Mastering Illustrator Tools & Techniques for Creating Geometric Grid-Based Designs | Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand | Skillshare

Mastering Illustrator Tools & Techniques for Creating Geometric Grid-Based Designs

Evgeniya & Dominic Righini-Brand, Graphic Design & Photography

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38 Lessons (4h 11m)
    • 1. Introduction & Class Overview

      4:03
    • 2. Your Class Project & Contest

      2:44
    • 3. Understanding Geometric Grids

      4:41
    • 4. Illustrator Document Setup

      5:08
    • 5. Illustrator Preferences, Workspace & View Settings

      8:21
    • 6. Creating Standard Grids: Introduction

      2:01
    • 7. Creating Regular Rectangular & Square Grids

      6:18
    • 8. Creating Irregular Rectangular Grids

      5:47
    • 9. Creating Regular & Irregular Polar Grids

      11:14
    • 10. Creating Isometric & Hexagonal Grids

      9:39
    • 11. Combining Standard Grids

      11:38
    • 12. Creating Custom Grids: Design Considerations

      8:40
    • 13. Adding Custom Linear Elements to Your Grids

      8:05
    • 14. Tips & Tricks for Creating Geometric Shapes for Your Grids

      8:18
    • 15. Modifying Shapes Using the Live Shape Properties

      4:01
    • 16. Creating Custom Shapes Using Pathfinder

      3:34
    • 17. Composing Grid Elements with the Transform Tools

      6:19
    • 18. Repeating & Transforming Grid Elements with the Blend Tool

      9:23
    • 19. Design Considerations & Approaches to Creating Grid-Based Designs

      7:34
    • 20. Preparing Your Grids for Creating Shape-Based Designs

      4:01
    • 21. Developing Shape-Based Designs Using the Live Paint Bucket Tool

      4:23
    • 22. Combining Grid Modules into Larger Shapes

      7:09
    • 23. Creating Shape-Based Designs Using the Shape Builder Tool

      6:21
    • 24. Tips & Tricks for Creating Linear Designs

      12:18
    • 25. Tips & Techniques for Colouring Your Designs

      10:36
    • 26. Styling Geometric Designs: Introduction

      1:24
    • 27. Styling Your Designs Using Strokes

      6:08
    • 28. Creating Gaps Between Shapes by Offsetting Paths

      5:01
    • 29. Customising Your Designs Using Live Corners

      4:06
    • 30. Texturing Your Designs Using Patterns

      8:30
    • 31. Styling Your Designs Using Repeating Linear Elements

      14:17
    • 32. Developing Your Designs Using Gradients

      8:56
    • 33. Troubleshooting & Preparing Your Work for Output

      4:35
    • 34. Tips & Ideas for Tiling Geometric Designs

      4:03
    • 35. Saving Your Work for Web & Print

      5:22
    • 36. Final Thoughts & Conclusion

      4:21
    • 37. Bonus: Making of Geometric Design with Blends & Gradients

      7:00
    • 38. Bonus: Making of Geometric Grid Based Letterform

      4:46
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About This Class

Level up your Illustrator skills & unleash your creativity by taming & mastering a range of tools & techniques for creating precise, eye-catching & unique geometric designs in Adobe Illustrator with our special tips & workflows ranging from beginner to advanced levels.

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It is fascinating how many completely different things you can create by only using geometric elements as a basis for your design! Working with geometric shapes and creating precise, coherent and original work can seem like a complex and laborious process, but it does not have to be! Versatile tools available in Adobe Illustrator make the creation of even more elaborate geometric designs relatively quick and painless, and with this class I invite you to tame and master a range of Illustrator tools & techniques so you can easily work with precision, speed up your workflow and unleash your creativity by focusing on the most fun and important part of the creative process which is experimenting with different compositions and developing your visual ideas!

I am Jenya from Attitude Creative, and as a graphic designer I am naturally drawn to the innate perfection of geometric shapes. In this class I will share with you my special tips, tricks & workflows for creating bold, eye-catching & unique geometric designs in Adobe Illustrator and my favourite game-changing approach to developing and using custom geometric grids as a creative instrument and structural basis for your designs. Apart from showing you how to take full advantage of Adobe Illustrator's tools and techniques, I will also share with you how to methodically develop and tackle creating geometric designs one step at a time, and highlight design principles and considerations to help you make conscious design decisions and push the boundaries of your creativity.

Whether you are into creating elaborate geometric designs, or something minimalistic, or something in-between, this class will provide you with a framework which you can use to create:

  • surface patterns;
  • print designs,
  • illustrations & graphic art;
  • digital lettering & custom typefaces;
  • packaging designs;
  • logos & icons;
  • infographics.

This class is suitable for anyone who is interested in creating geometric designs, and I will walk you through everything you need to know to create precise and exciting geometric grid-based designs in Adobe Illustrator. Whether you want to create your very first geometric design in Illustrator or take your geometric designs and Illustrator skills to a next level and unlock your creative potential by exploring new creative techniques, this is a class for you!

In this class you will learn:

  • How to take advantage of document settings and Illustrator preferences to have a smooth workflow and work with precision;
  • How to easily create a range of standard but versatile geometric grids and how to get the most out of a range of Illustrator tools when devising custom grids;
  • How to use your grids to develop both shape-based and linear designs;
  • How to add more personality to your geometric designs by styling them in a number of different ways;
  • And how to finalise your designs and prepare them for output.

To make sure your get the most out of this class I have provided a number of downloadable resources which you can find in the Projects & Resources tab and additional tips available as notes to the videos throughout the class, as well as a detailed table of contents to make it easier for you to navigate through the class!

I cannot wait to see what you create!

Research & Inspiration:

 

C O N T E S T

To celebrate the launch of this class we are running a special contest in which you can win 1 Year of Skillshare Premium Membership!

To participate:

  • Post your project in this class before 12 pm EST on Monday, 23 September 2019;
  • Leave a review for this class;
  • Follow us on Skillshare.

Cannot wait to see your submissions! Good luck!

 

