Creating Trendy Abstract Patterns in Illustrator | Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand | Skillshare

Creating Trendy Abstract Patterns in Illustrator

Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand, Graphic Design & Photography

Creating Trendy Abstract Patterns in Illustrator

Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand, Graphic Design & Photography

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16 Lessons (42m)
    • 1. Introduction & Overview

    • 2. Approaches to Abstract Patterns

    • 3. File Setup

    • 4. Creating Pattern Elements: Line Segments

    • 5. Creating Pattern Elements: Zigzags

    • 6. Creating Pattern Elements: Wavy Lines

    • 7. Creating Pattern Elements: Squiggles

    • 8. Creating Pattern Elements: Organic Shapes

    • 9. Creating Pattern Elements: Geometric Shapes

    • 10. Customising Elements with Stroke Settings

    • 11. Arranging Elements

    • 12. Randomising Patterns

    • 13. Creating a Repeatable Pattern

    • 14. Colouring Patterns

    • 15. Saving Swatches & Exporting Patterns

    • 16. Final Thoughts & Conclusion

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About This Class


Using patterns is a great way to add excitement and playfulness to any design project! There are numerous different pattern styles, but one of the latest trends are these bold, quirky and striking in their simplicity Neo-Memphis style patterns. They have found their way into every creative field from graphic and interior design to fashion and pottery—nothing where a pattern can be applied has been spared from this trend!

I am Evgeniya Righini-Brand, and in this class I will be covering tools and techniques for creating eye-catching abstract patterns in Adobe Illustrator. As a graphic designer I love patterns and often use them in my projects.

Abstract patterns like this are extremely quick, fun and easy to create, and they don’t require any drawing skills. This class is suitable for anyone, and I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to create your own set of super cool abstract patterns, which you can then use any way you can think of!

I cannot wait to see your patterns, enrol now and let’s make something awesome!

In this class I'll cover:

  • approaches to designing abstract patterns;
  • using a range of tools to create pattern elements, including Pen, Pencil, Smooth, Blob Brush and Shape tools;
  • using Stroke settings to customise pattern elements;
  • arranging pattern elements and creating chaotic non-repatable and manually arranged repeatable seamless patterns;
  • colouring and recolouring techniques;
  • saving pattern swatches & exporting tiled artwork from Illustrator.

Abstract patterns you will create in this class can be used in a lot of different ways:

  • printed products (to print yourself or upload to platforms like Society6);
  • elements of visual identity systems;
  • wrapping paper, printed fabric or wallpaper (can be printed and sold through platforms like Spoonflower);
  • photo backdrops;
  • website backgrounds.

Research & Reference:

Abstract Patterns — our research & inspiration board on Pinterest

Trend Alert: 1980s Memphis Design — article about Neo-Memphis style on Creative Market

Memphis Group — a set of articles about the original movement on the Design Museum website

The return of Memphis — article about the return of the style on Dezeen

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Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand

Graphic Design & Photography

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Learn my favourite workflow tips & technical tricks for working smart and getting the most out of often overlooked and underused settings, tools and functionality in Adobe Illustrator so that you can create geometric designs faster, easier and with more precision — and ultimately spend less time on boring technical stuff and have more time for the creative play!

This class is designed for graphic designers, illustrators & pattern designers, who are into creating geometric or grid-based works in Adobe Illustrator, and if you’ve taken my class Mastering Illustrator Tools & Techniques for Creating Geometric Grid-Based Designs, this new class w... See full profile

