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How to merge Illustrator graphic styles in Adobe Illustrator CC CS6 etc tutorials

merging graphic styles in Illustrator

Tutorial on how to merge graphic styles in Illustrator such as color effects, transformations etc

Merging Illustrator graphic styles

You can merge graphic styles, you have a colorful style and another colorful style and you want to merge them, that can be done very quickly via the styles panel


What is the point ? You have style 1 and you have style 2 (as well as perhaps other styles) in Illustrator and they are amazing on their own.


Well, sometimes the result can be amazing when they are combined and of course this can all be done manually by using a combination of effects etc via the appearance panel and then saving that as the new graphic style but the merge tool, well, the style merge can just do all that in one go and not only that you may end up with a new truly awesome effect with a totally random effect.


I know when I merge styles I am often confident of the end result but sometimes the result can be totally wow and not what I expected. It would be great if there was a merge styles builder that allowed for a lot more randomization and trial and error and generate of even more unique results (some applications do have those sort of features)


Save document beforehand though

I would always recommend saving your current work before you perforrm the action as the result may crash your Illustrator application especially if you merge more than two or three effects and then the wheel of doom will appear and the application will end up not responding.


This doesn't always happen though but it is best to be on the safe side.


Styles Merge - No paths required

merging graphic styles illustrator The Illustrator graphic styles can be merged.


  1. To merge, go to the graphic styles panel in Illustrator

  2. Select two or more styles in the graphic styles panel

  3. Go to the styles menu (right side)

  4. Select the merge option


Use this option to create stunning new unique effects for your projects. In some cases the effect might need additional work so you will need to manipulate the positions of the fills and effects via the appearance panel


On the right, merged using the method described - did require an additional change from a normal blending mode to an overlay (some mergings work better than others). The merge was of two gradient styles with lines and the result was an unusual blurry line design


You can also modify the styles before you actually perform the merge of the Illustrator graphic styles by changing blending modes of the styles in the appearance panel


Merging of Illustrator graphic styles - scribble etc

sketch gradient
  1. Open a graphic styles Illustrator library (ai format) via the styles panel open library command

  2. Open a scribble library via the open library command

  3. Click a graphic style in the library (or more than one)

  4. Click an Illustrator graphic style in the scribble / sketch library (or more than one) They are now in the main panel of the graphic styles

  5. Select any of the effects you wish to merge

  6. Go to the right side menu and dropdown

  7. Select merge command

  8. Apply the new style to a selected path

  9. Go to the appearance panel - if you wish to further manipulate the effect. The appearance panel is useful as you can move the fills and effects and strokes up and down in the displayed order (as well as the actual appearance of the path).


You can see the end result of the gradient and scribble graphic style with the gradient now in the actual scribble (on the right)


Moving a fill up or down can radically change the end result. The order of the fills might mean the scribble / sketch or other effect is behind a fill and not seen. With multiple fills and strokes you can end up with many different possible combinations and end results. Also changing settings such as the stroke width of the scribble will also alter the end result.


Patterns merged via the graphic styles


pattern colorful patchwork design in Illustrator vector graphic style

Merge of two line themed graphic styles in Illustrator with patterns included


  1. One with straight lines up and down

  2. One at 45 degrees.


Again, a slight change to blending modes from default to difference maybe required and actually it is really good to quickly run through the blending modes for the styles to see what works better in the merging of the graphic styles via the graphic style panel


Related items

1. Illustrator graphic styles You can find many 100s of great items to merge and create new items with.



1. how to modify graphic styles in Illustrator

2. how to turn Illustrator graphic styles into symbols

3. how to create spheres in Illustrator tutorial


Youtube / Graphic styles Video tutorials

1. How to merge Illustrator styles (transformations) (youtube tutorial)

A quick video showing how you can create some interesting combinations of styles using transformations such as circular and linear transforms. You can also change the order of the graphic styles to create a totally different effect in seconds from the merge. The example shows a basic line but the same approach can be used with other paths such as type and circles and images and much more.


2. Merging graphic styles and type (youtube tutorial)

You can create patterns using type and these are added to the swatches panel. The swatches can be modified and converted into a graphic style via the styles panel and these can then be merged in multiple ways in Illustrator. You can select two or more sttles and then use the merge option found on the side of the panel.