Illustrator CS6 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Saving appearances as graphic styles


Illustrator CS6 Essential Training

with Justin Seeley

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Video: Saving appearances as graphic styles

One of the great things about Adobe Illustrator is the fact that you can take effects, or combinations of effects and appearances that you create inside of this program, and save them as something called a graphic style. Graphic styles are basically a set of appearance options that are saved, and easily applied to artwork with the click of a button. Let me show you exactly what I mean. I am going to select the background in this object here, and once I have the background targeted, I am going to come over here to Graphic Styles panel. You will notice, by default, I have a few different graphic styles to choose from.
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  1. 1m 15s
    1. What is Illustrator?
      1m 15s
  2. 2m 17s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
  3. 41m 25s
    1. Understanding vector graphics
      5m 0s
    2. Setting preferences
      9m 24s
    3. Touring the interface
      9m 41s
    4. Exploring the panels
      6m 54s
    5. Working with the Control panel
      4m 25s
    6. Creating and saving workspaces
      6m 1s
  4. 43m 42s
    1. Creating files for print
      4m 42s
    2. Creating files for the web
      3m 36s
    3. Managing multiple documents
      3m 25s
    4. Navigating within a document
      5m 21s
    5. Using rulers, guides, and grids
      6m 59s
    6. Changing units of measurement
      1m 50s
    7. Using preview modes
      3m 10s
    8. Creating and using custom views
      3m 12s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 43s
    10. Creating and using artboards
      7m 44s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Setting your selection preferences
      5m 57s
    2. Using the Direct Selection and Group Selection tools
      4m 6s
    3. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 45s
    4. Using the Lasso tool
      4m 9s
    5. Selecting objects by attribute
      6m 48s
    6. Grouping objects
      3m 7s
    7. Using isolation mode
      4m 48s
    8. Resizing your artwork
      3m 55s
    9. Rotating objects
      2m 10s
    10. Distorting and transforming objects
      6m 27s
    11. Repeating transformations
      5m 7s
    12. Reflecting and skewing objects
      4m 54s
    13. Aligning and distributing objects
      4m 38s
  6. 29m 28s
    1. RGB vs. CMYK
      1m 46s
    2. Adjusting Illustrator color settings
      5m 10s
    3. Process vs. global swatches
      5m 6s
    4. Creating spot colors
      3m 40s
    5. Using the swatch groups
      2m 33s
    6. Working with color libraries
      3m 18s
    7. Importing swatches
      4m 4s
    8. Using the Color Guide panel
      3m 51s
  7. 57m 37s
    1. Understanding fills and strokes
      4m 18s
    2. Working with fills
      4m 58s
    3. Working with strokes
      8m 46s
    4. Creating dashes and arrows
      8m 1s
    5. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 3s
    6. Using width profiles
      3m 32s
    7. Outlining strokes
      3m 51s
    8. Creating and editing gradients
      5m 45s
    9. Applying gradients to strokes
      3m 8s
    10. Applying and editing pattern fills
      4m 52s
    11. Creating your own pattern fill
      6m 23s
  8. 20m 20s
    1. Understanding paths
      2m 41s
    2. Understanding anchor points
      4m 20s
    3. Working with open and closed paths
      5m 28s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      4m 9s
    5. Using the Scissors tool and the Knife tool
      3m 42s
  9. 37m 57s
    1. Understanding drawing modes
      4m 23s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 15s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      4m 11s
    4. Working with the Shape Builder tool
      6m 32s
    5. Working with the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      5m 26s
    6. Working with the Paintbrush and Pencil tools
      7m 9s
    7. Smoothing and erasing paths
      5m 1s
  10. 35m 53s
    1. Exploring the Pen tool
      2m 39s
    2. Drawing straight lines
      5m 12s
    3. Drawing simple curves
      5m 23s
    4. Understanding the many faces of the Pen tool
      6m 10s
    5. Converting corners and curves
      1m 46s
    6. Your keyboard is your friend
      2m 14s
    7. Tracing artwork with the Pen tool
      12m 29s
  11. 35m 34s
    1. Adjusting your type settings
      4m 10s
    2. Creating point and area text
      3m 36s
    3. Basic text editing
      2m 14s
    4. Creating threaded text
      4m 59s
    5. Using the type panels
      9m 48s
    6. Creating text on a path
      5m 12s
    7. Converting text into paths
      1m 43s
    8. Saving time with keyboard shortcuts
      3m 52s
  12. 27m 25s
    1. Exploring the Appearance panel
      4m 44s
    2. Explaining attribute stacking order
      1m 40s
    3. Applying multiple fills
      3m 1s
    4. Applying multiple strokes
      4m 20s
    5. Adjusting appearance with live effects
      4m 46s
    6. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      8m 54s
  13. 20m 44s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      4m 18s
    2. Creating and editing layers
      3m 27s
    3. Targeting objects in the Layers panel
      3m 3s
    4. Working with sublayers
      3m 0s
    5. Hiding, locking, and deleting layers
      4m 14s
    6. Using the Layers panel menu
      2m 42s
  14. 46m 0s
    1. Placing images into Illustrator
      2m 53s
    2. Working with the Links panel
      6m 5s
    3. Embedding images into Illustrator
      3m 12s
    4. Cropping images with a mask
      5m 8s
    5. Exploring the Image Trace panel
      12m 14s
    6. Tracing photographs
      8m 6s
    7. Tracing line art
      4m 33s
    8. Converting pixels to paths
      3m 49s
  15. 19m 22s
    1. What are symbols?
      2m 45s
    2. Using prebuilt symbols
      3m 3s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      4m 19s
    4. Creating new symbols
      3m 50s
    5. Breaking the symbol link
      3m 19s
    6. Redefining symbols
      2m 6s
  16. 12m 9s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      4m 29s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      3m 49s
    3. Applying artwork to the grid
      3m 51s
  17. 35m 8s
    1. Printing your artwork
      6m 16s
    2. Saving your artwork
      2m 2s
    3. Saving in legacy formats
      3m 0s
    4. Saving templates
      4m 19s
    5. Creating PDF files
      5m 23s
    6. Saving for the web
      4m 46s
    7. Creating high-res bitmap images
      3m 58s
    8. Using Illustrator files in Photoshop and InDesign
      5m 24s
  18. 56s
    1. Next steps