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1. Introduction & Overview: Using patterns is a great way to add excitement and playfulness to any design project. You can make patterns in many different styles. In this class, I will be covering tools and techniques for creating eye-catching abstract patterns in Adobe Illustrator. These super trendy and striking and abstract patterns have found their way into every creative field from graphic and interior design to fashion and pottery. Nothing where a pattern can be applied has been spared from this trend. This is Righini from Attitude Creative, and as a graphic designer, I love patterns and often use them in my projects. Abstract patterns like this are extremely quick, fun, and easy to create, and they don't require any drawing skills. This class is suitable for anyone. I'll walk you through everything you need to know to create your own set of super cool abstract patterns, which you can then use any way you can think of. I cannot wait to seen your patterns. Enroll now, and let's make something awesome. 2. Approaches to Abstract Patterns: When making patterns out of abstract shapes, you can approach it in a few different ways depending on how much thinking you want to have behind you visual work. If you don't plan to communicate in a specific idea and just want to set a mood by using different shapes and colors, then you can just play around with elements and explore the arrangement, orientation, scale, and color. Alternatively, you can come up with ideas and decide what each of your shapes will represent. For example, here are a few patterns I have designed for a house party buffet. I wanted to make sure that the guests understood what each bargain pattern I made was. But I also wanted to make it a bit more exciting than just listing the ingredients. So very quickly, all of this came about, and I really love this abstract banana pattern. You can also tell a story by combining elements which otherwise seem to be quite abstract. But when they come together with sum other elements, the work title or some topography which is incorporated into the patent itself, the choice of abstract shapes becomes clear and they start to mean something specific. It is amazing how for multiplication, arrangement, and use of colors, simple abstract shapes start to have a meaning. For example, I developed this pattern for a client project, where along with the figurative icons, I've created a set of abstract looking piles of cooking ingredients. This worked really well with the style of the other icons, but made the pattern more playful and experimental by not overloading it with masses of figurative details. Also, you can communicate through creating a focal point in your pattern like here. Where just free of the elements are in a different color and a visibly spelled SOS. This creates a context for all other elements around, and in these colors, this pattern tells a story of a stormy night and sea, life rings and waves. Decide how you want to approach your patterns. Don't hesitate to checked out our abstract patterns inspiration board on Pinterest to get a broader picture of this so-called near Memphis style patterns, which we'll be exploring in this class. 3. File Setup: Let's set up a new document in Illustrator. Since we are working in vector, you can always scale everything up or down depending on what size of elements you want to have in your patterns. This is a decision which you can make later when you decide on how you want to apply your patterns. If you have the latest version of Illustrator, you'll have this New Document window instead of the usual one. Every setting is still here, it just looks different. Firstly, let's set up the Artboard size and the units. I'll be using pixels and set my Artboard to 1,000 by 1,000 pixels for now. But I can always change the size of the Artboards later. Artboards are generally used to create final work in the desired format. In Illustrator, you have a huge visible Pasteboard around your Artboards, which you can easily work on. Then just move your final designs to Artboards for export. Since my Artboard is square, I don't need to worry about its orientation. But if you wish to have a rectangular portrait or landscape Artboards instead, this is one of the places where you can set them up to be so. I'll be creating only one Artboard for now and create more from within the document when I need to. For now, we definitely don't need any Bleeds which are used as a run of area for print, so keep them to zero. Color Mode, you can set to either RGB or CMYK depending on the intended application. If you are designing for print choose CMYK and if you're making things for digital use, pick RGB. I'll be uploading my patterns to Society6. Even though they'll be printed, Society6 requires files to be in RGB, so this makes the choice easy. If you click on the More options button, you'll get the familiar new document window of legacy Illustrator versions. Hear we've got all the same options which we've just covered, except for Raster effects. Which are very important and determine at what resolution in your raster based effects, such as shadows, blur, glow, or grain used in new document would appear and render. Even though you might not use any effects, still set Raster Effects to 300 PPI just in case. Remember about the setting for your future projects. It makes a lot of difference to how things look. So we've done here, let's create a new document. When the document opens in Illustrator, it's a good idea to save it straightaway. Go to the File menu and select