Illustrator tutorial: Vehicle design

Illustrator-Tutorial zur Fahrzeuggestaltung

The illustrations which are used in this example are from the creativ collection Butterfly, the vehicle drawing is part of the creativ collection CAR-SPECIAL.

Vector-format illustrations offer total freedom to your creativity

By contrast with pixel images, the advantage of vector graphics is that you can distort or modify them in any way you like using very easy methods. You can scale vector graphics for any application without any loss of quality and the files are always very small.
You can combine individual elements in any way you like so that it is easy to create any amount of new motifs.

choose parts

1. Preparing a Work File

  • Open the CAR-SPECIAL vehicle template.
  • Display the layer options and rename the layer to "Vehicle".
  • Create two new layers: "Design" and "Bodywork". Arrange the layers: 1. "Vehicle", 2. "Design", 3. "Bodywork"
  • "Vehicle" layer: Using the Direct Selection tool, click on the vehicle's white paint surface, choose "None" as the fill colour and copy to the clipboard. Hide the layer.
  • "Design" layer: Paste the contents of the clipboard (at the same position) using "Command/Ctrl key + F. This element is used later as a mask. Deselect.
  • "Bodywork" layer: Paste again.

Elemente entnehmen

2. Choosing Design Elements

Open the desired illustrations, take the necessary elements one after the other and insert them in the work file on the "Design" layer. When doing this, make sure that the mask is at the top.

Ebenen anlegen

3. Designing a Vehicle

  • Position the design elements.
  • Select the mask and the design elements. In the "Object" menu, choose "Mask > Make" (Command/Ctrl key + 7).
  • Specify the paintwork colour on the "Bodywork" layer.
  • Display the "Vehicle" layer again.


To output the design in the original size (1:1), you must scale it. With cars (scale of 1:30) at 3000%. Consider the bleed size!