Updated: August 13th, 2015
graphicxtras.com > Illustrator pattern swatches by Andrew Buckle
Best Illustrator swatches / patterns for CC 2015 CS6 CS5 CS4 inc. spirals, stars, gradients etc Illustrator swatches for CC CS4 CS2 CS1 10 CS3 CS5 CS6 12 11 13 2014 2015 etc, AI format vector seamless tiles royalty free downloads for commercial use.
The Illustrator swatches on this site are all by graphicxtras.com / Andrew Buckle. You can use them in commercial and personal work. You can use them to create new items for sale. No credit is required with their use. World wide use, no restrictions, no time limits. You can use them to create backgrounds, logos, posters, mugs, adverts, web pages, scrap booking items, hats, fabrics, textiles, packaging, t-shirts, fashions, shoes, mugs, videos, illustrations and much more. Any questions, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org Looking for some free Illustrator swatches ??
The Illustrator swatches are for use in 1000s of ways. To use them, it is very simple - simply open the file via the presets palette and they are then loaded into the application and can then be used over and over and over. The sets on this page are a mix of different tiles - some are colorful, some are B&W but they are all amazing and all are seamless tiles for any size of work. You can place the AI files into the presets path of AI and the items will then appear in the presets right menu. If the file is not included in the presets folder then you will find them via the other library feature in the menu. You can also use the window menu to search for them. You can also load them via any already opened pattern file via the bottom of the panel. The AI file can also be opened as a normal file and you can edit it as normal and save the artworks to the preset palette or remove existing items from the palette and then save those. The tiles can be thought of as a starting point.
You can use the Illustrator swatches with virtually all features of the apps such as with text and paths. The paths can also be combined either by just combining them as paths but you can also combine multiple tiles in Adobe AI (all versions from 10) via the appearance palette. If you combine the tiles via appearance, you can also then just save the combinations via the graphic styles palette and you can then combine live effects and other fills to create truly awesome images for all your projects. The tile sets on this site are by us, they are all for commercial (CU4CU) and personal use. We have been creating tiles for AI for the last 10 years or so (and probably before). You can blend the various items by using the blending modes (difference, darken, multiply) or using transparency / opacity and you can also manipulate the fills such as moving one fill above another and so on. A subtle change can make a big difference to the end result.
Export the Illustrator swatches for others
They can also be exported to other applications so if you are using AI and Photoshop or other parts of the amazing creative suite then you can export the images for use as resources in Photoshop etc (via the pasteboard) - so these are not just for AI. You can also export the images as a PNG image or TIFF etc via the export command in the file commands. Once saved as a non vector format, the tiles can be used to create layers etc in other tools such as Photoshop.
Modify / edit
They approach to editing the Illustrator swatches has changed in recent versions. Double click the item in the preset palette and then edit the item in the pattern editor. You can save a copy of any of the changes in the editor as well as cancel any changes. You can modify the the pattern options such as tile type (grid etc) as well as width and height as well as the offset and much more. You can add additional paths to the artwork as well as remove elements from the path, you can transform the design, shift individual paths around, change the color and again, you can always save a new copy of the current work to the palette. Within the editor tool you can click the tiny button at the top of the edit panel and you can rapidly select new areas of the artwork to use as the source material and again you can quickly copy those items to the palette. You can use this technique to create 1000s of interesting artworks from only a couple initial paths. You can also use other tools within the editor such as the MirrorMe plugin from Astute graphics to create even more complex and wonderful tile artwork
Add to paths and text
Simply select the path and then select one of the fills / strokes in the preset palette. The path can be either a normal path or text. You can then modify the underlying tile and its relationship with the path via the transform menu (de-select the object setting). You can also add the Illustrator swatches to paths via the appearance palette by adding a new fill with the tile or perhaps a stroke with the new tile. Yoy can use this with live type as well as expanded type either just by adding the preset normally or adding the preset via the appearance palette.
There are lots of video tutorials on the subject of the Illustrator swatches via the graphicxtras channel on Youtube. You can see how to load them, how to distort them, how to export the work, how to use the pattern editor, re-color tiles, use with appearance palette, use with type, use as an overlay, use as a normal path and much more. You can find many different tutorials also on the TipDesk.com website. If there are any particular questions about the set, please contact us and I will add a video or two about the specific patterns / tiles set
If you wish the library to always appear in the application, you can set the library to a persistent library (right side menu of the preset's library palette)
How to re-size an Illustrator pattern / Swatches ?
Select the path, fill with a tile and then go to the object menu and apply the transform commands such as scale / rotate / shear and the key thing to remember is to uncheck the object option and leave the other option checked. They can then be re-sized to 1% or 1000% of the original size. Another option is as before, modify the tile by dragging them from the palette and then re-size them using the scale or selection / scale tools and then saving as a much bigger or much smaller tile.
How to use swatches / patterns as an Illustrator symbol ?
Select a path and then fill the path with a preset etc and then go to the window menu and select shapes and drag them from the artboard to the shapes palette. You can also go to the palette (window menu) and then drag one (or more) to the artboard. It can then be exported via the pasteboard to other applications such as Photoshop. You also add the tiles to a basic path and then add that to the symbols palette.
You can apply the Illustrator swatches to traced items. Open an image and then apply the image trace feature (greatly enhanced with CS6). You can then add the color /pattern etc via the appearance palette and new fill (or stroke etc) and set the blending mode to lighten or darken etc (depending on the required result). Personally, works best for me if the image trace is in black and white mode
Global Illustrator swatches
Similar to symbols but for colors, you can set up any of the colors such as red / green etc as a global color. Select a color such as red and use the new command on the right side of the preset's palette (or duplicate and double click the generated color) - you can then change the color of the new / duplicate as well as select the global option. Now you will see a little triangle in the thumbnail (or square in the list view) showing that it is now 'global'. Now you can add this color to any number of paths as well as gradients and patterns etc and then if you decide to change the color from a dark brown to a light brown or a green to red, all the related paths with that color will be changed in sync.
Tiles to text
This tutorial will work with any items in the sets. 1) Select text. Open the palette, place the required tile into the palette 2) Go to the appearance palette. Go to the right menu and select the add new fill command. 3) Apply a preset to the selected appearance fill, the preset will now fill the text. The text can still be changed at any point. the image can be scaled, rotated and sheared as required. 4) Add another fill (in the appearance palette) and fill with another or the same tile. Go to the transparency palette and set the blend mode to difference. Change the scale of the tile as well as the angle again via the transformations. You can create complex color images within the text.