30th Jul 2019

Understanding Isometric Designs With Adobe Illustrator CC

Game Design

Written By, Sarthak Dhadave


Today, we are going to design 3D looking 2D Design. From Infographics to Modelling to Magazine Illustrations, the 3D style seems to be everywhere lately. It’s only safe to assume that as per the trend, it’s going to be more popular. Isometric Illustration is a modern & polished way of creating 3D Looking objects look similar to a 2D vector art. Let’s draw an Isometric design in an Adobe llustrator CC to understand in detail.


I have covered these topics in my blog:

Why Isometric designs have been trending

The reason why they have been trending nowadays is because they are easy to understand, less cluttered & more detailed. In an Isometric design, we are able to see 3 different sides at a time which produce a fake 3D effect.

Let me know what do you think about my following work.

Here you can find the Reference Link.

Let’s have a look at the steps now..

Here are some steps through which you can create Isometric design on your own in Adobe Illustrator CC 2019. Over here, we will see how to draw the isometric design from a Front View of Design.

How to design Isometric grid in illustrator cc

(1) Create Artboard & Open Rulers


First, Open the Adobe illustrator CC and create an artboard of w1080 x h1920. To open the rulers click on View > Rulers > Show Rulers.

(2) Adding Guides to the Rulers


You will see the rulers on the top and on your left side. Just double click on the top ruler and you can see the guide as above.

(3) Setting Keyboard Increment


Now press cmd+K (For mac) or Ctrl+k (For Windows). You will see a popup as above. Set keyboard increment to 30px.

(4) Verifying the Incremented Guide


Select Guide and then press option + right arrow key (For Mac) or Alt + right arrow key (For windows). The guide will be copied and paste to the next 30px of increment. Do it until you see guides like this.

(5) Rotate the Guides


In this step select the all guides & press cmd + G (For mac )or ctrl + G (For Windows). You can do a right-click to group them. Now press “ R ” And press “ enter ”. You will see a popup of Rotate. Set angle to 120º & click ok.

(6) Copy and Reflect the Rotated Guide


Select the guide – press “ O ” and press “ enter ”. It will show you the above popup. Select vertical and press copy.

(7) Base of Isometric Design


You will be able to see the above screen. This is a base of Isometric design. In isometric design whatever you draw your design should be aligned with these guides.

How to design a building in Isometric with the use of grid

(8) First Stage of Design – Rooftop


It all starts with the alignment of shapes with the Guides. I started my design with the roof of the building. You can do the same or try your own!!

(9) Progressing ahead on the Isometric Design


Just see your reference image and try to understand the depth and sides of it. My reference image is not in the isometric view. So all I have to do is to visualize how it could be then just draw it with the alignment of the guides.

(10) Creating Base Design for Doors & Windows


I have prepared a base design of the building on which I can put windows, Doors and other detailings. I designed only half of it. Because both sides look similar. I will reflect and copy it. I will show you how.

(11) Making the Base More Live


Now you can add windows, doors, etc to make building more alive.


(12) Performing the Copy Reflect again


Once I am done with my desired design, I select the portion which I want to reflect & press “O” and then press “enter”. It will show you this popup select vertical and copy as we have already done for guides.


It will look like this. Now you can add detailing by yourself

Always Start design Flat and Simple, once you clear with your design you can go for detailed work.

(13) Finalizing the Isometric Design & Adding More Depths


This is the final result of my design. I add some Depth Effect in the Windows And doors. Set colors and set some light and shadow.

Hope you found my blog educational and inspiring. Stay tuned for more upcoming…

Written By,

Game Artist at Yudiz Solutions Pvt. Ltd