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS6 Essential Training
8h 48m Beginner May 07, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Adobe Illustrator can be used to accomplish many different design tasks, from illustration to app development. This course demonstrates core concepts and techniques that can be applied to any workflow—for print, the web, or building assets that will find their way into other applications. Author Justin Seeley explains the elements that make up vector graphics (paths, strokes, and fills) while showing how to use each of the drawing tools, and demonstrates how to combine and clean up paths and organize them into groups and layers. The course also covers text editing, working with color, effects, and much more.

Topics include:
  • Understanding vector graphics
  • Creating and setting up files for print or web destinations
  • Selecting and transforming objects on the page
  • Creating spot colors
  • Applying fills, strokes, and gradients to artwork
  • Adjusting appearances and effects
  • Working with anchor points and paths
  • Drawing with the Pen tool
  • Creating text
  • Managing layers
  • Creating and using symbols
  • Printing, saving, and exporting artwork
Justin Seeley

Saving appearances as graphic styles

One of the great things about Adobe Illustrator is the fact that you can take effects, or combinations of effects and appearances that you create inside of this program, and save them as something called a graphic style. Graphic styles are basically a set of appearance options that are saved, and easily applied to artwork with the click of a button. Let me show you exactly what I mean. I am going to select the background in this object here, and once I have the background targeted, I am going to come over here to Graphic Styles panel. You will notice, by default, I have a few different graphic styles to choose from.

For instance, this one is called Illuminate Yellow. I also have Tissue Paper. If I click on this, it automatically applies the Tissue Paper graphic style to the graphic that I'm working on. It may take some time, because there are several different effects and things that go into this, but as you can see, it changes it completely. And if I look at the Appearance panel, it's actually added three different fills, and also adjusted the Opacity accordingly. If I wanted to, I could undo that with Command+Z or Control+Z, and it goes right back to normal. So if you find yourself doing things that are repetitive, like adding certain drop shadows, or different effects with strokes and fills, you may want to save those as graphic styles to use later.

Let's explore how to do that. I am first going to select this form field here, and I am going to go in and add a drop shadow to it. So I'll go up to the Effect menu > Stylize, and I'll hit Drop Shadow. Inside of this dialog box, I am going to set the Mode to Multiply. I'll set the Opacity down to about 35%. I'll set the X Offset to maybe 1 point; Y Offset to about 4 points. If you want to see this in real time, click the Preview button, and you will automatically see what's going on in here.

I'll keep my Color to black, and my Blur point to 2; I'll hit OK. It is true that I could just select this other form field, and go up and do that effect again, but I don't want to have to do that, especially if I have got multiple attributes applied to this form field. For instance, what if I added a stroke to it? Let's do that now. Let's go here, and I'll add just a basic stroke. I may even add another shadow on top of it if I wanted to, like an inner shadow. Let's go back up to Effect > Stylize, and choose Inner Glow.

I'll move this over, and click Preview. As you can see, I can change the mode of this, so I'll change this from Screen, to Multiply. Remember, Multiply is a darkening blend mode. And then I'll change this color from white to black, and hit OK. I'll change the Blur amount. See, as I do that, it's darkening in the edges, and then once I am done, I'll hit OK, and I'll click away to see it.

