In this tutorial, you will learn how to create an illustration that looks similar to a blueprint layout. By using contrasting white lines against a blue background and the Scribble effect, you will be able to replicate a hand drawn blueprint. This technique can be very helpful when creating a marketing or branding campaignfor a technical design company.

Step 1

Start by creating a Blue Radial Gradient Background. Make two evenly spaced lines with the Line Tool (\)at each end of the image, select Both Lines and go to Object < Blend < Blend Options. Select Specified Steps and change to an easy number like 50.

Blueprint Illustration Step 1

Step 2

Select the blended object, go to Object < Expand and then Ungroup (Shift + CTRL + G / Shift + CMD + G to make each line easy to select. Go through every other line and increase the stroke size of the line (We skipped three and repeated). You now have your vertical lines. To make the horizontal lines for creating the grid, Copy and Paste the lines you just created, Transform and Rotate (E) the lines 90 degrees and you should have a symmetrical grid now.

Blueprint Illustration Step 2

Step 3

Next, let’s create the Typography. Pick a simple Sans Serif font in bold and have it line up with the grid to make everything nice and even. On the left hand tool panel, there are two square colored boxes. One is the Fill Color and the other is the Stroke Color. Remove the Fill Color and have a 1pt White Stroke to outline the font.

Blueprint Illustration Step 3

Step 4

Copy and Paste the Typography but this time, remove the Stroke and Fill it with a solid White color. Place the filled font directly on top of the outline. To get the Hand Drawn Scribble Effect for the fill, go to Effect < Stylize < Scribble and adjust the settings until the you have the desired effect you want. You can use the image and settings below as a guide if you want.

Blueprint Illustration Step 4

Step 5

Next, use the Line Segment Tool (\) to create some drafting lines around the Type. Place Angled lines on intersections and change the lines to dashed lines by going to the Stroke Panel on the right hand panel. To add some more style, find a Handwritten font online and place some measuring numbers inside your illustration. To get the slanted lines inside the circle, use the Blend technique we used earlier to create the duplicated lines. Then make a half circle, place it over the slanted lines, select both the lines and half-circle, Right-Click and select Create Clipping Mask. This creates a shape mask that crops the lines and can be edited later if you’d like. Your image should look similar to the one below.

Blueprint Illustration Step 5

Step 6

To create the gears, use the Ellipsis Tool (L) to create a circle and the Rectangle Tool to create the tooth of the gear. Select the square and choose the Rotate Tool. Click the middle of the circle to place the center of rotation. Hold Shift + Alt or Shift + Opt to Duplicate and Rotate the square 45 degrees. When you make one duplicated rotation, you can just use the Duplicate (CTRL + D / CMD + D) hot key to replicate the action you just performed and fill in the rest of the gear teeth. Select all the gear and teeth and go to the Pathfinder Tool and Unite all of the objects into one object. Use the Ellipsis Tool (L) to draw another circle in the center and use the Pathfinder Tool again to Subtract from Shape to complete the gear.

Blueprint Illustration Step 6

Step 7

Copy and Paste another gear and place them to the left of the Typography. You should now have something similar to the image below. You are now finished with the illustration! If you would like to add more lines to your drawing, just use the same techniques shown to elaborate more on your illustration.

Blueprint Illustration Step 7

Wrapping It Up

The Scribble effect is a neat way to replicate the hand drawn sketch look in Illustrator. It save you time for having to use the pen tool and is a lot cleaner with evenly spaced lines. To add more depth to blueprint illustrations like this, it is common to put a drop shadow behind the objects to make it stand out a little more. Give it a try!