How to Make a Vintage Banner With Illustrator

Written by naomi valdivia
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How to Make a Vintage Banner With Illustrator
A vintage banner looks very complex but can easily be made in Illustrator with some effort. (decorative vintage floral banner image by robert fori from

Vintage vector banners are beautiful and can be quite complex to look at. You can create vintage looking vector banners in Illustrator easily by using many smaller elements and piecing them together. By making a custom banner, you can include custom elements in your framing and design and you can also customise colours and backgrounds more easily than if you were to use a stock banner.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Adobe Illustrator
  • References of vintage banners
  • Ornamental fonts
  • Stock vector ornamentation
  • Scanner

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  1. 1

    Roughly sketch what you want your banner to look like. This does not need to look perfect; it will just be the skeleton from which you will work. Scan the sketch and open up in Illustrator. Lock this layer.

    How to Make a Vintage Banner With Illustrator
    This would be a rough sketch of an oval with a few streaks shooting out from it. (vintage design on abstract grunge background image by robert fori from
  2. 2

    Using the pen tool or the circle, oval or rectangle shape tool, draw your main shape. Choose your fill colour as well as your stroke colour. You can also thicken the stroke in the stroke pallet. All pallets can be found in "View." Use your ornamental fonts and stock vector ornamentation by duplicating, placing, rotating and resizing elements on top of your sketch in a new layer. Create patterns with these elements while staying true to your original rough sketch's shape. You can also use the pen tool and create ornamentation by tracing other scanned sketches or photographs. You can then duplicate, rotate, resize and alter your created elements to help create your banner's ornamentation.

    How to Make a Vintage Banner With Illustrator
    You can use a photograph like this to create an element by using the pen tool to draw a path around it. (Mur 1 image by Nathalie P from
  3. 3

    Make sure you use fill colour that creates the illusion that your shapes come together to form one shape or frame. Fix any sharp edges by choosing to round edges or use the direct select arrow to fix any mistakes in the paths. Select all elements of the framing elements and group them together by going to "Object" then "Group." Play with different fill and stroke colours until you are happy with your image. You may also choose to add a background.

    How to Make a Vintage Banner With Illustrator
    You may choose to add a background to your vintage vector banner. (Abstract retro background with a banner for your text image by Stasys Eidiejus from

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