Transcripts

1. Introduction & Class Overview: It's fascinating, how many completely different things you can create by only using geometric elements as a basis for your design. Working with geometric shapes and creating precise, coherent, and original work can seem like a complex and laborious process, but it doesn't have to be. Versatile tools available in Adobe Illustrator make the creation of even more elaborate geometric designs relatively quick and painless. In this class, I will like you to tame and master a range of illustrator tools and techniques so you can easily work with precision, speed up your workflow, and unleash your creativity by focusing on the most fun and important part of the creative process, which is experimented with different compositions and developing your usual ideas. I'm Evgeniya from Attitude Creative, and in this class, I will share with you my special tips, tricks and the workflows for creating bold a catchy and unique geometric designs in Adobe Illustrator. In my favorite game-changing approach to develop an end-user costume geometric grid, as a creative instrument and structural basis for your design. Apart from showing you how to take full advantage of the Illustrator tools and techniques, I will also share with you, how to methodically develop and tackle creating geometric designs one step at a time. Highlight design principles and considerations to help you make conscious design decisions and push the boundaries of your creativity. Whether you're integrating elaborate geometric designs or something minimalistic or something in-between. This class will provide you with a framework which you can use to create surface patterns and print designs, illustrations and graphic art, digital electron and custom typefaces, packaging designs, logos, icons, and infographics. This class is suitable for anyone who is interested in creating geometric designs. I will walk you through everything you need to know to create precise and exciting geometric-based designed in Adobe Illustrator. Whether you want to create your very first geometric design in Illustrator or take your geometric designs in Illustrator skills to the next level and unlock your creative potential by exploring new creative techniques, this is the class for you. In this class, you will learn how to take advantage of documents settings and illustrate the preferences to have a smooth workflow and work with precision. How to easily create a range of standard but versatile geometric grids and how to get the most out of a range of Illustrator tools when devising custom grids. How to use your grid to develop both shape-based and linear design, how to add more personality to your geometric designs by styling them in a number of different ways, and how to finalize your designs and prepare them for output. To make sure you get the most out of this class, I have provided a number of downloadable resources and additional tips available as notes to the videos for the class as well as a detailed table of contents to make it easier for you to navigate for the class. I cannot wait to share with you my favorite tips, tricks and techniques and to see how you use them in your work. Join me in this class, and let's make some awesome geometric grid-based designs. 2. Your Class Project & Contest: To celebrate the launch of this class and all the fantastic work you create, we will be running a special contests where you can win one year of Skillshare premium membership. To participate, create a project in this class, leave a class review and follow us here on Skillshare before noon, Eastern Standard Time on Monday, 23rd of September, 2019. For your first project, you can either create some new work from scratch and experiment. Along the way we're going to work on something that you already have in mind or you can rework, perfect, and develop your pre-existing design. But if you want to have more fun, push yourself creatively, practice more techniques, and develop your visual style. I would recommend experimenting and creating something completely new from scratch. Either way, start by watching the class to familiarize yourself with all the tools, techniques, and the workflows so you'll know all the creative possibilities and options you have at your disposal. Then stage by stage starts creating your design. Don't hesitate to download and keep handy the table of contents so you can know which techniques you definitely want to try out. So it is easier for you to find exactly what you're looking for or to revisit some parts later. Don't hold back on creating your project and start sharing your work as soon as you have something to share. It doesn't need to be completely finished work. With this class, I encourage you to work [inaudible] and share what you create during each stage of development so I can provide feedback and help you develop along the way. Apart from sharing images in your project, consider including some texts as it is always super exciting to read about your process and it makes it easier to provide specific feedback. For a detailed project description and all class resources, please visit the project tab for this class. For the first six weeks of this class, we will be also sharing the weekly prompts to help you develop your work and keep on track with your project and create the most amazing Quanta submissions. And you can jump in and participate at any time during this six weeks. I cannot wait to see what you create, so let's get on with the class. 3. Understanding Geometric Grids: Geometric shapes and grids are the basis for a diverse range of graphic works. They have been used by artists and designers from different periods and styles to create everything from patterns, sport graphics and illustrations, to typefaces, logos, and pictograms, and of course layout but it is a slightly different story. Technically and compositionally, grids are used to bring structure in creating consistent visual systems or all elements within a design or across a number of designs by unified by the underlying structure while still maintaining some variation. This makes grids extremely useful for creating cohesive dynamic systems which require variation of some elements.For example, alternative versions of [inaudible] types for establishing visual language for identity systems or for creating series of works. Of course, grids allow to simplify and to create geometrically perfect graphics and upward-sloping shapes or arrangements when precision and consistency is what you're after. In this class, we will be developing and using grids both as a structural aid and as a creative instrument which provides a framework for experimentation, which for me is the most exciting thing about the grids. Whether you are creating and using a standard grid, we'll developing a custom one and we'll do it all in this class. Any grid will give you a number of options to explore. It is all about experimenting and learning to see different compositions within the grids. Developing custom grids is a great way to experiment and unleash your creativity. There is a lot of freedom in this process because you can make and remake grids very quickly and easily. Worth concentrating only on the bones of your design without jumping ahead to finalize the compositions, choosing colors or anything else. The working was just the structure and keeping all other options open for the next stages is a great way to focus on the task at hand. Grids do not impose the style. So after you have developed a grid, you can take it in any direction you want. Even one very simple grid can be used to create a lot of very different designs. It is up to you how you will create compositions within your grids, and how you will develop and style your compositions filler to make them equally yours. Whiles taking this class, you can develop completely new works from scratch and explore different options and see where it takes you. Or you can work towards creating something which you already have in mind or even work on creating new iterations or perfecting your previous designs. Using the tools and techniques covered in this class, you can create any kind of geometric grid-based designs you want which stylistically, can be based on shapes, or lines, or combination of both. In terms of outcomes, you can consider creating patterns, logos, icons, type designs, illustrations, abstract artwork, decorative frames and even fancy info-graphics, [inaudible] film or game user interfaces. So think about what you want to create and check out my geometric designs and patterns Research Board on Pinterest for inspiration. Different kinds of designs require different types of grids. So whiles I'll be going through different grids, tools and techniques so you can try them all while experimenting. If you have a specific outcome in mind, pick and use all of them, which will help you achieve the desired result. I will be covering design considerations in more detail, throughout the class. So now, let's move on to the first technical part in which I will share with you how to set up your document and Illustrator preferences to have a smooth workflow and work with precision when creating geometric grid-based designs. 4. Illustrator Document Setup: Adobe Illustrator has a lot of different document settings and preferences. Setting everything up correctly for what you're planning to work with is very important in order to have a smooth workflow with predictable and precise results. There is no one universal setup which is perfect for every project. In this class, I will share my favorite setup for working with grid-based designs. To make it easier to follow all of the techniques and to get illustrator behave the way they are supposed to, make sure you set your illustrator preferences, document, and new settings the same way. Let's start with setting up a new document. Regardless of how you intend to use your designs or patterns. Afterwards, set your document units to pixels to begin with. It will make it easier to create pixel-perfect work and avoid having issues when exporting raster images or creating seamless pattern tiles. Set your adobe work size to any size you want. Adobe words will contain your individual designs or pattern tiles. At this stage, it is more about the proportions rather than anything else. You can always scale your adobe artwork as much as you need to. Since we'll be working with grids, try using some numbers which will be easy to divide into whole pixel modules. For example, I'm going to set the size of my art boards to 1200 by 1200 pixels. It is my personal preference because 12 divides nicely by different numbers. So it is easy to deal with and create varied grids with a good opportunity for tiling. Next, set the number of adobe words. Because you can always add new adobe words while still working. It is not critical at the moment. But I will start with five adobe words because I will be creating five different standard grids to begin with. It will save me some time later. We won't need any blades which are used as a run of area footprint. So keep them set to zero. Next, dependent on the version of Illustrator you're using. Either open up the advanced options. We'll click on the Settings button to set up the color mall, raster effects and the preview mode. I am going to set the color mode to RGB because I'm using my designs online or sending them to printers who accept files in RGB. But if you are creating your artwork specifically for print, then send the color mode to CMYK. Then set the raster effects to 300 ppl. It determines how any raster effects, for example, gray, blur or shadows, will appear and render. You might not use any of these effects. But it is still a good idea to set them to the highest resolution just in case. Next, set the preview mode to default to be able to see all of your elements as smooth metro shapes and to see the preview in full color. If you are using more than one adobe word. It is also useful to click on the Settings button and set the spacing between the adobe words. I will set it to the same size as my adobe words. So I can have large gaps between the adobe words to make it easier to work with any large elements which fall beyond the adobe words boundaries. I am also going to set the number of columns to five. So all my initial adobe words are arranged in one line. So that's the document setup done. Give your document a name, and click Create. When the new document opens up, it's a good idea to save it right away. So press Command S or Control S in the windows. In the saved dialogue. Select where you want to save your file and make sure that the format is set to AI. Click Save. In the next illustrator options window, make sure that your working version of Illustrator is selected here and click, Okay. Next, let's quickly go through Illustrator preferences, menu settings, and workspace set up so that we are on the same page and all of the useful things which you all need to work with. Grids with precision are enabled. 5. Illustrator Preferences, Workspace & View Settings: Because Illustrator has a lot of helpful settings to choose from, it is important to take full advantage of what works best for each particular project. Since we are going to be working with geometric shapes in the grids which require precision. Let's have everything up accordingly. Keep in mind that what works for these type of projects, and the workflow wouldn't be very handy when you're working on something else. Remember what settings you are changing now so you can set them back to your liking later. Go to the illustrators preferences, which are located in the Illustrator menu on the map or in the Edit menu in Windows and select General. Here makes sure that the Anti-aliased Artwork option is ticked. Then go to the Selection and Anchor display section and make sure Snap to Point is checked. Snap to Point value determines how far you need to be from the point where objects to snap to it. Somewhere between two and five pixels should be fine on the medium scale we're going to be using. Next go to Units and make sure that all of the units here are set to pixels. Then go to the Smart guide section and make sure that all of the options here are checked. Smart guides is one of the most useful features in Illustrator for this type of work. We need to make sure we can take advantage of all the labels and [inaudible] it provides. In the construction guides. I'm going to set it to 90 and 45 degree angles. But you can select any other angles and experiment with it depending on what you are creating. For example, when working with hexagonal or isometric grids, it won't make sense to switch the 30 degree angles instead. You can change this at anytime during the process. Then, as with the selection and Anchor display, snapping tolerance here determines how far you need to be from the guides, puffs, or points before your tools or objects snap to them. As before, 2 to 5 points should be fine in this case. That's the important preferences. I have added a PDF file with the screenshot of all my Illustrator Preferences sections to the class files. You can also go through all of the other things which I haven't mentioned, and make sure your settings match mine to be able to easily follow all. When you're done with the Preferences, click Okay to apply changes. Now go to the View menu and make sure the Smart Guides are checked. Snap to Point is checked. Snap to Grid is not checked. There is no visible Grid. Now Snap to Pixel is not checked either. In Illustrator, there are a Document Grid and a Pixel Grid. But if either of them are enabled and being snapped too, you won't be able to use the Smart Guides and Snap to Point at the same time. When working with geometric shapes, we will need them to snap to each other's points perfectly. For this reason, I am going to be sticking to the Smart Guides and Snap to Point here and have the document and pixel grids disabled for the whole process. This is super important. Make sure you've got it all set up the same way. Then make sure that the edges, artboards and the bounding boxes are all showing, when they are the options here we'll say hide instead. Next, go to the Rules and select change to Artboard Rulers. Where the article rulers, the zero-point will be in the top left corner of every artwork when it is selected, which will make it easier to place elements in relation to our artboards. This is the view options done. For all the class we'll be using a lot of different panels. Make sure you add them to your workspace from the Window menu. You will definitely need the align panel, appearance, color, gradient, layers, pathfinder, button options, stroke, swatches, transform, and transparency panels. Make sure that all these panels show all of the options available. You can turn it on for the menu in the top right corner of those panels, which have both full and compact view, for example, Stroke and the gradient. You also need the tools panel, which you can customize if you want and if it is possible in your version of Illustrator. But I will stick to the default one. Another useful panel to use is the Control Panel which can be enabled also for the Window menu. It shows different options depending on the tool you're using and what you have selected. It provides a quick access to most of the settings you will need throughout the process. I will be using it a lot in this class instead of going to some of the panels. You can set up what is shown in this panel for this menu. When working with geometric designs, the most important things are Align, Anchor Points, Art board, Focus mode, Live corners, Life paint, Recolor artwork. Select Same, Shapes, Transform, and Transparency. If you have the latest version of Illustrator, you can also use the new Properties panel, which was introduced in the 2018 version. It provides quick access to most of the useful settings and quick actions. But I will be using these separate panels and the Control Panel instead. If this workspace is very different from your usual one, and I bet it is. You can save it, by going to into the Window menu, workspace,new workspace. Name your workspace and save it. Depending on what you're working with, you can always load it in the future and switch between different workspaces for the Window menu or for this Drop-down. Setting up separate workspaces for different types of projects will save you a lot of time in the long run, and it will make your work flow more efficient. It is worth spending some time on it. Now we're all set here and can finally start the design process. 6. Creating Standard Grids: Introduction: If you were developing any grid-based design on paper, you would most likely start with either some pre-made graph paper, or you would manually align your paper to create an overall grid to use as a basis for your design. It is no different when you're working digitally. Modules in your grid can be based on all sorts of geometric shapes, and to make it easier to arrange all of the elements, it is useful to devise an overall grid structure, which would function the same way as the graph paper does for drawing geometric shapes by hand. Having a standard grid as a basis for geometric design makes it easier to start creating and takes out the guesswork when it comes to creating elements in different sizes and arranging them precisely within the grid. There is a number of different standard grids which you can use to construct the shapes and align elements which include, regular square or rectangular grids, grids of wearing and incrementally changing rectangular modules, polar grids with regular or irregular circles and rays and isometric and hexagonal grids. All these types of grids can be very easily created in Illustrator, and they can be used on their own, in combination with each other, or in combination with other geometric elements to create an infinite number of grid-based designs. So let's have a look at tools and techniques for creating these types of grids, starting with the easiest regular square or rectangular ones. 7. Creating Regular Rectangular & Square Grids: Regular rectangular grids, and particularly the square ones, are the most common and familiar type of standard grids. Due to their simplicity, they are probably the most versatile as you can easily perfectly combine them with various geometric elements and use them as a foundation for all source of designs. To create irregular rectangular or square grid in Illustrator, firstly, you need to create a rectangle to contain it. Press M to select the Rectangle tool and then click with it on the add word you want to work with. In the rectangle options window which will open, input the same size as your artwork to create a grid covering the whole add word. For me, it is 1,200 with 400 pixels. When ready, click "Okay". When your rectangle or square is created, make sure it is perfectly aligned to the art word. On the align panel or using the align options on the control panel, select align to art board and align your rectangle to the art board using these buttons. My rectangle here has a black stroke color and no fill color as it is specified on the tools panel. The colors are not important at the moment because to begin with, we're going to be working with the structure of the vector paths which form the shapes. But to make it less distracting when using all of the tools on the grid development stage, I would suggest using a one pixel stroke in any color you like for all of the elements you create and set the fill color to numb. For now, let's also press Command Y or Control Y in windows to switch to the outline view mode.This mode is extremely useful when you need to work with precision, because you can only see the puffs and can concentrate on the structure of the shapes. To create a grid within this rectangle, select it with the selection tool, go to the menu object, path and select split into grid. In the split into grid options dialog, make sure preview is ticked here and then insert the number of rows and columns you want to have in your grid. I'm going to create a 12 by 12 grid, so each module is a 100 pixels square, which will make it easier to count everything and also, because 12 by 12 grid allows more compositional variations, then let's say 10 by 10 grid. It makes it easier to create repeat when making grid-based patterns. I suggest you start with something similar and then experiment with different numbers of rows and columns. Depart from changing the number of rows and columns in your grid to create modules of different sizes and proportions. Here you can also add spaces between the modules, which are called gutters. Because here you can precisely control the sizes of the modules, gutters and the overall size of the grid. This tool makes it very easy to define pixel perfect grids, which are really handy for button design and for creating layout in illustrator. Experimenters are just told to create different grids and try to avoid decimal pixel values