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Patterns have been a part of cultures around the globe for centuries. From fashion and branding to interior design and signage, patterns blanket and beautify our world. Designers are often asked to create new patterns from scratch, and although digital tools make the process easier than ever, it can still be a perplexing task.
In this installment of Drawing Vector Graphics, Von Glitschka demystifies the pattern design process, explaining tessellations (mathematical tiles that lie at the heart of patterns) and visiting the various methods of creating new patterns. He shows how to build repeating patterns with Illustrator's pattern tools and pattern brushes, and incorporate patterns into your design. The course also features patterns from some of the industry's most inspiring designers.
Composing and adjusting your pattern designs is an effortless task when using the Pattern tool in Illustrator. As I mentioned previously Illustrator's Pattern tool provides you with five tile types or arrangements that you can use to adjust your designs. And create unique patterns like the one on this tie. So let's review each of these five tile types and see how you can twirl them the Pattern Tile tool. The creative process tends to overlap methods at times and by this point in this course you've already seen me use the pattern tile.
Tool, but we're going to use it more as we test drive each of the tile types. So we're going to go over the various tiling types within the Pattern tool. You can also think of them as arrangements. And the best way to do that is to just demonstrate how each of them works with the same. Piece of artwork. Once again free floating artwork such as this design motif which I should point out is part of the stock art library I provide in the exercise files for this course, works is an ideal piece of artwork that I work along with the Pattern tool.
So with this selected, we're going to go ahead and go into the Pattern tool. Object >Pattern> and Make. And immediately you can see how based off of the a, the first tile type, which is grid, it is creating a grid based off of our tile shape. Now this is kind of a no brainer. And it bases it off the size of the artwork itself so if I select all the artwork you can see how the top edge and the top and the bottom edge of the art work is actually the exact same proportion as the tile edge that is displayed here as default.
And if we click on the tile tool, you can see how it looks as. Now select this grid tile type that's what this is on grid and it selects it, now we can adjust this with using the tile tool by simply grabbing the bounding bar sheet. You can grab it from the centre points and if you hold the Option down. Once again we'll uniformly adjust it on the spacing on the top and bottom evenly. And you can do the same way on the side and it will space it that way evenly.
And you can see how that affects the overall pattern. You can also grab the corners and do it this way where it's everything at once and it allows you. To move it in such a way where it's a little more fluid that way. And you can adjust things as you see fit that way if you want to tile. So that is how the grid repeats your art horizontally and vertically. Like a chess board arrangement just because it's a square grid doesn't mean the pattern has to be a square.
So adjust the grid. Play with it yourself to see how it works but it will align your artwork much like it's done on a chessboard. So the next tile type I want to show you. Is brick by row it's called. And this one organizes your tiling much like a brick row. So imagine this piece of art being a brick and so you see a brick going off to the right here. And so on and so forth. And then center. Centered in the middle of these two flowers is your motif up here.
So it kind of offsets it like a brick. Now right now, the offset is set for a half repeat, meaning it's repeating your design halfway through. Until it gets to the next repeat. So you can adjust that. You can make it a fourth so it's a little less. You can make it a third. You can pull down. You can make it, you can go up to. 2 3rds so there's a lot of different variables you can use on brick to row and like the previous one, if you select the bounding box this allows you to adjust brick by row in certain ways.
This will control the overall offset by pulling these in and out to control how it spaces it, so. You can play with that. You can also scale the overall sizings. So maybe you want it tighter. So we can bring that in so it's a lot tighter. And you can adjust the offset however you want. And you can even pull it to the other side. So there's a lot of flexibility here. A lot of. Variations. So experimentation is key to find out, and to apply it to the specific art you're using.
The next tile type I want to go over is the same, but instead of it being brick by row, it's called brick by column. And brick by column works the same was as the previous, but it slides the whole tile vertically. Instead of horizontally. So unlike a brick wall this slides it the opposite way. And overall the principle is the same as the previous one. It's just offsetting your artwork vertically instead of horizontally so you have the same controls here.
