To create an Adobe Illustrator masterpiece, you need to have a solid grasp of fundamental concepts and tools like the Appearance panel and Layer Styles. Learn these and you will be able to create astounding designs and illustrations. These 50 tutorials will help you to use Graphic Styles like a pro.
Pro Illustrator Resources
The fastest and most effective way to use Adobe Illustrator styles is to use professional ones. It is much easier than creating a graphic style from scratch.
Envato Elements is the perfect place to find winning Illustrator graphic styles. For a low monthly fee, you can unlock unlimited downloads of great Illustrator graphic styles. Find neon, glitter, text styles, vintage, and many other ready-made templates to help you create a unique and professional design.
Now let's get into these free Adobe Illustrator Layer Style lessons!
Graphic Styles and Appearance Panel: Quick Tips
In this video, you'll learn the basics of the Graphic Styles panel in Adobe Illustrator CS4. But all of the tips and secrets can also be applied to newer versions of Adobe Illustrator. Watch three minutes of video, and you'll know how to use the Appearance panel in Illustrator to create your Layer Styles. Isn't it marvelous?
These buttons are great for game UI design. The bubble-gum-inspired blog buttons are made by using Drop Shadows and the Appearance panel in Adobe Illustrator. And in this tutorial, you'll learn every step of this process.
There are many ways of creating seamless patterns in Adobe Illustrator. This tutorial helps you to achieve the desired result within minutes, just using the Appearance panel and Layer Styles. As a bonus, you'll learn how to draw simple cartoon-style rocks in Adobe Illustrator. But this principle can be applied to any pattern design. Take note!
If you want to make a map-based app design, you can't ignore map indicators. In this tutorial, we'll be using a single shape with multiple Appearance attributes to create a Graphic Style in Adobe Illustrator that's easy to use and edit. Become an Appearance panel master with our instructor Chris Carey!
In just eight steps, you can create a retro style effect for any text! It sounds like a miracle. But Chris Carey reveals all the secrets and shows the process step by step. These effects will be completely non-destructive to the text, so you can edit it at any time without repercussions.
Sometimes you just need your own texture. In this quick tip, Sharon Archer-Thomas will show you how to create a grunge paper texture in Adobe Illustrator using only a standard brush and the Graphic Style panel. What's great about this approach is that the result is 100% vector, so it's still scalable, without any raster effects.
Illustrator is great for designing difficult UI elements. In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a pagination bar using the Appearance panel, gradients, and transform effects. This quick tip is a great way to learn the Graphic Style basics effectively and quickly.
The Appearance panel in Illustrator is a versatile and powerful tool for adding effects to live type. You can use pattern fills, radial gradients, strokes, layer styles, and effects, all while keeping the type totally editable. And all of this you can learn in this short video tutorial by Cheryl Graham!
If you want to add some individuality to your web designs, this tutorial is for you! Here, you will learn how to create your own set of web buttons. Become a pro with the Appearance panel and Drop Shadow effects with this 12-step quick tip by Andrei Marius.
Unlike Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator doesn't have a built-in emboss effect, but you can make one yourself, with a few quick steps, using the Appearance panel. This Layer Style effect can be applied to anything easily and quickly. The video by Cheryl Graham will show you exactly how to do it.
Tutorials Ideal for Beginners
Here are some great tutorials to test your new skills on!
The Appearance panel helps to add as many fills and strokes as we need, applying various effects and arranging them in the necessary order, all applied to one object. In this tutorial, we will get to know this Adobe Illustrator feature and draw a fabulous, colorful peacock with the help of various effects. It's a great way to learn more about the Appearance panel in Adobe Illustrator.
In this tutorial, you'll learn how to use Illustrator effects such as Outer Glow, Drop Shadow, and others. Also, you'll discover how to edit and arrange them with the Appearance panel and create your own Layer Styles. As a result, you'll create a stunning UI button. Great for web design!
This kaleidoscope tutorial is a good exercise to help you learn the Appearance panel and Graphic Styles in Adobe Illustrator quickly and easily. And it will be one of those tricks you'll enjoy playing with!
Adobe Illustrator is not about boring vector shapes without any decoration. It is much more! In this beginner tutorial, you'll learn about Adobe Illustrator scatter brushes and how to take full advantage of the Appearance panel. Finally, you will learn how to add subtle shading and highlights using a simple blend, basic effects, and a bunch of blending techniques. Awesome, isn't it?
Create an illustration with only one shape... Sounds like Mission Impossible... But not with this tutorial! Our instructor will guide you and show you how to create a cute avocado icon from a basic shape. Pure magic!
Take full advantage of the Appearance panel and create social buttons in Adobe Illustrator using only one piece of text. You will learn how to use multiple fills, strokes, and effects. Also, Andrei Marius will teach you how to use basic blending techniques.