So I have kind of added a 3D appearance to this. I'll click it. I'll come over to the Graphic Styles panel, and I'll choose New Graphic Style. Once I do that, it creates the graphic style for me. I can then double-click that graphic style, and rename it. So in this case, I'll call it Form Field, and hit OK. Now I can select this form field here, click the graphic style, and it instantly applies all of those effects. The same would hold true if I selected the button down here.

Click, and it changed it. Now, it also picked up the fill and stroke of these as well, so it changed the overall appearance of this button, which is not something I want to do. So I'll undo that; Command+Z or Control+Z; click away. Now I am going to show you another real world application for this. So I am going to jump over into the graphic styles document for a minute, and basically what I want to do here is create a style that I can reuse on different pieces of text in my document. So the first thing I am going to do is target the text layer right here in the middle, and then I'm also going to make sure that I am working on the fill.

With the Fill selected, I am going to come over here, and set it to None, because by default, when you have text selected, there is a fill applied to it, but it doesn't show up inside the Appearance panel. So I'm going to set the Fill to None, and then come over to the Appearance panel, and add a brand new fill on top of it. Once I do that, it ensures that the fill that I have put on top of it is completely independent from the text. So now the fill, I'm able to target, which I have it selected right now, and then I can go up to the Effect menu, and I can go to Stylize, and I can select Scribble.

I'm basically going to be creating almost like a hand-drawn appearance. You've probably seen a lot of hand-drawn fonts on the Internet. Well, not every font comes in a hand-drawn variation, but in this particular case, I am going to create something that will look exactly like a hand-drawn font, no matter which font you choose. So for this, I am going to set a couple of parameters here. I am going to set my Angle to about 40 degrees. I am going to set my Path Overlap to 0, and I'll set my Variation to 2. My Stroke Width, I am going to back that down to 1 pixel. For the Curviness, I am going to make sure that's set to 0.

The Variation is going to be set to about 40%. The Spacing is going be set to 2 pixels, and then finally, the Variation, down here at the bottom, is going to be set to 1.5 pixels, just like so. When I'm finished with that, I'll hit OK, and you can see I get sort of a hand-drawn sketch look. I am then going to finish it off by giving it a little bit of a boundary, and I am going to do that by adding a new stroke.

So I'll add a stroke, and I'll bump this up to about 2 points; something like that. Okay, so I have created my new style, but I want to be able to apply this to any font that I want, so I'll come over to the Graphic Styles panel, I'll click the New Graphic Style icon, and it creates my graphic style for me. I can double-click it, and I'll call it Scribble, and hit OK. Now I can delete this text; I don't really need it anymore, and I'll grab my Type tool.

Then I'll come out here, and I'll just type Hello World, and let's blow this up. No matter what font I choose, I can then apply that Scribble effect. So I'll come up here, and I'll pick a pretty wacky font. Let's pick something like Brush Script. When I pick that, you will notice Brush Script is not, by default, a hand-drawn font. But if I come over and apply this graphic style, it instantly becomes hand-drawn, or sketchy.

I can do this for any type of object I want; not just text. So I could convert anything instantly into a hand-drawn sketch look by utilizing this graphic style, so that you can then use them in other artwork, or future projects. When you're ready to take these graphic styles and save them, you can simply come up here to the panel menu, and choose Save Graphic Style Library. Once you do that, you can then pick a place on your hard drive, and save them. Then you can send them out to your coworkers, or anyone else that you might want to have them, or even sell them online.

People can make a pretty good living selling graphic styles and effects over the Internet. Once you've done this, they are ready to go. To load a graphic style, all you have to do is come here, and choose Open Graphic Style Library, and then go to Other Library. You then navigate to wherever that graphic style library is located in your hard drive, and it loads it up. Let's take a look. I'll save this graphic style library to my Desktop, and I'll save it as scribble; hit Save.

Then I'll jump over into my appearance panel document, go here, open up the graphic style library, choose Other Library, it automatically jumps me to my graphic styles library section on my computer, but I am going to go to my Desktop, and locate that scribble library, and I'll hit Open. That's going to open all the graphic styles that I had open in that other document. Notice, there is my scribble. So if I wanted to apply this to something in my artwork, like maybe the R, I could come up here and select the R, and you will notice when I do that, that it tells me it's inside of a group in the Appearance panel.

I have to double-click a few times to get into it, via Isolation mode, but once I finally get that R targeted, I can then come down and select the scribble attribute, and it automatically applies that hand-drawn look to my artwork. Double-clicking here will exit me out. Now of course, the scribble effect doesn't exactly fit the look and feel of this application mockup that I have created here, but you get the idea. You can share graphic styles from document to document by saving out the graphic style libraries, and then reusing them in any project you want.

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