Seamless Patterns: Adobe Illustrator File Structure

Instruction Manual

I. LAYERS

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). The lay­er must be un­locked and turned on, in or­der to be se­lec­ted.

Each pat­tern is defined by the fol­low­ing lay­ers:

1. Lay­ers named “pat­tern tile”: The ed­it­able struc­ture of the pat­tern. Such lay­er is avail­able for each col­or scheme of the pat­tern and its con­tour ver­sion (Fig­ure 1.2). In­side is a clip group with a clip­ping mask ap­plied, con­tain­ing the struc­tur­al parts of the pat­tern tile as fol­lows:

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

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

2. Lay­ers named “pat­terned fig­ure”: Each con­tains a rect­angle with the pat­tern ap­plied as a fill, to see it tiling. There is one such lay­er for each col­or scheme and the con­toured pat­tern. (Fig­ure 1.3)

3. “Guides” lay­er: The guid­ing lines used for the pat­tern tile's geo­metry and for de­term­in­ing the width and length of the "pat­terned fig­ure" rect­angles. (Fig­ure 1.4)

Layers
Figure 1

II. ARTBOARDS

The art­boards in Il­lus­trat­or are ac­cess­ible through WIN­DOW > ART­BOARDS.

Each Il­lus­trat­or file in our seam­less pat­terns col­lec­tions comes with art­boards for each pat­tern tile, as well as for each "pat­terned fig­ure" lay­er. (Fig­ure 1.5)

FITTING ARTBOARD TO SELECTED WORK:

The art­board defines the bound­ary of your work when print­ing or ex­port­ing it to oth­er file formats. 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)
  2. Click OBJECT > ARTBOARDS > FIT TO SELECTED ART. (Figure 2.1)

Your art­board now matches the bound­ar­ies of the art you se­lec­ted (Fig­ure 2.2). Your art­work will be prin­ted or ex­por­ted with no crop­ping or ex­cess area around it.

Fit Artboard to Selected Art
Figure 2

III. COLOR AND PATTERN SWATCHES

Ready-to-use pat­tern swatches (Fig­ure 3.1) and their cor­res­pond­ing col­or palettes (Fig­ure 3.2) are ac­cess­ible through the Swatches pan­el (WIN­DOW > SWATCHES).

Each of our pat­terns comes with at least 2 pat­tern swatches:

  • one contour version of the pattern;
  • one or two color versions of it;

All col­or swatches are glob­al. Chan­ging them in the palette will change them through­out the file (and in the already ex­ist­ing pat­tern swatch).

The Swatches Panel
Figure 3
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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