Yin And Yang Symbol
Tutorial Category: Illustrator
Learn how to create the very popular yin and yang symbol, which is used to represent the unity of opposites.
Using the Ellipse Tool, draw out an ellipse. Hold down Shift to make the ellipse proportional. I chose black for both the fill and stroke color.
Now make sure Smart Guides is on. Go to View > Smart Guides and make sure it is checked. Also, make sure rulers are on and we can drag out some guides. Go to View > Show Rulers. (If it says Hide Rulers it’s because they are already on!)
To help us cut a nice curved line down the middle of the ellipse, let’s drag out some guides. With your mouse over the ruler on the left hand side, click and drag and you’ll see a vertical guide appear. Drag towards the center of the ellipse until you see the word “center”. Stop when you’re at the center of the ellipse.
Now we need a horizontal guide. With your mouse over the ruler on the top, click and drag and you’ll see a horizontal guide appear. Drag towards the center of the ellipse until you see the word “center”. Stop when you’re at the center of the ellipse. You should have the following:
We need two more guides which will define the width of the curve in the middle. So position the guides to your liking. I have them positioned as follows:
Now let’s draw the curve that we’ll use to split the ellipse! You may want to use a different color so you can see your path on top of the black symbol. I used a red stroke with no fill. Using the Pen Tool click and drag on the bottom center point of the ellipse. Holding down Shift will keep the line straight. Drag to the right until you reach the inner guide and stop.
Click and drag on the center point of the ellipse. Again, if you hold Shift it will keep the line straight. Drag to the left until you reach the inner guide and stop.
Click and drag on the top center point of the ellipse. Again, if you hold Shift it will keep the line straight. Drag to the right until you reach the inner guide and stop.
Now let’s close the path. What I did was continue clicking on the outside of the ellipse going towards the left as seen below:
Alright, let’s cut the ellipse using the path we just drew. This will leave us with the left hand side of the yin yang. With both the path and ellipse selected, hold down the Alt key and choose the “Intersect shape areas” option on the Pathfinder palette. If you don’t see your Pathfinder window, go to Window > Pathfinder.
We have the left side, let’s create the right side now! With the left side of the ying yang selected, go to Edit > Copy and then Edit > Paste in Front. With the copy still selected, hover your mouse over one of the corners and you’ll notice the black arrow turns into a curved arrow, meaning you can rotate the shape. Hold down Shift and then rotate the shape until it’s flipped upside down.
Now position the rotated copy to the right hand side. You can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to bump the shape over or you can drag the shape using your mouse. If you wish to turn off the guides, go to View > Guides > Hide Guides. Add whatever colors you’d like to the shapes and don’t forget to include two smaller ellipses to finish it off! Enjoy!