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How to Create Your Own Abstract, Music Design

Read Time: 4 mins

In this tutorial, we'll learn how to create some abstract shapes and combine them to create a funky music inspired design. This illustration, could serve as a good starting point for a flyer or other design. 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 circle with the Ellipse Tool (L). Fill it with black and leave the Stroke empty. Go to the Toolbar and select the Knife Tool, then use it to cut the circle into random pieces.

Step 2

Group the pieces (Command + G) and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Roughen and apply the settings below, then click OK.

Step 3

Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select shapes, then move them randomly around.

Step 4

Select the shape with the Selection Tool (V) and apply a linear gradient fill. Because of the roughen effect, it looks like we applied several different gradients.

Step 5

Duplicate the shape and add another gradient. I chose a red to white gradient. Overlap them. Then select both and go to Object > Envelop Distort > Make with Warp, choose the Twist option, and use the settings shown below.

Step 6

Create another circle and repeat Step 1 and Step 2. Leave the Fill empty and apply a Stroke of 1pt black. Apply the Roughen Effect again. It will give it a neat scribble look. If you want to have it look thinner, just apply a smaller Stroke.

Step 7

Set the scribble shape for the back and then place the others shapes on top. Duplicate them as necessary. Apply a Drop Shadow if you want.

Step 8

Let create some weird looking headphones. Create a circle with a 7pt Stroke, gray and set to inside. Also, fill it with a light gray to white radial gradient.

Step 9

Then duplicate the circle, remove the Stroke and add an Outer Glow (Effect > Stylize > Outer Glow).

Step 10

Create another slightly smaller circle and fill it with a dark gray radial gradient, then set the Stroke to 1pt black.

Step 11

Create another circle and fill it with the Sticks Pattern. Either open the Pattern Library under the Swatch palette or go to Windows > Swatch Libraries > Patterns.

Step 12

Create yet another smaller circle and fill it with a gray to black radial gradient.

Step 13

Create a funky wing like object with the Pen Tool (P) and fill it with white.

Step 14

Create one last tiny circle filled with a radial gradient and an Outer Glow.

Step 15

Now take all the circles together and place then on top of each other. Add some patterns for more texture.

Step 16

Create a long, thin rectangle (M) and fill it with a dark linear gradient and apply a dramatic Drop Shadow. Put it aside.

Step 17

Create a line using the Pen Tool (P) with a 9pt Stoke. Then go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Zig Zag and apply the settings below.

Step 18

Create a shape for the head part of the headphones and fill it with a linear gradient and a Drop Shadow.

Step 19

Duplicate the shape and fill it with a funky patterns.

Step 20

Create another shape like the one below with a gradient and a Drop Shadow.

Step 21

Stack the shapes together.

Step 22

Now take the headphone shapes and group them (Command + G). Place them on top of the background shapes. Then take the rectangle from Step 16 and use it as a cord. Then take the Zig Zag shape and place it on the bottom. You might want to create some other shapes to simulate the headphone cord parts.

Step 23

Make a copy of the Zig Zag shape and apply the Arc Warp option. (Object > Envelope Distort > Make with Warp) and apply a Drop Shadow.

Step 24

Make a duplicate of the just created shape and mirror it (Command + O). Place them behind the headphones.


This is the final outcome. I added some simple lines with
the Pen Tool (P) and created some bands, which where just simple rectangles with warped applied.

You can now take this a bit further and create a flyer or other design piece. I hope you had fun and learned something new!

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