Graphic Borders: Adobe Illustrator File Structure

Instruction Manual


Lay­ers are ac­cess­ible through the Lay­ers pan­el (WIN­DOW > LAY­ERS). To se­lect a lay­er click on the dot in the right end of the lay­er de­scrip­tion. (Fig­ure 1.1)

Each bor­der file in our col­lec­tions con­tains the fol­low­ing lay­ers:

1. A “guides” lay­er: The guid­ing lines used for the bor­der tile's geo­metry and for de­term­in­ing lengths that are mul­tiple to the tile width. (Fig­ure 1.2)

2. A lay­er with the bor­der's name: The ed­it­able struc­ture of the bor­der tile (sep­ar­ate lay­ers are provided for the colored and the con­toured bor­der ver­sion) (Fig­ure 1.3, Fig­ure 1.4). In­side is a clip group con­tain­ing the struc­tur­al parts of the bor­der as fol­lows:

  • A "geometry" group: The elements of the border tile geometry.
  • A "bounding box" rectangle with no fill and no stroke: determines the positioning of the border pattern brush along the stroke. It is always positioned beneath all other elements.
  • A "clip" rectangle with no fill and no stroke: defines the visual clipping of the brush tile. It is always positioned above the "geometry" group and the bounding box.

For more info about how a clip­ping mask works, see this tu­tori­al.

3. A "colored line" lay­er con­tain­ing a line with the colored brush ver­sion ap­plied. (Fig­ure 1.5)

4. A "con­toured line" lay­er con­tain­ing a line with the con­toured brush ver­sion ap­plied. (Fig­ure 1.6)

Note: The length of these two lines is mul­tiple of the bor­der tile width, so as to en­sure that the bor­der geo­metry is kept ac­cur­ate. Oth­er­wise the bor­der brush geo­metry in Il­lus­trat­or will be stretched or shrinked a bit in or­der to cov­er the whole line length.

Figure 1


The ready-to-use pat­tern brushes (Fig­ure 2.1) are ac­cess­ible through the Brushes pan­el (WIN­DOW > BRUSHES).

Each bor­der in our col­lec­tions typ­ic­ally comes with 2 pat­tern brushes: a con­tour ver­sion and a colored one.

The bor­ders come with glob­al col­or swatches (WIN­DOW > SWATCHES) (Fig­ure 2.2). Chan­ging them in the col­or palette will change them through­out the file (and in the already ex­ist­ing pat­tern brushes).

Brushes and colors
Figure 2


The art­boards in Il­lus­trat­or are ac­cess­ible through WIN­DOW > ART­BOARDS.

Each Il­lus­trat­or file in our bor­der brushes col­lec­tions comes with art­boards for each brush tile (in colored and con­toured ver­sions), as well as for each line with the brush ap­plied. (Fig­ure 1.7)


The art­board defines the bound­ary of your work when print­ing or ex­port­ing it. So fit­ting the art­board to your art­work is es­sen­tial. To do that:

  1. Select the layers (or objects) that you want to fit to the artboard by clicking on the dot in the right end of the corresponding layer. (Figure 1.1)

Your art­board now matches the bound­ar­ies of the art you se­lec­ted. Your art­work will be prin­ted or ex­por­ted with no crop­ping or ex­cess area around it.

Note: When us­ing the FIT TO SE­LEC­TED ART com­mand on the art­boards with pat­tern brushes ap­plied to a line, some ex­cess area may still re­main on the left and right end of your art­work (due to the clip­ping mask ap­plied). Zoom in and ad­just it manu­ally by click­ing on the Art­board tool and drag­ging the art­board sides to the guides.

Please note that the Illustrator files in our collections are compatible with the CC and CS6 versions of Adobe Illustrator and will not work with previous ones.
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