Save or press Command S or Control S if you're using Windows. Give your document a name, then choose the location where you want to save it. Make sure you're saving in Adobe Illustrator document format, which is the best choice for saving your work in progress. Click Save to save your document. Now we're ready to get on with the fun bit. 4. Creating Pattern Elements: Line Segments: Well, through searching and checking out our abstract patterns boarded on Pinterest, you probably got the flavor of what kind of patterns are super trendy at the moment. These are kind of flat and bold abstract geometric and organic patterns, which feature a lot of basic shapes, lines, zig-zags and squiggles, arranged in a chaotic manner, and colored in bright and pastel colors. So let's have a look at how we can make some cool graphic elements for our patterns. The first and the easiest pattern element is aligned segment. You can create it a few different ways. If you want to draw a precise line segment, you can use the pen tool. Draw a line segment by clicking in two different places. First, we'll create the beginning of the line, and second, we'll create the end. Holding down Shift while using the pen tool allows to create horizontal, vertical, all lines on 45-degree angles. If you carry on clicking, you will continue creating more line segments, which will be a continuation of the previous one. If you go all the way around the path to the starting point, you will seen the circle appearing next to the cursor, which means that if you click on that point, you will close the path. Closed paths are important when you want to create shapes which are filled with color or buttons. Vector pass and the Illustrator have both fill and stroke color, which you can set it using the color picker on the tools panel here. I'll be setting my stroke color to black for now, and we'll look at using colors later in more detail. When drawing line segments, or any open paths which have a beginning and an end, as opposed to closed paths which have a continuous outline like I've just drawn here, you need to make sure you have a stroke color set to any color you want, and you have no color for the fill. You can set the color to none by clicking here. You can apply a fill color to an open path, but it's a sloppy practice. If you want to draw an individual line segments not connected to anything else, after you have created the endpoint, click elsewhere on the baseboard with the mouse whilst holding down the command quay or control key, if you're using Windows. If you want to manually draw a lot of line segments scattered around, you can use the line segment tool, and draw away. Make sure that all snap options are disabled so that you are not restricted by anything when you draw. Drawing with line segment allows you to draw exactly what you want. So if you are inter controlled case, this is an easy way to do that, and if you want to create a scattered pattern by allowing Illustrator to generate for you instead, we'll be looking at this technique a bit later. 5. Creating Pattern Elements: Zigzags: To create a zigzag, you can use the pen tool, and start by creating a number of segments in a straight line and having equal distances between your anchor points. To make this easy, you can go to the "View" menu again, select "Show Grid" and select "Snap To Grid". It doesn't really matter how the grid is set up. We just need to use it to count squares and place points with equal steps, like I'm doing now. When you have finished creating the number of segments, pick the direct selection tool on the "Tools" panel, and shift click on every other point on your path to get them selected. In comparison to Selection Tool, which selects objects or their groups, Direct selection tool allows you to select individual points or path segments to refine shapes. With this point selected, now drag them vertically up or down, any number of squares. If you want to make a write angle zigzag, then make sure your zigzag lines go on a diagonal through all the squares. When finished, click "Command Shift A" or "Control shift A" in Windows to deselect your path. If you're not too worried about precision, you can also draw a line segment and then generate zigzags using the "Zigzag Effect" located in the "Effects" menu in the "Distort and Transform" section. Click "Preview" to seen the effect and play around with its settings. When you're done, click "Okay", and then make sure to go to the Object menu and click "Expand Appearance". This way the effect will be applied to the path. You can now manually edit anchor points if you need to. Zigzags are quite cool and allow you plenty of room for experimentation. Simply copy your existing zigzag line using the selection tool and holding down the Alt key whilst dragging, and play around with different angles, the number of ridges and sizes. 