Illustrator ® Symbols / Shapes

Updated: April 12th, 2015

1000s of commercial use vector symbols / shapes for Adobe Illustrator CC 2014 CS6 CS5 CS4 CS3 CS2 CS1 10 as well as 18 - 10 etc, royalty free AI format including spirals, Christmas diamonds, abstract, arrows, embellishments etc. Wonderful items to buy and use in all your projects Free symbols to download


General sets to buy and use in all your projects

  1. Abstract symbols
  2. Alien / space
  3. Arrows
  4. Backgrounds
  5. Buttons
  6. Checkerboards
  7. Chevrons
  8. Clouds
  9. Contours
  10. Crosses
  11. Doodles
  12. Easter eggs
  13. Flames / fire
  14. Gears
  15. Grids
  16. Greek
  17. Hearts
  18. Lattices
  19. Mixed
  20. Pipes
  21. Ripples
  22. Rosettes
  23. Spirals
  24. Stripes
  25. Twirls
  26. Zooms

Animal sets

  1. Butterflies
  2. Cats
  3. Dinosaurs
  4. Dogs
  5. Insects
  6. Turtles

Type / letters / text / characters Sets

  1. Letter / type
  2. Vintage text

Circles / circular / dots / curved sets

  1. Arches
  2. Circles
  3. Dots
  4. Halftone dots
  5. Orbits
  6. Radial
  7. Rings
  8. Spheres
  9. Sunburst
  10. Triradial
  11. Wave

Christmas / festive vector sets

  1. Christmas
  2. Snowflakes

Embellishments / swirls / flourishes set

  1. Art nouveau
  2. Fleur-de-lis
  3. Flowers
  4. Floral
  5. Swirls

People / male / female sets

  1. Faces
  2. People

Polygon related sets

  1. Diamonds
  2. Octagons
  3. Starbursts
  4. Starflash

Frames / borders

  1. Bow ties
  2. Frames

Illustrator symbols / shapes

Heart artwork for AI - use to any size


You can fill them with all kinds of color such as solid colors, patterns, gradients (above) etc


You can use them with type in numerous ways such as pasted inside, above, left, right and more


You can use them with transformations such as scaling and rotation etc - heart / valentine artwork

Editing the Illustrator symbols

They can all be edited in Adobe AI by double clicking the instance. Once you are in edit mode, you can then re-color the individual elements of the AI artwork as well as modify the paths - such as distorting them or rotating elements or adding new paths. They can be seen as a starting point for millions of stunning unique graphics.


Once you have finished modifying the artwork, 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 shapes by selecting the presets and then using the edit command on the control bar.


You don't have to edit the instance to modify it, you can also add live effects such as 3D extrude without changing the source Ai shape.


flag shape red and black and blue wave

The flag / wave - red and black color - one of the presets included in one of the volumes (pack 1)


wave shadow

From the pack 1 set, a wavy vector with a shadow (included) in purple - you can quickly re-color this by using isolation mode or adding a fill via the appearance palette or by using the color tools in the edit menu such as adjust color balance or recolor artwork


warped and twirled instance in color

Warped and twirled vector from pack 1 set


blue grid windows

Blue grid / windows from pack 1


color guide to recolor the art as well as backdrop

You can combine them with other paths (yellow path behind for lights) You can also re-color the artwork by using the color guide via the edit menu


zoom manga instance bursting in blue on a white background

Zoom and impact artwork in blue, great for manga / comics etc as well as highlighting a particular path or image. The zoom is from pack 3.

Loading Symbols into Illustrator

The format for Adobe ® Illustrator is AI and this is used for brushes, as well as shapes. You can open the file and modify the source tiles. You can also open the file and use as tiles by selecting the AI document via the palette. Select via the library and then they are added to the current document's library and then they can be edited and used on your artboard.


window menu and options for shapes etc

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

other library and save library and menu commands and other libraries in AI

Use the browse / other library feature if the AI documents are not included in the presets folder

Illustrator symbols - examples of use

The presets 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. You can see the thumbnail galleries of all the items included in the sets on most of the product pages.


