Illustrator 105: Patterns

By guest contributor Melissa Coleman.

Have you noticed that slight pattern in all of the Illustrator 101 images? It's far easier to create than you may expect. Just a couple rectangles repeated over and over will resemble a chevron pattern. You'd be amazed at all the cool patterns you can make with a simple step and repeat in Illustrator. Today we're going to practice a couple old tricks, and add in a couple new tricks, to create a pattern. Let's play.

Here's a couple new keystrokes to add to your repertoire:

  • To group objects: Command + G 
  • To ungroup objects. Command + Shift + G 
  • To make a clipping mask: Command + 7 
  • To lock an object: Command + 2

Pro tip: You can also use the step and repeat method while using the rotate tool. Create a shape, then, with the shape selected, press R and click to create a rotating point. Hold down Option and drag the object. Press Command + D to duplicate, and the object will rotate while duplicating in the shape of a circle.