Draw an Abstract Geometric Structure in Adobe Illustrator

By Laurent Bompard

When it’s time to refresh the visual identities of Adobe software, we look to Behance for artists and artwork. Recently, Laurent Bompard’s illustration experiment caught our eye, and it’s currently the identity for Adobe Animate CC. Here, Bompard, an art director and graphic designer living in Vienna, Austria, explains in his own words how he created the design. 

It started as an experiment with geometric shapes that I built into a multi-layered isometric structure. The absence of perspective creates an interesting play where the orientation shifts continuously and invites the viewer to adapt to an ever-changing image.

I used only Adobe Illustrator CC. I began by creating simple cube shapes. I knew that I wanted rich, warm tones and I knew that blending modes would help me to achieve those tones with the colors I had chosen. Blending modes were also key to complex transparency effects. 

You can control blending modes and opacity in Illustrator's Appearance panel; this tutorial video is a good introduction to the panel.

Once I created the cubes, I divided them into sub-shapes using the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder).

I arranged this set of shapes along an isometric grid. To make the grid, I created angled lines, flipped them with the Reflect tool, selected all the lines, and went to View > Guides > Make Guides.

I experimented with several blend modes (mostly Overlay and Soft Light). The trial and error of working with several layers resulted in unexpected but interesting effects.

Once I achieved a piece that I liked, it was a matter of creating duplicates and rearranging the shapes more or less randomly, as well as varying the stacking order. I later added a few black and white outlines to give the piece a sense of depth.

Because I was just experimenting without a plan in mind, I had left a couple of imperfections (misaligned shapes, mostly) that were tedious to fix at a later stage, as I had to sort through hundreds of overlapping shapes. Fortunately, you can Flatten Transparency in Illustrator, which allowed me to simplify the artwork into flat individual shapes that I could then more easily align to the isometric grid.

To see more of Lauren Bompard’s work, visit his Behance presence and his fine-art website.