when possible. I will go back to the basic square grid with no gutters, fill in the whole add word like this. Split intergrid also allows to create guides based on your grid by ticking this box. This can be handy, but because the guides it generates run outside of the add border like this, I mostly result to manually converting my grid in the guides when and if I need to. I will show you how to do it later in this class. Set up your grid and click "Okay" to create it. Now, if you go to the layers panel, you will see all of the modules as separate puffs. We will be adding other elements on top those grids shortly, so to avoid making a mess, select all of these puffs by pressing the Command A or Control A in Windows and group them by clicking Command G or Control G in Windows. All of the modules stay together then we can easily select this grid when necessary. Rename this layer to keep your documents well organized and lock it for now to avoid unintentionally modifying it when working on other grids. Split intergrid is a very useful tool for creating grids consisting of equal modules. Make sure you take full advantage of it and experiment with creating different regular grids. But sometimes equal modules are not enough. In Illustrator, there's also an easy way of creating grids with incrementally changing module sizes. Let's check it out. 8. Creating Irregular Rectangular Grids: When regular grids are not what you're after, you can create grids with incrementally changing module sizes, which look more dynamic. Firstly, press Command L or Control L in windows to create a new layer for your next grid and go to the next artboard. If you are creating multiple grids and multiple designs in the same file, using separate artboards and separate layers for each of them. This is the best way to stay organized, see all designs and easily expand them all at once. To create in your rectangular grid, select the rectangular grid tool, which is located under the same button as the line segment tool on the tools panel. Then go to the top left corner of the artboard. Here, when the smart guides control intersect, click and drag the mouse over the artboard to create a grid in the desired size. Snip it to the artboard like this, and keeping an eye on the measurement label. Whereas drawing a rectangular grid, you can change the number of rows using the up and down arrow keys. And you can change the number of columns using left and right arrow keys like this. Technically, you can create the same sort of grid as we have done in the previous part. But the best thing about the rectangular grid tool, is that it can also incrementally change the height of the rows by using f and v keys while drawing your grid. Then you can change the width of the columns by pressing x and c keys like this. Every time you press any of these keys, the increment changes by 10 percent. While it is great to be able to see the grid and try out different alternatives when you're creating it. It can also get a little fidgety if you want to create complex and exact grid. So if you know exactly what you want to create, there is a different, more precise method. So let's delete this grid and then, well, still having the rectangular grid tool selected, click with it in the top left corner of the artboard. This will open up the rectangular grid options table which we can use to set up a rectangular grid numerically. Because I clicked in the top left corner of the artboard, I'm going to set the reference point here to top left. And set the width and height exactly to the size of my artboard. Number of horizontal and vertical dividers determines the number of rows and columns respectively. Because dividers are lines created between the size of your grid, the number of rows or columns will always be the number of the respective dividers plus one. For example, if I want to have six rows, I need to have five dividers here. Skew value determines the incremental change from one side of the grid to another. Increasing in the skew of the horizontal dividers will make the rows increase in size towards the top. And increasing the skew of the vertical dividers will make the columns increase in size towards the left side. And if skew is set to zero, it means that all of the cells will be sized equally. I am going to set the skew for the horizontal dividers to minus 30%. And the skew for the vertical dividers to 30% to have modules increase towards the bottom left corner. And I'm going to set the number of dividers to five in both cases. These options below won't make any difference to what we're about to do. But I usually keep use outside rectangle as frame checked, to have less paths to worry about. Set up your grid anyway you like and when ready, click okay. So here it is. Now, if you go to the layers panel, you will see that all the paths with this grid is made of, are already in a group. So everything is neat and tidy. Now make sure that this grid is aligned perfectly to the artboard and then rename this layer and lock it. So the rectangular grid too is great if you need to quickly create irregular grids with rectangular modules. So keep it in mind, experiment with it and see all sorts of grids you come up with. Next, let's have a look at how to create and setup grid based on concentric ellipses. 9. Creating Regular & Irregular Polar Grids: Polar grids are a type of standard grids which can be used creatively in a number of different [inaudible] , or in combination with other grids or geometric elements. Even though they appear more complex than any rectangular grids, they are extremely easy to create an illustrator. Thanks to the Polar Grid tool, which is located under the same button as a rectangular grid tool, we have just used. The same as with a rectangular grid tool. You can draw your polar grids manually, or set them up numerically. If you want to draw a grid manually and visually explore different options. Use up and down arrow keys to change the number of ellipses, called concentric dividers. Use left and right arrow keys to change the number of rays called radial dividers. The same as with the rectangular grid tool, pressing X and C keys allows to change this Q value of the concentric dividers. You can make your grid look convex, flat and regular or concave. If you use V and F keys, you can skew the radial dividers like this. When drawing grids manually make sure to refer to the measurement label to create grids in a desired size. If you want to create a perfect circular grid, hold down shift before you release the mouse button. Also, if you hold down the Alt key, the point from which you start drawing the polar grid will become its center. In this case, the center is in the corner of my art board. It can be a little tricky with all these buttons you have to press to setup your grid precisely. If you know exactly what sort of grid you would like to create, it might be easier to set the polar grid up numerically. Let's delete this, and with the polar grid tool selected, click on the art board, and input all the desired values in the Polar Grid options dialog. Remember that the number of circles you have in your grid is the number of the concentric dividers plus one. For example, if I want to have six circles I need to create five concentric dividers. In this queue settings for the concentric dividers, zero means that your grid is regular. Negative values will make the gaps between the circles increase towards the outside. Positive values will do the opposite and make the gaps between the circles increase towards the center. Radial dividers, other rays going from the center to the outer circle and with this Q value set to zero. If you want to have radial dividers going across the whole grid on a diameter, you will need to input an even number here. You can easily base the number of dividers on the angle you want to have between the rays. For this, you don't need to do any calculations. Just go to this field, and type 360 slash, and then the desired angle. For example, I am going to put 15. This is a super easy way of creating linear grids with rotational symmetry. If you want to have a lot of lines with regular angles between them, it might be even faster to use this technique than the rotate and transform again tools, which we will look at later on. Bear this technique in mind. There's this Q value of the radial dividers set to zero, and with a positive skew values of the radial dividers. Radial segments will incrementally increase clockwise, and vice versa with the negative values. I'm going to set both skew values to zero. I'm going to create a grid in the same size as my art board. Don't feel like you have to set your grid up the same way. Experiment and create a number of different grids. These two options, I will live unchecked because I don't need a field paths. They want to have separate ellipses. Let's click OK to create the grid. After you have created your polar grid, make sure it is perfectly aligned to your art board. Now, if you zoom in close to any point where the outer circle is supposed to intersect the radial dividers, you might see the gap between them. I am not sure why it is happening, but it can mess everything up. If it is happening to you too here is a way to fix this. On the layers panel, we will have a group containing your polar grid. Inside this group, there will be two more groups. One containing the circles or ellipses If you're making an elliptical grid and the one with the radial dividers. Select the letter, make sure you have the selection tool active. Scale these rays up, holding down shift and Alt keys to constrain proportions and scale in relation to the center point of the selection. You can scale these rays up either to slightly go outside of the outer circle. If you want to use them only within the circle, or scale them up enough to cover the whole art board, if you want this sort of angles throughout the whole thing. Now to keep your grid neat is a good idea to quickly trim this beads on the outside. If you want these lines covering the whole art board like this. Create in your rectangle, in the size of your art board and align it to it, or if you want these lines to be contained within this circle, find the largest circle in the group, and drag it out of the group, or slow holding down the Alt key to copy it. I am going to use the rectangle covering the whole art board. I will delete the circle. Decide what you are using as the overall shape. Then on the layers panel, command click or control click in Windows. All the circle icons to select the shape and the group which contains the radial dividers. Make sure you don't select the other group with a grid circles. Have in their radial dividers and the overall shape selected. Go to the Pathfinder panel, and click on the outline button. This will cut the paths where they intersect and you will see new anchor points appear. If nothing happens and you don't see any changes here or on the layers panel. Go to the Pathfinder panel. Click on the button in the top right corner and select Pathfinder options. Here, unchecked divide an outline, will remove unpainted artwork. Apply Changes and go and press the outline button again, which this time should work just finer. Now, double-click on any of the selected paths to enter the isolation mode for this new group and select all contents of the group. Then using the selection tool and holding down shift, draw a selection around the center like this to deselect all of the lines inside the overall shape. Press delete to remove the paths on the outside and around the perimeter of the shape. Double-click anywhere on the pasteboard away from the paths to exit the isolation mode. Then group the radial and concentric dividers groups so they are kept as one grid. Hiding or removing elements outside of the shapes or art boards can be done in a number of other ways. But it is important to do it this way because at this stage, we want to keep open paths, and outline is the only Pathfinder function which allows to create open paths. We definitely don't want to create any masks, which would just create more work later on. The polar grid tool is great for creating evenly or unevenly spaced concentric circles and for creating a number of rays coming from the same point. This is one of my most commonly used tools for creating grid-based designs, because it makes it very easy to experiment with creating grids with multiple concentric circles, which I love using in my work. Play around with the polar grid tool, and see what you can create. Always make sure to adjust the radial dividers to create perfect grids. Next, let's create isometric and hexagonal grids, which will add variety to your grid-based designs. 10. Creating Isometric & Hexagonal Grids: Isometric and hexagonal grids are extremely useful if you want to use 120, 60 or 30 degree angles in your work, or half triangles, diamonds, and hexagons to play around with or to create complex hexagonal pattern tiles. Isometric and hexagonal grids have the same structure and only differ in the orientation of the hexagonal shapes within the grid. Hexagonal grids are based on hexagons with horizontal basis. They are most commonly used in patterns which tile in six directions. On the other hand, isometric grids have vertical axis at a 120 degree angles between three axis used to create designs or illustrations in isometric perspective. But they are just as useful as the hexagonal grids when creating flood designs. We shall be concentrating on in this class. There are a few different ways of creating isometric grids in Illustrator. In this class, I'm going to share with you my favorite method which allows to easily create module of the desired width, which is very useful when you want to combine your isometric grid with other types of grids or elements, which we will look at shortly. To create an asymmetric grid, start with selecting the rectangular grid tool and set up a grid twice the size of the art board. If you're working within a square format. If you're working on a rectangular art board, set up a square grid with the side length being the sum of length of two sides of your rectangular art board. You don't actually need something this big but for the ease of calculation, that's a good method to use. Set horizontal dividers to zero. Input the number of vertical dividers required to create modules in your desired size. So in my case, I will be sticking to 100 pixel wide modules. So I need 23 dividers. Click okay to create the grid. Align your grid to the art board. Then having the grid selected, press R to switch to the Rotate tool and press enter. In the rotate dialog set angle to 60 degrees and click Okay. Now, while still having the grid selected press all to switch to the Reflect tool and press enter in the reflect dialog, set axis to vertical, and click on the copy button. So here's the basis of your isometric grid. All you'd have to do now is add vertical lines. Again, select the rectangular grid tool and set up a grid in the size of the art board. With the number of vertical dividers required to create vertical modules of the same width as you have created in these grids. As I'm creating 100 pixel wide modules, I need 11 dividers. Click Okay to create the grid and align it to your art board. Now, there's a little thing you need to bear in mind when working with isometric or hexagonal grids. Due to the proportions of irregular hexagon, only one of its dimensions can be a whole number. So dependent on what you're working with, you have to decide what to do about it. If you're just creating a separate design or illustration in the size of the art board. You are not that fast about its edges, then you can just leave it as it is. On the other hand, if you are creating a design which needs to be tiled, or if you just want to have neat edges exactly where the grid lines intersect and they exact proportions of your art board are not, your main concern. You will need to adjust the height of your grid and your art board. The easiest way to do it is by resizing this rectangular grid. Select this grid. Zoom into the middle point on either top or bottom edge and holding down the Alt key to resize it both up and down at the same time. Drag it to the point where other grid lines intersect and do not hold the Shift key when you do this as you don't want to square your grid length twice. If you are starting off with a square, you can drag it to this point and use the smart grid to line up perfectly. If you want your grid to have overall proportions of a hexagon. Now, let's zoom out to see the whole thing and get rid of all these things around this frame. Select all three rectangular grid groups. Go to the Pathfinder panel, and click on the outline button. It is the same process as we have done in the previous part though it's a little trickier. Enter the isolation mode for this group. Not to get confused between the art board edges and the rectangular grid edges. Press Command Shift H or Control shift H in windows to hide the art boards. Now carefully select and delete bits outside this frame. One side at a time. When you're done exit the isolation mode. Here is your new isometric grid. Turn the art boards back on. Let's resize this art board to measure the size of the grid. Select the grid, go to the transform panel, and copy of the heights value. Then press Shift all to switch to the art board tool. In the control panel here, makes sure that width and height are not linked. The reference point is set to center. Then paste the height value you have copied here. Working with the art boards which have decimal points in their size or position values causes a few issues when experts in the work or creating percentiles. But let's not worry about it for now. We will sort it out later when we are ready to export the designs or create patterns. So here's the isometric grid done. To create a hexagonal grid. It's simply copy this isometric grid, create a new layer, select it, then go to and click on a new art board to select it. Then press Command Shift V or Control Shift V in window to paste the grid in place. Then having this grid selected, switch to the rotate tool and press enter. Set angle to 90 degrees. Click OK. Now align, this grid to the center of your art board. Then go to the Transform panel. Copy the width value. Switch to the art board tool, and change the width of this art board. Here is the hexagonal grid, ready. So that's it for creating standard grids. Next, before we move onto building custom grids, I'm going to quickly share a few tips on how you can combine these standard grids with each other to have something more excited to work with, and to create more versatile structures to use in your designs. 11. Combining Standard Grids: Even as they already are, all the standard grids can lead to creating some exciting artwork. But you can also easily combine with each other to make them more versatile than to have more choice and more modules to experiment with when creating your designs. You'll be amazed how many visual ideas will start popping into your head as soon as you create a more fun and slightly more complex grid. In a way, we are already moving from the technical process, very more creative stage. When you can create structures more intentionally, and develop original grids even though they are based on the standard ones. As I have already mentioned, it's a good idea to put all iterations of your work and grids on separate art boards and layers. So before you start combining your grids, firstly, you only to copy them together with the artworks there on. Unlock older layers with the grids to be able to copy with their contents. Then select the artwork tool. In the control panel, activate, move copy artwork with the artwork auction. Then either all drag art boards one-by-one to copy them. Or if you have a version of Illustrator which support select and arrange of art boards, select all of the art boards you want to copy holding down Shift, and then drag them to copy them all at ones as many times as you want. When you're copying your art boards, make sure to keep their position in whole pixel values where possible, and adjusted after coping if it isn't. Independent on how consistent and precise you are when creating your grids. You can either combine the grids which you already have or create new ones on top of them, because four out of five grids I have here, one way or another have 100 pixel module dimensions. I can easily combine them with each other. For example, I can put my polar grid or the square one, and that matches perfectly. I can also combine it with the asymmetric one like this. But in this case, I am going to remove the radio dividers because they make this grid unnecessarily messy with too many lines. If you want to create new grid on top of the existing ones instead, depending on the types of the grids your are using. You can combine grids visually by drawing them manually, will set them up numerically. I am not going to go through all possible grid combinations. Instead here are a few practical tips which you can apply to combine these types of grids with each other. Firstly, so that you don't mess anything up. Create each new grid on a new layer, and lock the layers which contain your original grids for now, so you don't select or move them when you don't need to. When adding a new grid, visually, it is best done as a second grid. Because there you can use the initial grid as a reference to the line all the lines in your new grid. When you are using the rectangular grid tool or the polar grid tool to manually draw a new grid. Decide whether to draw your grid from its corner or from its center, holding down the Alt key. Make sure you use the smart guides to carefully place the point to start drawing your grid. In your keyboard shortcut to adjust the number of dividers, and this Q-value. If you combine grids, have bits falling outside of the art boards, either keep the whole grids as they are and remove them later, after you'd have experimented with different compositions, or remove these bits right away using the technique I have shown in the previous parts. Talking of compositions, you don't need to centrally align grids with each other. Explore different compositions, and use a few copies of one of the grids if necessary. Just make sure all of your grids line up perfectly with each other, and use smart guides as a reference. If you're combining grids numerically consider sticking to some nice phone numbers for the module dimensions to make all the calculations as easy as possible, and keep this values consistent when setting up both grids. I like using 100 pixel modules as a basis, and if necessary, divide them into smaller 50 or 25 pixel ones. An alternative with number is 12. For example, you can use 120 pixel modules and divide them further into 30, 40, or 60 pixel ones if necessary. When creating polar grids or grids rotated on an angle which is supposed to fully cover your art board, to save time counting how big you need them to be. The easier rule is to make these grids twice the size of the art board to begin with, and then simply remove the bits around. Using this rule, you can easily create a 45-degree square grid, which would perfectly match either irregular square grid or irregular polar grid. Start by creating irregular square grid twice the size of your art board, and with twice as many modules, so that they are the same size as the ones in the square or polar grids. Align it to the art board, then rotate it on a 45-degree angle. Now if you copy it over to the polar grid and align it, it will perfectly match it as it is. So all you have to do is get rid of these bits around. On the other hand, if you go back to square one to make it align, so all these lines go on a diagonal through all of the squares. You only need to scale this grid down. So select it and drag the anchor point in the middle of its side to the corner of the art board, and align it perfectly using the smart guides like this. Again, remove the bits around the same way as we have done before, and here's another grid ready. The main purpose of combining grids is to create more versatile structures where different types of modules can seamlessly flow into one another. It is not about making something super complex, and definitely not about making a messy grid which you cannot easily use. So when putting grids together make sure that the way they are combined makes sense for your future design development, and don't overwhelm yourself with very complex grids with a lot of differently shaped or tiny modules. Keep your grids simple and practical, and explore different compositional arrangements. There are tons of great combinations that you can create. So experiment and see where it will get here. Before we move on to the next stage, let's quickly sort out all of the grid layers. All new additional grids I have created our own separate layers already. But because originally I have copied artwork with art boards, all of the previous grids, are contained within the original grid layers. I need to put them together with the respective grids on top. The quick way to do this is to unlock all these layers, and going through all art boards one-by-one, select, and group grid pairs together. When grouping objects from different layers, Illustrator puts a new group, one to the topmost layer containing any of the selected elements. So because all my new grids were on the layers above the original grid, everything is where it is supposed to be. Now I just need to rename all these layers, so it is easy to navigate from my document. It is best to keep your documents tidy, otherwise, with everything which we're about to do next, it can get out of hand very quickly. So by simply combining standard grids with each other, we already have enough to start creating some font grid-based designs. But to make your grids more varied, unique, exciting, and purposeful. Next, we are going to explore tools and techniques for creating custom grids, which will become a skeleton of your future designs. 