If you want other examples, please e-mail us. There are also some free samplers above.


diamonds hex combined vectors

They can be combined in millions of different combinations, you can use the same or different instances to fill an artboard in Adobe AI.


circles and text combined

They can be combined with text in numerous ways - circle from the pack 36


circles combined with text - use instance with one character

You can combine the instance with a single letter - the circle / radial is from pack 36


corner borders in AI tiles

You can align the border / corners to create a pattern - you can align and distribute them using the smart guide. Easier would be to use them as swatches. The corner is from the pack 37


spiral vector with stripes and yellow on a blue background

Many different sets are included in the packs from graphicxtras - spiral above made up of brown and yellow stripes. vector graphic for any size of work

Loading the illustrator symbols

There are many different sets and they all include many different colorful artworks with that theme. The AI documents can be placed in any folder but if you wish to quickly access the shapes then place them into the folder 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 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 libraries (generally, I do that as I have all my AI documents in a central location).


Once loaded, the shapes 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 source files include the shapes in the palette as well as in multiple artboards and the source artwork can be modified and re-saved as a new preset. All can be modified by effects, they can also be re-colored, modified, warped and much more.


Combine colorful effects with the appearance palette.


instances and the palette and 3D spheres multiple instances in AI

Instance applied with various effects in AI

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


All 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 - they were were added to AI in version 10 (a long time ago now it seems). The Illustrator shapes can be applied either by dragging it from the palette to the artboard or they can be applied via the powerful sprayer tool. They can also be converted to use as brushes and swatches. You can also use them in some of the effects tools from graphicxtras

Combine effects with the Illustrator symbols via appearance palette

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


appearance palette and the contents and opacity setting

Appeaarance palette - not much information other opacity and contents but you can add additional fills and strokes as well as effects


ai artwork before extrude blue arrows

The original before any extrude effect has been added


add fill illustrator

You can remove any effects via new art option

fill appearance palette and changing transparency of vector and adding fill and stroke etc

And the fill is added on top of the existing - so if a red fill is set then the selected vector 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 underlying vector. You can add multiple fills and they can also include other options and not just solid fills. You can also add strokes as well as live effects such as blurs. You can add the live effects to the contents or the fill


extruded arrow 3D like with shading in purple and red vector

Extrude using the extrude command in effects menu

repeat  transform and live effects into a spiral of all the paths using the transform effect

You can then also scale live effects as well as rotations and repeats and much more to create a vast range of artworks from the same AI instance. 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 of settings for the selected vector graphic via the control bar such as edit, break link, reset and replace (as below) as well as give the instance a name


control bar symbols

Other options further along are position as well as width and height and the opacity for the preset - you can also quickly click the re-color artwork (which is useful for some presets but not all) - as below. Some of these options can be done manually purely by stretching the instance 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 vector and then instantly re-place the placeholder with another from the palette and this can be repeated with any of the presets found in the palette or subsequently added to the palette.


control bar

You can break the link or expand if you no longer wish to use it as an instance

Tutorials for Illustrator symbols

Converting AI to PNG and PDF etc


Illustrator symbols Video tutorials

How to add additional colors to decorative graphics, especially useful if you don't want to use the default color scheme How to add additional color to spirals (Youtube video)


If you have 100s of libraries, it can be quite slow to load them via the window menu or via the palette load menu. Here is a video showing how to quickly look through all the libraries How to load / rapidly access multiple libraries (Youtube video)


Updating the extrude file in AI to create a whole range of new bevels for the live effect. Video showing the update of file (youtube)

Using Illustrator symbols as brushes / swatches

You don't have to use them as is, they can be used as all kinds of other resources. Add the item to the artboard and then select and drag into the swatches or drag into the brushes palette and they will be added to that palette and used with those specific tools. You may wish to expand the item via the object menu before you add them to those other preset's panels.


You can re-color the paths, distort them, add additional paths, etc and then drag them into those other presets' palettes. You can also use the pattern editor to create a vast range of variant artworks / tiles based on a single item from these sets.


You can also store the item into the creative cloud library and then use the same in Photoshop such as a source for ABR and PAT files in that app (if you are using Adobe CC 2014 etc)