Illustrator ® Symbols / Shapes CC & CS 6 5 4 3 2 1 2014

Updated: July 25th, 2014

1000s of vector symbols / shapes for Adobe Illustrator CC CS3 CS2 CS1 CS6 CS5 CS4 17 2014 etc, royalty free AI format designs including spirals, Christmas diamonds, embellishments etc


  1. Abstracts

  2. Alien / space

  3. Arch symbols

  4. Arrow symbols

  5. Art nouveau

  6. Backgrounds

  7. Bow tie symbols

  8. Butterfly symbols

  9. Button symbols

  10. Cat symbols

  11. Checkerboards

  12. Chevrons

  13. Christmas

  14. Circles

  15. Cloud symbols

  16. Contour symbols

  17. Cross symbols

  18. Diamond symbols

  19. Dinosaurs

  20. Dog symbols

  21. Doodle symbols

  22. Dot symbols

  23. Easter eggs

  24. Faces

  25. Flames / fire

  26. Fleur-de-lis

  27. Flowers

  28. Frame symbols

  29. Floral symbols

  30. Gear symbols

  31. Grid symbols

  32. Greek ornament

  33. Haltone dots

  34. Hearts / valentine

  35. Insects / spiders

  36. Lattices

  37. Letter / type

  38. Mixed symbols

  39. Octagonal

  40. Orbit symbols

  41. People symbols

  42. Pipe symbols

  43. Radial

  44. Rings

  45. Ripples

  46. Rosettes

  47. Snowflakes

  48. Spheres

  49. Spirals

  50. Starbursts

  51. Starflash

  52. Stripes

  53. Sunburst

  54. Swirl / flourishes

  55. Triradial

  56. Turtles

  57. Twirl symbols

  58. Vintage text type

  59. Wave / wavy

  60. Zoom symbols

Editing Illustrator symbols

The Illustrator symbols (those on this page) can all be edited in Illustrator by double clicking the symbol instance. Once you are in edit mode, you can then re-color the individual elements of the Illustrator symbol as well as modify the paths - such as distorting the design or rotating elements or adding new paths to the symbol. The symbol can be seen as a starting point for millions of different designs.


Once you have finished modifying the design, right click and select exit isolation mode. You can also exit the isolation mode via the arrows on the top left of the document. You can also edit the symbol by selecting the Illustrator symbol and then using the edit symbol command on the control bar. You don't have to edit the symbol to modify it, you can also apply live effects such as 3D extrude without changing the source Illustrator shape.


flag symbols for Illustrator red and blue and black


The flag / wave symbol for Illustrator red and black design - one of the symbols included in one of the volumes (pack 1)

Loading shapes / symbols into Illustrator

The format for Adobe ® Illustrator is AI and this is used for brushes, as well as just symbols. You can open the file and modify the source tiles. You can also open the file and use as tiles by selecting the AI file via the symbols palette. Only when you actually select the symbols are they added to the current document and they can then be modified within that document and saved with the current document. All the Illustrator symbols are vectors for any size of work.

Adobe and Illustrator are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated.


windows menu symbols illustrator


If you can't see the symbols palette in Illustrator - go to the windows menu.

other library browse for Illustrator


If you don't add the symbols to the symbols folder then you can browse for the Illustrator AI files

Examples of use for the Illustrator symbols

The Illustrator symbols can be used to create items for sale such as templates, books, logos, adverts, packaging, records, videos and much more - if you have any questions, please contact us. If you would like to see thumbnail galleries of any of the sets, please contact us as well and we will send them on as well as more samplers.


spiral symbols for Illustrator band  and stripes


Many different sets of symbols are included in the symbols packs from graphicxtras - spiral symbol above made up of brown and yellow stripes. Vector design for any size of Illustrator work

