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How to Create Seamless Watermark Patterns


Watermarks play an important role in protecting your artwork. Generally, we do not give much attention towards a watermark’s appearance and use a text or a Logo to get the job done. A well designed and properly executed watermark can really protect the artwork without actually affecting its appearance. The best way to do this is pattern making. In this tutorial, we will cover two different watermark designs using the same pattern making technique. Let’s get started!

Final Image Preview

Below is the final image we will be working towards. Want access to the full Vector Source files and downloadable copies of every tutorial, including this one? Join Vector Plus for just 9$ a month.

Step 1

Create a new document. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and make the changes as shown in red color. Enable Snap to Grid (Shift + Command + ") and Show Grid (Command + ").

Step 2

With Rectangle Tool (M), draw a square of 200px by 200px. Stroke it with a black color and fill it with none. This square will be the base tile for our pattern. We will remove its stroke later.

Step 3

With the Ellipse Tool (L), draw an ellipse of 200px by 200px as shown below.

Step 4

With the Direct Selection Tool (A), select and delete three quadrants so that you are left with the arc as shown below.

Step 5

Next, duplicate the arc (Alt-drag) and rotate it 180 degrees. Join its end point with the first arc using Command + J. Select Smooth in the dialog box and press OK.

Step 6

Again, make a copy of the resultant arc and rotate it to -90 degrees. Align both curves with the absolute center of the square.

Step 7

Select both curves and change the Stroke properties to a dashed line of 3pt, as shown below.

The base tile is almost ready, but not very clean. Note that the corner edges have some parts coming out of the tile. In our next step, we will compensate for this.

Step 8

Select both curves and group them (Command + G). Next, make four copies and place them on each side of the square as shown below. Make sure the corners of the group snap exactly at the corners of the square tile. The Snap To Grid will really help here to do so. After successful placement, the tile is ready for seamless tessellation.

Step 9

Let’s now add a Logo to this pattern. Since the Logo will appear at 45 degrees diagonal wise, we will make some adjustments for proper alignment of the Logo. For this, select everything and rotate it to -45 degrees.

Step 10

Next, grab the Line Segment Tool (\) and make a cross hair at the absolute center of the region in which we will place the Logo. This acts as a base guide for Logo alignment. You can now place the Logo and align it to the absolute center of this cross hair. Once done, delete the cross hair.

Step 11

Select everything and again rotate it back to 45 degrees.

Step 12

Let’s now prepare the Logo for proper tessellation. Select the square and the Logo together and duplicate them by Alt-dragging.

Next, rotate the duplicate result to -90 degrees.

After rotation, align it with the actual square as shown. Once the proper alignment is done, delete this extra square.

Step 13

We will now compensate the Logo parts that are going out of the tile as shown in red the region.

For this, select "Logo1" and the square together. Alt-drag them in a downward direction until the top side of the duplicate square matches with the bottom side of the tile. Once done, delete this extra square.

Tip: hold from the top edge of the square while dragging and use Alt Shift-drag straight. You will automatically get snapped to the bottom of the tile when you reach there.

Step 14

Similarly, hold "Logo2" and square together and Alt-drag them in the left direction until the edges of both squares snap in place. Once done, delete this extra square.

Step 15

Select the center square and remove its stroke. Send it behind all the objects (Shift + Command + Left Bracket). Next, select everything and go to Edit > Define Pattern. Enter a name for your pattern and press OK. Your newly created pattern will appear in the swatches.

Draw a big rectangle and apply the swatch to test the pattern.

Let’s move move on to creating another simple watermark design.

Step 16

Grab the square that we created in Step 2 and the curve that we created in Step 5.

Step 17

Duplicate the curve and rotate it to -90 degrees.

Next, Join it to the end point of the first curve using Command + J. Select Corner and press OK.

Step 18

Again duplicate the resultant curve of Step 17 and rotate it to 180 degrees.

Join the end points using Command + J with Corner selected.

Step 19

Next, select the resultant figure and resize it to 200px by 200px using the Transform Pallet. Align this figure with the absolute centre of the square.

Step 20

As done previously, make four copies of this figure and place them at the four edges of the square as shown below. This will compensate for the artwork that is coming out of the tile.

Step 21

Let’s now add a Logo. Take your Logo design or text and align it at the absolute center of the square as shown.

Step 22

Next, we will add the Logo to the corners. For this, draw a cross hair with the Line Segment Tool (\) and align the Logo vertically and horizontally centering it. Group the cross hair with the Logo using Command + G.

Step 23

Make four copies of this group and place each one of them at the four corners of the square tile. Place them in such a way that the cross hair snaps exactly with the corner of the square.

Once done, ungroup all and delete the cross hairs. The end result should look something like below.

Step 24

Remove the stroke of the square and send it behind all the objects (Command + Shift + Left Bracket). Next, select everything and drag it to the swatches panel.

Create a rectangle and test the newly created swatch. And you're done!

Step 25

To implement the watermark patterns, draw a rectangle on the top of your artwork and apply this pattern swatch. Adjust the transparency in accordance with the background artwork. I have used 50% Black for this watermark design, along with 50% Opacity. You can still play with the colors using the Live color option in swatches.

Conclusion and Scope

A little effort on the watermark design can really maintain the appearance of the artwork. Imagine, a bad watermark on a great Logo can ruin the entire design.

It doesn’t take much time to create such patterns. Once done, you can really present your designs with more professionalism, gracefulness and security. Hope you enjoyed the use of this pattern making for watermark design tutorial. Thanks!

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