Illustrator ® Swatches / Patterns

Updated: February 26th, 2015


Illustrator swatches for CC CS4 CS2 CS1 10 CS3 CS5 CS6 12 11 13 2014 etc, AI format vector seamless tiles royalty free downloads including cats, gradients, chevrons, connections, flowers, swirls and more

  1. Arabic

  2. Arches

  3. Arrows

  4. Cats

  5. Checkerboards

  6. Chevrons

  7. Connections

  8. Contours

  9. Diamonds

  10. Flowers

  11. Frames

  12. Gradients

  13. Greek

  14. Hearts

  15. Letters

  16. Mixed

  17. Octagonal

  18. People

  19. Polka dots

  20. Rosettes

  21. Spiral scrolls

  22. Squares

  23. Stars

  24. Starbursts

  25. Swirls

  26. Triangles

  27. Triradials

  28. Zooms

Swatches / patterns for Adobe Illustrator

Freebies / samplers to try


Commercial use, all royalty free, AI format for PC and MAC. Load via the palette in CC CC (2014) CS6 CS5 CS4 etc.


FREE sampler to download 1

FREE sampler to download 2

FREE sampler to download 3

FREE sampler to download 4

FREE sampler to download 5




Basic hearts, great for romantic backgrounds etc

rosettes / curved artworks on pink


You can use them on any background, pink etc

petals vectors


All kinds of amazing graphics are included in the sets for Adobe AI

Swatches for Illustrator CC CS6 CS5 CS4 etc

All the above volumes are by, all for commercial (CU4CU) use - use to them to create items for sale and more. The AI tiles 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 use them 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, 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).


The presets 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 (#ia 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.


letters text AI circular path black and white


You can add them to all kinds of paths such a circular ones

intense diamond swatches for Illustrator green black


Many different diamond etc tiles are included in the set, you can combine them in millions of ways - also edit the source material via the editor

How to modify the Illustrator swatches ?

This has changed in recent versions, edit them via the editor found in the object menu. Double click any item in the palette and you can use the editor to modify the vectors in 1000s of ways such as re-color and move parts etc You can use this to create 1000s of amazing tiles.


green colorful image


Most of the swatches in the sets are tiles, there are also many gradients (as above) - a green gradient


radial gradient swatch for illustrator tool


The gradients can be manipulated using the powerful gradient tool

How to apply an Illustrator tile to a path ?

Simply select the path and then select one of the pattern in the swatches 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)

Changing the tiles - recolor them etc

The color of the presets are not cast in stone. You can change them. In some cases, in seconds if you want to make a subtle change to the color of the source. The example below is from the spiral scrolls set pack 46


scroll frames


They can be edited directly now (with CS6) via the palette - double click on them and re-color them and save a copy of the tile (so you end up with both) or just click done to overwrite the existing preset. In the example below, the color guide palette has been used to re-color The above (you can use the color guide or just color individual paths but personally I find the color guide a very useful tool for some lovely color combinations)


swatches color guide


The image can then be applied to any path or text as before



The above has been scaled to reduce the size of the tile (this is done via the object menu transform command and scale with the object option set to OFF and the other to ON

frame and embellished edge


You don't have to use the entire work either, you can isolate part of the work or perhaps remove part of the path. This can be done just by overlaying them with a solid color perhaps or just used a hollow / ring path

Many of the swatches include transparency so the frame above has the frame and the background displayed - if the frame was displayed above say a picture, you would see through the hollow in the center as well as the actual frame. A way around this is to use the appearance palette and add a solid fill behind the current tile. Or you can just edit the source vector and add a solid path behind the current scroll. The presets are a powerful toolkit for all kinds of work and the sets are only the start point for any work.

Opening preset AI documents

How to this ?? a few approaches below.


1) Go to the swatches palette and then go to the right side menu of the palette and select the open library and then at the bottom, other library and browse for the AI format file. Select file and then select the tiles from that library - these will then appear in the palette


2) Place the AI document in the presets folder 'swatches' of Adobe AI and then go back into AI and window menu and right side menu and open library and select the file from the list (you will see celebration, color books, earthtone etc as well as the new AI document added)


3) Go to the window menu and go to the bottom of the menu and libraries and either browse or select as before


4) In the case of the graphicxtras presets, open the AI document via the open command and then create a rectangle and apply a tile from the palette. Copy that path into another document and the tile will be added to that document's palette


5) Place all the libraries in the presets folder and then use the library panel and the bottom arrows to go through all the libraries, previous and next by name.


