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Applying graphic styles

From: Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics

Video: Applying graphic styles

Drawing can be a lot of fun when using Illustrator. But if you have to draw the same thing over-and-over again it can get a little bit tiring. From a pure business perspective it's always great to be more efficient than the work that you do that way you can get more work done, and hopefully make more money. One of the most powerful ways to become more efficient in your work in Illustrator is using graphic styles. In a program like for example QuarkXPress or InDesign where you are working with a lot of text there is a concept of paragraph or character styles. And by using these styles you have the ability to tag certain areas of text. That way when changes need to be made across through entire documents all you have to do is update the style. Since all the text is tagged and knows what it is, it automatically updates as well.

Applying graphic styles

Drawing can be a lot of fun when using Illustrator. But if you have to draw the same thing over-and-over again it can get a little bit tiring. From a pure business perspective it's always great to be more efficient than the work that you do that way you can get more work done, and hopefully make more money. One of the most powerful ways to become more efficient in your work in Illustrator is using graphic styles. In a program like for example QuarkXPress or InDesign where you are working with a lot of text there is a concept of paragraph or character styles. And by using these styles you have the ability to tag certain areas of text. That way when changes need to be made across through entire documents all you have to do is update the style. Since all the text is tagged and knows what it is, it automatically updates as well.

Well, the same concept applies here inside of Illustrator using something called graphic styles. Graphic styles is a way to memorize all the settings that are applied two particular paths, and using graphic styles gives you two specific benefits. First, you can easily apply complex styles with the single-click of a button, and second, once you have gone ahead and you have applied those styles making changes across your entire document is very easy to do. Now in this movie specifically we are going to talk about applying graphic styles. You will find graphic styles in the Graphic Styles panel right here.

We can't find the panel open. Simply go to the Window menu and then choose Graphic Styles. Now I'm going to over here. We have this document that I'm working on. It's called santa_cruz and it's simply a map, but there is only not that much interesting things going on here inside of the map and I want to be able to add some emphasis to certain areas. I want to make it easy to read the map so on and so forth. I actually got this map from Google Maps. I just simply took a screen-shot and I traced over many different areas, the ones that were important to me. This way, for example, I wanted to show certain areas here I can get rid of the detail that may not be important for the people who need to actually view this map.

But you will notice if you look at my graphic styles here in this document I have here something called Main Road, I have something called Train Tracks, and I have a Highway. Then I have certain areas here, for example, Park/Beach, Land and Water. Now by simply defining these styles I can click on any object in my document. Let's say for example this water area here. And I go over to my Appearance panel, I see that right now Illustrator is identifying the target as my path but Illustrator is also telling me that right now I have the Water style that's applied to that path. The Appearance panel can be very helpful in not only telling you information about the path itself but also about what graphic styles have been applied to that path. In fact, if I click on this area here we can see that this one has the Land style applied to it, and this area over here has the Park/Beach style applied to it.

Now I want to point out some important things about how I built this particular document. If I use my Direct Selection tool I can actually click on these, and you can see that these are all individual paths that I have drawn. They are all basically contained with an overall mask that exists here. I use the layer mask so I could actually have some objects here and some of the layers inside of my document. But you can see easily here that the paths themselves are separate, they are connected. What I did do though was I did actually create a group of those paths. So once I have drawn all these areas of these roads, for example, I simply selected them all and after using my regular Selection tool, you will see that I have a group that has now been selected that contains all these. I'm not actually worried about connecting these but in the overall finished product here I do wanted to appear as if all these roads are somewhat connected, and as you will see the way that I should define the style using the Appearance panel by applying a style to group level all the paths will automatically intersect with each other which actually looks really nice.

So here let's start off first of all with just a High way here. I have Highway one that kind of runs right over in this part of Santa Cruz. I already have created a little symbol here to identify that, but what I want to do is I want to apply the graphic style of highway to instantly style this path the way that it should look. So I'm going to go over here to the Graphic Styles or need to do is simply select that path and click once on graphic style to apply it. And you could see that what I have done is I have actually built this using a Complex appearance. It's made up of several different stroke attributes. If I go over here to the Appearance panel I'll see that this path, which now has the Highway style applied to it, has two strokes. It has the 16 point purple stroke, and then a 10 point red stroke that's sitting on top of that. So that gives this appearance here of this particular Highway.

