Back to Top
Design Cuts

Create a Spring Picnic Flyer in Illustrator


WHAT WE’RE CREATING:

Hey there designers! Renee here with a tutorial for a bright Spring Picnic poster utilizing a flat design style. We’ll use Illustrator to edit and apply patterns, draw original elements, play with pattern brushes, lay out vectors with copy and much more.

HAVE YOU SEEN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL?

Watch the video tutorial below and subscribe to our YouTube channel for regular updates direct to your inbox.

Here’s a look at what we’ll be creating:

Spring Picnic PT

Follow along with this tutorial: Download the freebie files

The freebie pack is loaded with top quality vectors from Callie Hegstrom, Eclosque and The Artifex Forge.

This freebie pack is just a hint of the amazing artistic design tools available in The Extensive Hand-Crafted Design Bundle for just $29 (an incredible 98% off). If you love producing artistic design work, this bundle will be your new best friend! This is a unique chance to own thousands of best-selling resources from some of the top artists in the world.

Spring Picnic PT

A Note on Fonts

We’ll be using several wonderful fonts from Callie Hegstrom included in the bundle, but which we’re naturally unable to give away. If you’d like to follow along and haven’t yet purchased the bundle, substitute the fonts I’m using with hand written, brush and marker fonts.

Step 1: Background

Open Illustrator and go to File > New. In the New Document dialog box, enter a document name, a width of 18 inches and a height of 24 inches.

Click OK to create the document.

Spring Picnic PT

Save your file.

Select the Rectangle Tool (m) and draw a rectangle that covers the entire artboard.

Open the Swatches palette (Window > Swatches) and select None (the white box with a red slash) for the stroke color.

In the freebies folder, open the file named TheArtifexForge_Plaid.

Select the plaid shape and press Cmd + C to Copy. Close the file and in the main layout file, press Cmd + V to Paste.

If you’ve purchased the bundle, open Plaid_2000px in The Artifex Forge folder. Use the Rectangle Tool to draw any size shape, then select Plaid_Red in the Swatches palette for the Fill Color. Copy this new shape and paste it into the main layout file.

Spring Picnic PT

In the Swatches palette, double click the Plaid_Red layer to open the pattern editor.

In the Pattern Options palette (which will automatically open), click the checkbox for Size Tile to Art.

Switch to the main Selection Tool (v). Press Cmd + A to Select All.

Go to Object > Transform > Scale. Enter a Uniform Scale of 40% and press OK.

Spring Picnic PT

At the top of the artboard, select Done to save the changes and return to the main layout.

You should now see an updated plaid swatch with a smaller pattern.

Drag the corner handles of the plaid shape to increase the size until it fills the artboard.

Spring Picnic PT

Now we’ll learn a super cool and useful trick to adjust the placement of the pattern on the artboard. You’ll notice that no matter where you move your shape, the placement of the pattern will always be in the same place. Unfortunately, this has our plaid pattern off center, but we have an easy way to adjust it.

With the main Selection Tool still selected, hold down the grave accent key (`), then click on the pattern and move it in whichever direction is needed. In this instance, I’m going to click and drag up and just a touch to the right until I have about the same amount of red section on each side.

Spring Picnic PT

In the Layers palette (Window > Layers), double click the name of this layer, Layer 1, and change it to Background Pattern.

Lock the layer by clicking the empty box between the eye icon and layer name.

Step 2: Plate

At the bottom of the Layers palette, click the Create New Layer icon. Double click the new layer name and rename it Dishes.

Select the Ellipse Tool (L). Click once on the artboard and in the popup, enter a Width and Height of 18.75 inches. Press OK.

Spring Picnic PT

In the Color palette (Window > Color), enter CMYK values of 55/0/15/0 for the Fill Color.

Position the circle at the bottom right side of the artboard so it just falls off the right side.

Spring Picnic PT

With the circle still selected, press Cmd + C to Copy it, then press Cmd + F to Paste in Place.

Hold Opt + Shift and use the corner handle to reduce the size to about 14.25 inches in diameter.

Spring Picnic PT

In the Color palette, change the Fill Color to 15/0/0/0 and the Stroke Color to 40/0/15/0.

Spring Picnic PT

Open the Stroke palette and increase the Weight to 14 pt.

