Using Illustrator CC to Create Patterns

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Using Illustrator CC to Create Patterns

A very nice feature in Illustrator CC is the ability to create patterns. Basically you can create a collection of shapes, select them and then bring up the Pattern Options panel.

creating patterns in illustrator

Go to the top right-hand corner of the panel and click on the little drop-down menu. Choose Make Pattern.

illustrator pattern panel

A dialog appears saying that the pattern has been added to the swatches panel. Now you have all the Pattern options available to easily change your pattern. You can change your pattern be either moving, scaling, rotating, editing the initial shape on the artboard, and/or you can just change the options within the Pattern Options panel.
For example you can use a Tile Type of Brick by Row, Brick by Column,

tiling patterns in illustrator

tiling patterns by row, brick or column in illustrator

You can also set it to Hex by Column and Hex by Row

changing pattern settings in illustrator

switching between row, column or hex

You can change the Width and Height…

adjusting pattern width or height in illustrator

When you are done, have a look at the top of your document and you will some buttons.

complete a pattern in illustrator

Click on Done. The Pattern options panel goes away. You can now delete your shape(s) on the artboard and check that the new pattern has appeared within the Swatches panel. Try it out - draw a new shape and apply the new pattern.

applying a pattern in illustrator

However, you can still edit the pattern, just double-click on the new pattern within the Swatches panel and the Pattern Options panel comes back again.
Now lets have a look at what we can create.
Try a simple cross (grid)…

applying the pattern in a grid

Brick by Row, 1/3 offset…

brick by row with an offset

Try the cross again but rotated 45º…

rotate the shape for your patttern

Now try hex by Column

now rearrange by column

A simple square with a line running vertically through the centre, and set to Hex by Column

setting the pattern to hex by column

Try with some circles…

applying patterns within circles
other ways to apply patterns

In short, you can make loads of patterns very easily. Find out more about creating patterns with our Adobe Illustrator training courses