Where you can offset your art work. And it gives you a lot of freedom to play with it. And once again, experimentation is the way you discover the best tile type that is to use for your specific pattern design. The next one I want to show you is getting into the hexagon now. And this is hexagon by column. And it repeats the design based off of the hexagon shape and slides the whole tile vertically. So if I click on this, and you can see, I mean this is a pretty distorted hexagon based off of our artwork, but you can pull it out and adjust the sizing just like any other.
And you can see how you can click there and it gives you control to composite the design however you want, you don't have to do it uniformly if you don't want to you can pull down from one side and one corner or one top. Can bring in the top or the bottom. So that's how the hex by column works. And it arranges once again, your art work by column and spaces it based off of that hexagon arrangement. Now the last one I want to go over is called hex by row.
And this repeats the design using the same hexagon shape, and slides the whole Artwork horizontally. And, once again, the same controls for adjusting your art will work the same way, based off of the hexagon. And you can adjust how it's going to replicate. In this case, we could go really tight on here. And then adjust this top to add spacing so it's a visual oriented thing and as you play with it you'll see what works, what doesn't work and where you can make improvements in your adjustments.
The Pattern tool is very geared for exploratory building in my opinion. And that's not a bad thing. It's just, you need to know that up front. There is no set coordinates. You can't select a tile type, and punch in a specific coordinates and have it set itself up. It doesn't really work that way. But it's easy enough to use manually. So we're going to exit and go back to the art board. And since I haven't done it before. We're just going to click Done here. And that brings us back to the artboard too.
So either click Done or double-click the background. I think double-click the background works faster. So, just to show you Pattern Fill using that specific motif. Here is a good example of the Pattern Fill I used with the hexagon shape, so. That's that. Now there is unorthodox ways you can use and explore using the Pattern tool. because it's so exploratory and because it works so well with free floating art. There is a lot of different things you can do.
So you might start off with this artwork, and you would go, well that's kind of an odd shape. How would I repeat that? Well, it's not as hard as you may think, so we're going to select this, drag it in to the swatch's pallet, and then we're going to double-click it, and you can see that immediately it opens up in Grid view, and actually. Grid view is all we're going to need because we're going to click on the Tile tool and because we have smart objects on it'll detect where our anchor points are.
So we're going to pull this Tile tool in and snap it to there and that brings our artwork in on both sides because it was flat on the top and bottom. That's already alignment and that is easy as it was to create this pattern which we will go ahead and name regent for no good reason whatsoever and we will double click the background and if I go ahead and select this you can see how that pattern fill work.
So. One easy way to use it, that's one example. Let me show you another one and this is how you can create your artwork to align with the specific tile type and it'll make it a whole lot easier to work with. So, this is a specific design I created called garden walk and it's based off a hexagon shape. So you see how I've. Already created a hexagon shape, and this specific shape right here has no fill and no stroke, because in essence it's going to be a throw away shape that I get rid of.
I don't want that in my final pattern, so I'm going to select the tile, once again. I won't drag this to the swatches palette. We'll go ahead and go this route. Object > Pattern > Make, just to be different. And as the default for the grid, it's not working because it doesn't work well for a square type of arrangement. It's going to be ideal though for a Hex to Row, so we're going to click that. And we almost don't need to make any tweaks to this whatsoever.
If I zoom in, you can see how it's already picking up where the top of our artwork is because I have. This hidden throwaway shape selected here. So what we're going to do is, we're going to go ahead and toss that throwaway shape. We don't need it, and I'm going to turn off the Show Edge tile, so you can see what the final looks like. And so if you create your artwork to align, put that on Full 9 by 9 just to fill the background.
You can see how it's easy if you draw your artwork to align with an already preset tile type that's going to assist you in building your final tile design. So if we exit to the art board again and we go to an example of the pattern fill, you can see how that works out. So using the Pattern Tile tool and tile types can help you interlock your design elements and assist in constructing the flow of your repeat pattern.
When it comes to using tile types, there's no distinct right or wrong way to use them. The rule of thumb is, whatever looks good and that enables you to create the design you intended, that's going to suffice.
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