6. Creating Pattern Elements: Wavy Lines: Based on zigzags, we can very easily create wavy lines. To do that, select all the points of your zigzag using the direct selection tool. You will see the circles appearing next to each of the selected corners. These are live corner widgets which allow you to create rounded corners by dragging the widgets away from the corners. If you have multiple corners selected, you only need to move one of them to change all the same way. Alternatively, you can select individual corners and adjust them separately or adjust every other corner to get this effect. If you create a wavy line like that, you can delete these two end points to finalize how your wave looks. You can also adjust the roundness of the live corners anytime you want. Live corners are only available in the creative Cloud versions of Illustrator. Alternative click ''Option'' which will work in older versions as well as in the creative Cloud version is a smooth zigzag effect. Draw and select ''Align segment'' and then go to the Effect menu and again choose zigzag. In the settings window, tick the smooth option and play around with other settings to create some really cool waves. The same as before, click ''Ok'' to apply the effect and then expand appearance. There's plenty of room for experimentation so play around with it and use different types of zigzags to start with. 7. Creating Pattern Elements: Squiggles: Squiggles are really cool and organic looking elements which create a really nice character. As with everything in Illustrator, there are plenty of ways to create squiggly lines. Let's have a look at a couple of them. Select the pencil tool and make sure you've got stroke color and no fill color applied and then start drawing random things. Every new path will be separate and not connected to the previous one. After you've drawn your squiggles, you can simplify them and make them look smoother using the smooth tool which can be found under the same menu as the pencil tool. To use it, select the path using the selection tool and then pick the smooth tool and draw over the areas on the path which you want to make smoother. Using the smooth tool, you can also adjust the shape of your squiggles quite a bit, so experiment with it. If you press ''Enter'' whilst having your smooth tool selected, you can change its settings. I normally put the fidelity setting to the maximum smoothness here because I want my squiggles to be as smooth and as simple as possible. Another cool way of drawing squiggles is by using the blob brush tool. Unlike the pencil tool which works with the stroke, the blob brush tool draws filled paths instead. Select it on the tools panel and then press ''Enter'' to set it up. I prefer using maximum smoothness, keeping it round and not angled. The size can be anything depending on what you're working on. Apply settings and draw some squiggles. Again, if needed, you can work on the shape further using the smooth tool. In both cases, you can further refine your squiggles using the direct selection tool and moving points and adjusting curves if you need to. If you do so, make sure to have all snap options off to be free to move points anywhere you want. 8. Creating Pattern Elements: Organic Shapes: Using the Pencil Tool, you can also create a closed path by drawing a closed outline like that, which looks free-form and are organic. Again, as with the squiggles, you can smooth the top using the Smooth Tool and get sum really nice shapes out of it. Another way of creating a quick organic shape is by using the Blob Brush Tool. In this case, you'll probably need to set its size to something relatively large and then draw a blob. You can also refine it afterwards using the Smooth Tool to make it neater. Since both ways of creating organic shapes I've just demonstrated create closed paths, you can keep them either filled or outlined, depending on how you want to use them. If you're going to fill them with the color, consider what size these elements will be in comparison to the linear ones because filled objects always appear heavier and draw attention to themselves. So keep it in mind in future when arranging your patterns. 9. Creating Pattern Elements: Geometric Shapes: Other common elements of near Memphis patterns are basic geometric shapes, which you can create easily using shape tools. To draw a circle, use the ellipse tool, and then hold down the Shift key whilst drawing. If you don't hold down Shift, you'll create an ellipse instead. You can solve between having a circle with a stroke to the circle with the film depending on the look you're going for. You can also dissect a circle in the segments by deleting points using the direct selection tool. You can create a free quarter circle, a semi-circle, or a quarter circle using the points which are already there. Or you can add more points to the path using the pen tool and cut as much or as little as you want. You can also join segments together, pull the endpoints of each other, select them with the direct selection tool, and click on this button on the top panel here, which will connect the endpoints. Keep in mind that to make this button work, you should have only two endpoints selected. With the rectangle tool, you can draw squares and rectangles. You can also make a diamond shape out of a square, may move in two opposite corners in or out using the direct selection tool, like this. Polygonal tool allows to create any polygonal shape including triangles. To change the number of polygons, press arrow keys up or down whilst holding the mouse button down. These are the basics of creating different structural elements for the patterns. Play around and seen what you can create. Now, let's have a look at how we can make them look cool. 10. Customising Elements with Stroke Settings: The magic starts happening when you start playing around with the stroke settings for your paths. Okay, Stroke Panel. It can be opened for the Window Menu. On this panel you'll have a few options which can make your lines look very different. If you cannot see all of this, click on this button in the top right-hand corner of the setting panel and click "Show Options." The first section here is stroke weight. Select any path you want to adjust using the selection tool. As usual, you can select just one path