Now this thick line that runs through over here is actually a train track. So I'm actually going to click on that. It's a route that the train uses to go to there. I'm actually going to go to the Graphic Styles panel. I already have a style here that I have created for train tracks I'm going to click on that and now style that to be the look of the train tracks. Now how did I build that style? Well, in the next movie when we talk more about how we define and actually work with graphic styles we'll get a better idea of how we actually create more of these complex styles. But it's really in this particular case, again if I look at the Appearance panel a simple way of me combining three different strokes. The topmost stroke has a dash pattern, which basically allows me to define the train tracks that are there.

So now finally let's go ahead and create a look for the main roads. I'm going to select this group right here, and again, remember I have the group target right now. So that means when I apply a graphic style, the graphic style doesn't go or get applied to the individual objects or paths inside of my group. They actually get applied to the group which is the container for all these paths. In doing so the Appearances will kind of get melted together as if they were one overall shape. So I'm going to go over here. I have this group targeted. I'm going to choose some of the Graphic Styles panel to apply the Main Road style. And now you could see that all the roads kind of connect with each other in this way.

So just a few clicks of a mouse. I was able to turn what was kind of a simple map now. It is something that's little bit more interesting. More importantly it allows me to now take these particular styles and apply them to other document as well. So that any time I'm working on any type of map for particular project I have these styles with one click, I'm ready to go. There are a few other things that are important to know about graphic styles. Normally when I apply a graphic style it replaces all the contents of the appearance of that particular object that I have selected, let me explain. If I were to go ahead now click on this Highway one, right now if I look at my Appearance panel I see that I have a path which is targeted and I have the Highway Style which is made up of two strokes that are now applied to that particular path.

Now if I wanted to change it for example to the train tracks I can click on the Train Tracks, and what it does that actually now replaces whatever information was on the path before with this new information. So anytime that you apply a graphic style it doesn't add that information to the path. It actually replaces any settings that are on the path now with this new style. So before I had the Highway style applied to it. Now I have this Train Track Style applied to it. And into the settings that were on the path before get blown away. Now in some cases that's good, but there are other times when you may want to apply a style in a purely additive nature. That means I want to be able to add certain effects to a style. I don't want to actually replace them.

Illustrator CS4 now has the capability to allow you to add graphic styles to a path instead of replacing them. Let me show you what I mean. I'm actually going to go ahead and just go back to the Highway setting right here. Let's first go ahead and click on these paths right here. This is now the main roads that appear throughout this area. And you will notice that it also have another graphic style here. This graphic style is called Shadow. In fact one of the really cool things about graphic styles, I'm going to pull out the Appearance panel here so we can take a look at this. I use the Appearance panel and the Graphic Styles panel kind of side-by- side. For me having them both in the same window here, which is the way that it appears in the Essentials workspace, that doesn't really work for me. But I want to show you that with nothing selected at all. See over here, it says No Selection. I can click on any style and the Appearance panel identifies the elements that are basically in that style. So you can see that for the Drop Shadow one there is no fill and no stroke but there is a Drop Shadow effect. Now I have created this space and if you want to think about it, it's just an empty style but has a Drop Shadow.

Now what would I want to just apply Drop Shadow to an object without anything else. The answer is that I may want to apply this to an existing object that already has a style and I want to add to that style. I don't want to necessarily replace the style. So let me show you how I actually do that. Let me click on this particular road right here. Let's say my client decides that they want to have some kind of a soft Drop Shadow on these. After all everybody wants Drop Shadows these days. So I have now you can see my target group and the main road is selected right now. And if I go over here to my Graphic Styles instead of just clicking on the shadow, I have to remove the elements that are applied to that path and apply a Drop Shadow I don't want to kill those yellow areas there. I'm going to press Command+Z or Ctrl+Z to Undo. And instead of just click on it I'm going to hold down my Alt key or my Option key on Mac. So again that's Alt on Windows or Option on Mac, and then I'm going to click on the Style. When you do so when you Option or Alt-click on a Style Illustrator adds that style to the existing appearance of that artwork, it doesn't replace it. So now you can see that I have taken my style and I have now added that particular Drop Shadow to it.

Now of course this no longer has any style applied to it. I have removed the fact of this path now has a style on it because I have modified the overall object. So right now there is no more link anymore from this artwork to a style. What I was able to do though was I was actually able to now to add to that existing style, if I wanted to go back to the original style to simply just reapply that original style again. Now I have created a few graphic styles in this document, but in reality Illustrator ships with a whole bunch of graphic styles. If you go here to the pop-up menu, you can actually see that Illustrator ships with things like Textures, Scribble effects, Image effects, even some 3D effects and really, really cool stuff, and I certainly suggest that you kind of go through these and kind of experiment with them. For example we just spoke about the ability to actually apply graphic styles in an additive nature. Meaning I can simply add a Graphic Style to an object without removing its existing attributes.

