How to Make a Heart in Adobe Illustrator

Using the Rectangle tool, create a 1×2 proportion rectangle. Round the corners as far as possible, then create a copy. Reflect the copy and then use the Shape Builder tool to delete the two bottom extra portions. Then Unite the pieces together with the Pathfinder panel. 

If you want to create a more hand-drawn effect, use the pencil tool to do a quick sketch of a heart.

My name is April, and I’ve been working in the graphic design field for 14+ years now. Often in designing you will need to create shapes and graphics at a quick pace. Sometimes stock clip art can be used, but simple graphics can be just as easy to make and will increase your skill level.

In this article, we are going to look at two quick ways to make a heart in Adobe Illustrator. Let’s get started. 

Key Takeaways

  • The Shape Builder tool only works on overlapping paths.
  • With a shape selected, select the Direct Selection Tool and the rounding corner points will appear.
  • The Pencil Tool will automatically smooth your drawn lines, to a small extent

Note: The screenshots from this tutorial are taken from Adobe Illustrator CC Windows version. 

Method 1: Using the Rectangle and Shape Builder Tools

Using this combination of tools and the Pathfinder panel is a clean technical way of creating a heart. Let’s take a look at the steps.

Step 1: First we are going to select the Rectangle Tool (keyboard shortcut M) and draw a rectangle.

You can either simply click and drag to draw the rectangle, or double-click and type in measurements. If you want to make a traditional-looking heart, a 1×2 ratio rectangle works great.

Step 2: Select the rectangle, you’ll see the circles that appear near the corners. Those are going to allow us to round the corners. Using the Selection Tool, click and drag the circle point inward to create a semi-circle on each side of the rectangle.

Step 3: Rotate the rounded rectangle. With the Selection Tool, hover one of the corner points until you see a curve with arrows at both ends. When you see that symbol pop up, click and drag the rounded rectangle. 

If you hold Shift while you do this, the shape with snap to common angles and we want a 45-degree angle.

Step 4: With the shape still selected, Ctrl/Command + C to copy and Ctrl/Command + F to paste in front. This will give us two rectangles stacked on top of each other.

Step 5: With the top shape selected, go to Object > Transform > Reflect.

We want to reflect over the vertical axis, then click OK.

Step 6: Using the Selection Tool, drag and select both shapes and select the Shape Builder Tool from the Toolbar (keyboard shortcut Shift + M). 

With the Shape Builder tool, hover over an area you want to change and it will grey it out.

Step 7: Hold Alt and click each of the lower semi-circles to get rid of them. You will notice a minus symbol appears by the cursor when you hold down the Alt key.

Step 8: Open the Pathfinder panel and click Unite

This will create one solid shape. 

Feel free to color it with any color you want. I added a Gradient Fill and a black outline:

Method 2: Using Pencil Tool

Using the pencil tool is a great way to get a hand-drawn look without necessarily having a drawing tablet.

Step 1: Select the Pencil Tool (keyboard shortcut N) from the Toolbar.

Step 2: Click and hold your mouse and draw a heart shape.

The shape may not be perfect, but we are going for a hand-drawn look so that is okay. Feel free to keep trying more!

Pick your favorite one and use it in a design. You can also use the Direct Selection Tool to adjust anchor points on the drawn heart. With the Direct Selection tool selected, hover over one of the anchor points. Click and drag to change the positioning.

You could also use the Smooth Tool to help correct any jagged lines. Once you have the Smooth Tool selected, draw a line near the edge you want to smooth. You may have to do that several times to get the desired effect.

If you want the heart to have a fill, click the fill box in the Toolbar and select a color. Now your hand-drawn heart is ready to use!

Final Thoughts

With experience in Illustrator, your designs will be easier and quicker to create. Knowing shortcuts and alternative ways to create will help you figure out what works best with your workflow.

With these two ways to make a heart, you will be able to work with whatever style is needed. Graphic designers often need to fit their design to a client’s needs and this is a great example in a small way.

Have you created a heart shape in Illustrator before? Which method did you use? Let me know in the comments below.

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