or multiple paths by shift clicking, or by selecting them like this, holding down the mouse button. When you start changing the stroke weight, you'll seen how your thin lines come to life. The next super important and useful setting is the Cap Style. Here we've got three options. The first one is a Butt Cap, meaning that the stroke will end where the end anchor points are. The second setting is a round cap, which is something that can totally transform the appearance of your lines and make them look smooth, or when the proportions are right, pill like. The last option here is a Projecting Cap, which means a straw go around the end point of the path. All of these can be extremely useful in different situations, and I personally love round caps. You can also set up the appearance of the corners. Let's select one of the zigzags, to see how it works. The first option hear is a meta join, which is a standard angled corner. The second one is a round join, which I love using it because it makes everything look smooth and less aggressive, especially together with a round cap. The last option here is a bevel join, which curves the corner like this. The next setting is Stroke Alignment, which only has options for closed paths. It allows to align stroke to the center of the path which is tendered and that's how it is applied to open paths. The other two options allow to align stroke to the inside or the outside of the closed paths respectively. Then we have an option to create a dashed line, which can also come in handy. Here you can set up the length of the dash and the length of the gap, and also have some variation if you need to by imputing other values here. If you use a round cap and set dash length to zero, it will create circles. If you have a projecting cap, you'll get squares. We also have a few more settings on this panel, but they really have nothing to do with the style of the patterns which we are going to create. If you have a Creative Cloud version of Illustrator, you might consider putting individual elements into the Lavery for easy access and to use in other applications. Let's move on to arranging elements in the buttons. 11. Arranging Elements: You can arrange elements in their pattern a number of different ways. You can also have both repeatable and non-repeatable patterns. We'll start by creating patterns which cover the whole size of our artboards, but later, we'll also have a look at adjusting our patterns to become repeatable patterns swatches. When working with a lot of elements like here, it's important to stay organize so that you can easily navigate through your document. Make sure you keep track on what you are doing by having the layers panel easily available. To add layers panel to your workspace. Go to the Window menu and select Layers. If you're familiar with Photoshop, layers in Illustrator behave slightly differently. Inside each layer, you can have a number of separate elements, like vector paths or place thruster images. So far we've worked on one layer. You can see all the elements are just drawn here. Let's name this layer elements so we know what we've got in it. Let's create a new layer. This will be used for the first pattern where you going to make, and every new pattern is also going to be on a separate layer. You can name your pattern in layers differently so that you can easily understand what the layers contain. Now, let's copy and paste the elements which we want to use in our first pattern. You can create patterns made from the same element, or you can mix different elements together, it's up to you. I've got this elements which I want to combine in one pattern. Select those elements using the Selection tool on the Pasteboard, and then copy them by pressing command C or Control C in Windows then make sure you have your second layer selected on the Layers panel, and press Command V or Control V in Windows to paste you selected elements. Now you can learn at the elements layer so that you don't start mixing elements from different layers by mistake. Before starting to duplicate the elements and creating a pattern out of them, it's a good idea to quickly decide how many colors you want to have in your patterns. Here, you just need to think about the number of colors, and not what exact colors to use. Let's say I want to have these elements in different colors. For now, I'll just assign different colors to them, and they'll work on developing the color scheme at a later stage. I want to start with arranging my elements evenly and then let Illustrator randomize them for me, and I also need a new artboard for my pattern. I am going to create it using the Artboard tool which can be found hear on the Tools panel. I will just draw my artboard here, and then manually type in the size I want it to be. I want to use this pattern specifically for Society 6, Throw Pillow and their required size is 3500 by 3500 pixels. This is the size I'll be using. Firstly, I'll arrange all these elements in one line like this. When I'm happy with arrangement, I will select all of them using the Selection tool, and then drag them sideways whilst holding down Shift and Alt keys. Shift, move them in a straight line and Alt copies of them. Then I need to go to the Menu Object, Transform, select Transform Again. This repeat the last step and will allow me to create as many copies as I need by going to the same menu or by pressing Command D or Control D in Windows as many times as I need to cover my whole artboard like this. Now, I need to quickly finalize the alignment of my elements and gaps between them. For