We have been doing a lot of work with patterns in Illustrator recently and I thought I would share some of the things we learned and re-learned.
The easiest way to make a pattern is to just drag your object (perhaps a sweet Van Halen logo you made) into the ‘swatches’ pallet.
This creates a swatch that can be applied to the shape as a fill or a stroke.
A pattern does not have to be a square. It can be a rectangle, too.The pattern will repeat at the outer edges of the object (VH). If you do not want the pattern to repeat that way, draw a rectangle with no fill or stroke and move it behind the object.
Drag your object (VH) and the rectangle into the swatches pallet. Now, the pattern will repeat where the edges of the rectangle were.
You can scale or rotate the pattern within the shape. Select your pattern-filled shape and double-click on the “rotate” or “scale” tool to bring up its dialogue box. Make sure that only the pattern is selected and then enter the amount you would like scaled or rotated.
You can also move the pattern inside the shape by selecting the shape then holding down the Tilde key (the keyboard key to the right of the 1 Key), then clicking and dragging. Crazy.
It is a little more complicated to make a staggered repeating pattern. I will cover that in a new post, so stay tuned!