I am actually going to load this one here called Additive and now you can see if I move this down over here there are a whole bunch of ones here, for example, there is something here called Roughen. Now again, if I were to simply click and apply that style it wouldn't do much, right, I would simply go ahead and blow away everything on this path. But if I want to roughen up this path I can hold down the Option key and add that now, and now I get that kind of rough look to the path there. I feel bad if anybody wants to drive on those roads, and press undo for there. But basically I do suggest you kind of go to the Graphic Styles. Again it's important to know that if I have nothing selected at all I can easily click on a graphic style and see the settings that are applied to it. And the way the Appearance panel works that if I see the Transform I can click on it to actually open up that dialog box and see that this creates 9 copies and it actually rotates them in an angle of 36 degrees.

So it is a really great way to reverse-engineer all these styles that Illustrator ships with, definitely when you have some time kind of go through them, experiment with them and see what you can come up with to save a tremendous amount of time when you are working with graphic styles in Illustrator.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics
Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics

137 video lessons · 29138 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 41s
    2. Using the exercise files
      23s
  2. 33m 20s
    1. Introducing Live Paint
      38s
    2. Drawing in Illustrator
      4m 21s
    3. Creating a Live Paint group
      2m 54s
    4. Using the Live Paint Bucket tool
      3m 17s
    5. Using Live Paint with open paths
      2m 29s
    6. Detecting gaps in Live Paint groups
      4m 17s
    7. Adding paths to a Live Paint group
      3m 41s
    8. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      5m 44s
    9. Releasing and expanding Live Paint groups
      2m 55s
    10. Understanding how Live Paint groups work
      3m 4s
  3. 49m 36s
    1. Introducing the trace options
      39s
    2. Setting expectations: Live Trace
      2m 26s
    3. Using the Live Trace feature
      1m 51s
    4. Understanding how Live Trace works
      5m 41s
    5. Making raster-based adjustments
      5m 52s
    6. Tracing with fills, strokes, or both
      2m 55s
    7. Making vector-based adjustments
      6m 12s
    8. Adjusting colors in Live Trace
      4m 39s
    9. Using Photoshop with Live Trace
      5m 22s
    10. Releasing and expanding Live Trace artwork
      2m 58s
    11. Saving and exporting Live Trace presets
      2m 36s
    12. Tracing in Batch mode with Adobe Bridge
      1m 35s
    13. Turning an image into mosaic tiles
      2m 28s
    14. Tracing an image manually
      4m 22s
  4. 1h 24m
    1. Introducing 3D
      33s
    2. Setting expectations: 3D in Illustrator
      2m 53s
    3. How fills and strokes affect 3D artwork
      4m 43s
    4. Applying the 3D Extrude & Bevel effect
      6m 25s
    5. Applying a bevel
      5m 40s
    6. Showing the hidden faces of a 3D object
      4m 49s
    7. Applying the 3D Revolve effect
      5m 22s
    8. Visualizing the revolve axis
      3m 5s
    9. Applying the 3D Rotate effect
      1m 35s
    10. Adjusting surface settings
      9m 33s
    11. Understanding the importance of 3D and groups
      3m 24s
    12. Preparing art for mapping
      10m 19s
    13. Mapping artwork to a 3D surface
      14m 21s
    14. Hiding geometry with 3D artwork mapping
      4m 0s
    15. Extending the use of 3D in Illustrator
      8m 7s
  5. 44m 37s
    1. Introducing transformations and effects
      32s
    2. Using the Transform panel
      12m 37s
    3. Repeating transformations
      5m 23s
    4. Using the Transform Each function
      3m 48s
    5. Using the Convert to Shape effects
      5m 49s
    6. Using the Distort & Transform effects
      5m 12s
    7. Using the Path effects
      6m 58s
    8. Using the Pathfinder effects
      4m 18s
  6. 28m 23s
    1. Introducing graphic styles
      33s
    2. Applying graphic styles
      10m 8s
    3. Defining graphic styles
      8m 46s
    4. Previewing graphic styles
      2m 10s
    5. Modifying graphic styles
      3m 30s
    6. Understanding graphic styles for text
      3m 16s
  7. 22m 49s
    1. Introducing advanced masking techniques
      32s