Spring Picnic PT

Press Cmd + C to Copy the inner circle, then Cmd + F to Paste in Place. This will act as the inner shadow.

In the Color palette, change the Fill Color to None and the Stroke Color to 55/0/15/0.

Open the Stroke palette and increase the Weight to 30 pt. Next to Align Stroke, select the middle icon to Align Stroke to Inside.

Spring Picnic PT

Open the Transparency palette (Window > Transparency) and reduce the Opacity to 25%.

Spring Picnic PT

Now we’ll add a decorative edge to the plate.

In the freebies folder, open the Callie Hegstrom file. Select the leafy brushed line toward the right side of the file and press Cmd + C to Copy, then close the file. In the main layout file, press Cmd + V to Paste.

Pasting the brushed line into the layout file will add the brush to the Brushes palette, so now that we’ve pasted it in and the brush has been added, we can delete the line. We’ll use the brush from the Brushes palette later.

Spring Picnic PT

With the main Selection Tool, select the outer teal circle and press Cmd + C to Copy, then Cmd + F to Paste in Place.

Hold Opt + Shift and use the corner handle to reduce the size until it’s about halfway between the outer and inner circles – about 16.5 inches in diameter.

Spring Picnic PT

In the Color or the Swatches palette, change the Fill Color to None.

Open the Brushes palette (Window > Brushes) and select the leafy brush we added earlier.

Spring Picnic PT

In the Transparency palette, change the Blend Mode to Multiply and the Opacity to 20%.

Spring Picnic PT

To finish out the plate, we’ll add a couple of highlights on the edges.

Since we already copied the large teal circle earlier, we can just press Cmd + F to Paste another copy in Place.

In the Color palette, change the Fill Color to None and the Stroke Color to 40/0/15/0.

Spring Picnic PT

Hold Opt + Shift and use the corner handle to reduce the size until it’s about 18 inches in diameter.

Spring Picnic PT

In the Stroke palette, increase the Weight to 14 pt. Under Profile, choose Width Profile 1.

Spring Picnic PT

Select the Pen Tool (p). We’ll use the Pen to add a point to each end of the areas we want to keep. When we’re done, we’ll have a highlight at the top left and one at the bottom right.

With the Pen Tool, add two points – one on either side of where the finished highlight will be – so one at the top and one to the left side.

Spring Picnic PT

Now we’ll repeat at the bottom right of the circle, but this time let’s put our points closer together so we’ll have a slightly smaller highlight in this area.

Spring Picnic PT

Now we’ll delete all of the points on the circle that we didn’t add. Perfect circles in Illustrator are always made up of four points – one at the top, bottom, left and right.

Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (a). Select the four points that were part of the original shape.

Spring Picnic PT

Press Delete.

Spring Picnic PT

Spring Picnic PT

The last thing we’ll do with our plate is add a shadow. Press Cmd + F again to Paste the largest circle in Place.

In the Swatches palette, change the Fill Color to Black.

On your keyboard, hold Shift and press the Down Arrow about 3 times.

Spring Picnic PT

Go to Object > Arrange > Send to Back.

Spring Picnic PT

In the Transparency palette, change the Blend Mode to Multiply and reduce the Opacity to 15%.

Spring Picnic PT

Step 3: Silverware

Next up, we’ll create some silverware using a combination of shapes and some minor tweaking with the Pen Tool.

To make things easier to see, let’s work off to the side of the artboard for now. We’ll put our silverware in place when we’re done building it.

Select the Rounded Rectangle Tool (find it on the flyout menu when you hold down on the Ellipse or Rectangle Tool on the Toolbar).

Click once on the artboard. In the popup, enter a Width of 1 inch, a Height of 11 inches and a Corner Radius of .5 inches. Press OK.

Spring Picnic PT

Switch to the Rectangle Tool (m). Click once on the artboard. In the popup, enter a Width of 2.5 inches and a Height of 5 inches. Press OK.

Position the rectangle at the top of the rounded stick, overlapping slightly.

Spring Picnic PT

Select the Rounded Rectangle Tool. Click once on the artboard and enter a Width of .25 inches, a Height of 4 inches and press OK.

Spring Picnic PT

Switch to the main Selection Tool (v). Hold Opt + Shift, then click on the most recent rounded rectangle and drag to the right to create a copy.