12. Creating Custom Grids: Design Considerations: Standard grids, even in their most basic form, can be used to create something exciting and unique. But unless you add other elements to them, there is only so much you can do with the shapes standard grid are based upon. In the next few parts, I am going to share a number of tips and techniques for creating custom grids using a range of illustrator tools. During this stage, you can start laying the foundation for your own unique designs and developing structures according to your creative intentions. If you have taken an experimental approach, just play around with these tools and techniques and see where it takes you. If you know what you want to create and have an idea in your head or a sketch on paper. You can use these tools and techniques to create and refine a grid skeleton for your future design. Having a standard grid as a basis will help you to achieve consistency and it will provide you with a framework. So you can quickly get on with visual experiments and exploring different compositions for your custom grids, and ultimately for your design outcomes. Before we get on with all the technical bit, here are a few things for you to consider. While your creating your custom grids, especially if you are not set on the final idea of what you want to create. Firstly, decide whether you're planning to use the whole art-board format to create your design, or you are going to use just a part of the standard grid,and create East photographic, which in the end is supposed to have some empty space around and could be taken out of this art-board and placed somewhere else. If you are using the whole art-board, think whether your design is going to be an individual piece or it's supposed to be a pattern. If you are creating a pattern title, work on the structure of the grid so that the elements at the edges and corners will make the repetition possible and still keep your options open when the time comes to develop the final design based on your custom grid. Experiment with different placement and spacing of elements within your grid. There can be gaps between the elements or they can touch or overlap. They can be placed within one another, both concentrically and not. In this case, elements can vary in scale, or can fit perfectly into one another if you are dealing with different types of shapes. When arranging elements within the grid, think about whether you want your grid to be symmetrical or asymmetrical. If you want to utilize symmetry to achieve balance explore both linear symmetry and rotational symmetry. Think whether you want your grid to be even or to have a focal point in it. If you want to create a focal point, consider where it is located, and how you need the viewers eye to it by positioning and shaping other elements in your grid. Think whether you want to create a static or dynamic grid. Static grids have a [inaudible] and are structured around vertical and horizontal lines, and are best suited for creating even a repeat patterns. On the other hand, dynamic grids, have a sense of movement and direction in them. You can create them by using straight and occur leading lines on different angles for shapes ranging in size, which will guide the eye for the grid in a certain way. When using elements in different sizes explore different proportional relationship between them. Elements can change in size by the same amount in regular steps. For example, if you're using irregular grid as a basis. For they can change incrementally if their size is multiplied by a certain ratio. For example, if you're using an irregular grid as a basis, where you can use elements in completely random sizes. You can also consider using golden ratio and create elements which increase in size following the Fibonacci sequence for the ease of calculation, and to keep your elements in a whole pixel values. If you want, you can even construct a grid based on the Fibonacci spiral, for example, like this one. But it is totally optional and not essential for creating exciting designs using the techniques which we will be using and this class. After creating your grid and then you start developing your design you will also have other design elements to help you achieve the desired effect. For example, color, texture, shape, and line contrast in line quality. But at the grid development stage, you still have to concentrate solely on the structure of lines, which will be the basis for your design. So think how shapes between the lines and the lines themselves can be used to form the skeleton of your future design. Here's a little summary of all these points. If you want to use it as a reference while developing your grids, you can download a print friendly PDF version of the slide from the class resources. In all these little examples here, I used quite simple shapes just to illustrate the points. But of course, there are many different shapes and elements you can use in your custom grids and then we'll look at creating them in a moment. But don't feel like you need to use a lot of different elements to create exciting grids. In most cases, you don't. It is more down to how you arrange and scale all these elements. As I already mentioned before, try not to over complicate your grid. Each grid you create should inspire a number of different visual ideas, but it shouldn't be so fragmented that the number of different things you can do with it is so overwhelming that you cannot decide where to start. The grid as an instrument should provide you with a structure and allow you to focus and channel your creativity by limiting the options to a manageable amount. So you can quickly make a lot of different phase and it is not there to frustrate you. This is how you can evaluate your grid, especially when you're just experimenting, and don't have a preconceived idea of the exact final outcome. If you cannot decide where to start, then your grid is way too complex and you should remove some elements and simplify it. We will get back to design considerations, later on in this class, when we start developing actual designs. For now just keep all of this in mind while developing your custom grids and revisit this part if necessary, after you have practiced using different tools for creating custom grids to refresh all of these ideas and explore different options. Now let's move on to the various tools and techniques which you can use to create custom grids and grid based designs. 13. Adding Custom Linear Elements to Your Grids: Before you start adding any new elements on top of your standard grid, make sure your standard grid layer is locked, and create a new layer for the new elements you will be adding. If you have a lot of artboards with different grids visible in your document, it is a good idea to hide all of the grids you are not using, and only keep one grid visible at a time to make sure your new elements will snap to the grid you're working on, and not to something else in your document. To create custom lines and shapes which do not have restricted properties of the standard geometric shapes, you can use the Line Segment, Arc, and the Pen tools. Technically, the Line Segment tool and the Pen tool can be used to create exactly the same things, But the Line Segment tool has a few useful features which in certain cases, make it more handy to use than the Pen tool. Let's start with it. Select the Line Segment tool on the tools panel or press Backslash. Then go to your grid and use the Smart guide to find a point on the existing paths to place a starting point of your segment. Draw the line manually, snapping the endpoint to your grid like this. After you have drawn a line segment, you can easily reposition both endpoints without changing the tool. You can very easily try out different arrangements. If you want to start drawing a new line segment in the point where the previous one ended. Press Command+Shift+A, or Control+Shift+A in the Windows, to deselect the previous line segment first. Otherwise, instead of drawing a new line segment, you will be moving the end point of the previous one. This is a super straightforward tool, and the good thing about it in comparison to the Pen tool is that it allows to create separate open paths which is handy when developing the grids. You don't need to worry about accidentally removing points in your grid or connecting paths, which you don't want to connect just yet. Also, because you can move the anchor points easily when creating the segments. Using the Line Segment tool, you can draw lines between different intersection points in your grid and create elaborate structures not restricted to specific angles. Think of this process as using a ruler and draw straight lines on a graph paper to precisely form the desired shapes. Experiment was adding straight lines to your grid and consider using this tool if you want to construct some specific structures. Unlike the Line Segment tool, the Pen tool, which you can select by pressing P is useful if you want to create paths which have more than one segment in them. Also, if you want to create crossed paths by placing the endpoint over the starting point like this. The same is with the line Segment tool when working with the pen tool, use the intersection points in the grid and the smart guides to place points precisely. If you want to create a straight line, make sure you just click to place the points and don't hold down the mouse button, otherwise, you will create curves instead. If you want to start a new path, Command+click, or Control+click in the Windows, away from the previous path to deselect it. If you want, you can use the Pen tool to add curves to your grid. But if you're after creating perfect symmetrical curves such as arcs, it is better to use the Arc tool instead. After selecting the Arc tool on the tools panel, go to your grid, and the same way as when using the other tools, create arcs between the intersection points in your grid. The Arc tool creates an arc which goes on a diagonal through an imaginary rectangle around it. Creatively, this tool is great when you need to quickly create curves, or waves on a diagonal. If you rotate and scale your arcs and align them with the original grid, you can also create horizontal or vertical arcs, waves like this. There are also a few controls which you can use to modify the arc when drawing it. For example, you can change its slope using up and down arrow keys. Pressing C will also switch between the arc segment and the end quote shape with two more straight lines. If you're using an open arc, you can flip it by pressing X or F keys, and the result will be the same. But if you're using a closed arc, F will change its orientation, and X will switch between the convex and concave shapes. When working with grids, I usually stick to the open arcs like this, because in most cases I already have the lines around the arc where it fits. On the other hand, having a closed arc shape can be useful when creating an arc on its own, so keep this option in mind. You can also click with the Arc tool on your baseboard and set up an arc numerically. This is particularly useful when you need to create an arc which will fit within a rectangle of a specific size. Or when you want to set a certain slope for you, for example, to create a perfect quarter circle arc. In this case, you only need to set the slope to 50 or minus 50, depending on whether you want it to be convex or concave. When working with grid, in most cases, it is possible to draw arcs manually within the grids. But this is a good place to go to, to reset the slope well. You can use the Arc tool to add some variety to your grid and create some interesting and playful designs or illustrations. Experiment with it and try all different ways of fitting arcs into your grids. That's it for creating different custom line elements within your grid. Next, let's have a look at how you can take the most out of the shape tools, and use them to create exciting custom grids and designs. 14. Tips & Tricks for Creating Geometric Shapes for Your Grids: Unlike the tools which we have looked at in the previous part, the shape tools located under this one button on the tools panel, allow to create various standard geometric shapes. Even if you've been using these tools for awhile, please bear with me while thoroughly quickly, walk through different ways of creating and setting up these shapes and share a few tips on how to get the most out of these tools when using them to create grids and grid-based designs. The Rectangle, Ellipse, Polygon, and Star tools can be used to create pretty much any geometric shape you can think of. All of them can be either drawn manually or set up numerically by clicking on your pasteboard. Both the Rectangle and Ellipse tools have width and height settings. The Polygon tool has a radius setting. You can specify the number of sides. The Star tool being the most complex of them all, has two radius settings and you can set the number of points. Radius one is the outer radius of the star and radius two is the inner one. This ability to specify radiuses of polygons and stars and the width and height values of rectangles and ellipses makes it very easy to create different shapes which fit perfectly into one another and this is super handy for creating many kinds of geometric designs. Whilst the numeric setup is really useful if you need to quickly create shapes in a specific size; when adding new grid elements, I usually stick to drawing shapes manually, and use the smart guides and standard grids as a position and scale reference instead. Because it's much more fun to work visually and explore different options right away. All of the shape tools can be controlled using a number of keys on the keyboard. This allows to easily create exactly what you want. Some of these controls are not that apparent. Some of these keys, also do different things to different shapes. So let's have a look at the differences and how you can take full control over the shapes when drawing them. When drawing polygons, you can use up and down arrow keys to change the number of sides. You can use the same keys to change the number of points in the star-shapes. As usual, holding down Shift constraints proportions. In case of polygons and stars, it straightened them along the x and y-axis, instead. When creating rectangles or ellipses, hold down the Alt key to draw from their center points. If you want to fit shapes within the existing grid modules or within other shapes, use the smart guides to find the center point to draw from and to see when the shapes get highlighted. Meaning that they fit together perfectly. Polygons and Stars are drawn from the center by default. Holding down the Alt key when using the Star tool will align the lines on the opposite sides of the spikes, instead. This is the easiest way to create a regular star without needing to calculate the inner radius value. If you press and release Command Alt or Control Alt in Windows, you will lock this lines in one line. When drawing Stars, holding down the Command key or Control key in Windows will lock the inner radius and if you drag them out, you can increase or decrease the outer radius independently of the inner one. These are the shape controls which are super helpful for creating exactly the shapes you are after. Keep them in mind. Practice using them and explore different shapes. Combine them with each other and with different grids. To keep your custom grid and design consistent on adding new shapes, always make sure that they are accurately positioned and sized, both in relation to each other and to the standard grid you are using as a basis. Use the smart guides when you create, move, rotate or scale shapes. Try out different compositions based on the considerations I have covered in the previous part. If you don't want to use a whole shape in your grid, but rather just a part of its outline, for example a semi circle rather than a whole circle, you can select the Direct Selection tool and select and delete segments or points from your shapes, for example, like this. When you're using anchor points on the shapes or corners or middle points of the bounding boxes for snapping, the smart guides work great and everything snaps perfectly but in some cases, to be able to perfectly snap shapes, especially if you're dealing with circles, you might need to rotate them, so that the anchor points and the middle point on the bounding boxes, are in the correct positions to snap to the points on another object or a grid. For example, here I have this circle which I want to align and snap to this intersection point in the grid. Because my circle doesn't have an anchor point in this spot and the bounding box doesn't have a point here either, I cannot snap with using the smart guides. An easy way to resolve this kind of situation is to rotate the circle and the bounding box so that the anchor point and the middle point on the bounding box are on the same line as this point here. Now when I start scaling the circle, it will snap perfectly to this point. Keep this little trick in mind, if you struggle snapping shapes to each other or to the grid. So that's it for creating geometric shapes using the shape tools. Next, let's have a look at a few ways of modifying them to create custom shapes and to simplify grid by getting rid of unnecessary lines. 15. Modifying Shapes Using the Live Shape Properties: If you have a Creative Cloud version of Illustrator, you can easily control and adjust ellipses, rectangles, and polygons created using the shape tools without redrawing them, using the shape properties which you can open through the shape menu on the control panel. Offline on a Transform panel. Apart from the size and rotation angle. These options are different for different types of shapes. If you are working with circles or ellipses, you can easily create segments from them using the pie chart settings here to set the start and the end angles. And you can easily invert the pie chart using this button. So it is super easy to try out different segment variants and adjust them at any time. If you are working with squares or rectangles, live shape properties they are all to adjust corner types. And corner radius's either all at once if they are linked or each corner individually. Whereas this seem pretty basic. There are plenty of creative possibilities if you experiment with the corner options and push them to their limits. And finally, if you are working with polygons, you can adjust the number of sides and corner types, and radius for all of the corners at the same time. Also, here you can define the size of the polygon based on the side length and not just on the radius. Which can be handy for aligning shapes with some of the grids in a particular way. Especially when you're using the original grid just as a reference and recreating shapes on top of it. Live shape properties are only available for the shape objects and not path objects. If the object is a shape, you will see shape options on the control panel when it is selected. And on the Layers panel, it will be called a rectangle, polygon or ellipse, depending on the shape and not a path. If you have a shape in your grid, which due to it's geometry, can be a shape object. But for some reason it is a path. For example, if you use the split integrate tool or the polar grid tool to create shapes. You can select the shapes you want to be shaped objects. And then go to the menu object, shape and select convert to shape. This will convert all of the shapes with the correct geometry into their respective shape objects. And after that, you will be able to use a live shape properties with these shapes. Live shapes are relatively new in Illustrator and using them can make certain tasks extremely easy. But if you don't have these options available, or if you want to create different custom shapes based on the standard ones, you can use the Pathfinder options instead. So let's briefly check them out. 16. Creating Custom Shapes Using Pathfinder: Pathfinder is one of the cornerstones of this class, is it one of the most important tools in Illustrator for working with shapes, and paths with precision? We have already looked at, and is the outline function for trimming paths and will be used in other pathfinder functions later on in this class, for other purposes. In this part, I want to concentrate on using some of the pathfinder options to create custom shapes from the standard geometric ones, which is useful if you want to have specific shapes in your designs. If you do not want to over-complicate your grid with too many lines, or you just want to create separate graphic elements to use not as a path of the overall design within a grid. To create new shapes based on the existing ones, you can use the shape mode, then the pathfinder divide. Pathfinder shape modes work with closed paths only, which unites two or more overlapping and paths. Minus front, which works with two shapes at a time only, and cuts the top shape from the bottom one, where they overlap. Intersect, which also works only to two shapes at a time and create a shape from the overlapping area which excludes overlapping areas from two or more shapes. Unlike the shape mode, pathfinder divide can be used on combinations of closed and open paths. Can be super useful, if for example, you want to cut an existing shape into two along the line. You just need to make sure that the line either touches the path which its supposed to curve, or even goes outside of it. After you have applied the pathfinder divide, you can ungroup the results and use the shapes it has created separately. On the stage of grid development, minus prompt, intersect, and divide are probably the most useful pathfinder options because they allow to create new and more compact shapes based on the standard one, and remove all of the extra lines which allows you to simplify the grid. From a creative perspective by creating new types of shapes.You will have more to experiment with. When scaled, rotated and arranging elements within or on top of the standard grid to create desired compositions. Consider exploring these options to create [inaudible] custom shapes and to simplify your grids. Next, let's have a look at a couple of techniques which make arranging elements in creating compositions in Illustrator easier, more precise, and in some cases more experimental. 