5.3 How to Make a Pattern in Illustrator
In this lesson, you’ll learn how to create a pattern in Illustrator. This pattern can then be used as a repeating pattern—great for backgrounds, wallpaper, fabric prints, and wrapping paper.
- Patterns on Envato Elements
1.Introduction2 lessons, 07:41
2.How to Draw in Illustrator9 lessons, 1:51:08
3.Color2 lessons, 14:43
4.Type and Fonts1 lesson, 10:08
5.Effects and Patterns in Illustrator4 lessons, 40:43
6.Exporting1 lesson, 11:05
7.Conclusion1 lesson, 01:34
5.3 How to Make a Pattern in Illustrator
Hi there, in this video, we're going to take this shape that we made earlier, flip it upside down. And then, turn it into a repeating pattern that goes on forever and ever and ever. We'll take a simple one and then turn it a lot bit of more abstract version of it. We'll flip it around and it will just repeat on forever for us. It's great for backgrounds, I use it for printing of fabrics, printing wallpapers, gift wrap. Repeating patterns are awesome and easy. Let me show you how to do it now in Illustrator. All right, to get started, go to exercise files and you're looking for this one here called Pattern. Open that up, again, you can use this file here it's just something we drew earlier, but you can use your example. We'll just hand draw anything, you could use our penguin, or the sea creature you made. Now to make a repeating pattern, if we just want it to be the M, we just leave it as is. I'm gonna group it so select it all, Object > Group, I'm gonna copy and paste it so we got another version of it. And I'm just gonna rotate it around, okay, just so that I get more of an interesting kind of wallpapery pen. The other thing you need to do is that whatever size it is now, so this is my US letter. And size, this is going to be the size of the pattern. It's quite hard to adjust the size of the pattern after you've made it. So if this is the size you want it leave it there, but I want it to be kind of a small pattern. Okay so I'm holding, stick to them both, holding down Shift shrinking them down, I've got them there. So I'm gonna select them both, I'm gonna go to Window and I'm gonna go to this unlikely character here, it's called Pattern Options. It doesn't seem very exciting, right? But this is where the excitement is hidden. So Window > Pattern Options and this opens up. Another big problem is, like, hey, here's the Pattern Options, nothing works. Here, I click this little hamburger menu here, click on him, go to Make Pattern and life comes good. Don't worry about this, it's added to the swatches panel, we'll talk about that in a second. Click OK, and that, you can kinda see, I'm gonna zoom in a little bit now, okay, is my pattern, it's already kind of cool? Imagine that and say it's our brand for our logo, imagine this getting turned into wallpaper that is like in the reception lobby, board room thing, go on. And a couple of things that I like to do is, you have probably got this undimmed copies? It dims the one like, so those are my two originals, and there's the repeats out here, and you can retouch them. It dims them for some reason. I'm just gonna turn this off so I, wanna give it the full look? In Show The Edge, I'm in the edge either, I wanna see what the pattern looks like? How many copies? So it's going 5x5, I wanna go up big, not the biggest I can go 5x7, 9x9. Hey just so, it's spread out a bit further? It's just a Preview, it will actually continue and forever, okay? But just as a lot of Preview would, just say 9x9. So what else can you do? Now, the grid is interesting but not exactly what we want, right? Go to that which is tile type and start playing around with these options. This is where it gets quite cool, brick by row, brick by column, it looks the same, hex by column, [LAUGH] hex by row, that's kinda cool. Once you do find one, you have got some adjustments. You can play around with this, so my one is 0.7 by 0.2, I'm gonna go 1 by 0.3. Don't worry too much about what these measurements are, it's kind of a bit of an experimentation. Okay, 1x1, nope [LAUGH] 0.5 x.0.5, it's overlapping, it's doing some cool stuff. Okay, I'm messing about now and it's not looking so good. [LAUGH] Overlap, you can decide on how these guys overlap? If they do get in really small, so watch this. If I go 0.2, you can see that overlapping now? And I can tell it who goes on top? So well, you can kind of see it in the background there. You on top, who's on top, now it's me. Let's name our pattern. This one's gonna be the M Company. Did we even name this thing? I don't think we did. It was just a brand that we kind pf fake made, Momentum, it's the Momentum Agency. I'm gonna go back to Grid, I'll play around with this a little bit. I'll get the Editor fast forward while I mess about. All right, we're back, and you would have noticed I spent ages doing that. [LAUGH] That's okay, so what happens now? You're like okay, I've done it, I like it, what do we do? This is the really weird thing about this tool, you're like great, where's the button? It's way over here, can you see on the top left here? Okay, we've seen this before when we used isolation mode. But in this case, their using this little gray bar and we wanna hit this one that says Done, and we say, I'm done, thanks. And your like what happened? [LAUGH] Where did it all go? Okay, so what happens is, you use these as your creation tools. You make them and you make your patent and that pop-up in the beginning says, don't worry, we'll make it and we'll stick it in your swatches panel for you. And that's where we need to go find it, so we don't need this anymore. I'm just gonna put them over here cuz, I don't know, I don't wanna delete them for no reason. I'm gonna draw out a rectangle, well, any sort of size I'm gonna cover the whole background. Don't worry about the fill color or maybe give it a stroke, give it no stroke, but the fill color is where we're gonna change it. This thing popped up, you can have it open, it doesn't matter because the same thing's up here and here when you go to swatches, it's up to you. So I've got my rectangle selected, I've got the fill color clicked. And there is this, with teeny, tiny little M Company, there it is there, there's my film, cool? And there is my crazy repeating M pattern, I love it. All right, next thing is let's edit this pattern, let's first of all change what's in it physically and then we'll change the size. So if you go to Fill, so I've got the