Variation

Now that we’ve finished setting up our project file, we can position ourselves on the first Artboard, where we will begin working on our first pattern variation.

Step 1

Start by selecting the Rectangle Tool (M) and then creating the background using a 720 x 720 px square, which we will color using #FF6333 and center align to the underlying Artboard.

creating the background for the first pattern variation

Step 2

Add the first of the smaller plain squares using a 120 x 120 px rectangle, which we will color using #2A2033 and then position 60 px from the Artboard’s left edge, making sure that only its bottom half ends up overlapping the underlying background.

creating the initial plain square for the first pattern

Step 3

Create the first row of squares using two copies (Control-C > Control-V) of the one from the previous step, which we will horizontally distribute 120 px from one another, positioning them as seen in the reference image. Once you’re done, select and group all three of them together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

creating the first row of squares for the first pattern

Quick tip: at this point, I recommend you start grouping and naming the pattern’s different composing sections as we go along, so that you can easily target them if you need to later on.

example of naming the different artboards

Step 4

Add the remaining rows using three copies (Control-C > Control-V) of the one that we’ve just grouped, which we will vertically stack 120 px from the original. Once you’re done, select and group (Control-G) all of them together before moving on to the next step.

adding the remaining rows of plain squares to the first pattern

Step 5

Start working on the smaller patterned squares by zooming in on the current Artboard and then positioning yourself between the top and second row’s first composing shapes. Once you’re in position, create the first row using eight smaller 8 x 8 px squares (#2A2033), which we will space 8 px from one another horizontally, making sure to select and group (Control-G) them together afterwards.

creating the first row of smaller squares for the first pattern

Step 6

Add the second row, using seven 8 x 8 px squares (#2A2033), which we will position 8 px from one another, grouping (Control-G) and then positioning them as seen in the reference image.

adding the second row of smaller squares to the first pattern

Step 7

Create the remaining rows using a few copies (Control-C > Control-F) of the ones that we’ve just created, which we will vertically stack on top of one another until they end up filling the gap found between the two larger squares. Once you’re done, don’t forget to select and group (Control-G) all of them together before moving on to the next step.

adding the remaining rows of smaller squares to the first pattern

Step 8

As we did with the larger squares, use a few copies (Control-C > Control-V) of the shapes that we’ve just grouped to create seven rows, positioning them as seen in the reference image. Once you’re done, don’t forget to individually select and group (Control-G) each row, doing the same for all of them afterwards.

adding the remaining shapes to the first pattern

Step 9

Finish off the current pattern by masking the two larger groups of squares. You can do this by opening up the Layers panel, and then simply selecting and dragging them within the background shape.

finishing off the first pattern

4. How to Create the Second Pattern Variation

Now that we’ve finished working on our first pattern, we can position ourselves on the neighbouring Artboard, where we will quickly create our second variation.

Step 1

Start by opening up the Layers panel and creating a copy (Control-C) of the first pattern’s background and plain squares, which we will paste (Control-V) onto the current Artboard.

creating the main shapes for the second pattern

Step 2

Using the Rectangle Tool (M), create a 120 x 120 px square (highlighted with white FFFFFF—which we’re going to use as a clipping mask later on). Position it between the top and second row’s first squares.

creating the smaller reference surface for the decorative square

Step 3

Before we start adding the diagonal lines, we’re going to want to create a slightly larger reference area using a copy (Control-C > Control-V) of the previous square, which will help us correctly frame them within this designated space. Once we have the copy in place, we’ll want to adjust it by setting both its Width and Height to 128 px from within the Transform panel.

creating the larger reference surface for the decorative square

Step 4

Once we have the reference shape in place, we’ll want to grab the Pen Tool (P) and use it to draw the center diagonal line (#2A2033), making sure to set its Width to 6 px from within the Stroke panel.

creating the center diagonal line for the decorative square

Step 5

With the center line in place, we can add the left and right sided ones using seven copies (Control-C > Control-V seven times) for each one, which we will position 16 px from one another, making sure to select and group them afterwards using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

adding the remaining diagonal lines

Step 6

Once we’ve added the remaining lines, we can delete the larger reference square and then go about masking them by first removing the fill of the smaller white square and then opening the Layers panel and simply dragging the lines within it.

masking the diagonal lines

Step 7

As we did with the previous pattern, take a couple of moments and populate the Artboard using seven rows of the patterned square that we’ve just finished working on, which we will position as seen in the reference image. Take your time, and once you’re done, don’t forget to select and group all of them together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut.

adding the remaining shapes to the second pattern

Step 8

Finish off the current pattern by masking its patterned rows. You can do this by opening up the Layers panel and then simply selecting and dragging them within the background shape.

finishing off the second pattern

5. How to Create the Third Pattern Variation

We are now down to our third and last pattern variation, so assuming you’ve positioned yourself on the remaining Artboard, let’s jump straight into it!

Step 1

Start by creating a copy (Control-C) of the first pattern’s background and plain squares, which we will paste onto the current Artboard, making sure to lower the Opacity of the copied squares to 40%.

creating the main shapes for the third pattern

Step 2

Add the transparent rows using four 840 x 120 px rectangles (#2A2033) with a 40% Opacity, which we will vertically stack 120 px from one another, grouping (Control-G) and then center aligning them to the underlying Artboard as seen in the reference image.

creating the rows for the third pattern

Step 3

Create the columns using three 120 x 840 px rectangles (#2A2033) with a 40% Opacity, which we will horizontally space 120 px from one another, grouping (Control-G) and then aligning the shapes to the center of the Artboard.

adding the columns to the third pattern

Step 4

Finish off the pattern by opening up the Layers panel and then masking both the rows and the columns by simply dragging them over the background shape.

finishing off the third pattern

6. How to Use the Patterns

So we’ve created all three variations of the beloved lumberjack pattern, but how do we go about seamlessly using them—especially since Affinity doesn’t have a dedicated pattern tool? 

Step 1

You’ll want to start out by creating a new document using the desired Width and Height values (in my case, I went with a hefty 2400 x 1600 Artboard) and then copying (Control-C) and pasting (Control-V) a copy of one of the three pattern segments onto it.

pasting a copy of the first pattern to the empty artboard

Step 2

Fill in the remaining surface of the Artboard using a couple of horizontal and vertical copies as seen in the reference image, making sure they’re perfectly aligned by using the Align panel’s Space Horizontally and Vertically tools.

It doesn’t really matter if the pattern segments go outside of the Artboard since we’re going to fix that in a couple of moments, so just focus on filling it up.

filling in the empty artboard using the pattern segments

Step 3

Once you have all the pattern segments in place, select and group all of them together using the Control-G keyboard shortcut, and then center align them to the underlying Artboard, which will ensure that the pattern will be uniformly applied. Depending on the size of the project, you can always upscale or downscale the final pattern in order to match your needs.

center aligning the final pattern

Great Job!

There you have it—a nice, easy way of creating three different lumberjack pattern variations using nothing more than some basic shapes and tools.

As always, I hope you had fun working on the project and most importantly managed to learn something new and useful along the way.

If you have any questions, feel free to post them within the comments section and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!

finished project preview

Expand Your Affinity Designer Skills!

Want to expand and improve your Affinity Designer knowledge base, but don't know exactly where to start? Well, if that's the case, we took the time and put together this list of tutorials that should get you going in no time!

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