17. Composing Grid Elements with the Transform Tools: Of course, you can arrange all of the elements manually, and it makes it very easy to create any composition you want, and to create irregular grids. But when it comes to creating custom grids with repetition of objects, you can use a number of Illustrator tools and save a lot of time, and potentially even stumble upon some grids structures you have not thought of. The first tool for creating and arranging copies of the same objects throughout your grid is a transform again tool. This tool which is the last step you've done transforming something in the workspace movement, rotation, scale, share, and reflection of the object. If you need to create multiple copies of the same object and have equal distances between them. All you have to do is create the first copy by hold dragging the object in the new spot. Then go to the menu object, transform, transform again or just press Command D or Control D in window, as many times as you need to create a required number of copies like this. This tool also works with a number of object. If you need to copy a selection of objects a number of times, you can do it the same way. Transform again tool is extremely useful for creating compositions with rotational symmetry, and arranging elements in a circle with equal angles between them. For example, if you want to have a number of circles arranged around the center point at a certain distance. Select the first circle and switch to the rotate tool. By default, the rotation center point is in the center of the object, or of the selection of the number of objects and dependent on what effect you want to achieve, you can move the center point anywhere you like. To do this, find the point you want to rotate your object around, and make sure it is placed precisely using the smart grids. When you have found the right center point, hold click there with the rotation tool. You will see the cross here where you clicked, and the rotate options dialog will open up. Here you need to specify the desired rotation angle. Or if you know how many copies of objects you want to have, type in 360 slash and then the overall desired number of elements. After you've done that, press copy. Then use the transform again tool as many times as required to form the composition. When used with the scale tool transform again will also create compositions with objects, changing their size incrementally. Which if you're working with circles, can look similar to what you can create using the polar grid tool and the skew ellipse. But you can do much more than that because you can use any shape you want. On top of that, you can also move the reference point, which will define the direction in which the new shapes will be created. To specify the position for the reference point, select the shapes or shapes you want to copy. Then press S to switch to the scale tool, and hold click with it in the point which you want to be a new reference point for the transformation. In the scale dialogue which will popup choose between uniform and non-uniform scale types, and input the desired values here. Click copy and then use the transform again to create the desired number of shapes. You can create some custom compositions with incrementally changing sizes of objects and distances between them, which can be super fun. Using the transform again with a share tool, can also be fun and allow to create some interesting compositions. The same as with the rotate and scale tools, you can also move the reference points by hold clicking. Then set up the way you want your object to share using the share options. Then copy the object, and transform it again and again and again, until you get the desired number of shapes. So the transform again tool, is great for creating compositions based on repeating and changing shapes. But you have to go through the whole process a number of times to achieve different results. So if you want to try out different compositions of repeating object, it might take a bit of time. Though it is still way faster than doing everything manually. But if you want a different, quicker way of repeating and modifying shapes at the same time, you can use the blend tool, which we are going to look at next. 18. Repeating & Transforming Grid Elements with the Blend Tool: Another extremely useful tool for creating elaborate grids and experimental compositions is the blend tool, which allows you to create a repetition of elements which change in size and shape throughout your grid. We will be using the blend to later on in this class for decorative purposes, but now let's have a look at how you can use this tool to develop exciting grid compositions. Because blend tool doesn't show the blend results in the outline mode unless you expand them, before you start using it. Make sure to change back to the Preview mode by pressing command Y or control Y, in Windows. To use the blend tool, you need at least two objects. I'm going to use these two circles here to begin with, but you can use whatever you wish. Though, if you've never used the store before, I recommend that you start by using two copies of the same object in different sizes. When you go to your two objects, select them both, and press command old B for control of the new Windows to create a blend. The way the blend is created is based either on the default blend tool settings or on the settings you use the previous time. To change the blend settings, press W to switch to the blend tool, and then press enter to open the blend auctions dial. Check the preview here so you can see the changes as you make them, and then set your blend up according to your needs. In the space and options, choose between the specified steps. If you know how many new objects you want to create between the two you are blending and specify distance, if your main concern is the gap between the center points of the object. Play around with the settings, and if you are creating your blend on top of a standard grid, use it as a reference to create the desired number of objects. Then click okay to apply changes. After you have created your initial blend, you can start experimenting with the position and scale of the two original object forming the blend. To do this, Double-click on either of two puffs form in the blend, to isolate the blender group. Then select the shape you want to transform, and move to a new spot in the grid with scale. Every time you do something to either of these shapes, the other shapes in-between created by the blend tool will change automatically. This way, you can very quickly and easily explore a lot of different arrangements. You can also retain this shape, but it will have the most visible effect if you're working with something else rather than circles. If you need to change the blend settings, you can do so anytime before you expand the blend results by selecting your blend, so each into the blend tool, pressing enter and changing whatever you need to adjust here. Apart from creating blend between shapes, you can also experiment with a blend and open box, such as straight-line segments, arcs, or semi-circles, or open paths with scholars, for example, a part of a hexagon or any other polygon or a star. It is pretty straightforward if you're creating blends between straight and angular puffs. But if you want to create perfectly smooth blends between straight lines and curved ones, for example, semi-circles, there's a little trick to it. If you blend a line segment and the semi-circle as they are, and have more than one step in between, you will notice this kind of key in the centers of the puffs. To have smooth curves here instead, select the Pen tool and add a new anchor point exactly in the middle of the line segment. Then select this point with the direct selection tool, and on the control panel, convert this anchor point to smooth. Then by using a standard grid as a reference expandable handles, so there adds are exactly in the middle of these two segments, respectively. If you want, you can also experiment with other length of the handles, but then the curves in the blend will be different. Blends between open bumps will allow to create some concrete structures and add more free view looking shapes to your grade, especially if you use a couple of copies of these sort of lens and put them together. Give this technique a reminder. Another thing you can do is change the path your blend follows, which by default is a straight line between the object centers. To change it, create any new open path you want to use as a trajectory. For example, I'm going to create an arc like this. Then select both the blend and the new path, and go to the menu object, blend and select replace spine. Now the blend follows this line instead. If you want to have some fun experiment as different paths and see how you can create some original grids. To use the blend results as a part of a grid, you need to expand it, so all these object becomes separate paths. But before you do this, it is a good idea to create a copy of the editable blend, so you can easily use or edited later in case you want to quickly change something. I usually put it back up blends on a separate layer, lock it, and hide it. Now to expand this blend select it, and then go to the menu object, blend and select expand. Here's an expanded blend, and all these objects are now separate puffs. The blend tool is great for quick exploration of different compositions which are based on repeat and shapes. By blending different pairs for geometric shapes, and experimenting with scale of this shapes and positions of their center points, you can easily create linear, concentric. Yellow or said central compositions, which will make exciting grids both on their own or in combination with the standard grids and other geometric shapes. Experiment, try blending different shapes or open puffs in, see what kind of grids and compositions you can create. Let's hit photos and techniques for creating custom grids, and we can finally move onto different approaches to creating Grid- based designs. 19. Design Considerations & Approaches to Creating Grid-Based Designs: Now, as you got your grids ready, there is a number of different ways you can use them to create a grid-based designs for illustrations. Grids are made from lines and shapes enclosed by these lines. You can create shape-based designs, linear designs, or designs which feature both types of elements. In a way, shape-based designs are the easiest and fastest to create because there are quite a few super useful tools which you can use to easily play around with different options by connecting existing modules in the grid to form the desired final compositions. On the other hand, linear designs in all further work this paths in using the grid as a reference and the source of some of the building blocks for your final design. If you like sketching on paper first, you can print your grids out, and start figuring out the shapes or lines you want to use in your work. This can be more liberating than working digitally right away. You can always carry around a little gridded pad or a self-made sketchbook and sketch designs even if you're not in front of your computer. Try it. You'll probably see more in your grids this way. Especially if you are not super proficient in Illustrator, it will let your creativity flow because you won't be distracted by faults about how to do something technically in Illustrator, then you will be able to concentrate purely on developing your visual ideas instead. To be able to work efficiently when creating your designs, you need to work out what elements they will be made of, and choose the most appropriate technique for the task. I will cover a range of techniques in the following videos. If you want your design to have enclosed shapes, or technically speaking, closed paths, which are either filled, or have a consistent stroke color and weight, you can use any of the the techniques for creating shape-based designs to begin with, and if desired, style them as linear designs during the next stage of design development. On the other hand, if you envisage your design having separate linear segments, or in other words, open paths, or if the paths need to be colored differently or have different stroke weight, then you will need to use the techniques for creating linear designs instead. You will also need to use these techniques if you want to have a number of orderly shaped or going on different angles elements, we should have the same width throughout. In the one more situation, when you need to have a linear elements instead of the shapes, is if you want to use gradients which follow the structures of the shapes. Though in some cases, it can be easier to create a shape-based designed first. There's a way to add some stroke gradients on the styling stage. We will look at it later on in this class. If it is unclear to you which direction you need to go in, sketch your design on paper first, familiarize yourself with the following techniques, and then experiment, then work out which technique works best for your particular design. When you start creating your final composition, regardless of whether it is linear or shape-based, consider how you utilize color, scale, position, and shapes of the elements to create the desired effect, and carry on exploring different compositional principles, building upon what we have already discussed before when developing custom grids. Experiment with creating symmetrical designs or break previously symmetrical grid into asymmetrical or chaotic compositions. Think whether you want to create a design which utilizes the whole grid and runs from side-to-side, or if your design uses just a part of your grid, and the rest is just a background which can be replaced or removed. Decide if you want to create repetition, either within your composition or of your whole design. If your grid is supposed to be the basis for a repeating pattern tile, pay attention to the way you shape and color elements at the edges so that they can flow into one another when tiled. We'll be looking into different tile options towards the end of the class. Experiment with connecting and coloring grid modules in different ways to either add or emphasize a sense of movement in your design. Explore how colors, shapes, scale, and repetition can help to establish a rhythm within your design and make it more dynamic and exciting. If you're creating an individual design, experiment with emphasizing a focal point in your composition by using contrast in colors, or by shaping elements in your design in a way which will guide the viewer's eye to the desired point. If you are creating a pattern tile, decide whether you want it to look more or less even, or to have some obvious elements that draw more attention than the others. This stage of creating your design is still more about structure and general design composition. After you have finalized your composition, there will be more ways to make your design look more unique. We'll explore those techniques later on in this class. On this stage of finalizing your design composition, work on the basics and don't worry about styling anything just yet. Remember that any grid you've got regardless of its complexity, is just a skeleton of your future design, and you can use it in any way you want. Even the most basic grid can lead to a range of very different and exciting outcomes. You just have to experiment and explore different options and have fun in the process. With the theory out of the way, now let's have a look at a range of tools and techniques which you can use to create designs based on your grids. 20. Preparing Your Grids for Creating Shape-Based Designs: The first approach I am going to show you, is based on the working with field called Sporphs and connecting modules together to form the desired compositions. There are a few different ways you can go about developing shape based designs, depending on whether you want to work destructively right away. Whether you have a plan or a sketch which you want to follow and the version of Illustrator you have. In the next few parts, I will cover a few different approaches you can take, and you can choose yourself which one works best for you in each particular case, but regardless of which of the following methods you will use. The first step of the grid preparation will always be the same or all shape-based designs. Let's start with it. If you have a lot of grids and aerodynamics in your document, like I have here, it is a good idea to keep them as they are in a separate document, to be able to easily use any of these grids in the future. Save a copy of this document to work with during the design development stage. In your second document, you can also only keep the grid which you want to use for future design and delete other grids and other words. This document will contain enough iterations as it is. There is no need to collaborate with unnecessary elements. When you are ready with the grid you want to use, select it, and make sure all of its elements are on one layer. Then create a rectangle in the size of your art board and align it to it. If you have used a square, rectangle by symmetric or hexagonal overall grid to begin with, and it already has shapes covering the whole canvas, you don't need to create a new rectangle, but if you do, it won't hurt either. Now, it is a good idea to create a copy over these grid layer for backup, rename it, and then hide and lock it. Then go to the original layer, select the whole grid and the rectangle. Then go to the pathfinder panel and click on the divide button. This will take all of the lines you had in your grid and create closed paths between them. So now, all of these are separate modules put into your group. Ungroup all of the modules, so you can select each shape individually. Since we'll be creating designs based on field paths to begin with, each module is to have a field color. If like me, you have all a stroke color a plan to green elements, select the whole grid and press shift X, to swap fill and stroke colors. At the moment, the color you use doesn't really matter, but if you have some specific color swatches you want to use in your design, you can change the fill color of all your modules, to one of these colors. The grid is now ready, and we can move on to the first method of creating shape-based designs. 21. Developing Shape-Based Designs Using the Live Paint Bucket Tool: Let's start with the easiest non-destructive method of the device and shape-based designs. It is great if you want to start creating in Illustrator without any sketching. Is also convenient for trying out different module combinations, without actually merging the paths in the process.Start with selecting the whole grid. Press K to switch to the Live Paint Bucket Tool, then press Enter to set it up. Here, check Paint Fills,Cursor Switch Preview,and Highlights. Uncheck Paint Strokes. If you know what colors you will be using, set Highlight Color to a color in which you will see all of your designs. Keep the Width set to the default 4px, or make it smaller if you wish. Then click OK to apply changes.If you have a specific color group you want to use, click on any color in this group from the Swatches panel. Alternatively, you can use any other random colors or shades of gray to basically map where different colored blocks should be. You can decide how many different colors you want to use in your design, work, or distribution. We will look at your color and artwork shortly. I'm going to use this group, and the several colors I have here, should be more than enough for trying out different compositions. With any color selected, click on a module in your grid to convert it into a Live Paint Group. Keep the group selected while you're working to see the edges of the shapes. We can add the grid and start working out the composition by painting adjacent modules, you want it to appear as one shape in the same color. One of the best features of the Live Paint Bucket Tool', is to change colors while painting and cycle out the colors in your chosen Swatch group with the left and right arrow keys.Another thing is that you don't have to color one module at a time. You can save a lot of time by selecting adjacent modules by holding down the mouse button like this. It can be a little tricky if you have some small modules, so sometimes, you might need to zoom in and recolor them separately. In most cases, it's a great time saver. So we'll use this tool and color and recolor different modules to get the composition you like. After recoloring the whole grid, select your Live Paint Group and go to menu Object, Live Paint, and select Expand. Or, you can do the same in one-click from the 'Control' panel. Un-group the result and then deselect all. Now, all of the shapes can be individually selected in the usual way. That's what you will need if you want to develop this design any further. Unless you have colored each module into a separate color to have many small elements, you will have larger blocks of the same colors, which consists of a number of separate modules. The next step is to connect some of these modules to have less shapes in your design, and make it more manageable. 