In this video, Mike reviews what you should know about managing brushes, symbols, graphic styles, and patterns for the Illustrator ACA exam. He demonstrates how to create, edit, and use brushes to apply formatting to vector paths. He shows how to create, apply, and modify smybols. He shows how to use an object as the basis for a graphic style, and how to redefine a style. And he demonstrates the use of patterns, including how to transform them.
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- [Voiceover] In this movie, we'll take a look at what you should know about managing brushes, symbols, graphic styles and patterns. Let's start with brushes. Brushes create formatting that you can apply to vector paths when you draw them with the paintbrush tool. And brushes are non-destructive, meaning that you can always apply a different brush to a path to change its look. So for example in the exercise file, if I wanna change the flower shape here on the $150 gift card, I can select it by taking the group selection tool and clicking twice on one of the pedals.
Then I can apply a stroke. I'll choose one of these dark colors. And set the line with, to two points. Then I can pick a brush. Maybe Catstongue. And I get a very different look. Or I can choose charcoal pencil. If I want to create a new brush I can do that from either the control panel or the brushes panel. In the dialogue box I can choose the brush type. Let's choose the simplest type which is a calligraphic brush.
And click OK. And here we can set things like the angle. I'll choose 90 degrees. Our roundness, I'll choose five percent. And a size of five points. And I'll just call it MyBrush. And click OK. And let's reselect our flower shape. And apply our new brush. We'll zoom in so we can see what it looks like. And the strokes get very thin where the path is vertical and they get thick where the path is horizontal.
If we decide we want the opposite look we can just double-click the brush to edit it. And we'll change the angle from 90 degrees to zero degrees. Click OK. Then say apply to strokes. And we can see the change. Of course we can also paint with our new brush with the paintbrush tool. And if you wanna remove all brush strokes, select a path and choose basic.
Don't forget that you have access to brush libraries in the panel too. Next, let's talk about symbols. Symbols give you a way to reuse graphics and link multiple graphics to a single source so you can update them all at once. I'll zoom out a little bit. And we could select the flower on the left of this 150 dollar gift card. And use it as the basis for our symbol. I'll go to the symbols panel.
Click new symbol. I'll just call it Flower. And leave the default settings and click OK. I'll deselect. And now I can use the symbol tools like the symbol sprayer to spray a bunch of instances of our new symbol on this card background. To do that, let's target the card path and in the tools panel choose the symbol sprayer. We can change the brush size by pressing on our keyboard the left or right bracket keys. Left makes it smaller.
Right makes it bigger. And then let's use the draw inside mode so all of our symbols are clipped inside the card shape. And then just click and drag to start spraying symbols. Note that these shapes are all just instances or references to the original symbol. And if I press cmd or ctrl y to go into outline mode. I can see that there are no paths where I sprayed all those flower shapes. I'll press cmd or ctrl y again to go back to regular viewing mode.
And now the cool thing is that we can change all these instances by changing the symbol. So I can double-click it in the panel. And I go into symbol editing mode. Let's click with the selection tool to select the flower. And we'll change its color. To something like this medium brown. And we can also resize it. I'll hold the shift key. To constrain and drag to make it smaller. When I'm done, I can go back to normal mode just by double-clicking.
And I can see all the symbol instances have updated. Let's also mention graphic styles since their part of this objective too. Graphic styles will allow you to save a combination of appearance attributes and apply them all with one click. For example, let's zoom out and create a new art board to give us some room to work. And just draw a new rectangle with the rectangle tool. Let's change some of its appearance, like adding a stroke of black.
And using a charcoal brush. And let's set the fill to a green color. And to make a graphic style based on this rectangles appearance I'll hold option or alt and click the new graphic style button in the graphics styles panel. I'll give it a name. I'll just call it MyStyle. And click OK. Now I can delete this rectangle cause I don't need it anymore. And I can apply the style anywhere I want. Like for example, to the $75 card shape.
Just click on the style to apply it. Note that I can still make local changes to the card, like changing the fill color from green to red. And I can even use this new look as the basis for updating my graphics style by selecting the object and going to the appearance panel, opening the menu and choosing redefine graphics style. Now if I look in the graphics style panel I'll see its been updated. And finally, there's one more topic we need to review in this movie and that's managing patterns.
If we delete the symbols that we sprayed into the $150 card by going to the layers panel, scrolling down. And finding the symbols set, selecting it, and clicking on the trash can. We can fill this card with a pattern. So we'll target the cards path. And make sure the fill is in front in the tools panel. And then we can click on a pattern swatch in the swatches panel to apply it.
Like Jive or Alyssa. I kinda like Jive so I'll put that one back in there. And we can load patterns by choosing them from the bottom of the swatches panel. There are lots of choices in here. I think I'll pick basic graphics lines. And click one of the darkest patterns. Notice it automatically gets added to my swatches panel. And if I need to edit a pattern I can choose it in the swatches panel like I'll choose Jive.
And then open the pattern options panel from the window menu. From the panel menu I'll choose edit pattern. And I go into pattern editing mode. And here I can modify the graphic that makes up the pattern so for example I can select one of the paths and change its fill color. I'll switch this to purple to give it a new look. Then I can click save a copy to create a new path. I'll just call this purple pattern.
Click OK. And I can cancel to leave the original pattern unaltered. So I have my original. And I have my purple pattern. If I wanna transform the look of a pattern inside the card shape, I can select the card shape inside the layers panel. And I can go to the transform panel. And from the panel menu, choose transform pattern only.
Then I can say change the pattern angle by highlighting the angle field. And using the up and down arrow keys on my keyboard to change the angle of the pattern. So in this movie we looked at several ways to format artwork in Illustrator with patterns, symbols, graphic styles and brushes. Spend some time practicing with each of these and be sure you're comfortable with the basics of each before you take the ACA exam.
- What is ACA certification?
- Developing a study plan
- Finding study resources
- Identifying project requirements
- Identifying design elements
- Understanding Illustrator
- Creating graphics with drawing, shape, and type tools
- Exporting and publishing graphics
- Registering for the ACA exam