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How to Create a Jordan 'Hatta' Scarf Design With Adobe Illustrator

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

'Hatta' is the name of the traditional square scarf that Middle Eastern men wear as a headdress. 

It's a white cotton cloth, designed in checkered patterns and traditionally worn for protection against the sun, sand, and cold nights. Depending on which part of the Arab world you are in, it is also known as kiffiyehghutrahshemagh, or mashadah. The name, design, color, and style of dress vary by the region and its people.

In Jordan, the hatta headcloth colors are red and white—a marker associated with the country's heritage, and typically worn as an Arab nationalist symbol. For your brief knowledge, Jordan is officially known as the 'Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan'. The colors used on the checkered hatta design were historically adopted from both the red Hashemite Flag and the Arab Revolt Flag, thus making it a symbol of Jordan. 

In the Western world, the scarf design is commonly worn in black/white or red/white colors, and it's no more than a fashion accessory or clothing trend. Other countries that have adopted the red-white keffiyeh colors are Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. 

In today's Adobe Illustrator tutorial, we will cover the steps to creating the red-white hatta scarf pattern design and applying it to the title "JORDAN".

If you would like to purchase some Arab pattern designs and artwork, just head over to GraphicRiver or check out my other tutorials on Envato Tuts+.

Let's start pattern making!!

What You'll Need

You will need the following font in order to complete this project:

  • Robinson Regular. If you wish to use a similar font, you could still achieve a similar end result.

1. How to Design the Checkered Pattern Design

Step 1

hatta design is composed of three different pattern designs: Checker, Wave, and Diagonal.

Before we start, create a New Document (Command-N) of banner size 851 x 315 px, Landscape orientation, and RGB color mode.

adobe illustrator create new document width height landscape and RGB color mode

Step 2

Let's start by designing the Checker pattern.

Begin by drawing two rectangles. Select the Rectangle Tool (M). Draw a 18 px red #d32127 rectangle, and another rectangle of dimensions 8 x 16 px.

Open the Properties panel (Window > Properties) to quickly access settings, controls, editing options, and alignment.

Take the Selection Tool (V), select both rectangles, and apply a Horizontal and Vertical Align Center action to the two. Command-G to Group.

rectangle tool properties panel horizontal and vertical center alignment

Step 3

Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A) to automatically view all the Live Corner widgets that appear next to each corner point. Click the Corners link in the Control panel (Window > Control), and set the Radius to 2 px.

Control Panel live widget corner radius curve window control

Step 4

Next, with the Rectangle Tool (M), using the same red fill of #d32127, draw one 2.3 x 25.6 px vertical rectangle and a horizontal rectangle of 14.6 x 2.3 px.

Select all the rectangles with the Selection Tool (V). Apply the Horizontal and Vertical Align Center actions, from the Properties panel, to align them vertically and horizontally.

draw with rectangle tool and horizontal vertical center align

Step 5

Select the rounded rectangle group. Then Copy (Command-C) and Paste in Front (Command-F).

Object > Transform > Rotate the group 90°. Then select the vertical rectangle bar, and Copy (Command-C) and Paste in Front (Command-F).

Then select the horizontal rounded group plus the vertical rectangle bar. Hold down the Shift key to constrain the motion, and drag the objects to the edge of the horizontal bar, as shown.

rotate rounded rectangle and align center horizontal and vertical

Step 6

Select all the shapes. Object > Pattern > Make. The Pattern Options dialog box will open. Apply the following settings:

  • Name: Checker
  • Tile Type: Brick by Row
  • Brick Offset: 1/2
  • Unlink the Width and Height link
  • Height: 21 px
  • Copies: 7 x 7 

Once the pattern is created, you can delete the shapes, as now the Checker pattern will appear in the Swatches panel (Window > Swatches).

Our first pattern is ready.

Checker Pattern design jordanian hatta tile type brick offset height and copies

2. How to Create the Wave Pattern Design

Step 1

Select the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw a 5 x 11.5 px red ellipse #d32127.

Select the Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C), and taper the top and bottom anchor points of the ellipse. Then from the Properties panel, apply a Rotate of -45° to the shape.

Step 2

Turn on your Smart Guides (Command-U). These snap‑to guides will appear when you move objects around, and they will help guide you in aligning things accurately.

From the Tools menu, select the Rounded Rectangle Tool, under the Rectangle Tool. Tap once on the artboard to open the Rounded Rectangle dialog box and choose the following settings:

  • Width: 1.2 px
  • Height: 2 px
  • Corner Radius: 0.7 px
  • OK

Then use the Selection Tool (V), and with help of the Smart Guides, position the rounded rectangle on top of the tapered ellipse as seen below.

rounded rectangle tool width height corner radius  Selection Tool

Step 3

Select the leaf shape and the rounded rectangle, and Copy (Command-C) and Paste in Front (Command-F).

Take the Reflect Tool (O) and set the blue center reference point at the end of the base of the leaf, as seen in the image. Hold down Option-Shift and drag and release when the selection is mirrored across.