22. Combining Grid Modules into Larger Shapes: After you have devised how you want your design to be structured, to make it easier to handle all of these shapes on the next stages of development. Now, it's a good time to merge the module's colored in the same colors into larger shapes. Depending on what you want to do with your design, you can either connect these whole shapes based on their color, or you can connect small sections of this areas. If you need to keep some modules separate, even if they are part of the same color block, which will be the case if you applied into those and further iterations, and might need separate shapes to be used as masks. What to contain some patterns or shading. If you want to connect smaller fragments of the same color within the larger area, you will need to select the required shapes menu. There are a couple of methods of doing it. Firstly, here is one which will work in any version of illustrator. To make it easier to see where the shapes boundaries are, you can add a stroke to all the shapes. Set it to a color different from the fill color, and set it to one pixel on the stroke panel. You'll select a few shapes. You can either use the selection tool and shift click on the shapes you want to merge together. Or if there are too many shapes or they are too small. In many cases, it might be easier to use the Lasso tool instead. The shortcut for the Lasso tool is Q. Ever, when you use this tool, you need to draw a selection across the path of the adjacent shapes like this. This tool selects paths and not what is inside of them. If you don't go over any paths in your selection, then nothing will be selected. When creating a selection, you don't need to close this selection by going to the starting point. But you need to make sure that your selection is anything else rather than a straight or straightish each line. Because the endpoints will be connected automatically, to enclose the selection. Straight line doesn't use any selection results. I usually select areas in a circular motion like this. The Lasso tool, is great for quick selection of adjacent shapes. You can hold down shift to add to your selection. But if you want to remove some shapes from your selection, don't try to deselect them with a Lasso tool, whilst holding down the Alt key. As it will only deselect specific segments, of the path you have selected. Instead, switch to the selection tool and shift click on the selected shapes you want to deselect. Regardless of whether you are using the selection tool or the Lasso tool. When you have finished selecting shapes, you want to merger, go to the Pathfinder panel and click unite. Here is one larger shape. This method is a little laborious. If you have a Creative Cloud version of Illustrator, it will be much easier to do the same with the ship builder tool, which we'll look at in a moment. But before that, let's quickly have a look at how you can quickly merge all the modules colored in the same color. If you don't need adjacent modules colored in the same color to be separate, you can very easily merge them together. To do this, select any shape in the color you want to start with. Having the shape selected, go to the menu, select, same, fill color. We'll use the select similar objects button on the control panel, select to fill color. I will be using it from now on, as it is faster. But if you don't have it available in your version of Illustrator, you will have to select same objects for the many. Now, having all objects in this color selected, go to the Pathfinder panel and click unite. This will merge or adjacent shapes colored in the same color. If you have a few non-adjacent areas, it will group them together, but they will be kept as separate shapes. A little trick, is that you can also use this technique, as a second step after my newly connected some of the shapes like I have just shown you. In this case, find the modules which you have already united and log them. Now, if you select other module in the same color and unite them, they will be merged separately. Which can also save some time if you work strategically and manually connect modules and leave the rest around, to be connected automatically. So keep this in mind and repeat the process with other similarly colored shapes if you want them to be merged. By the end of it, you should have a number of groups with puffs used in your design. Group them in your look modules in your grid. After you have merged all the necessary modules,if you would finalize the distribution of different colors in your design. Individually, recolor some of the shapes. If you still have the stroke on, set it to non hollow shapes and work with the fill color. If you are not yet set on the specific colors, concentrate on working out which areas should be in the same colors, and which ones should differ. Then we will move onto recoloring very soon. But now, let's have a look at an alternative method of easily connecting shapes, which only works in the Creative Cloud versions of illustrator. 23. Creating Shape-Based Designs Using the Shape Builder Tool: The shape builder tool, which was introduced in the Creative Cloud versions of Illustrator, is great if you want to quickly connect grid modules into larger shapes, and you can use it as a complete alternative, tantalized paint and pathfinder, or you can use it after using the live paint to connect smaller areas of the same color. This tool is a fantastic time-saver. If you have Illustrator CC, be sure to give it a go. For demonstration, I am going to use a different grid, which I have already divided in the closed box. To work with the shape builder tool, firstly, select your entire grid divide into modules, then press Shift M to switch to the shape builder tool, and press enter to set it up. We have used an oval and a rectangle when dividing this grid with the pathfinder tool, there should not be any gaps in your grid, but you can still keep gap detection check if you want. For the same reason, you should not have any open box but again, keep considered open field box as close checked. Then uncheck, clicking stroke splits the path to avoid creating additional paths. To be able to color your design at the same time as merging the modules, select, pick colors from swatches, and check cursor swatch preview, this will enable the same swatch selection, as we used with live paint bucket tool. Set selection to free form, to be able to easily select, and connect in your shapes. Make sure that field is checked here, apply changes, and now you're all set to start using this tool. If you're working based on a sketch and you want to connect and color shapes at the same time. Before you make a selection, use the left and right arrow keys to pick the color you want to apply, and then select adjacent shapes in your grid, like this. The shapes you select will be highlighted before you release the mouse button. Depending on the original fill color off your whole grid, sometimes it might be difficult to see the highlighted areas. Consider starting with a lighter, or brighter color. If you have selected something that you didn't want to, you will have to apply changes, by releasing the mouse button. Then undo your last step, and create a correct selection instead. Unlike when using the live paint bucket tool, it is not that easy to try alternatives and fix small errors but if you work carefully, and zoom in to select smaller modules in your grid, this tool can be super quick to use. When using the shape builder tool, you will see the plus sign next to it, and unlike the usual selection, it means that you're selected shapes will be merged. Don't get tempted to hold down the Alt key to minus from the selection because when using this tool, you will delete the whole selected shape instead. It is great when you need to erase shapes, or trim lines that you don't need, but not when working with grids, where you want to keep all modules. Another and my preferred method of using this tool, is working in the outline mode, and concentrating more on the structure rather than the color to begin with. This approach is great if you're developing a design which needs to have a certain structure, or if you planning to add stroke to the shapes, you need to make sure your composition works as lines. Other than that, the way you use this tool in the outline mode is the same. Just in this case, you don't need to worry about changing the color every time, and can work only with the composition, and here it is also easier to see the highlighted selection. When you are finished working in the outline mode, switch back to the preview mode. Then work on the recoloring adjacent areas to form the desired composition. Again, you can use the live paint bucket tool to make it quicker. These are two ways you can work with the shape builder tool in the grid context. Experiment and decide whether to work in preview, or outline mode depending on what you are creating. Remember that you can also use this tool, to quickly connect modules after coloring them with the live paint bucket tool. You can watch the whole process of how I use these tools in combination with each other in the bullets media for this class. This for the techniques which you can use to create shape-based designs. Connecting all of the shapes and doing some preliminary coloring, in most cases, this is just the beginning. Then you can create many different style iterations after this is done but before we will in develop shape-based designs further and create a new style iterations. Let's quickly have a look at a few tools and techniques for creating linear designs. 24. Tips & Tricks for Creating Linear Designs: Unlike shape-based designs, which in most cases are created digitally right away using the techniques I have just covered, I find it much easier to develop linear grid-based designs on a paper first. The process of working with paths in line-based designs in Illustrator, can be a little trickier than working with shapes. So it can really help and save time, if you have a sketch of your idea before you start making it in Illustrator. When you're ready to start creating your linear design in Illustrator, firstly, it's a good idea to switch to the preview mode if you were in the outline mode, into grid guide, based on the grid you want to use as a reference. To do this, select the grid you want to use and make sure that all of its elements are all in one layer and not blocked. Then copy this layer, select the copy and ungroup the contents of the layer until there is no more groups left. Then right-click anywhere on your grid, and, in this menu, select make guides. When it is done, rename this layer, so you know that it contains guides for this grid. Then roll to the view menu and make sure their guides are locked, so you do not accidentally move them. Here, they should be locked by default. But you can also lock them on the Layers panel if you wish. You can show and hide all guides in the document by pressing Command ; or Control in the Windows, or you can hide a layer with a specific set of guides, using the Layers panel. When you are ready with the guides, create a new layer for your linear design, and start building your final design composition using the guides as a reference. [inaudible] the layer with the original grid hidden and show it when and if you need to copy some element from it. Depending on the complexity of the lines in your grid and what you want to create, you can choose different ways to create your composition and use a combination of tools which we mostly already looked at throughout the class. The few other tools and techniques which I will share with you in a moment, together with a few of my favorite tricks and ideas for speeding up your workflow when creating linear designs. If you want to create straight-line segments, or if you need to have multiple open paths, the fastest way to create your desired design is by using the Pen tool. When creating multiple separate paths with the Pen tool, remember that every time you want to start a new path, you need the command click or control click in windows away from the previous path to deselect it. Pen tool is also the best tool to use if you need to create an elaborate path containing multiple straight-line segments. For example, like this. If you have curves in your grid, you don't need to recreate them. Simply go to the original grid, select and copy them, and then paste and place on your new layer. If you are using multiple paths which are separate but need to be connected into one continuous path, for example, like these arcs, select them with the Selection tool and press Command J or Control J in windows to join their anchor points, or you can select only the desired anchor points with the direct selection tool, and joined them, like this. If you already have all the necessary shapes separately in your custom grid, you can copy them from your grid and develop them further, if necessary, using the Pathfinder shape modes, we have already looked at at the stage of custom grid development. If you want to have a lot of separate linear elements in your design, it might be quicker to copy your whole original grid, and then cover it into open paths using the Pathfinder outline function. After you have applied it, assign a straw color to the whole selection and ungroup the result. Now you can use the selection tool to select and delete any paths you don't want to use in your design, or if you want, you can also select all of the paths, switch to the shape builder tool and remove paths by dragging your mouse over them while holding down the Alt key. If you want to disconnect all the shortened paths in your design, you can use the direct selection tool. Select point or multiple points you want to disconnect, and go to the control panel, and click on the cut off at selected anchor points button here. [inaudible] with the direct selection tool and this cut off function, is that it won't work if you have all of the points in the path selected. So if you want to cut a path or a number of paths at all points, you can do it in a couple of stages by selecting differences of points, like this. You can also use the grid divided into open paths, if you want to color different segments into different colors. Again, you can do it manually by assigning colors to selected paths, or you can switch to the live paint bucket tool, open its settings, and turn off paint film and turn on paint strokes. Then a power changes, and make sure the straw color is active on the toss power. You can press X to bring it to top if it is not. Then select any color group you want on the switches panel, and go about paintings strokes in your design, the same way as when developing shape-based designs. If you have not yet decided on the colors, use shades of gray or some other colors you have in your document, to mark which paths you want to be colored differently. If you're working with a lot of phrase, or lines which need to be trimmed to be at certain length, or to be contained within a certain shape, you can also create or use a line or a shape to define where these lines should be cut and use the Pathfinder outline the same way we have done for all our previous paths for trimming grid elements. When working with open paths and strokes, you need to be very careful about the ends and corners of the paths, so everything looks the way it is supposed to. Even though you can change and develop it at anytime, start exploring different stroke options to create the desired look as soon as you have created all of the paths in your linear design. Apart from the stroke weight, try out different cap and corner styles to change between sharp and rounded caps and corners. Changing this can help to avoid [inaudible] awkward, overlapping and overshooting ends and corners, especially when you start increasing the stroke weight. When working with combinations of open and closed paths, I usually stick to using strokes aligned to the center of the paths for consistency. But if you need it for an effect, you can also explore inside and outside stroke alignment for the closed paths. You can also experiment with creating dashed lines. Play around with a dash and gap lengths and try out different dash alignments to create neater ends. One of my favorite tricks is to set the dashed length to zero, make the gaps larger than the stroke weight and use round caps to create perfect dotted lines. If you're after something of fancy, you can also add some arrowheads, where you will explore different weights profiles. But again, this can be done at anytime. So to begin with, make sure you firstly concentrate on the color distribution between different strokes and their weight. If you are working is overlapping paths in different colors, don't forget that you can also change their order to make certain elements appear to be above or below some other ones. Depending on the design complexity and number of elements, either rearrange the order of the paths on the Layers panel, or use the Arrange options from the Object menu, or even better, these shortcuts, which will save you tons of time if you have a number of elements to rearrange. So that's it for my tips for creating the structure of linear grid-based designs and generally for techniques for developing designs based on grids. Now, we can move on to different techniques for developing all of these designs further and creating style iterations. But firstly, let's finalize the colors with a super-useful recoloring technique. 25. Tips & Techniques for Colouring Your Designs: After you have created the final structure of your shape-based or linear design, the next step is to finalize the colors. In this class, I'm not going to go into color research or developing your own color themes, but rather concentrate on techniques which will allow you to easily try out different colors and recolor your work. If you struggled picking colors in the notes to this video and in the project description, I have attached a few links to the color related resources where you can download some fun color swatches. Don't hesitate to check them out, and try using them in your work. If you want to learn in more detail where and how to source exciting colors, how to create interesting color combinations, and how to work with colors in Illustrator, be sure to check out the part about color research in my class, mastering duotones in Photoshop, and parts about working with colors in my classes, creating trendy abstract patterns in Illustrator, and creating trendy designs with abstracts patterns in Illustrator in which I share different tools and approaches. One way or another, get some colors you want to use ready, and let's begin by analyzing the colors. To make the recoloring process easy, your colors should be in separate color groups in your document swatches. If you haven't downloaded some swatches, go to the swatches panel, click on the swatch libraries menu button in the bottom left corner, and locate your swatches. If you have not added them to the Illustrator folder, click on the other library, and locate your swatches file. Your new library will pop up in a new panel. Now, simply click on the color group folders in this panel to add this color groups to your document. Or if there are no color groups there, shift click on the first and last swatches to select all of them and add them to your documents swatches through this menu. Close this new panel when you are done with it, and then sort all the swatches on the swatches panel. Select swatches that you want to be in one group, then click on the new color group button here. For the recoloring to go smoothly, treat each group as a colorway, and don't put colors together in a group if they're not a part of the same colorway. After you have edit your new color groups to the swatches, check out what kinds of swatches they are. If you see a white triangle in the corner of a swatch thumbnail, it means that this color is a global color so leave it as it is, and we will get back to it later. If you don't see a white corner, it's a good idea to double-click on this color and convert it to global by checking it here. Go for all the colors you want to use and convert them to global to be able to easily join them together with the artwork they will be applied to in future. After you have collected all of the color groups you want to try out in your document, select your design, then make sure all of its elements are selected and nothing is left locked from before. Have a new design selected, go to the menu edit, edit colors, then select recolor artwork, or click on the recolor artwork button on the control panel. The recolor artwork tool is one of the coolest color related tools in Illustrator, and it allows to easily recall your selection in a lot of different ways. To use the colors from your color groups, make sure that the assigned mode is selected here, and then click on the color group you want to try out. Make sure that you color art is checked here to be able to see the changes. To have more control over how the recoloring is applied, click on the color reduction options button here, set colors to all. This is particularly important if you have less colors in your destination color group than in your artwork. If you have some white, black, or gray colors in your work and you want to change them, make sure to uncheck them all here. Colorize method will affect how the illustrator deals with different tints and shades, and it depends on how many colors you have in your work, and how many different tints and shades of colors you have used originally. You will have to pick the option which suits you best. I usually keep it set to scale tints. More importantly, uncheck combine tints here, so that any tints you might be using in your design will be treated as separate colors. Apply new settings, and keep in mind that these options exist then try out different settings if you have to. Here, you can see which original color is replaced with which new color from the selected color group. If you see an arrow here, it means that the color is being replaced. If you see a dash, it means that the original color will be preserved. Here are all of the colors changed. The cool thing is that now you can randomize how they are applied to your work by clicking on this button. Slowly cycle through different options to be able to change the variant you like. If you need to manually change the order of the colors, you can also drag them on top of each other to swap them like this. Alternatively, you can use this tool in the edit mode and use the color wheel to change the distribution of the colors because here you can preserve the hue difference by clicking on this link button, and move all of the colors around they wheel together, you can simultaneously change the hue, and this can be pretty handy. Beneath the color wheel, you can switch between the hue and saturation and hue and brightness modes. If you drag the main color in the group which has a larger circle, you will be able to change the saturation or brightness of all of the colors at the same time. If you drag any other color individually, you will be able to change its saturation or brightness even when the colors are linked. If you like the new colors you have created using the color wheel, click on the new color group button here. Depending on your workflow and what you're trying to achieve, use either of these two modes. When you're happy with what you see, click okay to apply changes. If you have created new color groups using the recolor artwork tool, some or all of the colors in these groups won't be added as global colors, so quickly go through all of them and convert them to global ones. Then go through all of the objects which are colored in each of these colors one-by-one, use the select similar objects to set to fill and stroke colors, and apply the new global color swatches to them instead. Now, if you need to do some minor adjustments to any of the colors, if you edit any of the global color swatches, the colors will be updated in all the elements they were applied to. This is the great thing about using global colors. Keep it in mind, especially if you need to find new colors for printing. By using groups of global colors and the recolor artwork tool, you can very quickly and easily create a lot of color iterations of your designs. Play around with the recolor artwork tool and create as many different color versions as you want. I usually group my designs, create a few copies, and then recover them separately, either in different colors or just by changing the distribution of colors from the same color group. Keep this technique in mind, and consider using it again later to finalize your designs after you have developed it further and created some stylistic iterations, which we are going to explore in the following parts. 