Seamless Pattern Illustrator | How To Make A Seamless Pattern In Adobe Illustrator

Cristina / Elan Creative Co

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How To Make A Seamless Pattern In Adobe Illustrator


Hello, and welcome to another tutorial from Elan. Creative Co. I’m Cristina. And in this tutorial, I will show you how to create seamless vector patterns in Adobe Illustrator. I use this method for most of my patterns. While I love using the pattern tool, it’s only available in newer versions of Illustrator. I also think you have more control over the design with this method. This is the pattern we are going to make. I’ve used vector graphics from my Cactus pattern set. So let’s get to work Open Illustrator and create a new artboard. I usually start with a 3 inches by 3 inches artboard or sometimes a larger one. That’s 6 by 6 inches. But no matter what size you choose. Just make sure that you have a square. So the width and height have to be equal. Also remember the size because you are going to need it later. So just click. Create to make your artwork. Now I’m going to bring my graphics from this document to the new document. So I am going to copy and then paste them here. So I think that they’re maybe too big, so I will resize them. Okay, I think this is perfect. So first, we are going to create a pattern that has a transparent background and after that we will also add a background. So when you create a pattern, you have to make sure that the graphics that are on the top of artboard are also on the bottom and the same goes for the graphics that are on the left. They also have to be duplicated on the right side. So keep this in mind when you arrange your items. I also want to duplicate them because I don’t think there are enough graphics for a patern. So I’m going to use the Selection tool to select all of them, and then I’m going to use the Reflect tool. You can find it under Transform. I’m going to use the vertical reflect because it will create a bit of movement in the pattern. So just press Copy to duplicate the items. So let’s create a pattern. Now I know you might be tempted to add all the items in the middle of the artboard, but in Illustrator, it’s important to have items that hang over the edge of the artboard. So first, I’m going to add graphics to the top and then to the left side. So I’m just going to add them here randomly. All right, so our now we can also add items in the middle of the artboard. So I’m careful not to add items on the right border and on the bottom. So I’m also going to resize some of them to make them a bit smaller. Now there’s room also for this item, but I’m also going to make it smaller. So when you are happy with your pattern, we are also going to add items to the right and to the back. So to copy the items you are going to use the Move tool. So just use the Selection tool to select the items that overhang the artboard. And then you can go to Object > Transform > Move or just right-click on your artboard and Select Transform > Move. This will open the Move menu. So make sure Preview is selected. We are going to move them. Horizontally, so enter the size of your artboard as the horizontal value. And because we don’t want to move them up or down, just enter 0 in the vertical box. Just click Copy to duplicate them. We are going to do the same for the items at the top. So just select them and go to Transform > Move. So now we don’t want to move them horizontally, so we’re going to enter 0 and the vertical value will be the same as the height of your artboard. So I’m going to enter 3 inches. So press Copy again to duplicate them. Now, sometimes your items might be too close to each other, so you can. Maybe arrange them a little before. We are going to save the pattern. I don’t really like this item here, so I’m going to move it down. All right, I think this pattern is perfect. So I’m going to select all the items and then group them Or you can press ctrl or command G to group the items. So as you can see, they are all grouped together. So the pattern is basically finished at this step, but I want to add a background. So I’m going to select the Rectangle tool and remove this stroke and I want to use a light pink for the background. So just click on your artboard and enter the size of the artboard. So mine is 3 by 3 inches. Press okay to create the rectangle. So it’s very important when you add the background to perfectly add it over the artboard. Because if you have just a tiny white area, we are going to see that in the final pattern. So to make sure that the background and artboard are perfectly aligned. I use the Align tool. So if you don’t have it in the toolbar, you can open the Align tool from Window > Align. So I’m just going to Center it horizontally and then Center it vertically. So now all we have left to do is send the background to the back. So just go to Arrange and Send TO back, so I usually save a copy of the pattern at this step. In case I might want to go back and edit it, but right now we are going to create a pattern Swatch. Now, before create that I want to expand the fill and stroke. My items have strokes applied to them. But if you don’t have strokes, you don’t need to do this. So I’m going to select the pattern and then go to Object > Expand Appearance and I’m going to select it again and go to Object > Expand and you can see I can expand the fill and the stroke. You should also do this. If you have gradients or lower opacity or any other kind of effect applied to your pattern. You just press, OK? So the next step is to create a bounding box. This will basically cut everything that’s outside the artboard, but I’m not going to use Crop tool. The Crop tool will cut everything, but it will also make it hard to edit the items. To create a bounding box, just duplicate the background. So I’m going to copy it. The shortcut is ctrl or command C. And then I’m going to paste it in the back. The shortcut for that is ctrl or command B. So if you go to the layers panel, you can see. There is another rectangle at the bottom of the panel. So I’m going to remove the fill. So now we have another empty square that is going to act as our bounding box. So now just select all the layers and then drag everything to the swatches panel. So let’s see how our pattern looks. So I’m going to select the pattern Swatch and then add it to a large shape. So I think this looks great. Let’s scale it a bit to see how it looks. So I think everything is alright. There are no white areas and the stroke is visible and well. It seems that it’s a seamless repeating pattern. Now you might see very thin white lines when you zoom in or zoom out. Those lines are caused by your own monitor and you won’t see them when you print the pattern. So I’m going to delete this now? So the last thing I want to show you is how to crop the pattern. So I’m going to delete everything That’s outside the artboard. Now I’m going to remove the bounding box and then I’ll duplicate the background. So I’m going to use the layer’s panel to duplicate it. Now I’m going to move the background on top of the pattern. Now we are going to select the rectangle. That’s on top and the pattern. You can hold down the Shift key to select both of them. So as you can see, I have not so selected the background. Now you can go to the Pathfinder tools from Window > Pathfinder and then click on Crop to cut everything That’s outside the artboard. So this is your pattern tile? Now you can save this as a JPEG or an EPS file, or you can remove your background and save it as a transparent background. PNG Let’s also save a pattern Swatch with a transparent background. So just select the pattern and drag it to the swatches panel. So let’s also test this. I’m going to go to Shapes once again and as you can see, we have the transparent background pattern. So we have a pattern that has a solid color background and one with a transparent background. Thank you so much for watching. If you’ve enjoyed this tutorial, please subscribe to my channel or go to my blog to see more Photoshop and Illustrator tutorials Goodbye.