Northlite Designs




Contact Me

How To Use Blends and the Combine Command to Create Eye-Catching Designs in CorelDRAW X3

by Sara Froehlich

For CorelDRAW X3

If you need a quick eye-catching design, here’s how to get one using blends and the Combine command in CorelDRAW X3.

Start with a blank page the size of the finished poster. Drag out a rectangle the size of the page and fill it with a solid color. I used Deep Navy Blue. Go to Arrange > Lock Object to lock the rectangle on the page. You’ll know it’s locked because of the lock icons around the edge of the rectangle. This rectangle forms the background of the design.


Anywhere on the artboard draw two fairly large circles with the ellipse tool (hold the control key to constrain them to a circle), and space them a few inches apart. Remove the fill and give them an outline color that’s a lighter shade of the color you chose for the background rectangle.

image 2

Choose the blend tool in the tool box and drag from one circle to the other to create a wireframe tube effect. In the Property Bar, make sure the blend type is set to Direct Blend. This will keep the color uniform. Set the number of steps to 20.


You should have something like this on the page. The actual placement is not very important because we’ll be duplicating and rotating it in a minute.


Activate the Free Transform Tool (it’s on the far end of the Shape Tool flyout directly under the Pick tool in the tool box). Click on one end of the blend and drag to rotate it; right-click to release it and drop a copy. Don’t worry if it goes over the edge of the page; in fact, that’s good.

image 5

Rotate the blend again with the Free Transform Tool and right click to drop another copy. It can go off the edge of the page.


Repeat this process several more times until the page is full of blends and they cross over each other.


Next we will create a powerclip. The blends will be the contents of the powerclip. Drag out a new rectangle the same size as the page. This will be the container for the contents.

Shift click on all of the blends to select them (without selecting the rectangle for the container) and go to Effects > Powerclip > Place inside container. You’ll see a large black arrow; this allows you to choose a container for the contents (which is whatever you have selected; in this case, it’s all of the blends). Click the edge of the rectangle you drew and the blends will be placed inside the rectangle container.

image 8

Draw a white rectangle with no outline down the left side of the page. Make it about a third of the size of the page.


Hold the control key and use the ellipse tool to draw a circle at the top of the page centered over the right edge of the white line. If you hold the shift key and the control key, you can draw a perfect circle from the center. In the Property Bar, use the height and width controls to set the circle’s size to 2” x 2”.


Give the circle no fill and a black outline. You should have something like this:


Open the Step and Repeat docker (Edit > Step and Repeat). The settings shown here work for a flyer using US Letter sized paper. If you use another size of paper, you will have to adjust the settings to fit.

Set Number of Copies to 4.
Horizontal Settings: No offset.
Vertical Settings: Spacing between objects
Distance: 0.25”
Direction: Down
Click Apply.


This will add four more circles so all five circles are spaced vertically down the page ¼” apart.


All of the circles will be selected except the original one, so shift click on it to select it. Also shift click the white rectangle to select it. Go to Arrange > Combine. The circles punch out what’s behind them, creating a reverse effect.


Add text and you’re done!



Article reprinted from Designorati

Northlite Designs

©2005-2008 Sara Froehlich