Creating Abstract Backgrounds in Illustrator: [2023] Guide for Beginners

Abstract backgrounds function as the blank canvas of the creative realm, an open playground where design transcends the confines of representation. Liberated from the constraints of tangible meaning, they stand as symphonies of light, color, texture, and motion. These unbounded creations are versatile, offering an embrace to any artistic venture. Unlike their counterparts, such as landscapes or portraits, abstract backgrounds defy strict categorization, allowing for an endless spectrum of interpretation and adaptability to diverse design endeavors. Illustrator, a powerful vector graphics software, is a playground for artists and designers to explore their creativity. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a beginner, creating abstract backgrounds in Illustrator offers a wide range of possibilities, allowing you to unleash your imagination and create visually captivating designs. 

make different Abstract Background shapes and forms

Abstract backgrounds are non-representational, often characterized by shapes, colors, and textures that don’t necessarily mimic reality but convey a unique artistic expression.


Table of Contents

What are Abstract Backgrounds?

Abstract backgrounds are artistic compositions that don’t depict specific objects or scenes in a realistic manner. Instead, they rely on various design elements such as shapes, colors, patterns, and textures to evoke emotions, convey concepts, or simply offer visually engaging aesthetics. These backgrounds can be minimalistic, chaotic, geometric, organic, or a combination of various elements, offering immense creative freedom to artists.

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What Constitutes an Abstract Background?

Abstract backgrounds can vary widely, but several common elements contribute to their creation:

Shapes and Forms:

  1. Geometric shapes like circles, squares, triangles, or irregular forms can be used to create patterns or arrangements that form the basis of an abstract background.
  2. Organic shapes such as blobs, splatters, or flowing lines can add a more fluid and natural feel to the design.

Abstract Background shapes and forms

Colors and Gradients:

  1. Bold or subtle color combinations and gradients play a significant role in abstract backgrounds. Vibrant or muted hues can evoke different emotions and moods.
  2. Experimenting with color harmonies, contrasts, and blending modes can create visually striking effects.

Textures and Patterns:

  1. Textures, whether they imitate real-world textures or are abstract patterns, can add depth and visual interest to the background.
  2. Patterns like grids, dots, lines, or abstract motifs can be overlaid to create complexity and visual intrigue.

What Constitutes an Abstract Background,? Colors and Gradients,Textures and Patterns

Creating Abstract Backgrounds in Illustrator

  1. 1. Setting Up the Document:

    • Open Adobe Illustrator and create a new document with your desired dimensions.

setup new file in adobe illustrator for creating Abstract Background

  • Consider the purpose of the background (e.g., for a website, poster, or social media) and set the color mode and resolution accordingly.

document sizes etup new file in adobe illustrator for creating Abstract Background

2. Using Shapes:

  • Utilize the shape tools (rectangle, ellipse, polygon) to create basic forms. Experiment with combining and overlapping shapes to generate interesting patterns.
  • Explore the Pathfinder tool to unite, subtract, or intersect shapes to create more complex forms.

3. Color and Gradient:

  • Apply color fills to the shapes. Use the color palette, gradients, or the Gradient tool to create smooth color transitions.
  • Experiment with various blending modes to achieve different visual effects.

Color and Gradient in adobe illustrator for creating Abstract Background

4. Textures and Patterns:

  • Incorporate textures by using the ‘Effects’ menu or importing custom textures into your design.
  • Create or apply patterns using Illustrator’s pattern tools to add depth and intricacy.

5. Saving and Exporting:

    • Once satisfied with your design, save the file in a format that preserves quality (like .AI or .EPS).
    • For web or digital use, export the background in appropriate formats like JPEG, PNG, or SVG.

Saving and Exporting in adobe illustrator for creating Abstract Background

Crafting Abstract Shapes in Illustrator

Creating abstract shapes involves a similar process to crafting backgrounds:

1. Utilize the Pen Tool:

  • The Pen Tool allows you to draw custom shapes by creating anchor points and manipulating curves.

2. Explore Effects and Filters:

  • Use Illustrator’s Effects menu to warp, distort, or stylize basic shapes to achieve abstract results.

3. Blend and Shape Builder Tools:

  • Experiment with the Blend Tool to create transitions between shapes, and utilize the Shape Builder Tool to merge or subtract areas from shapes.

Illustrator provides a vast array of tools and features that enable the creation of stunning abstract backgrounds and shapes. As you experiment and become more comfortable with the software, you’ll find endless possibilities to express your artistic vision. Start by experimenting with basic shapes, colors, and textures, and gradually dive into more intricate designs. Let your creativity flow and enjoy the process of crafting unique and captivating abstract backgrounds and shapes in Illustrator!


The background design is an important aspect of any design project, and Illustrator is an excellent tool for creating stunning background designs. Whether you’re using gradients, patterns, textures, or gradient meshes, there are endless possibilities for creating beautiful and unique backgrounds in Illustrator.

Remember to consider the mood you want to create with your background and choose colors and textures that will help to achieve that mood. Experiment with different tools and techniques to find what works best for your design.

By following the tips and techniques outlined in this blog post, you’ll be able to create stunning background designs that will set your design projects apart.

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