The color of the pieces doesn’t really matter right now. I’m making them different colors so you can more easily see what’s happening.

Spring Picnic PT

On your keyboard, press Cmd + D to duplicate the last action – creating a third small rounded rectangle.

Spring Picnic PT

Hold Shift and select all three of the small rounded rectangles. Press Cmd + G to Group them together.

Now drag your pointer across all of the pieces we’ve just created – the three small rounded rectangles, the “stick” and the rectangle.

Open the Align palette (Window > Align). At the bottom right of the Align palette under Align To:, select Align to Selection.

Under Align Objects, select Horizontal Align Center.

Spring Picnic PT

Select the three grouped rounded rectangles. Press Shift + Cmd + G to Ungroup them. Go to Object > Compound Path > Make. This will have Illustrator treat the three objects like they’re one single object.

Hold Shift and also select the rectangle behind the three rounded rectangles.

Spring Picnic PT

Open the Pathfinder palette (Window > Pathfinder). Under Shape Modes, select Minus Front.

Spring Picnic PT

Now you can start to see the fork taking shape.

With the new shape still selected, switch to the Direct Selection Tool (a). You’ll see tiny circles with plus signs inside each corner.

Spring Picnic PT

Let’s start with the one on the bottom left. Click once on it with your Direct Selection Tool, then click and drag up until the Corner Radius is about 1.25 inches.

Spring Picnic PT

Now repeat on the right side.

Spring Picnic PT

Now we’ll use this same technique to round the edges at the end of each tine, starting on the left side. This time, we’ll only want a Corner Radius of about .15 inches.

Spring Picnic PT

Repeat for the remaining tines.

Spring Picnic PT

Lastly for the fork, we’ll do a bit of tidying up. First, use the Direct Selection Tool to select the left side of the top left tine. We only want the two top left points to be selected.

Spring Picnic PT

On your keyboard, press the right arrow key about five times to narrow the shape of the tine.

Spring Picnic PT

Now we’ll repeat on the far right tine. Use the Direct Selection Tool to select the two far right top points, then press the left arrow key on your keyboard about five times to narrow the tine.

Spring Picnic PT

Switch to the main Selection Tool (v). Select the “stick” of the fork. Hold Opt + Shift, then click and drag to the left to create a copy.

Spring Picnic PT

Select the Rectangle Tool (m). Click once on the artboard and in the popup dialog, enter a Width of 1.5 inches and a Height of 8.25 inches. Press OK. Position so it overlaps the top of the rounded rectangle, aligned to the right side.

Spring Picnic PT

Select the Direct Selection Tool (a). Click on the top left point of the rectangle and drag it down and to the right just a little bit.

The yellow line in the below image shows the original path of the rectangle.

Spring Picnic PT

Select the Pen Tool (p). Hold Option, then click on the point we just moved and drag up and to the right to create a curve.

Spring Picnic PT

Lastly for the knife, let’s add a little bit of a curve to the sharp edge at the bottom left of the blade area.

Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (a). Click on the tiny dot with the arrow sign, then click on it and drag up to give a slight corner radius of about .15 inches.

Spring Picnic PT

Switch to the main Selection Tool (v). Select both parts of the knife. In the Pathfinder palette under Shape Modes, select Unite.

Select both parts of the fork and repeat – in Pathfinder, select Unite under Shape Modes.

Select both the fork and the knife. In the Color palette, enter CMYK values of 15/100/90/10 – a deep red that matches the plaid tablecloth.

Spring Picnic PT

We’ll position the knife and fork at the top of the artboard above the plate. They should be at somewhat random angles to look like they were casually tossed next to the plate.

Select the fork and go to Object > Transform > Rotate. In the dialog box, enter an angle of -60 and press OK. Position at the top of the artboard.

Spring Picnic PT

Now select the knife. Go to Object > Transform > Rotate. In the dialog box, enter an angle of – and press OK. Position below the fork.

Spring Picnic PT

Hold Shift to select both the knife and fork. Press Cmd + C to Copy, then Cmd + F to Paste in Place.

Hold Shift again and press the down arrow key on your keyboard once.

Select the Eyedropper Tool (i) and click once on the shadow below the plate to sample its color and style.

Spring Picnic PT

Go to Object > Arrange > Send to Back.