Illustrator symbols use

There are many different Illustrator symbols sets and they all include many different colorful artworks with that theme. The AI files can be placed in any folder but if you wish to quickly access the symbols then place them into the Adobe Illustrator symbols path (either in the en_US or en_GB section - in my case). Once there, the artwork files can be quickly accessed via the right side menu dropdown of the Illustrator symbols palette. If you are happy to leave the files in any location then you will have to use the browse functionality and look for other Illustrator libraries (generally, I do that as I have all my symbols files in a central location) Once loaded, the Illustrator symbols are not actually in use until they are selected and placed in the current document's library and they are then saved with the other add-ons and artwork for the file. Many of the Illustrator symbols source files include the symbols in the palette as well as in multiple artboards and the source artwork can be modified and re-saved as a new Illustrator symbol. All the symbols can be modified by Illustrator effects, they can also be re-colored, modified, warped and much more. Combine colorful effects with the appearance palette.


symbols instances


Symbol instance applied in Illustrator

You can also use the Illustrator symbols with the new tiles editor with Illustrator CC CS6, as well as use the as mapping artwork with extruded paths and much more.


All the Illustrator symbols are saved in version 10 format though if you wish to re-edit the sets, you can save them in your current version's file type (I save them in 10 for maximum use - symbols were added to Illustrator in version 10 (a long time ago now it seems). The Illustrator symbols can be applied either by dragging the design from the palette to the Illustrator artboard or they can be applied via the powerful symbol sprayer tool. They can also be converted to use as brushes and more - so they are not just limited to symbols / shapes format. You can also use the symbols in some of the Illustrator effects tools from graphicxtras

Illustrator symbols - combine effects with appearance palette

The Illustrator symbols can be modified by using the isolation mode but if you want to superficially modify the symbol without a fundamental change to the artwork, appearance palette is the best approach. Select the symbol and then go to the appearance palette and the right side menu.


appearance palette in Illustrator


Appaearance palette for the symbol - not much information other opacity and contents but you can add to the design in millions of ways


ai artwork before extrude blue arrows


The original design before any extrude etc in Illustrator


add fill illustrator


You can remove any effects via new art option

fill appearance for Illustrator symbols


And the fill is added on top of the existing symbol - so if a red fill is set then the symbol is filled with red. You can use the transparency settings such as changing the opacity or the blending mode for the fill to see the symbol. You can apply multiple fills and they can also include other options and not just solid fills. You can also apply strokes as well as live effects such as blurs to the Illustrator symbol. You can apply the live effects to the contents or the fill


extrude path / symbol for Illustrator


Extrude the symbols using the extrude command in effects menu in Illustrator

repeat symbols transform and live effects Illustrator


You can then also apply scale live effects as well as rotations and repeats and much more to create a vast range of artworks from the same Illustrator symbol. And the result is still live so can be changed at any moment and all the settings can be stored for future use and projects.

Control bar for Adobe ® Illustrator symbols

You can modify a number settings for the selected Illustrator symbol via the symbol's control bar such as edit symbol, break link, reset and replace (as below) as well as give the symbol instance a name


control bar symbols illustrator


Other options further along are position as well as width and height and the opacity for the symbol - you can also quickly click the re-color artwork (which is useful for some symbols but not all) - as below. Some of these options can be done manually purely by stretching the symbol / shape as well as shifting the position of the artwork. Some such as the re-color and the opacity are available via other panels such as transparency. The replace option is very useful though as you can select one symbol and then instantly re-place the placeholder symbol with another from the palette and this can be repeated with any of the symbols found in the palette or subsequently added to the palette.

control bar for Illustrator symbols


You can break the link or expand the design if you no longer wish to use the design as a symbol.

Tutorials for Illustrator symbols

Converting Illustrator symbols to PNG and PDF etc

Videos for Illustrator symbols

How to add additional color to Illustrator symbols (spirals)

How to add additional colors to Illustrator shape designs, especially useful if you don't want to use the default color scheme for the design


How to load / rapidly access multiple symbols / libraries

If you have 100s of symbols libraries, it can be quite slow to load them via the window menu or via the symbols palette load menu. Here is a video showing how to quickly look through all the libraries

Free symbols for Illustrator downloads

Commercial use, all royalty free, all by Andrew Buckle. Please place in the presets symbols folder beneath Illustrator CC CS3 CS5 CS6 etc and use via the window menu symbols or via the right side menu of the symbols palette. Any questions, please contact us on


Free download: 21 Illustrator mixed free symbols for CC CS6-10

22 FREE Symbols / shapes sampler for Adobe Illustrator CC CS6-10

Free symbols download for Illustrator

Another Free Illustrator symbols download