How to Draw a Ribbon Banner as Vector in Adobe Illustrator


Creating ribbons in Illustrator is a simple yet powerful way to enhance your graphic designs. These ribbons can be used to highlight texts or as decorative elements, adding a unique flair to your work. In this guide, we’ll walk through the steps to create ribbons and set them up as brushes for easy use in future projects.

Drawing the Initial Ribbon

To begin, draw a rectangular area using the Rectangle Tool. This will serve as the base of your ribbon. Fill this rectangle with your desired color and remove any outline.

Adding Points with the Pen Tool

Zoom in (Ctrl +) and select the Pen Tool (P key). In the middle of the rectangle, add a new point by clicking when the plus icon appears. Repeat this on the other side.

Shaping the Ribbon

Now, use the arrow keys to create a ribbon-like shape. Press the right arrow key 10 times on one point, and then select the opposite point, pressing the left arrow key 10 times. This will give you a basic ribbon shape.

Refining the Ribbon

Alt-click to copy the ribbon. On this new copy, you’ll make additional edits. Use the Line Segment Tool to draw white lines above and below the ribbon. Adjust the line color and thickness as needed.

Softening the Edges

To soften the edges of these lines, select them and go to the Stroke panel (Window menu or Ctrl + F10). Choose the Round Cap option to round the corners, giving a softer appearance.

Using Your Ribbon Brushes

Navigate to the Brushes panel (Window menu) to begin converting your ribbon shapes into brushes.

Select your ribbon shape and click the new brush icon in the Brushes panel. Choose ‘Art Brush’ and name it (e.g., Ribbon Brush 1). Ensure the Scale Option is set correctly for your needs. Click OK, and your new brush will appear in the panel. Repeat this for any additional ribbon designs.

Drawing with the Pen Tool

Use the Pen Tool (P key) to draw a line. Apply your ribbon brush to this line. You can experiment with different shapes and curves, not just straight lines.

You can modify the appearance of your ribbon brush on a line by adjusting the stroke value. This allows you to make the ribbon look thinner or thicker depending on your design needs.

Expanding for Color Editing

To change the color of your ribbon brush, select the ‘Expand Appearance’ option under the Object menu. This converts the brush back to a shape, allowing for color edits.


This tutorial demonstrates how to create and utilize custom ribbon brushes in Illustrator, offering a unique touch to your graphic designs. Experiment with different shapes, sizes, and colors to enhance your design projects.