There’s some fantastic examples of flat style map designs out there on the web that depict a city or country with ultra simplified illustrations with basic shapes and flat colours. I really fancied giving the style a try myself, so I thought ‘why not make a tutorial to share my process with others?!’. Follow along with today’s guide to learn how to build a creative vector illustration of a landscape with trees, roads, mountains and towns using a range of tools in Adobe Illustrator. Working in the flat design style involves simplifying an object to its most basic form, so Illustrator’s various vector shape building tools are ideal for crafting your illustrations.
The artwork I’ll be producing in this tutorial includes a range of objects and landmarks that are all depicted by basic shapes while still being recognisable. The key to creating designs in the flat style is figuring out how you can illustrate something using just circles, rectangles and smooth lines. Choose just one or two colours for each object’s fill, without any shading or gradients to achieve the cartoon-like appearance.
Open Adobe Illustrator and create a new document. I’m using dimensions of 1000x1000px with the RGB colour mode.