Use reflect Tool O to mirror selection center reference point copy paste in Front shortcut

Step 4

A time-savvy shortcut to learn in Adobe Illustrator is the Drag-Drop action instead of the Copy-Paste action. 

We need to duplicate the rounded rectangle shape, to position it on the base of the two leaf objects. Select the rounded rectangle, hold the Option-Alt keys, and drag the object with the Selection Tool (V) to the base of the leaves. This will create a duplicate.

copy paste option alt drag and drop shortcut

Step 5

Select all the shapes, and then click the Unite action from the Pathfinder in the Properties panel.

Unite shapes from Properties panel Unite action Pathfinder

Step 6

Object Pattern > Make to open the Pattern Options dialog box.

  • Name: Wave
  • Tile Type: Grid
  • Unlink Width and Height
  • Width: 14.15 px (adjust the width so the tops of the rounded rectangles overlap at the intersection).
  • Copies: 7 x 7 

We are ready with the second pattern. It should appear in the Swatches panel afterwards.

pattern options wave tile type width overlap copies swatches panel

3. How to Set Up the Diagonal Pattern Design

The third pattern, the Diagonal, is the easiest to set up. We just need to create a vertical rectangle pattern that we will transform later on.

Take the Rectangle Tool (M), and create a red fill #d32127 rectangle about 2 x 5 px

Object Pattern > Make to open the Pattern Options dialog box.

  • Name: Diagonal
  • Tile Type: Grid
  • Unlink Width and Height
  • Width: 3 px 
  • Height: 5 px (approx)
  • Copies: 7 x 7 

And our third pattern is ready!

pattern make options swatches panel  diagonal grid width height copies

4. How to Design the "Jordan" Title

Step 1

Open the Character panel (Window > Type > Character or Command-T). Select the Type Tool from the Tools panel. Select the Robinson Regular font family (a font found on Envato Elements) from the Character panel. 

Set Font Size to 400 pt, with Tracking set at 25 pt, type in "JORDA", and leave the N out. We will design a scarf in the form of the 'N'. 

Object > Expand. Make sure to check Object and Fill, then OK, so the type turns into individual shapes.

Character panel command T shortcut type font size object expand shape type

Step 2

The Jordan flag has a small, white, seven-pointed star, so we will create a star in front of the type to represent the flag.

Select the Star Tool, from the Rectangle Tool drop-down options in the Tools panel.

Tap once on the artboard for the Star dialog box, and set:

  • Radius 1: 26 px
  • Radius 2: 14 px
  • Points: 7
  • Ok
star tool under rectangle tool set radius pixels points

Step 3

Let's create the N for 'Jordan'.

Select the Rectangle Tool (M), and with help of Smart Guides, draw a vertical bar that is the same thickness and height as the type lettering:

  • Width: 34.96 px
  • Height: 279.297 px
Rectangle tool draw vertical rectangle width height properties

Step 4

Object > Path > Add Anchor Points to the rectangle. This will add anchor points in between the other anchor points.

Take the Direct Selection Tool (A), and select the base left and right anchor points and drag them upwards by about -35 px.

Select the top left anchor point and drag it down by about 35 px.

direct selection tool object path anchor points drag  anchor points

Step 5

Delete the top middle anchor point on the rectangle, using the Delete Anchor Point Tool (-).

Then select the Reflect Tool (O) and set the blue center reference point at the right of the shape as shown below. Option-Shift-Drag and release to mirror.

Afterwards, use the Rectangle Tool (M), and with the assistance of Smart Guides, draw a connecting rectangle with approximately the same pixel height of our letter shape width, at 37.86 px.

delete anchor use refelct tool to mirror shape and draw rectangle

Step 6

Now let's round the edges of our scarf 'N' slightly to fit the style of the text.

Take the Direct Selection Tool (A) and select the anchor points that are not touching the middle intersection.

In the Corners option of the Control panel, set the Radius to 1 px.

use direct selection tool to curve corner radius from control panel

Step 7

Select all the 'N' shapes, with the Selection Tool (V). Use the Left Arrow key to visually align the distance from the between the 'A' and 'N'.

Next, select the 'JORDA' shapes, plus the two legs of the 'N'. Then open the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder). 

From the option menu, select Make Compound Shape. This will combine all the shapes into one compound shape.

pathfinder panel window pathfinder make compound shapes

Step 8

Now let's lay out our pattern, beginning with the Checker pattern.

Shift-D to switch Drawing Mode Normal to Drawing Mode Behind. Select the Checker pattern from the Swatches panel. Then, with the Rectangle Tool (M), draw an 810 x 135 px rectangle, with the help of the Properties panel and Smart Guides.

The pattern will appear straight, so we need to slant it. Object > Transform > Scale... to open the Scale dialog box. Make sure Transform Patterns is checked, and apply a 60% Uniform scale.