26. Styling Geometric Designs: Introduction: After the structure is worked out and all the coloring is done, now it is time for the most exciting stage of the process. In the next few parts, I am going to share a number of techniques and ideas of how you can take your grid-based designs a step further and style them in a number of different ways to add more personality to them, or to change their character. Half of the following techniques can be applied to shape-based designs only, and the rest can be applied to both shape-based and linear designs. If you create an A-shape base design, there are a lot of things to experiment with. And if you're creating a linear design carry on exploring different stroke settings, and check out the design iteration techniques covered in the parts about and left corners, blend tool, and gradients. And I'm going to start with the first technique for creating iterations of shape-based designs, which is based on adding stroke to all the shapes, and by doing so, making your design look more intricate and, in a way, more technical. 27. Styling Your Designs Using Strokes: Adding stroke, is probably one of my favorite ways of styling geometric designs. Because it allows to very easily change the whole feel of the designs, add more contrast to them, and make them more detailed and exciting to look at. Adding stroke is a pretty straightforward process. But there are a few tricks to keep in mind. Firstly, for consistency, make sure you select the whole design. Then set stroke to any color you want to use. Then go to the Stroke panel and set it up. All of the shapes in your design created using the path finder divide and then combined using the path finder unite or the shape builder tool should be closed paths. Which means that you should be able to align the stroke to the inside of the paths instead of the default central alignment. Align and stroke to the inside helps to avoid issues with overlapping paths. For example, if you have some areas where a color of one path sits on another path. This issue will become more visible if you increase the stroke weight and if you're using miter joints, for example like here. But as soon as you set the alignment to the inside, everything looks fine regardless of the weight or the corner settings. If you make an unrepeatable pattern then align and stroke to the inside will also allow you to have a uniform stroke weight throughout your pattern. Because when tiled, the combined stroke around the edges will create the same stroke weight as the one used throughout the rest of your pattern. On the other hand, if you're creating something not hotel ling and you need the stroke weight around the edges to be the same or even heavier than used inside your design. Then the easiest thing to do is to create a shape in the size of your design. Set feel [inaudible].Now set stroke to the required color and the weight. And change the stroke alignment to outside instead. And after that, if your design covers the whole format of the art board, you will need to adjust the size of your art board, so that when you export your design all of the edges will be included. When adding strokes to the filled shapes within your grid, experiment with different stroke weight to create the desired effects. But keep the stroke weight the same for all the shapes besides your design, and keep it set to the same color if you want to have a consistent look of an exposed grid. If you're after something more elegant or minimalistic. You can also experiment with creating designs which only use two colors. One color for all of the fills and another color for the strokes. While adding stroke is for shape-based designs, there are a few creative approaches you can try. As I have just shown, you can simply take your design and add a stroke to it as it is. Or you can make a copy of your design. Keep the original one as it is without stroke, and have the second one, only the stroke and no fill. If you have this grid on a separate layer, you can have some fun and retain this grid or reflect it and this way create some new structures in your design. Alternatively, you can take a copy of the original grid your design is based upon and connect shapes in a different way. So create a different composition which will make your design more hard. For example, like here. Or if you're after heavy, bold or visible grid lines, you can use both grids together. And one more thing I like doing, is combining grids from different designs, which also helps with some variation and create some unexpected result. So there are a lot of things you can do with adding stroke to your shape-based designs. So experiment and see what you can come up with. If you want to create something more elaborate with different colors of the strokes, different stroke weight or to work with just a part of the grid or open paths, you can definitely do that too. But for this, you will need to use the tools and techniques I shared in the part about creating linear designs. Next, we'll be looking at another technique called, working with the module boundaries of the shape-based designs. But in a completely different way. 28. Creating Gaps Between Shapes by Offsetting Paths: The next very useful tool for creating design iterations of the shape-based designs is the offset path effect. Offset path, they'll also easily remove the past in relation to the original ones, to either increase the size of the elements or to create empty spaces between the shapes, which can be useful if you want to put your design over some other image or texture or printed on a translucent material, or use it as a mask. To apply the offset path effect, select all of the shapes in your design and make sure that nothing is grouped. Next, go to the appearance panel. Click on the add new Effect button in the bottom of the panel, and in the menu which will appear, go to path and select upset path. In the offset path options dialog, check the preview box here, and go to the offset settings. To create a gap between the paths. You will need to use negative values. Keep in mind that the gap will be twice the size of what you input here, because the paths of each shape will move inwards by this amount. For example, if I type minus 1 pixel here, there will be a two pixel gap between my shapes. So try out different values to create a desired effect. When ready, click OK to apply the effect. Now you will be able to see it on the appearance panel, and you can always change the settings until you expand this effect. If you go to the outline mode, as you have used the Offset Path effect. You will see that your actual paths as still in their original size and position. Basically, what this effect is doing is offset in the other appearance attributes such as color fuel, in this case. If you are not planning to do anything else with these shapes afterwards, you can keep offset path applied as an effect. But if you want to be able to work with the paths or customize them further to avoid making a mess with the effect, an appearance attributes, you will need to expand this effect. To do this, select your whole design, and go to the menu object. Then select Expand Appearance. Now you cannot edit the effect any longer, and you will see all the paths offset from each other and the gap between them. Now, you can place whatever you want on the background behind your shapes. I am going to create a new rectangle in the size of the onboard, filled with a color. Non-standard to-back. But you can use whatever you want instead. Like your photograph, a texture or another design. You can also experiment with creating a mask out of the design or out of some of the shapes in it. To use the whole design as a mask, select the tool press Command or Control eight into Windows to create a compound path. Then place an image behind it. Select the image in your design, and press Command seven or Control seven in the windows to create a clipping mask. Experiments with this effect in see with creative uses, you can find where you're upset paths. Since we have started to mess around with the shapes. Next, let's have a look at another fun way of developing your design by modifying the paths. 29. Customising Your Designs Using Live Corners: Regardless of whether you are working with a shape-based or linear designs, if your work has some pentagonal shapes in it, but generally some angles. You can experiment with making the corners smoother, which can help to drastically change the overall feel of your work. Depending on the version of illustrator you have, you can do this a couple of different ways. In this part, I will be covering the live corners feature available in the Creative Cloud versions of illustrator. But if you have an older version, you can read about the alternative method, you can try in the node for this video. To work with the live corners, to reach to the direct selection tool and click on a path to select it. If it has corners, the live corner widget will pop up for each corner and you can drag them to change the corner radius. You can work with one path at a time, where you can select multiple graphs and change all the corners in them simultaneously, or you can click on the anchor point, to select just one corner, and then work with it. Or shift-click to select a few of the corners and change them together. If you double-click on one of the left corner widgets, the options for this corner will pop up. In here you can further adjust your corner settings. The fun bit here is that you can change corner style, if you want to create something other than the usual rounded shapes. Changing one corner at a time can be useful but if you want to change settings for all the corners in the selection, you can do it for the menu on the control panel, where you can adjust all the same things. When working with live corners be wary of other anchor points on the paths, because the corner won't go any further than the closest existing point or point created by the adjacent live corner, and because of the same thing, when adjusting multiple corners at the same time, their edges will be limited by the first maximum radius raised by one of the corners. So keep an eye on the points on your paths and if there are some points, we should not affect the shape in any way. You can delete them using the delete anchor 0.2. When working with shape-based designs, by changing the colors, you will create gaps between the shapes. So if you want to have a background, you will have to edit separately then set it to any color you like. There are plenty of creative ways you can use the live corners too, so play around with it and see what you can come up with. Next, let's have a look at how you can develop your designs further by texturing some of their elements with patterns. 30. Texturing Your Designs Using Patterns: Using patterns to texture some of the shapes in your design, Is a great way to add variety, Make your design more elaborate and playful and even to create an impression of using a lot of colors was taken to a limited color palette. Hidden patterns is a prettiest straightforward process but there are a few things which you need to remember to make your life easier and to be able to quickly try out different things. Firstly, You can use all sorts of patterns for this but I find that it works best with simple or relatively simple abstract patterns with no background. If you are after some playful abstract patterns, You can learn how to create them in my class, Creating training abstract patterns in Illustrator and in this part, I will share tips for creating and using a dot pattern, Which is super easy to create, Fun to use, and extremely versatile. If you want to create any other regular pattern of repeated shapes, The principles will be the same regardless of what shapes you are using. To create a simple dot button, Switch to the Ellipse Tool, Then create a one by one Pixel Circle. Then zoom in a little so you can clearly see the dot, Select it and go to the Menu Object, Pattern and select "Make". This will launch the Pattern Preview and open the Pattern Options Panel, Here being the pattern type you like. I often use a Brick Type to create a Polka dot type of patterns but if you're after solving a bit more serious looking, Here's the Regular Grid Pattern instead. Then send the size of the tile depending on how tight or loose you want your pattern to be. If you're happy with your pattern and don't need to check out how it works. Now, You can quickly create a number of different collaborations by recoloring your pattern in your chosen colors and save the a copy off each pattern every time. If you're working with a set color palette and using global colors, You can very quickly create a set of patterns to play around with in your design. When you are done experimenting, Click "Down" to save the last iteration and Exit the Person Preview. Here are all color versions of the same pattern because these patterns have no background, You can very easily put them over any shapes in your design and it is best to few new patterns or the shapes with patterns and not add additional patterns fields for the existing shapes. When you pick an area which you want to fill with the pattern, Select it, "Copy", Press command "F", or "Control F" in the Windows to paste what you have copied in the front and in the same place and then press command "Shift Closing Square Bracket" or "Control Shift Closing Square Bracket" in Windows so bring it to front. This is important to be able to easily find all of the person fail tricks on the layers panel latter. Having copied all the shapes selected you can now go to the swatches panel and apply any pattern you want to use. Before you move on to copy in more shapes and applying patterns to them. You can also quickly adjust the scale, position, and rotation of the pattern within these shapes. While staring on the pattern shield shape or multiple shapes selected. If you want to change the scale of your pattern, Switch to the scale tool and press "Enter". In this dialogue, Uncheck transform objects and queue the transform patterns selected, Then check preview and change the release here to get the desired effect and apply changes. If you want to retain the pattern within the shapes, Switch to the Rotate tool instead. Press "Enter" and again, make sure that transform object option is not checked and transform patterns is. Then change the settings here. If you want to move the pattern within the shape, Switch to the selection tool and press "Enter". Yet again and uncheck transform objects and check transform patterns and then change the position of the pattern here and apply changes. Being able to modify patterns like this is very useful and it allows to create a lot of different variations very easily. Another great thing is that, When you apply the same pattern per number of shapes and adjust them simultaneously, They will seamlessly flow from one shape to another and if you forget to adjust some of the patterns, You can switch to the eyedropper tool by pressing I and easily copy the pattern attributes from another shape like this. Another little trick is that, If you decide to change the patterns switch to another, The attributes will be kept as before. Here, Because these patterns differ only in the color, This too match perfectly where they touch. You can quickly try out different pattern versions without needing to change all the attributes every time. Keep all this in mind, Create copies of your shapes and fill them in with different patterns. Depending on what you want to create and how you have match shapes in your grid, You can try filling in some fragments of the larger color blocks or you can fill some of the color areas entirely with your patterns, You can even copy modules which were colored differently and put a patterns over them to make a more colorful design with a sense of layering. This are a few things you can explore when using repeatable patterns to add variation to your designs. Next, let's have a look at how you can add custom Repeated Linear Elements to create more contrast and make your designs more detailed. 31. Styling Your Designs Using Repeating Linear Elements: If you want to make your designs more sophisticated without using the repeatable patterns like I have shown you in the previous part. You can incorporate some custom linear elements into your designs, and equip yourself with another way of creating contrast in your work to make it more exciting visually. Whilst I will be walking you through the process of adding repeated lines, a structural or decorative elements to a shape based design. You can also use the same technique if you're working with a linear design and you want to add more lines between the ones which already exist and use the shapes in the original grid as a basis for the trajectory. To add repeating lines within the shapes and make them follow the shapes one way or another, firstly, you will need to prepare the lines from two opposite, or in some cases, adjacent sides between the region you to create more lines. If the size of the shape you are working with are based on straight lines, then is the best to quickly recreate these paths using the pen tool or the layers you have on the [inaudible] with your design. Then create a new layer. Select it and using the smart guides to perfectly align the anchor point with your original design. Create a path which exactly follows the path you want to repeat. When you have traced one side, repeat the process with another side, double-check on the layers panel that you have two paths here, and you are ready to go. Alternatively, if you have some curves in your shapes, go to your design, copy the shape you want to fill in with lines, paste it onto a new layer above, and then using the direct selection tool, one-by-one, select and delete the sides you don't need. This is best done for any complex shapes formed by a number of different elements. If you have some basic curved shapes, such as circles or arcs, you can copy the whole shapes from your original grid elements layer and use them instead. Regardless of how you are creating or getting these paths, when you have two paths ready, select the pair of them, make sure they don't have any film, and set the stroke up using a desired rate and color. Make sure the stroke alignment is set to center if you're working with closed paths, and it will be the only option for open paths. When ready, press old command B or old control B in the windows to create a blend. Then press W to switch to the blend tool then press enter. We have a look at using the blend tool early in this class. So this process is the same. Check preview and save the space and method to specify steps or specify distance depending on what's more important to you. Input the desired value here. Apply changes, and here is your blend. By default, the blend is created in a straight line between the two shapes, and it works fine if you want to create a blend or shapes which go along the shape, like in the example here. But if you want to create a different effect and have the lines go across the shape. For example, something like a car. The process will be slightly different. In this case, you only book the sides you want to repeat and the other two sides. So this connects four corners using the direct selection tool. First of all, create a blend of the two sides which determine the direction, and use only one step like this. Then select this blend. Then go to the menu object, blend, and select expand. On the Layers panel, find the group with the expanded blend, take out the path in the middle and delete the other two. Then go to the other two paths and create a blend between them. Then select the new blend and the path going through the center of the shape, and go to the menu object. Blend and select replace spine. Now, the blend will follow this new path instead of the default straight line. It is likely that at this point you will see some mess and not what you're after. So select the blend and edit its settings. Set the orientation here to align to path. This is important, otherwise, the lines will follow the new spine as intended. At this point, you will most likely see an even bigger mess here. So apply changes and let's sort it out. Even the pops form in the blend