How to Make a Halftone Effect in Illustrator

How I Make a Halftone Effect in Illustrator

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I am a big fan of halftone pat­terns. I love that you can use a sol­id col­our to give the impres­sion of shad­ing, or even a gradi­ent.

Most of my design work is done in Illustrator, and I have spent many hours work­ing out the best way to cre­ate halftone pat­terns. To save you the time, I will walk you through the tech­nique that gives me the best res­ults.

For this quick tutori­al, I will rep­lic­ate the halftone pat­tern shown on this sword:

What we will be creating

Once you have your basic shape, remove the bor­der, and then fill it with a white to black gradi­ent. You will have to play around with the angle to get it just right. Keep in mind that the circles will decrease in size from black to white.

Getting the gradient right

Now it’s time to apply the ‘Color Halftone’ effect. This can be found in the ‘Effect’ menu, under ‘Pixelate’. Make sure that all the chan­nels are set to 0 degrees, and then play around with the max­im­um radi­us until you get a halftone pat­tern that isn’t too small or large. Something like this:

Setting the size of the halftone effect

The next step is to expand the res­ult; we want to get rid of the white, and turn it into a vec­tor. Select ‘Expand Appearance’ from the ‘Object’ menu. Then, from the con­text menu, hit the drop down arrow next to ‘Live Trace’ and select ‘Tracing Options’. You want to change ‘Path Fitting’, ‘Minimum Area’, and ‘Corner Angle’ all to 1. Also, make sure that ‘Ignore White’ is checked. I have this saved as a pre­set for ease of use:

Tracing options

Finally, hit the ‘Expand’ but­ton on the con­text menu. You are left with just the halftone vec­tor, which you can then do with as you like. I gen­er­ally change the col­or and opa­city to suit the cur­rent design, but I’m sure you can be more cre­at­ive than that!

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5 Comments

  1. Olivia

    thank u so much, it helped me a lot, it was really easy to fol­low