this, I'll need the Align panel. If you cannot see this panel in your workspace, go to the Window menu and select Align. Firstly, you always need to double checked what you're aligning your objects to. There're three choices, we'll use the artboard as an overall reference for the center, left, right, top, and bottom. Align into Selection, which we're going to use, uses the center and extreme points of the objects within the selection to align everything too. Align into a key object which you can specify by clicking on one of the objects in the selection aligns everything around it. Actual functions are quite self-explanatory. Align Objects allows you to align your objects horizontally and vertically to each other center or sides. Distributed Objects allows you to evenly distribute center or sighed points of the object. Distribute Spacing allows you to create even gaps between objects regardless of there size. This is what I will use now. When you have finalized your first row use transform, again function to cover all your artboard vertically like this. When you are working on a pattern like this, you might also want to upset some of the lines. For this, I have extra columns outside of the artboard so that I can delete elements from the rows and adjust the alignment accordingly. Then copy this rows together and use Transform Again to copy all of them. Then quickly adjust the gaps between the lines using the Distribute Spacing function. Here is my structured button. Play around with different types of elements and seen what you can create. Near Memphis designs quite often feature evenly space dots, buttons made out of straight lines and grids. This is a good place to start to get used to all of the tools. Then you can easily play around with the other shapes you've created before. Make sure to put your different patterns on separate layers, and consider grouping all elements of each pattern to make it easier to deal with later. Next, we'll be looking at bringing case into our patterns. 12. Randomising Patterns: To bring some playful randomness and chaos into our patterns, we need to consider varying size, rotation, and position of each element. You can do it all manually if you want, but it's faster and less controlled to start off by using the transform each function. Well, let's duplicate this pattern together with its artboard. For this, we'll be using the artboard tool. Make sure that this option is selected to be able to copy the contents together with the artboard and drag the artboard sideways holding down the Alt key. This way, we can keep both patterns. Now, select all the elements of the pattern you want to use. If you followed my advice from before, they all should be in one group. Now put them on a new layer and ungroup them there. When all is good, ungrouped and selected, go to the Object menu and select Transform Each. In this dialogue box, input your desired settings. Tick Preview to see the effect of the changes you've made. Make sure to tick Random to randomize the effect, and tick Transform Objects. If you want to scale stroke, effects and corners, you can tick them too but I personally prefer to keep them as they are because uniform stroke weight makes these patterns look bold and not fussy. Play around with the scale, move and rotate settings until you like what you seen, and click Okay when ready. You would probably want to move, resize and rotate a few things manually after the effect is applied to make everything look nicer. To do that, just use the selection tool, show bounding boxes if they're hidden, and then move, scale or rotate your elements as you please. To scale elements up or down, put your mouse in the corner of the bounding box so this arrow appears and then drag the corner whilst holding down the Shift key to constrain proportions. If you also hold the Alt key at the same time, this will allow you to scale the object in place in relation to its center point. To rotate an object, place your mouse just outside of the bounding box so these arrows appear and rotate it this way. Holding down the Shift key will rotate it in increments of 45 degrees. Adjust whatever you need and move on to the next button. 13. Creating a Repeatable Pattern: Now, we've got the number of patterns spanning the size of the artboards. It's totally fine to have non-regular and non-repeatable patterns if you have a specific use for them in mind, like I'm planning to upload them in there full size on society six. Having non-repeatable patterns also allows you to integrate something special into your patterns some focal point or a message like I've got here. But still quite often you need two have a repeatable pattern instead which can cover any format. The first thing to consider when creating repeatable seamless pattern is the size of the individual tile. You really need to base it on the scale of the elements you want to incorporate and how many different things you want to have in your pattern and, of course, take into account your intended use. In most cases, tile size is not restrictive unless you're planning to print something which has to be tiled and merged together manually for example wallpaper or printed tiles, so keep it in mind when putting together your pattern. To create a pattern tile which can be seamlessly repeated, there is a pretty straightforward technique and the once you must read, you'll be able to tackle any patterns. This is what I'll be showing you. But if you want to experiment with the Pattern Tool and the Pattern Options, you can play around with them to. Let's say that based on the size and the