Fun, affordable and an easy way to brighten a space – it’s simple to see why wall decals are so popular at the moment. From a designer’s point of view, taking your artwork from Adobe Illustrator into a room or other space is hugely exciting. In this tutorial, Ben the Illustrator shows how to go from an initial idea to installing a printed vinyl decal on the wall of your choice.

You’ll learn how to design for a specific wall and how to make sure that your finished piece works beautifully in its environment. There’s also advice on how to get your artwork printed, and everything you need to know to make sure your hard work doesn’t go to waste when it comes to installing your new design.

To follow this tutorial all the way through, you’ll need a little help from a vinyl printing and cutting service. There are plenty out there: Ben the Illustrator highly recommends Colourlab ( for creating vinyl wall art.

Even if you choose not to create a final piece for installation, you’ll pick up great tips for creating dynamic, feelgood vector art in Ben the Illustrator’s trademark style.

Step 1
It can be costly to make custom vinyl wall graphics, so plan your design well. Whether creating a one-off or something to make and sell in large quantities, consider the theme and colours, and especially the interior design of the location for your graphics. Limited colour palettes work best – as the cost of production rises with each colour you add.

Step 2
The most successful wall graphics play with the space they’re placed in, entertain with their concept, and create a mood. Try photographing your space first and then doodle over the photo. There will be restrictions on the size you can print to, but you can get round this by breaking your artwork into sections.

Step 3
With your concept secure and your design set out on paper, fire up Illustrator. Once you’ve got a rough sketch of the design you’d like, scan it and trace it in Illustrator. If you’d prefer to work from my sketch, open Mural original drawing.jpg from the cover CD or the Zip file opposite and trace it. There’s no limit to the styles that will work on walls – just be sure to understand how big the finished article will actually be and the level of detail and precision required.