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Illustrator CS6 New Titled Vector Patterns

I don't usually create tiled patterns for my projects but the new tiled pattern creator in IllustratorR CS6 makes me want to think up projects to use this new tool. In the past, creating a tiled pattern was a tedious process. With the new feature, Illustrator does all the work for you.

  1. To begin the process, select the object you wish to turn into a tiled pattern.

  2. Next, click Object - Pattern - Make from the Menubar.

    Illustrator will first create the tiled pattern with the default settings and add the pattern to the Swatches panel. It will also open the Pattern Options panel and set the workspace to Pattern Editing mode with the "breadcrumbs" controls at the top of the workspace. Also, you will notice that the object now has a blue box around it indicating that it is "isolated" from the rest of the pattern.

    Right now, the default pattern is very uniform. We can start fine tuning our new pattern in the Pattern Options panel.

  3. You will want to give your new pattern a name in the Pattern Options panel.

  4. Under the name, we have the Tile Type menu with a few preset layouts. Choose each preset from the menu and view the resulting pattern in the workspace.

    Grid
    Brick by Row
    Brick by Column
    Hex by Column
    Hex by Row

    Now we have a nice pattern but what if we wanted more space between the rows in the pattern? We can make those adjustments with the Pattern Tile tool.

  5. Click on the Pattern Tile tool at the upper left of the panel to activate the on-canvas controls.

    You will see that we now have a box with several handles.

    Brick Offset Control - By dragging the triangular handles up or down, we can change the offset of the brick pattern.

    Tile Size Control - By dragging on the small square handles we can add more white space between objects in our pattern.

    Now that we have our pattern tiled as we like, we can create a more complex pattern by duplicating and offsetting the pattern.

  6. Duplicate the original object that we used to create the pattern and with the duplicate still selected, fill the object with a solid color from the Swatches panel.

  7. Drag the duplicate down and to the left slightly. As you can see, when you drag the selected object, the rest of the pattern follows.

    As you drag the second object, we get variations in the pattern depending on how the two objects overlap.

Now that we have our tiled pattern just the way we like, we can exit the Pattern Editing mode. At the top of the workspace you will find the "breadcrumbs" controls. Click on Done to exit.

*Adobe provided a copy of this software to me for review purposes.



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