variety of our elements, we want to create a tile of 500 by 500 pixels. I'm going to set up a separate artboard for this tile using the Artboard Tool. Now, I'll copy all the elements I want to use in my pattern and paste them onto a new layer. Now I need to start arranging them. To make a seamless pattern, firstly, you have to arrange your elements starting from the center in a diamond shape, But make sure not to touch any edges. You need to have all the corners empty at this point. Since at this point we have a full manual control over the arrangement, pay attention to the scale, spacing, balance, composition and flow of your pattern elements so that you don't have any odd gaps or unintended focal points in it. Scale and rotate your elements where necessary. When you are done with the diamond, select and group all the elements together and copy all of them somewhere away from the artboard to use as spare parts. Then make another three copies of the group on the artboard, keeping it exactly in the same place. You can do it by pressing Command C or Control C in Windows, followed up by Command F or Control F in Windows to place what you have copied in front of the original. Then draw a rectangle which is exactly a quarter size of the intended tile. Then copy this rectangle three times so that you have four rectangles. Now, using the Align Tool, set the Alignment to Artboard and align each of the rectangles to four different corners. Now, selecting one rectangle and one pattern diamond group at a time, apply a clipping mask by right-clicking on your selection and picking Make Clipping Mask. Then repeat it with the remaining three pairs of the rectangles and pattern groups. By doing this, we're cutting our pattern along its future edges which will make it repeatable when we move those groups around. Think about your four separate masked areas as A, B, C, and D. A is on the top left, B, top right, C, bottom left, and D, bottom right. You can rename your mask groups on the last panel to make them easier to select. Select mask area A, and on the Align panel, align it to the bottom right of the artboard, which will put it into position of the mask D. Now select mask D and align it to the top left, this will swap A and D around. Now, swap around areas B and C, putting B into the bottom left corner and C in the top right. When you're finished, you should have your pattern elements arranged touching the edges of the artboard with an empty space in the middle. Now, it's a good idea to preserve this original masks in case you need to revisit them. For the next step, I'll be copying my artboard and its contents using the Artboard Tool. Now, group and log this four masks so you don't move or modify them by mistake. You can also rename this group so you can easily find it. Now, we'll be working with a second copy. The first thing we'll do is get rid of all the contents which are hidden by the masks at the moment. To do that, first of all, we'll need to select contents of all masks and convert all the strokes into outlines by going to the menu, Object, Path, and select Outline Stroke. With all of them being selected, now go to the Pathfinder panel which can bee opened for the menu Window, Pathfinder and click on the Trim button here. Now, all the elements are cut and there is nothing hidden. Log this group for now so you won't accidentally move its elements. Now, fill the space in the middle with spare pattern elements. When you have finished arranging everything, create outlines out of all the elements in the middle. If you want to have a background for your pattern, simply create a rectangle of exactly the same size as the artboard. Assign a color, align it to it, and send it to back. Then, unlock your group with the edge elements. Then select the whole pattern and group it together. Now, you can also rename this group. Having this group selected, simply drag it into the Swatches panel and it will create a swatch pattern out of it. Since I have arranged everything by hand, everything will work and match as it should in any version of Illustrator or any other software for that matter. You can test your pattern by filling in a rectangle with the pattern swatch. That's how you make your repeatable patterns in a full proof manual style. Experiment with making repeatable patterns from other elements you have created ND When you're done, the next exciting step is finalizing the course. 14. Colouring Patterns: Colors make a huge difference to the weigh everything is perceived. I strongly recommend doing sum research, looking around for the color combinations which inspire you, and make a moodboards out of them. You can also easily gauge what colors are commonly used in the style from our abstract patterns inspiration boarded on Pinterest, or from your own research. When you have collected some inspiring colors and images, you'll need to create color groups out of them. The easiest way to do that in Illustrator is by placing your reference images in, and grabbing the range of colors with a color picker, and then assigning them to the squares like that to seen how the colors work together. When it have the basic color samples, you can twist the colors a little bit using the color panel. I like using HSB mode because I found it [inaudible] , saturation, and brightness of colors more straightforward than mixing them using the RGB or CMYK color channels. When you have it with a set of colors, select all of the squares with the selection tool. On the sources panel, click on the new color group button. Choose Create from selected artwork. If you've