How to

How to Make a Ribbon in Adobe Illustrator


Creating ribbons in Adobe Illustrator is a simple and exciting process. You can transform basic shapes into unique and stylish ribbons or even create twisted and 3D variations. In this tutorial, we’ll explore how to craft classic ribbon banners, style them, and make curved and twisted ribbons. Let’s get started!

Crafting a Classic Ribbon Banner

To make a vector ribbon, follow these steps using the shape tools in Adobe Illustrator:

Step 1: Draw the Rectangle

  1. Select the Rectangle Tool (shortcut: M) from the toolbar.
  2. Draw a long rectangle.

Step 2: Create a Ribbon Shape

  1. Draw a shorter rectangle, positioning it where it intersects the longer rectangle.
  2. Choose the Anchor Point Tool (shortcut: Shift + C).
  3. Click and drag the left edge of the smaller rectangle towards the right.
  4. Duplicate the shape and move it to the right side of the rectangle.
  5. Flip the shape to create a ribbon banner shape.

Step 3: Combine Shapes

  1. Select all the shapes.
  2. Choose the Shape Builder Tool (shortcut: Shift + M) from the toolbar.
  3. Click and drag through the shapes you want to combine (e.g., parts a, b, and c).
  4. After combining the shapes, your image should resemble a ribbon.

To add further details to your ribbon, you can use the line tool or customize its color and incorporate text.

Styling the Ribbon Banner

Once you’ve created the ribbon shape, you can style it and add text to design a captivating ribbon banner. Here’s how:

Step 1: Filling Colors

  1. Fill the ribbon shape with colors.

    Tip: Group the objects temporarily to prevent accidental movement.

Step 2: Incorporating Text

  1. Use the Type Tool to add text.
  2. Choose a font, size, and text color.
  3. Position the text on top of the ribbon.

If you’re satisfied with the appearance, you can stop here. However, if you’d like to create curved ribbons, continue reading.

Crafting Curved Ribbons

Rather than drawing a ribbon from scratch, you can distort the vector ribbon you created earlier using Envelop Distort. Follow these steps:

  1. Select the ribbon shape.
  2. Go to Object > Envelop Distort > Make with Warp.

    A Warp Options window will appear.

The default style is a horizontal arc with a 50% bend, but you can adjust the bend percentage using the slider. Play around with different bend values to achieve the desired curve. Once you’re satisfied, click OK.

Additionally, you can explore various style options by clicking the Style drop-down menu. For instance, the Flag style offers a distinct appearance.

Making Twisted Ribbons

To create twisted ribbons or even 3D ribbons, you only need two simple steps:

Step 1: Drawing the Line

  1. Draw a curved or wavy line using tools like the brush tool.

Step 2: Applying the 3D Effect

  1. Select the line.
  2. Go to Effect > 3D and Material > Extrude & Bevel.

    Adjust the lighting, material, or rotation for your preferred look.

Remember, the shape of the ribbon depends on the line you draw. Experiment with lighting settings and perspectives to achieve the best result.


By following this tutorial, you now possess the knowledge to create different types of ribbon banners, curved ribbons, and twisted ribbons in Adobe Illustrator. Ensure that you use the Shape Builder Tool to create proper shapes, as it may affect the coloring process. Making 3D ribbons is straightforward, requiring only patience when adjusting lighting and perspectives. If you have any questions about making ribbons in Adobe Illustrator, feel free to ask. Happy designing!

About June Escalada

Alexia Young

Hello and welcome to the world of Alexia. I am a passionate and dedicated artist who loves to create beautiful, mesmerizing art for everyone's walls. I believe in the importance of encouraging people to express their creativity and be happy.

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