Difficult technical illustrations are easy if you know Graphic Styles in Adobe Illustrator. In the following tutorial, you will learn how to create a detailed calculator interface by using the Appearance panel, gradients, and duplicated shapes. It's a great tutorial for those who like to avoid using the Pen Tool, so let's get stuck in!
Are you a sport fan? Create this pair of sneakers together with Sharon Archer-Thomas. She will guide you and teach you how to use the Appearance panel to create a stylized version of the bottom of a sneaker. It is a great start for beginners to know more about Graphic Layer Styles in Illustrator.
Adobe Illustrator can help you to create trendy vector illustrations. In this beginner tutorial, Andrei Marius will show you how to set up a simple grid and use basic blending and vector shape-building techniques. Taking full advantage of the Appearance panel and using some simple Blur effects, you will add the extra highlights and textures. Sounds fascinating. And the result is marvelous!
Creating a technical illustration shouldn't be boring. By drawing these detailed keyboard buttons, you'll learn over 50 effects and some basic blending modes, and you'll see how powerful the Appearance panel can be! All in just one step-by-step tutorial. Just wow.
Draw a juicy fruit slice illustration with only one shape. Is it challenging? Yes, of course. But is it difficult and boring? Sharon Archer-Thomas says no and proves it. She will show you how to create a sliced segment of a kiwi fruit, with the help of the Appearance panel. The best thing is, this tutorial is ideal for beginners as she is going to show you each step and all the settings so you can try this out for yourself.
Cute rubber bands are perfect for bringing attention to images on the web. Together with Chris Carey, you will learn how to use the Pen Tool and the Appearance panel to draw these elements in Adobe Illustrator from scratch. So let's begin!
The 3D text style is a real trend now. This effect looks like a popular cyberpunk effect and is reminiscent of a neon glitch effect. In Adobe Illustrator, you can convert any text to an anaglyphic easy and fast. This step-by-step tutorial in just nine steps proves it. Put your 3D glasses on, and let's do it!
Diana Toma shows you how to create an all-vector watermelon text effect in Adobe Illustrator. You will create a watermelon style from scratch and save it in the Graphic Styles panel. Also, you'll learn how to create your own Seed Scatter Brush. The result looks tasty, doesn't it?
Get ready for high speeds! Today, we will create a simple speedometer illustration in Adobe Illustrator. You need just some basic tools and blending techniques to achieve this fantastic result.
Adobe Illustrator is a powerful instrument that allows you to create your own Layer Styles and brushes. In this tutorial, you'll create a rope pattern brush and learn the Shape Builder Tool. What's most important, Andrei Marius provides a video version of this tutorial. Everyone can follow his steps and create a stunning text effect in Illustrator.
This tutorial shows how to create a spectacular neon text effect with an electric glow. By following its steps, you'll become a real master of the Appearance panel and effects in Adobe Illustrator. Can't wait to start!
In the following tutorial, you will learn how to create pixel-perfect shapes using the grid, basic vector shape-building techniques, and Pathfinder options. Also, Andrei Marius shows how to cleverly organize your shapes and paths and how to easily recolor and multiply your final illustration.
Drawing in Illustrator is easy and fun! This tutorial proves it. You will learn how to create a pattern and a simple graphic style and set up a grid. Using basic effects and taking full advantage of the Appearance panel, you will learn how to add shading, depth, and highlights to the overall illustration. All in just one tutorial!
One of the cutest tutorials! Kate McInnes shows you how to create a character that is quick to ink, easy to edit, and a breeze to recolor with a few layer tricks and Graphic Styles. Let's draw this cutie together!
Paisley is a very popular ornament. This beginner tutorial with no Pen Tool shows you how to draw paisley elements using scatter brushes and the Appearance panel.
Fancy a Bit More of a Challenge?
Once you've mastered the basics and have tried some of our beginner tutorials, kick it up a notch and try some of these more challenging projects.
The benefits of using Graphic Styles is that you can then go on to apply them to a multitude of shapes without needing to recreate each look. And it perfectly fits game element designs! Let's create some funny vector cartoon-style game backgrounds in Adobe Illustrator.
Creative buttons attract attention to your website. Andrei Marius shows you how to draw a USB sign in Illustrator from scratch using the Pathfinder and Appearance panels. Follow his steps, and share your fabulous results with us in the comments!
This cool tattoo-style deer is created all by custom brushes. And Beto Garza will show you how. Use custom art brushes, Graphic Styles, and blends to create a really stylish and trendy illustration.
Create the kitchen of your dreams! Become an Appearance panel master and create your own Graphic Layer Styles. This approach saves a lot of time and reduces file sizes. Sounds great? Let's learn more in this fun tutorial!
Let's add some music! A stylish vinyl player icon is a really nice thing to draw. Andrei Marius will teach you how to make a complex mesh, use conical gradients, and add shading and highlights with the Appearance Panel.
The flat illustration style is still trendy and popular. Chris Carey shows you a few tricks to create clean lines and edges. Simple layered styles and reusing Graphic Styles to help your workflow are most efficient, so you should be able to create a set of matching icons in no time.