Then you need to rotate the pattern. Object > Transform > Rotate... opens the Rotate dialog box. Set the rotation to 45°, and click OK.

Our Checker pattern is set.

transform pattern settings uniform scale rotate properties

Step 9

Move on to designing the Diagonal stripes. 

Select the Diagonal pattern from the Swatches panel. Draw three rectangle bars, with the Rectangle Tool (M), using the following settings:

  • Bar 1: 810 x 4 px
  • Bar 2: 810 x 11 px
  • Bar 3: 810 x 4 px

You will realise the transform settings we applied to the Checker pattern continue to apply to the Diagonal, so we don't need to set them again.

Set Diagonal pattern swatches and rectangle tool

Step 10

Group the three Diagonal bars (Command-G).

We need to duplicate the group, so apply the Drag-Drop action. Select the Diagonal bars group, hold the Option-Alt keys, and drag the group with the Selection Tool (V) to the edge of the 'J'.

diagonal duplicate bars selection tool drag optiona alt

Step 11

Now, let's add the Wave pattern.

Select the Wave pattern from the Swatches panel, and use the Rectangle Tool (M) to draw an 810 x 46 px rectangle.

The transform settings applied to the first pattern will remain, so you need to modify them. Select the Wave pattern from the Swatches panel to reset it. Object > Transform > Scale... to open the Scale dialog box. Make sure Transform Patterns is checked, and apply a Uniform scale of 60% and click OK.

transform pattern by uniform scale dialog box

Step 12

Now, the Wave pattern needs a little adjusting so it lies properly in the design.

To edit, double-click the pattern from the Swatches panel. In the Pattern Options dialog box, Unlink Width and Height. Then adjust the Height to about 12 px, so there is spacing between the top and bottom copies.

pattern options unlink width and height and adjust height distance of copies

Step 13

You will need to transform the pattern within the shape without moving the object, so select the rectangle with the Wave pattern fill.

Then hold down the Grave Accent (´) key while dragging, and adjust it accordingly.

Wave pattern move grave accent dragging

Step 14

For the base part of the pattern effect, draw a red fill (#d32127) rectangle at 810 40 px.

rectangle tool create 810 x 40 px red rectangle

Step 15

Group all the patterns together (Command-G). Then, with the Selection Tool (V), select both the 'JORDA' shape and the grouped pattern, and create a clipping mask with Object > Clipping Mask (Command-7).

Object clipping mask group and mask pattern

5. How to Finalise the Design

Step 1

Select the seven-pointed star shape, and use the Eyedropper Tool (I) to apply the same pattern on the Diagonal bars.

Let's scale the Diagonal pattern in the design, so it will look more harmonious to the design. Select > Same > Fill Color, to select all the diagonal patterns. Object > Transform > Scale... to open the Scale dialog box. Set the Uniform scale at 150%, and click OK.

eyedropper tool I apply same fill color effect and object transform scale

Step 2

The Checker pattern aligns right to left, so let's reflect the Diagonal pattern to flow in the same direction. Object > Transform > Reflect. Check Transform Patterns, set the reflection Angle to , and click OK.

object transform patterns reflect angle ok

Step 3

Some patterns might need a slight alignment.

Go ahead and select the ones you want to adjust, hold down the Grave Accent (´) key, and drag them to align neatly.

Then select the 'N' connecting rectangle, and use the Eyedropper Tool (I) to apply the same Checker pattern on the lettering.

Grave accent transform pattern use eyedroper rectangle set pattern

Step 4

Let's add small seven-pointed stars at the center of the triangular bases of the 'N'.

Shift-D to shift back to Normal Drawing Mode. Select the Star Tool from the Tools panel. With a white Fill and null Stroke, draw a seven-pointed star about 8 x 8 px.

Then, with the star still selected, apply Drag-Drop by holding down the Option-Alt keys and dragging the star object with the Selection Tool (V) to the other triangular end, as shown below.

switch drawing modes use star tool to drag drop on ends

Step 5

To create the scarf effect, we need to create a shadow effect on the folds.

Take the Pen Tool (P) and, with a red fill (#DB9C9C), draw a triangular shape on the edges of the connecting ' N' rectangle, as seen in the image.

Hold down the Shift key to constrain the lines. Use the Smart Guides to draw similar width triangles, on both ends.

Use Pen Tool draw triangular shadows

Step 6

Open the Transparency panel (Window > Transparency). Select both triangles, and set their Blending Mode to Multiply.

Use Pen Tool draw triangular shadows

Step 7

Pay attention to detail. Take the time at the end to tweak the patterns and shapes so that everything is perfectly put together.

To finalize the banner, add a white background. 


Your Middle Eastern "Jordan" hatta banner is done! 

See, that was easy to create. Use your imagination and just be creative.

I hope that you found some useful tools, tips, and tricks and that you enjoyed this tutorial! See you next time.

Final jordan hatta shemagh banner design star arab middle east
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