Now hold Shift and also select the red knife and fork along with the shadows. Again, Go to Object > Arrange > Send to Back. This will make sure everything is sitting below the plate.

Spring Picnic PT

Step 4: Napkin

Our last piece for this layer will be a textured napkin.

Select the Rectangle Tool (m). Click once on the artboard. In the popup dialog box, enter a Width of 17 inches and a Height of 7.5 inches. Press OK.

Spring Picnic PT

Go to Object > Transform > Rotate. In the popup, enter an angle of 17.25 degrees and press OK.

Spring Picnic PT

Switch to the main Selection Tool (v). Position the napkin at the bottom of the artboard so you just see it peeking out near the bottom on the left and right of the plate.

Spring Picnic PT

With the rectangle still selected, press Cmd + C to Copy, then press Cmd + F to Paste in Place.

Press the down arrow on your keyboard once, then switch to the Eyedropper Tool (i) and sample the shadow section below the plate or silverware.

Spring Picnic PT

Go to Object > Arrange > Send Backward.

Spring Picnic PT

Press Cmd + F again to paste another copy on top.

In the freebies folder, open TheArtifexForge_Fabric2.

Switch to the main Selection Tool. Select the textured rectangle on the artboard and press Cmd + C to Copy. Close the file and in the main layout, press Cmd + V to Paste.

Spring Picnic PT

Since this automatically adds the pattern to Swatches palette, we can now get rid of the square we just pasted in by pressing Delete.

Select the top copy of the napkin and in the Swatches palette, select the Fabric2_Grey swatch.

Spring Picnic PT

In the Transparency palette, reduce the Opacity to 40%.

Spring Picnic PT

Use the main Selection Tool to drag across the right side of the napkin to select the shadow, the solid white rectangle and the transparent patterned rectangle.

Spring Picnic PT

Go to Object > Arrange > Send to Back.

Spring Picnic PT

In the Layers palette, lock the Dishes layer.

Step 5: Text

Create a new layer and name it Text.

Select the Line Segment Tool (\). Click once on the middle top of the plate, hold Shift and draw a straight line across to the right – about 10 inches wide.

Spring Picnic PT

Select the Pen Tool and click right in the middle of the line to add a point.

Spring Picnic PT

Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (a). Select the middle point. At the top of the artboard next to Y:, click after the current number and type -1.25 in. This will subtract 1.25 inches from the current Y Value.

Spring Picnic PT

Go back to the Pen Tool (p). Hold Opt, then click on the middle point. Continue to hold Option and also hold Shift, then drag to the right to create a curved point.

Spring Picnic PT

Select the Type on a Path Tool. Click once on the far right of the path. Type: Spring Picnic

Switch back to the main Selection Tool.

Spring Picnic PT

Open the Character palette (Window > Type > Character). Change the font to Cabana Kingpin Regular at 200 pt.

In the Paragraph palette (Window > Type > Paragraph), select Align Center.

Spring Picnic PT

In the Color palette, change the Fill Color to a CMYK build of 75/0/70/0.

At the bottom of the Swatches palette, click the Create A New Swatch icon and name the new swatch Spring Green.

Spring Picnic PT

Select the regular Type Tool (t). Click once in the middle under Spring Picnic and type: in the park

Switch to the main Selection Tool.

Change the font to Bourbon And Buttermilk Regular at 110 pt. In the Swatches palette, change the Fill Color to Spring Green.

Spring Picnic PT

Next, go to Effect > Warp > Arc.

In the popup dialog box, enter a Horizontal Bend of 15% and change the Vertical Distortion to -5%. Press OK.

Spring Picnic PT

Select the Type Tool (t). Click once below “in the park” and aligned with the right side of Picnic and type: May 20, 2017

Change back to the main Selection Tool.

In the Character palette, change the font to Punchbowl Bold at 60 pt and increase the Tracking, the space between letters, to 20.

In the Color palette, change the Fill Color to a CMYK build of 65/0/25/0.

At the bottom of the Swatches palette, click the Create A New Swatch icon and name the new swatch Spring Teal.

Spring Picnic PT

Select the Type Tool again, click under the date and type: 11 AM – 2 PM.

Switch to the main Selection Tool.

In the Character palette, change the font to Cabana Kingpin Regular at 100 pt. This time, set the Tracking to 40.