Glossy, shiny elements are always eye-catching. The Appearance panel and transparency settings help you to achieve a nice, smooth result in Adobe Illustrator. The final image is scalable and can be used for an animation or web design. Let's begin!
This cool vintage lamp illustration is vector and made in Adobe Illustrator. Do you want to do the same? Follow Andrei Marius and learn the basics of pixel-perfect vector shape-building techniques. Also, you'll learn how to add a film grain effect to make your illustration even more spectacular.
Want to know how to create a stunning mobile game design? Simply follow this tutorial's steps, and you'll make a detailed tic tac toe game interface in Adobe Illustrator. You will learn Transform effects, 3D Extrude and Bevel effects, the Appearance panel, the Blend Tool, and several graphic styles. So much to learn, and such cool results!
This stylish vintage poker machine is a great way to learn how to create, save, and reuse complex gradients and graphic styles. Taking full advantage of the Appearance panel and using a bunch of raster effects along with basic blending techniques, you will learn how to add shading, highlights, and subtle textures to your work.
Do you want a cup of tea? Andrei Marius explains how to draw a set of cup icons in Adobe Illustrator. You will learn about Warp, Rounded Corner, Inner Glow effects, and simple Graphic Styles. Can't wait to drink a cup of coffee and draw this cute icon set!
Create a neon glowing text effect with a scary green font. The Appearance panel and Layer Styles will help you to achieve a cool, toxic look!
This cute confetti scatter brush is easy to use and great for decoration! Use it to make your design more romantic and imitate a glitter graphic style in Illustrator.
This beginner tutorial is bezier curve/Pen Tool free and explains the Appearance panel really easily. As a result, you'll get a cute turtle shell.
The text, "G'mar Hatima Tova," is a Jewish greeting used on the holiday of Yom Kippur. It means: "May you be inscribed for good [in the Book of Life]." In this tutorial, you'll learn how to create a fully editable, multi-layered text effect in Adobe Illustrator.
Retro is a new trend! Learn how to make a warm, stylish text effect in Illustrator using Layer Styles. This stunning text effect is great for trendy designs.
Hey, cowboys and cowgirls! Are you ready to learn more about Graphic Layer Styles and the Appearance p[anel? This tutorial is at your service!
Infographics are a great way to present your data. If you're new to infographic design, this little tutorial can be your first step to becoming an infographic template illustrator.
Are you hungry? This sweet tutorial is for you! Follow it and learn how to make a biscuit style using only a path, the shape of each letter, and nothing else. Sounds intriguing? Let's draw!
In this beginner tutorial, you will learn how to create a basic piece of text and how to turn it into a 3D object using the 3D Extrude & Bevel effect. This text effect is really cool and adds an interesting style to your designs.
More Illustrator Layer Styles
If you want to improve your designs quickly and easily, it's always better to use professional resources. Envato Elements provides you with a lot of great, ready-to-use Layer Styles for every taste. Check them and select the perfect one!
Ten different Adobe Illustrator styles in one set! All styles are editable and can be easily applied to any text or artwork. Perfect for print design, advertising, and any vintage element.
Bring a hand-crafted feel to your artwork and text! This design toolbox helps you to create a cozy paper style. Just a few clicks, and your new handmade-style design is ready!
32 seamless vector styles are ready to help you make your designs really rich and fabulous! Elegant gold stamping vector effects in just a few clicks—what could be better?
The retro style is a popular trend, but retro comics are even better. Add some vintage soul to your design with this professional-looking Layer Styles bundle. The set includes Photoshop brushes, textures, and 75 comic elements.
The Layer Styles from this set expertly imitate real engraving. Create authentic-looking, etched illustrations in pen ink style with this bundle!
This funny cartoon style set can help you to make a perfect game design. Also, it's perfect for designs for children, advertising, and packaging. Easy to use, it adds a glossy look to your elements in just one click.
Cyberpunk and the new Retro Wave are big trends now. Retro neon signs always look interesting, and your design will catch the attention with this layer style, no doubt. With 15 styles included, there is a lot to choose from.
This cute handmade watercolor style set will add a crafty and cozy look to your Adobe Illustrator designs. A good choice for print design and web banners.
The Poster Press set is the easiest way to make your very own authentic-looking prints. The 12 one-click Layer Styles are very easy to use, and you can enhance your results with the included texture patterns and frame brushes. Enjoy!
Another spectacular Graphic Style set to your collection! This bundle was inspired by Las Vegas lights, vintage drive-in signs, and 80s graphics, and it looks just fabulous. The 36 Adobe Illustrator styles will help you to achieve the luxury feeling of freedom in your designs.
We hope this article helped clarify Graphic Styles and the Appearance panel and gave you some ideas on how to use them in your future projects.
If you want to get started quickly, check out the collection of ready-made Graphic Styles on Envato Elements. Happy creating!