How do I create curved edges in Illustrator using the Pen tool?


When creating illustrations, I have seen recently there is this new rounded edges trend going on in the design world like in this image here

New Rounded Edge Trend

and I was wondering if anyone knew how to do this with the pen tool in illustrator, because I can easily make shapes like rectangles have curved edges in illustrator but I don't know how to make the end of the pen tools line rounded. As well does anyone know what this trend is called?

5/15/2015 3:04:00 PM

Accepted Answer

There are actually many ways to accomplish rounded shapes....

  • You can draw circles at ends of rectangles and use Pathfinder or the Shape Builder Tool.

  • You can use Effect > Stylize > Round Corners

  • You can use VectorScribe from Astute Graphics (third party $$ plug in -- See note below).

  • You can use thick strokes with round end caps.

  • And then, of course, you can use the pen tool to pull Bezier handles creating curves.

enter image description here

NOTE The above is all done in Illustrator CS6. Although the same procedures also work in newer versions of the application. The stock installation of Illustrator CC2014 also has rounding options which are similar to the VectorScribe plug in. See below. (Wonder where Adobe got the idea?)

enter image description here

Which method you use depends greatly upon construction and desired appearance.

5/15/2015 3:33:00 PM

The small trick with Pen Tool is to use it with Shift. This is related to the question as-is. There are a lot of ways to make the shapes you mentioned.

You place the Point in every place where the curve changes its direction. When you press Shift you get straight lines and dragging the handles will create nice round curves - as on this 1 minute picture.

enter image description here