Once you have the library open, you can then add the tiles to the actual document palette by selecting the tiles required. You can also edit etc them (something you cannot do with the libraries themselves which are all read only).


Illustrator swatches opening


List of all the files in the menu for the palette


Quick video opening AI documents (youtube)

Installation of Ifiles (youtube)


How to load multiple sets rapidly in CC 2014 (youtube video)

If you have lots and lots of AI documents it can be quite slow going from library to library via the load library, there is a quicker way to go through the sets and this video shows how


opening swatches libraries in Illustrator


There are many different libraries available on graphicxtras. they can all be opened via the window menu libraries or via the palette

swatches libraries loading and opening in illustrator


Once loaded, you can select any of the tiles in the library. If you currently also have a path selected, the tile will also be added to that path (such as above with a rectangular background and the flower preset)

swatches library for Illustrator modifications


Once you moved the preset from the preset library to the document library, it can be edited via the editor (above, the flower was re-sized)

Persistent library

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 swayches library palette)

How to use tiles with the appearance palette ?

The appearance palette is a useful feature of AI and you can modify any existing fill of a path and you can also add a new fill and stroke or multiple fills and strokes as well as effects. You can use the appearance palette to create truly complex as well as subtle work using a single or multiple colors added to a path. You can blend the various swatches by using the blending modes (difference, darken, multiply) or using transparency / opacity.

How to re-size an Illustrator pattern ?

Select the path, fill with a swatch 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 a pattern as an Illustrator shape ?

Select a path and then fill the path with a swatch 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

Creating 100s of variants for Adobe ® Illustrator

One of the great new features (along with the trace) of CC / CS6 is the pattern editor. Now you can open a palette library and then double click any of the swatches and you will then enter the editor where you can tweak the tile in 1000s of ways and even better, you can save a copy by clicking the save a copy option


swatch editor cats dialog Illustrator


With the above cats, select the shape and then change the color, change the size, rotate, introduce new shapes and much more and just keep clicking the save a copy - all the tiles are saved as seamless tiles to the palette. You can even save the tiles to earlier formats of the AI for use in 10 (that is how I create the sets on this site). Not sure that works well if you use different tile types - it certainly works fine with the default but not with hexes

 editor cat


As you can see from above, endless possible variations can be created - you can add multiple shapes, remove shapes and more. The tool does have quirks and perhaps these will be resolved in updates but sometimes fragments of paths can be left. As with all things, the end result tiles should be tested with a variety of different shapes as well as text.

paths and cat swatches in Illustrator blue


The tiles can be applied via the libraries and they can be applied to a whole range of different paths (as mentioned, you might wish to scale the tile via the transformation commands)


A favourite, yet another dialog.. why can't the application just mention it once and let you dismiss it forever. I know, I know and I don't need a dialog popping up (even if I make a mistake, which is very easy to do)

Trying to edit the tile, a dialog appears - this is one of my favorite bugbears of AI as endless dialogs appear and there never seems to be a way of permanently removing them - they always seem to return. The dialog appears when you try and edit an item that was created in CS6 and saved in an earlier format. I wish the dialog would appear only once, as it is probably likely you will remember that you have to release the clipping mask (oddly, this doesn't always seem to be the case as sometimes there is no clipping mask to remove). I would prefer an option to remove this dialog or perhaps even better, a default option to 'release the clipping mask' as I always prefer the best results. Also, editing them might require the ungrouping of the shapes and that command can be found in the object menu.

Tutorials related to the swatches


Image trace and fills

You can apply the swatches to traced items. Open an image and then apply the image trace feature (greatly enhanced with CS6)


image trace female face and swatches


Use the image trace on a placed image to convert the image into a vector. Use the live paint bucket tool to add fills to the image trace - those live paint regions can be filled with solid colors as well as tiles. You can apply the same tile to all regions of the image or apply different tiles to different regions with different sizes and rotations applied.

trace fill colorful  swatches in Illustrator female face


Of course, sometimes some images work better with fills than others. You can also use them with strokes as well as combine them in millions of ways with the appearance palette.

Tiles to text

This tutorial will work with any swatch.


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.