got illustrated version which supports a global colors, tick that. Name your group, and click OK. Now you can see your group on the swatches panel. Create as many groups as you want to try out and make sure that you have enough colors in each of your color groups to color all the colors in your pattern. Now, make a copy of the pattern you want to recover. Having a new pattern selected, go to menu edit, edit colors, and choose recolor artwork. If you are in an assigned mode, you can simply click on the other color groups here and see how new colors are applied to your pattern. Make sure to tick recolor art to see the changes. Here you can see which old color was replaced by which new one, and you can also swap them around by dragging. If you don't have enough colors in your color group to recall your pattern, you can either use 10s of the same color or you can use the same color for a few different old colors. You can drag old colors around like that to put them in pairs, and then pick the way of interpreting the difference hear. If you click on Edit, you can make further adjustments to your colors by playing around with the settings here. But using the color wheel is a separate story and I'm not going two get into that now. Just experiment with it yourself if you want to. I'll stick to assign them a permit color groups instead. When ready, click "Okay", and you can see your pattern recolored. Now, you can save this pattern as a new swatch, and then carry on building more color variance. If you have used global colors in your color groups and apply them as they are to the patterns. Now, if you choose to modify any of the global colors, this color will change in all the artworks has been applied to, even if they are hidden. It is great when you need to make a global change of colors across a collection of patterns. But if you don't want to affect other colors, you might need to go to recolor artwork again and adjust the color there. So it won't be a global color any longer.ton 15. Saving Swatches & Exporting Patterns: To save your pattern swatches, go to the "Swatches" panel and remove anything you don't want to be in your pattern swatch library, just keep the patterns and maybe colors. Then go to the menu in the top right-hand corner of the swatches panel and select "Save Swatch Library as AI". You cannot use swatch libraries which contain patterns in other Apps rather than Illustrator, so there is no need to worry about saving an interchangeable ASE library which only works for colors. You can save your swatches inside of the Illustrator's swatch library, but it is also a good idea to store them elsewhere for safekeeping. When you need to use your patterns again in Illustrator, just load the library you need to use from the same menu in the swatches panel. If you have an Illustrator Creative Cloud version, you can easily add your patterns as graphics into your library, which you can load in other Apps. You'll need to define patterns out of those pattern tiles when you use them in other Apps separately, but it's very handy to have them in a library like that. If you are tiling your work using the pattern swatch in Illustrator, you might seen these lines on the seams at certain zoom levels. This is a pretty annoying thing in Illustrator and is caused by anti-aliasing and settings and the view mode. If you need to export your work in any [inaudible] format, go to menu "File", "Export", "Export As", pick the desired format, specify "Artboard" and click "Export". In the next "Options" window, make sure to select, "Art Optimized" anti-aliasing to avoid having these lines in your exported files. You can quickly check it out by opening your exported file in Photoshop. This is a little trick which you really need to remember when making patterns like that in Illustrator. 16. Final Thoughts & Conclusion: So I hope you'll be having fun making a lot of cool patterns. These patterns would make awesome wrapping paper, and it will look great on different products. I've got some of my partners in our Society6 store, available as a lot of different cool things. Don't hesitate to upload your patterns to Society6 too, and share a link to your store. You can also get your patterns printed on fabric or wallpaper, either for yourself, or to sell on demand online. If you love making patterns and want to experiment with other styles and techniques, don't hesitate to check out our other patterns classes. If you want to learn more about using and mixing patterns in your work, stay tuned for my next class, in which I will be covering a range of approaches to designing and illustrating those patterns, as well as a few more technical tricks, which will help you master patterns in Illustrator. So that's it for this class. I hope you have enjoyed it, and learned something new. If you like this class, please leave a review so more people could discover it. If you have any questions, please leave a comment on the community board for this class, and I will help to answer it and provide feedback. I cannot wait to see your patterns, and hear about your experience. Make sure to post your work in the project section for this class. If you agree to share your work on Instagram, please tag attitude skills, so that we can see there too. Also, be sure to check out and follow our page on Facebook to seen what we're up to, get all the latest updates, send this private messages if you need to get in touch about something, and not to miss if you're featured in our students open gallery. Thank you for enrolling in this class, and I hope to see you in our other classes.