Creating your own patterns

Producing your own patterns in Adobe Illustrator CS6 and CC is not only simple, but also it comes with an a set of controls to make further customisation easy.  In this guide I will show you how to create a basic pattern, along with the options available in the Pattern Options panel menu.


Create a new document and select the Rectangle Tool.  Create four squares of 50px by 50px each and place them together like below.  Colour doesn’t matter so much, but for the example below I’ve used these colours: yellow (252, 238, 113), green (168, 207, 118), orange (250, 182, 72) and pink (240, 145, 110).


With the Direct Selection Tool select all the squares and go Object > Pattern > Make


This will convert the shapes into a pattern and you will be presented with a dialog window stating that that the patterns has also been added to the Swatches panel.  Hit OK to continue.


You’ll then be taken to the pattern editing mode along with the Pattern Options panel with all the options to adjust the pattern.  Press Done on the top of the page if you’re happy if the pattern to complete it, but for now leave this as we will look at the additional options.


In the Name field you can write the name you want to give this pattern.  Below that is the Tile Type drop-down menu, which gives you a few alternative ways to organise the elements in the pattern.  Select Brick by Row.


The Brick Offset drop-down menu will now become available.  This option allows you to stagger the tile pattern.


You’ll also see a little button at the top of the Pattern Options panel, this is the Pattern Tile Tool.  When you select this option it brings up a blue outline with handles around the original pattern.


Increasing the size of blue box will increase the separation between the other patterns.



If you select and slide the little diamonds on the top or bottom of the box, then you can adjust the brick offset.



The set of options below Brick Offset work much in the same way as the Pattern Tile Tool, but you can apply precise values.


Then at the bottom you have the options of for the tile editor menu previews.  The Copies drop-down menu add more pattern iterations to the preview.  You can also control how dimmed the preview patterns are in Dim Copies to.

Anyway I hope this has familiarised yourself with creating patterns in Adobe Illustrator.  If you wish to learn more about Adobe Illustrator, then Academy Class offers a number of different training courses at different proficiency levels.