Design a Logo Celtic Knot (WITH TEXTURE) Illustrator Tutorial

In this Illustrator tutorial, we will design a logo or an icon graphic that could be used as a logo. We will design a Celtic knot-inspired logo and learn to create subtle and beautiful textures that will help you add spice to any graphic or logo design project you are working on! This Illustrator tutorial is all about design for complex shapes and geometric patterns, design for logos, design for textures and using the tools in Illustrator to create precise logo designs and shapes. Follow along with this design logo illustrator tutorial!

Create a new document with the size of 2560×1440 if you are following along with this tutorial.

Create two global color swatches: R:255/G:0/B:122 and a second color: R:40/G:0:95 These should be a pink and a dark blue/purple color.

The plan is to create each quadrant as a completed piece of art and then do a quick duplication to generate the final effect. This will prevent any unseemly shapes from being broadcast to the world and YouTube looking upon me with a disapproving frown.

Grab the Rectangle tool and click a single time and choose to create a rectangle that is 40px wide and 190px tall. Set the fill color to black and get rid of the stroke.

Select this new shape and go Object>Transform>Rotate and choose to rotate it 90º

Now press the “Copy” button to create a second version of the shape.

Drag a selection over both shapes and then open the Align panel.

From the “Align to” area, choose the icon with the little key in it. This allows you to select a key object to which your other shape will be aligned. We want to make the vertical rectangle our key object, so click it. Then align the left edges and the bottom edges of the two objects to create an “L” shape.

Select the vertical rectangle again and go Effect>Distort and Transform>Transform and set the horizontal movement to 80px and make 2 copies. Scale, angle, and vertical movement should be left alone. 

This will create two more copies of this vertical shape and push them perfectly across our base, horizontal rectangle.

Select the vertical rectangle again and go Oject>Expand Appearance to create three independent shapes from that transform effect we just applied.

Now we add the roundness. Grab the Ellipse tool and click a single time. The width of our rectangles will be the radius of our starting ellipse.

The diameter of an ellipse is double the radius so we want to create an 80x80px ellipse because our rectangle is 40px wide.

Make sure you have Smart Guides turned on by going View>Smart Guides and then drag this ellipse to the top of the right-most vertical rectangle until you see the center point of the ellipse click to the right-top corner of the vertical rectangle. 

For the next ellipse, we want to click to create another ellipse. This ellipse will have a radius that is equal to the width of two of the vertical rectangles and the gap between them. That is a radius of 120px which means we want an ellipse that is 240px big.

Drag this ellipse into place so the center point clicks to the top right corner of the right-most vertical rectangle as well.

With this new ellipse selected, go Object>Path>Offset Path and choose to offset the path -40px.

This will create a new smaller ellipse.

Select both ellipses and look to the Pathfinder panel and choose the Subtract icon to create a tire/donut shape.

Next, create an ellipse that has a radius the width of our little shape. This is a 200px radius which means we need an ellipse with a diameter of 400px. Create an ellipse that is sized 400x400px.

Drag this ellipse so the center point clicks to the top right corner of that same vertical rectangle.

Repeat the process of Offset Path to create an ellipse 40px smaller and use Pathfinder to punch a hole in the middle of this as well.

Select the center small ellipse and the vertical rectangle it’s touching and merge them together using the Pathfinder panel.

Next, select all of the shapes we’ve created except for the bottom, horizontal rectangle shape and use the Shape Builder tool to join the curving loops to their respective vertical rectangles and hold down Alt/Opt, and “clear out” the shapes that Illustrator is creating in the white space between our lines. This step is probably easiest if you are watching the video to follow and see what I am keeping and getting rid of.

Select all of the shapes and hit Cmd/Ctrl + G to group them together.

Now set the base color that you want.

PRO TIP: Use a Global Color to make color-changing incredibly easy later on.

Copy the graphic and go Edit>Paste in Front and change the color to the purple color we made.

Open the Transparency panel and double-click the empty area to add a black mask to hide this purple shape. We’re going to use some gradients and textures to reveal textured shadows.

Draw in a rectangle shape where you want a shadow to go and fill the rectangle with a black to white gradient.

Go Effect>Texture>Grain and set Intensity to 70 and Contrast to 40 commit that change.

Next, use the Gradient tool on this rectangle to draw your gradient until the grainy shadow looks perfect. 

Create an additional rectangle filled with rich black if you see any funny lines or want to adust the way the shadow lays on the artwork.

Create any additional shadowing that you like for the shape.

Remember to keep the bottom horizontal rectangle clear of any textured shadowing so we get a better optical illusion of this graphical knot tying itself up.

Group all of the artwork together and prepare to duplicate this to complete the entire finished shape.

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