In the Swatches palette, change the Fill Color to Spring Teal.

Spring Picnic PT

Go to Effect > Warp > Arc. Enter a Horizontal Bend of 8% and leave both the Horizontal and Vertical Distortion at 0. Press OK.

Hover over one of the corner handles until you see the double sided rotation arrow. Drag to rotate the text to the right very slightly – about -3 degrees.

Spring Picnic PT

In the Freebies folder, open the Callie Hegstrom file. Select the curly ornament and press Cmd + C to Copy.

Go back to the main layout file and press Cmd + V to Paste.

In the Color palette, change the Fill Color to the CMYK build 18/100/12/0.

At the bottom of the Swatches palette, click the Create A New Swatch icon and name the new swatch Spring Pink.

Spring Picnic PT

Go to Object > Transform > Rotate. In the popup, enter a Rotation of -20 degrees and press OK.

Position on the left side of “in the park.”

Spring Picnic PT

Go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Select Vertical and press Copy. Drag the copy to the right side of “park.”

Spring Picnic PT

In the Callie Hegstrom freebies file, select the three pieces of fruit. Copy and paste them into the main layout file.

With all three still selected, go to Object > Transform > Scale. Enter a Uniform Scale of 180%, then press OK.

Position these somewhat randomly to the left of the date and time. Use the corner handles to adjust rotation and the main Selection Tool to move each object.

Spring Picnic PT

Select the bitten wedge and in the Swatches palette, change the Fill Color to Spring Pink.

Select the full wedge shape. In the Color palette, change the CMYK build to 0/35/85/0. At the bottom of the Swatches palette, click the Create A New Swatch icon and name the new swatch Spring Orange.

Select the strawberry. Switch to the Eyedropper Tool and sample the red used on the silverware.

Spring Picnic PT

Select the Type Tool. Click once in the middle of the plate below the fruit and time. Type: Kettmann Park

Switch to the main Selection Tool.

In the Character palette, change the font to Punchbowl Bold at 70 pt with Tracking set to 20.

In the Swatches palette, make the Fill Color Spring Green.

Spring Picnic PT

Select the Type Tool. Click once beginning under the E in Kettmann and type: free for all ages

Switch to the main Selection Tool.

In the Character palette, change the font to Bourbon And Buttermilk at 85 pt.

In the Swatches palette, make the Fill Color Spring Teal.

Spring Picnic PT

Select the Type Tool. Click once directly under “free for all ages” and aligned with the left side of it. Type: Polite Pets Welcome

Switch to the main Selection Tool.

In the Character palette, change the font to Punchbowl Bold at 30 pt with Tracking set to 20.

In the Swatches palette, make the Fill Color Spring Teal.

Spring Picnic PT

In the freebies folder, open the file from Eclosque.

Select all three flowers and press Cmd + C to Copy, then close the file. In the main layout file, press Cmd + V to Paste.

Select the largest flower. Hold Shift and use the corner handle to rotate the flower left 45 degrees. Position it to the right of the age and pet information.

Spring Picnic PT

Select the Group Selection Tool, the white arrow with a plus sign that’s available in the Direct Selection Tool flyout menu.

Select only the green stem below the smaller flower puff. Press delete.

Use the main Selection Tool to move the smaller flower puff to the top right of the larger flower stem.

Spring Picnic PT

Position the smallest flower to the right of the other two.

Spring Picnic PT

With the Group Selection Tool, select any section of coral on the flowers. Go to Select > Same > Fill Color.

In the Swatches palette, change the Fill Color to Spring Orange.

Repeat with the stem. Select any section of green stem. Go to Select > Same > Fill Color.

In the Swatches palette, change the Fill Color to Spring Green.

For a little color variety on our flowers, select just the petal section of the smallest flower on the right.

In the Swatches palette, select Spring Teal for the Fill Color.

Spring Picnic PT

Switch to the main Selection Tool (v).

In the Callie Hegstrom file, select the brushed dotted line. Press Cmd + C to Copy, then Paste it into the main layout file using Cmd + V.

Now that it’s been automatically added to the Brushes palette, press Delete to remove the line from the artboard.

In the Layers palette, unlock the Dishes layer by clicking the lock icon.

