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Multiple rings using the Polar grid tool in Illustrator tutorial, how to create

concentric rings in polar grid tool multiple rings using

How to create multiple rings using the Illustrator polar grid tool in CC CS6 CS5 etc. The polar grid can be found in the Illustrator toolbar beneath the line segment tool group. The polar grid tool can be used to create a single polar grid made of multiple concentric circles. The polar grid paths can be expanded. The rings can be duplicated by using the alt / option on the keyboard. The polar grid rings can then be shifted and then united using the pathfinder unite command. You can also create a rectangular design by using the pathfinder crop tool with the multiple selected rings. Variations of the multiple rings can be re-coloring the artwork by using the live paint bucket. The rings can also have varying sizes of circle widths. This tutorial shows you how to create multiple ring designs from the polar grid tool in Illustrator and how to add color via the live paint bucket. The tutorial shows also other options such as ellipse rings and skewed ellipse rings from the polar grid paths. There is a link to a free selection of colorful ring designs for use in Illustrator CC etc.

  1. select the polar grid tool in the Illustator toolbar

  2. Double click the icon

  3. setting the radial to zero and setting the concentric dividers to greater than zero

  4. Set the stroke to 2pt etc

  5. object menu and expand

  6. alt / option and duplicate rings

  7. do this multiple times and position as required

  8. pathfinder and unite

  9. create a rectangle and then add above the rings and select the rectangle and rings

  10. pathfinder and crop

  11. create another rectangle and set to no fill and no stroke

  12. select that rectangle and then go to the select menu / same / same fill and stroke

  13. delete

  14. pathfinder and unite


The positions and the number of the ring shapes can be varied. You can use the alt / option key to duplicate and create 10+ or 50+ ring combinations which can be used to create amazing backgrounds and circular designs.

Ellipses and warped polar grid rings

The rings can also be distorted. They do not need to remain as a circle. You can distort the polar grid ring paths to create ellipse rings instead of circles. Hold the shift down as you use the polar grid to create a perfect circle but you can also just force an ellipse design. To create distorted rings then use the object menu and envelope and make with warp command. The warp can be the same for each of the rings but you can create multiple rings sets with different warping. The rings can be equally combined with the pathfinder and unite command.

Variations of the polar grid rings in Illustrator

polar grid tool variations for Illustrator rings color abstract art

The rings of the polar grid can be skewed by the skew setting for the concentric circles divider. You can skew the circles to the edge or to the center to create many different rings without the need to ungroup the individual paths. Use the skew 'in' to create the rings in the center of the path. Use the skew 'out' to create the rings more to the edge of the polar grid.


The rings can be re-positioned (like the circles and the slices) by ungrouping the polar grid path or by using the isolation mode and then moving the individual paths. You can create many variant designs simply by deleting the circle paths or by shifting them away from the original center of the path. The result of the varying center and varying width sizes can result in some very interesting scratchy and sketchy backgrounds if used with multiple rings over an entire artboard.


You can re-size the rings as well as distort the rings (perhaps use them as an ellipse or perhaps crop them to only have them as a square or rectangle or warp the polar grid rings in Illustrator


You can also re-color the individual rings as this point by using either isolation mode approach or ungrouping the entire path into separate items or using the live paint tool to fill the rings with color


The image on the left was generated via the polar grid tool and the rings were ungrouped and then modified to have different centers along with different stroke widths and then were then duplicated using the alt / option and then using the pathfinder they were united and cropped as mentioned. You can also use the width tool to vary the width of the individual paths


Using the live paint bucket tool, the individual areas can then be colored / filled and you can see the result of applying the live paint bucket to many of the individual fill areas in the multiple rings

Freebie sampler

1. Freebie symbols for Illustrator CC 2017 2015 etc, royalty free (such as color rings set using the above polar grid tutorial)

Other tutorials

1. Polar grid tool for Illustrator - the basics tutorial

2. How to create concentric circles with the polar grid tool in Illustrator

Other resources

1. Ring symbols in Illustrator CC 2017 2015 CS6 CS5 etc

Youtube video tutorials

A quick video showing how to create colorful circular / ring designs using the polar grid tool in Illustrator (youtube)