Illustrator ® Symbols / Shapes

Updated: July 15th, 2015

Illustrator symbols / shapes

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 (or EPS) format including spirals, Christmas diamonds, abstract, arrows, embellishments etc. Wonderful items to buy & download & use in all your projects Free symbols to download

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.

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. Commercial use, all royalty free, world wide use, no credit is required, no restrictions, no time limits. All are by graphicxtras.com


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

Adding 3D extrude effect to Illustrator symbols

You can add all kinds of live effects to artwork in AI. Select an instance and then go to the effect menu and add a 3D extrude effect. This works fine generally if this is a very basic shape but if the instance contains multiple paths, the results can vary a lot depending on the arrangement etc of the individual paths. You can double click on the item and arrange the items, perhaps re-color parts or combine all the paths and then use the 3D effects and more. You can then save any of the results as a new preset for use in future projects or perhaps combine it with more effects as well as additional fills and strokes. Tutorial on adding 3D extrude effects (Youtube video)

Saving Illustrator symbols for other apps as PNG etc

The AI format is not particularly accessible in that many apps and if you want to use them as shapes then they are not accessible in any other app other than AI CC CS6 CS5 etc. So you will have to save them as SVG or PDF or PNG etc and this can be done via the save / export etc commands. Tutorial on how to convert the items for PNG and SVG etc

Copying Illustrator symbols to logoist

You can use these artworks in many other apps and not just AI. A quick and simple way to load them into some apps is to select the item and then drag the item to the desktop or another folder and a picture clip will be stored (on the pc). You can then drag that into some apps such as Logoist and use it as a vector and add effects etc Tutorial on how to copy paths into Logoist

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.


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 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 and add fills and strokes as well as add effects via the live effects menu

Control bar / options 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 well as give the instance a name

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 bevels.ai extrude file in AI to create a whole range of new bevels for the live effect. Video tutorial showing the update of bevels.ai file (Youtube video)

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

Related Illustrator subjects

How to use the Polar grid tool

How to use the Flare tool