Select the large teal outer circle of the plate. Press Cmd + C to Copy. Re-lock the Dishes layer and click once on the Text layer to make it active.

Press Cmd + F to Paste in Place.

At the top of the artboard next to Width, enter 11 in, then click the link icon between Width and Height to maintain aspect ratio.

Spring Picnic PT

In the Swatches palette, change the Fill Color to None.

In the Brushes palette, select the new brush, Pattern Brush 5.

Spring Picnic PT

Now double click the new brush in the Brushes palette to bring up the Brush Pattern Options dialog box.

Under Colorization, next to Method, select Tints. Press OK.

In the warning that pops up after pressing OK, select Apply to Strokes.

Spring Picnic PT

In the Swatches palette, change the Stroke Color to Spring Pink.

Spring Picnic PT

We’ll cut this down just like we did with the highlights on the plate earlier.

Select the Pen Tool.

Click once on the dotted line a little below Spring and again a little above Kettmann.

Spring Picnic PT

Use the Direct Selection Tool (a) to select the three points on the circle outside this area – the one at the top, the right side and the bottom of the circle. Press Delete.

Spring Picnic PT

Switch to the main Selection Tool. Select the dotted line segment and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Select Vertical and press Copy.

Drag the copy to the same relative position on the right side of the plate.

Spring Picnic PT

In the Callie Hegstrom file, select the tiny flower. Press Cmd + C to Copy, then you can close the file.

Paste the flower into the main layout using Cmd + V. Pepper these around the design in random spots and in varying colors. I have one between my top header, some around the fruit and time and one down with the rest of the flowers. Don’t go overboard – 5 or 6 should do it.

Spring Picnic PT

For our last step, we’ll add a little tilt to our copy.

Select All by pressing Cmd + A.

Go to Object > Transform > Rotate. In the popup dialog box, enter a Rotation of -15 degrees and press OK.

Spring Picnic PT

And we’re done! We’ve created a trendy flat design poster in Illustrator using a wide variety of tricks and techniques.

Spring Picnic PT

Spring Picnic PT

Remember that whether it’s your outcome for this tutorial or something new you’ve made, we’d love to see your designs on our Facebook page.

Please leave a comment if you have any questions or suggestions. I always look forward to hearing from you!

There’s still time to check out The Extensive Hand-Crafted Design Bundle – the bundle that brings you 1000s of the best premium vectors in the world, without the premium price tag!

10 Lovely Comments from our Community:

  1. n_kingdomfree says:

    I´ve learnt a lot from this tutorial. Thank you very much for sharing! ^,^

    • annabel@designcuts.com says:

      You’re so welcome Yingnan and we’re so glad to hear that you have picked up some great new tips and tricks in our tutorial 🙂

      Happy designing!

  2. crystalcwhitlow says:

    This tutorial is perfect! I needed to create a flier for my Church’s summer picnic and this came to my aid! Thank you so much!

    • carol@designcuts.com says:

      Hey Crystal,

      That is wonderful to hear and we would love to see the flyer if you were keen to share :). What wonderful timing for you and we hope you enjoyed going through the tutorial!

  3. Cathy Dobbie says:

    Really enjoyed this tutorial. It was beautifully presented and moved along at pace one could follow quite easily. So much to learn and now just where to start. Learning the tools and all they do will be first on my list. This tutorial was a great start for that. What a fantastic application is Adobe Illustrator. Thanks so much.

    • sarah-jane@designcuts.com says:

      Hey Cathy,

      Thank you so much for your kind words!

      We’re so glad you enjoyed this one and cannot tell you how much it means to us that this has helped you 🙂

  4. Andrea says:

    Another awesome tutorial! Thanks Renee!

  5. Deborah Carter says:

    I started this tutorial now at least half a dozen times, both watching the video and reading the written instructions. I haven’t gotten past scaling the red plaid. Mine doesn’t scale into the smaller plaid. When I pull the corners to size to my artboard, the plaid enlarges as well. Not sure why mine is not scaling properly. Any thoughts?

    • sarah-jane@designcuts.com says:

      Hey Deborah,

      I am so sorry to hear that you are having trouble with this one!

      I’ve just double checked this for you and you just need to un-tick ‘transform objects’ when you get to transform, scale. I’ve popped you over an email though with some more details 🙂

Leave us a Comment