    2. Understanding clipping masks
      7m 15s
    3. Using layer clipping masks
      6m 30s
    4. Creating opacity masks
      8m 32s
  8. 1h 6m
    1. Introducing color
      40s
    2. Considering three types of color swatches
      7m 7s
    3. Managing color groups
      2m 58s
    4. Understanding the HSB color wheel
      3m 57s
    5. Understanding color harmonies
      2m 57s
    6. Using the color guide
      3m 54s
    7. Limiting the color guide
      3m 17s
    8. Modifying color with the Recolor Artwork feature
      6m 25s
    9. Using the Edit tab to adjust color
      5m 44s
    10. Using the Assign tab to replace colors
      8m 37s
    11. Making global color adjustments
      2m 17s
    12. Using Recolor options
      7m 3s
    13. Converting artwork to grayscale
      3m 23s
    14. Simulating artwork on different devices
      3m 18s
    15. Accessing Kuler directly from Illustrator
      2m 7s
    16. Ensuring high contrast for color-blind people
      2m 42s
  9. 53m 19s
    1. Introducing transparency
      40s
    2. Understanding transparency flattening
      2m 31s
    3. Exercising the two rules of transparency flattening
      10m 53s
    4. Understanding complex regions in transparency flattening
      4m 50s
    5. Exploring the transparency flattener settings
      8m 37s
    6. Using transparency flattening and object stacking order
      6m 39s
    7. Using the Flattener Preview panel
      6m 31s
    8. Creating and sharing Transparency Flattener presets
      2m 25s
    9. Working within an EPS workflow
      5m 3s
    10. Understanding the Illustrator and InDesign workflow
      5m 10s
  10. 50m 1s
    1. Introducing prepress and output
      23s
    2. Understanding resolutions
      8m 27s
    3. Discovering RGB and CMYK "gotchas"
      5m 42s
    4. Using Overprints and Overprint Preview
      7m 43s
    5. Understanding "book color" and proofing spot colors
      8m 1s
    6. Collecting vital information with Document Info
      2m 28s
    7. Previewing color separations onscreen
      1m 12s
    8. Making 3D artwork look good
      2m 16s
    9. Seeing white lines and knowing what to do about them
      2m 41s
    10. Creating "bulletproof" press-ready PDF files
      3m 45s
    11. Protecting content with secure PDFs
      2m 48s
    12. Using PDF presets
      2m 47s
    13. Moving forward: The Adobe PDF Print Engine
      1m 48s
  11. 35m 43s
    1. Introducing distortions
      27s
    2. Using the Warp effect
      4m 20s
    3. The Warp effect vs. envelope distortion
      3m 48s
    4. Applying the Make with Warp envelope distortion
      2m 45s
    5. Applying the Make with Mesh envelope distortion
      2m 41s
    6. Applying the Make with Top Object envelope distortion
      3m 45s
    7. Editing envelopes
      5m 0s
    8. Adjusting envelope settings
      4m 2s
    9. Releasing and expanding envelope distortions
      1m 44s
    10. Applying envelope distortions to text
      1m 27s
    11. Using the liquify distortion tools
      3m 5s
    12. Customizing the liquify tools
      2m 39s
  12. 28m 56s
    1. Introducing blends
      32s
    2. Blending two objects
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting blend options
      5m 47s
    4. Blending anchor points
      5m 36s
    5. Blending three or more objects
      2m 9s
    6. Replacing the spine of a blend
      4m 32s
    7. Reversing the direction of a blend
      2m 15s
    8. Releasing and expanding a blend
      1m 47s
  13. 46m 54s
    1. Introducing charts and graphs
      35s
    2. Setting expectations: Graphs in Illustrator
      3m 19s
    3. Creating a chart
      8m 2s
    4. Importing data
      3m 34s
    5. Formatting data
      5m 1s
    6. Customizing a chart
      10m 21s
    7. Combining chart types
      2m 40s
    8. Creating graph designs
      6m 0s
    9. Styling and updating graphs
      5m 33s
    10. Ungrouping graphs
      1m 49s
  14. 26m 36s
    1. Introducing Gradient Mesh
      23s
    2. Understanding the Gradient Mesh feature
      9m 34s
    3. Using Gradient Mesh to add contoured shading
      6m 14s
    4. Using Gradient Mesh to create photorealistic effects
      10m 25s
  15. 8m 18s
    1. Introducing flare effects
      25s
    2. Drawing a lens flare
      3m 28s
    3. Modifying a lens flare
      1m 27s
    4. Using a mask with lens flares
      2m 58s
  16. 29s
    1. Goodbye
      29s

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