big rectangle selected. Go to Fill, there's this option that says Pattern Options. Or you can go to Window and Pattern Options is down here. Okay, it doesn't matter which way you go, and nothing really happens. Go up to the hamburger menu and say, I would like to edit this pattern. And we go back into that kind of mysterious world here with the grey bar at the top. And now what it let's us do is let's click on this one that says Show Tile Edge, cuz that's kind of the boundaries of this repeating tile. So what I can do is I can copy this guy here and paste it, so I've got another guy? You can see what it's doing over all these different places, and now you can get all kind of like funky with copy pasting another one. And I do this more, I guess trying to go for random. Just kind of moving it around so it fills in some of these gaps, maybe one more. I wanna do a small one but I think I might, and this is where, cuz this is lots of overlapping now. Say, it depends on which color's your primary color. You can start messing around with like who's on top? Who's on bottom? And yeah, Makes a bit more sense when you got them overlapping. Now we've done it with the same repeating pattern, okay? If you've seen patterns with, I don't know, it's a sea theme and there's a fish, and then there's a starfish and there's a bucket and spade. Draw these things and then kind of move them around to fit the gap. When you are done, just like we did before, click this Random button up here, done. And then, what it didn't do before is it didn't just disappear and you have to reapply cuz a very big chunk of it applied. It's starting to do some cool, I don't know, Jack and the Beanstalk stuff. I think it's a little bit more abstract now for our, actually, what I might do is, actually, I'm gonna go, [LAUGH] I'm gonna go and adjust this [LAUGH]. You don't want to see me doing it, I'll do it at the end if you wanna hang around. But what you do need to see is what happens when you try and resize this box. Watch, I'm gonna resize it, okay, you can see it gets smaller. Just kind of way, black arrow, grab this rectangle, make it smaller. It resizes with it, which is not quite what I want, or it is, one or the other, okay? Sometimes you do want it, sometimes you don't. We need to go and change this, okay? So with it selected, actually you don't need it selected, go to Window and go to this Window option that says Transform, the Transform panel opens. Okay, and in here, there's a little fly out menu, it's really hidden, you've gotta bookmark this video if you wanna do this. If you're loving this pattern stuff because, man, I only remember this cuz I have to teach it so many times, where they hide some of these bits. But you can see here it says Transform Both. So when I'm resizing something or transforming it, it's gonna resize both the object and the pattern. What I can say is actually, I wanna transform just the object only please. So it means when I resize this now, you see? It's kinda little bit more maybe what you need. And the trouble is it's on forever. So next project a month later, when you start doing something you're like, why is it only, why isn't it rotating? Okay, so what you can do and what I do is as soon as I've kind of got it to what I want, I go and turn it back to both. Now, I get to resize it and kinda get it to a smaller size, turn it back to Object Only, and I can resize this up and it will keep repeating forever. Now, a couple of things before I get into playing with my button, is I am going to, say I've got a new document. Okay, I'm just gonna use all the defaults, click OK, and you notice over here in my, got a rectangle, fill it, go to here and you're like, where did it go? It was there and it's gone, okay? I've got this tasty treat [LAUGH], it's one of the default ones from Illustrator, okay? And what you can do to get it from this document to this one, okay, is that in this first document, click the Tab, just grab this rectangle. Don't worry too much about it, just copy it and click in here and watch, let's just paste it, paste it anywhere. You can even delete it, I don't need it anymore, okay. But that whole just bringing it in, lump it into the swatches of the document. Now, there is a long winded way of going in, saving out swatches and loading them back in again. So you can save out swatches using this ASE format and then open that Library and bring it back in, it's just a really long way. All you need to do is just copy and paste it from the document that you already had. Anyway, one last thing, I keep saying one last thing, is something called Spoonflower, let's jump to that. All right, so this is Spoonflower, and basically it's a fabric printing business. They do all sorts of stuff, but mainly fabric. So you can design your pattern in Illustrator. I'm not gonna explain exactly how they upload it and get it ready for this, it's pretty easy. There's a How It Works, and you can go through their process. Basically, you just upload your design, pick the fabric, okay? And they'll print it on any sorts of fabrics, or actually print it on to actual things, like pillows and stuff pre-made. But what I do, is I just get it printed onto actual fabric, okay? You can pick your fabric, so here, so you upload your design, choose your product, print your order. You can see here there's some basic cotton and all sorts of cool fabrics that it comes out on, okay, all sorts of cool stuff. What I did when I originally got started with them is I've got a swatched pick sample pack, okay? So you can get, I guess a feel for all of the different fabrics before you order them, okay, and yeah, you print it. And they print really small runs, which is quite cool. They print by the meter or by the yard. Yeah, it just turns up and you can start sewing it into things. I mean, we get things like wallpapers done for businesses or wrapping paper for maybe corporate gifts or your own personal gifts. Anyway, that is Spoonflower, and that is gonna be us for doing this amazing pattern making. I am now gonna close this down and mess about with my pattern to try and make it less like a beanstalk. But if you hit me up on social media with the things you've created, take a little snapshot, I'd love to see what you've done. After you've done that, I will see it in the next video, where we vectorize an image. We turn it into a cool vector hand-drawn illustration with the click of a button. All right, I'll see you over there.