rotated, and no longer follow the sides of the shape. Then rotate them back to their original position along the sides of the shape. If you have some tricky angles, go into the outline mode and carefully rotate the paths until they match their original shape. If after rotating the paths, the band still doesn't look like it is supposed to. Select one of the paths, roam in the blend, and then go to the menu, object, path. Then select reverse path direction. This is an important option to remember, because that's the place you need to go to, if you see lines in the blend crossing, instead of going in irregular steps one after another. So there's two different ways of using the blend tool to create lines which follow the shapes in your grid. But there are a few more things you can and should do to them to finalize how they look, and how they are applied. If you're using paths which cover more than the area you want them to be in, or if the ends of the paths are overshooting the edges or the shapes, you will need to put them in the equilibrium mask. So find the shape in your grid you want to contain these lines. Copy it, and go to the layer with a blend, and press command F or control F in the windows to paste it in front. Then select both the shape and the blend you want to mask, and press Command 7 or control 7 in the windows to create a clipping mask. Now, to work with the blend within the clipping mask, you can either isolate it or may newly select what you want to work with on the layers panel, and keep an eye on it. So you always know what you have selected. Next before you expand your blends, consider experiment with a stroke settings, then try out different stroke weight. Experiment with Ed and dashes to one or both strokes and try out different caps and corner options. If you have corners in your paths or if you're using dashed lines. There are a lot of funny things you can create by blending different strokes, so play around with these settings. Remember that you can also revisit the blend options at anytime and change the number of lines created between the original paths. When you have finalized your blend, next, you can expand it to be able to work with the individual paths separately. Make a copy of the editable blend just in-case, hide, and lock it. Then select the original one, then go to the menu object, blend and select, expand. Now you can do whatever you want with all of the individual paths. For example, if you want to keep the lines at the edges of your shapes, but you want them to appear to be the same rate as all other lines between them. Then you need to select with two paths at the edges in the blend result group on the Layers panel. They will be the first and the last task, so it is easy to find them. Change their stroke weight to be twice the rate for the other paths, then here you are. Now, also because all these paths are separate and not controlled by the blend, you can further experiment with different strokes settings for individual paths. You can even recolor them separately, if you wish. What I like to do in my design, is actually delete these two original paths and only keep the ones in between. I also often use this type of lines in the same color. As the modules, they are connecting and put the background color behind them instead, like you can see here. You can watch the time-lapse screen-cast of how I have created this design in the bonus video for this class. The next step is not essential but if for some technical reason, we need to have only filled paths and no masks in your design. After you have finished setting up all of the strokes and finalize the mask, you can select the strokes within the mask. Then go to the menu object, path, then select outline strokes. This will convert previously stroked paths into field trips. Now you can select the whole clip group, and then go to the Pathfinder panel. You'll select Crop and you will be left only with the field trips, which work within the mask. So this whole process of using blends and masks might seem a little complex. But it's really not, once you move through the process a few times and get used to it. There are plenty of things to experiment with. So play around with Adrian lines using the blend tool and masks. Then see what kind of things you can come up with. Next, I will share with you a few techniques for using gradients to color and shape grid-based designs. 32. Developing Your Designs Using Gradients: Another thing you can consider exploring when working with both linear and shape-based designs is gradients. You can use gradients simply to color different shapes, aligns, and give them a different character, or you can use gradients for shading and adding some depth to your work, or you can use them to develop the composition even further, and add a sense of movement and direction for different elements in your design. In this part, I am going to share some ideas, techniques, and tips for how you can apply gradients to your grid-based designs. If you want to learn how to effectively create and use all different types of gradients in Illustrator, be sure to check out my class Mastering Gradients in the Illustrator because it's a whole separate story. To apply a fill gradient to the shapes in your design, select a shape, a number of shapes, or even the whole design. Then go to the tools panel and set fill to gradient. When you change the fill type, the gradient panel should open automatically. Through this panel, you can change the type of gradient which is applied to your shapes, the angle your gradient is rotated at, and the colors used in your gradient. To change the colors used in the gradient, double-click on the color stops here and select colors from swatches or set the colors up manually. There are plenty of different things you can experiment with here. So play around with them. Try applying the same gradient to all shapes, or use different gradients and experiment with the rotation angles. This thing alone can allow to create a lot of cool effects. I covered using the gradient panel in detail in my class, Mastering Gradients in Illustrator. So please check it out if you need to learn how to use it and get the most out of it. If you want to control the way the gradient is applied within the shape more precisely and visually, select the shape and then press "G" to switch to the gradient tool. You should see a gradient slider popup over the shape. If you cannot see it, go to the menu view and select "Show Gradient Annotator". Using the gradient annotator, you can move the gradient within the shape, change the length of the gradient, and manually change its rotation angle. You can also draw a straight line between two points like this to create a gradient of a specified length and on a certain angle. You can do a lot just by modifying several gradients, applied to individual shapes. But if you have some shapes which don't go in a straight line and you want the gradients to follow along with the shapes, you will need to use stroke gradients instead. If you're working with a shape-based design, and don't use strokes as a basis, you will need to create paths which go through the centers of the shapes you want to fill these gradients which will change the direction together with the shapes. For this, you can use the blend tool in the technique we have looked at in the previous part. So create a one-step blend between the two sides, expand it, delete the two paths you don't need, then select the remaining center path, and apply a stroke gradient to it. Change the stroke weight, so that the stroke fills your whole shape, or if it is an odd uneven shape, make it go outside of it, and then make a clipping mask using the original shape to hide the bit outside the same way as I've shown you in the previous part. When the stroke fills the shape correctly, go to the gradient panel, and set stroke to apply gradient along stroke and the gradient will appear as if it flows through the shape. You can also apply it across stroke if you're after this effort. So experiment with it and see what you can create. Edging gradients this way takes time and attention, but it is well worth it. It is a bit complex when you're working with the shape-based designs. But if you have a linear design to begin with, simply apply stroke gradients to the paths and explore different options on the gradient panel. Experiment with different stroke options to achieve the desired effects. Regardless of whether you're using the fill for stroke gradients, you can also use them for shading. Which is a great way of adding more dimension to your work. To use gradients for shading, firstly, create a copy of the path you want to add a shadow to. Apply a gradient to it using one of the previous techniques and set the opacity of one of the color stops to zero percent. Slope these two stops around if you need to change the direction of the gradient to create a shadow effect. Now there are a few different ways you can play it. You can set both color stops to black and then set the blending mode to multiply and change the opacity to the desired value. You can also change the position of the midpoint on the gradient slider to adjust the length of the shadow like this. Alternatively, you can set the darker color stop to any color. For example, a darker shade of the color used to fill in the shape. Then set the transparent color stop either to the same color, or to the original color of the shape. In this case, you can set the blending mode to normal and explore different opacity settings. If you're using field gradients for shading, check out both linear and radial gradients as they will create different effects. Use the gradient tool to move the gradients around, rotate, resize, and position them properly within the shapes. There are plenty of things you can do with your designs by adding gradients. So keep these techniques in mind and try them out. The tip for my favorite techniques for taking grid-based designs is step four. Next, let's move on to finalizing the designs and preparing them for use and export. 33. Troubleshooting & Preparing Your Work for Output: When you have finished your design, there are a few more things you need to check and address, in order to avoid issues when using it or exporting your work. The first item on the checklist, is to make sure that your design is pixel perfect. Select the whole design, and on the control panel, check its width and height. Ideally, these numbers should be in whole pixels, especially if you are planning to export it as a raster image, or use as a pattern title. If one or both of the numbers are a little off, for example, if you have used an asymmetric or hexagonal grid, to begin with, unlink them, then make sure that Scale Corners and Scale Strokes & Effects are not checked, and adjust width, and height to the closest whole number. The change will be very small, so you should not even notice it visually. After you've have adjusted the size of your design, switch to the Artboard Tool, and change the artboard both size to the same size as the design. Then make sure that the artboard's corner position, is also a whole pixel values. When you are done with the artboard, switch back to the Selection Tool, and make sure your design is perfectly aligned to the artboard. Next thing to do, is to check and finalize all of the elements in your design. Zoom in close, then select any selected elements, and look for your design, checking for any tiny modules you might have missed when coloring. Watch out for kinks and awkward corners, and overshoot in linear elements, and generally for anything else out of place. Address any found issues, and make sure your design doesn't have any defects. Issues with linear designs can come from having separate paths, where they should have been connected. Join any anchor points on the paths sharing the same appearance attributes, if you need them to form perfect corners. If you still have some adjacent shapes in your design, visuals have a near stroke and are filled with the same color or pattern, but are separate, now, it's a good idea to unite all of the shapes sharing the same attribute, to help these paths and the points in your design. You can do it by selecting the shapes manually, or quickly select multiple objects based on their appearance attributes, the same way we've done before. Then you apply the Pathfinder unite. After you have connected all of the paths which should be connected, and united all of the shapes which share the same appearance attributes, you can also go through all of the paths, and remove any unnecessary and structurally unimportant points, which were created as a result of using Pathfinder divide or outline. This is not a necessary step in most cases, but if you are creating a logotype, a pictogram, or a letter form, cleaning paths and keeping all the structurally essential points, is a good practice. After you have finalized your design, if you're totally done with it, now, you can move on to the export part. Or if you have been working on a pattern tile, watch the next part, in which I will share a few ideas for arranging patterns and techniques for creating pattern swatches. 34. Tips & Ideas for Tiling Geometric Designs: << If you have used a grid to design a pattern tile after you have finalized it, now you can explore different ways of creating a surface pattern from it. If you are happy with your pattern tile as it is, you can select it all and drag it to the swatches panel. This will create a basic pattern swatch which you can use with an illustrator. If you're after some other way of tiling rather than creating a grid of free pattern tiles, you could experiment with different arrangements both manually and using the patent options tool. To use the pattern options tool, make sure all of the elements are unlocked, and select the whole tile. Then go to the menu object, pattern, and select make. On the pattern options panel, make sure that the width and height of the tile here are exactly the same as the width and the height of your design to avoid having gaps between the tiles or overlapping areas. Then go and explore different tile types and set options when they are available. Depending on how your pattern tile is structured and what elements you have at the edges, you will be able to create different kinds of repeats so experiment with different arrangement, and save as many per set as you want but an options tool make it extremely easy to create something fun and unexpected, so keep all these options in mind for the next pattern you create so you can work on the edges for specific types of tiling and of set options. If you don't have the pattern options tool available, or if you want to explore more random arrangements, you can also use copies of your button tile and move them around manually. When doing this, make sure to snap them to each other using the smart guides. Our ranging pattern tiles menu is also great if you want to cover a surface with a number of different button tiles, or if you want to explore rotating or reflecting one tile within the design. This is one of my favorite tricks when experimenting with patterns because this way, one button tile can be used to create a number of very different patterns. Another thing you can do is to arrange your patterns manually in a more complex offset manner which will result in having empty areas between the tiles. If you get something like this, use it as a creative opportunity to fill in the gaps and create some fun surface patterns. Think about this process as laying the floor or wall tiles, and using tiles of two different sizes. After you have created your surface patterns, swatches, you can quickly create a number of different color options using the recall artwork tool which we have already looked at in detail, and then you go on using your patterns anyway you want. Next, let's move on to the final stage of the process, and checkout different export options. 35. Saving Your Work for Web & Print: After you have created and finalized your design and pattern, be sure to save the AI document containing your final work.Then depending on what you want to do with your design next, you could export it in a few different ways. If you want to export your work for digital use or for print via print and demand services which accepts files in RGB. Then go to the Menu File, Export, Export As. In the export dialogue, choose where you want your work to be saved and give your file a descriptive name here. When it is done, set format to either JPEG or PNG If you're using transparency. Then select Art boards you want to export. Even if you just have one Art board in your document, you still need to specify Art board number here. When ready, click Export to continue. If you're exporting a JPEG, in the next options window, select RGB color mode, set quality to maximum. If you are exporting for print or for high-quality digital use, then choose the desired resolution. Whenever possible, depending on the image dimensions, I export my work as 300 DPI to begin with. Then resize the rest of the files in [inaudible] when required. But if you just want to share your work online, you can export it at 72 DPI. Make sure to select Art Optimized anti-aliasing to avoid having having gaps between the paths and other graphic artifacts and Embed the standard sRGB profile to ensure that your colors will be displayed correctly. If you're exporting a PNG, select the desired resolution. Also select anti- aliasing to Art Optimized and set the background to transparent. If there are any transparent or not 100 percent opaque areas in your design. When ready, click "Okay" to export your work and you're all set for sharing your work online or sending it to print in RGB. If you have been working in CMYK for print all along, you can now go ahead and save your work for print or if you need to convert your RGB file into CMYK. Firstly, save a copy of your document and then convert it to CMYK by going to the menu file, Document Color Mode and choosing CMYK. If you have used global colors in your work, which you should have. Now you can adjust them if necessary. If you have a Color Guide, for example, a Pantone color bridge, you can reference it for the specific CMYK value for your desired colors. Double-click on any color you want to edit. In this dialog, choose CMYK mode and then adjust the values here to create your desired color. What you see on your screen is not necessarily how your work will look when printed. Whenever possible, contact your print shop and produce test prints, especially if you are planning a large print on. Go through all of the colors used in your document which need adjusting. When ready, go to the Menu File, Export, Export As and set format to TIFF. Select the Artboard you want to export and click "Export." In the next window, set the color mode to CMYK and resolution to 300 DPI. Then make sure that you have Art Optimized anti-aliasing selected here. Check LZW compression if you want to produce smaller files. If you have installed a color profile used by your printer, then you can specify it here. Alternatively, embed the standards profile, will keep it in chip and talk to your print shop. Press "Okay" and you're done. Next, it's time to wrap this class up with a few more ideas for using grid-based designs and final thoughts. 36. Final Thoughts & Conclusion: If you haven't yet decided what to create, and need more inspiration and references, be sure to check out my geometric designs and patterns research board on Pinterest. There are so many different things you can make using the grids and geometric shapes, and I cannot wait to see what you come up with. Besides all of the things we shall have shared in this class, you can also explore putting your design over some other image and remove or make transparent some of the elements we experiment with the blending mode to create an overprint effect. Also, once you've build a grid or a grid-based design, you can always break it by transforming separate elements in your design or by deliberately or accidentally making mistakes. For example, using the aligned tool with the ungrouped grid elements, like I have done here. So experiment and have fun. If you're creating a linear design, be sure to check out my class Creating Custom Arrowheads for Styling Linear Vector Graphics in Adobe Illustrator to learn how to easily transform the look of your graphics and turn simple stroke lines into exciting, decorative or even illustrative elements in just a few clicks. If you're into type design, don't hesitate to check out my class Type Design Basics: Design a Unique Decorative Grid-Based Typeface to learn how to develop custom grids based on photographs in design typefaces on their basis. [MUSIC] So that's it guys. Thank you so much for going with me on this journey to explore illustrator tools and techniques for creating grid-based design. I really hope you have enjoyed this class and learnt something new from the numerous techniques I have shared in this class. I know it's been a lot, but now you should be all set to tackle any project which deals with geometry and grids. I will be super-excited to see your grids and grid-based designs, patterns, illustrations, or anything else you choose to create. Be sure to share your work in the project section for this class. If you are going to share you work on Instagram, please tag us and use the #attitudeskills so we can easily find your post. Don't forget that for the first six weeks of this class, we will be running a special contest and you can win one year of Skillshare Premium Membership. To participate, post your project in this class, leave a class review, and follow us here on Skillshare before noon, Eastern Standard Time on Monday 23rd of September 2019, and check out the contest details on the community board for this class. We cannot wait to see your contest submissions, so start your project today, and good luck. If you have any sorts of questions, please leave a comment on the community board for this class, and I will have it answered and provide feedback. Remember, that there are a few downloads added to this class, which you can find in the project tab here. There are notes added to the videos containing additional information or clarifying certain points. So be sure to read through them. If you found this class helpful, please leave a review so more people could discover it. Be sure to follow us here on Skillshare to be the first to know about all new classes, updates and announcements. Also, don't hesitate to check out and follow our page on Facebook, to see what we are up to, get all the latest updates, send us private messages if you need to get in touch [inaudible] and not to miss if you are featured in our student's spotlight gallery. Thank you for watching this class and I hope to see you in our other classes. 37. Bonus: Making of Geometric Design with Blends & Gradients: 38. Bonus: Making of Geometric Grid Based Letterform: you well.